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Eurythmy

Eurythmy

by

Mieke Mosmuller

04-03-2020 1 comments Print!

Eurythmy is an art form that is hardly known to the general public. In fact, it is only known to people who went to a Waldorf school, where it was an art subject that was usually not popular - and to the anthroposophists who more or less justifiably see it as a specific anthroposophical art form.

Today I would like to make an attempt to explain in not too many words what this art form is based on and how one, as a human being, can get close to the area from which eurythmy originated.

With the known art forms this is obvious to people.  When one speaks about painting, then everyone knows that it has to do with imaging and that one brings that which is external or internal image, concrete or abstract, into an external form perceptible to everyone. In this way one can see all art forms as an expression of a certain area of perception. If we want to do this for eurythmy, we have to open an area which, just like imaging, works in a very natural way for every human being, but which in this case we do not usually look at and do not know about.

Every human being has access to a purely sensory free way of thinking. This sensory free thinking that is available, however, almost completely escapes consciousness and that means that, although we as humans make perfect use of it, we still have no awareness of it.

Anthroposophy brings this awareness closer. Then one gets to know within oneself that in order to be able to think and understand one has a predisposition to the use of categories of understanding and logical legal connections, through which one can orient oneself in the outside world and through which one can conduct science. The human being is able to handle this perfectly. It is the truth in itself, and it does not matter whether one uses it to find truth or to make false statements.

...It is only known to people who went to a Waldorf school, where it was an art subject that was usually not popular - and to the anthroposophists who more or less justifiably see it as a specific anthroposophical art form.

That in itself is an interesting topic for reflection, how it is possible that one could think untruth with the truth. When moving the problem to another area, it is less difficult. When we say that we have healthy limbs with which we can commit crimes, that is clear. Yet this is something similar in the inner process...

The handbook for becoming aware of this pure thinking is Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom, and there is a passage in which it becomes very clear that man has perfect control over thinking, even when he still does not know certain things with the help of this thinking.

“The reason that makes it impossible for us to observe thought in its present course is the same as that which makes it more immediately and intimately recognizable to us than any other in the world. It is precisely because we produce it ourselves that we know the characteristic of its course, the way in which the event in question takes place. What can only be found indirectly in the other observation spheres: the factual-corresponding connection and the relationship of the individual objects, we know in our thinking in a very direct way. Why my observation of thunder follows lightning I do not know without further investigation; why my thinking connects the term thunder with that of lightning I know directly from the contents of both concepts. Of course, it does not matter at all whether I have the right concepts of lightning and thunder. The connection of those I have is clear to me, and that is through them.”

We hope to find a renewal on the original ground of eurythmy, through this awareness of its origin.

When we consciously enter into this area of pure sensory free thinking, we begin to experience a strengthening in our thinking, which makes it less and less dependent on content and becomes a movement in time that stands on its own and can be experienced. This becomes a new instrument of knowledge. With this instrument then, which is the basis of thinking, you don't think, but you join the object to be known. Then a 'range of knowledge' emerges that is art.

When we unite this formative thinking, unify it with the forming of sounds - consonants and vowels - through the larynx and the organs of speech, such as lips and tongue and teeth, add this ground of thought, which has become a moving powerful mechanism to these, then we follow the speech, as it does not flow in the sense of words, but as it shapes the airflow through the larynx and the organs of speech to the outside air.

When we, in unison with the essence of speech, experience this whole, speech itself becomes a phenomenon which forms itself in an exceptionally artistic way, and when it is experienced, it gradually permeates the investigator that it is the human being himself who is the word, and that, when we investigate speech in this way, we find something with the help of formative thinking which has something to do with the whole human being.

One would want the whole human being to be able to portray this in an outward appearance, so that even the one who does not have the ability to experience this inner life could see the outward appearance. One can imagine that this richness will only increase as one starts to carry it out. It is not limited to making vowels and consonants visible, but also words, rhythm, sound, mood, course of a text can be included. One experiences that it is not only gestures, but that the whole of speech or music is expressed in movement, in different colours, with different strength of gestures.

When I first read the beginning in Novalis' writing 'Die Lehrlinge te Sais' (The Disciples at Sais) - a booklet that I later translated into Dutch - I immediately saw: Here the forms of eurythmy to be walked are described, but every human being walks his paths of life eurythmically!

Novalis:
“Human beings walk on many different paths. Whoever follows and compares them, will see strange figures emerge; Figures that seem to belong to that great cipher writing that one sees everywhere, on wings, eggshells, in clouds, in snow, in crystals and stone formations, on freezing water, inside and outside the mountains, plants, animals, people, in the lights of the sky, on touched and painted panes of pitch and glass, in the filings around the magnet, and in strange conjunctions of chance. In them one suspects the key of this miraculous writing, the doctrine of its language; only the foreboding does not want to put itself into any fixed form, and does not seem to want to become a higher key. An Alcahest seems to be poured out over the senses of men. Only at the present time do their desires, their thoughts, seem to condense. This is how their forebodings come into being, but after a short time everything swims again, as before, before their eyes.”

Surely one can imagine that with the moving powerful element of thought one doesn't think in terms of content, that one can also pursue and co-create the music and that a tone and music eurythmy has been created in this way?

Furthermore, the desire arises to go back to what the thinking itself does, from which this deep thinking element is derived, and to bring it into the external view. What does thinking itself actually do? This eurythmy does not yet exist ...

From this in the inner development of shaping thinking, which becomes a clairvoyant element of knowledge, I look from time to time at what Ruth and Raphaela develop and carry out in their project Logos Eurythmy. We hope to find a renewal on the original ground of eurythmy, through this awareness of its origin.

In my earlier books I also referred to this awareness as the awareness of form. As a performing musician, you don't have to have fathomed the pythagorean spheres to be a good musician. A eurythmist doesn't have to have gone through this inner development of the power of thought himself.

But the better and more intensive the understanding of this, the closer to one's own experience of it, the more real the eurythmist will be able to show this art form, because in eurythmy the artist expresses what has been taken directly from spiritual observation.

Eurythmy by Mieke Mosmuller

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  • From @
    Wat Rudolf Steiner in zijn pedagogische voordrachten over euritmie heeft gezegd, heb ik op mijn blog 'vrijeschoolpedagogie.com, zoek: rudolf steiner over euritmie' bij elkaar gezet. Ik zal op mijn blog ook naar uw waardevolle gezichtspunten verwijzen.