In our group that meets on Thursday evenings we started the general theme Christianity in May this year. The theme continues at least until Christmas. Now in October/November we are focusing on will, self-will, the will of God. We also study what role a wish plays in us and in forming our will.
I have an old little book called “On Love”, given to me by Stanley Nott, who also published it. In this book the chapter “On Love” is no more than 12 pages. The writer, A. R. Orage, writes: in order to love someone it is important to find out what she needs; what her soul craves and cannot find a name, still less a thing, for. It is important to find out from our beloved what she really wishes, and even know it before she knows it herself.
Two weeks ago Agi had a seminar over the weekend in Colmar in the Museum Unterlinden with a small group of mainly German people. The subject was, of course, the Altar of Isenheim and its message. This was for me the fourth time I have been in Colmar with Agi to learn to know the altar and to hear from her what the altar tells us. It was not the last time: I learn something on every visit. What I get seems only be limited by my own capacity to receive; the “stomach of the soul” fills very quickly through the pictures of the altar.
The connection to the little book is that during the seminar it became clear to me for the first time, now, after 2 ˝ years with Agi, what her deepest wish really is.
The finding out was an emotional moment. I have now understood that Agi´s wish is to establish the lay sister and brotherhood of the Anthonites in our time and for our time. If this happens in her lifetime, or in my lifetime, or not, is not the issue, but to make it happen now is the most practical way as she is an essential element in the process.
The Anthonite order was established as a lay brotherhood in France at the end of the 12th century. The last 33 centres were included in the Johannite order in the year 1776.
The primary purpose of this new Anthonite Brothers and Sisters is to serve as a spiritual school, which specializes in the study of objective art, much in the way it has been defined in ars sacra. The main object of the school itself is a continuous study, not only in theory, but also in practice, to build up and to start with a kernel of people who can take up the challenges for this school also in the future.
A foretaste of this type of activity is our Astrology study in ars sacra over three years; in this study Agi has given much of her knowledge of Astrology to a group of ten students. Some of us ten are showing signs of being able to use the skills we have acquired. We are now on our third year and are still facing plenty of work in learning more and in transcribing the audio recordings made. Eventually the project might also have a book as one of its results, and also a self-study course in Astrology.
The persons facing death directly and those who have understood that life as it is will end in physical death and are aware of it are open for the message of the Altar of Isenheim. It is our aim to bring the meaning of the message of the Anthonites and the Isenheim Altar to these people.
Apart from being a spiritual school the Anthonite Brothers and Sisters is to care for people; to care for those who can get help from different therapies. And also to care for the mortally ill, with AIDS or cancer, and the elderly, who have gone a spiritual way and would like to end their days following their way to the end.
Last week our subject on the Thursday meeting was to find out where an impulse comes from and when it comes what I do with it. The wish of Agi is the impulse that I received and I share her wish. We hope that we can get the help we need to realize the wish. This help can come from those who see the beauty of the wish and that the Anthonite Brothers and Sisters are needed in the world.
I finish with a little poem that Agi wrote to me 2 ˝ years ago:
We both need thee
And the world needs us