Dear Reader,
The following article about stigmata in general and Judith von Halle in particular is not by me . So the question you may well ask is: What is it doing on the Editor's Page? We will not leave the answer blowing in the wind, my dear. I have appended it at the end of the article. FTS

Stigmata – or – the Judith von Halle Phenomenon


St. Francis of Assisi

by Rob Steinbuch

Translated from Dutch to German by Rob Steinbuch and from German to English by Tom Mellett and Frank Thomas Smith

Introduction

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, a public discussion [in Holland] about “stigmata” took place.

The following subjects were discussed:

- The situation after eight years of Judith von Halle's work.

- Stigmata in light of religious studies.

- Stigmata in light of Anthroposophy.

- Future perspectives.

The impulse for this meeting was the need to discuss the subject “stigmata” among us. Since the events during the Easter time 2004 in Berlin this subject has awakened more interest, also within the anthroposophical community. The following questions have been asked:

This report contains documentation for preparation of the meeting and a report on the discussion itself.

The situation after eight years

Judith von Halle was born 1972 in Berlin. She is an architect by profession and has worked as such. She has felt herself to be especially bound to Christ since childhood. She encountered anthroposophy in 1997 and worked part time for the German Anthroposophical Society until 2005. From 2001 till 2003 she gave lectures in the Rudolf Steiner House about esoteric Judaism and the Apocalypse of St. John.

During Easter 2004 the stigmata of Christ appeared on her. Since that happened she has only been able to consume water – that is, no solid nourishment. She gives lectures and writes books. Her books are listed as an appendix to this report.

In the first part of her book “And had He not been Resurrected...” her experience is described as well as the irreversible and substantial changes in her bodily constitution during and since the stigmatization [note 1, pgs. 11- 62]. Furthermore this book contains the texts of the lectures which Judth von Halle, together with Peter Tradowsky, gave on October 10, November 7, December 12 2004 – and January 30, March 6, April 10 and May 14, 2005. This book can be considered to be the basis for her subsequent publications.

Her lectures and book are mostly but not exclusively concerned with Christology, whereby she adheres to Rudolf Steiner's work on the same subject.

As is true with other stigmata cases, Judith von Halle can “see” the events during the life of Jesus. She speaks of “time travel”. As of now she has written 18 books (see appendix). The series “Contributions towards an Understanding of the Christ event” contain descriptions from her time travels.

Wolfgang Garvelmann in his book Sie sehen Christus Erlebnisberichte von der Passionszeit und der Auferstehung Christi (They see Christ – Experiences of the Easter Time and the Resurrection of Christ), compares these reports with similar ones by Anna Katharina Emmerick and Therese Neumann (note 2).

Judith and her husband Carl-August live in Berlin, but are often in Dornach.

Judith von Halle was in Holland for the first time on June 12 and 13, 2010. In Zeist she gave a lecture with the subject “The Etheric Christ and the smaller domed hall in the first Goetheanum”. On March24 and 25 she was again in Holland and spoke about Rudolf Steiner's Christology.

Judith von Halle's stigmatization caused great commotion within the Anthroposophical Society in Germany (ASiG). For many members it was positive, but the Board of Directors of the AsiG could not accept it. In September 2005 an official declaration by the Board of the AsiG appeared in its Newsletter in which the stigmata and its resultant effects were rejected as incompatible with anthroposophy. Thus Judith von Halle's work within the Anthropospical Society was, in effect, made impossible.

In the Spring of 2006 a “Group in a specific field of work” was founded which could work within the General Anthroposophical Society (Center in Dornach). It is called: Free Association for Anthroposphy. This association managed Judith von Halle's lectures. The next AsiG General Assembly decided to investigate and named a Judgment Commission. It delivered its report in 2008 in which the Board was instructed to initiate further contact with Judith von Halle. On December 8, 2012 a public discussion with the Board and Judth von Halle took place.

Meanwhile she was invited to give lectures in the Goetheanum in Dornach. The Great Hall was always full. She also wrote articles for “Das Goetheanum” [Newsletter]. But the Board (Vorstand) had problems with the stigmata phenomenon. In 2008 Board member Sergei O. Prokofieff published “The Mystery of Golgatha in the Light of Anthropsophy”. He added an afterword to this book, in which he emphatically rejected the stigmatization [of Judith von Halle] [3]. Peter Tradowsky immediately replied with another book. [4]

In answer to a question from some members, in a letter dated October 28, 2010, the Board of Directors (Vorstand) of the General Anthropsophical Society declared itself to be in agreement with Prokoffief's rejection. [5] Since then Judith von Halle has not been invited to give lectures in the Goetheanum or to contribute articles to the Society's Newsletter. Nor have her books been reviewed in the Newsletter. Recently Sergei Prokofieff brought up the subject in another book. Obviously his opinion has not changed.

It is noteworthy that neither the German Anthroposophical Society nor the Board of the General Anthropsophical Society in Dornach mentioned what Rudolf Steiner said about this subject. An essay about about his words on the subject of Stigmata was published in 2011 in Dutch, German and English and distributed worldwide.

Stigmata in the light of Theology

Stigmata has occurred in western Europe since the 13th Century. Roughly 350 people have borne the “stigmata of Christ” during their lifetime. Descriptions, analysis and a list of names (according to century) can be found in many publications. For example see Notes 8 and 9. Also see the Encyclopedia Brittanica and Wikipedia.

Individuals from Holland appear from the beginning. The most recent example of a person with stigmata from Holland was Dora Vissar from Gendringen, who lived from 1819 to 1876. She received the stigmata in 1843. Her beatification is expected in 2014. Probably there are about 25 people in the world with stigmata today. Interest in the subject is increasing. This may have something to do with the increase in “new spirituality”. There are also publications in which the super-sensible character of the phenomenon is categorically rejected.

The stigmata is mostly related to other very important changes in the individual's constitution.

Metanoia” [the process of experiencing a psychotic "breakdown" and subsequent, positive psychological re-building or "healing"] appears in respect to morality and comportment. One continually gives herself to others and begins to function as a living fountain from which spiritual and social impulses flow – in their contemporary characteristics. They have a curative effect – if the environment responds in a reasonable way.

In general it is assumed that the appearance of stigmata relates to the deepest possible mystical union with Christ. This mystical union is possible to a certain extent for all persons, but in the extraordinary situation of the appearance of stigmata, something quite special is involved. A kind of invitation has been offered wherewith the “yes-word” is requested from the individual concerned. Therefore the stigmata cannot be made to appear by one's own will.

The biograpy of Adrienne von Speyr (1902 – 1967) is an example. She had a successful doctor's practice in Basel. She was married and had two stepchildren. She was also deeply religious. In the spring of 1941 she experienced an angel. Her visitor told her that “it would soon begin, provided she wished to give the yes-word.” Thereafter she had experiences weekly between Friday and Sunday similar to those described by Judith von Halle in Note 1. In July 1942 the visible stigmata appeared. Her life thereafter can be considered as exemplary for someone bearing the stigmata in our times. She carried on with the medical practice as best she could, but a huge amount of work was added. She wrote one book after another. (Fifty have been published.) She organized meetings for religious deepening and organized her own institute for that purpose. But above all she was always ready to help others. (Note 8, pages 7-10)

The stigmatization process is mostly called a “mystery”. Irreversible, very important changes in the human constitution appear, which cannot be explained by human sciences (medical or psychological). They can only be the result of intervention from an “invisible world”. That does not explain the phenomenon, but it at least points to the direction we must go if we wish to obtain knowledge of the occurrences and their meaning.

These occurrences may include:

In the capacities of the soul, very profound changes can take place. The experiences during the life of Jesus can be investigated and clarified as witnessed testimony. Usually a positive development of character can be observed in which a personality arises which is stronger and richer. She may be capable of pronouncing things which are far beyond her previous capacities. She can lead profound conversations or create texts of extraordinary quality – and always tries to help the person in trouble.

As already mentioned, the comportment of the outside world is of great importance. Often considerable pain and emotional tension is experienced. This requires care and restraint by the community. One wishes to experience the stigmatization process in inner intimacy and therefore has no desire for publicity. This is especially true during periods of deep meditation, mostly between Friday afternoon and Saturday or Sunday. The desire for sensationalism or exaggerated wonder by the world is not appreciated. Instructing mystics leads to disappointment. Directors of organizations often want to have “everything under control”, which is not possible here. This is also a source of conflict. Mysticism cannot be controlled.

Freedom plays an important role in the stigmatization process, so the relation to the world should also be a function of freedom. It can never be a relationship of teacher-pupil. The community must be free to have an affinity to the stigmata event or not. No moralistic judgment is appropriate.

In some cases a “failed initiation” or fraud or psycho-pathological self-deception might be involved. With today's medical professionalism, something like that would be quickly evident. In earlier times it was not the case.

The theological basis for the events is still developing. The historical-critical Bible exegesis was important for judging the life of Jesus during a large part of the twentieth century. For adherents of the de-mytholization theory the acceptance of super-sensible events was very problematic. So what could their attitude to something like stigmata be?

This problematic played a role in the changing jugments by the Catholic Church about the stigmata of the Franciscan Padre Pio (1887 – 1968). Within the Franciscan order even the stigmata of St. Francis himself 800 years ago is being questioned. The Dutch Franciscans organized a conference in October 2004 with the theme: “If Francis of Assisi did not have stigmata, what really happened?” The conference report was published as a book (note 10). It was clear that the question could not be solved “technically”. But this book shows how incredibly inspiring the life and work of “Il Poverello” was and still is. The conference was about him – and not his stigmata.

The stgmata event is again relevant – more as a worldwide phenomenon and less confined to a particular religion such as the Catholic Church. It has become very much an individual happening. The community has a protective, supportive role.

Stigmatization in the Light of Anthroposophy

Rudolf Steiner spoke several times about the stigmata, based, we assume, on the results of his occult research (from the Akashic Chronicle). In successive lectures, he reported on the circumstances of his research. If you read these lectures consecutively, then you can see how his relevant insights are developed.

Between August 22 and September 4, 1906, Rudolf Steiner gave 14 lectures in Stuttgart (GA95). During the final two lectures, he discussed 3 paths of spiritual development: Oriental Yoga training, the Christian path and Rosicrucian path.

During the lecture on September 3, he described the 7 stages of the Christian path of development. The first stage is the “Washing of the Feet.” During the 4th stage, the Crucifixion, a reddening develops in the spots where the Stigmata occurs. The 7th stage is that of the Resurrection, but it cannot be described in words. Then he said:

When a person has lived through this 7th stage, then Christianity has become an inner experience of his soul. He is then wholly united with Christ Jesus, the Christ Jesus is in him.” (11).

Rudolf Steiner went even further in his lectures of June 6, 1907 in Munich, May 30, 1908 in Hamburg, and October 14, 1911 in Karlsruhe. These lectures have been collected in the booklet called “Stigmata in the Light of Anthroposophy.” (7).

In the June 6, 1907 lecture, the 6th stage “Burial and Resurrection” and the 7th stage “Ascension” were mentioned for the first time. In the May 30,1908 lecture, the stigmata itself is mentioned for the first time. And in the October 14,1911 lecture, he makes the assertion that when a person experiences stigmatization, then he or she is beginning to receive the Phantom (also known as the “Resurrection Body”). This aspect was given a lot of attention in this lecture cycle. The fundamental attitude required on this path of development is humility. The result is “catharsis” or “cleansing.”

It is clear in all these lectures that Rudolf Steiner spoke with the utmost respect about the appearance of the stigmata.

In all four of these lectures, Steiner calls it the Rosicrucian path of development, which, together with the Christian path of development, can result in the stigmata appearing. Both paths can lead to the same result.

Since the Christian path demands a definite reclusiveness, it is therefore only the right path for a select few people. Furthermore, this path requires a deep and living faith in Christ Jesus as a historical figure and demands a relationship with the Gospel of John – especially the opening verses about the Logos – as well as the Book of Revelation.

The Rosicrucian path of development affords more possibilities. Christ can be seen both explicitly and implicitly. In the explicit experience, a certain relationship with the Christian path of development can occur. But in the implicit experience, the concrete interpretation of the word “Christ” can even be entirely omitted. This indicates just how far today the individual freedom of the human being has evolved.

If we try to implement this in modern culture, where the encounter with Christ is front and center, then we could say that this encounter bears a quite implicit character. The conscience then becomes the source of the implicit working with Christ. But this encounter may also be explicit, even to the point of physicality. It can also be the starting point of a conscious striving toward a merging with Christ.

Obviously, in both cases we don’t mean the Christ being in His full glory. We could hardly tolerate a faint encounter, let alone a full merging! The real issue is the (very small) part of what we can endure as the encounter or the merging. Only once has it ever happened that the Christ Being completely merged with a human being: that was at the moment of the Crucifixion of Jesus.

It is clear that both paths of development complement and reinforce each other. That could have been the reason why Rudolf Steiner mentioned both paths in such close proximity in the lectures.

It speaks to the heart of anthroposophy. Both paths of development lead to a complete “Christification.” It is described in the 4th stanza of the Foundation Stone Meditation, when it comes to the significance of the “Turning Point of Time.” Every person can – if willing – receive the “Light of Christ.” Then people can modify this light into the “wise heads of kings” or the “simple shepherds’ hearts” in order to operate in the world. Thus, “So that good will become what we beget from our hearts and will to achieve through our heads.”

Within the Anthroposophical Society, Ita Wegman was occasionally asked about her attitude regarding the stigmatization of Theresa von Neumann (1898-1962). Ita Wegman had written an article about it in 1927 and expressly rejected stigmatization. [12] The question is how much this agreed with the positive approach taken by Rudolf Steiner. If you examine the biography of Ita Wegman, it is very likely that she did not attend any of the lectures where Steiner spoke about stigmatization. There does exist a booklet about it. [13].

Previously I raised the question: what could be the meaning of the stigmata that St. Francis of Assisi experienced, occurring just two years or so before his death? I don’t believe it was some kind of “medal of honor” bestowed on someone well nigh posthumously. In his lectures on May 29, 1912 in Norrköping (GA 155) and on December 18, 1912 in Neuchatel (GA 130), Rudolf Steiner spoke about a past and future incarnation of the individuality known as Francis of Assisi. He was incarnated around 700 AD at a Christian-Buddhist school near the Black Sea. That may clarify the special character of this [religious] order. After his incarnation as Francis of Assisi, he subsequently incarnated only once more and for a short time on earth, having died in childhood. Is it possible that this individuality actually continues his work on Earth from the spiritual world? And that we could indeed actually experience such activity? And could the stigmata that he received so shortly before his death have contributed to this activity? In this light, the great significance that St. Francis of Assisi already has for modern people takes on a whole new dimension.

Does anthroposophy also take notice of the time when the stigmata began to appear, especially in the 13th Century? In his lecture on February 15, 1909 in Berlin (GA 107 and 109) Rudolf Steiner discussed the requirements of the soul needed for the path of mysticism. First and foremost is a thoroughly Christified Consciousness Soul. The 12th and 13th Century formed the transitional period before the so-called Consciousness Soul period [starting 1413 AD]. So this could also be a clue.

Future Prospects

Rudolf Steiner describes in his autobiography how shortly before 1900 he had an experience of Christ. He writes: “the culmination of my soul-development was standing in the spiritual presence of the Mystery of Golgotha in a most profound and solemn festival of knowledge.” [14]. This experience fundamentally transformed him and thus decisively imprinted the character of anthroposophy, in which term “Christ-Impulse” becomes central (including the activities of the associated adversarial-powers!). He also pointed to the fact that, after the year 1900, western humanity would increasingly develop the capacity to “cross over the threshold.”

Undoubtedly, the modern development of “new spirituality” has everything to do with this new capacity. Rudolf Steiner indicated this development in several books and lectures. However, he has also made observations about these phenomena. In his opinion, a new spirituality without a social dimension was counter-productive. In a lecture given December 12, 1918 in Bern, he gave an urgent and unmistakable warning. But he gave it in a positive sense when he said: “the Christ Impulse, calling us of our own free will to receive consciously and freely the social impulses which can help heal humanity today.” (GA 186, pg. 18)

We have determined that this social dimension is, in point of fact, the very “proof of the pudding” when it comes to the issue of stigmatization.

Even within Christian theology we can observe an interesting development. In the 20th Century, the “theology of de-mythologizing” played a major role. But since the turn of our new century there has been a reversal. We can speak about the growing number of spiritual experiences reported by many people. Among other things, divine experiences are manifesting as well as an encounter with Christ. Both processes are decidedly personal. Various theologians are involved with it. For example, in Holland we have the PKN theologians Henk de Roest and Martien Brinkman. Henk de Roest focuses on events in our immediate environment while Martien Brinkman speaks to global developments. [PKN = Protestant Church of the Netherlands].

In the same vein is the growing consciousness of reincarnation in the Western world. Today that would include about 25% of the population in both Europe and North America [15]

Rudolf Steiner categorized human evolution in seven distinct stages. He called these stages “cultural epochs.” He situated the 4th epoch between 747 BC and 1413 AD; the 5th from 1413 to 3573. So we find ourselves now in this 5th epoch. In turn, we are preparing for the 6th Epoch, which begins in approximately 1,500 years. The hallmark of this 6th Epoch is “unconditional love” that Rudolf Steiner called the “Key of David.” He called this period “Philadelphia,” referring to the 7 churches in the Book of Revelation. Thus we are halfway between “Calvary” and “Philadelphia”. Modern evolution requires “complete Christification.” The Christ Impulse works via human beings upon the development of individuals, humanity and world. Thus is man invited, in freedom, to participate in: “God needs man.” Otherwise nothing will happen.

This process of “complete Christification” has three aspects. The first is the “experience of Christ.” It occurs in the practice of everyday life, but also in special situations, such as ritual, reading from scriptures, meditating or praying, when you “take the path to the inner life.” The second aspect is the coming to consciousness of these events. You ask questions and seek to find the context. What is actually going on? It also plays a role in exegesis and theology.

The third aspect relates to the attainment of knowledge. How can we put together a developmental perspective from “Alpha to Omega?”

For all three aspects, the achievements of stigmata, as described above, are playing a role. Anthroposophy can add value as a “path of knowledge.”

The Discussion Meeting of October 13, 2012

Fifty people came together for this conversation, 28 women and 22 men. A good diversity of viewpoints produced a lively discussion. After the first question, which dealt with the report of the last 8 years, the rest were only general: What happens during stigmatization? What is its significance for the environment? Why is it happening now and also within the anthroposophical Society? What is the relationship between the visions of Rudolf Steiner and the “time traveling” of Judith von Halle? Is there a correlation with the increasing occurrences of threshold experiences after 1899, when the Kali Yuga age ended?

With Judith von Halle, it is not just about the quality of her lectures and books, but also about her radiance, which is experienced as “very loving.” So why should this lead to stress within the Anthroposophical community?

On one hand, the research work of Sergei O. Prokofiev on this topic is known. As a way of questioning, his work could certainly be valuable. But his conclusions and arguments are formulated in such absolutist terms that it precludes any kind of conversation.

The categorical rejection of the stigmatization and the activities of Judith von Halle by both the Vorstand [Board] of the German Society and the Vorstand of the General Anthroposophical Society have conspicuously led to a “quarantine” situation. The members have not been informed about it nor are they allowed to speak about it. Many participants deeply regret this state of affairs.

Is this about a lack of communication or are there questions of competence to be asked?

The research of religious history raises some questions about the background of the phenomena. Do such phenomena occur in other religions? Does Buddha have a definite function here? How do we judge the manifestation of the bleeding? What is the power behind the occurrence? Judith von Halle has written about it: “This transformed bodily organization is composed of body, soul and spirit and is called forth through the Christian nature of compassion and suffering” [1] page 35

This debate reminds us of the concept of “compassion” (Karen Armstrong), in which contemporary theology plays a significant role as a counterweight to the hardening tendencies in society.

The question is: how does the encounter with Christ as an ever-increasing universal phenomenon relate to the merging with Christ, which can result in stigmata? In the encounter with Christ, you can – even in the very first instance! – look into his eyes, and see there the intense torment as the effect of pain that humans so often inflict upon each other. In the mystical merging with Christ – again, even in the very first instance – you can look through His eyes. And then you will see something quite different!

Now to the question of how stigmatization relates to anthroposophy.

Is Anthroposophy in a position to answer the many questions about stigmata by academic Religious Studies? What would actually happen if mainstream scientific findings were brought together with the spiritual scientific results of Rudolf Steiner? You could compare it to the weaving process. Mainstream science delivers the “warp” of many centuries of observations and reflections. Anthroposophy then forms the “woof” that provides context and patterns.

One case in point is the significance of the whole phenomena for future karma, as exemplified by St. Francis of Assisi. You can also relate that to the “spiritual economy” of Rudolf Steiner. What happens to the individualities who had stigmata during their incarnations? Do they even acquire a special mission during the period between death and rebirth, like supporting those living on earth in their development? Many unanswered questions still remain, such as:

What is the nature of the transformation of the bodily constitution?

How do the particular higher members of the human organism change, and, specifically, what happens to the “I”?

How does the stigmatized person who cannot tolerate any food, maintain enough “energy?”

Can unconditional love create the power of resurrection? (Something like it is noticeable whenever we express great enthusiasm for anything.)

How do we assess meditation in this light?

Is there some connection with the so-called “homeless souls”?

Can we better understand this event if we consider it from a future perspective in the sequence of three cultural epochs: the 4th, 5th and 6th?

The Mystery of Golgotha happened during the 4th epoch. Man began to construct his “I” organization and especially developed freedom as a human faculty. In our present 5th cultural epoch, this attribute of freedom developed further and added accountability. In the 6th epoch, which will begin in about 1,500 years, it is all about the quality of unconditional love: “the destiny of the Other is also my destiny.” We are now developing this element. The instrumentality here is compassion. In this light, then, can we capture a bit more of the background of the Stigmata-Mystery?



Notes and Bibliography

 

[1] Judith von Halle, And If He Had Not Been Raised: The Stations of Christ's Path to Spirit Man with contributions by Peter Tradowsky, 3rd Edition 2009.

[2] Wolfgang Garvelmann, They Behold Christ! --- First Person Accounts of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. A Concordance: Anne Catherine Emmerich, Therese Neumann, Judith von Halle. Verlag am Goetheanum, 2008.

[3] Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Mystery of the Resurrection in the Light of Anthroposophy, Verlag Freies Geistesleben, 2008. (See Appendix)

[4] Peter Tradowsky, “Stigmatization --- Destiny as a Question of Knowledge,” published in Das Goetheanum, 2009.

[5] Letter from GAS Vorstand to W. Gutberlet and D. Hardorp, October 28, 2008.

[6] Sergei O. Prokofieff, And the Earth Becomes Sun, Ita Wegman Institute, 2012 (See Appendix).

[7] Rob Steinbuch, “Stigmata in the Light of Anthroposophy,” 2011

[8] John Mary Höcht, Bearing the Wounds of Christ, Christiana-Publishing, 2004.

[9] Michael Hesemann, Stigmata --- They Bear the Wounds of Christ. Silver Cord Publishers, 2006

[10] W.M. Speelman (ed.), Wounds and Miracles – On the Stigmata of St. Francis, Van Gorcum, 2006

[11] Rudolf Steiner, At the Gates of Theosophy (Spiritual Science), GA 95, pp. 126-130

[12] Ita Wegman, Initiating the Extension of Medicine according to Spiritual Science, Volume II, Issue 3/4, Sept/Oct 1927, Natura-Verlag, Arlesheim, Switzerland, 1956

[13] Rob Steinbuch, Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman on the Stigmata. 2012

[14] Rudolf Steiner, The Course of My Life (Autobiography), GA 28, end of Chapter 26

[15] Helmut Obst, Reincarnation --- Universal History of an Idea. C.H. Beck Publishing, Munich, 2009

(Notes 5, 7, 12, 13 are available upon request.)

 

 Books by Judith von Halle

And If He Had Not Been Raised: The Stations of Christ's Path to Spirit Man with contributions by Peter Tradowsky, 3rd Edition 2009.

The Lord's Prayer --- The Living Word of God (I), 2nd Edition, 2007.

Secrets of the Stations of the Cross and the Grail Blood: The Mystery of Transformation (II), 2nd Edition, 2008.

The Last Supper --- From pre-Christian Cult to Transubstantiation (III), 2nd Edition 2008.

Illness and Healing and the Mystery Language of the Gospels (IV), 2007

Descent into the Depths of the Earth: on the Anthroposophic Path of Schooling (V), 2nd Edition, 2009.

The Mystery of Lazarus and the Three Johns --- John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, John of Zebedee (VI), 2009.

Life at the Turning Point of Time --- and its Spiritual Background (VII), 2009.

The Christmas Idea in the Isis-Horus Myth – the Ancient Monotheistic Understanding of the Egyptian Mysteries (VIII), 2009.

Christ Hewn out of Wood --- Rudolf Steiner, Edith Maryon and the Christ-Sculpture, 2nd Edition, 2008.

The Representative of Humanity --- Between Lucifer and Ahriman: The Wooden Model at the Goetheanum with John Wilkes, 2008.

Dementia – An Anthroposophical Perspective, 2nd Edition, 2010.

The Modern Christ-Encounter and the Spirit of the Goetheanum, 2010.

Crisis and Opportunity --- The Free School [of Spiritual Science] and its Importance for the Karma of Anthroposophical Society, 2010.

Joseph of Arimathea and the Path of the Holy Grail (IX), 2011.

Rudolf Steiner, Master of the White Lodge --- an Occult Biography, 2011.

Followers of Christ --- The Mysteries Behind the 12 Apostles (X), 2012.

The Templars --- The Grail Impulse in the Initiation Rites of the Knights Templar. Volume I. 2012.

(Books listed with Roman numerals are in the series: “Contributions toward an Understanding the Christ Event.”)

R.T. (Rob) Steinbuch

Contact: [email protected]


About twelve years ago – before I had heard of Judith von Halle – I wrote a tongue-in-cheek story, The Bald Inquisitor, about what would happen if Rudolf Steiner were to return to earth and visit the Goetheanum. I include it here not – please believe me – not because I wish to imply that Judith von Halle is Rudolf Steiner reincarnated. But to imply that the General Anthroposophical Society is so intent upon repeating what Rudolf Steiner wrote and said or is said to have said that if someone new were to come along, someone who is able to continue Steiner's work rather than endlessly repeat it, write and above all lecture about it, that new person would be ignored, rejected, and attacked as un-anthroposophic – even if she were Rudolf Steiner himself.
Now along comes Judith von Halle who, although she is not RS, is certainly someone trying to continue and enhance Steiner's Christology. However, it's not that simple in her case. As you have read above, she not only bears the stigmata, she does not eat – not that she is able to survive without eating, she can not eat, it makes her ill. Admittedly this adds an element of sensationalism to the spiritual recipe. But the authorities of the Society in Dornach (as well as most of those of the Anthropsophical Society in Germany) do not accuse her of fraud in respect to the stigmata, the not eating or the time travel. What they – especially Prokofioff – object to is that such things are atavistic, and therefore are not only not anthroposophical but are also inimical to anthroposophy. You may think: Well, but maybe he's right. After all he's an expert on anthroposophy. However, he doesn't even know her, he has never met her and says it is not necessary – whereas Ms von Halle has repeatedly offered to meet with Prokofieff.
In 2011 I was in Germany with my wife and was to travel by train from Munich to Berlin. Checking the von Halle group's web page, I noted that Judith was scheduled to give a lecture in Kassel, a city along the Munich to Berlin train route. Well, why not stay overnight in Kassel, see and hear Judith von Halle and continue to Berlin the next day?
My impressions: The Anthroposophical Society's home in Kassel is a miniature Goetheanum, and the large lecture hall was full. Judith received a warm welcome and seemed grateful. She is an attractive young woman – now forty-ish – dressed in a long black dress with a tan vest, long black hair. Slim? well, what did you expect? Visible flesh-colored bandages cover the palms of her hands. She is simpatica, but not a charismatic speaker. More intellectual, very well prepared. She spoke for an hour and forty minutes (too long for my taste) without notes about Lazarus and the three Johns in the New Testament: John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and John Zebedäus. The book upon which the lecture as based was on sale. I bought it, but it still doesn't grab me as a particularly interesting subject.
But Judith von Halle certainly does. I regret that I couldn't stay longer in Kassel, because the next day she would be answering questions. Does she really “time-travel”. I don't know. My inner jury is still out on that one. But I do not doubt that she is sincere and believes that she does. I think that is enough to take her seriously.

Frank Thomas Smith, editor

P.S. Thanks to Tom Mellett for translating half of Rob Steinbuch's article.



Home