Motives for Schooling: The Six Fold Path Part Two

Until just prior to the beginning of our calendar, people were chosen to go by way of initiation. They were accepted into a mystery school because of their descent (superior family origin) or on the basis of specific qualities. 

In today’s world the decision to follow a path of inner schooling has developed as an initiative which you take yourself in freedom. The word ‘ínitiative’ holds the secret of the modern situation: you make the beginning yourself. Every external force towards schooling would mean a weakening of the nucleus which starts the process of change and sustains it. That nucleus is the I, the essence of the human being. 

Different motives may prompt us to follow a path of initiation. I will briefly discuss three of them.  

Striving for health 

These days many people experience turbulence and disharmony in their soul. Daily life with its excess of information and ever increasing speed of life draws our attention continually to the outside. The moments we can turn to our inner self are diminishing. When you seek to do this, you notice how hard it is to close yourself off from the world and concentrate your mind on something else. When you are too open to the world, you are being swung from left to right and you cannot disconnect yourself at night from your impressions. The result is that the sleep you need is being undermined.             

Another source of instability can lie in our world of feeling. For instance we may experience things too strongly and thereby get out of balance. Or – and this happens increasingly – we close ourselves off from our feelings at an early stage as a protective measure to be able to survive. The result of this is that there lives a continual stress at the base of our consciousness. 

Also the area of the will can be damaged. This can express itself in feeling tired, but it can also be the case that you no longer can become active in your soul. The result of this is that you may feel depressed. 

The condition of our soul has an immediate effect on our physical wellbeing. In the course of this century this has become known in psychosomatic medicine. Sometime later further research was carried out and this phenomenon is referred to as psychoneuro-immunology. The French author Jacques Lusseyran describes the two aspects of our inner being in his book ‘Against the pollution of the I; blindness, another way of seeing’ (Rotterdam 1980). The first aspect he calls the ego. The ego is jealous, wants to be the best, wants to pull everything toward itself and is constantly engaged in gaining esteem. The other aspect Lusseyran characterizes as the self. The self is ’an impulse, a movement which puts at my disposal my thinking, feeling and willing’. The self does not want the world to come to him or her, but enters the world to encounter it. The self means ‘richness in the midst of poverty, interest when everybody around us is bored, and hope when everything seems lost’. The ego is self directed and works out of a shortage. The self is world oriented and receives through this attitude towards life extra energy in order to remain creative also in difficult circumstances’. 

Lusseyran describes that in the concentration camp Buchenwald he has been able to experience this very clearly among the camp’s inhabitants. Those who could draw from the strength of their inner self were able to establish a future objective and thereby often remained alive. People who no longer saw a future and stopped fighting also rapidly deteriorated physically much quicker than others.  

In our daily life we all carry both aspects of life, that of the ego and that of the self inside us. Being self-centered is needed for our self preservation. It is possible however in parallel to develop being world oriented and to do so increasingly.   

Broadening perception 
A second motive for schooling becomes present as soon as you have arranged order in your soul and acquired reasonable health. This is followed by the spontaneous urge to develop the talents you carry along with you. Abraham Maslow describes in his book Motivation and personality how the need to act can originate initially out of a shortage. Maslow characterizes this as ’deficiency motivation’; actually these are the impulses which stem from what Lusseyran calls the ego. Once the shortages (in money, clothing, safety, in getting attention, love, etc) have been replenished, then the possibility for growth motivation takes effect. The motivation to grow originates from the self. Your actions no longer are meant to fill a shortage, but to create new realities. Instead of the deficiency there comes something extra, a surplus. 

Something new is added to the world. When this happens this marks the beginning of what Maslow calls ‘the self realizing human being’. 

Each person possesses this potential. In most cases the two needs, the deficiency motivation and the growth motivation, play a role in people’s lives. To the extent the growth motivation becomes more prominent certain inner attitudes come into being. Maslow describes these spontaneously developing attitudes by looking at personalities he considered examples of self realizing people: Lincoln, Franklin, Emerson and Goethe. Typical of these persons is that they share a need to be alone from time to time; to reflect on what has happened, to think about values, to pray etc. They are grateful for what life has brought them as joy and as pain and suffering (positivity). They feel thereby connected to the world and have what Maslow called a ‘continual novelty of appreciation’ (open mindedness). It is as if what is being pursued consciously by the fourth and fifth exercise (positivity and having an open mind) has become a character feature of people such as Emerson and Goethe. 

If the self can use the powers of thinking, feeling and willing in this way, they can become instruments for perceiving inner, metaphysical realities. Gradually, this possibility is being generally accepted. There are a growing number of children which in their early youth have spontaneous metaphysical experiences. Near-death experiences no longer are seen today as a psychiatric phenomenon. These sorts of experiences are mostly the preserve of those who carry with them from their youth certain sensitivity  or are constitutionally changed by some far reaching external event (a serious illness, a biographical shock). As a result, they have these inner experiences. This prompts the question: Can you reach these experiences also through some activity that arises from inside? Is it possible to place conscious steps on a way which leads you to the inner reality of the world around us? 

We know our own inner reality, the world of our thoughts, feelings and will impulses. You can become more awake in that world by practicing in seeing the relationship between certain thoughts and being able in this way to think in a more creative manner. You can also become more observant of your own moods or nocturnal dream images, or become more aware of certain impulses. You are at work in the area of intellectual laws, of feeling qualities and will directions in your own soul.  

Not just our own soul, also the world around us is full of wisdom, of qualities and intentions. It is possible to acquire the ability to see the spiritual reality outside our self. To that end however, we must school our thinking, feeling and willing in such a way that they become perception organs for the world of the spirit. With our thinking we perceive. By the empathy of our feeling we can experience something of the being of another person. With our willing we can sense what the world demands.  
Community formation 
A third schooling motive occurs when you begin to see that a new era of community forming has commenced. Until recently community relationships received their structure from above. The origin of this form of community is the hierarchic direction, which at first came directly from the gods, later from representatives of the gods (the pharaoh, the pope, the priest). Participation in such a community or group (to which community relationship like the guilds belonged later in time) implied on the one hand obedience towards long existing rules and on the other hand this also offered protection. Those in command offered protection against other peoples, against other religions, against incompetent competitors and so forth and so on. 

Gradually, in our time another structure is developing alongside the structure imposed from above. As the individual person becomes more assertive and independent, ranks, levels in social hierarchy and the like become less obvious. A new ordening principle is coming into existence, where the direction does not come from the top end, but is wanted from the bottom upwards and carried in freedom. In most cases the controlling element that eventuates is the result from an interaction between both principles (from top down and bottom up). If you wish to create something that belongs to all, this will call for a lot of work. You can no longer step back and place the responsibility on others. At the same time there is the need to have confidence in the developing powers of others. You will have to accept that growth of the other is only real when it is really wanted from inside. You will also notice that you will have a key position in this contemporary society’s formation. Unless you acquire by practicing a new inner attitude, you cannot really expect anything from the other.   

7 August 2010
The exercises of the six fold path and the three motives 
The exercises of the six fold path can be applied directly with respect to the three motives above. For each motive they are used in a slightly different way. Sometimes you base yourself on the exercises the way they are; sometimes it is better to take an adapted variant to suit the situation. 

For the first motive, striving to become a healthy person, this means the following: 
Being able to control our thoughts is a powerful means to learn how to focus on your inner world. This way you learn how to close yourself off from the impressions of the outside world which tempt to take you along and oppose taking your own stance. 
Controlling our will teaches how to develop a new relationship with time. This way you start doing things at the time you determine yourself. You also can chose an adjusted variation of the will exercise to suit the circumstances of your life. From time to time it may occur that you certain soul upsetting feelings are dominating the soul: you feel guilty about something; you are concerned about something of somebody; or you are afraid of something that is to come. The upheaval in your soul is mostly correct and you do not wish to suppress this. They become unfertile however when they are buzzing around the whole day in your soul like a fat fly and keep you preoccupied. If that is the case, you could act with the following intention: ‘Tonight at quarter past nine I will concentrate on the problem. I will try to relate to it in a new way and stop doing that after fifteen minutes and continue with this tomorrow at the same time.’ You allocate the problem thereby to a specific time of the day and clean up that way the rest of the day. 

8 August 
The feeling exercise:  to acquire inner peace it is an important step when you raise to a conscious level the feelings which float around in your inner self of which you are only partially aware and which are creating discomfort, fear or irritation. Subsequently you ‘line them on’ by giving them a name. When you become aware of your feelings they loose their compulsive nature. This way you can perceive them as messengers of your own inner world or as intermediary to the world around you.  

Doing the fourth exercise, positivity, this will help you to see an event which you perceive as something negative as a challenge to develop a new relationship to the world. Out of such an ‘obstacle’ you will attempt to make something while using your own initiative. If you haven’t got any negative experiences in your life that does not necessarily have to give you a content feeling. The following anecdote will illustrate this. One time I asked an old acquaintance in passing: ‘How are you?’ He replied: ‘I am feeling bad.’ Concerned about what he said, I inquired why. ‘Because I am not having any problem. The gods have deserted me!’ 

The open-mindedness exercise helps us to keep communicating with the world. I t prevents that you close yourself off and isolate yourself from your environment when you are not feeling well which may have a paralyzing effect on you. 

The sixth exercise, combining the separate exercises, creates rest and balance in the soul. 

9 August 
With regard to the second motive for schooling, expanding one’s perception, there are specific inner activities which focus thinking, feeling and willing on the metaphysical world. They can be summarized under the common heading of ‘meditation’. The exercises of the six fold path are preparatory exercises for the meditation. They carry within them the germs which in the meditation can come to development and fruition. 

Controlling thinking lays the basis to possess later on the concentration and the practical objectivity whereby you can keep for a while an abstract content in your conscience.  

Control of the will is an agreement which you make with yourself not for one time, but for a longer period. Experience shows that these sorts of commitments are harder to keep than those which you make with somebody else. The schooling decision is one of the most important agreements that somebody can make with himself. The second basic exercise strengthens the independence which is required for this decision and helps to meet the commitment for a longer period of time.

The third basic exercise, the feeling exercise, eventually leads to it that you become the custodian of the world of your feelings. You begin to feel responsible for the feelings which – prompted by your encounter with the world – come to life within you. Like a guard you watch your feelings and see to it that they go through a fruitful development. 

10 August 
The positivity exercise teaches you to remain upright in difficult or negative situations. You continue as it were being the lord and master of what is happening. This is the case because you keep asking yourself without interruption the question: what is essential and what is not essential? Or in other words: what am I learning from this? That question is the staff which the I takes in its hand to create the inner rest, which at a certain moment facilitates meditation. 

In exercising open mindedness you clean the window that opens the view on what is coming your way out of the world. You thereby keep the view on the future unobstructed. In daily life it means that you get an eye for the chances fate is handing you and to deal with those adequately. In meditative life it means that you are open for impressions which you do not expect or which you cannot yet understand. You learn to disconnect your will and your thinking in such a manner from all your known experiences that they can act as instruments of perception of impressions from the spiritual world. 

The all embracing exercise whereby you practice all exercises sees to it that thinking, feeling and willing get and stay into a healthy relationship with each other.  

11 August 
Also for the third motive, the will to stand actively in a community or society as such, the six exercises offer a concrete and direct help. Particularly in the description of the exercises given by Rudolf Steiner in The Knowledge to Higher Worlds, the social aspect can be recognized at once.                                    

Here I want to mention a way to work with the social element which becomes possible when you combine the basic exercises with looking back on the day. Rudolf Steiner describes how during an encounter between two people a process takes place which you can compare with falling asleep and waking up again. When one of them says what he wants to say, the other can open himself for what is coming to him if he is prepared to silence his own thoughts and feelings completely, that is to say to let them ‘fall asleep’’. Normally speaking, somebody can manage to do this for only a limited time. Waking up again consists in letting his own I become active by expressing himself.  Now it can occur in a community that one of its members radiates such force that the others open themselves in full surrender for his views and opinions. This creates the danger that they ‘fall asleep’ too much vis a vis this person and that they stay insufficiently ‘awake’’.  A community consists than all of a sudden out of les individualities because a number of people has let themselves go and if have as it were become copy of the revered leader. This way dependencies come about. For a modern form of community formation this is an impediment. The reverse however can also form an impediment: namely when the breathing process of falling asleep and waking up never takes place and all members remain constantly awake. Nothing will then take place between them.  

12 August    
How can you handle the process of falling asleep and waking up in a conscious way? You can do this, once you are alone again, by looking back at the moments of the reunion and preparing subsequently for the next encounter. While looking back you are catching up again with yourself. This waking up you can strengthen by applying the review technique to the time the reunion that took place. The review technique consists here of three layers. The first layer is the sphere of the actual presentation; what did everybody exactly say?  As the second layer you look at the intentions: what did everybody do, but foremost, what did they express by way of will impulses? The first layer is the question: what did I feel? Where did I feel a warming up to, where did I feel icy, where was I touched? 

This exercise consists of the control of thinking, willing and feeling, combined with the review technique. In a community you can focus the review technique especially on the willing, on the will expressions of the other.  You can plan with the intention of working in with the wills intention of the other to help that this is realized. Such an inner attitude facilitates community formation.  

13 August – just a small piece tonight (almost end of chapter)

Also ‘falling asleep’, reaching out to other members of the group can be exercised in the actual situation. The harder you find it to get along with the other, all the more meaningful it is to do this. In a group there can be people who are if it were locked up in certain parts of their being. Such people often show predictable reactions in given situations. Normally such a reaction calls up negative feelings; for the very reason that it is difficult to meet part of the other where that person has no grip on and which he therefore cannot develop. Only when you can find something apart from this seemingly unchangeable spot where he or she shows a special quality, will you be able to carry and accept the negative (positivism). By relating to something that somebody does have, you can fall asleep with regard to the other. The other can then wake up, grow and express him or herself. This growth force can spread itself than often over other fixed spots in his being as

The open minded exercise immediately connects to this. In the relationship  with an other person having an open mind signifies that there are qualities hidden within the other which you have not yet noticed.  In The road to higher worlds the open mindedness exercise is called confidence. When having confidence in somebody is ended, this can have a damaging effect on that person’s further development. The reverse applies at least as strongly. What the sun is for a plant, is for a person the confidence placed in him or her by another person. Having confidence in each other is for a community an essential condition. In being positive and having an open mind you exercise the ability to open yourself for the other members of the community. Like doing the review exercise in our thinking, feeling and willing can bring about the ‘aftercare’ of a gathering, positivity and having an open mind can contribute to preparing for the next gathering of the same people. 

16 August (178)

Rudolf Steiner has in the course of the years addressed the exercises of the six fold path in different ways. He spoke mostly of the ‘six characteristics’ or ‘virtues’ which must form the fundament of every spiritually oriented schooling. By doing the exercises you gradually gain ground under your feet which you can stand on to work at further inner development. That is why they can virtually be called basic exercises. It goes without saying that the exercises also without further spiritual schooling have their value for life. 

It is interesting that Rudolf Steiner describes the basic exercises not just as preparatory for the schooling road, but also as accompanying and supporting measures while going this road. In this sense the word ‘Nebenübungen’ whereby he sometimes refers to this group of exercises is fitting well. The ‘Nebenübungen’ or parallel exercises, the word says it already, have their place adjacent  to the main exercises: the meditations which lead to the perception of metaphysical realities. Why is that so?  

17 August (272) 
The schooling road is not without problems or dangers. This is what Rudolf Steiner was hinting at when he wrote: ‘…the essential does not lie in one truth, but in the joint sound made by all truths. Who want to exercise, must give serious thought to this. An exercise can be well understood and well carried out; despite this it can have an adverse effect when it is not supplemented by another exercise, which lifts the one-sidedness of the first and brings harmony in the soul’.                                                                                                                   

The main exercises, the meditations, serve the purpose to make the soul independent of the body, in such a way that the soul can relate to the metaphysical world outside you. In other words it has an ‘excarnating’ effect. This brings problems with it. A danger if for instance that without being aware of this you estrange from daily life and qualities surface in your soul which distance you from other people, like vanity, dominance, egoism and untruthfulness. These negative motions of the soul can arise from the depth of your being if you are not completely present. The meditations aim at a body free consciousness: you excarnatie without losing your consciousness. The ‘Nebenübungen’ have a complementing, incarnating effect and repair thereby a healthy balance. Because when you do these exercises you continually must be fully present with your soul in the concrete earthy situation. Controlling thinking, the first exercise, focuses at earthy objects. The following exercise, controlling the will, is concerned with physical actions. Equanimity in the world of feeling, positivity and having an open mind are all being tested in situations in daily life. 

18 August (207)
The effect of these exercises, if you do them a long time, is such that even the unconsciousness is influenced by them. It is not just the soul which changes by this practicing activity, but also a deeper layer: the area of the life-forces or the etherical body, the way this is called with an anthroposophical term. This is the field in which our experiences sink down when we ‘forget’’ them and where the early development of our habits takes place. Habits lie in all sorts of fields: in the sphere of the physical activity (like the habit that you drive on the right side of the road), but also in the way you react to things that happen. When habits take a permanent place in the soul, we speak of ‘character’. Rudolf Steiner recommended doing the ‘Nebenübungen’ for at least a month each time. That is the time needed to arrive at new habits. When you have practised something for four to six weeks, from thereon it becomes automatic, meaning: it surfaces from the unconscious part of your being. It reports without being called for. When you live in this way with the exercises, they become indeed ‘characteristics’ ‘virtues’. They have become part of your character. 

19 August  (261)
Consequently the inner harmony, to which the joining of the five separate exercises eventually will lead to, has an effect on the organism of the life forces. It is well known that the soul influences the state of the body. We know this mostly in a negative way. Out of inner unrest you can be ‘eating’ at yourself, causing you to loose weight; constant aggravation or bitterness influence stomach and bile, and so on. The psychosomatic medicine is based on this. The last ten years a new direction has come up in parallel: the psychoneuro-immunology. This new branch of science has discovered that the psychic attitude of people plays an essential role in the mobilization of defense mechanisms and healing forces in case if illness. In the past it was common opinion that the healing chance of a tuberculosis patient strongly increased when he managed to look at the future with confidence. Also in the event of malignant and degenerative illnesses it was generally known that the course of it was also determined by the question whether the patients anticipated a task, a purpose in life. In the psychoneuro-immunology such experiences have found their confirmation in the physical body. The inner stance of people can come to expression in an alteration of physical substance, like for instance immunoproteins, cholesterol and so on, but also in antibodies. The inner development, the harmonization of the soul, resounds in the harmonizing of the life forces. The first motive of the schooling road, the wish to become healthy inside, gains hereby a surprising new perspective. 

20 August  (127)
Exercises of the twelve leaved lotus flower
A very special bedding in are given to the exercises of the ‘six fold path’ in The knowledge of higher worlds. There they are described as a specific part of the spiritual schooling road, which helps develop a very distinct inner ‘organ’. As schooling progresses a clear structure originates after some time. The soul organ gains in terms of mobility and force. The effect of the exercises and meditations cause certain parts of the astral or soul body to become organs of perception: the so-called lotus flowers or chakras. In an early stage these organs are present in every person. By schooling them they come to development and begin to function, that is to say observe the spiritual environment. 

23 August  (154)
Steiner describes in the chapter concerned first the eight exercises which the sixteen fold lotus flower develops in the vicinity of the larynx. From the sixth century BC these are known as the eightfold path of Buddha. In going this path, it concerns the exercising of the following capabilities:

  • right perception 

  • right decision

  • right word 

  • right action                                                                                  

  • proper structuring of life  

  • right striving 

  • right memory

  • right reflection 

Following this – in slightly changed sequence and with different nuances – there are the six exercises which are the subject of this booklet. They develop the twelve-leaved lotus flower which is in the region of the heart. The twelve-leaved lotus flower is the perception organ which lights up the intention, the inner mood of other souls.  Also certain force in animals and plants are perceived with this. What another being radiates, you can experience as ‘soul warmth’ or ‘soul cold’. 

24 August  (115) 
The six exercises are described as follows in Knowledge of Higher Worlds

  • Controlling action 

  • Develop persistence

  • Tolerance 

  • Having an open mind (faith, confidence) and Equanimity 

As a comparison I will show below another time the exercises the way they have been referred to in this booklet and the way they have been confirmed in science of the secrets of the soul: 

  • Controlling thinking

  • Controlling action

  • Controlling feelings

  • Positivity

  • Open-mindedness

  • Joining the preceding exercises together  

In other words you see here that in Knowledge of Higher Worlds there are six exercises, while in Science of the secrets of the soul there are five exercises plus a last exercise which comprises all.    
25 August (227)
In Knowledge of Higher Worlds the second and the third exercise are both exercises of the will. The will is emphasized here. The sixth exercise has much more a feeling character. It is the last exercise of the series, as it were the final accord. Feeling makes you perceive the relationship you have with the world around you. Obviously the exercises from this booklet have a more socially, environment oriented dimension. With the first exercise, controlling thinking, for instance, it is not just a matter only to think in a controlled and objective way, but also to correct in silence the illogical thought stream of another. The fourth exercise, exercising tolerance with regard to other people, beings and facts, goes still a step further than exercising positivity, the fourth exercise from Knowledge of higher worlds. Also with the fifth exercise, having confidence in people and beings, the emphasis is on the social. Having confidence is something more than having an open mind.  The exercises in Knowledge of higher worlds consequently have a more environment oriented character and lead to a new relationship with the world around you, while those in Science of the secrets of the soul are more inward directed, toward a consolidation of the soul. But the most important difference is that both series of exercises occupy a completely different place in the schooling road.   

31 August (393)
The higher self

It is evident that the exercises of the ‘six fold path’ in The science of the secrets of the soul have the status of ‘Nebenübungen’. Rudolf Steiner affirms in that book the complementary value of these exercises once more in a fitting way.       

The longer you have exercised the more independent your inner life becomes from what happens in the world around you. Your consciousness is no longer dependent on stimuli from outside. At a given moment you experience that your inner being has developed so much strength and is so much awake, that it can exist as a being in its own right in the spiritual world. Rudolf Steiner describes in The science of the secrets of the soul that this being is experiences as a second self that has been newly born and exists net to the customary self. With this second self you can perceive and gain insight into higher worlds.

The ordinary self and the higher self are not unrelated. The forces which are allocated to the higher self are withdrawn from the ordinary self. In day to day life it must show now which qualities (‘virtues’) have developed in the ordinary life of the soul and which continue to function there, also when you no longer work on those continually: how much truthfulness you have for instance, of how firm your character is and how strong the moral judgment arises. The meaning of the ‘Nebenübungen’ is now in the ordinary self to mobilize so much inner strengths and to maintain those that a morally reliable higher development is possible.  Before he begins in The science of the secrets of the soul the description of the six fold path, Rudolf Steiner says that seeking to control of thinking, feeling and willing serves a dual purpose. ‘On the one hand sturdiness, confidence and balance must be imprinted into the soul and in such a way that it retains these characteristics, also when a second self is borne in it. On the other hand, this second self must be accompanies on its way by strength and inner grip.                                                                  

On the one hand by means of the exercises you are working on making the soul healthy. On the other hand forces are given along to the second self whereby among other things the development of the heart lotus flower is fed. 

1 September (216)
This makes it clear that the exercises of the six fold path play a central role in the schooling road. For a start they create the basis on which you can build further on your inner development. In that way they are literally basic exercises. Subsequently, when you have also included the meditation in your inner activities, they are of help to form a healthy balance with regard to the one-sidedness which can occur by meditating - becoming too disconnected from the physical leading to social alienation. Then they serve as ‘parallel exercises’, which complement the main (meditation) exercises. And at last the exercises make a contribution to the formation of the twelve leaved lotus flower, the metaphysical perception organ which is located near the heart. When the inner development has reached the point that you are ‘awake’ in the spiritual world, as it were born a second time, then this second self can employ the forces developed on the six fold path in order to help the heart lotus flower to come to fruition. The disposition of the other can thereby be perceived in a metaphysical way.                                                                                                   

Accordingly the exercises can accompany the human being on his schooling road without interruption.  The function and the way they work just change from step to step.  

8 September (170)
The basic exercises can be explored with other people in a group and experience things together. In the beginning of the project it is useful to meet once a week. When the various exercises have been discussed, a meeting frequency of once a month can be a good rhythm.                            

The group can have a reasonable size with twenty to thirty participants. When exchanging experiences it will be helpful to split up in smaller groups. Experience tells that a smaller group of five to six people is the optimal size, which also allows for raising more intimate problems and experiences and where each of the participants has a chance to speak. In the larger group special hints and small ‘discoveries’ can be mentioned, questions can be asked and plans can be made for the period between the present and the next meeting.                                                          

Specific questions are often helpful to give some direction to the discussion in the smaller groups. The following questions have been proven in practice to be fruitful. 
The thinking exercise  

  • Which object did the various participants chose?  

  • It is possible to do this exercise jointly with the help of a suitable object?

  • How did you move from the observing to the thinking?

  • Which questions did you have concerning the object?

  • Did you find any memory aids?

  • By doing the exercise did you observe any changes in yourself? 

Controlling the will 

  • Which ‘finds’ have you made while looking for an activity of your own? How did you give this certain significance, a meaning?

  • What have you done when you noticed that the agreed point in time for action had lapsed?

  • At which moment of the day did you plan to perform the activity at a specific point in time? 

  • Which aids did you us to improve the chance that the exercise would succeed?

  • What did the exercise, when successful, bring about in you? 

12 September  (287)

The feeling exercise 

  • How did you make out with projecting your feelings in a map?

  • Could you give a name to the feelings you found?

  • Did the layout of your feelings change as the days passed?

  • Did you use the ‘looking back’ exercise for this exercise? 

  • Did that lead to something?

  • Did you manage to express your feelings in an adequate manner?

  • Did it lead to something if you expressed your feelings more frequently?

  • Have you been able to encounter others with their feelings in a free and creative way?

  • Did you help them if it were to give birth to their feelings?

  • Did something change in the relationship between noisy and quiet feelings?

  • What was the effect of this exercise on your inner life? 


For the first five minutes all participants in the smaller groups individually think of a difficult situation the day prior the meeting. You consider whether you can see at this moment anything in this that is positive. Then you tell the others about it.                

  • Sometimes you can find in a negative occurrence something right away, but often some time has to pass before the positive aspect becomes visible. Can you find examples of both situations? 

  • IS there a difference in how the two work?

  • Does something change inside you by when you are doing this exercise

  • Did you use the ‘looking back’ exercise when doing this exercise?

  • Were there any other ways to get the positivity exercise any closer?

  • Would it be possible to use the exercise in a group (like talking with parents about their child as a teacher, a business meeting or something similar?

  • Can you detect in a child that has a big problem also a major talent?  

14 September  (140)

Having an open mind  

  • What are the things that make your prejudiced, or worse, keep you imprisoned?

  • Is there something you can do to become more open minded?

  • As to the ‘looking back’ exercise (which is vital for this exercise) did you find any things which you did not notice initially?

  • Like which ‘wonder’ happened yesterday?

  • Were you able to embark on an adventure in a certain activity, such as a lesson or a conversation and thereby release what you already knew or were able to do?

  • Could you also disregard your own planning?

  • Which changes took place in your inner self by doing this exercise?  

The sixth exercise, harmony 

  • Are there certain combinations of exercises which are obvious to do?

  • Did you find any vantage points whereby it became fruitful to do several exercises on one day?

  • What happens when you start carrying out this exercise?