Research 2012

Toward an Art and
Science of Wholeness

2012 Living Questions Research Symposium

Co-Sponsored by the North American Collegium
of the School of Spiritual Science
September 20-23

Color Wheel, Goethe

How can we develop a research methodology that connects the physical, life, and soul-spiritual realms? Where do art and spiritual research connect, and what can they tell us about being and identity? How can we transform our personal life questions into objective questions for research?

Join us in a working conference where we will share in one another’s efforts to wake up to the realms of existence where solutions to today’s most pressing problems are to be found.


Keynote Speakers

Craig Holdrege

Craig Holdrege, Co-founder and director of The Nature Institute, Ghent, NY.

Robert Karp

Robert Karp, Executive Director, The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association.

Michael Howard

Michael Howard, Artist and educator, Living Form Studio.

Malcolm Gardner

Malcolm Gardner, Biologist, translator and editor.

Lisa Romero, Homeopath, inner path and health educator.

Lisa Romero


Research Perspectives

Space has been made available for eight individuals or organizations to present and discuss their research directed to developing and applying new capacities for observing and investigating the world, including phenomena beyond the sense perceptible. The following researchers will receive a grant of $500 from the Threefold Educational Foundation, and will present and discuss their work during the Friday or Saturday Research Perspectives session.

John Cunningham

John Cunningham
John Cunningham has been involved in Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy since 1978 as a parent, class teacher and consultant-trainer. In 1999, he began working with Marshall Rosenberg and set about integrating his work – Nonviolent Communication – into an anthroposophical-Goethean way of seeing. In living and doing his research, John has traveled internationally to share his unfolding work. At present, in support of their initiative, Behold Belovéd Becoming, John and his wife, Cat, split their time between the Pacific Northwest, New England, and Australia.
Research question: Can we establish an anthroposophical understanding and basis of Nonviolent Communication such that we can know it to be a true path based in spiritual scientific reality?

Mikae Toma

Renate Hiller

Renate Hiller and Mikae Toma
Renate Hiller, former co-director of the Fiber Craft Studio, has served the development of the Studio for 23 years at Sunbridge College and under the umbrella of the Threefold Educational Center. She is indebted to the late Margaret Frohlich for her guidance and years of mentoring.
Mikae Toma, co-director of the Fiber Craft Studio, was a kindergarten teacher in Japan and has been working at the studio since 2002.
Research question: How can we raise clothing to a true art form again that supports the rightful development of the human being in body, soul and spirit?

Lynn Jericho

Lynn Jericho
Lynn has developed www.imagineself.com, an online schooling for the modern soul inspired by anthroposophy. Since Christmas 2004, she has sent daily messages to thousands of individuals around the world during the Holy Nights. Her focus is the deeply personal and intimate application of anthroposophical wisdom. Lynn counsels individuals privately in person, over phone or Skype. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC.
Research question: I seek to penetrate the mysteries of conversations at the Threshold and witness the presence and activity of non-corporeal beings within and around those conversations.

Edward W. Kiewra

Dr. Edward W. Kiewra
Ed Kiewra is a native New Yorker who currently lives in Burlington, Vermont, and works for IBM on Silicon Photonic devices, or optical computing elements. His formal education is in both Chemistry (BS) and Chemical Engineering (BS, MS, PhD.). While he still practices Chemical Engineering on a daily basis, his hobbies include recreational mathematics, especially in the areas of bridging multi-dimensional algebras with physical applications, and teaching mathematics to children of all ages.
Research question: What is the fourth dimension?

James Morley

James Morley, PhD
James is a professor of clinical psychology at Ramapo College of New Jersey. His research is generally focused on the development of a phenomenological approach to psychology and qualitative methodology. His teaching and publications are in the psychology of imagination, developmental psychopathology, and the convergence of phenomenology with South Asian thought. He currently resides in Warwick, NY.
Research question: How may phenomenology and anthroposophy mutually inform one another?

Dean Pollard
Dean is a California native who received his Waldorf teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College in 1989 and his speech and tone eurythmy diploma from the Zuccoli Schule, Dornach in 1993. As a disabled military veteran his life has been dedicated to the pursuit of self-knowledge and healing through the arts. He has developed unique exercises and original understandings of the elusive concepts of etheric movement. Preliminary findings are online at www.appliedeurythmy.com.
Research question: How might one use wholistic inquiry into common universal elements to provide new insights into how Rudolf Steiner's speech and tone Eurythmy may relate to daily life activities of work and recreation?

Laura Summer

Laura Summer
Laura is a painter living in Columbia County, NY. She is co-founder of the Free Columbia Art Course, a year-long course on the fundamentals of art as they come to life through spiritual science. Her approach to color is influenced by Beppe Assenza and Rudolf Steiner, and by Goethe’s color theory. Her work can be found in private collections in the US and Europe and has been exhibited at The National Museum of Catholic Art and History, in New York City. She has been involved with many initiatives of alternative ways of working with art and money, including The Experimental Art Collective, Raising Matter, and Art Dispersal.
Research question: How can we learn to experience the world, both physical and spiritual, through artistic practice?

Nathaniel Williams

Nathaniel Williams
Nathaniel is from the United States. He studied the art of painting and anthroposophy in Europe between 2000 and 2004. He has since worked in the United States as an artist and art teacher and is currently co-director of the Free Columbia Art Course in upstate New York.
Research question: Can a flexible and mobile thinking illumine essential transformations in human history and art?


Community Labs

Representatives of five Threefold Community institutions will offer hands-on demonstrations of the research basis of their daily work:

The Pfeiffer Center: How does our work with biodynamics embody the lawful relationship of the human being to the natural world?

Eurythmy Spring Valley: What is it like to work with a new language for body and soul, attempting to approach the etheric?

The Fiber Craft Studio: How do we work with the qualities of natural fibers and the language of color and form to create a harmonious relationship between the object and its surroundings?

The Fellowship Community: Why does the Fellowship Community take care of all ages?

The Christian Community: How does our work at The Christian Community help to awaken the priesthood that lives in each individual's heart?


More About the Symposium

Please visit this page for complete information about the symposium. Online registration is available here.


A Pathway to Living Knowledge

Following the Symposium, Craig and Henrike Holdrege of the Nature Institute will present A Pathway to Living Knowledge, a one-week course focusing on the nature of phenomenological inquiry.

Dandelion Study II, Nicole Wessels


The symposium is being supported in part by the Henry Barnes Fund for Anthroposophical Research, which is administered by the North American Collegium of the School for Spiritual Science.

Grants are available through the Henry Barnes Fund for researchers with longer-term projects and for financial help with transportation costs of getting to the symposium. To learn more about this opportunity, please write to research@threefold.org or call 845-352-5020 x18.

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A Research Manifesto

At the 1924 Christmas Foundation Conference, Rudolf Steiner placed spiritual scientific research at the center of the work and mission of anthroposophy. In 1926, Threefold Farm in Spring Valley, New York, was founded as a living laboratory for spiritual science in social threefolding, biodynamic farming, and the arts. Our mission was codified in 1965, when the Threefold Educational Foundation was chartered by the State of New York Education Department “to establish, conduct, operate and maintain conferences, programs of research and adult education in all fields of human endeavor emphasizing the principles and methods enunciated by Rudolf Steiner.”

We recognize that research is not a luxury, it is a necessity—life itself depends on it. However, research, like any living thing, requires a convergence of essential elements in appropriate amounts. These elements include: qualified researchers carrying worthy questions; time and space in which to do research, and means for researchers to live on; and a social and physical setting that is supportive of the researchers’ work. In short, what is urgently needed is for qualified researchers to be paired with appropriate institutional, social and financial support.

Over the past year, Threefold Educational Center has consciously acted on its task as an anthroposophical institution, which is to create and foster the conditions necessary for spiritual scientific research to take place. A series of conferences hosted by Threefold have brought together interested parties from all over North America and Europe, in part to investigate and discuss the nature and meaning of such research in the past and going forward. A community of researchers and a constellation of questions have been identified. We have developed our physical facilities to create appropriate spaces for working, meeting, exhibiting and performing, a process that continues as new needs and opportunities arise.

A major step in this process was the creation in 2010 of the Threefold Researcher in Residence program. Our first Researcher in Residence, artist and geometrician Frank Chester, worked with a team of eleven research fellows at Threefold from September 19 to October 30. Their work culminated in an exhibition at Threefold Auditorium, “Art as Research and Scientific Inquiry as a Creative Act.” The exhibit’s opening coincided with a weekend Symposium on Anthroposophical Research, co-sponsored by the Collegium of the North American School of Spiritual Science and Threefold.

As the Threefold Researcher in Residence program takes shape and evolves, a continuous dialogue with the Collegium of the School of Spiritual Science is intended to ensure that our work harmonizes with the Collegium’s efforts in the same direction.