vrijdag 29 november 2019

Gypsy Scholar - Music and Annotated Lyrics by Robert J. Kelder


Mercurius van Helmont -The Original Scholar Gypsy
"A Free Spirit who pursued a universal religion that would put an end
to all controversies between Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Gentiles."

This autobiographical musical-literary blog has been started in response to various requests to write my biography, and is launched on the occasion of my 80th birthday on November 29, 2019 with, as a start, three songs entitled Gypsy Scholar, Are You Listening, Peter? and Old English Garden . The blog documents and describes  the turning point in my 30th year, which was the discovery of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and his anthroposophy with its cultural, legal and social-economic impulse called Social Organics in Los Angeles around 1970, where I was trying to make it a as singer/songwriter, in effect dividing my life in a sort of B.C. and A.D.

The blog relating and underpinning this revolution in consciousness brought about by Rudolf Steiner, and therefore dedicated to him and his work, is still under construction in the sense that, after the first three original songs presented here with annotations and background  information, more are slated to follow from my musical archive of some 25 numbers, only a few of which have ever been put online before and some of which have never been properly recorded.

The blog, which is just as much about my life and my work, is primarily directed to anthroposophists, but because of the many links to my other blogs, books and lectures by Rudolf Steiner and other anthroposophical authors, it is also possible for non-anthroposophists to gain entry to this new land. Perhaps it will also motivate those who are not so sympathetic to this field or have only second hand knowledge of it, to reconsider their attitude.

The songs  are offered  here for free in the hope that as an appreciation of them and the possible wish to hear more in a symphonic setting, such as the first number Gypsy Scholar, the means may be forthcoming in order to realize that and possibly also the many other archaeological, publishing and world peace projects referred to in this blog, such as The Munsalvaesche Project - Quest for the Subterranean Rock Grail TempleThe Philosophy of Freedom as a Basis of Artistic Creation and Power to the Virtues - Towards a Threefold World Peace Union Through Social Organics. These are just a few selections from my large palette of blogs and websites in English, Dutch, French and German that can be seen here.

In closing, I also extend my heartfelt thanks to my dear parents for supporting me; to my father especially for his continued financial assistance through all my seven years of study at McGill University in Montreal, Canada in all faculties, from three years of Engineering through Liberal Arts to four  years of Music with a minor in Philosophy and then also my post-graduate studies for in total four years, first three months as a test-run in a Waldorf Teacher Training Course at the Goetheanum, Free School for Spiritual Science in Dornach, Switzerland, where I met the mother of my second son Jonas and thereafter at the Seminar for Young People, Art and Social Organics led by Herbert Witzenmann in nearby Arlesheim, and to my mother especially for always reminding me, "Robert, do something with your music!" I've neglected that for too long, but still hope to make up for it now with this blog in progress, (since it has not been proofread, it may contain spelling and other more conceptual errors, for which I offer my excuses and welcome suggestions for improvement.) 

Robert Jan Kelder, (B. Mus. McGill University 1965)
Willehalm Institute for Grail Research and Anthroposophy
Kerkstraat 386a, 1017 JB NL-1017 JB Amsterdam
Email: rjkelder@willehalm.nl
(At this email address PayPal donations can be made.)

1. Gypsy Scholar (1)
(Hollywood, 1972 - Dornach, 1980)

(Press on the title to play, the symphonic sound with many instruments, blues harp, guitar, strings, flute, mandoline, harmonium, trumpet, bass and bongo's is best heard with good speakers,i.e.not on a mobile phone or computer. The numbers in brackets refer to the illustration, explanatory footnotes and background information provided below.)

1. Let me in, will you please open your door.
For a gypsy scholar from a North Sea shore,
Who was born in the town of The Hague
In the Low Lands of Nether and windy weather
And who died in that Stock-of-wood 
In the new State of York so far from the stork.(2)

2. So let me in, will you please in the Name of the Lord.

I'm a Knight of the Word who's laid down his sword.
For I was born again in the City of Angels
And Holy Wood, and that was good.(3)
And I went up a hill in a Swiss village
Of thorns and roses and many coloured poses.(4)

3. So may I introduce myself to you?

I can tell you why the sky is blue.
And why the earth is black
And the sun sets in red, as Goethe already said.(5)
And why plants grow and rivers flow, 
It's all there for us to get to know, oh!(6)

- Instrumental solo -

4. So let me in, will you please lend me your ear.

I won't harm it, Shakespeare have no fear.
Oh, to be or not to be, 
'tis no longer the question, at least for me,
For on this highway of spirit I've found,
I'm bound to become free!(7)

5. So let me please take my leave now from thee

With these few words that were meant to be:
Oh when you hide behind the mind of your master,
It will not turn the world any faster...(8)

Illustrations, Footnotes and Background

1. Gypsy Scholar: The idea for the title of this autobiographical blog and theme song was taken from a poem by the British poet Matthew Arnold The Scholar Gipsy (1853), a poem based on the life and experiences with a band of gypsies of the Flemish alchemist Francis Mercury van Helmont (1644-1689; see image) son of the famous medical doctor, alchemist and true Rosicrucian Johannes Baptista van Helmont, the inventor of the concept "gas". This loan was in or around 1972 in Los Angeles, where as a budding singer/songwriter with a degree in music & philosophy from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, I had moved to from Greenwich Village in New York City. In LA, I had taken up residence in the so-called Kushi House, a macrobiotic community center in Hollywood housed in a grand villa that once belonged to the popular Jazz singer from the 1930's Al Jolson and in which I acted as a spokesman, lecturer and secretary for Michio Kushi during his occasional visits to advise patients on their diet.
It was there that after a long more or less conscious soul search, I finally met anthroposophy founded by the Austrian philosopher and seer Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) through a tip by Pat Kester, the secretary of the local Biological Dynamic Farming Association, who came to the twice-weekly lunches at the Kushi House to seek a cure for her arthritis. I had namely asked her if she knew where all those initiates of old that I had read about in various occult books were nowadays and what they were doing. She referred me to the anthroposophical library in Los Angeles and an Australian-born Hollywood producer and Shakespeare expert Will Walshe.  I joined his study group on The Philosophy of Freedom (also known as The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, one of Rudolf Steiner’s basic books,  and soon started to openly introduce and proclaim my newly found discovery in the Kushi House, but was not long after told to pack up my bags and leave. (This even though George Oshawa, the founder of modern macrobiotics – a term which actually originated with Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762-1836) in Germany – after visiting the Goetheanum in Dornach and after having seen there a photograph of Rudolf Steiner there, he advised all his students to study his work, something that was in any case not taken up by Michio Kushi.)
How and why I myself went to visit the Goetheanum, Free School of Spiritual Science founded by Rudolf Steiner in 1923 as the center of the Anthroposophical Society and what I discovered there, is described further down below in the commentary on the lyrics of Gypsy Scholar and the other numbers.
But it was my joyous discovery of Rudolf Steiner and his work that led me to identify myself with Mercurius van Helmont, since Rudolf Steiner has advised his students to study the work of his father, because of the latter’s research on a non-materialistic “spiritual chemistry”, which was published after his death by his son in Amsterdam. What particularly interested me in him is shown by the short description given of his life on the site of the Dutch Royal Library in connection with one of his books on the Genesis, from which I have translated the following: “Franciscus Mercury was the son of the most famous supporter of the teachings of Paracelsus: the physician Johannes Baptista of Helmont. His name has an alchemical association: he was born in 1614 shortly after a successful attempt by his father to make gold alchemically. Mercury (mercury) is an essential component in this. Moreover, Mercury (Greek: Hermes) is the alleged inventor of alchemy. He was an aristocratic idealist who started all sorts of social projects to help the poor and pursue an improvement in medical care. He was also an inventor: together with Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz he invented shoes with springs underneath. From a religious point of view, he was also a 'free spirit': he pursued a universal religion that would put an end to all controversies between Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Gentiles. The mystical insights of Jewish Kabbalah and of Christianity provided the basis for this, according to him. He spent a year and a half in a Roman prison, accused by the Inquisition of heresies of all kinds, and there he wrote his treatise on Hebrew as the natural language that everyone unknowingly masters. With a practical application of this theory, the deaf could easily learn to speak. And with success, as van Helmont tells here in the introduction to Eenige Bedenkingen [Some Thoughts], about a young man who wants to remain anonymous at his own request. This displayed text contains an explanation of the Bible text about creation, viewed from the Hebrew root text.”
And because I could readily identify myself with the sympathetic life and work of this "wandering hermit", as he has called himself, this Scholar Gypsy, I turned that title around to read Gypsy Scholar, first in 1972 as my stage name with which I introduced myself at the beginning of my concerts and thus now also as the title of this blog.
After being "born again" in LA and my 13 year old stay in Dornach via a year in Rome to further immerse myself in my newly-found "homeland, I moved back to my county of birth and wound up staying for a few years in an old Gypsy Caravan behind the Amsterdam Zoo, where I met, among others, the late, enigmatic Serbian prince, counter-intelligence expert and 10th Dan karate master Slobodan R. Mitric, who in his book The Golden Tip - The Entanglement of the Upper and Underworld included in Chapter 83 a scene with the lyrics of Gypsy Scholar me singing this song for a band of modern gypsies, or city nomads.  
Later, I found out that there are many using the name Gypsy Scholar, such as a blog Gypsyscholarship run by Horace Jeffery Hodges, a professor teaching composition and cultural issues at Ewha Womans University in South-Korea, an American based academic group with a website Gypsyscholars.org  of the Overseas Marylanders Association (OMA), a book called The Gypsy Scholar, and even a band called The Gypsy Scholars. But to my knowledge I was the first one to adopt this title as my stage name and theme song back around 1972 . And the question as to whether as a singer/songwriter, translator, writer, speaker and publisher, I am qualified to bear that prestigious title my readers and listeners may judge for themselves by going to some of the links provided here, to my many other blogs, such as The Virtues – Seasons of the Soul, and The Philosophy of Freedom as a Basis of Artistic Creation my translation (in progress)of works by the German philosopher, poet and writer Herbert Witzenmann (1905-1988), a personal student of Rudolf Steiner, who became my teacher during my stay in Dornach,  and supplemented by the following footnotes to this and the other two songs. These will in due time hopefully be followed by some 15 others, such as more songs recorded with the band of Van Morrison, plus 5 with the band of Niel Diamond in LA in 1972 and Campo de Fiore - Not All Roads Lead to Rome, Moon Lion Lady and Heaven Knows, the last three preferably in new symphonic arrangements as is the case with this theme song recorded by Luke Nyman on bongo’s and bass in the library of the Willehalm Institute for Grail Research and Social Organics here in the center of Amsterdam over 5 months of once weekly sessions during 2010 and finished on September 27. But that requires the necessary sources, which at the moment are not available. Perhaps the launching of this blog will change that picture for the better. 

2. Who died in that Stock-of-wood / In the new State of York so far from the stork: Stock-of wood refers to Woodstock in Upstate New York where in the neighborhood on a stretch of farmland during August 1969, I attended the famous music festival of Peace and Love. Contrary to many, I didn't see this event as the beginning of "The Promised Land" of Freedom and Love, but rather as the ending of a hippy movement, which due to a lack of genuine spirituality, slowly degenerated into uninhibited sensoriality due to the influence of (hard) drugs and violence. So far from the Stork refers to the coat of arms of the city of The Hague. (The stork is considered to be a herald of goodluck. The words underneath read "Peace and Justice".)

3. I'm a Knight of the Word who's laid down his sword./ For I was born again in the City of Angels... Three months after Woodstock I took part in a huge peaceful demonstration in Washington in the middle of November, where also half a million people came together, and about which I wrote the next song Are You Listening Peter? But it was only in Los Angeles that, as described in the above first footnote, I finally found what I had been soul searching for: Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy that, in one of his other main books An Outline of Occult Science,  he also called Science of the Grail. In the first chapter of his book The Ninth Century and the Holy Grail Walter Johannes Stein describes how Rudolf Steiner on a visit in 1923 to the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany, where Stein was teaching the Grail story of Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, Rudolf Steiner makes a distinction between knights of King Arthur, who are knights of the Sword, representing the so-called "sentient soul" and Parzival, who as a knight of the Word represents the "consciousness soul". 

The line A knight of the Word who's laid down his sword is modeled after the historical figure of the original Count William of Orange from the ninth century, a paladin of Charlemagne, one of the last protectors of Celtic Christianity and the founder of the House of Orange, who because of his exemplary embodiment of the knightly virtues of courage, loyalty and righteousness in driving the invading Moors back into Spain at the battle of Barcelona in 801 was canonized in 1066 as the patron saint of Christian knights. After his military career as supreme commander of the Carolingian forces defending the southern flank of the empire, he laid down his sword and founded a Christian academy in a village now known as Saint-Guilhelm-le-désert in the south of France. But what is not (yet) recognized by academic historians is that he also went on a quest for the Holy Grail and played a leading role in the Grail kingship of Parzival in 848 in the castle of the Grail Munsalvaesche, located in the Arlesheim Hermitage, just South of Basel and within a stone's throw of the Goetheanum in Dornach. This and much more is contained in the book  How the Grail Sites Were Found - Wolfram von Eschenbach as  Historian published originally in German in 1974 by the Goetheanum. It was written by the Swiss anthroposophist Werner Greub, whom I sought out to meet in Dornach, after which I was eventually inspired to translate his research into English and Dutch and beyond that to establish a Willehalm institute for Grail research  in Amsterdam and a new Willehalm Order of Knights of the Word named after the main character of the epos Willehalm by Wolfram von Eschenbach about this William of Orange, the latter being still in a status nascendi. More about this in my third song Old English Garden located in this area of the Alesheim Hermitage, an ancient Celtic holy site that became famous throughout Europe in the 18th  century as an English Garden landscape. 
4. And I went up a hill in a Swiss village/ Of thorns and roses and many coloured poses. This is the aforementioned village of Dornach adorned with roses, just south of Basel in Switzerland, where on the stage of the Goetheanum eurythmy performances are regularly given of the new art of movement that Rudolf Steiner also inaugurated. But the "thorns" and "many coloured poses", that I encountered after arriving there in 1974 from LA (via a dramatic year in Rome to visit son nr. 1 Sebastian and his mother Nini Hough), can also refer to the many factions of a house divided that up until today has found no common ground on which to properly and vigorously pursue the legacy that Rudolf Steiner left after his untimely death in 1925. This appeared to me as being the main reason why during my hippy days and anti-war activities in the sixties and early seventies in America all sorts of movements and world outlooks were being proclaimed from violent neo-marxist tenure  to pacifist Eastern guru's professing instant enlightenment. However, no timely voices were heard advocating the realization of the ideals of liberty, equality and brotherhood of the French revolution through their respective implementation in the threefold social organism, i.e. in the cultural, rights and economic spheres, beginning with the threefolding of the production factors nature, labor and capital (spirit) in the world economy, as outlined by Rudolf Steiner in his Course of World Economy in 1922 and further developed by Herbert Witzenmann in his study The Just Price - World Economy as Social Organics, the only of his many studies available on this vital subject that I have encapsulated in my article Rudolf Steiner's Idea of Social Organics - A New Constitutional Principle of Civilization.  

5. ...as Goethe already said. This refers to the still generally rejected color theory of Goethe, who observed color as the interplay between the two polarities of light and darkness and himself valued that work of his most of all, as opposed to that of Newton who only investigated light as the only source of color.

6.  And why plants grow and rivers flow, it's all there for us to get to know, oh! This is the anthroposophical/ Christological viewpoint  developed by Rudolf Steiner in his many lectures on the Gospels of Luke, Matthew, Mark and John, the Apocalypse and the Fifth Gospel on the so-called "missing years" of Jesus of Nazareth to the effect that Jesus Christ since his birth after His resurrection is the living spirit of the earth and conversely enlivening the earth as His body, which without that heavenly Impulse would not have survived.  This is in effect the New Christianity of the future, the union of all world religions that also was pursued by Mercurius van Helmont. More on this central theme later.

7. On this highway of spirit I've found, I'm bound to become free! This "play on words" is a tribute to Rudolf Steiner's aforementioned book The Philosophy of Freedom as Spiritual Activity, which teaches that the only sense that life has is the sense we ourselves give it, and that as Shakespeare already said, "Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so," which can be extended to the notion that there is no sense of human reality, cognitively speaking, than that thinking makes it so. This is elucidated in my working translation of What Is Meditation? A Basic Examination of the Spiritual-Scientific Expansion of Consciousness by Herbert Witzenmann.

8. Oh when you hide behind the mind of your master, it will not turn the world any faster...This is not only directed to would-be anthroposophists, who on the many anthroposophic social media sites and elsewhere often seem to outplay each other in endlessly quoting passages from (esoteric or professional) lectures by Rudolf Steiner, which were originally not meant to be published without the so-called "Annotation of the Free School" as found in the 8th statute of the 15 original statutes of the Anthroposophical Society. This annotation stipulated that these lectures were manuscripts from this School for its members and that no one would be deemed qualified to pass a judgment on them without the appropriate pre-schooling, as is normally the case in other scientific subjects in the academic world where lay persons are obviously  not qualified to pass judgments without the appropriate schooling. The fact that not only this central statute, but 8 others were not understood and upheld in the course of time was for me an answer to the question that drove me from Hollywood to Dornach, about which I wrote earlier in a piece entitled From My Hollywood and Dornach Times: What has happened, I asked myself, to the impulse that Rudolf Steiner planted there and why did nothing of it reached me during my hippy times in America until my 30th year as described above in footnote 1? For Rudolf Steiner said that after these statutes were unanimously accepted after three days of discussion during the so-called Christmas Conference 1923 in Dornach that this constitution forms the "real ground on which we stand" and that its implosion is therefore an explanation for the lack of ground that anthroposophy and social organics has until now, in spite of isolated inroads, gained in the world at large. (Further background information on this subject what is known or rather far too unknown as the "Book question", and my until now rather futile endeavours to actively address this problem can be found in at least two so-called Social-aesthetic Studies by Herbert Witzenmann entitled Charter of Humanity - The Principles of the General Anthroposophical Society and To Create or to Administrate - Rudolf Steiner's Social Organics/ A New principle of Civilization and on the basis of them a well as of the Anthroposophical Studies on the New Testament from the book Christ and Sophia by the Christian hermeticist Valentin Tomberg (1900-1973) in my two motions to the General Assembly of the General Anthroposophical Society in Dornach in 2018 and earlier this year (2019) under the titles Trust over Ruins - On Regaining the Lost ground on which to Build in the Future and Towards the Liberation from the Mixed King at the Goetheanum and the Reestablishment of the Anthroposophical Society.) 

No, this punch line of the Gypsy Scholar refers not only to students of anthroposophy, but to all those, who hide behind the mind of their master/guru as an outdated form of  mutual spiritual dependency on the part of the hallowed guru, who cannot do with his admiring circle of devotes, as well as on the part of his meek disciples, who are at loss without him.  They are of course free to do what they want, but their hide-away will not really bring the world forward as it should, but rather have it stay put where it is or even move it backward. The Philosophy of Freedom is only then really finished when everyone has written his or hers or at least knows how to play it without the score in front of him/here.          

The following footnotes to the second and third song will elaborate and enlarge on all this.

* * * 

2. Are You Listening, Peter?

(New York/ Woodstock 1970)

(Press on the title to play this road song about an ant-Vietnam war demonstration in Washington recorded in Woodstock sometime in 1970 with the members of the band of Irish singer Van Morrison (whose names I don't remember) on acoustic guitar, piano, bass and bongo with yours truly doing vocals and playing a 12-string Martin guitar. This audio file has been downloaded from YouTube, where it was uploaded by son nr. 3 Christiaan, after SoundCloud removed it for some unknown reason. Numbers between brackets again refer to the notes and background information below.)

It's November fourteenth, ninety sixty-nine,
Two Flying Dutchmen driving Logos down the line.
Are you listening, Peter? (1)
Are you listening, Peter?

The rain was falling heavy and the wind was a'howling low.
"Better now than tomorrow." "Yeah," I said, "I know."
Are you listening, Peter?
Are you listening, Peter?

Madonna with her knapsack was standing by the road.
We gave her a lift to Washington and lightened her load.
Are you listening, Peter?
Are you listening, Peter?

She got out in the twilight. Her lips were bright and fair.
"Roll up your windows, brother," she said, "There's poison in the air". (2)
Are you listening, Peter?
Are you listening, Peter?

Well, the speeches, they were many, but the songs, they were few.
Half a million people, but nothing really new. (3)
Are you listening, Peter? 
Are you listening, Peter?

Come Monday, November seventeenth, ninety  sixty-nine,
Two Flying Dutchman, driving Logos back up the line.
Are you listening, Peter?
Are you listening, Peter?

Well, Monday is a moonday, and a moonday is a loonday,
And a loonday is a boonday, for there's a manday on the moonday!
Are you listening, Peter?
Are you listening, Peter?

I heard someone say:
"Our dreams are getting sleepy, and our hopes are getting low,
We believe in tomorrow, but today never goes!" (4)
Are you listening, Peter?
Are you listening, Peter?

(End of the first version.Below is the second one under the new title Commonwealth of Man with two extra verses, a new refrain and a Coda)

Ah, but one thing is for certain, the day has just begun,
For man to live as one to one, but in freedom it must be done!
Are you listening, Brother?
Are you listening, Sister?

For the founding stone 's been laid down in the hearts and mind of men
By a man you might have heard of, a fighter with the word and his pen!
Are you listening, Sister?
Are you listening, Brother?

Yeah, the Founding Stone 's been laid down, so help build on it, if you can
A Threefold Social Organics for the Commonwealth of Man!

(Short instrumental)

Coda:  Commonwealth of Man!


1. It's November fourteenth, ninety sixty-nine, Two Flying Dutchmen driving Logos down the line./Are you listening, Peter? On November 14 1969 two Flying Dutchmen, namely a Dutch friend Peter and I were driving in my Ford Econoline Van on a windy and rainy weekend from New York City to Washington to attend a big demonstration against the war in Vietnam in front of the lawn of President Nixon's White House. The Van had LOGOS written in big letters on both sides of it, the Greek word for the cosmic Word or Reason, with which Saint John opens his Gospel. In this case it refers specifically to an underground newspaper with that name that I ran with a few friends, including Paul Kirby, my sister Nans and some talented American draft dodgers from the Vietnam war, for a few years in the middle of the sixties in Montreal, Canada. Yet because of the words Logos and Madonna in the lyrics and the somewhat religious undertone of the song, the repeated questions to Peter might also be construed as a being directed to the apostle Peter, who has been given the key by Jesus to the kingdom of Heaven.

To continue in that sense: That all or at least many of those souls that converged on Woodstock and/or Washington were indeed driven by a more or less conscious desire for peace and justice, can be viewed in the perspective of the Beatitudes and the Second Coming of Christ against the subnatural force opposing this in the course of the 20th century, this my old friend from our Dornach days, the anthroposophist and astrosophist Robert Powell has showed in great detail in the Chapter IV "Sub-Nature and the Second Coming" of his book The Christ Mystery, further developed in The Inner Life of the Earth  and updated in: "The Descent of Christ: Opening the Path to Shambhala," Journal for Star Wisdom 2017. I felt personally spoken to and found these words to be true, when it is written in that chapter (in my translation from the German version Das grösste Geheimnis unseres Zeitalters - Gedanken zur Wiederkunft de Christus, "With regards to the opening of the ports to hell through the descent of Christ through the subterranean spheres the time from 1969-1989 is the time of the confrontation with evil in the fourth subterranean sphere, which is directed against the sentient soul of the human being [i.e. that part of the threefold soul connected to our bodily nature as opposed to the consciousness soul connected to, or touched by our spiritual nature, with in between the so-called intellectual soul.] The true impulse of this period, which is connected to the fourth stage of the development of the new Christ impulse in the era of the Second Coming, is expressed by the fourth beatitude: 'Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.' Something of this impuls inspired those who demonstrated for peace, above all for peace in Vietnam, who hungered and thirsted for a just solution of an unjust situation there. From November 13 to 14 [should be 15 to 16] 1969 about 250 000 [should be half a million] demonstrators came together for peace in Washington to the largest demonstration of this kind that has ever taken place." .  

2. Roll up your windows, brother, there's poison in the air! During that demonstration tear gas was used by the police, hence Madonna (not her real name) with her knapsack (the word backpack was not yet used then), a pretty girl whom we gave a lift to Washington, warning us to roll up our windows.

3. Half a million people, but nothing really new. This was in effect the second huge mass gathering of some half a million people that I attended that year, because - as I wrote in my notes to Gypsy Scholar - just a few months earlier in the middle of August I had driven with my Logos Van from New York, picking up hitchhikers along the way, to the Woodstock Music festival of Love and Peace in Upstate New York. But neither one of these big demonstrations, one political the other one cultural, made a deep and lasting impression on me, did not provide or inspire me with what I was more or less consciously searching and longing for: a movement or ideas to show how true love and freedom, real peace and justice in a war-torn and deeply divided world could be conceived of and achieved.
We did have a sort of national alternative anthem in the song Blowing in the Wind by Bob Dylan (although I once met someone in New York claiming that he wrote this song), but we  could not really make heads or tales from what was meant by the repeated refrain The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind. Now I see this on the basis of Rudolf Steiner's lecture on "The Work of the Angels in Man's Astral Body" as an anthroposophical imagination that explains how the angels, whose abode is in the wind, whisper in one's sleep, provided one is awake enough to hear it, what the solutions are to the burning problems of our times. (I can claim to be the only one, who at the end of of a Social Science Section meeting at the Goetheanum, was invited to sing this song, accompanied by my guitar and blues harp, and providing this interpretation, sometime before the turn of the millenium, earning a great applause..., although afterwards on leaving the building I overheard snaps of a conversation of a circle around the then leader of the Social Section Manfred Schmidt-Brabant about this sort of "Americanism" having no place in the Goetheanum.) 

4. Our dreams are getting sleepy, and our hopes are getting low/ We believe in tomorrow, but today never goes! These lines of desperation and fading dreams could therefore just as well refer to the Woodstock festival, which I didn't see as the beginning of "The Promised Land", but rather as the beginning of the end of the hippy movement that gradually went down-hill and degenerated through the use of hard drugs and violence for want of a real spiritual guidelines to lead humanity out of the materialistic wasteland towards what was founded two thousand years ago in Palestine by the Logos incarnated as God's Kingdom of Heaven on earth of Love and Freedom. 

5. Yeah, the Founding Stone 's been laid down, so help build on it, if you can/ A Threefold Social Organics for the Commonwealth of Man! These last lines from the second version of this song with the new title Commonwealth of Man, dating from 1971 and not (yet) professionally recorded, indicate the major breakthrough in my life offered by Rudolf Steiner, "a fighter with the word and his pen", that I had to wait for another year before it finally did come through in Los Angeles. The Founding Stone 's been laid down, refers to the Foundation Stone meditation with which Rudolf Steiner addressed the human soul and evoked the Holy Trinity, all three choirs of the heavenly hierarchies the elemental beings and the Persona of Jesus Christ to reconstitute the Anthroposophical Society during the so-called Christmas Foundation 1923 held together with some 800 members and representatives from all four corners of the world. The "real ground on which we stand", according to Rudolf Steiner at this conference, was constituted by 15 all-embracing libertarian statutes which contained everything that the newly formed Council under the leadership of Rudolf Steiner needed in order to realize these statutes. In my two motions to the General Assembly of the General Anthroposophical Society in 2018 and this year, already referred to, with many links for further study, as well as in my text The Christmas Conference As A Contemporary Metamorphosis Of The Mystery Of Golgotha And Its Realization As An Eternal Task for a working group "100 Years Christmas Conference 1923" that was held at the Herbert Witzenmann Center just opposite the Goetheanum building at the Christmas Conference 2018, an insight is offered into the view that this Christmas Conference in 1923 was nothing less that an attempt by Rudolf Steiner to lay the groundwork for the establishment of what I and the many of those other souls hungry and thirsty for love, peace and happiness or bliss were yearning for, namely God's Kingdom of Love and Freedom on earth, which I describe here as the Commonwealth of Man. Rather that repeat this here, I kindly refer to this texts, with the hope that they may lead some these kindred spirits to this soul realm within and without their hearts.  

* * *


(Arlesheim 1985)

The Arlesheim Hermitage as Grail Landscape

This third song Old English Garden with only my guitar accompaniment was recorded in 1999 at the home studio of Aaron Gilmartin in New York City, and concerns an amorous meeting in the Arlesheim Hermitage near Basel, Switzerland. As an introduction to it, I offer the following translated text that I wrote as a publicist and guide for a 6 months long exhibition in the local museum Trotte in Arlesheim, Switzerland on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Arlesheim Hermitage as a famous English Garden. It was done in collaboration with my older friend and colleague Werner Greub (1909-1997), author of the book How the Grail Sites Were Found - Wolfram von Eschenbach as a Historian on which this text is based and where it is included in the Appendix. I was officially engaged by the president of the Museum commission, the late architect Hannes Hänggi as a guide to the Hermitage, and was housed during that time in an apartment right in the center of Arlesheim, at the end of which I moved back to the Netherlands at the beginning of 1986. 

The annotated version of this text appeared in the local weekly Wochenblatt für das Birseck und Dorneck on April 4, 1985 under the title "Arlesheim in the 9th century". The illustration above depicts the romantic Arlesheim Hermitage at the end of the 18th century. From this introductory text and the various links, the complete background to this love song can be gathered, included the location of the Grail castle "half way up a hill", which refers to an ancient Roman quarry on the Hornichopf hill, where the Grail architect Titurel built the Grail palace Munsalvaesche, where according to Greub Parzival on Whitsuntide 848 became king of the Grail. Here thus this text:

Arlesheim possesses a more than thousand year old mystery tradition. For the Celtic Druids, Odilia and Irish-Scottish Christianity, the knights of King Arthur and the Grail, the Friends of God, Rosicrucians and Freemasons have all left their mark in the Hermitage. In his booklet Arlesheim and Odilie – History and Legend of a Village and its benevolent Patron Saint (Arlesheim, 1967, not translated) the author Hermann Jülich has described this.

The designation Grail landscape for this ancient mystery tradition of Arlesheim can become a living experience, if in the company of Rudolf Steiner (1) one tries to understand under the term Holy Grail all that is associated with the Christian renewal of the mysteries of the Orient which have re-emerged since the 4th century within the mysteries of the Occident. (2) Then also the supposition that the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate was the one responsible for the construction of the irrigation system and the hollowing out of the rocky caves for the purpose of building a mystery center in the Hermitage gains credibility. For Julian, who around the middle of the 4th century resided for some time in his palace nearby Kaiseraugst on the Rhine, was passionate in striving everywhere to connect the pagan mysteries with a cosmic, sun-like Christianity. (3)

Among those conceding that the Grail events possess at least some kind of earthly reality, it is now generally accepted that the Grail Landscape Terre de Salvaesche as described by Wolfram von Eschenbach in his Parzival romance is situated in the Pyrenees (Montségur) where the essential Grail events are said to have occurred in the 12th century. (4)  Indications attributed to Rudolf Steiner, however, point to the direction of Arlesheim and the 9th century. (5) But because no conclusive documentary evidence was thought to exist, this question remained unresolved.

With the publication of Werner Greub’s work How the Grail Sites Were Found - Wolfram von Eschenbach as a Historian (6), however, this situation has since then changed considerably. For with this research report based on a careful comparison of the original (Middle High German) Parzival text with the geographical and topographical reality of Arlesheim and surroundings and by means of numerous philological, astronomical-astrological and religious-historical studies, Werner Greub has attempted to verify what has been handed down by Rudolf Steiner from a purely anthroposophic mode of spiritual scientific research. As such, Werner Greub has made the results of his research on the Hermitage available as a basis for discussion for those interested:

The Arlesheim Hermitage was in the 9th century the Grail landscape Terre de salvaesche, the center stage of the Grail events that occurred during that period.

Robert J. Kelder

1. In his basic book Occult Science – An Outline Rudolf Steiner has named anthroposophy also science of the Grail. 
2. Rudolf Steiner The Mysteries of the East and Christianity. For another approach, see Rudolf Steiner’s lecture cycle Christand the Spiritual World and the Search for the Holy Grail, both available from the Anthroposophic Press (USA) and the Rudolf Steiner Press in England.
3. This supposition is made by Werner Greub in his manuscript Vom Gralschristentum zur Anthroposophie Rudolf Steiners (From Grail Christianity to Rudolf Steiner‘s Anthroposophy) which has not yet officially been published. [Update: Later this title was changed to From Parzival to Rudolf Steiner's Science of the Grail.]
4. See e.g. Otto Rahn Kruezzug gegen den Gral (Crusade against the Grail, Germany 1933).  In the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by M. Baigent, R. Leigh and H. Lincoln (first published in London, 1982, Pocket ed. p.56) it is maintained without any precise reference that “Wolfram von Eschenbach, in one of his Grail romances, declares that the Grail Castle  (Munsalvaesche) was situated in the Pyrenees.”
5. In her memoirs Selbsterlebtes im Zusammensein mit Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner (Personal experiences in the company of Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner, published in Basle, 2nd  ed. 1977) Ilona Schubert writes that  Rudolf Steiner designated the whole area of the Arlesheim Hermitage as Grail territory where Parzival’s meetings with his niece Sigune and his schooling with the hermit Trevrizent had taken place. According to Rudolf Steiner there were not one but several Grail Castles. A further remark by I. Schubert, however, according to which Rudolf Steiner said that “the Grail Castle where Trevrizent and Anfortas guarded the Grail was situated in northern Spain and later on at Montségur in southern France” is difficult to rhyme with the location of the Grail Castle as described by Wolfram. For it is clear from the whole Parzival context that Trevrizent as well as Sigune lived in close proximity to Munsalvaesche (e.g. “a mile or more”). If one comes to regard Parzival not as a fairy-tale, but a true geographically and historically based poetic document, it follows that Wolfram’s Munsalvaesche could not have been in Spain or France, but only here in Arlesheim. See also Emil Bock Studien zum Lebenswerk Rudolf Steiners (Stuttgart, 1961) and Walter Johannes Stein The Ninth Century – World History in the Light of the Holy Grail (London, 1991).
6. Werner Greub writes in this book that he was aware from the time of his youth of the historical truth of Wolfram’s epics. During World War II he had as a Swiss army officer his command post in the Goetheanum building from where his task was to reconnoitre the whole terrain in and around the Ermitage with its many grottos and caves for defense purposes, the same area that he was later to identify as the central Grail area Terre de salvaesche


I met you in an old English Garden
Down by a Swiss holy wood.
I met you in an old English Garden.
But the light in your eyes, made me realise,
That we met before, was it in the Persian war?

I showed you 'round that old English Garden
Down by a Swiss holy wood.
I showed you 'round that old English Garden.
From the fountain and the well to the sad maiden's cell,
Down the hermit's cave, where the home was for the brave!

We walked on down an old Celtic trail
Right down the middle of the vale.
We walked along an old Celtic trail.
Until halfway up a hill, we finally came to a still;
For here says the tale once stood the castle of the Grail!

                                 - Guitar solo -

You left me in that old English Garden
Down by that Swiss holy wood.
You left me in that old English Garden,
Where the light in your eyes made me realise
That we met before; was it on Atlantis' shore?

Now I think back to that old English Garden
Arlesheimer Eremitage.
I think back to that old English Garden.
And though they say that love makes blind, in my case I did find
The opposite to be and that love makes you see!

I see you in my old English Garden
Down by your Swiss holy wood.
Down by your Swiss holy wood.
Arlesheim Eremitage.

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Gypsy Scholar - Music and Annotated Lyrics by Robert J. Kelder

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