Spirits At Work
Updated: Feb 6
It was my last day in Dornach after the Bound To Earth conference in the Goetheanum. I had a few more hours to spend before my train was leaving from Basel to Berlin so I asked Raffael, a guy I met at the Youth Section House, if he wanted to go for a walk to the Hermitage and visit the caves and the castle ruins. Raffael finished his studies of Biodynamic Agriculture six months ago and then travelled across Europe and the Middle East to experience different ways of farming in places like Italy, Jordan, Israel and Egypt. Dornach was the last leg of his journey before returning to Germany and beginning to work in a seed cultivation farm.
As we were climbing the hill we entered one of the caves, or rather a large alcove that was carved from the rock. We sat there for a while, exploring the architecture of the place, examining the shapes of the rocks with our eyes and hands and fingers. I asked Raffael if he knew what was the function of these places, why did people make them and what were they used for? After a few moments of silence he starting humming long notes with a soft baritone voice. I listened. Another few moments of silence have passed before he replied: “Apparently these were places for contemplation, where a person went outside in order to go deep within and meditate on questions about the world, nature and god”.
We stepped out of the cave and continued walking upwards along the path until we saw a wooden wall; it was about 4 square meters and made out of carefully chopped logs glued tightly to each other with the circular part facing out. Looking closely we noticed two metal hinges – a hidden door! We opened it and stepped inside…
It was a small room made of wood, completely empty, with a window at the opposite wall facing the other side of the hill. We walked towards the window and gazed outside. Beautiful landscape – Nature untouched. One could see for miles on end. Different shades of brown, green, grey and blue intertwined to form shapes of mountainous trees touching the skies. We stayed there for a while in silence, just watching and appreciating the beauty of creation.
We left the room and walked the path to the direction where we came from. I stopped again, looking at Dornach, and noticed how different the landscape looks on this side of the hill. Houses made of concrete in smooth and wavy geometrical shapes painted in yellows, blues and greens, and with very fine fairytale-like tiled rooftops. I mentioned it to Raffael, saying how peculiar is this contrast in views, in perspectives. He sensed it too and after a while said that “you can really feel that there are very different spirits at work at the two sides of the hill”.
Indeed. The outer reality is but a reflection of the inner one. Penetrating deep beneath the surface, into realms where language cannot reach, what do we find there?