By Chrystal Hayn
Should we be educating the child in the womb? This is the question that the AI community and others are asking and beginning to research. How could this education in the womb be effective and what technology could be used to take the question of pre-birth education further? In his first lecture of the series ‘The Foundations of Human Experience’, Rudolf Steiner describes the pre-birth education that is necessary which is in line with a spiritual perception of the Human Being: He addresses this question and issues a challenge to parents and in particular the mother. How do we live our lives before and after conception? He suggests that how we live our lives, what our thoughts are, what we eat, how we sleep, our sense impressions, all have an educative and powerful influence on the growing human being within the womb. In other places he takes this concept of pre-birth education in a further direction when he describes the ‘Pedagogical Law’. Here he is very specific about which parts of our being as the parent or educator educate the child or young person.
So if we look at life and education from a spiritual perspective, we can take into consideration that the Spirit – Soul aspect of the human being unites with the Life – Physical aspect of the human being at birth. But this is not a simple and vague notion, each part of the Spirit and Soul aspects have specific characteristics as does more obviously each part of the Life and Physical aspects. The joining and integrating of all these parts is where educating from a spiritual perspective begins. Steiner purports that ” The task of education conceived in the spiritual sense is to bring the Soul-Spirit into harmony with the Life-Body. They must come into harmony with one another. They must be attuned to one another; for when the child is born into the physical world, they do not as yet fit one another. The task of the educator and of the teacher too, is the mutual attuning of these two members.”
Can I bring the tuning and harmonising of these two but manifold aspects of the human being into my teaching? My endeavour is that every aspect of all Eurythmy sessions, workshops and lessons that I offer, addresses this basic question: The harmonising and bringing together of the aspects mentioned above in an age appropriate and socially integrated way. This is also surely why any Steiner School, College or Steiner related education requires Eurythmy pedagogy as part of any spiritually inspired curricula.
Chrystal Hayn studied Waldorf Education in Stuttgart in the 80’s and after class teaching for 7 years trained in Eurythmy at the Ringwood Botton Eurythmy School with Chas Bamford, Monica Dorrington and Evamaria Rascher. She went on to be part of many national and international performing projects with the Botton Stage Group, Eskdale Eurythmy, Peredur Stage Group and London Eurythmy over 22 years, working mainly with Hajo Deker. She taught courses at the London College Of Eurythmy and workshops at Steiner House for several years and is part of the Foundation Stone Meditation performing work with London Eurythmy. She lives and works at The Mount Camphill Community, where she also teaches young people with special needs at the Mount Independent Specialist Residential College and is co-founder of Eurythmy India.