Rudolf Steiner Study Group Tuesday, September 18, 7:30pm -GBRSS Library
The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner Study Group continues to meet monthly and all are welcome.
This group was founded by Paul Marguilies, and Kathy Bradley and Davina Muse have written a quick history of the group and Paul’s leadership to honor him and his work:
Gratitude to Paul Margulies, Steiner Study Group Leader
Paul, a parent of a Steiner School alumnae, has led the Study Group in the Great Barrington School library for many years. He is retiring to help look after his beautiful wife, Vicky.
When I called Paul to set up a conversation, he said, “Sorry, can’t talk now, I’m busy preparing for the Sixth Epoch”…. We both laughed: he was actually reading those lectures by Steiner when he picked up the phone; and “Preparing for the Sixth Epoch” is indeed what he has been doing as a student of Steiner and as a Study Group Leader, for more than 50 years.
Those of us lucky enough to have been in a group led by Paul will remember with a chuckle his sense of humor, his jokes and anecdotes, his magic tricks (to illustrate a point from the Philosophy of Freedom) and most of all the extraordinary devotion and humility he brought to the leadership of the group. He would write out by hand each chapter in his own words, in order to review it with the group, adding whiteboard drawings and summaries for clarity. Occasionally we would glimpse the inner work, prayer, and personal support – in other words, the LOVE – that he offered to the life of the group.
Paul began attending Study Groups in New York City in his twenties, in a group led by the remarkable Beredine Jocelyn, then in her eighties. His next experience, in an argumentative group without leadership, led him to a “real Study Group”, with George and Gisela O’Neill in Spring Valley, NY. This monthly all-day group was attended by 30 people, who were expected to analyze the thinking and structure in the texts they studied, in order to wring out “the juice of the meaning”.
Paul missed the depth and breadth of this experience when he moved to England, continuing his studies by correspondence, and then attending a group studying economics, and finally beginning a group studying basic Anthroposophy, which he led himself.
Back in New York, he began a new group, then when he moved to the Berkshires in the 1980’s, Paul was able to expand his work on behalf of anthroposophy. He initiated, with others, the Anthroposophy Working lecture series, bringing well-known speakers to gatherings of 70 – 120 people, and led a study group in Connecticut for many years, as well as the group in his hometown, Great Barrington. All students were given assignments to prepare presentations of their own understanding of the text.
Paul says that his hope for the study group in Great Barrington is that it will move forward, continuing the work together; that students will take assignments and “do it!” developing the will in the body by writing summaries of the text, as he has done for so many years.
Perhaps the most powerful form our gratitude to Paul can take, is to make this hope a reality.