Photo: September, 2016. Northern Minnesota wilderness.
“May our feelings penetrate to the center of
And seek in love to unite with those who share
And with the Spirits who look down
On our hearts’ earnest strivings
Sending us strength from realms of light
As they illuminate our love.”
Oh, Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world.
Hear me! I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
ever hold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
Help me remain calm and strong in the
face of all that comes towards me.
Help me find compassion.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother [sister],
but to fight my greatest enemy: myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.
(Translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)
Photo: Northern Minnesota, Sunset, 2020
“May our feelings penetrate to the center of our hearts
This verse draws our attention to the reverberating All-Presence of Love and Light, which can be likened unto the Sun. How so? The sun does not discriminate.1 Its rays shine equally on all life. Although referenced as a “Verse for America” does it not implore humanity to acknowledge the benevolent presence of the Spirit? Does it not implore us to practice unconditional love? In this sense isn’t this verse a universal refrain revering what contemporary psychological paradigms value as multiculturalism?
Love is for the world what the sun is for external life.
No soul could thrive if love departed from the world.
Love is the “moral” sun of the world.
Photo: Northern Minnesota. Eclipse in June, 2021.
our feelings penetrate to the center of our hearts and seek in love to unite .
Earnestly Forward: Robert Nelson, AAP President, Faculty Chair
Credit: 1st Photo: Scott
Nelson, Fowl Lake Boundary Waters, Minnesota.
Photo Credit: 2nd Photo: John McMann, Effie, Minnesota.
Photo Credit: 3rd Photo: John McMann, Effie, Minnesota. June 10, 2021. Caught the imagination of the solar eclipse sidereally in the zodiac sign of the Bull signifying a new start on our journey embracing resourcefulness, expressing service and creativity.
1 Citation from U.S. Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all peoples are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. . .”
2 Quote by Rudolf Steiner from Man as a Symphony of Created Word: “And when we see the eagle circling in the air, we do in fact utter a reality when we say: These forces which stream through the air from the Sun in such a way that they are composed of the working together of Sun with Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — these forces are those which live in the whole structure, in the very being of the eagle. But at the same time, they live in the formation of the human head. And when we place the human being into the universe . . . . as regards his or her head we must place him or her into the eagle-sphere.”
3 Rudolf Steiner Quote from Man as a Symphony of Created Word: “The cow has horns in order to send into itself the astral-ethereal formative powers, which, pressing inward, are meant to penetrate right into the digestive organism. Precisely through the radiation that proceeds from horns and hoofs, much work arises in the digestive organism. Thus in the horn you have something well adapted by its inherent nature to ray back the living and astral properties into the inner life. In the horn you have something radiating life, even radiating astrality. . . . We ought to be very thankful that the dung remains over at all; for it carries astral and ethereal contents from the interior of the organs, out into the open. The astral and ethereal adheres to it. We only have to preserve it and use it in the proper way. . .. nature of the animals of the heights, represented by the eagle, . . . and the animals of the earth-depths, represented by the ox or cow. . .”
by Zheni Nasi, November, 2019
When the Verse for this Land spoke to me
We recently completed the second year of the program in anthroposophic counselling psychology, in Pennsylvania, organized by the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology. From the beginning of this training, Dr. Roberta Nelson has started and ended each day of the seminars with speaking The Verse for this Land, by Rudolf Steiner. In addition, she has invited all participants who speak other languages, to speak the verse in their mother tongue. Every time the verse is spoken in another language, I have experienced being uplifted, as the energy shifted in the room by the presence of certain energetic beings invited to be with us in that space.
I have spoken the Verse in the circle in three languages. While I had heard it spoken by Roberta in English, I had not intentionally memorized the Verse. I knew there was something about it that called me. I had reached out to individuals who spoke the Verse in other languages, and compiled all those verses in written and spoken format.
In the last few weeks, attention has been brought to me to work with the heart, both physically in the heart region, and energetically, with the heart forces. Yesterday I was looking at the connection of the sun and the heart. Before bed, I read the verse The Ensouled Sun of Man, by Rudolf Steiner. This morning, while in that state between sleep and wakefulness, I heard from within The Verse for This Land. I was not even sure if I was saying it correctly, as I had not spoken the Verse in English, but it was flowing out of me, as if it were speaking to me. Every line, every word, every sound was working in me, and it was making sense in a new and very powerful way, as if the clouds had departed and I was looking at the bright sky, with a clarity I had never looked at before.
May our feelings penetrate
to the center of our hearts
And seek in love to unite
With those who share our goals
And with the spirits
Who look down benevolently
On our hearts’ earnest strivings
Sending us strength
From realms of light
As they illuminate our love.
It was very clear, in that moment, this Verse was telling me about the meaning of the work of the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology. The verse speaks to how to bring about an initiative, a deed, on earth:
“May our feelings penetrate to the center of our hearts”
At the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology, we are in the process of midwifing the birth of a new branch in psychology, Anthroposophic Psychology. Rudolf Steiner conceived it in early 20th century, but this being of anthroposophic psychology was not ready to be born at that time, by only one individual, and when psychology itself was being established as a science. It has taken a long “gestation” period, until now, in the 21st century, when not one, but many - not only from one place, but from all over the world - can facilitate its birth, based on a need of humanity. A deed on earth is an act of will, but Rudolf Steiner is telling us that this deed of will has to be mediated by the feeling realm, and go through the heart. The heart has the capacity to purify feelings (just as sensing and regulating blood flow), which then are transformed from a basis of sympathy-antipathy, into one of love and harmony. These feelings will not only penetrate through the heart of one person, but to the very center of the hearts of many.
“And seek in love to unite with those who share our goals”
This next line tells us with whom to connect and reach out, to give birth to this deed: “those who share our goals”; and how to connect with those people: “seek in love to unite.” This seeking is not only physical, to identify those individuals interested in anthroposophic psychology, but we put out an intention, a call to all those who may come to join this initiative. The seeking is primarily for the feelings to unite. Feelings are the mediator between thinking and will. As these words vibrate in me, I become aware how powerful the connection is when people come together not only based on abstract ideas, but unite through the realm of heart. Any experience is potentized through feelings. This initiative to bring about anthroposophic psychology is not only an intellectual endeavor. We strengthen this movement, to become the being of anthroposophic psychology, when imbued with our heart forces. This is an endeavor coming to us from the future.
“And with the spirits who look down benevolently on our hearts’ earnest strivings”
Any earthly experience, any manifestation in matter, any becoming on earth, has its origin in the spiritual world, has a spiritual correspondent. For this endeavor of the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology to become a deed, connecting with other individuals who share the same goals is necessary, but does not suffice. We need to make the conscious effort to connect with spiritual beings to create a true synchronicity, so that on earth becomes as it is in heaven. The power of this line is also in its telling us that we are not alone when our endeavor comes from “our hearts’ earnest strivings” - which balance our thoughts and our will. Anthroposophic psychology fulfills a need, a yearning in the hearts of many, who intuitively know that our soul-spiritual nature is not being met, and is withered by the mainstream medical model of today’s psychology. Anthroposophic psychology brings together a body-soul-spirit approach to healing and restoration of mental health, and the dignity of human being.
“Sending us strength from realms of light as they illuminate our love.”
When we come from a place of hearts’ earnest striving and consciously commune with the spiritual realm, our soul-spiritual nature is nourished, and we receive strength to bring our deeds on earth to fruition. Can we become aware of this nourishment from realms of light? Could we also incorporate this nourishment to become our medicine, in the form of illuminating our love? In our existing healing modalities, this aspect is missing at large. This line speaks to me of the meaning of true healing. We do not heal in isolation, but when we come together as a community of individual human beings. When we commune with the spiritual realms of light, honoring our bio-psycho-spiritual triune nature, we have the potential to reach our full potential, as a unification of matter and spirit.
* * *Now I realized that from the beginning, when I first heard it, this verse was working in me, until now, when I was able to hear it speaking to me. The work ahead of us gained a new clarity and perspective. I also realized that I connected with the verse based on the specific initiative I am working with, however, the power of the verse is giving the healing impulse, in imbuing any initiative with heart forces, community of human beings, and the spiritual realm, as we need all three in giving birth to any deed on earth.
Dringe unser Fuehlen
Original, Rudolf Steiner, spoken Sabine Cox
Verse for America
May our feelings
Spoken by Roberta Nelson
Mag ons gevoelens
tr. & spoken by Therisa Pienaar
Vjershe per Ameriken
Le te hyjne ndjenjat tona
tr. & spoken by Zheni Nasi
Chinese – Mandarin
“May our feelings
Penetrate to the center of our hearts
And seek in love to unite with those who share our dreams
And with the spirits who look down benevolently
On our hearts earnest strivings
Sending us strength
From realms of lights as they illuminate our love”
在光中，我們的愛也明亮了起來tr. & spoken by Li Shan Chu
Poiima gia tin Ameriki
As mpainoun ta synaisthimata mas
Ας μπαίνουν τα συναισθήματα μας
στο κέντρο των καρδιων μας
και να ενονουν με αγάπη μ'αυτους που μοιραζουμε τους σκπούς μας
Και με τις ψυχές που βλέπουν από πάνω με καλοσύνη
Τις ειλικρινές προσπάθεις των καρδιων μας
Απο σφαίρες του φοτος, ενω φωτιζουν την αγαπη μας
tr. & spoken by Zheni Nasi
Le verset pour l’Amérique
Spoken by Catarina Burisch
Versetto per l’America
Che possano i nostri sentimenti
tr. & spoken by Zheni Nasi
Prarthana hain ke hamare bhavana
Prarthana hain ke yah bhavana
Prarthana hain ke yah jhivathama
प्रार्थना है कि हमारी भावना
हमारे ह्रदय में निवास करे॥
प्रार्थना है कि यह भावना
प्रेम से उन सब तक पहुँचे जिनके सपने
हमारे सपनों से मिलते हैं॥
प्रार्थना है कि यह भावना
उन जीवात्मा तक पहुँचे जिनका
आशीर्वाद हम पर है॥
प्रार्थना है कि यह जीवात्मा
अपनी रोशनी से हमारे प्रेम को
ज्योतिर्मय करे और सच्चे मन से
किये गये प्रयासों को शक्ति दे॥
tr. & spoken by Sudha Gutti
ہمارے دلوں کے مرکز میں داخل ہو جائیں
اور اپنے مقاصد کا اشتراک کرنے والوں کے ساتھ متحد ہونے کے لئے محبت میں تلاش کریں
اور اس روح کے ساتھ جو بظاہر نظر آتے ہیں
ہمارے دلوں پر پریشانیاں
ہمیں طاقت بھیجنا
روشنی کے حصول سے ہمارا پیار روشن ہے.
tr. & spoken by Fozia Khan
Måtte våre følelser trenge dypt inn i våre hjerter,
tr. & spoken by Franz Eilers & Karen Derreumaux
Watashitachi no kanjō ga kokoro no chūshin wo tsuranukimasuyōni.
Jihibukaku mimamottekureru rei to tomoni
Verso para AméricaQue nuestros sentimientos
Penetren hasta el centro de nuestros corazones
Y busquen unirnos en el amor con aquellos que comparten nuestros sueños
Y con los espíritus que miran benévolamente
El sincero esfuerzo de nuestros corazones
Iluminando nuestro amor desde los reinos de la luz.
Verse for America Testimonials
Two questions:1. What has it been like for you, to both offer the verse in your mother tongue, and to receive it in other languages?
2. How do you relate this experience with anthroposophic psychology?
Sabine Cox - German:
Saying the verse in German is a bit strange: the thought processes and energy for me are so different when I speak or think German as compared to English and so reading the German kind of evokes a different field of consciousness. On the one hand that is a good thing (as the German consciousness usually is more specific and clear-minded to me), on the other hand it can feel a bit jarring to then move back into the more “flowing” or “watery” consciousness of the English folksoul / language. But when I do it first thing in the morning it awakens me in a different way to the work of the day.
Listening to the verse in different languages is interesting to me. I can hear the rhythms and “colour” of the verse and sometimes, depending on the language, I can recognize individual words. It reminds me of the fact that we all come to the work from these very different ways of being and understanding things. Language is a very powerful thing: it really, truly, shifts how we think and are and it is the fastest way to connect us to our deepest self. Hearing the different languages reading the verse, I am reminded of the depth of the task of creating a common understanding. Not an easy task…
As far as the impact on the anthroposophic psychology work is concerned, I think the main thing is the reminder of the differences that we all bring to our lives: an invitation (and reminder) to listen to the language of the other (client or colleague), not only if it is a “foreign” language but in appreciation of the fact that we all have our own language, our own colouration of understanding of the words we use and speak. It’s a reminder to listen to what is behind the words — because that part is much more universal. I remember a while ago doing Inner Child work with a client whose native tongue was Farsi. I don’t know Farsi and she was fluent in English so for a long time we did the work in English. But at some point it just felt that something wasn’t quite fitting and so I asked her if she wanted to do some of it in Farsi. She did. She expressed her fear and anger to her parents in Farsi and although I didn’t understand a word she spoke, I understood her; and she felt understood. That is what I feel happens when I listen to the verse in languages I don’t understand.
Catarina Burisch – French:
I found it affirming to speak the verse in French. I felt a certain uprightness and strength throughout my body.
In listening to other languages, I found myself fascinated by the sounds, trying to locate where they were produced in the mouth and sense/identify the corresponding qualities that emanate from them. It allowed me to find similarities and differences among the languages and to glean possible affinities between group souls.
It is another portal into the other. Much like imitating someone’s walk and how the other feels weight, pressure, cadence and lightness in their body provides insights that are invaluable in counselling settings.
The experience is enhanced by keeping in mind the astrological connection between sound(Cancer) and balance (Capricorn) as well as the word (Gemini) and the sense of self through movement (Sagittarius). Both invite us to enter the domain of the will from out of our thinking and sense in a new way, thereby broadening and enriching our field of perception. Quite wonderful!
Zheni Nasi – Albanian, Greek, (Italian):
When I speak the verse in Albanian, my mother tongue, I experience the energy flowing from higher realms through me; I become one with the meaning of the words and the message conveyed in the verse.
I had the pleasure of speaking the verse in two other languages. I experienced an energy shift inside of me, and around me. It is as if I am playing the same piece of music, but I am using a different instrument. With each language, I experience a different side of me, which is made manifest only through the vehicle of that language.
Listening to the verse in other languages offered me an opportunity to see and relate to the person speaking the verse from a different light. It was the same physical body, and yet, there was something in that person I had not met before. With each language spoken there was a different quality of the energy in the room, the voice intonation, sound vibration, the feelings evoked, all anew.
I relate this experience with anthroposophic psychology in a twofold way:1. Just as in the verse “may our feelings penetrate to the centre of our hearts”, I work with clients primarily with feelings. That is the realm of the psyche. I look for the true feelings behind their statements, anger, tears or silence. In the consulting room, just as in the verse, we are joined in one common goal: to heal and to become whole, in re-member-ing the whole potential human being, client and therapist. I can do this work, only from a place of love, and knowing that I cannot do it by myself “and with the spirits who look down benevolently”.
2. When I see a client, we seat in two different chairs, we are in two different positions, two completely different individuals, and yet, when we connect, these differences melt away, it is something beyond these differences that brings us together in that moment. When that common humanity between us unfolds, we can see each other for who we truly are, and in that I – Thou meeting with the other, we each get to meet our own True Self. The verse for America, spoken in different languages, allowed us to connect with what is universal, beyond our differences.