Parzival Namibia 2017

The Class 11’s of the Waldorf School Windhoek just completed their 5 day wilderness hike on the Khomas Hochland Hiking Trail in the Windhoek green belt; walking over 60km with full packs, carrying all their own sleeping gear clothing and food with full brave hearts and determined, seeking souls.

“If inconstancy be the heart’s neighbour, the soul will not fail to find it bitter.” So begins the legend of the Grail mystery and the long mysterious journey of a ‘brave fool slowly growing wise.’

Parzival is a tale that originates in the mediaeval age. Its themes and imagery are of a nature that explores the very essence of existence and the quintessential nature of humankind. It is woven with archetypal symbology; bringing a picture of our spiritual development.

This is a story captured through ancient mystics and discovered and written down by Wolfram von Eschenbach dealing amongst other conundrums with the lifelong quest of meeting oneself. The search for God, meaning and purpose, the nature of destiny, holding balance between chaos and order, shame and atonement, being hurt and inflicting pain, the quality of love are all themes that interlace the story and it is through these riddles that the young adults start to develop a sense of who they really are, while their own identity can begin to flower and emerge.

Steiner indicated that this legend be brought to the Class 11 student and this is done differently all over the world in Waldorf schools. In our case, it is brought orally as an epic tale told by the fireside amidst a starry night or under a tree in the wild expanse during a journey in the Namibian savannah. Before the journey we explore our relationship to the nature of spirit and question how forces within our world lead us to free expression or constrictive fear and indifference.

Is there purpose to our existence? What is it? Are our every day interactions and deeds shaping a world that is in harmony with our natural instincts? Are established systems trying to set us free, or dumb us down and trap us in conditioned control? These are the questions that awaken us to the true task of education.

Rudolf Steiner strove to tackle the forces of egoism and materialism, to shift these societal forces to a paradigm of altruism. This called him amongst other deeds to envision the first Waldorf School with its intricately woven curriculum and intuitive methodology.

After the journey we come back to an explosive fervour of artistic expression. Poems pour, paintings emerge, essays are fashioned and all is beautifully bound in to a unique book of outstanding quality. This is presented in an evening of medieval splendour where each student speaks of their trials, tribulations and triumphs on their own quest for their grail.

Every time I experience this main lesson, I observe young beings that emerge fuller, brighter and clearer, responding to and meeting a world that is calling for active practitioners of Love

Each time my heart is warmed by the power of these brave youngsters coming closer to their true divine selves equipped with the forces of their own character; strength of compassion, inquiring thinking and the desire for meaningful contribution in their own confident manifestation. It is a profound and inspiring beholding.

Rein Buyze