Directions in Research: Threshold Work


The Center for Biography and Social Art has hosted five workshops presented by Rinke Visser and rinke & josien Josien de Vries of Holland on the subjects of thresholds and karma. Three of these workshops involved a core group of participants who pursued, over the course of eighteen months, together and individually, in pairs and in small groups, research questions related to this work.

Here, “threshold” refers to those crossed inwardly, in consciousness, in living experience everyday. We are told by Rudolf Steiner, “Humanity has crossed the threshold.” What do we understand of this very significant idea or event? Can we begin to articulate our own individual—perhaps mundane and yet nonetheless meaningful—threshold experiences? What is our right responsibility in working with the invisible, the spiritual significance of thresholds? This research group employs a variety of biographical exercises, artistic activities and meditative practices to explore such questions. We comb Rudolf Steiner’s lectures for insight; follow the intuitive guidance Rinke is able to access; collect, share, reflect on, and discuss at length the phenomena we observe.door

Ways of Working

The core of our research is the human biography. Early on all participants learned two exercises, developed by Rinke along with his partner Josien, which we continue to use as tools of discovery. First, the triptychon, three pictures viewed in a fourfold way, may be used to enter into biographical events, allowing one to perceive deeper meaning and also achieve greater objectivity. Triptychons, we find, clarify nuances of soul capacities, assist in making the invisible in life experience “visible,” prepare one for finding and giving meaning to an after-image, etc. The other exercise we draw upon is the triptychon journey, which is designed to help one enter a space where another voice may speak, where Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition are enhanced. As is often the case in anthroposophy, we strive to work consciously and conscientiously with the Spirit Beings connected to the triptychon, the triptychon journey, individual initiation, and humanity’s evolution. Developing and broadening the use of these exercises, and others like them, is an important aspect of our research. Our most recent gathering focused on questions of karma, as an empathy process and as it connects to will.

Questions and Next Steps

We recognize and respect that this work is still in its infancy. The research group will likely meet again in October, 2013; meanwhile, individuals continue to explore a number of related ideas and questions, such as the following:

  • Can we develop capacities—“new eyes”—that allow us to look behind the scenes of our lives?
  • When we do so, is it possible we are also being seen by other eyes and, if so, who or what is this “other”?
  • How does threshold work relate to and possibly affect or enhance sleep life?
  • What role do after-images play and how can we hone our sense for their meaning?
  • How can we serve the Spirit Beings who guide this work?


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