Georg Kühlewind – Gyorgy Szekely
March 6th 1924 – January 15th 2006
For more than a decade, Georg Kuhlewind has been a frequent lecturer at the New York Branch, and indeed in celebration of his eightieth birthday, became our first "honorary member". Georg has given at least thirty lectures at the Branch, and each one finely crafted, carefully delivered, and sensitively explained. Yet when I think back on this remarkable contribution to our spiritual life here in New York, I recall not only the many gifts that Georg gave to us, but also I recall - The Introductions!
Every time Georg spoke, no matter how well he was known, loved or respected, we honored the form that dictated that "the lecturer is introduced". More than being a way to make sure that newcomers knew who was about to speak to them, these introductions gave those who were close to Georg and his work an opportunity to bring this inner experience into their own words and images, to formulate rather than re-formulate a something uniquely theirs. We heard new stories, profound insights, old jokes in a new light, and on one notable occasion, an extraordinary and original poem!
I enjoyed these introductions immensely (especially if I was not giving one!) and knew that they were as carefully and seriously worked upon as if they were the lecture itself. But besides my delight in these original and inspiring events, I see that this reflects a characteristic gesture of Georg in our world. Georg did not seek to overwhelm his hearers with his own content or inspire imitation or adulation - he inspires us to begin our own original work! Georg was a friend and colleague to us here; this generous gesture grew about naturally through the collaborative relationships that were nurtured as he shared his deepest being in this space.
In the last series of lectures that Georg gave, he emphasized this word "beginning". The gospel of John, so integral to Georg's life, has as its first words "In Beginning..." - in this activity of beginning. He spoke of the human being as the only being that had the ability to truly begin anew, to throw off habits, forms, fears, and take real initiative, real creation. Georg's profound interest in children, in protecting and nurturing their original gifts and powerful responses to this world, is another reflection of his impulse to help us all to truly begin. May we hear this call and have the courage of the child in us to make a strong and heart-felt beginning in the healing of the earth, its people, and each other.
As we experience his loss here in New York, as indeed all over the world, may we be comforted and inspired, because Georg is truly in the midst of his own new beginning, where he is most completely at home