Inscribing Signs with a Finger Dipped in Light… A residential schooling course towards a Cultural-Spiritual approach to dying and death.

venue: Harmony Centre, Beresford, NSW 

course duration: March 24 – November 24, 2024 

Course convenors: Irmhild Kleinhenz and Iris Curteis


Most of us do not understand how to die, how to consciously meet Death, prepared and with equanimity. Predominantly, conventional approaches to quality end of life care offer a way to relieve pain and suffering, to provide compassionate support to family, friends and carers and increasingly include information that directs the terminally ill towards voluntary assisted dying. Death, in this stream of thinking, while it cannot be defeated can be ‘managed’ and scheduled – and therefore the spiritual dimension of the act of dying becomes an abstraction. The consciousness, understanding and reverence that should surround dying and death and life beyond the threshold, have been silenced, misrepresented, denied and ‘dropped’ from the cultural-spiritual life of individuals and communities. It is often, at best, addressed with an ‘end of life plan’, ‘life insurance’ or ‘insurance’ that covers care or funeral costs. 

The course presenters feel a deep need to build, cultivate and humanise a personal and communal awareness and out of this to develop a deeper relationship with Death, an understanding of the individual path of dying, and of the actual, autonomous moment of death. 

If we look to earlier times, we find images and approaches to dying and death borne by imaginations, inspirations and intuitions, which we now need to approach in new ways. Using creative sources and insights offered by Spiritual Science, we discover death is the most sacred moment in our life; it is entirely individual. Out of this insight, that all life is a process of stirb und werde, Goethe’s ‘die and become’, this course will focus on Spiritual-Cultural approaches and use, as a ‘way of knowing’, Contemplative Inquiry and creative processes. These will include visual art, music, Creative Speech, poetry, creative writing, oral storytelling and folktale research, eurythmy and meditation. We will offer inspiring, and deeply insightful presentations to encourage you to approach dying and death in your own life and enable you to support others journeying towards the threshold.

There is a further question we wish to explore. Our fear of death and dying has separated us from life imbued with Spirit and pushed us deeper into materialism and consequently onto a path of destruction we now know by the term of ‘omnicide’. Can we resolve to find new approaches to dying and death for the sake of Earth’s healing and to evolve humanity towards freedom and love? Our increasingly challenging times will provide us with opportunities to realise and to deepen our spiritual interconnectedness and responsibilities. 

Who is this course for? 

This Schooling Course is a spiritual pathway to understand death. It is a method and process of inner development for people dedicated to accompanying the dying. We recommend it for: counsellors, health practitioners, carers, social and support workers, educators, and those who wish to care for the newly deceased, such as funeral personnel and celebrants. If your reasons are more personal and you wish to consciously prepare yourself, are grieving a loved one, seeking greater understanding of assisted dying, organ donation, or suicide this Schooling Course will aid you in an inquiry based on spiritual science and autonomy.

Course structure

The course requires face-to-face and online study, participant presentations, and independent learning.

Five 3-Day Intensives; tasks will be set during the intensives. These include independent research, writing short essays and preparing creative presentations that further develop themes, as well as creative practice and honing skills. 

Five Online Tutorials [basic zoom skills required] offered between intensives. 

Independent study/ creative practice: 20 hours 

Total Course Hours 123 hours 

2024 Course Dates:

Intensives: 8 – 10 March; 10 – 12 May; 12 – 14 July; 6 – 8 September; 8 – 10 November; 7 December [final presentations]

Online: 13 April; 8 June; 10 August; 5 October; 26 October 

Enrolments close: 1st February 2024