Text: Joan Sleigh [ZA] | Photo: Nicole Asis [PH]
World Social Initiative Forum Project Leader Joan Sleigh writes about courage and trust to capture the spirit of Michaelmas and what our time is asking from us now.
“As winter transforms into spring in the southern hemisphere, summer moves into autumn in the north. And with these outer changes, the inner call of St. John to change old and familiar ways is taken up by the need to find Michaelic courage for an unknown and unpredictable future.”
The drama of the world we live in – climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic with its restrictions and collateral economic and human damages, as well as the glaring social injustice that is prevalent – seems more urgent and demanding of radical change than ever before.
Fear, helplessness, and isolation have become ever-present life companions on a global scale, challenging each one of us within our varying means to look up, wake up, and show up.
The unknown and unpredictable future seems to demand that we look up and see beyond (or behind) the outer manifestations of the critical events around us. That we wake up to the unlimited potential which lies dormant in each one of us. That we show up when asked or needed to take a stand or shift habits and perspectives to defy social challenges that have been ‘normalized’.
How can we look up and truly see beyond our habitual and well-known concepts? To behold the beauty and mystery of newly sprouting growth in spring, the fruiting and seeding in autumn, and recognize the endless possibility, the resilience in living things?
Can we take the courage to discover the unknown in every aspect of our lives and ignite the potential in everyone we meet around us?
What does it take to wake up and truly hear the resonance within the depths of our soul?
To face the pain and helplessness within, to find the courage and reflectivity to dive into the unknown depth?
To trust that the inner gap or nothingness is also the birthplace of a new and radically different future?
How can we awaken to that in-between space in which living dialogue between I and Thou can be truly authentic, unpredictable, and creative of the beyond? 
Where do we show up to be truly present – stepping into the momentary and transient? What courage does it take to witness the pain and suffering of a dying relative, a traumatized friend, an act of social injustice?
How do we inhabit this soul pain to the vast expanses of inner nothingness – yet pause in silence when it is not our call to change the destiny of another?
Step up, as in Christopher Fry’s ‘Sleep of Prisoners’ – to the current affairs that are now soul size, an unknown exploration into God? 
Can we be truthful in the vast unknown of the moment and consequential in every choice?
As winter transforms into spring in the southern hemisphere, summer moves into autumn in the north. And with these outer changes, the inner call of St. John to change old and familiar ways is taken up by the need to find Michaelic courage for an unknown and unpredictable future.
Michael – the cosmopolitan spirit and guiding regent of our times – calls humankind to wake and become both as individuals and in community. He challenges us to look up, wake up, and show up – courageously to take the longest stride of soul man ever took – in the inner and outer dramas of the unknown and unfathomable.
As we wake to the call of the Zeitgeist, we know that we have the power over ourselves to do – and suffer – what we do not know until we try… 
Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride of soul we ever took.
Affairs are now soul size.
Is exploration into God.
Where are you making for? It takes
So many thousand years to wake,
But will you wake for pity’s sake!
The World Social Initiative Forum invites you to join us in taking the longest stride of soul we ever took towards co-creating a new and living future.
With best wishes for a radically different future,
 Martin Buber (1878-1965)
 Andrew Welburn: Rudolf Steiner’s “Philosopher and the Crisis of Contemporary Thought: Introduction”
 Christopher Fry (18.12.1907-30.06.2005): Sleep of Prisoners