René Piamonte was a very important driving force in the biodynamic movement in South America. He was born in Columbia but was actually at home throughout South America. Both as a biodynamic advisor and a trainer he was totally committed to guiding and supporting people, farms and projects. One of his beliefs was that people need to come together in order to grow together. He was therefore part of the group that organised the annual South American conferences. He particularly valued the relationship to the whole world and to the work of the section. At the 2018 Agricultural Conference he gave a very wide-ranging lecture on the topic of the preparations, based on his experience in all the regions and climatic zones of South America. In recent years he and his wife, Patricia Flores, had been closely involved in the founding and development of the Peruvian biodynamic association and with the training of advisers in South America.
With René, biodynamic agriculture was always an experience that was communicated with the hands, head and particularly the heart. René knew how to reach people's hearts and how to develop biodynamic agriculture as a celebration for the earth. He was also a person with very acute senses which found expression in the extraordinary series of photos with which he illustrated his lectures.
But René was also someone who was a deep thinker and seeker. Perhaps this side of his nature tended to remain hidden. But there were moments in his lectures and in conversation when you could glimpse the deep grounding of his soul in the heart of the biodynamic impulse and in anthroposophy. He had a clear vision of the earth as the stage for man's struggle for both his physical and also spiritual bread. The human being does not come from the earthly but his original cosmic spirituality has to gain a free Michaelic dimension in its passage through the earthly. And this freedom can only become reality if the human being – that is, every person individually and in their own way – can and will take the earth with them on their journey. This Michaelic attitude is an important bridge linking practical biodynamics and the spiritual approach to life through anthroposophy. René helped in building this bridge which we here in the section continue to build down the generations. And our generation's particular task is to expand this group of people beyond the European situation.
The biodynamic impulse and the Goetheanum wish to be cosmopolitan, but this requires individuals from non-European cultures who can carry this. René was both able and willing to carry this local global polarity and we are deeply grateful to him for working on this dimension throughout his life.
We will miss him in our circle, but at the same time we are confident that he will join the circle from the world of those who have died and who have not yet been born, who are working on the humanisation of the earth.
Jean-Michel Florin and Ueli Hurter
For the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum