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Anthroposophy book: Founding a Science of the Spirit




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Rudolf Steiner

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Rudolf Steiner Book: The Effects of Esoteric Development

















 Anthroposophy - An Introduction

Anthroposophy literally means "the study or knowledge of the human being", a meaning which should be understood in its most comprehensive sense.

It is a subject developed through the efforts and unique gifts of one man, Rudolf Steiner, approximately between the years 1898 and 1925. Its particular virtue rests in the fact that Steiner, a doctor of philosophy in his lifetime, was not only an accomplished scholar, but also had the gift of clairvoyant perception which he could exercise in a disciplined and objective manner. He coined the phrase "Spiritual Science" to convey the idea that he actually examines in detail, with an "exact clairvoyance", subjects that are not available to ordinary physical perception yet are as objectively real as physically perceived objects. He stressed that all that we perceive as physical reality is nothing more than the effects of higher, more subtle, yet more powerful realities. To truly understand the external, physical realities, and the human being himself, it is essential to address and understand these higher spiritual elements.  To try and understand even the most common phenomena without appreciating the spiritual aspect can only result in illusion or "maya".

The claim that there is a higher spiritual reality than our sense perceptible world is certainly not new.  What is new in this respect is the application of human consciousness in a scientifically disciplined manner using "organs of soul and spirit" rather than organs of physical perception and their extension in scientific instrumentation.

It should be understood that the application of these faculties in the sense that Steiner uses them has nothing in common with channelling or other mediumistic activity where the human being offers himself or herself as a neutral channel or reflector for some intelligence outside himself.  In contradistinction, spiritual science (like material science) relies on conscious self-possession and heightened human responsibility in the assessment of a perceptible reality.

Steiner's own faculties included an ability to survey history and world evolution in both their material events and the spiritual beings and impulses which give rise to them. In his many thousands of lectures and dozens of books and articles, Steiner describes in comprehensive detail, such subjects as the origin of earth, humanity and the kingdoms of nature; spiritual hierarchies (angels, archangels, archai, etc.); evolution and the ages of man; the various cultural religions; the inner nature of Christianity and its importance to the evolving human consciousness, reincarnation and the complex nature of karma, esoteric aspects of medicine, education, social reform, agriculture, art, and many others.

For the thoughtful enquirer, there is a vast amount of spiritual knowledge found within his 50 or so books and over 6,000 published lectures. In order to properly understand the greater portion of his works, it is recommended that certain fundamental works are studied first, as they form the foundation for the others. These foundation works cover the basic spiritual concepts necessary for an understanding of the human being and his place and evolution in the world. The main fundamental works are listed in the Introduction/Foundation Works section of the Shop. Primary among these are Theosophy - An Introduction to the Spiritual Processes in Human Life and the Cosmos and Rosicrucian Wisdom - An Introduction.

To appreciate the skills and methodology for apprehending spiritual knowledge with scientific scrutiny, the book How To Know Higher Worlds  is recommended.


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