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Individuality and Community - Rudolf SteinerI
ndividuality and Community
3 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

Individuality and Community comprises 3 lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in Oxford, England in the summer of 1922. In these lectures, Steiner traces in broad outline how the development of society as an organism evolved from the priest-inspired theocratic state in prehistoric times when one's sense of place in the community was felt in relation to the whole, and one's activity as a community member was also related to the living earth through agriculture. Individual did not strive against individual; rather each felt his or her place through inspired sources and through engagement with the land. Out of this in Greco-Roman times a second element arose through the emergence of craft and trade. Though it had an economic character it was actually the emergence of a legal-political sphere which had to ensure the rights of individuals in relation to other individuals. Here citizenship emerged, civil rights and also the birth of democracy alongside the sphere of theocracy. In recent centuries, through the technological inventiveness of Western cultures, a third sphere has developed which is that of economics in the modern sense with its banks and capital; its commercial institutions of production and distribution; and the consumer cultures, all which have become global in their extent.

Following on from this historical exploration, Steiner introduces the concept of the three-fold social organism as something intrinsic within society, yet also as something new from the viewpoint that each of the three spheres - spiritual life, legal-political-regulatory, and economic - must become un-fused in society so that each sphere is related to the other spheres but does not interfere with them. Each sphere is led by its own impulses but each also serves the whole community.

Mercury Press
3 lectures, 26-29 Aug. 1922, Oxford, England
51pp; paperback; GA 305
ISBN: 0-929979-94-X

 

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