Occult Science: An Outline

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Rudolf Steiner Press, Jan 6, 2011 - Anthroposophy - 424 pages
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Written in 1909 (CW 13)

Given his energetic involvement in practical initiatives and extensive lecturing, Steiner had very little time to write. Of the books he found time to write, four titles are considered indispensable introductions to his teaching as a whole: How to Know Higher Worlds; An Outline of Esoteric Science; Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path; and Theosophy. With the exception of his Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts and his Autobiography, Steiner s important writings belong largely to his earliest work.

The Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner is not a theoretical system but the results of research based on direct observation. Because his research was so vast and conducted over such a long period of time, no single book can be said to contain the whole of his spiritual teaching. However, of all his books, this one perhaps comes closest. Steiner even referred to it as an epitome of anthroposophic spiritual science. In a systematic way, he lays out fundamental facts concerning the nature and constitution of the human being and, in chronological order, the history of the universe and humankind.

Whereas the findings of natural science are derived from observations made through the senses, the findings of spiritual science are occult, inasmuch as they arise from direct observation of realities hidden to ordinary human perception. Nevertheless, these elements of humanity and the universe form the foundation of the sensory world. A substantial part of this important work describes the basic training needed to make such spiritual observations.

Although Occult Science is not all-inclusive, it is indispensable to any serious student who wishes to master Steiner s extraordinary philosophy and methods of inner development.

Rudolf Steiner Press has published a new series of re-edited, re-typeset, and re-designed editions of the classic, authorized translations of Rudolf Steiner's foundational books. Each volume of this series is printed in a limited edition of 1,000 copies and sewn-bound in high-quality cloth, finished with colored end papers, and includes a book-mark ribbon."
 

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About the author (2011)

Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner was a noted Goethe (see Vol. 2) scholar and private student of the occult who became involved with Theosophy in Germany in 1902, when he met Annie Besant (1847--1933), a devoted follower of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (1831--1891). In 1912 he broke with the Theosophists because of what he regarded as their oriental bias and established a system of his own, which he called Anthroposophy (anthro meaning "man"; sophia sophia meaning "wisdom"), a "spiritual science" he hoped would restore humanism to a materialistic world. In 1923 he set up headquarters for the Society of Anthroposophy in New York City. Steiner believed that human beings had evolved to the point where material existence had obscured spiritual capacities and that Christ had come to reverse that trend and to inaugurate an age of spiritual reintegration. He advocated that education, art, agriculture, and science be based on spiritual principles and infused with the psychic powers he believed were latent in everyone. The world center of the Anhthroposophical Society today is in Dornach, Switzerland, in a building designed by Steiner. The nonproselytizing society is noted for its schools.

George Adams (1894-1963)was born in Poland and received an honors degree in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He was a close student of Rudolf Steiner, and translated many of his lectures given to English-speaking audiences. Being a Jew, when Hitler rose to power he changed his name from Kaufmann to Adams and left Germany for England, where he continued his anthroposophic activities and scientific research. In 1935, Olive Whicher joined Adams in London and worked with him in research into mathematics and physics until his death in 1963. He translated and published numerous books, lectures, and articles.

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