What is Anthroposophy?: Three Perspectives on Self-knowledge

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SteinerBooks, 2002 - Religion - 90 pages
1 Review
This is one of those books that can change your life. Radical, thought-provoking, and indeed mind-boggling, it leads to a completely new way of looking at what it means to be human - a spiritual being in a universe that itself is not just physical, but psychic and spiritual as well. These three previously untranslated lectures are a masterly introduction to what Rudolf Steiner means by "anthroposophy." They explain why Steiner describes this path-which means literally "the wisdom of the human being"- as one that "unites what is spiritual in the human being with what is spiritual in the universe." Steiner begins by describing what happens when we die. He shows the relationship between our physical life on earth and the etheric, astral, and spiritual life of the cosmos. He also explains how physical lives are completely interwoven with cosmic existence, and how the "miss-ing links" in evolution are spiritual in nature. Steiner then demonstrates what he calls the "dilettantism" and "soullessness" of mainstream psychology. He points out that since the second half of the nineteenth century the idea of the soul has been lost, and that, consequently, understanding of our inner lives is without a sure foundation. A quite different view, however, emerges from a truly spiritual perspective. In the third lec-ture, Steiner takes as his guide our three states of being - waking, dreaming, and sleeping. He describes in detail what happens in these three states, and how each is bound up with our lives as physical, psychic, and spiritual beings. With the profound insights in this book, the world becomes a much larger, richer, and more exciting place to live.
 

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My full review of this book is at: http://www.doyletics.com/arj/whatisa.htm
Bobby Matherne

Contents

Introduction
1
THE PHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE
33
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
49
Ill THE SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE
67
Notes
83
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About the author (2002)

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.

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