The Karma of Materialism: Nine Lectures Given in Berlin Between July 31 and September 25, 1917

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Anthrosophic Press, 1985 - Philosophy - 158 pages

"While natural science has devised and continues to devise ever more elaborate and more precise tools for investigation, it has left unexamined and unimproved the first and most essential, the most ubiquitously applied, of all its tools. It has never tried to examine the nature of thinking itself; the point at which unconscious process blossoms into, or rather 'sets' as, conscious thought" (Owen Barfield, from the foreword).

Rudolf Steiner examines the effects of scientists' failure to examine thinking itself since the beginning of the so-called scientific revolution. This has led to a materialistic attitude in human culture that generates what Steiner calls "the karma of materialism." He explains that there is a lack of harmony between the human intellect, which involves the physical body and life forces, and the sense of morality, which involves the most recent aspect of our human constitution--our individuality, or I-being.

Contents:

Foreword by Owen Barfield

Forgotten Aspects of Cultural Life
False Analogies
Rhythm in Breathing and Cognition
Spiritual Courage versus Indolence
Christ and the Present
Reflections on the Times
Luther (two lectures)
Spiritual Science and Insight

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About the author (1985)

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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