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Theosophy: An Introduction To The Supersensible Knowledge Of The World And The Destination Of Man Paperback – 10 Sep 2008
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About the Author
Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, literary scholar, educator, artist, playwright, social thinker, and esotericist. He was the founder of Anthroposophy, Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical medicine, and the new artistic form of Eurythmy. Steiner advocated a form of ethical individualism, to which he later brought a more explicitly spiritual component. He derived his epistemology from Johann Wolfgang Goethe's world view, where "Thinking... is no more and no less an organ of perception than the eye or ear. Just as the eye perceives colours and the ear sounds, so thinking perceives ideas.
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He was a noted artist, sculptor, choreographer, playwright and architect whose work has led to the foundation of several artistic and architectural schools. At the end of the First World War he was active in trying to promote a more sensible set of economic, cultural and political arrangements, the failure of which lead directly to several of the disasters of 20th-century European and world history. He also formally trained as and was a valued scientist in a number of fields. For example, he developed a highly effective form of organic agriculture known as biodynamics, which is now cultivated from New Zealand to California, is recognised as an important agricultural model in Germany and is much esteemed in viniculture. He also warned against feeding cows reconstituted meat-based foods, describing the kind of illness which we now know as BSE. According to Richard Tarnas, author of The Passion of the Western Mind, Steiner can also be located as a philosopher alongside Goethe and Hegel, and his epistemology, outlined in The Philosophy of Freedom (aka Intuitive Thinking as a Path of Knowledge) is an answer to the dilemmas of the Descartian-Hegelian paradigm. Amongst those who are actively engaged in his path of knowledge, known as anthroposophy, excellent as these initiatives are, they are but the proof points of Steiner's spiritual seership, the outcomes of which he outlined in several thousand lectures and a number of books.
Theosophy is his classic outline of the spiritual nature of the human being and the nature of existence, both during life and after death. It is not strictly speaking philosophical book; indeed Steiner would call it science. But it is not science as you know it, being based on his cultivated ability to observe the supersensible. Were it not for the rigour of his thinking and the width and depth of his practical achievements you might think he was a nutter. But a short exposure makes this impossible to believe.
It is a serious book and both needs and repays study. It is also hugely stimulating: you are likely to be left speechless and dumbfounded and whether this turns you off or starts you on a long engagement will be down to you. At the heart of Steiner's philosophy is the conviction of the need to develop human freedom. For those more interested in practice of spiritual development, his introductory text Knowledge of Higher Worlds (aka How to Know Higher Worlds) may be a better alternative start.
At first on might think that the Holistic approach of Rudolf Steiner is quite abnormal and strange, but once one get's into it one realized that there is so much which one had never really thought about it, but one somehow knows that it is true in many ways...
good luck reading
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