Steiner followed Wilhelm Dilthey in using the term Geisteswissenschaft , usually translated as "spiritual science". In contrast to William James' pragmatic approach to religious and psychic experience, which emphasized its idiosyncratic character, Steiner focused on ways such experience can be rendered more intelligible and integrated into human life. Steiner proposed that an understanding of reincarnation and karma was necessary to understand psychology  and that the form of external nature would be more comprehensible as a result of insight into the course of karma in the evolution of humanity.
After the First World War, Steiner became active in a wide variety of cultural contexts. He founded a number of schools, the first of which was known as the Waldorf school ,  which later evolved into a worldwide school network. He also founded a system of organic agriculture, now known as biodynamic agriculture , which was one of the very first forms of, and has contributed significantly to the development of, modern organic farming. His two Goetheanum buildings have been widely cited as masterpieces of modern architecture ,      and other anthroposophical architects have contributed thousands of buildings to the modern scene.
Steiner's literary estate is correspondingly broad. Steiner's writings, published in about forty volumes, include books, essays, four plays 'mystery dramas' , mantric verse, and an autobiography. His collected lectures, making up another approximately volumes, discuss an extremely wide range of themes.
Steiner's drawings, chiefly illustrations done on blackboards during his lectures, are collected in a separate series of 28 volumes. Many publications have covered his architectural legacy and sculptural work. As a young man, Steiner was a private tutor and a lecturer on history for the Berlin Arbeiterbildungsschule ,  an educational initiative for working class adults. In , Emil Molt invited him to lecture to his workers at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart.
Out of these lectures came a new school, the Waldorf school. In , Steiner presented these ideas at a conference called for this purpose in Oxford by Professor Millicent Mackenzie. He subsequently presented a teacher training course at Torquay in at an Anthroposophy Summer School organised by Eleanor Merry. In , a group of farmers concerned about the future of agriculture requested Steiner's help. Steiner responded with a lecture series on an ecological and sustainable approach to agriculture that increased soil fertility without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
A central aspect of biodynamics is that the farm as a whole is seen as an organism, and therefore should be a largely self-sustaining system, producing its own manure and animal feed. Plant or animal disease is seen as a symptom of problems in the whole organism. Steiner also suggested timing such agricultural activities as sowing, weeding, and harvesting to utilize the influences on plant growth of the moon and planets ; and the application of natural materials prepared in specific ways to the soil , compost , and crops, with the intention of engaging non-physical beings and elemental forces.
He taught that mushrooms were "very harmful" because "they contain hindering lunar forces, and everything that arose on the old Moon signifies rigidification. From the late s, Steiner was working with doctors to create a new approach to medicine. In , pharmacists and physicians gathered under Steiner's guidance to create a pharmaceutical company called Weleda which now distributes natural medical products worldwide.
At around the same time, Dr. For a period after World War I, Steiner was active as a lecturer on social reform. A petition expressing his basic social ideas was widely circulated and signed by many cultural figures of the day, including Hermann Hesse. In Steiner's chief book on social reform , Toward Social Renewal , he suggested that the cultural, political and economic spheres of society need to work together as consciously cooperating yet independent entities, each with a particular task: political institutions should establish political equality and protect human rights ; cultural institutions should nurture the free and unhindered development of science, art, education and religion; and economic institutions should enable producers, distributors and consumers to cooperate to provide efficiently for society's needs.
Steiner also gave suggestions for many specific social reforms. The well-being of a community of people working together will be the greater, the less the individual claims for himself the proceeds of his work, i. He expressed this in the motto: . Steiner designed 17 buildings, including the First and Second Goetheanums. His primary sculptural work is The Representative of Humanity , a nine-meter high wood sculpture executed as a joint project with the sculptor Edith Maryon.
This was intended to be placed in the first Goetheanum. It shows a central, free-standing Christ holding a balance between the beings of Lucifer and Ahriman , representing opposing tendencies of expansion and contraction. Steiner's blackboard drawings were unique at the time and almost certainly not originally intended as art works. In collaboration with Marie von Sivers, Steiner also founded a new approach to acting, storytelling, and the recitation of poetry. His last public lecture course, given in , was on speech and drama.
The Russian actor, director, and acting coach Michael Chekhov based significant aspects of his method of acting on Steiner's work. Together with Marie von Sivers , Rudolf Steiner also developed the art of eurythmy , sometimes referred to as "visible speech and song". According to the principles of eurythmy, there are archetypal movements or gestures that correspond to every aspect of speech — the sounds or phonemes , the rhythms, and the grammatical function — to every "soul quality" — joy, despair, tenderness, etc.
Rudolf Steiner, Philosophy of Freedom. Chapter 9. In his commentaries on Goethe's scientific works, written between and , Steiner presented Goethe's approach to science as essentially phenomenological in nature, rather than theory- or model-based. He developed this conception further in several books, The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World-Conception and Goethe's Conception of the World , particularly emphasizing the transformation in Goethe's approach from the physical sciences, where experiment played the primary role, to plant biology, where both accurate perception and imagination were required to find the biological archetypes Urpflanze , and postulated that Goethe had sought but been unable to fully find the further transformation in scientific thinking necessary to properly interpret and understand the animal kingdom.
Particular organic forms can be evolved only from universal types, and every organic entity we experience must coincide with some one of these derivative forms of the type. Here the evolutionary method must replace the method of proof. We aim not to show that external conditions act upon one another in a certain way and thereby bring about a definite result, but that a particular form has developed under definite external conditions out of the type.
This is the radical difference between inorganic and organic science. Steiner approached the philosophical questions of knowledge and freedom in two stages. In his dissertation, published in expanded form in as Truth and Knowledge , Steiner suggests that there is an inconsistency between Kant's philosophy, which posits that all knowledge is a representation of an essential verity inaccessible to human consciousness, and modern science, which assumes that all influences can be found in the sensory and mental world to which we have access.
Steiner considered Kant's philosophy of an inaccessible beyond "Jenseits-Philosophy" a stumbling block in achieving a satisfying philosophical viewpoint. Steiner postulates that the world is essentially an indivisible unity, but that our consciousness divides it into the sense -perceptible appearance, on the one hand, and the formal nature accessible to our thinking , on the other. He sees in thinking itself an element that can be strengthened and deepened sufficiently to penetrate all that our senses do not reveal to us. Steiner thus considered what appears to human experience as a division between the spiritual and natural worlds to be a conditioned result of the structure of our consciousness, which separates perception and thinking.
These two faculties give us not two worlds, but two complementary views of the same world; neither has primacy and the two together are necessary and sufficient to arrive at a complete understanding of the world. In thinking about perception the path of natural science and perceiving the process of thinking the path of spiritual training , it is possible to discover a hidden inner unity between the two poles of our experience.
The task of understanding is not to replicate in conceptual form something that already exists, but rather to create a wholly new realm, that together with the world given to our senses constitutes the fullness of reality. In the Philosophy of Freedom , Steiner further explores potentials within thinking: freedom, he suggests, can only be approached gradually with the aid of the creative activity of thinking.
Thinking can be a free deed; in addition, it can liberate our will from its subservience to our instincts and drives. Free deeds, he suggests, are those for which we are fully conscious of the motive for our action; freedom is the spiritual activity of penetrating with consciousness our own nature and that of the world,  and the real activity of acting in full consciousness.
Steiner affirms Darwin 's and Haeckel 's evolutionary perspectives but extended this beyond its materialistic consequences; he sees human consciousness , indeed, all human culture, as a product of natural evolution that transcends itself.
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For Steiner, nature becomes self-conscious in the human being. Steiner's description of the nature of human consciousness thus closely parallels that of Solovyov : . In his earliest works, Steiner already spoke of the "natural and spiritual worlds" as a unity. As a starting point for the book Steiner took a quotation from Goethe, describing the method of natural scientific observation,  while in the Preface he made clear that the line of thought taken in this book led to the same goal as that in his earlier work, The Philosophy of Freedom. In the years — Steiner maintained the magazine "Lucifer-Gnosis" and published in it essays on topics such as initiation, reincarnation and karma, and knowledge of the supernatural world.
The book An Outline of Esoteric Science was published in Important themes include:. Steiner emphasized that there is an objective natural and spiritual world that can be known, and that perceptions of the spiritual world and incorporeal beings are, under conditions of training comparable to that required for the natural sciences, including self-discipline, replicable by multiple observers.
It is on this basis that spiritual science is possible, with radically different epistemological foundations than those of natural science. He believed that natural science was correct in its methods but one-sided for exclusively focusing on sensory phenomena, while mysticism was vague in its methods, though seeking to explore the inner and spiritual life. Anthroposophy was meant to apply the systematic methods of the former to the content of the latter  . For Steiner, the cosmos is permeated and continually transformed by the creative activity of non-physical processes and spiritual beings.
For the human being to become conscious of the objective reality of these processes and beings, it is necessary to creatively enact and reenact, within, their creative activity.
Thus objective spiritual knowledge always entails creative inner activity. Steiner termed his work from this period onwards Anthroposophy. He emphasized that the spiritual path he articulated builds upon and supports individual freedom and independent judgment ; for the results of spiritual research to be appropriately presented in a modern context they must be in a form accessible to logical understanding, so that those who do not have access to the spiritual experiences underlying anthroposophical research can make independent evaluations of the latter's results.
In Steiner experienced what he described as a life-transforming inner encounter with the being of Christ; previously he had little or no relation to Christianity in any form. Then and thereafter, his relationship to Christianity remained entirely founded upon personal experience, and thus both non-denominational and strikingly different from conventional religious forms. To use Steiner's own words, the "experience culminated in my standing in the spiritual presence of the Mystery of Golgotha in a most profound and solemn festival of knowledge.
Steiner describes Christ as the unique pivot and meaning of earth's evolutionary processes and human history, redeeming the Fall from Paradise. To be "Christian" is, for Steiner, a search for balance between polarizing extremes  : —3 and the ability to manifest love in freedom. In Steiner's esoteric cosmology , the spiritual development of humanity is interwoven in and inseparable from the cosmological development of the universe. Continuing the evolution that led to humanity being born out of the natural world, the Christ being brings an impulse enabling human consciousness of the forces that act creatively, but unconsciously, in nature.
Steiner's views of Christianity diverge from conventional Christian thought in key places, and include gnostic elements. One of the central points of divergence with conventional Christian thought is found in Steiner's views on reincarnation and karma. Steiner also posited two different Jesus children involved in the Incarnation of the Christ: one child descended from Solomon , as described in the Gospel of Matthew ; the other child from Nathan , as described in the Gospel of Luke.
See Genealogy of Jesus for alternative explanations of this radical divergence. Steiner's view of the second coming of Christ is also unusual. He suggested that this would not be a physical reappearance, but rather, meant that the Christ being would become manifest in non-physical form, in the " etheric realm" — i. He emphasized that the future would require humanity to recognize this Spirit of Love in all its genuine forms, regardless of how this is named.
He also warned that the traditional name, "Christ", might be used, yet the true essence of this Being of Love ignored. In the s, Steiner was approached by Friedrich Rittelmeyer , a Lutheran pastor with a congregation in Berlin, who asked if it was possible to create a more modern form of Christianity. Soon others joined Rittelmeyer — mostly Protestant pastors and theology students, but including several Roman Catholic priests. Steiner offered counsel on renewing the spiritual potency of the sacraments while emphasizing freedom of thought and a personal relationship to religious life.
He envisioned a new synthesis of Catholic and Protestant approaches to religious life, terming this "modern, Johannine Christianity ". The resulting movement for religious renewal became known as " The Christian Community ". Its work is based on a free relationship to the Christ, without dogma or policies. Its priesthood, which is open to both men and women, is free to preach out of their own spiritual insights and creativity. Steiner emphasized that the resulting movement for the renewal of Christianity was a personal gesture of help to a movement founded by Rittelmeyer and others independently of his anthroposophical work.
Steiner's work has influenced a broad range of notable personalities. Albert Schweitzer wrote that he and Steiner had in common that they had "taken on the life mission of working for the emergence of a true culture enlivened by the ideal of humanity and to encourage people to become truly thinking beings". Anthony Storr stated about Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy: "His belief system is so eccentric, so unsupported by evidence, so manifestly bizarre, that rational skeptics are bound to consider it delusional. Robert Todd Carroll has said of Steiner that "Some of his ideas on education — such as educating the handicapped in the mainstream — are worth considering, although his overall plan for developing the spirit and the soul rather than the intellect cannot be admired".
The th anniversary of Rudolf Steiner's birth was marked by the first major retrospective exhibition of his art and work, 'Kosmos - Alchemy of the everyday'. Organized by Vitra Design Museum , the traveling exhibition presented many facets of Steiner's life and achievements, including his influence on architecture, furniture design, dance Eurythmy , education , and agriculture Biodynamic agriculture.
Olav Hammer has criticized as scientism Steiner's claim to use scientific methodology to investigate spiritual phenomena that were based upon his claims of clairvoyant experience. However, he did consider spiritual research to be fallible  : p. Steiner's work includes both universalist, humanist elements and historically influenced racial assumptions. However, he consistently and explicitly subordinated race, ethnicity, gender, and indeed all hereditary factors, to individual factors in development.
In the context of his ethical individualism, Steiner considered "race, folk, ethnicity and gender" to be general, describable categories into which individuals may choose to fit, but from which free human beings can and will liberate themselves. During the years when Steiner was best known as a literary critic, he published a series of articles attacking various manifestations of antisemitism  and criticizing some of the most prominent anti-Semites of the time as "barbaric" and "enemies of culture".
This stance has come under severe criticism in recent years. Steiner was a critic of his contemporary Theodor Herzl 's goal of a Zionist state, and indeed of any ethnically determined state, as he considered ethnicity to be an outmoded basis for social life and civic identity. Towards the end of Steiner's life and after his death, there were massive defamatory press attacks mounted on him by early National Socialist leaders including Adolf Hitler and other right-wing nationalists. These criticized Steiner's thought and anthroposophy as being incompatible with National Socialist racial ideology, and charged him with being influenced by his close connections with Jews and even falsely that he himself was Jewish.
The standard edition of Steiner's Collected Works constitutes about volumes. This includes 43 volumes of his writings books, essays, plays, and correspondence ,  over lectures, and 16 volumes of his artistic work drawings, paintings, graphic design, other design work, and choreography.
His architectural work has been documented extensively outside of the Collected Works. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist and esotericist. For other people named Rudolf Steiner, see Rudolf Steiner disambiguation.
Dornach , Switzerland. Anna Eunicke — Marie Steiner-von Sivers — Main article: Rudolf Steiner and the Theosophical Society.
Biography Work | rsc-perth
See also: Rudolf Steiner's exercises for spiritual development. Main article: Waldorf education. Main article: Biodynamic agriculture. Main article: Anthroposophical medicine. Main article: Threefold Social Order. See also: Eurythmy. Live through deeds of love, and let others live understanding their unique intentions: this is the fundamental principle of free human beings.
See also: Goethean science. See also: Philosophy of Freedom. See also: Anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner's exercises for spiritual development. See also: Anthroposophy: Scientific basis. However, there is an undated autobiographical fragment written by Steiner, referred to in a footnote in his autobiography in German GA 28 , that says, "My birth fell on 25 February Two days later I was baptized.
Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 April But his genius led him a different way. In his thirty-sixth year - "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita," as Dante calls it, Steiner moved to Berlin, and the next seven years were perhaps the most dramatic period in his life. His new position in Berlin was that of editor of the weekly, Das Magazin fur Litteratur, founded in something equivalent to the London Saturday Review.
He wrote the leading article and the dramatic reviews, occupying in Berlin a position somewhat similar to that of Bernard Shaw who was five years his senior , with his weekly dramatic criticism in the Saturday Review. This assignment brought Steiner into close social contact with the intellectual and artistic elite of Berlin at the time, and for some years he pitched his tent among them.
In the last years of his life, during rare moments of relaxation, he would at times tell stories of this exciting and often amusing period. Side by side with these literary circles, or perhaps in polarity to them, Steiner was also drawn by objective interest and personal attraction into the camp of Haeckel and the militant monists. To move in this manner abreast of the spirit of the time would be a most interesting experience for anyone.
For Steiner it was more. And I must now touch upon that side of his life about which I shall have to speak presently in greater detail. From childhood while for others such "being involved in this or that fashion of thought would be no more than an ideology," for anyone standing in the spiritual world it means, as Steiner says in his autobiography, that "he is brought close to the spirit-beings who desire to invest a particular ideology with a totalitarian claim.
He speaks of the "tempests" which during those years in Berlin raged in his soul, a rare expression in the otherwise very even and dispassionate style of his autobiography. At the end of those "forty days in the wilderness" - -which were in fact four years -- the thunderclouds lifted, the mist cleared, and he stood, to use his own phrase. We have now reached the point where we must venture into the great unknown: Steiner the seer, the Initiate.
It is a plain fact that in some form or other spiritual knowledge has existed throughout the ages. Secret wisdom has never been absent from human history. But in Steiner it assumed a totally new form. In order to appreciate this revolutionary novelty, we must first have a picture of the old form. The faculty of spiritual perception and secret wisdom is obtained through certain organs in the "subtle body" of man, to borrow a convenient term from Eastern Indian medicine.
In Sanskrit these organs are called "chakrams" generally translated into English as "lotus flowers. They are usually dormant today, but can be awakened. We can disregard for the moment the rites of Initiation which were employed in the Mystery Temples of the ancient world, and confine ourselves to the survival of more general methods which today are still practiced in many parts of the world. They all have one thing in common: they operate through the vegetative system in man, through bodily posture, through the control of breathing, through physical or mental exercises which work upon the solar plexus and the sympathetic nervous system.
I realize that I am presenting a somewhat crude simplification. But nevertheless I am giving the essentials. Steiner broke with all this. He began to operate from the opposite pole of the human organism, from pure thought. Thought, ordinary human thought, even if it is brilliant and positive, is at first something very weak. It does not possess the life, say, of our breathing, let alone the powerful life of our pulsating blood. It is, shall we say, flat, without substance; it is really lifeless.
It is "pale thought," as Shakespeare called it. This relative lifelessness of our thoughts is providential, however. If the living thoughts filling the Universe were to enter our consciousness just as they are, we would faint. If the living idea in every created thing simply jumped into our consciousness with all its native force, it would blot us out.
Fortunately, our cerebro-spinal system exerts a kind of resistance in the process; it functions like a resistor in an electric circuit; it is a sort of transformer, reducing the violence of reality to such a degree that our mind can tolerate it and register it. However, as a result, we see only the shadows of reality on the back wall of our Platonic cave, not reality itself. Now one of the magic words in Steiner's philosophy with which he attempts to break this spell, is "Erkraftung des Denkens.
All his basic philosophic works, notably the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, and many of his exercises, are directed to this purpose. If they are followed, sooner or later the moment arrives when thinking becomes leibfrei, i. This is at first a most disturbing experience. One feels like a man who has pushed off from the shore and who must now strive with might and main to maintain himself in the raging sea. The sheer power of cosmic thought is such that at first one loses one's identity.
And perhaps one would lose it for good, if it were not for a fact which now emerges from the hidden mysteries of Christianity. One does not finally lose one's identity because He Himself has walked the waves and extended a helping hand to Peter who ventured out prematurely. Gradually the waves seem to calm down, and a condition ensues which Steiner expresses in a wonderful phrase: "Thinking itself becomes a body which draws into itself as its soul the Spirit of the Universe.
This is a stage which, broadly speaking, Steiner had attained at the point of his biography which we have reached. Now he made a discovery which was not known to him before. He discovered that this "living thinking" could awaken the chakrams from "above," just as in the old way they could be stimulated from "below.
From about the turn of the century Steiner began to pursue this path with ever greater determination, and gradually developed the three forms of Higher Knowledge which he called Imagination: a higher seeing of the spiritual world in revealing images; Inspiration: a higher hearing of the spiritual world, through which it reveals its creative forces and its creative order; Intuition: the stage at which an intuitive penetration into the sphere of Spiritual Beings becomes possible.
With these unfolding powers Steiner now developed up to his death in , in twenty-five momentous years, that truly vast and awe-inspiring body of spiritual and practical knowledge to which he gave the name "Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy literally means wisdom of man or the wisdom concerning man, but in his later years Steiner himself interpreted it on occasion as "an adequate consciousness of being human.
This monumental work lies before us today and is waiting to be fully discovered by our Age -in some books and in the published transcripts of nearly 6, lectures. Three characteristic stages can be observed in Steiner's anthroposophical period. In a lecture given at the headquarters of the German Anthroposophical Society at Stuttgart on February 6, he himself described these stages. Stage one approximately : to lay the foundation for a Science of the Spirit within Western Civilization, with its center in the Mystery of Golgotha, as opposed to the purely traditional handing down of ancient oriental wisdom which is common to other organizations such as the Theosophical Society.
Stage two approximately : the application of the anthroposophical Science of the Spirit to various branches of Science, Art and practical life. As one of the milestones for the beginning of this second stage Steiner mentions the building of the Goetheanum, that architectural wonder since destroyed by fire in which his work as an artist had found its culmination.
Stage three approximately : first-hand descriptions of the spiritual world. During these twenty-five years of anthroposophical activity, Steiner's biography is identical with the history of the Anthroposophical Movement. His personal life is entirely dedicated to and absorbed in the life of his work. It was during the last of the three phases that Steiner's prodigious achievements in so many fields of life began to inspire a number of his students and followers to practical foundations.
Best known today are perhaps the Rudolf Steiner Schools for boys and girls, which have been founded in many countries and in which his concept of the true human being is the well-spring of all educational methods and activities. There are some seventy Steiner schools in existence with well over 30, pupils. A separate branch are the Institutes for Curative Education which have sprung up both in Europe and Overseas, and whose activities have been immensely beneficial to the ever increasing number of physically and mentally handicapped children and adults.
Steiner's contributions to medical research and to medicine in general are used by a steadily growing number of doctors all over the world, and his indications are tested and followed up in a number of research centers and clinics. Another blessing for humanity flowed from his method of Biodynamic Agriculture, by which he was able to add to the basic principles of organic husbandry just those extras which, if rightly used, can greatly increase both fertility and quality without those chemical stimulants which in the long run poison both the soil and its products. In the field of Art there is hardly an area he did not touch with the magic wand of creative originality.
The second Goetheanum which replaced the first one destroyed by fire shows the massive use of reinforced concrete as a plastic material for architecture a generation before this use was attempted by others. Steiner's direct and indirect influence on modern painting with the symphonic use of color, on sculpture, on glass-engraving, on metal work and other visual arts is too far-reaching for anyone even to attempt to describe in condensed form.
Students and graduates of the Steiner schools for Eurythmy and for Dramatic Art have performed before enthusiastic audiences in the cultural centers of the world, ably directed by Marie Steiner, his wife. To those who have been attracted to this present publication by its title and its reference to Christianity, it will be of particular interest to hear that among those foundations which came into being during the last phase of Steiner's anthroposophical work was a Movement for Religious Renewal, formed by a body of Christian ministers, students and other young pioneers who had found in Rudolf Steiner "a man sent from God," able to show the way to a true reconciliation of faith and knowledge, of religion and science.
Apart from the inestimable help this Movement received from him in theological and pastoral matters, Rudolf Steiner was instrumental in mediating for this Movement a complete spiritual rebirth of the Christian Sacraments for the modern age and a renewal of the Christian priestly office. Christianity as Mystical Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity holds a special place in the story of his remarkable and dedicated life. The book contains the substance of a series of lectures Rudolf Steiner gave in the winter of in the "Theosophical Library" of Berlin at the invitation of the President, Count Brockdorff.
This series had been preceded by another on the German mystics from Master Eckhardt to Jacob Boehme published in the Centennial Edition of the Written Works of Rudolf Steiner under the title Mysticism at the Dawn of the Modern Age, See Multimedia edition in which Steiner had ventured for the first time to present publicly some measure of his spiritual knowledge. After these lectures on the mystics which was something of a prelude, Christianity as Mystical Fact now ushered in a new period in the understanding of the basic facts of Christianity as well as in Steiner's own life.
Compared with the free flow of spiritual teaching on Christianity offered by Steiner in his later works, the book may appear somewhat tentative and even reticent in its style. But it contains as in a nutshell all the essential new elements he was able to develop and unfold so masterfully in his later years. Steiner considered the phrase "Mystical Fact" in the title to be very important. It will not be out of place to round off this biographical sketch with a few personal reminiscences of the last four years of his life when I met Steiner as man and Initiate among his friends and students, and saw quite a good deal of him.
What was Rudolf Steiner like? In the first place there was nothing in the least pompous about him. He never made one feel that he was in any sense extraordinary. There was an astonishing matter-of-factness about him, whether he spoke at a business meeting of the Anthroposophical Society, presided over faculty meetings of the Waldorf School, lectured on his ever increasing discoveries in the spiritual field, or spoke in public discussions on controversial subjects of the day.
I attended small lecture courses of less than fifty people, heard him lecture in the large hall of the first Goetheanum, was present at large public meetings when he expounded his "Threefold Commonwealth" ideas in the electric atmosphere of the Germany of , during the occupation of the Ruhr and the total collapse of the German Mark.
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