The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity: Basic Features of a Modern World View : Results of Soul Observation Arrived at by the Scientific Method

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9780880101578: The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity: Basic Features of a Modern World View : Results of Soul Observation Arrived at by the Scientific Method

This seminal work asserts that free spiritual activity―understood as the human ability to think and act independently of one’s physical nature―is the most appropriate path today for inner development and true self-knowledge. This is not simply a volume of philosophy, but also a friendly guide to practice and the experience of living thinking. Rudolf Steiner provides a step-by-step account of how we can come to experience living, intuitive thinking, the conscious experience of pure spirit.

Since this book was written more than a century ago, many have tried to discover the kind of new thinking that can help us better understand the spiritual, ecological, social, political, and philosophical issues that face us. Steiner showed a path that leads from ordinary thinking to the level of pure spiritual activity―true inner freedom.

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From the Author:

How to read this book:

"What kind of approach by the reader did The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity count on? It had to assume a special way of reading. It expected the reader, while reading, to go through the kind of inner experience that is, in an outward sense, really like waking up in the morning from sleep. It should invoke a feeling as though one could say: My relationship to the world in passive thinking was, at a higher level, one of being asleep, but now I am awaking. It is like knowing, at the very moment of awakening, that you have been lying passively in bed, allowing nature to have her way with your body. Then, however, you begin to be more active inwardly. You actively relate your senses to activities in the world of sounds and colors around you. You connect your bodily activity to your intentions. The experience of reading The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity should be very much like the waking moment of transition from passivity to activity, though at a higher level, of course. You should be able to say: Yes, I have certainly thought thoughts before, but my thinking took the form of allowing thoughts to flow and merely carry me along. Now I am beginning gradually to become inwardly active in my thoughts." --Rudolf Steiner

About the Author:

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

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