Foundations of Human Experience
(earlier English translation titled Study of Man)
Foreword by Henry Barnes
Introduction by Nancy Whittaker (Parsons)
Translated by Robert F. Lathe and Nancy Whittaker (Parsons)
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This course on education contains some of the most remarkable and significant lectures ever given by Rudolf Steiner.
Because these lectures were given to teachers, however, they have suffered the misconception that they are useful only to teachers. Any teacher who wants to teach in a way that encompasses the whole child certainly needs a functional understanding of what Steiner presents here, but these lectures will also greatly benefit parents, psychologists, counselors, or anyone else involved with developing children.
Steiner gives his most concise and detailed account of human nature in these lectures, which are absolutely essential for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of Steiner's spiritual science. Those who are willing to work through this work will discover here a new, powerful, convincing, and profoundly phenomenological “anthropology” of human spiritual psychology.
In these lectures, Steiner laid out for the first time the principles that form the basis for renewing the art of teaching. The Foundations of Human Experience is the most important text for studying and understanding the human developmental and psychological basis for Waldorf education
Foundations is Rudolf Steiner's crowning articulation of the threefold human being, a portrait of spiritual/physical relationships and interworkings and is essential knowledge for anyone wishing to truly understand the heart of Anthroposphy. The self-knowledge that can result from an understanding of this book is also essential for anyone seeking to undertake spiritual development or to work in service of the development of others.
Although we can physically see children only after their birth, we need to be aware that birth is also a continuation. We do not want to look only at what the human being experiences after death, that is, at the spiritual continuation of the physical. We want to be aware that physical existence is a continuation of what higher beings have done without our assistance. Our form of educating can have the correct attitude only when we are aware that our work with young people is a continuation of what higher beings have done before birth.
Note: As we translated these fourteen lectures, we strove to render each thought clearly and completely in language accessible to anyone wanting to learn. To understand Lecture 2, you will need a working understanding of the terms and definitions of the nine-fold human being as presented in Chapter 1 of Theosophy. Beyond that, we believe that no other technical information is necessary to fully comprehend this book.
Our Twelve Senses
Wellsprings of the Soul
Translated by Jakob Cornelis
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This is a fascinating book. Albert Soesman is an anthroposophical doctor in Holland who offers workshops on the senses. His lively approach leaves the reader little choice but to become fired with enthusiasm for learning to understand the work of the twelve sense. A note here: Most of us are much more familiar with the concept of the "five senses," but few of us know that it is only very recently that it was more or less codified that five was the "correct" number of human senses. In the earlier parts of this century, scientists concerned with such things wrote wonderful discourses about the existence of five, seven, nine, and eleven senses, depending upon their viewpoint. Steiner's own initial viewpoint was that there were ten physical senses plus three supersensible ones. Because this discussion was not yet frozen in codified convention, he was able to further refine his observations and ultimately arrived at twelve senses as most accurately descriptive of human perceptive capacity. We hope you enjoy learning about them as much as we have.
The Temperaments and the Adult-Child Relationship
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND
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In addition to being a wonderfully useful and helpful guidebook for adults seeking to understand and help the children in their care, Kristie Burns' book is joyous good reading.
She brings to each page a deep understanding that is infused with a happy enthusiasm for children and humanity in general. For her, there seems to be nothing that is quite so interesting as the personality types that are characterized by the four temperaments, and nothing quite so alchemical as what happens when disparate temperaments are brought into the close relationships of adult and child.
The end result for those of us who are lucky enough to read her book is that through her eyes and open heart we are able to learn to love and care for all the temperaments, and to come to understand at a very non-trivial level how we can help children use the temperament they have to develop into the adults they long to become.
I can't imagine a classroom or home that won't be better for working with the material Kristie offers (which includes stories for each temperament, too - like getting dessert after each chapter!).
- The Temperaments
- The Relationships of Adult to Child According to Temperament
Children and Their Temperaments
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One of the best and most accessible resources on the subject of the four temperaments and children. Anschütz gives us a guide to children's different temperaments and their role in child character, health and personality development. She illustrates her ideas with examples from home and school, using the context of the Waldorf/Steiner school classroom, and discusses how to use these insights in managing and relating to groups and individuals. This is an fascinating journey that will be enlightening and invigorating to both parents and teachers.
Physiognomy in the Light of Spiritual Science
A Study of Man for Teachers and Parents
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A knowledge of physiognomy is essential for the understanding and education of the child.
- Rudolf Steiner
Thus opens Alan Whitehead's fascinating exploration of realms of the human soul that are revealed in our faces. His intent is to increase adult understanding of who the children before us are - and with that understanding, to enable us to teach and raise them in the best way possible.
The author takes the reader on a journey through traditional and anthroposophical interpretations of face structure - a journey that will linger in the mind long after the last page is read. There is much to ponder here and no small amound of insight to be gleaned.
Reading the Face
Understanding a Person's Character through Physiognomy
Norbert Glas, MD
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As a boy traveling to school by streetcar, Norbert Glas often passed the time by studying the faces of his fellow passengers, pondering the significance of the shapes and contours of their noses, eyes, and mouths. Later in life, after becoming a medical doctor and a student of Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science, Glas gained greater insight into the mysteries of human physiognomy.
In Reading the Face, the first translation into English of his seminal work, Glas begins by defining the three parts of the human face and explaining the importance of their relative proportions. A face that is more pronounced in any of these areas tends to indicate certain personality traits and specific physiological characteristics. People with a strong mouth and chin, for example, tend to have a strong will and an active, driven, and assertive nature. With the help of many photos and drawings, Glas presents the physiognomy of three basic types and analyzes the specifics of the head, forehead, ears, eyes, mouth, and nose.
Reading the Face will be valuable to doctors, teachers, and anyone who wants to better understand, accept, and love others.
The First Seven Years: Physiology of Childhood
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Bob and I have always believed that Steiner delivered the seminar, known in English as Foundations of Human Experience or Study of Man, as information and insights to be used. It is, therefore, deeply exciting to come upon a book such as Schoorel's The First Seven Years, written as it is from someone who has been doing precisely that: using and applying and developing a living understanding for the material Steiner shared with the teachers of the original Waldorf School.
Schoorel's approach is wonderful - he takes a particular topic, describes it thoroughly then moves on to relate it to physiology and environment. So, for instance, when he discusses "the birth of the etheric body", he not only offers a clear and meaningful picture of what that means for the developing human being, but then discusses what physiological changes mark this process as well as how environment affects it.
For anyone interested in or working with young children, this book is a treasure to be turned to again and again. It fosters understanding as it also gives much food for the sort of thought that deepens and enlightens. The First Seven Years is a gift to teachers, parents and most especially to our children.
Harmony of the Creative Word
The Human Being and the Elemental, Animal, Plant and Mineral Kingdoms
Formerly titled: Man as Symphony of the Creative Word
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In this important series of lectures given near the end of his life, Rudolf Steiner brought together many aspects of his research into man and nature. The first three lectures show us man's inner relationship to the ancient and sacred animal representatives--eagle, lion, and bull--and to the forces of the cosmos that form them. This insight is deepened in the second group of lectures, approach the plant and animal worlds in the context of spiritual evolution. The third group gives a unique and intimate description of the elemental nature spirits--the purely spiritual beings that complement plants and animals--and the cooperation that these beings offer to mankind. In the fourth series, man himself is placed with in this harmony of nature--in the symphony of the Creative Word.
The Human Soul
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Much of modern psychology has laid open our drives, attitudes, and traits, but it has stripped the human being of all wonder and beauty, of all meaning in pain and joy. Stripped of his soul, the human being is pale and corpse-like. König helps us to understand this missing soul with a detailed study of the human psyche, of pain, emotions, moods, the senses, consciousness, and dreams. A fascinating exploration of the mysteries and complexities of human nature. Very beautiful, as well.
Embryology and World Evolution
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In these remarkable seminars, König traces the preparatory steps that every human being has to tread in forging an earthly 'house' fitting for the spiritual to incarnate into the physical. Wonder builds on wonder as we begin to recognise the wisdom with which we human beings are fashioned; it turns into awe we we see how intimately we are interwoven with the evolution of our earth. Indeed, we recapitulate its earlier stages in our own unfolding from the moment of conception onwards.
König succeeds in bringing vividly alive a subject normally confined to the academic laboratory. What might be thought dry or difficult here becomes exciting and challenging, and we are left with a new and deeper understanding of our significance for the future of this beautiful, fragile planet.
Human Pre-existence and the Journey toward Birth
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Not only do we pass through the gate of death as immortal beings, we also enter through the gate of birth as unborn beings. We need the term unbornness, as well as the term immortality, to encompass the whole human being. (Rudolf Steiner)
As anyone who has had a child knows, newborns enter the earthly world as beings different from their parents. They arrive with their own individuality, being, and history. From the beginning, they manifest an essential dignity and a unique “I,” which they clearly brought with them from the spiritual world.
This unborn life of a person’s higher individuality guides the whole process of incarnation. It frames our lives, but we fail to recognize this because of a single-minded focus on immortality, or life-after-death, which makes us forget the reality of our “unbornness.” This unbornness extends not only from conception to birth, but also includes the whole existence and history of one’s “I” in its long journey from the spiritual world to Earth. Unbornness—the other side of eternity—allows us to experience the fact that birth is just as great a mystery as is death. In a new and striking way, unbornness poses the mystery of our human task on Earth.
It was one of Rudolf Steiner’s great gifts that he returned the concept of unbornness to human consciousness and language. In this brief, stunning, and moving, almost poetic work, Peter Selg gathers the key elements and images needed to begin an understanding of—and wonder at—the vast scope of our unbornness. Drawing on and expanding on Steiner’s work, as well as Raphael’s Sistine Madonna and the poems of Nelly Sachs and Rainer Maria Rilke, Selg unveils this deepest mystery of human existence. After reading it, one will never look at a child or another human being in the same way again.
Life after death
life before birth;
only by knowing both
do we know eternity.
Observations on Adolescence
The Third Phase of Human Development
Edited by David Mitchell and Christopher Clouder
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This book is a collection of comments and writings that Rudolf Steiner made about adolescence. Here in one volume is practically every significant comment or observation of Rudolf Steiner about adolescence ever recorded. Especially valuable now that Education for Adolescence seems to be destined to remain out of print indefinitely.
A Journey through Time
William A Bryant
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Exploration into one's own biography can be one of the most exhilarating and revealing adventures any of us can undertake. William Bryant's book is one of the richest available guides to such an journey, and as such, we recommend it without reservation.
From the author's Introduction:
Surely a traveler's story is his or her most precious possession — a pilgrimage long prepared and painfully executed, though normal waking awareness has no conscious idea of the patterns and the human connections prepared before birth. This book was written for several affiliated reasons. It is for those seeking to unravel the skein of life events by uncovering the connections between them and the meaning and lawfulness in the complex design of destiny and its karmic underpinnings. It is also offered as a contribution to the field of biographical counseling. Embedded in the heart of this book, among other themes, is the author's lifelong quest to fathom the immense significance of suffering.
The Spiritual Rhythms in Adult Life
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Bernard Lievegoed poured half a century of clinical practice and deep insight into this portrayal of the course of human biography. Phases describes each period of life - adolescence, twenties, thirties, forties, and so on - in terms of the inner qualities of the experiences and challenges of each age. Through this exploration, the unique aspects of any person's life path take on new meaning, making fruitful resolution of the challenges involved more possible. Phases is fascinating, often riveting reading for individuals exploring their own life history or for professional seeking to assist others' personal growth.
Phases of Childhood
Bernard C J Lievegoed
Back in print!
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A new edition of Bernard Lievegoed's classic work of child development.
Every age has its philosophy and way of bringing up children. Today's educational approach depends largely on materialistic, nineteenth-century ideas derived from the notion of "knowledge as power." The education of children in beauty, wisdom, and culture forms only a very small part of the modern curriculum. When we consider a child's full humanity of body, soul, and spirit, however, we emerge with a very different balance in our approach to education.
The author of this book tells us that our children cannot become happy, wise, and skilled adults unless their education—from the very beginning—take into consideration the development of body, soul, and spirit. Drawing on the educational ideas and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, Goethe, and Schiller, the author describes the three main stages of child development and the genetic and biographical potential revealed at each stage. He goes on to explore the practical application of these insights as an educational method in harmony with the child's developing relationship with the surrounding world.
This is the essential, classic resource for all parents, teachers, and care givers.
Esoteric Aspect of the Social Question
The Individual and Society
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Although recent years have seen major advances in science and technology, the social aspect of life still presents major problems for Western societies. The general increase in destructive and antisocial behavior during recent decades has highlighted the importance of social issues, yet society still lacks ideas that effectively address society’s ills.
Rudolf Steiner suggested new ways to organize society and engage with social questions. This book presents his esoteric perspective on such concerns. Steiner asserts that we must begin by giving real value to the human element in the world, finding a deeper understanding of our relationship to nature and to the cosmos. Accordingly, it is ineffective to organize society in an arbitrary way; society ought to reflect the human relationship to the spiritual world. Steiner goes on to discuss the threefold archetype of social life—the political state, the economy, and the spiritual and cultural aspects—and how these three areas can interact in a healthy way, leading to an evolving society that is vibrant.
These lectures — originally published as The Inner Aspect of the Social Question — are presented here in a new translation and with the addition of a previously unpublished lecture.
The Mysteries of Social Encounters
The Anthroposophical Social Impulse
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The author begins from the point of view that at this particular time in human evolution we are called upon to pay particular attention to social interaction. Drawing from Rudolf Steiner·s insights on the renewal of social life, the author thoroughly explores the foundation, problems, and remedies that are so vitally needed today. Included are many gems that can be used in Waldorf school community settings or any place where individuals wish to serve a higher social purpose.
Reflections on the Mysteries of Love
René M. Querido
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René Querido spent a lifetime teaching and mentoring students seeking to discover the meaning of their lives. In Reflections on the Mystery of Love, one of his students asks some of the intimate questions that many people wonder about or struggle with, so that the responses can be shared with a wider audience.
Reflections is a fascinating book, touching on just about ever question I've ever asked or heard asked about Love in its many forms. This is great reading which leaves the heart full.
Perhaps falling in love should be renamed "rising in love." That sexual attraction may play a powerful part is undeniable and wholesome, but the soul spiritual aspects are equally important and will shape the relationship as it develops over the weeks, the months, and the years. We can, then, begin to ask ourselves, Why have we met? Is it coincidence? Is the fact that the loved one enters our life a mere accident? Isn't something of a mystery involved in our being brought together? Poets during the past two hundred years have expressed the wonder of this mystery.
René Querido from Reflections on the Mystery of Love
Sexuality, Partnership, and Marriage
from a Spiritual Perspective
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I, for one, braced myself for a rather staid book by a priest (Gädeke is a priest in North Germany). It is not that at all! Sexuality, Partnership and Marriage takes an incredibly candid, straightforward look at some of the most highly-charged issues facing modern men and women. What is healthy sexuality? Are marriage and monogamy still relevant? For everyone? What is the significance of partnership? How does it differ from marriage, or does it? There are wonderful, real-life, love-filled insights and advice between these covers that, because they are so real will be very helpful to many people.
Friends and Lovers
Working through Relationships
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Julian Sleigh has produced a beautiful book on one of the most delicate aspects of human life - our personal relationships, particularly those that are sexual and committed. His insights are deep and his conclusions offered as guideposts, not directives. Friendship, love, marriage and divorce (from rapture to rupture) are all explored against the background of modern life. Julian Sleigh is a priest and counselor in South Africa and author of Crisis Points and Thirteen to Nineteen.