Foundations of Human Experience

Rudolf Steiner

(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)


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.

—Rudolf Steiner

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.

Be the first to write a review

Comments feed for this article