Theosophy : An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World And the Destination of Man
Given his energetic involvement in practical initiatives and extensive lecturing, Rudolf Steiner had very little time to write. Of the books he found time to write, four titles are considered indispensable introductions to his teaching as a whole:
- How to Know Higher Worlds: : A Modern Path of Initiation
- An Outline of Esoteric Science: Occult Science,
- Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom
In this classic translation of Theosophy, Steiner brings us a psychology based not on the conventional duality of body and mind, but on the more ancient division of body, soul, and spirit. Steiner offers a detailed description of the functions and organs of the three aspects of the human being, as well as the objective realms to which they belong. Just as the physical body originates in and belongs to the material world, so too do the human soul and spirit belong to their specific realms. These are the dimensions through which all human beings travel in the life after death, and in which - after passing the "midnight hour" - we begin to seek our karma and destiny in a new life. Theosophy features one of the most comprehensive and condensed of all Steiner's accounts of these realms, as well as the events our immortal being experiences in passing through them.
The book ends with a chapter on the modern "path of knowledge," in which Steiner describes exercises by means of which everyone can develop the latent powers of perception needed to know the higher worlds.
About the Author
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) became a respected and well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, particularly known for his work on Goethe's scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his earlier philosophical principles into an approach to methodical research of psychological and spiritual phenomena. His multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, philosophy, religion, education (Waldorf schools), special education (the Camphill movement), economics, agriculture (biodynamics), science, architecture, and the arts (drama, speech and eurythmy). In 1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which has branches throughout the world.
Review © (2006) by interesting-books-selector.com
Although Steiner called his philosophy Anthroposophy, the original title Theosophy remained unchanged to avoid confusion. The word Anthroposophy did not yet exist when the first edition of this book was originally published in German in 1904.
- "Many people see a kind of ideal in the institutions that serve sensual welfare,
and in an educational system, that above all, brings about sensual comfort.
These can't be accused of serving only their selfish desires. Their souls are,
nevertheless, directed toward the physical world and must be cured by
the force of sympathy..."
-- quote Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy, 1922, p117 (my translation from German from the 31st edition, 1987)
- p 54: spirit can become unlimited dynamic.
- p 55: eternity is spirit food.
- p 56: intuition is an internal organ created and developed by the spirit.
- p 59: abolish passions and desires; passions can't arise, if we devote our inner forces to the spirit before the soul got the power to activate the passions.
A different English translation by Henry B. Monges, revised by Gilbert Church of Steiner's Theosophy is available free online.