Anthroposophy (A Fragment)by Rudolf Steiner
This text, outlining a new methodology for the study of human nature, dates from 1910 and was found after Rudolf Steiner's death among his unpublished papers. Steiner had dealt with the same theme earlier in lectures. Asked for a written version, he tried to write down what he had said, but found himself unable to do so-the language would not completely relinquish the words. Nevertheless, what he was able to put down remains a major intellectual and spiritual accomplishment of the twentieth century.
Steiner presents anthroposophy, which lies between anthropology and theosophy, as a way of studying the human being. Where anthropology studies the human being on the basis of the senses-i.e. by observation within the limits of the scientific method-theosophy recognizes the human as a spiritual being on the basis of inner experience and seeks to understand what it means to be human in a spiritual world. Between these two approaches-basically those of science and religion-lies anthroposophy, which seeks to study human beings as they present themselves to physical observation, while at the same time seeking to derive indications of the spiritual foundations of phenomena by a process of phenomenological intensification.
The results of such phenomenological intensification, though fragmentary and incomplete, are of enormous importance. They constitute the first steps toward a truly cognitive psychology, one that demonstrates the richness of the phenomenological approach to the human being as a sensory organism. Starting from there, Steiner unfolds the seven life processes, the nature of I-experience, the meaning of the human form, and its complex relation to higher spiritual worlds. This is a key work, whose time has truly arrived.
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