Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (27 (25?) February 1861 – 30 March 1925) was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he founded an esoteric spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy; other influences include Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.

In the first, more philosophically oriented phase of this movement, Steiner attempted to find a synthesis between science and spirituality; his philosophical work of these years, which he termed spiritual science, sought to apply the clarity of thinking characteristic of Western philosophy to spiritual questions, differentiating this approach from what he considered to be vaguer approaches to mysticism. In a second phase, beginning around 1907, he began working collaboratively in a variety of artistic media,

including drama, the movement arts (developing a new artistic form, eurythmy) and architecture, culminating in the building of the Goetheanum, a cultural centre to house all the arts. In the third phase of his work, beginning after World War I, Steiner worked to establish various practical endeavors, including Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, and anthroposophical medicine.
Steiner advocated a form of ethical individualism, to which he later brought a more explicitly spiritual approach. He based his epistemology on Johann Wolfgang Goethe's world view, in which "Thinking … is no more and no less an organ of perception than the eye or ear. Just as the eye perceives colours and the ear sounds, so thinking perceives ideas." A consistent thread that runs from his earliest philosophical phase through his later spiritual orientation is the goal of demonstrating that there are no essential limits to human knowledge.

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  • 1. [Anthroposophy] Anthroposophy, a philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner, postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world that is accessible by direct experience through inner development. More specifically, it aims to develop faculties of perceptive imagination, inspiration and intuition through the cultivation of a form of thinking independent of sensory experience, and to present the
  • 2. [Waldorf education] Waldorf (Steiner) education is a humanistic approach to pedagogy based on the educational philosophy of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy. The pedagogy emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of pupils.
  • 3. [Anthroposophical Society] The General Anthroposophical Society is an organization dedicated to supporting the community of those interested in the form of spiritual philosophy known as anthroposophy.
  • 4. [Goetheanum] The Goetheanum, located in Dornach (near Basel), Switzerland, is the world center for the anthroposophical movement. The building was designed by Rudolf Steiner and named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It includes two performance halls (1500 seats), gallery and lecture spaces, a library, a bookstore, and administrative spaces for the Anthroposophical Society; neighboring buildings house
  • 5. [Biodynamic agriculture] Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming originally developed by Rudolf Steiner that employs what proponents describe as "a holistic understanding of agricultural processes". One of the first sustainable agriculture movements, it treats soil fertility, plant growth, and livestock care as ecologically interrelated tasks, emphasizing spiritual and mystical perspectives. Proponents of biodynamic agriculture, including Steiner, have characterized it as "spiritual science" as part of the larger anthroposophy movement.
  • 6. [Helena Blavatsky] Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Russian: Еле́на Петро́вна Блава́тская, Yelena Petrovna Blavatskaya; 12 August [O.S. 31 July] 1831 – 8 May 1891) was an occultist, spirit medium, and author who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. She gained an international following as the leading theoretician of Theosophy, the esoteric movement that the Society promoted.
  • 7. [Dornach] Dornach (Swiss German: Dornech) is a municipality in the district of Dorneck in the canton of Solothurn in Switzerland.
  • 8. [Ita Wegman] Ita Wegman, MD (born 22 February 1876 in Karawang, West Java; died 4 March 1943 in Arlesheim, Switzerland) is known as the co-founder of Anthroposophical Medicine with Rudolf Steiner. In 1921, she founded the first anthroposophical medical clinic in Arlesheim, now known as the Ita Wegman Clinic. She also developed a special form of massage therapy, called rhythmical massage, and other therapeutic treatments.
  • 9. [Eurythmy] Eurythmy is an expressive movement art originated by Rudolf Steiner in conjunction with Marie von Sivers in the early 20th century. Primarily a performance art, it is also used in education, especially in Waldorf schools, and – as part of anthroposophic medicine – for claimed therapeutic purposes.
  • 10. [Social threefolding] Social threefolding is a sociological theory suggesting the progressive independence of society's economic, political and cultural institutions. It aims to foster human rights in political life, freedom in cultural life (art, science, religion, education, the media), and associative cooperation in economic life. The idea was first proposed by Rudolf Steiner in the great cultural ferment immediately following the end of the First World War.
  • 11. [Anthroposophic medicine] Anthroposophic medicine (or anthroposophical medicine) is a form of alternative medicine. Devised in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) in conjunction with Ita Wegman (1876–1943), anthroposophical medicine is based on occult notions and draws on Steiner's spiritual philosophy, which he called anthroposophy. Practitioners employ a variety of treatment techniques based upon anthroposophic precepts, including massage, exercise, counselling, and substances.
  • 12. [Theosophy] Theosophy (from Greek θεοσοφία theosophia, which comes from the combination of words θεός theos, God + σοφία sophia, wisdom; literally "God's wisdom") refers to systems of esoteric philosophy concerning, or seeking direct knowledge of, presumed mysteries of being and nature, particularly concerning the nature of divinity. Theosophy is considered a part of the broader field
  • 13. [Marie Steiner-von Sivers] Marie Steiner-von Sivers (born Marie von Sivers – 14 March 1867 – 27 December 1948) was the second wife of Rudolf Steiner and one of his closest colleagues. She made a great contribution to the development of anthroposophy, particularly in her work on the renewal of the performing arts (eurythmy, speech and drama), and the editing and publishing of Rudolf Steiner's literary estate.
  • 14. [Charles Webster Leadbeater] Charles Webster Leadbeater (/ˈlɛdˌbɛtər/; 16 February 1854 – 1 March 1934) was an influential member of the Theosophical Society, author on occult subjects and co-initiator with J. I. Wedgwood of the Liberal Catholic Church.
  • 15. [The Christian Community] The Christian Community (German: Die Christengemeinschaft) is a Christian denomination. It was founded in 1922 in Switzerland by a group of mainly Lutheran theologians and ministers led by Friedrich Rittelmeyer, inspired by Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian philosopher and founder of anthroposophy. Christian Community congregations exist as financially independent groups with regional and international administrative bodies overseeing their work. There are approximately 350 worldwide. The international headquarters are in Berlin, Germany.
  • 16. [Camphill Movement] The Camphill Movement is an initiative for social change based on the principles of anthroposophy. Camphill communities are residential communities and schools that provide support for the education, employment, and daily lives of adults and children with developmental disabilities ("learning disabilities" in the UK), mental health problems or other special needs.
  • 17. [Esotericism] Esotericism (or esoterism) is a "generic label for a large and complicated group of historical phenomena" which share an air de famille.
    Examples of esoteric religious movements and philosophies include Alchemy, Christian mysticism, Gnosticism, Hermetism, Kabbalah, Magic, Neoplatonism, Swedenborgianism, and the Theosophist movement associated with Helena Blavatsky.
  • 18. [Rosicrucianism] Rosicrucianism is a philosophical secret society said to have been founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz. It holds a doctrine or theology "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which, "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe and the spiritual realm." Rosicrucianism is symbolized by the Rosy Cross or Rose Cross.
  • 19. [Arlesheim] Arlesheim (Swiss German: Arlese) is a municipality in the district of Arlesheim in the canton of Basel-Country in Switzerland. Its cathedral chapter seat, bishop's residence and cathedral (1681 / 1761) are listed as a heritage site of national significance.
  • 20. [Weleda] Weleda is a multinational company that produces both beauty products and naturopathic medicines. Both branches design their products based on anthroposophic principles. The company takes its name from the German form of the name of the 1st century Bructeri völva Veleda. Weleda is dedicated to use entirely 'natural' ingredients and none of their ingredients or products are tested on animals. The company also uses a green energy supplier.They use plants grown using biodynamic methods.
  • 21. [Esoteric cosmology] Esoteric cosmology is cosmology that is an intrinsic part of an esoteric or occult system of thought. Esoteric cosmology maps out the universe with planes of existence and consciousness according to a specific worldview usually from a doctrine.
  • 22. [Emil Molt] Emil Molt (born 14 April 1876 in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Kingdom of Württemberg, died 16 June 1936 in Stuttgart) was a German businessman, social reformer and anthroposophist. He was the director of the Waldorf-Astoria-Zigarettenfabrik, and with Rudolf Steiner co-founded the first Waldorf school. Hence, Waldorf education was named after the company.
  • 23. [Annie Besant] Annie Besant (1 October 1847 – 20 September 1933) was a prominent British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule.
  • 24. [Owen Barfield] Arthur Owen Barfield (9 November 1898 – 14 December 1997) was a British philosopher, author, poet, and critic.
  • 25. [The Philosophy of Freedom] The Philosophy of Freedom is the fundamental philosophical work of the philosopher and esotericist Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925). It addresses the questions whether and in what sense human beings can be said to be free.
  • 26. [Friedrich Rittelmeyer] Friedrich Rittelmeyer (5 October 1872, Dillingen an der Donau, Bavarian Swabia – 23 March 1938 in Hamburg) was a Protestant German minister, theologian and co-founder and driving force of The Christian Community.
  • 27. [Millicent Mackenzie] Millicent Hughes Mackenzie (1863 in Bristol – 10 December 1942 in Brockweir) was a British professor of education at Cardiff University, the first female professor in Wales and the first appointed to a fully chartered university in the United Kingdom. She wrote on the philosophy of education, founded the Cardiff Suffragette branch, became the only woman Parliamentary Candidate for 1918, and was a key initiator of Steiner-Waldorf education in the United Kingdom.
  • 28. [Jiddu Krishnamurti] Jiddu Krishnamurti (/ˈɪd ˌkrɪʃnəˈmɜrti/; 11 May 1895 – 17 February 1986) was a speaker and writer on philosophical and spiritual subjects. In his early life he was groomed to be the new World Teacher but later rejected this mantle and withdrew from the organisation behind it. His subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of
  • 29. [Edith Maryon] Edith Louisa Maryon (9 February 1872 in London – 2 May 1924 in Dornach, Switzerland) was an English sculptor. Along with Ita Wegman, she belonged to the innermost circle of founders of anthroposophy and those around Rudolf Steiner.
  • 30. [Theosophical Society Adyar]
    The Theosophy Society – Adyar is the name of a section of the Theosophical Society founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and others in 1875. Its headquarters moved with Blavatsky and president Henry Steel Olcott from New York to Adyar, an area of Chennai, in 1886. The designation 'Adyar' is added to make it clear that
  • 31. [Guardian of the Threshold] The Guardian of the Threshold is a menacing figure that is described by a number of esoteric teachers. The term "Guardian of the Threshold", often called "dweller on the threshold" indicates a spectral image which is supposed to manifest itself as soon as "the student of the spirit ascends upon the path into the higher
  • 32. [Goethean science] Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, although primarily known as a literary figure, did research in morphology, anatomy, and optics, and also developed a phenomenological approach to science and to knowledge in general.
  • 33. [Etheric plane] The etheric plane (see also Etheric body) is a term introduced into Theosophy by Charles Webster Leadbeater and Annie Besant to represent the subtle part of the lower plane of existence. It represents the fourth [higher] subplane of the physical plane (a hyperplane), the lower three being the states of solid, liquid, and gaseous matter. The idea was later used by authors such as Alice Bailey, Rudolf Steiner, Walter John Kilner and others.
  • 34. [Joseph Beuys] Joseph Beuys (German: [ˈjoːzɛf ˈbɔʏs]; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German Fluxus, happening and performance artist as well as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist and pedagogue of art.
  • 35. [GLS Bank] The GLS Bank (full name GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG) is a German ethical bank that was founded in 1974 as an anthroposophical initiative by Wilhelm Ernst Barkhoff and Gisela Reuther. It was the first bank in Germany that operated with an ethical philosophy. According to GLS Bank, its focus is on cultural, social and ecological initiatives,
  • 36. [Vladimir Solovyov (philosopher)] Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov (Russian: Влади́мир Серге́евич Соловьёв; January 28 [O.S. January 16] 1853 – August 13 [O.S. July 31] 1900) was a Russian philosopher, theologian, poet, pamphleteer and literary critic, who played a significant role in the development of Russian philosophy and poetry at the end of the 19th century and in the spiritual renaissance of the early 20th century.
  • 37. [Organic farming] Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost, and biological pest control. Depending on whose definition is used, organic farming uses fertilizers and pesticides (which include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) if they are considered natural (such as bone meal from animals or pyrethrin from flowers),
  • 38. [Sergei O. Prokofieff] Sergei Olegovich Prokofieff (16 January 1954 – 26 July 2014) was a Russian anthroposophist. He was the grandson of the composer Sergei Prokofiev and his first wife Lina Prokofiev, and the son of Oleg Prokofiev and his first wife Sofia Korovina. Born in Moscow, he studied fine arts and painting at the Moscow School of Art. He encountered anthroposophy in his youth, and soon made the decision to devote his life to it.
  • 39. [Hermann Hesse] Hermann Karl Hesse (German: [ˈhɛɐ̯man ˈhɛsə]; 2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • 40. [Robert A. McDermott] Robert McDermott is professor of Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. in 1969 in philosophy from Boston University and is president emeritus of the California Institute of Integral Studies. He has taught at Manhattanville College (1964-71) and is professor emeritus and former chair of
  • 41. [Arthur Schopenhauer] Arthur Schopenhauer (German: [ˈaʁtʊʁ ˈʃɔpənˌhaʊ̯ɐ]; 22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation, in which he characterizes the phenomenal world, and consequently all human action, as the product of a blind, insatiable, and malignant metaphysical will.
  • 42. [Franz Brentano] Franz Clemens Honoratus Hermann Brentano (January 16, 1838 – March 17, 1917) was an influential German philosopher and psychologist whose work strongly influenced not only students Sigmund Freud (whose doctoral dissertation he helped supervise), Kazimierz Twardowski, Alexius Meinong, and Thomas Masaryk (as well as Masaryk's student, Edmund Husserl), but countless others whose work would follow and make use of his original ideas and concepts.
  • 43. [The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily] The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily (German title: Märchen or Das Märchen) is a fairy tale by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published in 1795 in Friedrich Schiller's German magazine Die Horen (The Horae). It concludes Goethe's novella rondo Conversations of German Emigrants (1795). Das Märchen is regarded as the founding example of the genre
  • 44. [John Henry Mackay] John Henry Mackay (6 February 1864 – 16 May 1933) was an individualist anarchist, thinker and writer. Born in Scotland and raised in Germany, Mackay was the author of Die Anarchisten (The Anarchists, 1891) and Der Freiheitsucher (The Searcher for Freedom, 1921). Mackay was published in the United States in his friend Benjamin Tucker's magazine, Liberty. He was a noted homosexual.
  • 45. [Édouard Schuré] Eduard (Édouard) Schuré (January 21, 1841 in Strasbourg – April 7, 1929 in Paris) was a French philosopher, poet, playwright, novelist, music critic, and publicist of esoteric literature.
  • 46. [Andrei Bely] Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev (Russian: Бори́с Никола́евич Буга́ев; IPA: [bɐˈrʲis nʲɪkɐˈlajɪvʲɪtɕ bʊˈɡajɪf]), better known by the pen name Andrei Bely (Russian: Андре́й Бе́лый; IPA: [ɐnˈdrʲej ˈbʲelɨj]; 26 October [O.S. 14 October] 1880 – 8 January 1934), was a Russian novelist, poet, theorist, and literary critic. His novel Petersburg was regarded by Vladimir Nabokov as one of the four greatest novels of the 20th century.
  • 47. [Ernst Haeckel] Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (German: [ˈhɛkəl]; 16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology, including anthropogeny, ecology, phylum, phylogeny, stem cell, and
  • 48. [Geisteswissenschaft] Geisteswissenschaften (German pronunciation: [ˈɡaɪstəsˌvɪsənʃaftən], "sciences of spirit") is a set of human sciences such as philosophy, history, philology, social sciences, and sometimes even theology and jurisprudence, that are traditional in German universities. Most of its subject matter would come under the much larger humanities faculty in the typical English-speaking university, but it does not contain the arts.
  • 49. [Sir George Trevelyan, 4th Baronet] Sir George Lowthian Trevelyan 4th Baronet (5 November 1906 – 9 February 1996) was a British educational pioneer and a founding father of the New Age movement. After listening to a lecture by Dr Walter Stein, a student of Rudolf Steiner in 1942, he turned from being agnostic to new age spiritual thinker, and even
  • 50. [Richard Tarnas] Richard Theodore Tarnas (born February 21, 1950) is a cultural historian known for his books The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View and Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View. Tarnas is professor of philosophy and psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is the founding director of its graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness.
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