Rudolf Steiner quotes
Birthdate: 25. February 1861
Date of death: 30. March 1925
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyant. 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 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.
Quotes Rudolf Steiner
„Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge, to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe… Anthroposophists are those who experience, as an essential need of life, certain questions on the nature of the human being and the universe, just as one experiences hunger and thirst.“
Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts (1924)
„Where is the book in which the teacher can read about what teaching is? The children themselves are this book. We should not learn to teach out of any book other than the one lying open before us and consisting of the children themselves.“
Source: Rhythms of Learning
„Truth is a free creation of the human spirit, that never would exist at all if we did not generate it ourselves. The task of understanding is not to replicate in conceptual form something that already exists, but rather to create a wholly new realm, that together with the world given to our senses constitutes the fullness of reality.“
Truth and Knowledge http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA003/TaK/GA003_index.html, preface
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„Goethe's thinking was mobile. It followed the whole growth process of the plant and followed how one plant form is a modification of the other. Goethe's thinking was not rigid with inflexible contours; it was a thinking in which the concepts continually metamorphose. Thereby his concepts became, if I may put it this way, intimately adapted to the process that plant nature itself goes through.“
Lecture from August 30, 1921, trans. Craig Holdrege
„The fundamental maxim of free men is to live in love towards our actions, and to let live in the understanding of the other person's will.“
Philosophy of Freedom. Chapter 9, alternate translations
Source: Original: "Leben in der Liebe zum Handeln und Lebenlassen im Verständnisse des fremden Wollens ist die Grundmaxime der freien Menschen."
„We shall not set up demands nor programmes, but simply describe the child-nature. (…) Vague and general phrases — ‘the harmonious development of all the powers and talents in the child,’ and so forth — cannot provide the basis for a genuine art of education. Such an art of education can only be built up on a real knowledge of the human being. Not that these phrases are incorrect, but that at bottom they are as useless as it would be to say of a machine that all its parts must be brought harmoniously into action. To work a machine you must approach it, not with phrases and truisms, but with real and detailed knowledge.“
The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy (GA 34), an essay of 1909.
„Those who judge human beings according to generic characteristics only reach the boundary, beyond which people begin to be beings whose activity is based on free self-determination…. Characteristics of race, tribe, ethnic group and gender are subjects for special sciences…. But all these sciences cannot penetrate through to the special nature of the individual. Where the realm of freedom of thought and action begin, the determination of individuals according to generic laws ends.“
Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path. A Philosophy of Freedom (GA 4), Hudson (1894)/1995.
Philosophy of Freedom, Chapter 12