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Foundations of Human Experience
(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)
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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.
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.
The Human Life
Understanding Your Biography
George and Gisela O'Neil, Florin Lowndes
Includes poster-size life chart for plotting personal biographical patterns
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This classic handbook explores an anthroposophical approach to personal biography that can be both revealing and inspiring. It has been long out of print and we are delighted to again be able to share it with what has become a much wider and receptive public.
Using the Life Chart as a pictorial representation of your own life and following the methods and insights offered by The Human Life, you will find your own patterns leaping off the sheet and into your awareness and heart. Having done this many years ago, I am still startled at the power of this method and its revelations, and marvel that over and over again, it just works so very well and is so very accurate.
The gifts of The Human Life are there to be worked with. Please, don't let this just become bedside reading: try it. Your surprise will be exceeded only by the clarity and warmth this knowledge about yourself will breathe into your life.
Children and Their Temperaments
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One of the best and most accessible resources on the subject of the four temperaments and children. Anschütz gives us a guide to children's different temperaments and their role in child character, health and personality development. She illustrates her ideas with examples from home and school, using the context of the Waldorf/Steiner school classroom, and discusses how to use these insights in managing and relating to groups and individuals. This is an fascinating journey that will be enlightening and invigorating to both parents and teachers.
The First Seven Years: Physiology of Childhood
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Bob and I have always believed that Steiner delivered the seminar, known in English as Foundations of Human Experience or Study of Man, as information and insights to be used. It is, therefore, deeply exciting to come upon a book such as Schoorel's The First Seven Years, written as it is from someone who has been doing precisely that: using and applying and developing a living understanding for the material Steiner shared with the teachers of the original Waldorf School.
Schoorel's approach is wonderful - he takes a particular topic, describes it thoroughly then moves on to relate it to physiology and environment. So, for instance, when he discusses "the birth of the etheric body", he not only offers a clear and meaningful picture of what that means for the developing human being, but then discusses what physiological changes mark this process as well as how environment affects it.
For anyone interested in or working with young children, this book is a treasure to be turned to again and again. It fosters understanding as it also gives much food for the sort of thought that deepens and enlightens. The First Seven Years is a gift to teachers, parents and most especially to our children.
The Human Soul
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Much of modern psychology has laid open our drives, attitudes, and traits, but it has stripped the human being of all wonder and beauty, of all meaning in pain and joy. Stripped of his soul, the human being is pale and corpse-like. König helps us to understand this missing soul with a detailed study of the human psyche, of pain, emotions, moods, the senses, consciousness, and dreams. A fascinating exploration of the mysteries and complexities of human nature. Very beautiful, as well.
Human Pre-existence and the Journey toward Birth
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Not only do we pass through the gate of death as immortal beings, we also enter through the gate of birth as unborn beings. We need the term unbornness, as well as the term immortality, to encompass the whole human being. (Rudolf Steiner)
As anyone who has had a child knows, newborns enter the earthly world as beings different from their parents. They arrive with their own individuality, being, and history. From the beginning, they manifest an essential dignity and a unique “I,” which they clearly brought with them from the spiritual world.
This unborn life of a person’s higher individuality guides the whole process of incarnation. It frames our lives, but we fail to recognize this because of a single-minded focus on immortality, or life-after-death, which makes us forget the reality of our “unbornness.” This unbornness extends not only from conception to birth, but also includes the whole existence and history of one’s “I” in its long journey from the spiritual world to Earth. Unbornness—the other side of eternity—allows us to experience the fact that birth is just as great a mystery as is death. In a new and striking way, unbornness poses the mystery of our human task on Earth.
It was one of Rudolf Steiner’s great gifts that he returned the concept of unbornness to human consciousness and language. In this brief, stunning, and moving, almost poetic work, Peter Selg gathers the key elements and images needed to begin an understanding of—and wonder at—the vast scope of our unbornness. Drawing on and expanding on Steiner’s work, as well as Raphael’s Sistine Madonna and the poems of Nelly Sachs and Rainer Maria Rilke, Selg unveils this deepest mystery of human existence. After reading it, one will never look at a child or another human being in the same way again.
Life after death
life before birth;
only by knowing both
do we know eternity.
A Journey through Time
William A Bryant
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Exploration into one's own biography can be one of the most exhilarating and revealing adventures any of us can undertake. William Bryant's book is one of the richest available guides to such an journey, and as such, we recommend it without reservation.
From the author's Introduction:
Surely a traveler's story is his or her most precious possession — a pilgrimage long prepared and painfully executed, though normal waking awareness has no conscious idea of the patterns and the human connections prepared before birth. This book was written for several affiliated reasons. It is for those seeking to unravel the skein of life events by uncovering the connections between them and the meaning and lawfulness in the complex design of destiny and its karmic underpinnings. It is also offered as a contribution to the field of biographical counseling. Embedded in the heart of this book, among other themes, is the author's lifelong quest to fathom the immense significance of suffering.
The Spiritual Rhythms in Adult Life
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Bernard Lievegoed poured half a century of clinical practice and deep insight into this portrayal of the course of human biography. Phases describes each period of life - adolescence, twenties, thirties, forties, and so on - in terms of the inner qualities of the experiences and challenges of each age. Through this exploration, the unique aspects of any person's life path take on new meaning, making fruitful resolution of the challenges involved more possible. Phases is fascinating, often riveting reading for individuals exploring their own life history or for professional seeking to assist others' personal growth.
Phases of Childhood
Bernard C J Lievegoed
Back in print!
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A new edition of Bernard Lievegoed's classic work of child development.
Every age has its philosophy and way of bringing up children. Today's educational approach depends largely on materialistic, nineteenth-century ideas derived from the notion of "knowledge as power." The education of children in beauty, wisdom, and culture forms only a very small part of the modern curriculum. When we consider a child's full humanity of body, soul, and spirit, however, we emerge with a very different balance in our approach to education.
The author of this book tells us that our children cannot become happy, wise, and skilled adults unless their education—from the very beginning—take into consideration the development of body, soul, and spirit. Drawing on the educational ideas and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, Goethe, and Schiller, the author describes the three main stages of child development and the genetic and biographical potential revealed at each stage. He goes on to explore the practical application of these insights as an educational method in harmony with the child's developing relationship with the surrounding world.
This is the essential, classic resource for all parents, teachers, and care givers.
Esoteric Aspect of the Social Question
The Individual and Society
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Although recent years have seen major advances in science and technology, the social aspect of life still presents major problems for Western societies. The general increase in destructive and antisocial behavior during recent decades has highlighted the importance of social issues, yet society still lacks ideas that effectively address society’s ills.
Rudolf Steiner suggested new ways to organize society and engage with social questions. This book presents his esoteric perspective on such concerns. Steiner asserts that we must begin by giving real value to the human element in the world, finding a deeper understanding of our relationship to nature and to the cosmos. Accordingly, it is ineffective to organize society in an arbitrary way; society ought to reflect the human relationship to the spiritual world. Steiner goes on to discuss the threefold archetype of social life—the political state, the economy, and the spiritual and cultural aspects—and how these three areas can interact in a healthy way, leading to an evolving society that is vibrant.
These lectures — originally published as The Inner Aspect of the Social Question — are presented here in a new translation and with the addition of a previously unpublished lecture.
The Mysteries of Social Encounters
The Anthroposophical Social Impulse
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The author begins from the point of view that at this particular time in human evolution we are called upon to pay particular attention to social interaction. Drawing from Rudolf Steiner·s insights on the renewal of social life, the author thoroughly explores the foundation, problems, and remedies that are so vitally needed today. Included are many gems that can be used in Waldorf school community settings or any place where individuals wish to serve a higher social purpose.
Reflections on the Mysteries of Love
René M. Querido
René Querido spent a lifetime teaching and mentoring students seeking to discover the meaning of their lives. In Reflections on the Mystery of Love, one of his students asks some of the intimate questions that many people wonder about or struggle with, so that the responses can be shared with a wider audience.
Reflections is a fascinating book, touching on just about ever question I've ever asked or heard asked about Love in its many forms. This is great reading which leaves the heart full.
Perhaps falling in love should be renamed "rising in love." That sexual attraction may play a powerful part is undeniable and wholesome, but the soul spiritual aspects are equally important and will shape the relationship as it develops over the weeks, the months, and the years. We can, then, begin to ask ourselves, Why have we met? Is it coincidence? Is the fact that the loved one enters our life a mere accident? Isn't something of a mystery involved in our being brought together? Poets during the past two hundred years have expressed the wonder of this mystery.
René Querido from Reflections on the Mystery of Love