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Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib

Philosophy, Cosmology and Religion

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

From the content,

“… there is revealed to inspired consciousness the essential nature of the thinking or mental picturing that we have in ordinary consciousness. It is actually a corpse; at least, it is something which during earthly life is continually passing over into the corpse-like element of soul. Living thought was present before man came into earth-existence, but instead was a soul-spiritual being in the soul-spiritual world. There, this thinking and conceiving were something quite different; they were living elements within spiritual activities. What we have as our ordinary power of thinking is a remnant of that living spiritual entity that we were before we descended to the earth. It has remained just as a corpse remains of the living physical man. As we are referred back to the living man when we see a corpse, so, if we now look through inspired knowledge at the dying or already dead thoughts or concepts of the soul, we realize that we must treat this thinking as a corpse of the true `thought being,' we see how we must trace this earthly thinking back to a supersensible, life-filled thinking.”

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During the last two decades of the nineteenth century the Austrian-born 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. After the turn of the century he began to develop his earlier philosophical principles into an approach to methodical research of psychological and spiritual phenomena.

His multi-faceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches to medicine, science, education (Waldorf Schools), special education, philosophy, religion, economics, agriculture (Bio-Dynamic method), architecture, drama, the new art of eurythmy, and other fields. In 1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world.

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