Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian occultist, social reformer, architect, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyant.
108 Facts About Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner's teachings have been described as similar to Christian Gnosticism.
Rudolf Steiner advocated a form of ethical individualism, to which he later brought a more explicitly spiritual approach.
Johann became a telegraph operator on the Southern Austrian Railway, and at the time of Rudolf Steiner's birth was stationed in Murakiraly in the Murakoz region of the Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire.
Rudolf Steiner entered the village school, but following a disagreement between his father and the schoolmaster, he was briefly educated at home.
In 1869, when Rudolf Steiner was eight years old, the family moved to the village of Neudorfl and in October 1872 Rudolf Steiner proceeded from the village school there to the realschule in Wiener Neustadt.
In 1879, the family moved to Inzersdorf to enable Rudolf Steiner to attend the Vienna Institute of Technology, where he enrolled in courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, and mineralogy and audited courses in literature and philosophy, on an academic scholarship from 1879 to 1883, where he completed his studies and the requirements of the Ghega scholarship satisfactorily.
When he was nine years old, Rudolf Steiner believed that he saw the spirit of an aunt who had died in a far-off town, asking him to help her at a time when neither he nor his family knew of the woman's death.
Rudolf Steiner believed that at the age of 15 he had gained a complete understanding of the concept of time, which he considered to be the precondition of spiritual clairvoyance.
At 21, on the train between his home village and Vienna, Rudolf Steiner met an herb gatherer, Felix Kogutzki, who spoke about the spiritual world "as one who had his own experience therein".
In 1888, as a result of his work for the Kurschner edition of Goethe's works, Rudolf Steiner was invited to work as an editor at the Goethe archives in Weimar.
In 1891, Rudolf Steiner received a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Rostock, for his dissertation discussing Fichte's concept of the ego, submitted to Heinrich von Stein, whose Seven Books of Platonism Rudolf Steiner esteemed.
Rudolf Steiner's dissertation was later published in expanded form as Truth and Knowledge: Prelude to a Philosophy of Freedom, with a dedication to Eduard von Hartmann.
Rudolf Steiner hoped that the book "would gain him a professorship", but the book was not well received.
Rudolf Steiner later spoke of this book as containing implicitly, in philosophical form, the entire content of what he later developed explicitly as anthroposophy.
In 1896, Rudolf Steiner declined an offer from Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche to help organize the Nietzsche archive in Naumburg.
In 1897, Rudolf Steiner left the Weimar archives and moved to Berlin.
Rudolf Steiner became part owner of, chief editor of, and an active contributor to the literary journal Magazin fur Literatur, where he hoped to find a readership sympathetic to his philosophy.
In 1899, Rudolf Steiner married Anna Eunicke; the couple separated several years later.
In 1899, Rudolf Steiner published an article, "Goethe's Secret Revelation", discussing the esoteric nature of Goethe's fairy tale The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily.
Rudolf Steiner continued speaking regularly to the members of the Theosophical Society, becoming the head of its newly constituted German section in 1902 without ever formally joining the society.
In contrast to mainstream Theosophy, Rudolf Steiner sought to build a Western approach to spirituality based on the philosophical and mystical traditions of European culture.
Rudolf Steiner took the name "Anthroposophy" from the title of a work of the Austrian philosopher Robert von Zimmermann, published in Vienna in 1856.
The building, designed by Rudolf Steiner, was built to a significant part by volunteers.
Rudolf Steiner moved from Berlin to Dornach in 1913 and lived there to the end of his life.
Rudolf Steiner immediately began work designing a second Goetheanum building - this time made of concrete instead of wood - which was completed in 1928, three years after his death.
At a "Foundation Meeting" for members held at the Dornach center during Christmas 1923, Rudolf Steiner founded the School of Spiritual Science.
Rudolf Steiner opposed Wilson's proposal to create new European nations based around ethnic groups, which he saw as opening the door to rampant nationalism.
In 1919, a political theorist of this movement, Dietrich Eckart, attacked Rudolf Steiner and suggested that he was a Jew.
In 1921, Adolf Hitler attacked Rudolf Steiner on many fronts, including accusations that he was a tool of the Jews, while other nationalist extremists in Germany called for a "war against Rudolf Steiner".
That same year, Rudolf Steiner warned against the disastrous effects it would have for Central Europe if the National Socialists came to power.
In 1922 a lecture Rudolf Steiner was giving in Munich was disrupted when stink bombs were let off and the lights switched out, while people rushed the stage apparently attempting to attack Rudolf Steiner, who exited safely through a back door.
Unable to guarantee his safety, Rudolf Steiner's agents cancelled his next lecture tour.
The 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich led Rudolf Steiner to give up his residence in Berlin, saying that if those responsible for the attempted coup came to power in Germany, it would no longer be possible for him to enter the country.
In reality, Rudolf Steiner had both enemies and loyal supporters in the upper echelons of the Nazi regime.
From 1923 on, Rudolf Steiner showed signs of increasing frailness and illness.
Rudolf Steiner nonetheless continued to lecture widely, and even to travel; especially towards the end of this time, he was often giving two, three or even four lectures daily for courses taking place concurrently.
Rudolf Steiner continued work on his autobiography during the last months of his life; he died at Dornach on 30 March 1925.
Rudolf Steiner has financed the publication of the book Die Entente-Freimaurerei und der Weltkrieg by Karl Heise; Rudolf Steiner wrote the foreword for the book, partly based upon his own ideas.
Rudolf Steiner first began speaking publicly about spiritual experiences and phenomena in his 1899 lectures to the Theosophical Society.
Rudolf Steiner aimed to apply his training in mathematics, science, and philosophy to produce rigorous, verifiable presentations of those experiences.
Rudolf Steiner believed that through freely chosen ethical disciplines and meditative training, anyone could develop the ability to experience the spiritual world, including the higher nature of oneself and others.
Rudolf Steiner used the word Geisteswissenschaft, a term originally coined by Wilhelm Dilthey as a descriptor of the humanities, in a novel way, to describe a systematic approach to spirituality.
Rudolf Steiner used the term Geisteswissenschaft, generally translated into English as "spiritual science," to describe a discipline treating the spirit as something actual and real, starting from the premise that it is possible for human beings to penetrate behind what is sense-perceptible.
Rudolf Steiner proposed that psychology, history, and the humanities generally were based on the direct grasp of an ideal reality, and required close attention to the particular period and culture which provided the distinctive character of religious qualities in the course of the evolution of consciousness.
In contrast to William James' pragmatic approach to religious and psychic experience, which emphasized its idiosyncratic character, Rudolf Steiner focused on ways such experience can be rendered more intelligible and integrated into human life.
Rudolf Steiner proposed that an understanding of reincarnation and karma was necessary to understand psychology and that the form of external nature would be more comprehensible as a result of insight into the course of karma in the evolution of humanity.
Rudolf Steiner founded a number of schools, the first of which was known as the Waldorf school, which later evolved into a worldwide school network.
Rudolf Steiner founded a system of organic agriculture, now known as biodynamic agriculture, which was one of the first forms of modern organic farming.
Rudolf Steiner's writings, published in about forty volumes, include books, essays, four plays, mantric verse, and an autobiography.
Rudolf Steiner's collected lectures, making up another approximately 300 volumes, discuss a wide range of themes.
In 1922, Rudolf Steiner presented these ideas at a conference called for this purpose in Oxford by Professor Millicent Mackenzie.
Rudolf Steiner subsequently presented a teacher training course at Torquay in 1924 at an Anthroposophy Summer School organised by Eleanor Merry.
Rudolf Steiner responded with a lecture series on an ecological and sustainable approach to agriculture that increased soil fertility without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Rudolf Steiner suggested timing such agricultural activities as sowing, weeding, and harvesting to utilize the influences on plant growth of the moon and planets; and the application of natural materials prepared in specific ways to the soil, compost, and crops, with the intention of engaging non-physical beings and elemental forces.
Rudolf Steiner encouraged his listeners to verify such suggestions empirically, as he had not yet done.
Rudolf Steiner wrote that some biodynamic preparations more resemble alchemy or magic akin to geomancy.
Rudolf Steiner saw this division of responsibility as a vital task which would take up consciously the historical trend toward the mutual independence of these three realms.
Rudolf Steiner proposed that societal well-being fundamentally depends upon a relationship of mutuality between the individuals and the community as a whole:.
Rudolf Steiner expressed another aspect of this in the following motto:.
Rudolf Steiner designed 17 buildings, including the First and Second Goetheanums.
Three of Rudolf Steiner's buildings have been listed amongst the most significant works of modern architecture.
Joseph Beuys' work, itself heavily influenced by Rudolf Steiner, has led to the modern understanding of Rudolf Steiner's drawings as artistic objects.
Rudolf Steiner wrote four mystery plays between 1909 and 1913: The Portal of Initiation, The Souls' Probation, The Guardian of the Threshold and The Soul's Awakening, modeled on the esoteric dramas of Edouard Schure, Maurice Maeterlinck, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Rudolf Steiner's plays continue to be performed by anthroposophical groups in various countries, most notably in Dornach, Switzerland and in Spring Valley, New York and in Stroud and Stourbridge in the UK.
In collaboration with Marie von Sivers, Rudolf Steiner founded a new approach to acting, storytelling, and the recitation of poetry.
Together with Marie von Sivers, Rudolf Steiner developed the art of eurythmy, sometimes referred to as "visible speech and song".
Rudolf Steiner developed this conception further in several books, The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World-Conception and Goethe's Conception of the World, particularly emphasizing the transformation in Goethe's approach from the physical sciences, where experiment played the primary role, to plant biology, where both accurate perception and imagination were required to find the biological archetypes.
Rudolf Steiner postulated that Goethe had sought, but been unable to fully find, the further transformation in scientific thinking necessary to properly interpret and understand the animal kingdom.
Rudolf Steiner emphasized the role of evolutionary thinking in Goethe's discovery of the intermaxillary bone in human beings; Goethe expected human anatomy to be an evolutionary transformation of animal anatomy.
Rudolf Steiner defended Goethe's qualitative description of color as arising synthetically from the polarity of light and darkness, in contrast to Newton's particle-based and analytic conception.
Rudolf Steiner approached the philosophical questions of knowledge and freedom in two stages.
Rudolf Steiner considered Kant's philosophy of an inaccessible beyond a stumbling block in achieving a satisfying philosophical viewpoint.
Rudolf Steiner sees in thinking itself an element that can be strengthened and deepened sufficiently to penetrate all that our senses do not reveal to us.
Rudolf Steiner thus considered what appears to human experience as a division between the spiritual and natural worlds to be a conditioned result of the structure of our consciousness, which separates perception and thinking.
Rudolf Steiner affirms Darwin's and Haeckel's evolutionary perspectives but extended this beyond its materialistic consequences; he sees human consciousness, indeed, all human culture, as a product of natural evolution that transcends itself.
Rudolf Steiner emphasized that there is an objective natural and spiritual world that can be known, and that perceptions of the spiritual world and incorporeal beings are, under conditions of training comparable to that required for the natural sciences, including self-discipline, replicable by multiple observers.
Rudolf Steiner believed that natural science was correct in its methods but one-sided for exclusively focusing on sensory phenomena, while mysticism was vague in its methods, though seeking to explore the inner and spiritual life.
Rudolf Steiner emphasized that the spiritual path he articulated builds upon and supports individual freedom and independent judgment; for the results of spiritual research to be appropriately presented in a modern context they must be in a form accessible to logical understanding, so that those who do not have access to the spiritual experiences underlying anthroposophical research can make independent evaluations of the latter's results.
Spiritual training is to support what Rudolf Steiner considered the overall purpose of human evolution, the development of the mutually interdependent qualities of love and freedom.
Rudolf Steiner appreciated the ritual of the mass he experienced while serving as an altar boy from school age until he was ten years old, and this experience remained memorable for him as a genuinely spiritual one, contrasting with his irreligious family life.
Rudolf Steiner was then 38, and the experience of meeting Christ occurred after a tremendous inner struggle.
Rudolf Steiner describes Christ as the unique pivot and meaning of earth's evolutionary processes and human history, redeeming the Fall from Paradise.
Rudolf Steiner understood the Christ as a being that unifies and inspires all religions, not belonging to a particular religious faith.
However, unlike many gnostics, Rudolf Steiner affirms the unique and actual physical Incarnation of Christ in Jesus at the beginning of the Christian era.
Rudolf Steiner posited two different Jesus children involved in the Incarnation of the Christ: one child descended from Solomon, as described in the Gospel of Matthew; the other child from Nathan, as described in the Gospel of Luke.
Rudolf Steiner emphasized that the future would require humanity to recognize this Spirit of Love in all its genuine forms, regardless of how this is named.
Rudolf Steiner warned that the traditional name, "Christ", might be used, yet the true essence of this Being of Love ignored.
Rudolf Steiner offered counsel on renewing the spiritual potency of the sacraments while emphasizing freedom of thought and a personal relationship to religious life.
Rudolf Steiner envisioned a new synthesis of Catholic and Protestant approaches to religious life, terming this "modern, Johannine Christianity".
Rudolf Steiner emphasized that the resulting movement for the renewal of Christianity was a personal gesture of help to a movement founded by Rittelmeyer and others independently of his anthroposophical work.
Rudolf Steiner recognized that for those who wished to find more traditional forms a renewal of the traditional religions was a vital need of the times.
Rudolf Steiner's work has influenced a broad range of notable personalities.
Albert Schweitzer wrote that he and Rudolf Steiner had in common that they had "taken on the life mission of working for the emergence of a true culture enlivened by the ideal of humanity and to encourage people to become truly thinking beings".
But, whereas Einstein's way of perceiving the world by thought became confirmed by experiment and mathematical proof, Rudolf Steiner's remained intensely subjective and insusceptible of objective confirmation.
The 150th anniversary of Rudolf Steiner's birth was marked by the first major retrospective exhibition of his art and work, 'Kosmos - Alchemy of the everyday'.
The Lutheran apologist and heresiologist Eldon K Winker said that Steiner had the same Christology as Cerinthus.
Indeed, Rudolf Steiner thought that Jesus and Christ were two separated beings, who got fused for a while.
Rudolf Steiner regarded the observations of spiritual research as more dependable than observations of physical reality.
Rudolf Steiner's work includes both universalist, humanist elements and racial assumptions.
Rudolf Steiner considered that by dint of its shared language and culture, each people has a unique essence, which he called its soul or spirit.
Rudolf Steiner saw race as a physical manifestation of humanity's spiritual evolution, and at times discussed race in terms of complex hierarchies that were largely derived from 19th century biology, anthropology, philosophy and theosophy.
Rudolf Steiner occasionally characterized specific races, nations and ethnicities in ways that have been deemed racist by critics.
Rudolf Steiner articulated beliefs that the individual nature of any person stands higher than any racial, ethnic, national or religious affiliation.
Toward the end of his life, Rudolf Steiner predicted that race will rapidly lose any remaining significance for future generations.
Rudolf Steiner suggested that Jewish cultural and social life had lost all contemporary relevance and promoted full assimilation of the Jewish people into the nations in which they lived.
Rudolf Steiner was a critic of his contemporary Theodor Herzl's goal of a Zionist state, and indeed of any ethnically determined state, as he considered ethnicity to be an outmoded basis for social life and civic identity.
The standard edition of Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works constitutes about 422 volumes.