Written in 1909 (CW 13)
Given his energetic involvement in practical initiatives and extensive lecturing, Steiner had very little time to write. Of the books he found time to write, four titles are considered indispensable introductions to his teaching as a whole: How to Know Higher Worlds; An Outline of Esoteric Science; Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path; and Theosophy. With the exception of his Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts and his Autobiography, Steiner’s important writings belong largely to his earliest work.
The Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner is not a theoretical system but the results of research based on direct observation. Because his research was so vast and conducted over such a long period of time, no single book can be said to contain the whole of his spiritual teaching. However, of all his books, this one perhaps comes closest. Steiner even referred to it as “an epitome of anthroposophic spiritual science.” In a systematic way, he lays out fundamental facts concerning the nature and constitution of the human being and, in chronological order, the history of the universe and humankind.
Whereas the findings of natural science are derived from observations made through the senses, the findings of spiritual science are “occult,” inasmuch as they arise from direct observation of realities hidden to ordinary human perception. Nevertheless, these elements of humanity and the universe form the foundation of the sensory world. A substantial part of this important work describes the basic training needed to make such spiritual observations.
Although Occult Science is not all-inclusive, it is indispensable to any serious student who wishes to master Steiner’s extraordinary philosophy and methods of inner development.
Rudolf Steiner Press published this series of re-edited, re-formatted, and re-designed editions of the classic, authorized translations of Rudolf Steiner's foundational books, printed in a limited edition of 1,000 copies and sewn-bound in high-quality cloth, finished with colored end papers and a bookmark ribbon.
Occult Science: An Outline is a translation from German of Die Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss (GA 13).
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
George Adams (1894-1963)was born in Poland and received an honors degree in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He was a close student of Rudolf Steiner, and translated many of his lectures given to English-speaking audiences. Being a Jew, when Hitler rose to power he changed his name from Kaufmann to Adams and left Germany for England, where he continued his anthroposophic activities and scientific research. In 1935, Olive Whicher joined Adams in London and worked with him in research into mathematics and physics until his death in 1963. He translated and published numerous books, lectures, and articles.