“We must draw the slumbering soul away from the darkness of sleep so that it no longer vanishes from its own scrutiny but stands before itself as a being of pure spirit which, in volition, is creatively active through—yet also beyond—the body.” —Rudolf Steiner
According to Rudolf Steiner’s independent research, the soul or psyche has a relationship to both the body and the spirit. Psychologists and psychotherapists can only work in a truly healing way, he says, if they take this spiritual fact into account. This expertly compiled anthology explores the nature of the soul as elaborated by Steiner in his writings and lectures. However, the book comprises more than an account of the psyche and life of the soul, but deals equally with the methodology for comprehending it—the scientific, and above all spiritual-scientific, means of doing so.
Steiner questions methods and thought structures that are fundamental to contemporary psychology. Rather than looking backward to conditions that influence how we are today, he focuses on our further development as beings that think, feel, and act with intentionality. Given the soul’s close affinity with pictorial images, he elaborates a therapeutically innovative meditative training of the faculty in imagination. As Steiner states here, his methods, “do not draw only on the rules of the ordinary mind, but first prepare in the human soul another kind of consciousness, another state of awareness, with which we then enquire into the psyche...to approach and penetrate realities of the soul.”
C O N T E N T S:
Methods of Anthroposophic Study of the Soul and Spirit
Thinking, Feeling, and Will: The Human Being’s Dependency on Physical and Spiritual Realities
Dimensions of a New Psychology: Looking Back into the Soul Realm, Immersion in the Spiritual Nature of the World
Schooling of the Will and Thinking through Meditation and Concentration
From the Ordinary Mind to Spirit Vision
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.
Harald Haas, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in Bern, Switzerland.
Matthew Barton is a translator, editor, teacher, and poet, and taught kindergarten for many years at the Bristol Waldorf School. His first collection of poems was Learning To Row (1999). He has won numerous prizes for his work, including an Arts Council Writer's Award and a Hawthornden Fellowship.