12 lectures, Berlin, Oct. 23, 1909 – Dec. 16, 1911 (CW 115)
“Steiner does not talk about soul; he speaks from soul. That is the entire method. There is, however, an entrance fee for doing psychology. The fee is that you need to leave behind your well-known-to-you self-identity. You must suffer the experience of leaving behind not only what you know, but also what you think you know of yourself. This requirement qualifies psychology as integral to the work of initiation” (Robert Sardello, from his introduction).
This series of lectures provides the basis for an entirely new psychology. The first four lectures give a precise, dynamic understanding of the human soul in relation to the activity of the senses and to the subtle processes that make up the human being on Earth. The next four lectures focus on what we can know of the human soul based on direct observation alone. No theorizing takes place. To show what we can know of soul life through the immediacy of engaged observation of oneself and others, Rudolf Steiner refrains from using his own higher capacities of clairvoyance to form a picture of our soul life. The concluding lectures portray the relationship of soul life to spirit life, showing us how to awaken individual spirit life and how to distinguish between illusory and genuine spiritual experiences.
Presented more than a century ago, we might be tempted to think that, insofar as psychology is concerned, the content of these lectures is outdated. It is also tempting to think that, because Steiner is not usually associated with the founders of modern psychology, his efforts must be considered, at best, an interesting aside. On the contrary, these lectures are actually a wellspring for the true stream of psychology, as the term itself means “soul study.”
A Psychology of Body, Soul, and Spirit will be of interest to anyone interested in deeper understanding psychology, as well as by those interested in inner development. Whether we are involved in education, medicine, art, drama, economics, or business, the perspectives contained in this book have the potential to restore the frequently missing element of soul in psychology today.
Dr. Robert Sardello’s in-depth introduction places Steiner’s lectures in the context of modern life and psychology and provides insights into how to read and use this text for inner development and a deeper understanding of spiritual science.
Introduction by Robert Sardello
I — “Anthroposophy” (Oct. 23–27, 1909)
1. The Human being and the Senses
2. Supersensible Processes in the Human Senses
3. The Higher Senses, inner Forces, and Creative Principles in the Human Organism
4. Supersensible Currents, Group Soul, and the I in Human Beings and Animals
II — “Psychosophy” (Nov. 1–4, 1910)
1. Aspects of Soul Life
2. The Activities of Human Soul Forces
3. The Senses, Feeling, and Aesthetic Judging
4. Consciousness and Soul Life
III — “Pneumatosophy” (Dec. 12–16, 1911)
1. Franz Brentano and Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Spirit
2. Truth and Error in Light of the Spiritual World
3. Imagination–Imagination; Inspiration–Self-Fulfillment; Intuition–Conscience
4. Nature, the Evolution of Consciousness, and Reincarnation
A previous translation of these lectures was published as Anthroposophy, Psychosophy, Pneumatosophy and as Wisdom of Man, of the Soul, and of the Spirit. This volume is a translation from German of Anthroposophie, Psychosophie, Pneumatosophie (GA 115)
About the Author
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.
Robert Sardello, PhD, is cofounder (with Cheryl Sanders-Sardello, PhD, in 1992) of the School of Spiritual Psychology. At the University of Dallas, he served as chair of the Department of Psychology, head of the Institute of Philosophic Studies, and graduate dean. He is also cofounder and a faculty member of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, as well as author of more than 200 articles in scholarly journals and cultural publications, and is a former faculty member of the Chalice of Repose Project in Missoula, Montana. Having developed spiritual psychology based in archetypal psychology, phenomenology, and the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner from more than thirty-five years of research in this discipline, as well as holding positions in two universities, Dr. Sardello is now an independent teacher and scholar, teaching all over the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., as well as the Czech Republic, the Philippines, and Australia. He is a consultant to many educational and cultural institutions and a dissertation adviser at numerous academic institutions. He is author of several books, including Facing the World with Soul; Love and the World; Freeing the Soul from Fear; The Power of Soul: Living the Twelve Virtues. and Silence.