“Leading thoughts” and “Letters” written for members of the Anthroposophical Society (CW 26)
“The leading thoughts here given are meant to open up subjects for study and discussion. Points of contact with them will be found in countless places in the anthroposophic books and lecture courses, so that the subjects thus opened up can be enlarged upon and the discussions in the groups centered around them.” – Rudolf Steiner
This key volume contains Rudolf Steiner’s “leading thoughts,” or guiding principles, and related letters to members of the Anthroposophical Society. In brief, aphoristic paragraphs, Steiner succinctly presents his spiritual science as a modern path of knowledge.
These 185 thoughts constitute invaluable, clear summaries of Steiner’s fundamental lines of thought—indeed, they contain the whole of Anthroposophy. They are intended not as doctrine, but to stimulate and focus one’s study and discussion of spiritual science.
“Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge to guide the Spiritual in the human being to the Spiritual in the universe…. “Anthroposophy communicates knowledge that is gained in a spiritual way….
“There are those who believe that with the limits of knowledge derived from sense perception the limits of all insight are given. Yet if they would carefully observe how they become conscious of these limits, they would find in the very consciousness of the limits the faculties to transcend them.” – Rudolf Steiner
This volume is a translation of Anthroposophische Leitsätze, Der Erkenntnisweg der Anthroposophie—Das Michael-Mysterium. (GA 26)
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.