Four of Rudolf Steiner’s best-loved lectures are collected in this book. They are some of the most accessible presentations of the anthroposophic approach to life available in English. Included are:
- Practical Training in Thought
- Overcoming Nervousness
- Facing Karma
- The Four Temperaments
The first lecture concerns the fundamental human activity of thinking. Everything we do, we do through thinking. The first task, then, is to realize the reality of thinking. To help us do this, Steiner gives exercises that will allow us to experience the cognitive, even clairvoyant, power of thinking.
In “Overcoming Nervousness,” Steiner shows us how exercises in thinking also give us the calm centered sense needed to lead purposeful, healthy lives.
“Facing Karma” takes us to the heart of life, where we experience suffering and happiness. The law of karma that determines life’s experiences and encounters also helps us develop the self-knowledge required for self-transformation.
Finally, “The Four Temperaments” show us how the union of hereditary factors and our own inner spiritual nature shape our psychology. The guide here is the ancient classifications of sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic. Renewed understanding of these allows us to develop a truly modern spiritual psychology, which is the basis of all real inner development.
With its many practical exercises, mantras, and meditations, this book is a fundamental introduction for anyone beginning or needing encouragement along the path of inner development.
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.