From the Course of My Life

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From the Course of My Life: Autobiographical Fragments

Your favorite occupation? Pondering and musing.
Your idea of happiness? Pondering and musing.
Your most extreme aversion? Pedantry and a sense of order.
Of what are you afraid? Punctuality.

These quotations are from a questionnaire filled in by a young man in his late twenties. That person, Rudolf Steiner, would later initiate the path of Anthroposophy. Toward the end of his lie, Steiner wrote his Autobiography, though its completion was interrupted by his untimely death.

This book is an essential complement to Steiner’s unfinished Autobiography. It gathers a wealth of personal testimonies—including lectures, résumés, notebook entries, a questionnaire, as well as biographical notes he wrote for Édouard Schuré—much of which has not been previously published in English.

The various materials, together with rare photographs, have been expertly collated and introduced by Walter Kugler.

C O N T E N T S:

Introduction by Walter Kugler: “Having an Understanding for Life”

Childhood to Scholarship 1861–93
An autobiographical lecture, Berlin, Feb. 4, 1913

Early Childhood 1861–68
An autobiographical fragment, undated

Curriculum vitae 1861–91
Enclosed with the doctorate application, Aug 6, 1892

Twenty-four Questions to Rudolf Steiner and His Personal Replies
Questionnaire, Weimar 1892

Transitions 1861–1906
An autobiographical sketch for Édouard Schuré at Barr, Alsace, Sept. 1907

From University Days to the Founding of the Anthroposophical Society 1879–1913
An autobiographical fragment, undated

A Vision (around 1884)
An extract from the talk given at Kassel, May 10, 1914, in memory of Maria Strauch-Spettini


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.

Walter Kugler has worked in the Archive of the Trustees of Rudolf Steiner’s Estate since 1982 as an editor of Steiner’s complete works.

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Dimensions 5.5 × 0.25 × 8.5 in


Johanna Collis


Walter Kugler




July 2013






Rudolf Steiner Press


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