"First, one might ask: Why not just read the first three books? After all, Rudolf Steiner wrote them in such a way that the very act of reading them can awaken new faculties. Who could ever duplicate that? It might even seem presumptuous to select passages from books that were constructed by an initiate. To those who have these and other objections, I have the following response: My hope is that the pages in this book serve as an invitation, so that those who work with this material will then be motivated to go to the original texts and work with them more intensively." —Torin Finser
This book guides the reader through foundational works of Rudolf Steiner, while asking questions along the way that provoke thought and insight. In part 1, Torin Finser focuses on three essential works: How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation (CW 10) Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom (CW 4); and Theosophy: An Introduction to the Spiritual Processes in Human Life and in the Cosmos (CW 9).
In addition, three lectures are included: "Overcoming Nervousness"; "The Four Temperaments"; and "Practical Training in Thought." These offer invaluable insight and guidance in helping the reader prepare inwardly to undertake effectively the exercises and practices outlined in the appendices.
In part 2, the author outlines the essential worldview and approach of Spiritual Science. As he tells us, "Sometimes, we have questions that cannot be answered by conventional means, such as the news media or the internet. There are situations when a person can feel an inner stirring—a longing for real answers that go beyond ordinary, informational knowledge. Sometimes this search can intensify and become burning questions about human nature, the origin of the universe, or the basis of healthy relationships. When this occurs, Anthroposophy can provide a sound path of knowledge that connects the spiritual in the seeker with the spiritual in the universe, the individual with the multidimensional."
The appendices provide an accessible and systematic guide to the all-important practical aspects of Anthroposophy. Steiner emphasized that Spiritual Science is not a doctrine or merely an intellectual exercise but a path of knowledge—ultimately, knowledge of the spiritual worlds. To this end, regular practice—including the "six exercises" and meditation—is absolutely essential.
For those who are new to Anthroposophy, this book will be a helpful companion and guide to understanding the essentials of the spiritual-scientific worldview and path of inner development. For those who have been studying Anthroposophy for many years, Guided Self-Study serves to stimulate the "beginner's mind" that sees the world with fresh vision and enthusiasm.
- The Book of Peace: From How to Know Higher Worlds
- Overcoming Nervousness: Nervousness and “I”-ness
- The Book of Knowledge: From Theosophy
- The Four Temperaments
- The Book of Freedom: From Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path
- Practical Training in Thought
- Anthroposophy: An Overview
- Appendix 1: The Six Exercises
- Appendix 2: Beyond Memories
- Appendix 3: Vocation
- Selected Bibliography