Strengthening the Will: The “Review Exercises”
Selected extracts from the works of Rudolf Steiner
The review exercises bring the experiences of our daily lives to full awareness. By directing our attentive gaze to what has happened—whether during a single day or during a whole phase of life—we kindle light in our will. Undertaking such a review backward, in reverse order, or from an “external” perspective, requires a huge inner effort as we attempt to establish distance between ourselves and our daily experiences.
In this essential handbook, the editor has gathered virtually all Steiner’s statements on the review exercises, supporting them with commentary and notes. Described from different perspectives and approaches, the book includes a surprising range of suggestions for practice. Individual chapters focus on reviewing the day (transforming the power of memory); reviewing events in one’s life (awakening the higher self); reviewing the perspectives of others (awakening social impulses); exercises in thinking backward (illuminating the will); and more.
This little will be helpful to all who are earnestly following the path of Spiritual Science.
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.
MARTINA MARIA SAM was born in 1960 in Hornbach, Odenwald, Germany. From 1979 to 1981, she studied sociology and political science at the University of Heidelberg. Between 1981 and 1986, she attended the Institute for Waldorf education, Witten-Annen, where she studied eurythmy and education. From 1987 to 1992, she was a eurythmist on the Goetheanum stage, while also working for various publishers. From 1989 to 2000, she assisted in the publication of Rudolf Steiner’s collected works. Meanwhile, she also studied art history, German, and history at the University of Basel, where she wrote her Master’s thesis on Rudolf Steiner’s blackboard drawings (Dornach, 2000). From 1996 to 1998 she was editor of the weekly newspaper, Das Goetheanum. In January 2000, Martina Maria Sam became leader of the the Literary Arts and Humanities Section of the School for Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum.
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