Written in 1904 (CW 9)
Theosophy is a key work for gaining a solid footing in spiritual reality as described by Rudolf Steiner. It is organized into four parts. First, Steiner builds a comprehensive understanding of human nature: physical bodily nature; soul qualities; spirit being, or “I”-being; and the higher spiritual aspects. This leads us to Steiner’s description of the human being as sevenfold:
• Material, physical body
• Ether body, or body of life forces
• Sentient soul body
• Mind soul
• Spirit-filled consciousness soul
• Life spirit
• Spirit body
In the next section, Steiner offers an extraordinary overview of the laws of reincarnation and the principles of karma, as we pass from one life to the next. This prepares us for the third section, in which he shows the various ways in which we live—during life on earth and after death and in the three worlds of body, soul, and spirit.
Finally, we are given a succinct description of the path of knowledge, along which each person can begin to understand the marvelous and harmonious complexity of the psycho-spiritual worlds in their fullness.
Foreword by Michael Holdrege
Prefaces by Rudolf Steiner
Chapter 1: The Essential Nature of the Human Being:
1. The Bodily Nature of the Human Being
2. The Soul Nature of the Human Being
3. The Spirit Nature of the Human Being
4. Body, Soul, and Spirit
Chapter 2: Destiny & the Reincarnation of the Spirit
Chapter 3: The Three Worlds:
1. The Soul World
2. The Soul in the Soul World after Death
3. The Country of Spirit Beings
4. The Spirit in Spirit Country after Death
5. The Physical World and Its Connection to the Worlds of Souls and Spirits
6. Thought Forms and the Human Aura
Chapter 4: The Path to Knowledge
This volume is a translation of «Theosophie, Einführung in übersinnliche Welterkenntnis und Menschenbestimmung» (GA 9).
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.