Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)
Dornach, Switzerland (1923)
include Weleda, Camphill Movement, Christian Community, Christian Occult Society
include The Philosophy of Freedom, Christianity as Mystical Fact, An Outline of Occult Science
Anthroposophy says that it "fosters a spiritual view of the human being and his place in the cosmos, but it emphasizes knowing, not faith....Anthroposophy begins with the understanding that we have the capacity to know the spirit in matter — that is, we have the ability to develop organs of spiritual perception. It leads, in Steiner’s words, "from the spirit in the human being to the spirit in the universe," a philosophy with strong parallels to the ancient Brahman-atman philosophy of Hinduism — that each soul is a small-scale model of the larger cosmos.
Some have complained that the Steiner-inspired Waldorf Schools are filled with bizarre occult ideas that are not freely disclosed to parents who are considering such education for their children. Among the more controversial aspects of Steiner’s teaching include racial theories.
Steiner was one of many esoteric thinkers who parted ways with the Theosophical Society (founded ca. 1876 by Madame Helena Blavatsky and Colonel H.S. Olcott). Steiner broke from Theosophy in 1907 and embarked on his own course, which eventually led to the founding of the Anthroposophical Society (which has, in turn, spawned a number of other occult and esoteric movements). Adherents may claim that "Anthroposophy is not a religion." Steiner-inspired practices such as biodynamic farming are spreading.
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