What is Anthroposophy?
Anthroposophy (meaning “wisdom of the human being” or “consciousness of one’s humanity”) was defined by its founder, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) as “a path of knowledge, to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe.” Steiner considered anthroposophy to be a science based on spiritual observation, and a necessary complement to natural science. A fundamental aspect of anthroposophy is the recognition of a real spiritual world that interpenetrates the visible physical one. It deals with many large questions, such as: the purpose of life, the physical and non-physical aspects of the human constitution, the nature of divinity and the cosmos, and the understanding of universal laws such as karma and reincarnation which govern life.
Anthroposophy is a philosophy, not a religion, and both religious and non-religious people have found it helpful in expanding their sense of what it means to be a human being.
Freedom is at its core and Steiner was always insistent that anthroposophy must never force its existence upon people. It is instead something to be discovered by those individuals “who feel certain questions on the nature of human beings and the universe as an elemental need of life, just as one feels hunger and thirst.”
Anthroposophy is applied in many practical ways for the benefit of individuals and the community, including in agriculture (biodynamic farming), architecture, economics, education (Steiner Waldorf schools), mathematics, medicine and curative education, nutrition, pharmacy, science, sociology, and diverse branches of the arts.
Pictured is the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, which is the worldwide headquarters of the General Anthroposophical Society. Built to a design by Rudolf Steiner, it is widely considered to be one of the finest examples in the world of Expressionist architecture.
This building was wholly built of cast concrete. Begun in 1924, it represents a pioneering use of visible concrete in architecture.