Psychology of Body, Soul, and Spirit

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SteinerBooks, 1999 - Philosophy - 232 pages
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12 lectures, Berlin, Oct. 23, 1909-Dec. 16, 1911 (CW 115)

This series of lectures provides the basis for an entirely new psychology. The first four lectures give a precise, dynamic understanding of the human soul in relation to the activity of the senses and to the subtle processes that make up the human being on Earth. The next four lectures focus on what we can know of the human soul based on direct observation alone. No theorizing takes place. To show what we can know of soul life through the immediacy of engaged observation of oneself and others, Rudolf Steiner refrains from using his own higher capacities of clairvoyance to form a picture of our soul life. The concluding lectures portray the relationship of soul life to spirit life, showing us how to awaken individual spirit life and how to distinguish between illusory and genuine spiritual experiences.

Presented more than a century ago, we might be tempted to think that, insofar as psychology is concerned, the content of these lectures are outdated. It is also tempting to think that, because Steiner is not usually associated with the founders of modern psychology, his efforts must be considered, at best, an interesting aside. On the contrary, these lectures are actually a wellspring for the true stream of psychology, as the term itself means "soul study."

A Psychology of Body, Soul, and Spirit should be read by anyone interested in psychology as well as by those interested in inner development. Whether we are involved in education, medicine, art, drama, economics, or business, the perspectives contained in this book have the potential to restore the frequently missing element of soul in psychology today.

Robert Sardello's in-depth introduction places Steiner's lectures in the context of modern life and psychology and provides insights into how to read and use this text for inner development and a deeper understanding of spiritual science.

Contents:

  • Introduction by Robert Sardello
  • Part 1 -- "Anthroposophy"
  • The Human being and the Senses
  • Supersensible Processes in the Human Senses
  • The Higher Senses, inner Forces, and Creative Principles in the Human Organism
  • Supersensible Currents, Group Soul, and the I in Human Beings and Animals
  • Part 2 -- "Psychosophy"
  • Aspects of Soul Life
  • The Activities of Human Soul Forces
  • The Senses, Feeling, and Aesthetic Judging
  • Consciousness and Soul Life
  • Part 3 -- "Pneumatosophy"
  • Franz Brentano and Aristotle's Doctrine of the Spirit
  • Truth and Error in Light of the Spiritual World
  • Imagination-Imagination; Inspiration-Self-Fulfillment; Intuition-Conscience
  • Nature, the Evolution of Consciousness, and Reincarnation


"Steiner does not talk about soul; he speaks from soul. That is the entire method. There is, however, an entrance fee for doing psychology. The fee is that you need to leave behind your well-known-to-you self-identity. You must suffer the experience of leaving behind not only what you know, but also what you think you know of yourself. This requirement qualifies psychology as integral to the work of initiation. --Robert Sardello, from his introduction


A previous translation of these lectures were published as Anthroposophy, Psychosophy, Pneumatosophy and as Wisdom of Man, of the Soul, and of the Spirit. This volume is a translation from German of Anthroposophie, Psychosophie, Pneumatosophie (GA 115)

 

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My full review of this book is at: http://www.doyletics.com/arj/psychbss.htm
Bobby Matherne

Contents

The Human Being and the Senses
3
Supersensible Processes in the Human Senses
21
The Higher Senses Inner Forces and Creative
34
Supersensible Currents Group Soul and the I
54
NOVEMBER 14 1910
77
The Activities of Human Soul Forces
93
The Senses Feeling and Aesthetic Judging 709
109
Consciousness and Soul Life
130
Truth and Error in Light of the Spiritual World
170
ImagnationImagination nspraronSelfFulfillment
188
Nature the Evolution of Consciousness and Reincarnation
207
Further Reading
223
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner was a noted Goethe (see Vol. 2) scholar and private student of the occult who became involved with Theosophy in Germany in 1902, when he met Annie Besant (1847--1933), a devoted follower of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (1831--1891). In 1912 he broke with the Theosophists because of what he regarded as their oriental bias and established a system of his own, which he called Anthroposophy (anthro meaning "man"; sophia sophia meaning "wisdom"), a "spiritual science" he hoped would restore humanism to a materialistic world. In 1923 he set up headquarters for the Society of Anthroposophy in New York City. Steiner believed that human beings had evolved to the point where material existence had obscured spiritual capacities and that Christ had come to reverse that trend and to inaugurate an age of spiritual reintegration. He advocated that education, art, agriculture, and science be based on spiritual principles and infused with the psychic powers he believed were latent in everyone. The world center of the Anhthroposophical Society today is in Dornach, Switzerland, in a building designed by Steiner. The nonproselytizing society is noted for its schools.

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