in Everyday Life
Practical Training in Thought
The Four Temperaments
These four lectures by Rudolf
Steiner are among the best-loved, most accessible presentations
available of the anthroposophical approach to life. It is often
thought that spiritual paths have no connection with practical life.
This is a common misconception. As these lectures demonstrate,
working out of a spiritual perspective can enhance our ability to
deal creatively with the varied situations life brings us.
The first lecture,
Practical Training in Thought, concerns the fundamental
human activity of thinking. Everything we do, we do through
thinking. The first task, then, is to realize the reality of
thinking. To help us do this, Rudolf Steiner gives practical
exercises that, if carried out, will allow us to experience the
cognitive and even clairvoyant power of thinking in our lives.
Thinking in this sense is related
to the "I". In Overcoming Nervousness, Steiner shows
how exercises in thinking that strengthen the I also give us the
calm and centeredness necessary to lead purposeful, healthy lives.
The third lecture, Facing
Karma, takes us to the heart of life, to the place where we
experience suffering and happiness. How are we to understand the
various trials and tribulations life brings? The law of karma that
determines whom and what we encounter helps us to develop the self
knowledge necessary to transform ourselves in a way that is attuned
to the larger cosmos of which we are a part.
Finally, in The Four
Temperaments, we learn how the union of hereditary factors
and our own inner spiritual natures shape our psychology. The guide
here is the ancient tradition of the Four Temperaments: sanguine,
choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic. Renewed understanding of
these allows us to develop a truly modern spiritual psychology—the
basis of any true self knowledge.
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Anthroposophy in Everyday Life
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy
'anthroposophy', which he defined as 'the consciousness of one's
humanity', and the disciplined methods of studying this he termed
‘spiritual science’. As a highly developed clairvoyant and
spiritual initiate, he spoke from his direct cognition of the
spiritual world. However, he did not see his work as religious or
sectarian, but rather sought to found a universal 'science of the
many published works (written books and lectures) - which include
his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the
evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal
development - invite readers to develop their own spiritual
faculties. He also provided indications for the renewal of
many human activities, including education - both general and
special - agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science,
philosophy, religion and the arts. He wrote some 30 books and
delivered over 6000 lectures across Europe, and in 1924 founded the
General Anthroposophical Society which today has branches throughout
delivery within the United Kingdom and overseas.
Copyright © 2004 Skylark Books