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The Essentials of Education - Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Education lecturesThe Essentials of Education
5 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

Delivered in April 1924 during an educational conference, The Essentials of Education lectures are the last public lectures that Steiner gave in Germany. E.A. K. Stockmeyer writes: “Seventeen hundred people listened to him, and the prolonged, generous applause from this great crowd at the end of every lecture was deeply moving; while at the end of the last lecture the applause became an ovation that seemed as if it would never end.”

At the close of the last lecture, Steiner summed up in six lines all that he had meant to say:

To spend oneself in matter
is to grind down souls.

To find oneself in the spirit
is to unite human beings.

To see oneself in all humanity
is to construct worlds.

This lecture series, together with its companion, The Roots of Education (given three days later), present a comprehensive synthesis of Waldorf education for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in education. The Waldorf experiment had matured over the five years since its founding into an established, concrete reality. Rudolf Steiner had guided the school from its beginning, observing very closely all that had happened. Thus, in these lectures, he was able to distill and present the essentials of Waldorf education with elegance and urgency.

Trans: unknown (5 lectures, Stuttgart 8 - 11 April 1924, GA308); 128pp
Anthroposophic Press
0 88010 412 0; paperback


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 spirit'.

His 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 the world.

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