Anthroposophy or 'awareness of one's humanity' is a path of knowledge and self development which encompasses the realms of religion, philosophy, art and science. Founded in what is universally human, it offers a cohesive interpretation of human and world evolution, the reality of spiritual worlds (of which this material world is a part), practical methods of developing an objective consciousness of these realms, and deep insights into Christianity and the world's religions and philosophies. It also gives new insight and inspiration in many practical fields.
The spiritual research developed by its founder, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) is conducted methodically and in fully wakeful, clear thinking consciousness, as is required in any other field of scientific investigation. For this reason Steiner also referred to Anthroposophy as Spiritual Science.
From childhood onwards Rudolf Steiner perceived both natural and spiritual realities, but realised the need to reconcile the latter with the scientific culture of the modern age. This led him as a student to intense scientific and philosophical enquiries into the foundations of knowledge, truth and human cognition. His doctoral thesis "Truth and Science" and books "The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception", "Goethe the Scientist", and "The Philosophy of Freedom" established a sound basis for extending scientific investigation beyond the bounds of the sense perceptible, by means of enhanced thinking.
At the beginning of the 20th Century Rudolf Steiner began to share the results of his spiritual research in written works and numerous lecture cycles. These describe the spiritual evolution and constitution of the human being and the earth, the nature and working of the hierarchies of spiritual beings, and the spiritual background to world religions and cultural epochs.
After 1910 he turned to a renewal of the arts from a background of spiritual wisdom. From 1917 to his death in 1925 he initiated Waldorf Education and new approaches in various areas of practical work, such as medicine, agriculture, and others.
Credits: Colour painting 'Lucifer and Ahriman' by Rudolf Steiner