Sunday, March 29, 2009


Some time ago I read a short book by Rudolf Steiner called How to Know Higher Worlds. He advised paying close attention to the thoughts and feelings which arise from seeing a dying plant or a seed, and to note how the moon and the sun make you feel. I considered the book a curiosity for the most part, but it had a powerful impact on my dreams for a time.

Gary Lachman's wonderful short intro to Steiner makes me curious to dig deeper. It's hard enough to find an individual who has both an artist's and a scientist's soul--Steiner was both, with the added benefit of being a mystic who read the Akhasic Records and spoke daily to the dead. Lachman breezily recounts the life of one of the 20th century's more interesting polymaths, and while sympathetic to Steiner, Lachman is quite willing to play devil's advocate and to suggest one take Steiner's occult beliefs with a grain of salt. One can think biodynamic farming is great without necessarily believing that Steiner saw Nietzsche's soul hovering over the philosopher's catatonic body, for instance.

Steiner's wide-ranging philosophizing produced biodymanic farming methods, eurythmy, Waldorf and Camphill education, The Anthroposophical Society, and a couple Goethanums. He even wrote a book on the esoteric importance of bees which is beloved by hive keepers and which predicted the currents global honey bee crisis.

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