How to use this site
This site is intended as a study tool for the earnest student of spiritual science. Though the site can obviously be used as a reference tool, the true purpose is to support every individual in his/her own path. Hence there is no spoonfeeding, but instead many pieces of the puzzle are offered with interlinks, there are commentaries in the discussion areas on the pages, meta study schemas to interlink the various perspectives offered by individual schemas, etc.
This page offers some introductory notes and tips, as the true value of the site lies a bit hidden in it's structure and is not apparent from swift browsing the site.
1 - Becoming familiar with the site .. some things you need to know
1.1 - Terminology and naming of topic pages
The site uses specific choices regarding Terminology, as well as abbreviations (CoL, SoF, SWCC, etc), but also deliberately has specific page names for certain topics. Sometimes these page names are inspired on descriptions by Rudolf Steiner, examples are: Seeds for future worlds, Enlivened images
This has pros and cons: one has to know the page name, but once that is the case it is very easy to link back to it, and they really go into what Steiner meant as a higher level image/concept/idea.
1.2 - Dynamic site
Now pages are and content is being added all the time, slowly but steadily. Because it is alive and dynamic, also the structure may change as topics are expanded and moved to newly created pages.
Besides the Search box, there is also an overview of all pages. The structure has deliberately been kept flat, without imposing or using categories.
1.3 - Did you know?
- That the site not only includes a rich repository to secondary literature per topic (see a.o. SoSoG)
.. but also that key findings of certain essential essays or books are integrated in a concise format, providing a summary of the essential points.
- That you can ask questions and propose a topic for coverage, as well as for interactive Q&A or Discussion, see Questions and Answers
2 - Logistical tips for use .. how to organize and get most out of it
2.1 - Your own home page
When you register and create a new account, you also by default have a web page linked to your user account. You are the owner of this 'personal home page' and can edit it with a graphical toolbar to store links on the site for study, or add contents.
Due to the nature of the subject matter and multiple perspectives, it is advised to start a new browser window for this site, and then open any link by right clicking and choosing 'open new tab'. This keeps your main study pathway open, and allows for opening and closing of side-tracks and perspectives.
2.3 - Using the Search box
- When searching for Schemas (eg FMC00.077A) .. choose the 'Multimedia' second link instead of the first 'Content pages'
- when you don't find what you're looking for, please familiarize yourself with the topic naming conventions. You can do this through the pages with prefix 1 to 6 in the 'Contents FMC' menu in the menu bar. Pages 1 to 4 lead to most contents on the site via direct page links, so these four pages are important for orientation and understanding the structure, as well as what is already available.
2.4 - Google Image search on the site with keywords to find back a schema
A small tip, if you keep a window open for study on this site, is to always have two tabs on the left, one with the normal Search page, and a second for 'Google Image Search' (open in new tab to see) with:
site:anthroposophy.eu holy grail
The words in italics are example key words to illustrate. If you recall seeing a schema but you forgot where it was or what the schema number was, this provides a simple intuitive approach based on keywords.
2.5 - You don't find what you search .. about searching for anything and 'no fast food for Parsifals'
The goal of this site is not that the search can be used to google, to give 'fast food' answers to anything one types into the search field. The web pages are not tagged with meta data either (no SEO search engine optimization at all at this point).
Nevertheless this behaviour is typical for people who browse the web, it is curiosity which leads to a quick search and see if one finds anything interesting, else off we go again.
An analysis of search terms shows very clearly that topics that are searched for are covered on the site, but the answer will just not pop up as a ready toast jumps out of the toaster. Often the answer is covered in the Aspects and Discussion sections of more than one Topic page, and hence may be well explained if one studies the broader topic.
Bottom line: for people living with questions (and we are all expected to be the Parsifal and ask questions, and live with them), it is advised to either:
(a) identify a set of Topic pages and explore these. In other words foresee a time budget of concentrated time for study.
(b) reach out via the Structured Discussions facility (a bit like an interactive forum) to ask a well formulated question on a topic page, so it can be answered and you will receive guidance on your question
The 'no fast food for Parsifals' connects to topics such as Ganganda greida, Parsifal, Christ Module 15 - Study of Spiritual Science and the Mystery of Golgotha, and maybe as a starter: Tools and practical site info#About the study process and working spiritual science
3 - Suggestions and recommendations
1 - People will at first mostly browse around and search a few topics, and that's it and it's all fine. However, the value of the site lies much deeper and is somehow 'hidden' from plain sight. The site provides insights and fruits from decades of study (by various anthroposophists).
These insights follow from the leads given in the commentary notes to the schemas, the discussion areas, and sometimes with the lecture extracts. Indeed it is the concatenation from various perspectives that is the really interesting thing, and this is something unique that this site offers not only through the 'Aspects' outlines on a page, but with the manifold links provided all the time.
The outline mode with hypertexts allows for a scaleable network approach where aspects can be added continuously, and the user is at the steering wheel to expand or go into study of one aspect (with the schemas and lecture references given and provided below as an entry point).
You will notice that sometimes 'a guiding hand' is offered, whereby the description suggests a certain process flow. Like: "look at this, then take that together, now compare this schema with that one". And so on. This is shorthand, an explicit pointer to much that is implicit. So it is a new way of encoding study tips, rather than the sequential narrative whereby these lines are described (as in a book, or a documentary), you here have an integrated hypertext version which you can freely navigate in any direction.
What we don't know, and really would like to hear from you, is : does it work .. for you? .. was it clear, or not enough? you want/need something else?
2 - The idea of the site is not that it stands on its own, but that it can be a common language and reference to facilitate and support interaction. So please do reach out and get interactive, with your question or feedback.
We are trying to make the shift towards this interactive guidance and fellow-student peer interaction in a new form. Let us know if you want to try or participate, as the site offers the possibility for new avenues for us to develop together.