On educating yourself in holistic spiritual science

From Anthroposophy

In contemporary science, we find many different fields and subfields, and each is broken down in specializations.

In spiritual science, everything is interconnect with everything, and that the multiple, different perspectives or information dimensions to approach a topic are an essential requirement of its study because this represents a key characteristic of the type of knowledge.

Therefore an open attitude and agile and flexible mind are required, as the approach to learning is non-linear or 'compartimented'. As you study, you are actually developing or re-building for yourself a worldview in its totality. You are building a new spiritual scientific worldview foundation which encompasses everything your logical mind can take in scope of consideration.


Lecture coverage and references

Albert Soesman explains on the first page of his book on the senses:

There are many ways to approach anthroposophy. The way I propose to do it is to take a particular subject as my starting point. You can start with anthroposophy in general and make your way from there into a specific subject, but, interestingly enough, you can also start with a certain subject and work your way up from this into anthroposophy as a whole, in as far as it is possible to arrive at a general outline of anthroposophy in a limited number of lectures. I hope your souls will succeed in following this reverse path — starting with something specific in order to end up with something general.

As was announced, the following will be based on the studies of Rudolf Steine, who once said that a study of the senses is actually the first chapter of anthroposophy. While that sounds simple enough, I will have to start by saying something first about that word `first'.

Usually, when you read an ordinary book, and you have read chapter 1, you are then finished with chapter 1. Next comes chapter 2, and subsequently chapter 3, etc. That is, in fact, how many books are written. But by no means all books are written like that. When you read The State by Plato, for instance, you will find something very peculiar about that book. Its structure is not: chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, etc.; instead, reading that book is like walking through an immense temple building, as it were. The whole book is structured like a Greek temple; it is not just a sequence you follow. And this is often also the case with the work of Rudolf Steiner. You have to get used to this at first — that in fact everything, to the last chapter, is already contained in chapter 1. And it is the same in chapter 2 — everything is already there.

This is also how it will be with my lectures. So you will have to bear with me. For some of you it will seem strange that I do not follow a logical sequence — that you have to learn to consider matters in a compositional fashion. You will have to have some patience, and be prepared to wait and see whenever I say something that seems unusual to you. You will have to let go of linear thinking to some extent. I hope you will find that when something seems strange to you, the next thing may, in fact, balance it out. You will have to look upon these lectures as a piece of music. When you listen to music, you do not think: 'All right, here is the first tone, now where is the second, the third?'. Instead you simply wait until the entire piece is finished, and then you can say: 'That was terrible', or: 'Yes, it did something for me', or whatever. That is the sort of consideration I ask of you — to bear with me until the compositional element makes an appearance. I know I am asking a lot of your patience, but I hope that in the end you will find it worthwhile.


See also holistic education or holism

Related pages

References and further reading