Greetings and welcome! With this issue we are evolving the “News for Members” of the Anthroposophical Society into a publication which we are calling simply
. We’ve talked about this step for two years, and aretaking it in time for Rudolf Steiner’s 150th anniversary year, which also begins a second century of anthroposophicalcollaborations in North America. We are also making this issue much more widely avail-able, so we extend a welcome to new friends.
could not be a more inclusive title, and we mean for it topoint to that balancing act, of self-development both aloneand in relationships, which we all share in. To be human isto be incomplete, unfinished, in progress. Messy, troubled,despair-making; and then wondrous, hopeful, uplifting.Between downdrafts and giddy exaltations we make our way forward.“Keeping faith?” Through much of the last fifty years thethought has been present “in the culture” that the humanrace is not a good thing. “We’re prone to violence and cruelty and this beautiful Earth would fare better without us.” Such was the voice of our collective “dark night of the soul.”Being human isn’t easy, and we need the sober encour-agement of serious people. If our actions are not what they should be, still
it is we ourselves who know that
, and it is we who can change them. Already in his first foundational book,
The Philosophy of Freedom
, the young Rudolf Steiner waslooking incisively at the condition of the human being: “Wehave torn into two what is really an inseparable whole: thehuman being. We have distinguished between the knowerand the doer and have left out of account precisely the one who matters most of all:
the knowing doer
.”That book was a key research into overcoming theapparent limits of human consciousness. And he went on toidentify the key challenge, in
How to Know Higher Worlds
:“Unless we learn to develop within ourselves the deeply rooted feeling that there is something higher than ourselves, we shall not find the strength to evolve to something higher.”This very gifted man was an heir to the great culture of Europe. He watched a thousand years of its culture wreckedin “the Great War,” but he spent his days and years research-ing the human condition and our potential for furtherevolution. He came to see the human being quite objectively not as a cosmic accident but as a cosmic participant on a vast scale. And he became a master of practical action, help-ing plant seed after seed of a healthier culture, a new globalcivilization worthy of the best in us. He kept faith with thehuman being, both the ideals of our conscience and thereality of our needs and shortcomings. And because Rudolf Steiner knew our capacity to grow, he was a mentor andadvisor on self-development, but not a guru substituting his will for that of his admirers. And so he provided a great andliving map to the human future, both intimate and vast, which he called anthroposophy, “the consciousness of ourhumanity.”
In this issue
Our lead article by Prof. Frederick Amrine on page 7 isa scholar’s thoughtful introduction to Rudolf Steiner pre-sented as a challenge to his colleagues to discover a genius, a real giant in the intellectual and cultural history of our times. Admittedly, Steiner did not focus on being available to theacademic world, but acted as something more like a great cul-tural gardener. On page 68 we include a full lecture from1909 which displays his reach, approach, and continuing relevance: “From Creature to Creator: The Human Being andOur Future Evolution.” Adding his research in consciousness,in “spirit,” to natural scientific concepts of evolution, hemakes the further observation, both subtle and profound,that evolution specific to human beings proceeds by “creationout of nothingness.” It takes artistic and ethical perception,as well as scientific, to reach such an insight.
From the Editor
Keeping Faith with the Human Being
being humanis a quarterly publication of the Anthroposophical Society in America, 1923 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 View it online atwww.anthroposophy.org— to advertise call Cynthia Chelius at 734-662-9355 — or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
first issue 2011