Rudolf Steiner: Respected Scholar or "Mad" Occult Mystic?
This website is centered on Rudolf Steiner's early work, pre-1900, when he was regarded as a respected scholar. At the age of 40, in the year 1900, Steiner's life took a turn to the occult mysticism of theosophy. Steiner understood that many would regard his later occult work as ...“mad”.
F. Rittlemeyer asked Rudolf Steiner why he never touched upon occult topics before his fortieth year? Steiner replied, "I first had to attain a certain position in the world. People could say of my present writings (occult) that they are "mad". Then, however, there are my earlier works, (philosophy) which cannot be ignored." Rudolf Steiner, Life and Work Volume 2 (1890-1900) by Peter Selg
In 1894, an observer of human nature and up and coming philosopher, Steiner presented a humanist philosophy of life called Ethical Individualism in a book titled The Philosophy Of Freedom intended to lay the foundations of a social and political life based on human freedom. It was not mere philosophy, but was a scientific study of mind based on his own introspective observations of the cognitive processes.
As a free thinker, Steiner went on to publish his own magazine as a way to express his views to influence social and political life. Unfortunately, Steiner could not find an audience for his non-conformist views and the magazine failed.
Shortly afterward Steiner did find an audience for his views on the occult and began giving lectures to the Theosophical Society. He disappointed his friends by joining the Theosophical Society which at that time in Germany was gaining rapidly in popularity. Steiner's occult lectures were well attended.
History cannot show one pioneer who is worth the digesting of absolutely everything. Isaac Newton won't be remembered for his speculations about the Apocalypse of St. John.
Near the end of his life, Steiner said The Philosophy of Freedom would outlive all his occult works, and it has. He encouraged science-minded people who refuse to have anything to do with his spiritual research to read The Philosophy Of Freedom.
The book stands on its own completely independent of his later spiritual research and independent of the Theosophical / Anthroposophical Society, “this book occupies a position completely independent of my writings on actual spiritual scientific matters... What I have said in this book may be acceptable even to some who, for reasons of their own, refuse to have anything to do with the results of my researches into the spiritual realm.” Rudolf Steiner, "The Philosophy of Freedom", 1918 Preface to the Revised Edition.
“You will find nothing at all in The Philosophy of Freedom that is derived from clairvoyant communications of spiritual science. It is written for the express purpose of disciplining thinking without any mention of theosophy.” Rudolf Steiner
There are two editions of The Philosophy Of Freedom. The original edition written in 1894 and translated to English in 1916 by Prof. and Mrs. R. F. Alfred Hoernlé and a revised edition changed in 1918 to be more suitable for his theosophy followers. We recommend the original edition.
Rudolf Steiner: Publications As A Respected Scholar
Significant Written Works
1883 Goethean Science Online PDF GA1-EPUB GA1-MOBI
1886 Science of Knowing Online PDF GA2-EPUB GA2-MOBI
1892 Truth and Science Online PDF GA3-EPUB GA3-MOBI
1894 The Philosophy Of Freedom Online PDF Mobi EPUB Purchase