Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner was born on this date, February 25, in the year 1861, in present day Croatia while his father was stationed in Kraljevec as a telegraph operator for the Southern Austrian Railway.  He died in March 30, 1925 at the age of 64.
Steiner made many important contributions to society during his lifetime.  His philosophy and ideas continue to have relevance to our world today.  Here's a brief excerpt from the wikipedia article on his life's work. I encourage you to read the whole piece about this inspirational philosopher and founder of Waldorf.
First Geotheanum

"After the First World War, Steiner became active in a wide variety of cultural contexts. He founded a number of schools, the first of which was known as the Waldorf school,[43] and which later evolved into a worldwide school network. He also founded a system of organic agriculture, now known as Biodynamic agriculture, which was one of the very first forms of, and has contributed significantly to the development of, modern organic farming.[44] His work in medicine led to the development of a broad range of complementary medications and supportive artistic and biographic therapies.[45] Homes for children and adults with developmental disabilities based on his work (including those of the Camphill movement) are widespread.[46] His paintings and drawings influenced Joseph Beuys and other modern artists. His two Goetheanum buildings are generally accepted to be masterpieces of modern architecture,[47][48] and other anthroposophical architects have contributed thousands of buildings to the modern scene. One of the first institutions to practice ethical banking was an anthroposophical bank working out of Steiner's ideas; other anthroposophical social finance institutions have since been founded.
Steiner's literary estate is correspondingly broad. Steiner's writings, published in about forty volumes, include books, essays, four plays ('mystery dramas'), mantric verse, and an autobiography. His collected lectures, making up another approximately 300 volumes, discuss an extremely wide range of themes. Steiner's drawings, chiefly illustrations done on blackboards during his lectures, are collected in a separate series of 28 volumes. Many publications have covered his architectural legacy and sculptural work.
His chief book on social reform, Toward Social Renewal, sold tens of thousands of copies in his lifetime. In this, Steiner suggested that the cultural, political and economic spheres of society need to work together as consciously cooperating yet independent entities. Each of these three realms has a particular task: political institutions should establish political equality and protect human rights; cultural institutions should cultivate the free and unhindered development of such realms as science, art, education and religion; and economic institutions should encourage producers, distributors and consumers to cooperate to provide for society's needs.[50] He saw the establishment of what he called Threefold Social Order as a vital response to what he saw as an already visible trend toward the mutual independence of these three realms. Steiner saw theocracy, conventional shareholder capitalism, and state socialism as attempts by, respectively, cultural, economic, and governmental institutions to dominate the others. In the present day, he suggested, such attempts by any one of these spheres to manipulate another would be contrary to society's interests; such negative mutual influences would include e.g. corporate pressure on governments, state attempts to interfere with science, education, or religion, or religious influences on governmental entities.
  • The cultural realm (science, art, religion, education, and the press) requires and fosters freedom;
  • The political realm requires and fosters equality;
  • The economic realm requires and fosters uncoerced cooperation and solidarity.

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