The great spiritual scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner created a teaching he called Anthroposophy (Wisdom of Man) after the fashion of old Theosophists and lovers of Sophia. Steiner’s teaching, some 30 books and over 6,000 lectures, was derived from his spiritual clairvoyance that informed Steiner about the true nature of the invisible spiritual world that stands behind the visible material world. He was able to “read the Akashic records” to study the true nature of the cosmos and the place of humanity in relationship to evolution.
Steiner died in 1925 without finding or appointing a successor who could also read the Akashic Records. Thus, Anthroposophy as created by Rudolf Steiner has been taken forward by his faithful followers in the best fashion they could without having the highly developed super-sensible perception that Steiner possessed. This vacuum has created the normal chaos that accompanies the passing of a great spiritual teacher.
Some Anthroposophists have come along and suggested that they have “gone beyond” Steiner’s teachings through their own spiritual development and research. Many of these “ego-bound” attempts have been reported and few have come to any substantial insight beyond Steiner’s teachings. Some of these self-proclaimed “successors” to Steiner have been simply embarrassing.
Needless to say, Anthroposophy without Steiner is not Anthroposophy.
In the past few years, Steiner’s name has been dragged through the mud of accusations and name-calling that has amounted to the single largest distraction from studying Steiner’s teachings since his death. There are web and social media sites dedicated to defaming Steiner’s name by people who haven’t read or studied Steiner’s works, but have much to say about them. These distractions and attempts at character assassination are now moot points that should not affect the content of Steiner’s teachings.
The nature and character of the Anthroposophical Society have little to do with Steiner’s teachings but, in fact, are often the opposite of what Steiner taught. Many people who seemingly work for Anthroposophy may be working against the spirit of Rudolf Steiner. Taking Steiner’s teachings and gluing onto them the “seemingly” Anthroposophical “research” of some “Anthroposophist” may be the greatest evil to Steiner’s teachings. These chaotic attempts at spiritual research often fly under the “false flag” of Anthroposophy when they should be known as the opposite of Steiner’s Anthroposophy. Various teachings that say they “go beyond” Steiner are in fact a form of anti-Anthroposophy that leeches off of the spiritual insight of Steiner and creates an ego-centered revision that is hardly recognizable by those who devotedly study Steiner’s words. These revisionists should not use the word Anthroposophy and link it to new and spurious ego-centered pseudo-clairvoyance.
There is a need to draw clear lines of distinction between Steiner’s teachings and the speculations or insights of other spiritual researchers. Any author should clearly demarcate where “Steiner ends” and their personal insights “begin.” When this is done, the need to defend Steiner’s personality, Theosophic views on race, associations with Ariosophists, or any other group can be eliminated.
Steiner died 90 years ago and much work has transpired since then that has taken his insights and put them into work in many spheres of life-activity, such as education, farming, art, and the like. Great spiritual insights have been arrived at through direct experience of what Steiner revealed in one or the other field of work. This work, built exclusively on the indications of Rudolf Steiner, can be called Neoanthroposophy.
Neoanthroposophy is open to anyone who is willing to do the work of life-long study of Steiner’s words and teachings through direct application in the world.
Neoanthroposophy is neither speculation nor spiritual research that “goes beyond” Steiner’s indications but is the continuing work of the spiritual beings Rudolf Steiner has lead us to. Neo means new and in this case means “new insight” into the indications of Steiner. Steiner gave us enough spiritual wisdom from the hierarchy to fill our spiritual research for hundreds of years. We can search through the newest discoveries in science and find that Steiner has already addressed these discoveries almost a century ago. The true nature of light, the nature of the core of our sun, the true motion of the planets, the location of the galactic center and super galactic center, and hundreds of other indications have now been proven by science to be exactly as Steiner described. In fact, the entire future evolution of humanity was described in detail by Steiner’s teachings. These teachings don’t grow old but in fact, grow more insightful all the time.
We, as students of Steiner’s teachings, can ignore Steiner’s personality, his Anthroposophical Society, and his followers who believe they have “gone beyond” Steiner and just focus on the teachings. Steiner’s teachings are sufficient unto themselves.
Neoanthroposophists don’t have to join the Anthroposophical Society or take a pilgrimage to Dornach to see Steiner’s sculptural group, or defend the ridiculous accusations of racism or fascism. Those issues are dead. Steiner’s teachings are alive and well in Neoanthroposophists who control the ego-centered desire to “add onto” his teachings. There is plenty in Steiner’s words without adding “time travel” to the Mystery of Golgotha to glean some new piece of information not reported by Steiner. It is not necessary to believe that you know your previous incarnation during Steiner’s time. It is not necessary to speculate on the prior incarnations of anyone. These distractions and delusions simply sully Steiner’s name and his work.
Neoanthroposophy is open to anyone who is willing to do the work of life-long study of Steiner’s words and teachings through direct application in the world. This usually turns out to be work that is in service and love to humanity: education, health, spiritual development, agriculture, and art, to name a few. A Neoanthroposophist doesn’t have to invent previous incarnations or rank himself against the “clairvoyance” of another person. Good work is its own reward and the humble person wisely knows his place in the scheme of things.
We can no longer know what it was like to be a direct student of Rudolf Steiner and therefore the full meaning of being an Anthroposophist in Steiner’s Anthroposophical Society is unavailable to us. We are students of a teacher who appointed no successor. We are lost sheep, homeless, helpless and overwhelmed by the forces that wish to crush our spiritual development. But we have the insight and wisdom given to us through this great spiritual scientist as a consolation. Steiner is probably incarnated now and no longer available to us in the spiritual world. We need to move on and not expect a living spiritual science to arise from an organization founded in the material world.
Steiner gave the Foundation Stone Meditation to his followers so that they could continue independently the work he began. We need not make Steiner into a saint nor think we can defend his sainthood with a cult of the personality. We need not proselytize Anthroposophy nor feel the need to become parochial in our application of Steiner’s teachings. We need to simply be devoted and dedicated to the truth and then the truth of Steiner’s teachings will slowly become a way of knowing the spirit in the material world through our application of those spiritual principles. This is the nature of Neoanthroposophy that acknowledges the true sources of Steiner’s inspirations and respects them for what they are — communion with spiritual beings that are willing to help us know ourselves and the spirit behind all matter.