Anthroposophy is a philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner which postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world accessible to direct experience through inner development. More specifically, it aims to develop faculties of perceptive imagination, inspiration and intuition through cultivating a form of thinking independent of sensory experience, and to present the results thus derived in a manner subject to rational verification.
Rudolf Steiner wrote, “Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe. It arises in people as a need of the heart, or feeling life. It is justified only to the degree that it can satisfy this inner need.” He identified seven preliminary requirements for embarking on such a path of development:
- Striving to develop a healthy body and soul.
- Feeling connected with all of existence; to recognize oneself in everything, and everything in oneself; not to judge others without standing in their shoes.
- Recognizing that one’s thoughts and feelings have as significant an influence as one’s deeds, and that work on one’s inner life is as important as work on one’s outer life.
- Recognizing that the true essence of a human being does not lie in the person’s outer appearance, but rather in the inner nature, in the soul and spiritual existence of this person.
- Finding the genuine balance between having an open heart for the demands of the outer world and maintaining inner strength and “unshakeable endurance.”
- The ability to be true to a decision once made, even in the face of daunting adversity, until one comes to the conclusion that it was or is made in error.
- Developing thankfulness for everything that meets us, and that universal love that allows the world to reveal itself fully to oneself.
From the Wikipedia articles Anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner’s exercises for spiritual development