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The Five Basic Books

Rudolf Steiner intended these carefully written volumes to serve as a foundation to all of the later, more advanced anthroposophical writings and lecture courses. You can read about them here, then buy the books to read and study at home.

THEOSOPHY. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SUPERSENSIBLE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD AND THE DESTINATION OF MAN by Rudolf Steiner. The book begins with a beautiful description of the primordial trichotomy; body, soul, and spirit. A discussion of reincarnation and karma follows. The third and longest chapter of the work (74 pages) presents. In a vast panorama, the seven regions of the soul world, the seven regions of the land of spirits, and the soul's journey after death through these worlds. A brief discussion of the path to higher knowledge is found in the fifth chapter.

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PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM by Rudolf Steiner. Steiner's most Important philosophical work deals both with epistemology, the study of how man knows himself and the world, and with the issue of human freedom. In the first half of the book Steiner focuses on the activity of thinking in order to demonstrate the true nature of knowledge. There he shows the fallacy of the contemporary idea of thinking, pointing out that the prevailing belief in the limits to knowledge is a self-imposed limit that contradicts its own claim to truth. The possibility for freedom is taken up in the second half of the book. The Issue is not political freedom, but something more subtle; freedom of the will. There are those who maintain that man's thoughts and actions are Just as determined as a chemical reaction or a honey bee's behavior. Steiner points again to the activity of thinking, from which arises the possibility of free human action.

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KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT by Rudolf Steiner. Rudolf Steiner's fundamental work on the path to higher knowledge explains in detail the exercises and disciplines a student must pursue in order to attain a wakeful experience of supersensible realities. The path described here is a safe one which will not interfere with the student's ability to lead a normal outer life.

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CHRISTIANITY AND OCCULT MYSTERIES OF ANTIQUITY by Rudolf Steiner. An Introduction to esoteric Christianity which explores the ancient mythological wisdom of Egypt and Greece. The work shows how this wisdom underwent a tremendous transformation Into a historical event in the mystery of Golgotha.

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OCCULT SCIENCE, AN OUTLINE by Rudolf Steiner. This work of nearly 400 pages begins with a thorough discussion and definition of the term “occult” science. A description of the supersensible nature of man follows, along with a discussion of dreams, sleep, death, life between death and rebirth, and reincarnation. In the fourth chapter evolution is described from the perspective of initiation science. The fifth chapter characterizes the training a student must undertake to become an initiate. The sixth and seventh chapters consider the future evolution of the world and more detailed observations regarding supersensible realities.

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