Steiner conceived three great interpenetrating systems in the human body which for brevity may be called the head, the rhythmical [the lungs and the heart] and the limb systems, and these three (in their several modes) as the bearers and sustainers of the faculties of thought, feeling and will. The head system is the polar opposite of the limb system, as thought is the polar opposite of will. The rhythmical system forms the intermediary term between limb and head, as does feeling between thought and will.

— Harwood, The Recovery of Man

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)

Steiner, born in Austria, was a respected scholar of Goethe’s writings. By his own accounts, he grew up having a stronger connection to a spiritual world than the physical one. Early this century, he started giving lectures on his new spiritual science which he called Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy is described as a “phenomenological approach to the spirit,” and leads “from the spirit on the human being to the spirit in the universe”. It “embraces a spiritual view of the human being and the cosmos, but its emphasis is on knowing, not on faith. It is a path in which the human heart and hand, and especially our capacity for thinking, are essential.… But Anthroposophy is more than self-development. Through it we recognize our humanity. Humanity (anthropos) has the inherent wisdom (sophia) to transform both itself and the world.” (Anthroposophy at Work)

    Anthroposophy has given insights into many fields, which are studied at the Goetheanum and worldwide. These include the arts (speech, drama, painting, sculpture, music, and Eurythmy), sciences, architecture, farming, education. The healing philosophies of Anthroposophy have been extended into medical practice by doctors. Patients are treated wholistically, as a whole—body, soul and spirit—since illnesses are seen as part of the whole human being. People with developmental disabilities and mental retardation are treated as part of “the fabric of human experience” and are looked after as such, rather than as people who by chance have something wrong with them. Homeopathic medicine has much respect in Europe and is gaining recognition in America.

    Among the over 6,000 lectures and 40 books by Steiner that have been translated into many languages, and interpreted in hundreds more volume are studies of human temperament. These characterize people [cont..]

View of the student-maintained garden at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School.

The upper part of campus, showing (left to right) the cottage classroom and two of the three double classrooms.

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