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From the Editor




Keeping Faith with the Human Being





Greetings and welcome! With this issue we are evolving rooted feeling that there is something higher than ourselves, 

the “News for Members” of the Anthroposophical Society we shall not find the strength to evolve to something higher.” 

into a publication which we are calling simply being This very gifted man was an heir to the great culture of 

human. We’ve talked about this step for two years, and are Europe. He watched a thousand years of its culture wrecked 

taking it in time for Rudolf Steiner’s 150th anniversary year, in “the Great War,” but he spent his days and years research- 

which also begins a second century of anthroposophical ing the human condition and our potential for further 

collaborations in North America.
evolution. He came to see the human being quite objectively 

We are also making this issue much more widely avail- not as a cosmic accident but as a cosmic participant on a 

able, so we extend a welcome to new friends. being human vast scale. And he became a master of practical action, help- 

could not be a more inclusive title, and we mean for it to ing plant seed after seed of a healthier culture, a new global 

point to that balancing act, of self-development both alone civilization worthy of the best in us. He kept faith with the 

and in relationships, which we all share in. To be human is human being, both the ideals of our conscience and the 

to be incomplete, unfinished, in progress. Messy, troubled, reality of our needs and shortcomings. And because Rudolf 

despair-making; and then wondrous, hopeful, uplifting. Steiner knew our capacity to grow, he was a mentor and 

Between downdrafts and giddy exaltations we make our way advisor on self-development, but not a guru substituting his 

forward.
will for that of his admirers. And so he provided a great and 

“Keeping faith?” Through much of the last fifty years the living map to the human future, both intimate and vast, 

thought has been present “in the culture” that the human which he called anthroposophy, “the consciousness of our

race is not a good thing. “We’re prone to violence and cruelty humanity.”

and this beautiful Earth would fare better without us.” Such 
In this issue

was the voice of our collective “dark night of the soul.”
Our lead article by Prof. Frederick Amrine on page 7 is 

Being human isn’t easy, and we need the sober encour- a scholar’s thoughtful introduction to Rudolf Steiner pre- 

agement of serious people. If our actions are not what they sented as a challenge to his colleagues to discover a genius, a 

should be, still it is we ourselves who know that, and it is we real giant in the intellectual and cultural history of our times. 

who can change them. Already in his first foundational book, Admittedly, Steiner did not focus on being available to the 

The Philosophy of Freedom, the young Rudolf Steiner was academic world, but acted as something more like a great cul- 

looking incisively at the condition of the human being: “We tural gardener. On page 68 we include a full lecture from 

have torn into two what is really an inseparable whole: the 1909 which displays his reach, approach, and continuing 

human being. We have distinguished between the knower relevance: “From Creature to Creator: The Human Being and 

and the doer and have left out of account precisely the one Our Future Evolution.” Adding his research in consciousness, 

who matters most of all: the knowing doer.”
in “spirit,” to natural scientific concepts of evolution, he 

That book was a key research into overcoming the makes the further observation, both subtle and profound, 

apparent limits of human consciousness. And he went on to that evolution specific to human beings proceeds by “creation 

identify the key challenge, in How to Know Higher Worlds: out of nothingness.” It takes artistic and ethical perception, 

“Unless we learn to develop within ourselves the deeply
as well as scientific, to reach such an insight.




being human is a quarterly publication of the Anthroposophical Society in America, 1923 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 

View it online at www.anthroposophy.org — to advertise call Cynthia Chelius at 734-662-9355 — or email editor@anthroposophy.org.



first issue 2011 • 1



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