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Rudolf Steiner’s Perspectives on Technology Series 1

A Road to Sacred Creation

Rudolf Steiner's Perspectives on Technology

Rudolf Steiner
Edited by Gary Lamb
Foreword by John Bloom
Drawings by Michael Howard
Paperback
August 2021
9781621482611
More details
  • Publisher
    SteinerBooks
  • Published
    3rd August
  • ISBN 9781621482611
  • Pages 392 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
$35.00

“We no longer really know whether we are the subject or the object of technology; what we do know is that the pervasiveness of electronic-based technology has compromised privacy. In the world of commerce, identity has been coopted as a commodity and has clouded our deeper understanding of the importance and meaning of individuality. From a spiritual perspective, what is most deeply human, the evolution of self perhaps over multiple lifetimes, can be considered antithetical to a central tenet of transhumanism, that through technology we can exceed our biological limits. These views of the human being and human destiny can frame our relationship to digital technology.” —John Bloom (from the foreword)

This book is a call to examine the very nature of technology and to develop practices for meeting its many challenges.

Illuminating, compelling, challenging, at times staggering in its breadth, A Road to Sacred Creation is above all the definitive text for gaining a hold on Rudolf Steiner’s nuanced perspectives on technology. Charting both an inner and outer course—part pilgrimage toward greater perception and knowledge, part dramatic, unfolding plot line of the future of humans and machines, the metaphoric “road” of the title is exactly where humanity finds itself today, though the exact route and destination are still to be determined. The map is not yet drawn, but here is a beginning.

Taken together, the relevant concepts, ideas, and insights of Rudolf Steiner, deftly brought into sequence and dialogue as Gary Lamb has done in this book, reveal how the work to arrive at a more spiritually imbued technological future not only involves all domains and fields of spiritual science and anthroposophical work, but has its origins in the very core of our being, fundamentally entwined with our moral progress toward freedom and selfless love.

“Gary Lamb’s monumental research project to gather together what Rudolf Steiner had to say about technology is here crystal-lized into a profound, accessible, and digestible form that can be read and studied in part or in the whole. And this is just the first volume. Lamb’s contextual notes are a helpful guide in under-standing one of the most morally complicated topics of our time—what is at play in the intimate interrelationships of the human being, the reality of the spiritual world, and technology.” —John Bloom, General Secretary, Anthroposophical Society in America

“Gary Lamb’s A Road to Sacred Creation is illuminating, compelling, challenging, at times staggering in its breadth, and above all highly useful in the quest to make known Steiner’s vast and nuanced perspectives on technology. The road that begins to appear charts both an inner and outer course: part pilgrimage toward greater perception and knowledge, part dramatic, unfolding plot line of the future of humans and machines. Taken together, the relevant concepts, ideas, and insights of Steiner, deftly brought into sequence and dialogue in this book, reveal how the work to arrive at a more spiritually imbued technological future not only involves all domains and fields of spiritual science and anthroposophical work, but has its origins in the very core of our being, fundamentally entwined with our moral progress towards freedom and selfless love.” —Virginia Hermann, performing artist and teacher, Eurythmy Spring Valley

“In this work, Gary Lamb brings Steiner’s insights to life in relation to the current situation in our technological world. With the help of commentary that supports and contextualizes the vast collection of quotes to form coherent pictures of different aspects of the question of technology, this work helps anyone who is interested in modern technology to get a comprehensive idea of what spiritual science has to say about it. By illuminating the whole landscape, from atoms to spiritual realities in society, this work forms an excellent reference and is a must-read especially for teachers, researchers, and social scientists.” —Gopi Krishna Vijaya, PhD, physicist

“Despite Rudolf Steiner’s assertion that if people would really read his written works, they could give the lectures themselves, he gave some 6,000 lectures on a wide variety of topics. Thus, we can be grateful that Gary Lamb has once again culled a wide swath of quotations from these lectures and assembled them for us around a main theme focused on the possibility of a new form of technology and a new source of energy that could avert the immanent dangers associated with our present forms. Lamb shows us how these new forms, which can be derived from Steiner’s spiritual science require us to reexamine our epistemological stance regarding the world and to extend our concepts of atom, electricity, magnetism, and light. But Lamb also shows us that all this calls for a concurrent reformation of education within a new social organization that can overcome the conflict between our current form of capitalism and the calls for social, environmental, and economic justice. Thus, Lamb’s book will be of great service to both the newcomer to Steiner’s work as well as those who have long been students but focused on particular aspects of Anthroposophy.” —Ronald Milito, DEd biophysics; human anatomist and former university and Waldorf school educator

“Since Rudolf Steiner was alive, technology has increased its influence exponentially and promises to continue to do so.  Because his spiritual scientific research was able to explore the stream of time coming from the future, he had important insights to share about the direction of this field.  However, there were no special lectures dedicated to the subject, so this Compendium is an invaluable aid.  The things Steiner said about technology have been collected and ordered, and through Gary Lamb’s clear and concise introductions to the chapters one can follow the thread of a train of thought that Steiner wove throughout his work.” —Sherry Wildfeuer, editor, Stella Natura  biodynamic planting

“This is a deeply important volume for to take in and ponder. The challenges we will face in the coming decades surrounding all questions of technology will require a strong and refined sense of discernment. Each of us will need to make independent decisions that will not only remain in the realm of opinion and beliefs but will also influence our actions in daily life. This compendium collects Rudolf Steiner’s esoteric perceptions on questions of tech-nology to help us on our way. The chapter on electricity is particularly revealing.” —Rachel Schneider, Institute for Mindful

C O N T E N T S:

Preface: How I Came to Edit this Compendium
Editor’s Note: Intention
Introduction

1: The Evolution of Science: From Natural Science to Spiritual Science by Way of Goethe
2: Atoms and Atomic Theories
3: Electricity and the Challenge of Evil
4: Early Twentieth-Century Technology
5: Keely, Strader, and the Development of Etheric Technology
6: Transcending Private Capitalism and Socialism: The Necessity for a Threefold Social Organism
7: Child Development: Waldorf Education and Cultural Freedom in Relation to Technology
8: Ahriman’s Pervasive Influence in the Age of Modern Technology: How to Meet Its Challenge
9: Thinking as a Spiritual Activity

Appendix A: Earth Evolution Illustrations
Appendix B: Publishers Referenced in this Volume

Bibliography

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.