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Six Steps in Self-Development

The “Supplementary Exercises”

December 2010
More details
  • Publisher
    Rudolf Steiner Press
  • Published
    29th December 2010
  • ISBN 9781855842373
  • Language English
  • Pages 96 pp.

The so-called supplementary exercises—intended for practice along with the “review exercises” and meditation—are integral to the path of inner development presented by Rudolf Steiner. Together, they form a means of experiencing the spiritual realm in full consciousness. Meditation enlivens thinking; the review exercises cultivate the will; and the supplementary exercises educate and balance the feeling life. Practiced conscientiously, this path of self-knowledge and development has the effect of opening a source of inner strength and psychological health that soon manifest in daily life.

In six stages, these exercises enable the practice of qualities we may summarize as:

  • control of thoughts
  • initiative of will
  • equanimity
  • positivity
  • open-mindedness
  • equilibrium of soul

When practiced regularly, they balance the possible harmful effects of meditative practice, bringing inner certainty and security to the soul. They are also of inestimable value in their own right, owing to their beneficial and wholesome effects on one’s daily life.

In this invaluable little book, the editor has gathered virtually all Steiner's statements on the “supplementary exercises,” supporting them with commentary and notes. With a chapter devoted to each exercise, the book describes each in detail and from various perspectives.

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (b. Rudolf Joseph Lorenz 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.