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Fortune, Success, and the Human Spirit

July 2017
More details
  • Publisher
    Rudolf Steiner Press
  • Published
    7th July 2017
  • ISBN 9781855845329
  • Pages 72 pp.
  • Size 5.3" x 8.5"

What is true happiness? This perennial question preoccupies many experts, including biologists, psychologists, sociologists, and theologians, but their findings usually confirm what we already knew—that happiness is one of the most sought-after but elusive commodities.

Rudolf Steiner’s liberating view of happiness opens up new vistas and perspectives. Happiness, he says, depends on the human spirit, whose continuing evolution draws sustenance from the totality of life’s experiences. We develop and learn in equal measure from good fortune and misfortune, success and disappointment. Steiner urges inner equilibrium, emphasizing the transience of outward happiness. Inward happiness, however, can never be taken from us, depending as it does on, “whatever we ourselves make of our outward fortunes.”

This rich and inspiring little book gathers all of Steiner’s statements on the theme and features two complete lectures on happiness and spiritual knowledge. It also includes an insightful introductory essay by Daniel Baumgartner.

C O N T E N T S:

Introduction by Daniel Baumgartner

The Essence and Appearance of Happiness
Berlin, December 7, 1911

Spirit Knowledge in Glad and Grave Moments of Life
Berlin, January 15, 1915

All References to Happiness in Rudolf Steiner’s Works


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.