Rudolf Steiner, 1921

Why research?

Research is a systematic investigation and creative work undertaken to increase and enrich knowledge and deepen the methods of cognition.

The word research is derived from an old word, which means “to go about seeking”.

The research attitude is a fundamental capacity to the whole life. How can we actively perform it?

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By Anthroposophy, I understand a scientific research of the spiritual world

which recognizes the onesidedness both of ordinary mysticism and of knowledge dealing only with nature.

Rudolf Steiner, GA 35-4

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How is spiritual research different?

When we try to explore fundamental questions about us, humans, and the Universe that we find ourselves in we can do it with the means of observational science (physics, chemistry etc.) However, in this way, we are exploring the physical manifestation of reality. As we have learned from Rudolph Steiner, there is a spiritual reality which lies behind what our senses can measure and perceive, to which the physical reality is just the manifestation.

So in spiritual research, we are aiming to take research beyond the observational into suprasensory reality. This non-physcial reality is what Steiner describes in his Anthroposphical Spiritual Science.

It feels like a duty to take on this work and, if possible take it further, if it were that human beings continue the path from physical beings to spiritual beings.

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This modern Spiritual Science strives to have as much scientific spirit as any other science.

But it strives not to have this science as something dead, but to experience it inwardly,

just as one experiences the life force of man himself.

And this living science will in turn succeed in penetrating to Christ ”

Rudolf Steiner GA 197-11, 22 November 1920

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Where and how can spiritual research be applied? 

The scientific practice of Anthroposophy is based on coherent and rigorous research methods that lead to reproducible results in such areas as homeopathy, plant based medicines, food quality and eurythmy, as well as the effects of machines and the supersensible environment on the human being.  Further development of the methods and training of supersensible perception is also an essential area of research.

The research is applicable in assessing qualitative processes, products and locations, as well as qualitative changes in substances and products in the production and manufacturing process.  Studies can be undertaken to address questions relating to raw materials, process optimisation and efficacy analysis as well as specific questions regarding the living and working environment.

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Having a question is a beginning of a research. If research is about ‘finding an answer’, formulating a correct question regarding the object or phenomena to be researched is the paramount first step in research.

The right question not only sets up the direction of the research but also activates a  connection between the intellectual mind and spiritual insight. The capacity of questioning is essentially an I (Ego) activity.

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“What is needed is a full understanding of the human being.

Not until this becomes a reality, will what I told you yesterday be fully understood:

That the world around us must come to be seen as a tremendous question

to which the human being himself provides the answer.

This is what was to have been given to mankind with the Mystery of Golgotha.

It will not be understood until the human being is understood.”

Rudolf Steiner, GA 210 – X, 19 February 1922.

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