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Riddles of the Soul
GA 21

I. Where Natural Science and Spiritual Science Meet

Max Dessoir's book Beyond the Soul (Vom Jenseits der Seele) contains a brief section in which the anthroposophically oriented spiritual science advocated by me is portrayed as scientifically invalid. Now it might seem to many that a discussion with people who take Dessoir's point of view about science must prove altogether unfruitful to anyone advocating spiritual-scientific anthroposophy. For, such an advocate asserts the existence of a purely spiritual region of experience that a Dessoir fundamentally rejects and consigns to the realm of fantasy. Discussion of the findings of spiritual-scientific knowledge, therefore, might only seem possible with someone who already has reason to believe that such a spiritual-scientific region exists.

This view would be correct if the advocate of anthroposophy presented nothing more than his own inner personal experiences and simply placed them beside the results of the science based on sensory observation and the scientific processing of such observations. Then one could say: the adherent of natural science refuses in fact to regard the experiences of the spiritual researcher as realities; the researcher in the spiritual realm can only make an impression with his findings on those who have already adopted his own point of view.

This opinion, however, rests upon a misunderstanding of what I mean by anthroposophy. It is true that this anthroposophy is founded upon soul experiences that are attained independently of sense impressions and independently of scientific judgments based only upon sense impressions. Therefore the two kinds of experiences, sensory and extrasensory, seem at first to be separated by an unbridgeable chasm.

But this is not so. There is a common ground where both approaches must meet, and where discussion is possible. This common ground can be described in the following way.

Out of experiences that are not just personal to him, the advocate of anthroposophy believes himself justified in stating that human activity in knowledge can be developed further from the point at which those researchers stop who want to base themselves only upon sensory observation and intellectual judgment of such observation.

To avoid continuous, long-winded paraphrases, I would like to use the word “anthropology” from now on to designate that approach in science which bases itself on sensory observation and the intellectual processing of such observation, asking the reader to permit me this uncommon usage. In what follows, "anthropology" means only what I have just described. In this sense, anthroposophy believes itself able to begin its research where anthropology leaves off.1Although the anthroposophy advocated by me stands on a completely different ground, with its results, than the presentations of Robert Zimmermann in his book Anthroposophy (1881), still I believe myself justified in using the concept by which he characterized the difference between anthroposophy and anthropology. As the content of his anthroposophy, however, Zimmermann only draws together into an abstract schema the concepts provided by anthropology. For him, the knowing vision that is the basis for what I mean by anthroposophy lies outside the domain of scientific procedure. His anthroposophy differs from anthropology only through the fact that the former first submits the concepts it receives from the latter to a process like that of Herbart's philosophy, before making these concepts into the content of its purely intellectual schema of ideas.

The advocate of anthropology limits himself to relating his intellectual concepts—experienced in the soul—to his sense perceptions. The advocate of anthroposophy observes that these concepts—apart from the fact that we relate them to sense impressions—are able in addition to unfold a life of their own within the soul. And that, by unfolding this life within the soul, these concepts effect a development of the soul itself. The advocate of anthroposophy sees how the soul, if it is sufficiently attentive to this development, discovers spiritual organs within its own being. (In using this expression "spiritual organs," I am adopting and extending the linguistic usage of Goethe when he speaks in his world view of “spiritual eyes” and “spiritual ears.”) 2A more detailed presentation and justification of this notion of “spiritual organs” can be found in my book The Riddle of Man, Mercury Press, 1990, page 125ff. and in my books on Goethe's world view. Such spiritual organs, therefore, are for the soul what sense organs are for the body. These spiritual organs must of course be understood as being entirely of a soul nature. Any attempt to connect them with one or another bodily configuration must be strictly rejected by anthroposophy. Anthroposophy must not picture these spiritual organs as extending in any way beyond the soul realm or encroaching upon the structure of the body. It would regard any such encroachment as a pathological configuration, to be strictly excluded from its domain. The way anthroposophy portrays the development of our spiritual organs should be strong enough proof—to anyone who really informs himself about it—that the researcher in the real spiritual realm arrives at the same conclusions as anthropologists about abnormal soul experiences like illusions, visions, and hallucinations. 3The inner experiences that the soul must undergo in gaining the use of its spiritual organs are described in a number of my books, but especially in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment and in the second part of Occult Science, an Outline. Any confusion of anthroposophical findings with abnormal, so-called soul experiences rests entirely upon misunderstanding or insufficient knowledge of what anthroposophy actually maintains. And anyone who studies and understands anthroposophy's description of the path to development of our spiritual organs will certainly not fall prey to the notion that this path could lead to pathological configurations or states. The insightful person, in fact, will recognize that every stage of soul experience that a human being passes through on the anthroposophical path to spiritual perception lies in a realm that is entirely of a soul nature; alongside this realm, our sensory experience and normal intellectual activity will continue, unaltered, as they were before this soul realm opened up for us. The great number of misunderstandings holding sway in precisely this area of anthroposophical knowledge stems from the fact that it is difficult for many to bring something of a purely soul nature into the sphere of their attention. The power to picture mentally 4Sich Vorstellen means to visualize, to picture to oneself mentally. The ability to “place something before oneself inwardly is a crucial factor in spiritual development and as such is referred to constantly in this essay. How do we hold something up before our inner eye? What is the attention we focus upon it? Who does this? What is the nature of mental pictures (Vorstellungen) themselves? Such questions are among the many painful riddles that ordinary consciousness cannot solve, and that bring us up against an invisible world. Translator. fails such people the moment this ability is not supported by the sight of something sense-perceptible. Their power to picture mentally is then dampened down, even below the level of dreams, into dreamless sleep, where it is no longer conscious. One could say that such people, in their consciousness, are filled with the aftereffects or the direct effects of sense impressions, and that, alongside this fullness, a sleep is occurring that blocks out what would be recognized as being of a soul nature if it could be grasped. One could even say that the essential nature of soul phenomena is subject to such profound misunderstanding by many people just because they cannot wake up to the soul element as they can to the sense-perceptible content of consciousness.

The fact that there are people in this situation whose degree of attention is only at the level produced by ordinary external life need not surprise anyone who can grasp the point, for example, of a reproach which Franz Brentano made to William James on this subject.

Brentano writes that one must “differentiate between our activity of perceiving and its object, i.e., between perceiving and what is perceived” (“and these two differ from each other as certainly as my present memory differs from the past event I am remembering; or, to make an even more drastic comparison: they differ as much as my hatred of an enemy differs from the object of this hatred”), and Brentano adds that one sees this error cropping up here and there. He continues:

William James, among others, embraced this error and went to some length to validate it at the International Congress on Psychology (Rome, 1905). Because, according to James, when I look out into a room, my vision appears along with the room; and, furthermore, because my mental images of sense-perceptible objects differ only in strength from the visual images directly stimulated by these objects; and, finally, because we call some objects beautiful, yet the difference between beautiful and ugly is connected to differences in emotions: therefore, soul and physical phenomena should no longer be regarded as two different classes of phenomena!

I find it hard to understand how the speaker himself could not feel the weakness of these arguments. To appear at the same time does not mean to appear as the same thing; just as existing at the same time does not mean existing as the same thing. Descartes could therefore recommend without self-contradiction that one deny—at least initially—the existence of the room I see, and regard as indubitable only the existence of my vision of the room. But if James' first argument is invalid, then obviously the second is also; for, what does it matter whether imagining differs from seeing only in degree of intensity, since, according to James, even if the degree of intensity were the same in both, the total congruency of imagining with seeing would still only represent congruency with a soul phenomenon? In his third argument, James speaks of beauty.... It is certainly a strange logic that could conclude—from the fact that pleasure in the beautiful is of a soul nature— that the object with whose appearance the pleasure is connected must also be of a soul nature. If that were so, then every dislike would be identical with what one dislikes, and one would have to be careful not to regret a past mistake, since, along with this remorse, the mistake, being identical with the remorse, would repeat itself.

With arguments like these, however, we need not fear that his authority—to which, among German psychologists, there is unfortunately added that of Mach—will cause many to fail to recognize the most obvious differences.5See F. Brentano, Research into a Psychology of the Senses, Leipzig, 1907, p. 96f.

Actually, this “failure to recognize the most obvious differences” is no rare occurrence. It is based on the fact that our power of mental picturing can unfold the necessary attentiveness only for sense impressions, whereas the actual soul activity that is also occurring is present to consciousness as little as what is experienced in a state of sleep. We are dealing here with two streams of experience; one of these is apprehended in a waking state; the other—the soul stream—is grasped simultaneously, but only with an attentiveness as weak as the mental perception we have in sleep, i.e., it is hardly grasped at all. We must by no means ignore the fact that during our ordinary waking state, the soul disposition of sleep does not simply cease, but continues to exist alongside our waking experience, and that the actual soul element enters the realm of perception only when the human being awakens not only to the sense world—as this occurs in ordinary consciousness—but awakens also to a soul existence, as is the case in seeing consciousness. It hardly matters now whether this soul element is denied—in a crudely materialistic sense—by the condition of sleep (to the soul element) that accompanies our waking state, or whether, because unseen, the soul element is confused with the physical, as in James' case; the results are nearly the same: both lead to fatal nearsightedness. But it is not surprising that the soul element so often remains unperceivable, if even a philosopher like William James is unable to differentiate it correctly from the physical.6The awakening of those soul faculties which, in ordinary consciousness, are unawakened is described in more detail in my book The Riddle of Man, page 132ff.

With people as little able as William James to distinguish between the actual soul element and the content of what the soul experiences through the senses, it is difficult to discuss that region of our soul's being in which the development of spiritual organs is to be observed. For, this development occurs precisely where his attention is unable to direct itself. This development leads from an intellectual knowing to a knowing that sees.7For a more extensive validation of what is stated here, please see addendum 1: The Philosophical Validation of Anthroposophy.

But now, through the ability to perceive the actual soul element, we have as yet fulfilled only the very first precondition, which makes it possible to direct our spiritual gaze to where anthroposophy seeks the development of soul organs. For, what meets this gaze at first compares to anthroposophy's description of a soul-being equipped with spiritual organs the way an undifferentiated living cell compares to an organism endowed with sense organs. The soul becomes conscious of possessing the individual spiritual organs themselves, however, only to the extent that it is able to use these organs. For, these organs are not something at rest; they are in continuous movement. And when they are not in use, one also cannot be conscious of their presence. For them, therefore, perceiving and being used are synonymous. In my anthroposophical writings, I describe how the development—and along with it the perceptibility—of these organs comes to light. I will indicate here only a little of what can be said in this regard.

Anyone who devotes himself to reflection on the experiences caused by sense-perceptible phenomena encounters questions everywhere that this reflection seems unable to answer at first. The pursuit of such reflections leads the adherents of anthropology to set certain limits to knowledge. One need only remember how Du Bois-Reymond, in his discourse on the limits of natural science, states that one cannot know the essential nature of matter or of the simplest phenomenon of consciousness. Now one can stop short at such points in one's reflections and surrender to the opinion: there human knowledge is in fact confronted by insurmountable barriers. And one can resign oneself to the fact that knowledge is attainable only on this side of the barrier, and that beyond this only inklings, feelings, hopes, and wishes are possible, with which “science” could have nothing to do.

Or else one can start at such points to form hypotheses about a region transcending the sense-perceptible world. In this case one employs the intellect, believing that it is justified in extending its judgments out over a region of which the senses perceive nothing. In such an undertaking, one runs the risk that nonbelievers will declare that the intellect has no right to judge a reality for which it lacks the foundations of sense perceptions. For only sense perceptions could provide a content for the intellect's judgment. Without such content, its concepts must remain empty.

Anthroposophically oriented spiritual science does not relate to “limits of knowledge” in either of these two ways. It does not form hypotheses about the supersensible world because it must agree with those who feel that any basis for reflection is lost if mental pictures are left in the same form as when taken from sense perceptions, and yet are to be applied in a realm transcending the sense world.

Anthroposophy does not relate to “limits of knowledge” in the first way either, because it realizes that in our encounter with these so-called limits of knowledge, something can be experienced by the soul that has nothing to do with the content of mental pictures gained from sense perception. If the soul focuses only upon this latter content, then, if its self-examination is honest, it must admit that this content can reveal nothing directly to our activity of knowing except a copy of what we experience through the senses. The situation changes if the soul goes further and asks itself: What can be experienced within the soul itself when it fills itself with those mental pictures to which it is led when confronted by our usual limits of knowledge? After sufficient self-examination, the soul can then say to itself: Through such mental pictures I cannot, in the ordinary sense of the word, know anything; but in the event that I really make this powerlessness of my knowing activity inwardly visible to myself, then I become aware how these mental pictures work within my own self. As ordinary cognitive pictures, these mental pictures remain mute; but the more their muteness communicates itself to our consciousness, the more these mental pictures take on an inner life of their own that unites with the life of the soul. And the soul then notices how, with this experience, it is in a situation comparable to that of a blind being who has also not experienced much development of its sense of touch. Such a being would at first keep bumping into things. It would feel the resistance of outer reality. And from this generalized sensation, it could develop an inner life for itself, filled with a primitive consciousness that no longer has merely the general sensation of bumping into things, but that differentiates this sensation and distinguishes between hardness and softness, smoothness and roughness, etc.

In the same way, the soul can hold and differentiate its experience of the mental pictures it forms in its encounter with the limits of knowledge. The soul learns to experience that these limits represent nothing more than what arises when the soul is touched by the spiritual world in a soul way. The dawning awareness of such limits becomes an experience for the soul that can be compared with the experience of touch in the sense world.8Limits to knowledge like those discussed above do not merely present themselves in the small number of which most people are aware; they occur in great number along the paths that intelligent reflection, according to its own inner nature, must take in order to gain a relation to true reality. Please see addendum 2: The Appearance of Limits to Knowledge. What the soul formerly regarded as limits to knowledge it now sees as a soul-spiritual touching by a spiritual world. And out of the soul's attentiveness to its experiences with the various pictures it makes for itself at this borderland, the general sensing of a spiritual world differentiates for the soul into diverse perceptions of a spiritual world. In this way, the spiritual world's lowest form of perceptibility, so to speak, becomes an experience. This characterizes merely the very first opening of the soul to the spiritual world. But it also shows that the spiritual experiences striven for in what I mean by anthroposophy do not point in the direction of general, nebulous, emotional experiences that the soul has of itself, but rather in the direction of something that can be developed in a lawful way into a true inner experience. This is not the place to show how this first primitive spiritual perception can be intensified by further soul practices in such a way that one can speak of other, in a certain way, higher kinds of perception besides this soul-spiritual blind groping. For a description of such soul practices I must refer the reader to my anthroposophical books and essays. Here only the basic principle of spiritual perception was to be indicated of which anthroposophy speaks.

I would like, through a comparison, to clarify still further how the whole attitude of soul in anthroposophical spiritual investigation differs from that of anthropology. Picture to yourself a number of wheat kernels. These can be used as food. But one can also plant them in the earth so that other wheat plants can grow from them. Likewise, one can hold mental pictures—gained through sense impressions—within one's consciousness in such a way as to experience them as copies of sense-perceptible reality. Or, one can experience these mental pictures in such a way as to let work in the soul the power these pictures exercise through what they are, irrespective of the fact that they reproduce sense perceptions. The first way that mental pictures were described as working in the soul can be compared with what becomes of wheat kernels when they are taken up as food by a living being; the second way, with the production of a new wheat plant from each kernel.

This comparison, to be sure, is only meant to focus on the fact that from the seed there arises a plant similar to its progenitors; and that from a mental picture working in the soul there arises within the soul a power that is effective in developing spiritual organs. And one must also consider the fact that our first awareness of such inner powers can only be kindled by mental pictures that work as forcefully as those mental pictures we described as occurring at the borderland of knowledge; once awakened, however, this awareness of such powers can find other mental pictures that can also be effective—to a lesser degree, it is true—in helping one progress upon this path.

At the same time, this comparison points to a result of anthroposophical investigation into the essential nature of our life in mental pictures. Just as a seed, when it is processed into food, is lifted out of the course of development that lies within its own primal being and that leads to the formation of a new plant, so a mental picture too is diverted from its own essential course of development when it is used by the picturing soul to reproduce a sense perception. The development particular to a mental picture through its own essential nature is to work as a power in the development of the soul. Just as little as one discovers the plant's laws of development when one investigates the nutritive value of its seeds, can one discover the essential nature of mental pictures when one investigates the way mental picturing brings forth a cognitive reproduction of the sense-perceptible reality it communicates. This does not mean to say that such an investigation cannot be undertaken. This is just as possible as investigating the nutritive value of seeds. But just as a study of the nutritive value of seeds addresses something different than the developmental laws of plant growth, so an epistemology that investigates how the cognitive power of mental pictures reproduces reality informs us about something different than the essential nature of our life of mental picturing. Just as little as it lies prefigured in the essential nature of a seed to become food, does it lie in the essential nature of mental picturing to provide cognitive reproductions of reality. Yes, we can even say that it is as completely external to the seed's own nature to use it as food as it is to the actual nature of mental pictures to use them to reproduce reality in cognition. The truth is that in its mental pictures the soul grasps its own evolving being. And only through the soul's own activity does it occur that mental pictures become the mediators of any knowledge of reality.9A more detailed case is made for these views in the last chapter of my book The Riddles of Philosophy: “Sketch of a Perspective of an Anthroposophy.”

Now, as to how mental pictures become mediators of such knowledge, anthroposophical observation, which employs spiritual organs, arrives at different conclusions than those epistemologists do who reject this observation. Anthroposophical observation reveals the following.

Mental pictures, as they are in their own primal nature, do in fact form a part of the life of the soul; but they cannot become conscious in the soul as long as the soul does not consciously employ its spiritual organs. As long as these mental pictures are active in a way corresponding to their own essential nature, they remain unconscious in the soul. The soul lives by virtue of them, but can know nothing of them. These mental pictures must dampen down their own life in order to become conscious soul experiences for ordinary consciousness. This dampening down occurs with every sense perception. Thus, when the soul receives a sense impression, there occurs a laming of our life in mental pictures; and the soul experiences this lamed mental picturing consciously as the mediator of our knowledge of external reality.10Please see addendum 3: The Abstractness of Our Concepts. All mental pictures that the soul relates to an outer sense-perceptible reality are inner spiritual experiences whose life has been dampened down. Everything that one thinks regarding the outer sense world consists of deadened mental pictures. Now it is not as though the life of mental pictures were lost, however; it leads its existence, separated from the realm of consciousness, in the unconscious spheres of the soul. And there it is to be found again by our spiritual organs. Now, just as the deadened mental pictures can be related by the soul to the sense world, so the living mental pictures grasped by our spiritual organs can be related to the spiritual world.

The mental pictures described above as occurring to us at the borderland of knowledge are those that, by their very nature, do not let themselves be lamed; therefore, they resist any relation to sense-perceptible reality. Precisely through this fact, they become the points of departure for spiritual perception.

In my anthroposophical books, I have called the mental pictures that are grasped as living ones by the soul “Imaginative mental pictures.” One misunderstands what is meant here by “Imaginative,” if one confuses it with the pictorial form of expression that must be used to point to such mental pictures in a suitable way. What is actually meant by "Imaginative" can be clarified in the following way. When someone has a sense perception, while the outer object is making an impression on him, the perception has a certain inner strength for him. When he turns away from the object, he can then only represent it to himself in an inner picture. But this mental picture has little inner strength. It is shadowy, so to speak, when compared with the mental picture that occurs while the outer object is present. If a person wants to enliven the mental pictures that are present in his soul in the shadowy form characteristic of ordinary consciousness, he saturates them with the aftereffects of sense perception. He makes the mental picture into an image he can observe [inwardly]. Such images are certainly nothing other than the results of interaction between mental picturing and sense perception. The “Imaginative” mental pictures of anthroposophy do not arise at all in this way. In order to bring them forth, the soul must know this inner process of uniting the life of mental pictures with sense impressions so exactly that it can prevent any sense impressions—or their aftereffects, as the case may be—from flowing into its life of mental picturing. One can achieve this exclusion of perception's aftereffects only if one has learned to know how mental picturing is gripped by these aftereffects. Only then is one in a position to unite the spiritual organs in a living way with the essential being of mental picturing and thereby receive impressions from spiritual reality. Through this, the life of mental pictures is permeated from an entirely different quarter than in sense perception. One's experiences are essentially different from those to be had from sense perceptions. And yet it is possible to describe these experiences. This can be done in the following way.

When the human being perceives the color yellow he does not merely have a visual experience in his soul; a nuance of feeling accompanies what the soul experiences. This feeling may vary in strength from person to person, but it will never be totally absent. In the beautiful chapter of his Color Theory on the sensory-ethical effects of colors, Goethe describes in a quite vivid manner the participation of our feeling in red, yellow, green, etc. Now when the soul perceives something in a particular region of the spirit, it can happen that this spiritual perception is accompanied in the soul by the same nuance of feeling as occurs in the sense perception of yellow. One knows then that one is having a particular spiritual experience. In this mental picture, of course, one does not confront what one confronts in a sense perception of a yellow color. Yet, as a nuance of feeling, one has the same inner experience as when the eye is confronted by a yellow color. One says then: I perceive the spiritual experience as “yellow.” In order to express oneself even more exactly, one could perhaps say: I perceive something that is like “yellow” for my soul. But this description is unnecessary for anyone who has learned from anthroposophical literature how the process leading to spiritual perception occurs. This literature points clearly enough to the fact that the reality accessible to spiritual perception does not confront the spiritual organs like a rarefied sense-perceptible object or process, or in such a way that it could be reproduced through mental pictures that are perceptible in the ordinary way.11For further clarification of what has just been expressed, please see addendum 4: An Important Characteristic of Spiritual Perception.


Just as the soul, through its spiritual organs, learns to know the spiritual world lying outside of the human being, so it also learns to know the spiritual being of man himself. Anthroposophy regards this spiritual being as a member of the spiritual world. Anthroposophy proceeds from observation of one part of the spiritual world to mental pictures about the human being of what reveals itself in the human body as a spiritual human being. Working from the opposite direction, anthropology also arrives at mental pictures about the human being. When anthroposophy develops the kinds of observations described in this essay, it arrives at views about the spiritual being of man that manifests in the sense world through its body. The flower of this manifestation is human consciousness, which allows sense impressions to live on in the form of mental pictures. By proceeding from experiences of the spiritual world outside man to man himself, anthroposophy ultimately finds the human being living in a sense-perceptible body and, in this body, elaborating his consciousness of sense-perceptible reality. The last thing anthroposophy, on its path, discovers about the human being is the soul's living activity in mental pictures, which anthroposophy is able to express in coherent imaginative pictures. Then, at the end of its path of spiritual investigation, so to speak, anthroposophy can employ its vision further and see how the real life of mental pictures is lamed by the perceiving senses. With the light it sheds from the spiritual quarter, anthroposophy shows this lamed life of mental pictures to be characteristic of man's life in the sense world, insofar as he forms mental pictures. In this way, as one of the last results of its investigations, anthroposophy arrives at a philosophy of the human being. What lies on its path down to this point is to be found purely in a spiritual realm. With the results of what it has found on its spiritual path, anthroposophy arrives at a characterization of the human being who lives in the sense world.

Anthropology investigates the realms of the sense world. Proceeding on its way, it also arrives at the human being. He presents himself to anthropology as drawing together the facts of the sense world in his bodily organization in such a way that from this drawing together a consciousness arises through which outer reality is presented in mental pictures. The anthropologist sees mental pictures arising from the human organism. In observing this, he must come to a halt in a certain sense. With mere anthropology, he cannot apprehend the inner, lawful connectedness of mental pictures. Just as anthroposophy, at the end of its path through spiritual experiences, still looks at the spiritual being of man—insofar as this manifests through the perceptions of the senses—so anthropology, at the end of its path through the sense world, must look at the way the sense perceptible human being is active in mental picturing in its encounter with sense perceptions. And when it observes this, anthropology finds that this activity is not sustained by the organic laws of the body, but by the thought-laws of logic. But logic is not a region that can be entered in the same way as the other regions of anthropology. In thinking that is governed by logic, laws hold sway that can no longer be regarded as those of the bodily organization. As the human being works with these laws, the same logical activity reveals itself in him that anthroposophy encounters at the end of its path. It is just that the anthropologist sees this logical activity in the light shed from the sense-perceptible realm. He sees the lamed mental pictures and, by acknowledging the existence of logic, he also concedes that in these mental pictures laws are operative from a world that is indeed united with the sense world, but does not coincide with it. In man's life of mental pictures, which is carried by a logical activity, there manifests to the anthropologist the sense-perceptible human being who extends into the spiritual world. In this way, as the final results of its investigations, anthropology arrives at a philosophy about the human being. What lies on its path up to this point lies purely in the sense world.12Like the thoughts before footnote 7, what has been indicated here can be clarified further in a certain direction by addendum 1: The Philosophical Validation of Anthroposophy.

If these two paths—the anthroposophical and the anthropological—are followed in the right way, they meet at the same point. Anthroposophy brings with it to this meeting a picture of the living spiritual human being and shows how he develops, in sense-perceptible existence, the consciousness that is present between birth and death while the life of supersensible consciousness is lamed. Anthropology, at this meeting point, shows a picture of the sense-perceptible human being who apprehends himself in consciousness, but who extends up into spiritual existence and lives in that essential beingness which reaches beyond birth and death. At this meeting point, a really fruitful understanding is possible between anthroposophy and anthropology. This understanding will occur if both progress to a philosophy of the human being. The philosophy of the human being that emerges from anthroposophy will in fact produce a picture of him painted in an entirely different medium than that provided by an anthropological philosophy of the human being; but those who look at both pictures will be able to find a harmony between their mental pictures similar to that between the negative of a photograph and the corresponding positive print.

This essay, I hope, has shown how the question raised at the beginning—about the possibility of a fruitful discussion between anthropology and anthroposophy—can be answered in the affirmative, especially from the anthroposophical point of view.