Strengthening the Will: The 'Review Exercises'

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Rudolf Steiner Press, 2010 - Self-Help - 105 pages
The so-called `review exercises' - to be carried out alongside the `supplementary exercises' and meditation - are integral to the path of personal development and knowledge presented by Rudolf Steiner. Together they form a means of experiencing the spiritual realm in full consciousness. Meditation enlivens thinking, the supplementary exercises educate and balance feeling, whilst the review exercises cultivate the will by penetrating it with powers of consciousness. Conscientiously practised, this path of self-knowledge and development has the effect of opening a source of inner strength and psychological health that soon make themselves felt in daily life.

The review exercises bring the experiences of our daily lives to full awareness. By directing our attentive gaze to what has happened - whether in a single day or in whole phases of life - we kindle light in our will. Undertaking such a review backwards, in reverse sequence, or from an `external perspective', requires a huge inner effort as we establish distance between ourselves and our daily experiences.

In this essential handbook the editor has drawn together virtually all Rudolf Steiner's statements on the review exercises, supporting them with commentary and notes. Described from different perspectives and approaches, there are a surprising range of suggestions for carrying them out. Individual chapters focus on reviewing the day (transforming the power of memory); reviewing events in your life (awakening the higher self); reviewing the other's perspective (awakening social impulses); exercises in thinking backwards (illuminating the will); review exercises to comprehend karmic connections; review exercises and kamaloka; and the relationship of review exercises and education.

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About the author (2010)

Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner was a noted Goethe (see Vol. 2) scholar and private student of the occult who became involved with Theosophy in Germany in 1902, when he met Annie Besant (1847--1933), a devoted follower of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (1831--1891). In 1912 he broke with the Theosophists because of what he regarded as their oriental bias and established a system of his own, which he called Anthroposophy (anthro meaning "man"; sophia sophia meaning "wisdom"), a "spiritual science" he hoped would restore humanism to a materialistic world. In 1923 he set up headquarters for the Society of Anthroposophy in New York City. Steiner believed that human beings had evolved to the point where material existence had obscured spiritual capacities and that Christ had come to reverse that trend and to inaugurate an age of spiritual reintegration. He advocated that education, art, agriculture, and science be based on spiritual principles and infused with the psychic powers he believed were latent in everyone. The world center of the Anhthroposophical Society today is in Dornach, Switzerland, in a building designed by Steiner. The nonproselytizing society is noted for its schools.

MARTINA MARIA SAM was born in 1960 in Hornbach, Odenwald, Germany. From 1979 to 1981, she studied sociology and political science at the University of Heidelberg. Between 1981 and 1986, she attended the Institute for Waldorf education, Witten-Annen, where she studied eurythmy and education. From 1987 to 1992, she was a eurythmist on the Goetheanum stage, while also working for various publishers. From 1989 to 2000, she assisted in the publication of Rudolf Steiner's collected works. Meanwhile, she also studied art history, German, and history at the University of Basel, where she wrote her Master's thesis on Rudolf Steiner's blackboard drawings (Dornach, 2000). From 1996 to 1998 she was editor of the weekly newspaper, Das Goetheanum. In January 2000, Martina Maria Sam became leader of the the Literary Arts and Humanities Section of the School for Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum.

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