This is a decent introduction to Steiner's life and work It is most valuable because it is written by someone who is interested in Steiner, but is not an anthroposophist or Steiner devotee Most books about Steiner seem to be written by fans or foes, so it is difficult to get an unbiased perspective This is likely the closest that one can get Lachman is interested in Steiner and admires him, but has enough professional distance to write a balanced account of Steiner's life and contributions to education, philosophy, science, medicine, farming and architecture Steiner was a true Renaissance Man whose ideas and work are just as relevant today as they were in WWIera Europe Lachman recognizes this and writes a thoroughly researched biography of a fascinating and inspired man. The first truly popular biography of the influential twentiethcentury mystic and educator whowhile widely known for founding the Waldorf schools and other educational and humanitarian movementsremains a mystery to many who benefit from his ideas People everywhere have heard of Waldorf schools, Biodynamic farming, Camphill Villages, and other innovations of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf SteinerIndeed, Steineras an architect, artist, teacher, and agriculturalistranks among the most creative and prolific figures of the early twentieth century, pioneering work in alternative education, holistic health, and environmental research While his accomplishments are felt all over the world, few people understand this unusual figure Steiner's own writings and lectures fill several bookcases, intimidating those who would like to know Works on Steiner are often dense and insider in tone, further deterring the curious No popular biography, written by a sympathetic but critical outsider, has been available Gary Lachman's Rudolf Steiner provides this missing introduction Along with telling Steiner's story and placing Steiner in his historical context, Lachman's book presents Steiner's key ideas in a readable, accessible manner In particular, Lachman considers the spread of Steiner's most popular projects, which include Waldorf schoolsone of the leading forms of alternative educationand Biodynamic farminga popular precursor to organic farming He also traces Steiner's beginnings as a young intellectual in the ferment of fin de si?cle culture, to his rise as a thought leader within the influential occult movement of Theosophy, to the founding of his own metaphysical teaching called Anthroposophy Finally, the book illustrates how Steiner's methods are put into practice today, and relates Steiner's insights into cosmology to the work of current thinkers Rudolf Steiner is a fullbodied portrait of one of the most original philosophical and spiritual luminaries of the last two centuries, and gives those interested in the history of ideas the opportunity to discover one of the most underappreciated figures of the twentieth century “Rudolf Steiner – An introduction to his life and work” by Gary Lachman(Gary Valentine Lachman was one of the founding members of the band Blondie)This book flows It is an unfolding of a wonderful inner world of thought sequences of the writer who is following the development of Rudolf Steiner’s legacy.He is discussing the world of the spirit, without reserve as a reality His general knowledge is illustrated by the writer’s scholarly approach and is displaying his ability of conveying other philosophers content when illustrating Rudolf Steiner’s younger years.Whilst mapping out Steiner’s amazing reach of topics and the issues Steiner developed in his life, Lachman at the same time gives a colourful, human description of Steiner’s person and life He is certainly not restrained and expresses his own struggle in comprehending some of Steiner’s challenging statements But he has found a way of introducing the development of Rudolf Steiner’s ‘science of the spirit’ along the lines of conversations and observations of other philosophers and creating a Socrates type of dialogue in order to gain clarity For Steiner, Gary Lachman writes, there were two kinds of things: those that were “seen” and those that were “not seen” Both were real The things “not seen”, meaning not grasped by the senses, weren’t fantasies, they were inner events, taking place on a kind of interior stage, the soul For example, although no perfect triangle (or circle, or square) exists in nature, the idea of a triangle has as much existence as any physical thing of a triangular shape What is , we all observe mentally the same triangle For Steiner, ideas were the “shadows” of spiritual realities; meaning that ideas were realities in themselves In a nutshell, similarly as grasping through inner effort the reality of an ideal triangle, we can develop the ability to grasp the reality of other areas of spiritual realities The works of Steiner take an effort to read because his intention is to awaken the reader to this process of developing awareness of spiritual realities through rigorous thinking exercises and Gary Lachman writes that Steiner’s message can seem as such austere and unattractive for readers who associate spirituality with vague feelings and wellmeaning but mushy sentimentality.I was pleased to read Lachman’s active interest in pursueing Steiner’s claim of having developed a scientific process towards an understanding of spiritual realities A path that every human being can follow out of their own free will and that it stands in contrast to the mystic approach of previous times And at the same time I can sympathise with Gary Lachman’s line The idea of 'higher consciousness' isn't unfamiliar to me, although, sad to say, I knowabout it from reading than from actual experience If you would like to understand how Steiner became who he became, this is an excellent book Author is measured, thoughtful, helpful and knowledgeable of the field I've been working at a Camphill village in Norway since September at a house for the elderly with severe mental and physical handicaps I went into this work with no experience, and no knowledge of the Steiner philosophy Therefore, it's been a great adventure to learn all about anthroposophy, and I've been fascinated by its various elements continuously I've tried to soak up all I could from talking to the people that've worked in the village for a long time, and by reading the books I've found lying about This book was lent to me by someone at the house, and I'm so glad I read it It's a great introduction to Rudolph Steiner that answers a lot of the questions I've had about the enigmatic man The book is well written from a very balanced perspective, and guides the reader through various elements of the man's life It made me realise how influential he truly was, and how his work still lives on in villages such as the one I'm in It's a fascinating philosophy he created, and it truly has something for everyone from caretaking, medicine, to religion I can't wait to keep learning about the man and his legacy. He has done s good job has the lad Good intro to Steiner’s life. Excellent explanatory and introductory foray into Steiner God knows that Steiner's own writing was incomprehensible to me. Gary Lachman’s biography of Rudolf Steiner is a perfect introduction and overview to one of the 20th century’s most unusual and overlooked thinkers.Throughout the work Lachman makes it clear that interested readers should understand that a popular biography can in no way give a detailed summary of Steiner’s work and are encouraged to delve deeper into the areas that the author can only touch upon.This is a fair and productive decision as Steiner was a man of many interests It would be accurate to say that full biographies could be written based on any one of his approaches to the many disciplines he spent his life discovering, expanding upon and, indeed, creating.The book brings us from Steiner’s childhood and early philosophical interests and compatriots all the way through his sometimes illfated mingling with the Theosophical society and its offshoots until the final years of his life and the construction of the second Goetheanum.One of the first things that struck me, and I’m not sure if Lachman was implying anything by including this or not, was Steiner’s regular consumption of acacia blossoms throughout his childhood.The acacia blossom is used in shamanistic rituals and unlike ayahuasca, for example, does not need to be combined with anything in order for its psychoactive compounds to become active.It begs the question of how influential this might have been in relation to Steiner’s early visions and overall brain growth: could this have altered the cellular state of his sense organs, for example, and could these altered states have been the cause of his belief in higher worlds?It’s odd that Steiner said that he only truly began to perceive the reality of the world, the primal vision, as an adult.One trait of Steiners’s that certainly can’t be questioned is his enthusiasm for knowledge Lachman’s descriptions of Steiner’s lectures and schedules are exhausting even to read His workload throughout his lifetime is evenimpressive when you consider that he approached all of his subject matter from many angles.It seems Steiner could infuriate his friends and philosophical allies by taking the side of his opponent just to try and understand their perspective better This was an especially delicate tactic in light of the rampant German nationalism and misunderstanding of Nietzsche’s work at this time.The author acknowledges Steiner’s embrace and belief in theesoteric elements at the fore of the Theosophical movement and his own opposition and application in relation to how higher states of mind could be attained: Steiner did not believe that one could achieve these states through inactivity and mere contemplation, rather they were something that had to be grasped and worked at.But, Steiner believed, they could be achieved and the realm of forms was, through the correct use of the senses, something that could be sense transcended.I recommend this book highly if, like me, you are somebody new to Steiner and have only read one or two of his works (I have read Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment, Egyptian Myths and Mysteries and Esoteric Cosmology.) It's hard to see how one person could have had such a mixture of ideas His educational ideas are sound I've used this handout with parents There's lots of other good information if you Google ADHD Waldorf The story of his first tutoring experience was very interesting His ideas about mystical issues certainly weretenuous As a person who visualizes very little, aside from what I get from my senses, I am amazed by his statement that his interior impressions were stronger than those from his senses That ability must allow so much creativity I was taught to rely on scientific information for my picture of reality I guess I'll learnabout the people who rely on other methods Meanwhile, I'll get most of my information from this author; how could you go wrong Blondie was (is?) a really good band.