Rudolf Steiner on the Enigma of the Being Anthroposophia

When we are in a position to assimilate anthroposophical knowledge not only through reading and listening, but when we are more and more able to experience the content of anthroposophy in our heart, in our feelings, then it is as if living, cosmic beings enter our souls.  Then, anthroposophy will appear to us increasingly as a living being.  And we will become aware that something is knocking at the threshold of our heart saying, ‘Let me in, because I am you yourself; I am your true nature, your very humanity.’”    Rudolf Steiner

The quote above, and many like it, have puzzled Anthroposphists as they tried to create and maintain a relationship with Anthroposophia, a being they are told is so important and yet they cannot wrap their minds around.  On one hand, Steiner tells his students to focus on this being and on the other hand is told the mysteries of Sophia will only be revealed in the future. This has led to much speculation that seems to go nowhere. Just as soon as a writer thinks he has understood Sophia, a new dimension opens up and all previous limitations of Sophia are extinguished. Pretty soon, we don’t know the difference between Christ and Sophia, Anthroposophia and the Holy Spirit, or Archangel Michael and Sophia.  It seems that their areas of influence overlap and that they must either work together or perhaps are the same being.  The importance Steiner places on the Archangel Michael must be balanced with Anthroposophia, but doesn’t seem logical until one realizes that the Archangel Michael is a ‘Son of Sophia’, one of the highest emissaries of Sophia. Michael is also the emissary of Christ. The confusion mounts until the simple answer is spelled out by Steiner without any “dogma” concerning the Mysteries of Sophia. The answers are clearly found in Steiner’s work, but the formulation of a specific “concept” of the Divine Feminine Trinity was not clearly spelled out.

Through Steiner’s injunctions to ‘let Anthroposophia in’, the student is told to develop a relationship with a spiritual being who knows us better than we know ourselves.  Anthroposophia is to become our counselor and the objective reflection of our own personal self-development. The interaction with this being will take the student on the next steps of self-knowledge. Anthroposophia will midwife the soul until the Virgin Sophia can be born as the place for the spirit to dwell.

Let’s read Steiner’s own words a few descriptions of this being Anthroposophia.

 The Anthroposophic Movement, GA 258

A feeling, a kind of sense, that Anthroposophia – quite apart from the existence of anthroposophist – must be looked upon as an independent living being; as one, so to speak, who goes about amongst us and to whom we are responsible at every moment of our lives.  It was said in this lecture to the theologians in so many words: Anthroposophia is actually an invisible person, going about amongst visible people, and to whom, so long as they are only few in number, they owe the very greatest responsibility, – one who must really be treated as an invisible human being, actually living amongst us, whose opinion must be sought on every single thing we do in life.  Whenever, therefore, so long as there is only a little band of anthroposophists, anything is formed in the way of human associations – friendships, or fellowships, or any sort of clique – it becomes all the more necessary that this invisible being should be asked, and that everything should be such that it can be justified before this invisible being.  Of course this will be, in the same measure, ever less and less the case, the more widespread Anthroposophy becomes.  But so long as it is only the possession of a little band, it remains absolutely necessary that everything that is done should be done, so to speak, in consultation with this human being ‘Anthroposophia.’  It is one of the essential life conditions that Anthroposophia should be regarded as a living being.

The Being of Anthroposophy, February 3, 1913. Berlin.

What, therefore, must be developed? It must unfold that, once again, as a matter of course, a “Sophia” becomes present. But we must learn to relate this Sophia to the consciousness soul, bring her down directly to human beings. This is happening during the age of the consciousness soul. And thereby Sophia becomes the being who directly enlightens human beings. After Sophia has entered human beings, she must take their being with her and present it to them outwardly, objectively. Thus, Sophia will be drawn into the human soul and arrive at the point of being so inwardly connected with it that a love poem as beautiful as Dante wrote may be written about her.

Sophia will become objective again, but she will take with her what humanity is, and objectively present herself in this form. Thus, she will present herself not only as Sophia, but as Anthroposophia – as the Sophia who, after passing through the human soul, through the very being of the human being, henceforth bears that being within her, and in this form she will confront enlightened human beings as the objective being Sophia who once stood before the Greeks.

Such is the progression of human evolutionary history in relation to the spiritual questions we have been considering. Here I must leave the matter to all those who wish to examine in even greater detail, following the destiny of Sophia, Philosophia, and Anthroposophia, how we may show how humanity develops progressively through those parts of the soul we call the intellectual soul, the consciousness soul, and the spirit-self.  People will learn how profoundly what anthroposophy gives us is based in our whole being. What we receive through anthroposophy is our very own being.

This once floated toward us in the form of a celestial goddess with whom we were able to enter into relationship. This divine being lived on as Sophia and Philosophia, and now we can once again bring her out of ourselves and place her before us as the fruit of true anthroposophical self-knowledge. We can wait patiently until the world is willing to test the depth of the foundations of what we have to say, right down to the smallest details. It is the essence of anthroposophy that its own being consists of the being of the human, and its effectiveness, its reality, consists in that we receive from anthroposophy what we ourselves are and what we must place before ourselves, because we must practice self-knowledge.

Sophia must become present again.  But we must learn to relate this Sophia to the consciousness soul, bring her down directly to human beings.  And thereby Sophia becomes the being who directly enlightens human beings.  After Sophia has entered human beings, she must take their being with her and present it to them outwardly, objectively.  Thus, Sophia will be drawn into the soul and become inwardly connected.  Thus, she will present herself not only as Sophia, but as Anthroposophia – as the Sophia who, after passing through the human soul, through the very being of the human being, henceforth bears that being within her.  And in this form she will confront enlightened human beings as the objective being Sophia who once stood before the Greeks.

What we receive through Anthroposophy is the essence of ourselves, which in former times descended to man in order to manifest itself as a celestial goddess with whom he was able to find a personal relationship, who lived as the Sophia, as Philo-Sophia, and to whom he will give birth again out of himself, placing her before him as the fruit of true self-knowledge in Anthroposophy.  For the being of anthroposophy is such that its own being consists in that which constitutes the essence of man’s being; and the nature of its influence is that man receives in Anthroposophy what he himself is and that he must place this before him, because he must practice self-knowledge.

The mysteries of Sophia are spoken of by Rudolf Steiner in ways that no one fully understands. The nature of Anthroposophia as a truly human being is referred to again and again. What he insinuates is that the ‘human’ being of Anthroposophia is essentially the collective consciousness of humanity as it develops over the course of history. This is what makes Anthroposophia so ‘human’ in ever way except for having a physical body.  Anthroposophia seems to “defy” space and time as She is present to every human who is progressing on their personal spiritual path. She works with each individual and is personally present for each person. She is intimately concerned with our personal advancement and takes our hand and shows us the way. These characteristics are inexplicable to the rational mind, and yet Steiner focuses on his students becoming aware of all aspects of the workings of this being. 

The Riddles of Philosophy, The World Conception of the Greek Thinkers. GA 18

Anthroposophia is in herself an invisible human being who goes amongst visible human beings towards whom we have the greatest conceivable responsibility who must indeed be regarded as an invisible human being, as someone with a real existence, who should be consulted in all life’s individual actions, to whom we are responsible in everything that happens is to be viewed in consultation with the human being Anthroposophia . . .as a living being . . . So that is what is necessary: true seriousness in our following of that invisible human being to whom I have just spoken.

Perception of the Nature of Thought, Dornach, 10 January 1915, GA 161.

Thus we are living today in the midst of the consciousness soul epoch, looking towards the dawn of the age of the Spirit-Self; and we know that something is separating itself off from man, something which will, however, carry through the times that are to come what man has won as the fruit of passing through the consciousness soul age.  What is it that has to be developed?  What must be developed is without doubt the presence once again amongst mankind of a “Sophia.”  But man has learnt to relate this “Sophia” to his consciousness soul, to bring her into direct relationship with human beings.  This has taken place during the consciousness soul epoch, and the Sophia has thereby become the being who explains man as such.  Once she has entered into man, she must take his being with her and place it objectively before him from without.  Thus the Sophia enters into the human soul and separates it again, but she will take with her man’s essential being and place it objectively before him – now not merely as the “Sophia” but as Anthroposophia, as the Sophia who, after passing through the human soul, through man’s being, henceforth bears this being of man within her and thus appears before an enlightened human being as once the Sophia stood as an objective being before the Greece.

Towards the end of Steiner’s life, he often referred to Anthroposophia as the living being who fills Anthroposophy with the wisdom (Sophia) of Christ. He even equates Anthroposophia with the Spirits of Wisdom, who we now know as the Daughter.  Anthroposophia seems to have the power and characteristics of the Beings of Wisdom (Kyriotetes). In one way of looking at it, you could say that the Cosmic Being of Wisdom fills Anthroposophia just as Christ fills the Holy Spirit.  Again, this points in the direction of the Divine Feminine Trinity and the co-equal power shared by the three members of the Trinity.

Christmas Foundation Meeting

And if you hear this resounding in your own hearts, my dear friends, then what you will establish here will be a true union of human beings on behalf of Anthroposophia, and will carry the spirit which prevails in radiant thought-light around our dodecahedral stone of love out into the world, where it may shed light and warmth on the progress of human souls and the progress of the world.

Sun evolution within Earth existence!  Just think what we have actually reached in these reflections.  We are considering the course of philosophical development, of philosophical thought since the time of ancient Greece, and noting how this has evolved from philosopher to philosopher we say to ourselves: There are active within this not earthly laws but Sun laws!  The laws which at that time held sway between the Spirits of Wisdom and the Archangels come to light again on earth in the philosophical search for wisdom.  Read in Occult Science how the Spirits of Wisdom intervene during the Sun evolution.  And man develops his philosophy without noticing that in this development the Spirits of Wisdom are pulsing through his soul.  Ancient Sun existence live in the evolution of philosophy; it really and truly lives within it.  GA 161

With the being of Anthroposophia we find a clear and detailed biography of one of the three aspects of the Divine Feminine Trinity.  Through developing a relationship with the being Anthroposophia, the wisdom of Christ unfolds revealing the cosmic workings of the Son (Elohim) and the Daughter (Kyriotetes).  The evolving spiritual scientist needs the Holy Spirit to reveal the nature of the Cosmic Christ through the being of Anthroposophia in the realm of the Spirit Self.  Likewise, through the Sophia (Beings of Wisdom) the nature of the Son of God the Father becomes revealed through the Archangel Michael in the realm of the Life Spirit.  Then, through the Mother, the Father God is revealed by the Archai in the realm of Spirit Man.  Anthroposophia has the task of bringing us to the understanding of the other members of both the Male and Female Trinities.  Through Anthroposophia, we come to communicate with the higher realms, discern wisdom and know the beings who inhabit those realms.


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