Synopses & Reviews
The first truly popular biography of the influential twentieth-century mystic and educator who while widely known for founding the Waldorf schools and other educational and humanitarian movements remains 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 Steiner (1861-1925). Indeed, Steiner as an architect, artist, teacher, and agriculturalist ranks 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 more.
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 schools-one of the leading forms of alternative education and Biodynamic farming-a popular precursor to organic farming. He also traces Steiner's beginnings as a young intellectual in the ferment of fin de siecle culture, to his rise as a thought leader within the influential occult movement of Theosophy, to the founding of his own metaphysicalteaching 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 full-bodied 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.
Because of Blavatskyand#8217;s involvement with the Spiritualist movement in America in the latter half of the 19th Century, Lachmanand#8217;s account of her life also adds clarity to the murky waters which mixed and matched spiritualism and occultism during that time. His history of the spiritualist movement and secret societies during the time that Blavatsky was involved with them is a valuable contribution, in and of itself, to esoteric history. This is a must read for any one with a serious interest in Western esoteric spirituality."
and#8212;Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight
"Dense and exhaustive, a valiant attempt to capture the essence of a life that defies simple retelling."
A portrait of the influential twentieth-century mystic and founder of the Waldorf schools traces his Austrian heritage; pioneering work in alternative education, holistic health, and environmental research; and the legacy of his work in Biodynamic farming. Original.
A thoughtful biography of one of the most polarizing pioneers of alternative spirituality, the occult-mystic Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. and#160;Pioneer. Visionary. Provocateur. Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatskyandmdash;mystic, occult writer, child of Russian aristocrats, spiritual seeker who traveled five continents, and founder (with Henry Steel Olcott) of the Theosophical Societyandmdash;is still being hailed as an icon and scorned as a fraud more than 120 years after her death. But despite perennial interest in her life, writings, and philosophy, no single biography has examined the controversy and legacy of this influential thinker who helped define modern alternative spiritualityandmdash;until now.and#160;Gary Lachman, the acclaimed spiritual biographer behind volumes such as Rudolf Steiner and Jung the Mystic, brings us an in-depth look at Blavatsky, objectively exploring her unique and singular contributions toward introducing Eastern and esoteric spiritual ideas to the West during the nineteenth century, as well as the controversies that continue to color the discussions of her life and work.
Now in paperback, this bold new biography fills a gap in our understanding of the pioneering psychologist by focusing on the occult and mystical aspects of Jung’s thought and career.
“Outstanding . . . lifts the curtain on one of the most important aspects of his remarkable life . . . fair and objective.” —Alice O. Howell, Quest magazine
“How the Swiss psychologist lived a life rich in the paranormal.” —Los Angeles Times
“A serious but comprehensible new biography of Jung and his interest in the esoteric.” —New Age Retailer
“Fascinating . . . Fully engaging from beginning to end.” —Dell Horoscope
Although he is often called the “founding father of the New Age,” Carl Jung, the legendary Swiss psychiatrist best known for his groundbreaking concepts such as the collective unconscious, archetype theory, and synchronicity, often took pains to avoid any explicit association with mysticism or the occult. Yet Jung lived a life rich in paranormal experiences—arguing for the existence of poltergeists in a debate with Sigmund Freud, participating in séances, incorporating astrology into his therapeutic work, reporting a near-death experience, and analyzing the work of pioneering ESP researcher J. B. Rhine. It is these critical experiences—often fleetingly touched on in other biographies or critical studies, and frequently used to make a case against Jung and his philosophies—that form the core of this significant new biography.
About the Author
Gary Lachman, recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of the pioneering rock band Blondie, is among today's most widely read writers on esoteric and occult subject matter. His books have been published to acclaim in both England and America.