1861 - 1925

Universal human being

When one encounters the published works of Rudolf Steiner – 354 books, 30 written by him and the rest containing his lectures – one might be surprised by the sheer amount of it. [1] But even more striking is the diversity of topics he was lecturing or writing about. "If Steiner had been nothing but a philosopher, or investigator of the spiritual world, or educator, or authority on Goethe, or agricultural expert, or architect, or expert in medicine and curative therapy, or dramatist, or gifted artistic innovator, inventor of eurythmy, or expert on social science and economy, an age that respects specialisation would have reserved a special niche for him. But Steiner was all these things at the same time." [2]

Steiner can be thus seen as the representative of the 'true human being' – an universal, all-embracing human being. "No element belonging to the very highest form of the universally human was lacking in his personality. All these elements united in him to form a totality which is, as such, effectual… Whoever immerses himself in that totality will be able – provided he brings with him" the clarity of thinking, "not approaching him with a ready-made opinion" – to gain the view of the world in the most many sided ways imaginable. [3]

The life and work of Rudolf Steiner is worthy of exploration. You can access the shorter Rudolf Steiner Biographies which were published as part of his books or lecture cycles.

If you have time you can listen to Autobiography - Chapters in the Course of My Life, 1861-1907 – written by Steiner in 1924-1925 and read by Dale Brunsvold.

Those who are interested to know more about this extraordinary man can read one of his biographies that was published as a whole book.


Rudolf Steiner: An Introduction to His Life and Work, by Garry Lachman, 2007

Rudolf Steiner, by Rudi Lissau, 2005

Rudolf Steiner: The Man and His Vision, by Collin Wilson, 2005

Rudolf Steiner: His Life and Work, by Gilbert Childs, 2003


  1. This is the number of books in the collected works in German.
  2. This is a modified quote by Steward Euston, used in an article by Hilmar Moore: Rudolf Steiner, A Biographical Introduction for Farmers, Biodynamics, Nov/Dec, 1997
  3. The quotes in this paragraph are taken from Steiner's descriptions of Goethe which are more than enough suited for a description of Steiner himself. Source: Steiner, A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's world Conception, Anthroposophic Press, 1968