(Guess Who)

Rudolf Steiner said we all need a guru to guide us when we approach the spirit realm.

"[A spiritual seeker] would find himself plunged into the stormy sea of astral experiences [i.e., soul experiences] if he were left to fend for himself. For this reason he needs a guide who can tell him from the start how these things are related and how to find his bearings in the astral world. Hence the need to find a Guru on whom he can strictly rely." — Rudolf Steiner, AT THE GATES OF SPIRITUAL SCIENCE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1986), lecture 12, “Occult Development”, GA 95.

For Anthroposophists, including many Waldorf teachers, the guru of choice is Rudolf Steiner.

To gauge the reverence Steiner’s followers feel for him, we can’t do better than to simply read their words. Here are some statements made about Steiner by his adherents. The main messages: Steiner was almost godly, and what he said is True in an astonishing range of subjects (regardless of evidence, logic, or other distractions). For his followers, Steiner’s unsupported word is sufficient: He said thus-and-so, which means he showed us thus-and-so — for it is true.

Here is a sampling of statements about Steiner the guru. I have set some particularly telling phrases in bold type:


“Rudolf Steiner [the] spiritual and esoteric teacher is…the exemplar of Anthroposophy.” — Robert A. McDermott, THE NEW ESSENTIAL STEINER (Lindisfarne Books, Anthroposophic Press, 2009), p. 1.

“Rudolf Steiner is both a mystic and an occultist. These two natures appear in him in perfect harmony. One could not say which of the two predominates over the other. In intermingling and blending, they have become one homogeneous force. Hence a special development in which outward events play but a secondary part ... From the age of eighteen, young Steiner possessed the spontaneous consciousness of this two-fold current — a consciousness which is the condition of all spiritual vision. This vital axiom was forced upon him by a direct and involuntary seeing of things. Thenceforth he had the unmistakable sensation of occult powers which were working behind and through him for his guidance. He gave heed to this force and obeyed its admonitions, for he felt in profound accordance with it.” — Edouard Schuré, “The Personality of Rudolf Steiner And His Development”, introduction to Steiner's THE WAY OF INITATION (Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1910), p. 12.

“A philosopher, scientist, and esotericist, Steiner was a dedicated servant of humanity ... The range of [his] research, far-reaching in its practical applications, included every aspect of human striving, from cosmology, evolution, and history to physics, mathematics, biology, psychology and astronomy.” — Christopher Bamford, introduction to START NOW! (SteinerBooks, 2004), p. 7.

“The forms of self-discipline taught by Rudolf Steiner were so sane and ennobling that every human being would profit by their practice. They are methods of self-culture which purify...." — Olin D. Wannamaker, "Rudolf Steiner - An Introduction to His Life and Thought", Rudolf Steiner School Quarterly, January-April, 1928.

“With the destruction of the Goetheanum [the Anthroposophical headquarters] on the physical plane, Rudolf Steiner's spiritual members were loosed from his physical body and the possibility arose that he too, the Master, would leave us on the physical plane. But this was not to happen; Rudolf Steiner had to stay [i.e., he did not die yet] … So the Master remained.” — Ita Wegman, ESOTERIC STUDIES (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2013), p. 22.

"Rudolf Steiner was the high priest of the new mysteries." — Bernhard Lievegoed, TOWARD THE 21st CENTURY (Steiner Book Centre, 1972), lecture 2.

"[W]e have learned to believe in Rudolf Steiner's teachings ... [W]e are members of the Anthroposophical Society ... [B]ecause we have received more, we are subject to a much sterner judgment than all others who undertake the [human spiritual] quest with less help than we have received." — Dr. Franz E. Winkler, OUR OBLIGATION TO RUDOLF STEINER IN THE SPIRIT OF EASTER (Whittier Books, 1955), p. 11.

Rudolf Steiner has shown that our earthly existence has meaning only if we know that life ends not with physical death...." — Dr. Norbert Glas, HOW TO LOOK AT ILLNESS (New Knowledge Books, 1956; excerpted at the Rudolf Steiner Archive).

"I am a missionary on behalf of Rudolf Steiner." — Instructor in a Waldorf teacher-training program; see "Teacher Training".

“[A]n extension of the field of experience for the human soul into the region of the supersensible [i.e., the spirit realm] lies on the general line of development for mankind. We need to understand how such phenomena are related to the condition of man at the present time, and how they can be rightly understood and controlled. Therefore Rudolf Steiner, who had full insight into this realm published, out of a sense of obligation, explanations and directions for a healthy inner development....” — Maria Röschl-Lehrs, "Rudolf Steiner as Personal Teacher".

"Rudolf Steiner’s concern is that growing children be brought into a healthy relationship with themselves and with the world around them ... In a masterful way, Rudolf Steiner opens new vistas for the teacher." — Astrid Schmitt-Stegmann, foreword to Rudolf Steiner's PRACTICAL ADVICE TO TEACHERS (Anthroposophic Press, 2000), p. ix.

“[I]t was Steiner who showed that it was possible not to reject science but to evolve along with it ... Rudolf Steiner himself showed in many of his books and cycles of lectures [that] a fulfillment was required at our later stage of...Rosicrucian ideals.” — Andrew J. Welburn, introduction to CHRISTIAN ROSENKREUTZ (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001), p. 4.

“Steiner had exceptional powers, he saw the future, he knew the truth ... [Y]ou need to study and follow Steiner. Steiner is all anyone ever needs to know.” — A Waldorf teacher, expressing the consensus of a Waldorf teacher gathering; see "Ex-Teacher 5".

“Pietro Archiati describes the approach to reincarnation taken by the spiritual master Rudolf Steiner — an approach which is wholly relevant to western consciousness and is steeped in true Christianity.” — Editors, REINCARNATION IN MODERN LIFE (Temple Lodge Publishing, 1998).

Rudolf Steiner undertook the enormous work of extending Science into this ultimate domain [the spirit realm] ... To him, the spiritual beings of which myth and religion spoke are not imperceptible but present realities. He had developed a remarkable, controlled clairvoyance, which he used as an instrument of scientific investigation.” — Clopper Almon, introduction to Rudolf Steiner's AN OUTLINE OF ESOTERIC SCIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. iv.

Dr. Steiner has traced, in numerous lectures, the gradual development of art in past ... Dr. Steiner has indicated, in his books on the attainment of higher...." — Arild Rosenkrantz, FRUITS OF ANTHROPOSOPHY - An Introduction to the Works of Dr. Rudolf Steiner (The Threefold Commonwealth, 1922).

Rudolf Steiner has given us a concrete idea of what was felt and experienced by the humanity of that epoch. When, during sleep, man passed into the realm...” — Dr. Ita Wegman, “On the Work of the Archangel Michael" (Orient-Occident Verlag; reprinted at the Rudolf Steiner Archive).

The great religious figures, whether Buddha and Shankara or Jesus and St. Francis, did not seek primarily to found religious institutions and generate practical works, but to effect the kind of spiritual transformation for which practical works are the arena and the by-product. Similarly, Steiner's entire life may be seen as an attempt to solve the pressing problems of individual and social life, but his primary purpose was to show that long-range solutions require a spiritual foundation." — Robert A. McDermott, THE ESSENTIAL STEINER (Lindisfarne Books, Anthroposophic Press, 2007), p. 2.

Steiner has succeeded in building up a truly objective idealism, from Kant back to Plato, or forward to Schelling...." — Hugo S. Bergman, introduction to THE PHILOSOPHY OF SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1963).

“Anthroposophy, which is the subject of this book, is squarely based — as must be stated at the outset — on the actual knowledge of the spiritual world that Rudolf Steiner, its founder, acquired and perfected through the conscious development of those higher faculties that, as he told us, 'slumber within every human being.'" — Stewart C. Eaton, MAN AND WORLD IN THE LIGHT OF ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1989), p. 7.

“The greatest deed of the Gods he taught us to understand...." — Marie Steiner, conclusion to Rudolf Steiner' THE STORY OF MY LIFE (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1928).

“Here, Dr. Steiner has certainly identified a dormant problem of astronomy...." — R. S. W. Bobbette, “Celestial Movements: Some Hints From Rudolf Steiner" (Rudolf Steiner Archive), 1998.

“This path, with all its wonders, has been shown us by Rudolf Steiner in order that our study of the sciences and arts of the earth...." — Ita Wegman, "The Way of Initiation in the Ancient Mysteries, and the Way of Knowledge in Modern Times" (ANTHROPOSOPHY, A Quarterly Review of Spiritual Science, No. 4. Christmas 1930 Vol. 5).

“From time to time individuals appear on the stage of history whose genius can only be described as universal. Leonardo da Vinci ... Goethe ... From 1861 to 1925 there lived another personality whose accomplishments were even greater than those of Leonardo da Vinci or Goethe and in whose mind dwelt apparently unbounded earthly and cosmic wisdom. This was Rudolf Steiner." — Roy Wilkinson, RUDOLF STEINER (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2001), p. 1.

“I have given much thought to what Rudolf Steiner gave to the world when he gave us the knowledge of these preparations. He has shown us the way to make the soil healthy...." — Karl Koenig, ON THE SHEATH OF THE PREPARATION (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive, 1947), lecture 1, “Horns and Antlers”.

“It obtains even in the case of the fallen angels, Lucifer and Ahriman, whom Rudolf Steiner has taught us to regard as benefactors richly meriting our...." — Marjorie Spock, REFLECTIONS ON COMMUNITY BUILDING (SteinerBooks, 1984), chapter 8.

“Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was one of the most important spiritual figures of the twentieth century ... Steiner's direct spiritual vision enabled him to describe the invisible forces both of the outer and inner human being, the world of nature, and the cosmos ... What emerges is his great unity of purpose and breadth of thought...laying the seeds for spiritual impulses which will flourish far into the future." — A MAN BEFORE OTHERS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1993), back cover.

“Geometry, Music, Astronomy — these appear in the Middle Ages as servants of the goddess Natura, who, as Rudolf Steiner has taught us...." — Ita Wegman, “On the Work of the Archangel Michael" (ANTHROPOSOPHY, A Quarterly Review of Spiritual Science, No. 3. Michaelmas 1930, Vol. 5).

Rudolf Steiner has taught us to speak of the whole of earthly evolution as 'Mars-Mercury.' But this evolution can only reach the goal thus set before it...." — Dr. W. J. Stein, “Buddha and the Mission of India”,

Rudolf Steiner has shown the exact connections of the sounds of the alphabet with the formation of the different organs of the body; and hence it is...." — “Education as an Art“, BULLETIN OF THE RUDOLF STEINER SCHOOL ASSOCIATION, Vol. 22 Winter, 1962 No. 2.

Rudolf Steiner has shown in the Four Educational Lectures given ... Rudolf Steiner has shown how music and the musical forces can be used on a much...." — E. M. Hutchins, “Musical Elements in the Teaching of English During the Classteacher Period”,

“Here, too, Rudolf Steiner is shown to have been a pioneer who paved the way for a new...." — Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, preface to Rudolf Steiner's AGRICULTURE COURSE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2004).

“Can we discover a seeing thinking that truly distinguishes outer events from their deeper causes? ... One of the greatest pioneers to have blazed a path to the sources of such thinking was Rudolf Steiner." — Henry Barnes, A LIFE FOR THE SPIRIT (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), pp. 3-4.

Rudolf Steiner has shown us the truth of this in all detail. Our modern scientific age is the product of a certain way of looking at, and thinking about...." — “The Teaching of Natural Science”, CHILD AND MAN, edited by A. C. Harwood,

“The presence of a constituent may perhaps be taken to indicate that higher forces are at work. Rudolf Steiner has shown this, for instance, in the case of....” — Peter A. Pedersen, Albert Proebstl, Ulrich Meyer, "References to Plant Constituents in the Works of Steiner", ANTHRO MED LIBRARY.

Rudolf Steiner has shown that it is possible and indeed essential for human beings to become aware of karma today." — Heidi Herrmann-Davey, foreword to Rudolf Steiner's MANIFESTATIONS OF KARMA (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000), p. vii.

“Rosicrucian esotericism...was yet able here and there, as Rudolf Steiner has shown us, to raise the veil of its mysteries. New forces of spiritual consciousness were born from it...." — Marie Steiner, introduction to Rudolf Steiner's UNIVERSE EARTH AND MAN IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO EGYPTIAN MYTHS AND MODERN CIVILIZATION (Kessinger Publishing, 2003), p. 10.

“The significance of this lies in the connection Rudolf Steiner has shown to exist between thinking and the...." — Heiner Ruland, EXPANDING TONAL AWARENESS: A Musical Exploration of the Evolution of Consciousness Guided by the Monochord (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1992), p. 111.

"[Anthroposophists say] Steiner was the great 'master' and not some historically researchable figure. He was a leader of humanity, a founder of a religion, a clairvoyant – and to research and describe such a being [is] tantamount to sacrilege." — Miriam Gebhardt, RUDOLF STEINER: Ein moderner Prophet {Rudolf Steiner, a Modern Prophet}, Pantheon Verlag, p. 10.

"The work of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) has been strangely neglected [by modern thinkers] ... Nevertheless, the number of people finding [that his] work provides a vitalizing force...steadly increases. Steiner had supersensible [i.e., psychic, transcendent] experiences from the age of eight...and from 1902 onwards [his work] bore...the predominant character of the presentation of esoteric truths ... Steiner's work should not be unrepresented in a series [of books] containing the thoughts of outstanding spiritual leaders." — Richard Seddon, RUDOLF STEINER, Western Esoteric Masters Series (North Atlantic Books, 2004), pp. 11-12.

“[P]rofound and comprehensive truths fortunately are available for our instruction and encouragement...the powerful, extensive wisdom communicated by a high master such as Rudolf Steiner...." — John Fentress Gardener, YOUTH LONGS TO KNOW (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), pp. 216-217.

“[V]arious hierarchical entities [i.e., gods], or likewise masters of Esoteric Christianity, spoke through Rudolf Steiner … Rudolf Steiner in his own life [indicated] the highest ideal and goal of Earth evolution.” — Sergei O. Prokoffief, MAY HUMAN BEINGS HEAR IT (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2014), p. 42.

"Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was one of the creators of the new world ... A unique combination of circumstances and, later, an experience of the Christ-Event [the incarnation of the Sun God] led him to assume responsibility for leading humanity in full what he came to call spiritual science [Anthroposophy]. Initiated and encouraged in this task by incarnate and excarnate teachers [high initiates alive and dead]...he worked tirelessly to reunite the spiritual in the human being with the spiritual in the cosmos." — Editors, RUDOLF STEINER: Herald of a New Epoch (Anthroposophic Press, 1980), by Stewart C. Easton, General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society of America.


Perhaps this is a sufficient sample.

There is an almost unending supply of

similar quotations to be found in

Anthroposophical publications.

You might enjoy hunting around.


Use this link to go to the second part of