The Modern Path
Rudolf Steiner said there are three paths leading to the spirit, and of these three one stands out. It is “the path that is right for modern humanity: the Rosicrucian path.” 
The Rosicrucians are “a worldwide brotherhood claiming to possess esoteric wisdom handed down from ancient times. The name derives from the order’s symbol, a rose on a cross, which is similar to the family coat of arms of Martin Luther. Rosicrucian teachings are a combination of occultism and other religious beliefs and practices, including Hermeticism, Jewish mysticism, and Christian Gnosticism. The central feature of Rosicrucianism is the belief that its members possess secret wisdom that was handed down to them from ancient times.” 
Rosicrucianism arose in Germany during the 17th Century. “[A] number of strange, not to say startling booklets were printed in Germany concerning a mysterious Brotherhood ‘of the Rosy Cross’, causing what is still often termed the Rosicrucian furore.” 
The name and symbol of Rosicrucianism were reflected in the name of the group’s supposed founder, Christian Rosenkreutz (in German, Rosen means roses and Kreutz means cross). What a fabulous name! How fitting! Christian, roses, cross.
Steiner accepted Rosenkreutz as a real historical figure, a man who has walked the Earth:
Without quite meaning to, Steiner often created tests for us. Here’s one: If you can accept the story he spun about C. Rosenkreutz, you might want to become an Anthroposophist. But if the story strikes you as improbable — perhaps, indeed, ridiculous — you may have learned almost all you need to know about Steiner and Anthroposophy.
Pressing on: Although Steiner believed in the actual existence of Christian Rosenkreutz, historical scholarship has reached a different conclusion. Referring to the three “booklets” that caused the Rosicrucian furor, the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITTANICA says: “The Fama Fraternitas of the Meritorious Order of the Rosy Cross (1614), The Confession of the Rosicrucian Fraternity (1615), and The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosenkreuz (1616) recount the travels of Christian Rosenkreuz, the putative founder of the group, who is now generally regarded as a fictional character rather than a real person.”  Steiner almost invariably accepted myth as truth while rejecting real knowledge such as the products of modern science and scholarship.
Contradicting himself, as was his habit, Steiner sometimes said that Rosicrucianism is not the only path appropriate for modern people. He said there are three paths altogether, and modern people — by which he meant Europeans — can choose between two of them. Here are the paths:
One of the main differences between the paths, Steiner said, is the relationship between the seeker and his/her guru. But no matter which path you take, you need a reliable guru: A seeker “would find himself plunged into the stormy sea of astral [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.“ 
You may surprised to learn that you need a guru aside from Christ himself if you choose the Christian way. Can’t you forge your own personal relationship with Christ? No, Steiner said — because by Christianity he meant Gnostic Christianity. We’ll return to this point, below. 
In theory, the Rosicrucian way emphasizes thinking, in particular logic. This is striking, since Steiner often disparaged thinking, intellect, and logic.  But the affirmation of logic Steiner advanced in this instance is largely illusory. Steiner taught that at best, logic can take us a short distance toward our cosmic goals. To get farther than logic can take us, we need “living thinking,” which is something quite different.  Steiner said that real thought, “living” thought, is implanted in our souls before we are born. We ourselves are miniature versions of the entire cosmos: We carry everything in the cosmos within ourselves.  Thus, real thinking means gazing inward, intuitively, grasping the truths that come built into our “etheric bodies” — immaterial bodies that Steiner said we all have. The great truths that are written in the “cosmic ether” — a sort of spiritual gas that permeates everything  — were written into our etheric essence before birth:
The sort of “thinking” Steiner describes bears almost no relation to logic or normal reasoning; it is hardly thinking at all, in any normal sense. Your brain is not really a thinking tool. At most, the brain and nervous system work like a mirror, reflecting the living thoughts of the cosmos. The brain does not create these thoughts; just the opposite, the thoughts create the brain. The brain then “excretes” the nerves, in a process that nearly stops productive natural processes:
True, deep “soul life” does not merely reflect the thoughts that are present in the ether. True, deep soul-thinking is the internal, intuitive experiencing of living thoughts. It is the heartfelt inhabiting of living thoughts, approaching the living thoughts from the inside. We have a superficial soul life and a deep soul life. Brain-reflected living thoughts are part of our superficial soul life; deeply experienced living thoughts, thoughts that we live, are part of our profound soul life.
Our permanent soul life arises from, and returns to, the Great Beyond. We visit the Beyond when we sleep, and we live in it wholly after we die. Thereafter, we make additional descents into physical existence, being reborn over and over in the process of evolutionary reincarnation. If we are good, we will reincarnate at higher and higher stages; if we are bad, we will decline through lower and lower stages.
All of this may or may not sound right to you. It is, in any case, what Steiner said (without, I can’t help noting — this is my danged brain trying to “think” again — giving us the slightest evidence to support his statements).
Let’s dig into the nitty gritty of Rosicrucian wisdom, as conveyed by R. Steiner. We should start with some history:
Some people have penetrated Rosicrucian secrets to some extent, Steiner said. Among these are Lessing, Goethe, and (surprise) Steiner himself, who penetrated quite deeply (according to Steiner). One essential Rosicrucian secret, Steiner said, concerns the human constitution. We have physical bodies, obviously, but above these we have three nonphysical bodies, and above these were have still higher “members” (Manas, Buddhi, and Atma).  Rosicrucian teachings on such matters are intricate and logical, according to Steiner, although the logic can be tortured. For example, we are made up of seven parts, ranging from the physical body to Atma. But Rosicrucians need to see this as nine parts, because of the mystic importance of the number three (which, multiplied by itself, is nine), so the seven become nine, or vice versa:
Our physical body is created by the nonphysical body that is closest to us, the etheric body, which is essentially a constellation of life forces. The etheric body, in turn, is created by our astral body, which is essentially a constellation of spiritual forces.
You might start to notice that Rosicrucian wisdom, as described by Steiner, is basically indistinguishable from Anthroposophy and/or Theosophy. This is easily explained. Steiner said he gained his spiritual knowledge through the use of “exact clairvoyance.” What he mainly meant was that his views are right, they are “exact,” while all other views are wrong to one degree or another unless they exactly conform to his own views. Thus, to the extent that Rosicrucianism is correct, it offers the same wisdom that Steiner offered. 
Here is a quick digest of other Rosicrucian teachings, as formulated by Steiner. He laid out this information in a series of lectures delivered in May and June of 1907, while he was nominally a Theosophist. His version of Theosophy differed markedly from that of other leading Theosophists; as early as 1902, he began calling his version “Anthroposophy.” In 1913, he broke from Theosophy and established Anthroposophy as a separate movement. True Rosicrucianism, according to Steiner, includes the following:
All in all, the Rosicrucian secrets, according to Steiner, turn out to be the same fantasy that Steiner always pushed — that is, the doctrines of Anthroposophy. Of course, Rosicrucianism does indeed lie behind Anthroposophy, if only to a minor extent. Steiner patched together his doctrines using bits and pieces he scavenged from multiple sources. But the resulting crazy quilt is distinctly his own: He trimmed each piece to suit his vision, discarding the rest as products of inexact clairvoyance. Among the distinctive characteristics of "Rosicrucian” thought, Steiner-style, is — unfortunately — Steiner's racism. We create our own karma, destining ourselves to rise or fall in our future lives, which means, in part, rising and falling through a racial hierarchy. People who think badly (i.e., materialistically) create evil races, which become the repository of evil souls. (Because the following quotation is couched in such obtuse language, I’ll interject frequent translations. As always, check to see if you agree with my explanations of Steiner’s words.)
The Rosicrucian “path” emphasizes thinking and knowledge — as defined in occult ways. There are seven stages along the way. They intersect with some elements of the “Christian” path, as described by Steiner.
Let’s review these seven stages briefly.
#1: Study Studying involves learning to think properly. An especially good way to do this, according to Rudolf Steiner, is to read a couple of books by that eminent expert, Rudolf Steiner:
Obviously, study and thought should be important components in almost any spiritual quest. Bear in mind, however, that if you strictly rely on a guru — even one who is more a friend than a leader — your journey will be largely predetermined.  The guru will help identify the right thoughts for you, the prepackaged “living thoughts” you should heed. Thus, your independence will be strictly circumscribed, and the thinking you accept will come from others, not yourself.
#2: Imaginative Knowledge Among the thoughts you will need to accept is this: Imagination is an important source of spiritual knowledge. “Imaginative knowledge” goes beyond thought; it is information gained through use a form of clairvoyance. A skeptic would call this fantasizing, but that’s where s/he would be wrong.
Of course, the right form of imaginative knowledge consists of ideas that confirm the “truths” the guru wants you to comprehend and embrace. Your imagination or clairvoyance must be, ultimately, “exact” (meaning that it conforms to Steiner’s doctrines).
#3: Inspired knowledge The “Occult Script” is sort of a movie you make in your head by splicing together the imaginative pictures you have created. Of course, Steiner didn’t say it quite this way; instead, he said:
The movie you create should be essentially indistinguishable from the true super-worldly production embodied in the Akashic Record, a celestial storehouse of wisdom accessible only through clairvoyance. [See "Akasha".]
#4: Preparation of the Philosopher's Stone The “Philosopher’s Stone” was originally conceived to be the magical substance sought by alchemists for changing base metals into gold. The Rosicrucian version of this, according to Steiner, is a process of changing yourself so that you no longer have to depend on plants to create oxygen for you to breathe. Through a special Rosicrucian procedure, you develop a new organ that converts carbon into oxygen.
So, you see, Steiner knew how to preserve some secrets even while revealing others.
#5: Correspondence between Macrocosm and Microcosm Steiner taught that Rosicrucians taught that man is a microcosm, a miniature copy of the entire universe, which is the macrocosm. Everything outside yourself also exists inside yourself. This is how living thoughts come to be inside you: Everything that you are came from the cosmos, the macrocosm.
#6 & #7: Living into the Macrocosm, Divine Bliss Once you understand the correspondences between yourself and the cosmos, you can find everything within yourself, and you can attain communion with the cosmos, which will lead you to divine bliss. But realize that when you gaze inwardly, you are not focusing on yourself: You are actually gazing outward:
Since I so rarely affirm any of Steiner's teachings, perhaps I should say at this point that I find the notion of fusing with the cosmos and attaining divine bliss quite appealing. And, indeed, I agree with Steiner that we are made of stuff coming from out of the cosmos; we are thus united with it, in a sense. As Carl Sagan said, we are star stuff, made of elements forged in the heart of stars.  I’ll go a step further: I agree that we must not sink into ourselves, in self-absorption. We should seek knowledge and connections that transcend our puny egos. So, in my view, what Steiner has said here is attractive and it even contains seeds of truth. Unfortunately, it also contains bushels of fantasy: performing alchemy on ourselves, reading occult script, relying on imagination and/or clairvoyance, rising and falling through higher and lower racial forms... Steiner has painted a picture that is, in part, quite pretty; but it is also, in part, quite ugly. Steiner’s picture corresponds, more or less, to pictures painted by various other mystics. But Steiner has given us no reason to think that his picture is true, and in fact he has given us numerous reasons to think it is false.
The Rosicrucian path, as described by Steiner, includes various meditations. Here’s one:
“I raise my eyes
To the black wooden Cross
And surrender myself with my soul
Into the power of the World Spirit;
As the black Cross gives itself
Wholly to the light.” 
[See "Gnosis"] There is also a clear emphasis on submission (“I...surrender myself”), which runs contrary to Steiner’s claim that Rosicrucianism stresses independence. Following the Rosicrucian path means accepting particular religious beliefs, specifically (according to Steiner) the doctrines propounded by Steiner — although Steiner spoke in terms of science, knowledge, and independence, rather than religion and belief.
The dark cross is central to the “Rosicrucian” meditations, as laid out by Steiner.
Aside from being Christ’s cross, what does the rosy cross signify? And what are the seven roses?
The Word is Christ; or, more properly, Christ is the living embodiment of God’s Word. And each of us has within us (remember the living thoughts) a spiritual essence that is attuned to the Christ essence:
Steiner called this responsive essence within us the “ego” or the “I.” One's “higher ego” is the portion of the "I" that resides in the spirit realm. The "higher ego" of mankind as a whole is humanity’s shared spirit-dwelling “I.”
According to Steiner, the myth of the quest for the Holy Grail — a quest undertaken by King Arthur and his knights — is the search for God’s living Word, the knowledge of God’s essence. This is the gnostic search, the quest for mysterious divine knowledge.
We see Steiner, here, bending Bible texts to his own vision. The Bible, the Word of God Steiner refers to, says “In the beginning was the Word” and “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible does not say “In the beginning was the mystery of the higher ego.” Do Steiner’s words improve on the Bible, telling us more than the Bible does? He certainly tells us something different; whether this is an improvement may be a matter of opinion.
Rosicrucianism, the quest for the Grail, gnosticism, Anthroposophy — these all become one in Steiner’s teachings. The roses on the cross may be seen as drops of Christ’s blood, or divine beauty, or the efflorescence of mystery knowledge — they are all these, since all these are one and the same, according to Steiner. The number seven always has a deep, occult significance, Steiner said: We evolve through seven major evolutionary stages, for instance.
Steiner taught that the most important historical occurrence was the Christ Event — the incarnation and ministry of Christ in the body of Jesus. Everything that happened on Earth before the Christ Event led up to it and then became obsolete after it occurred. This is why the Yoga path is not appropriate for civilized, high-race humans today; it embodies obsolete thinking. This is also why the two paths truly fitted to civilized, high-race humans today are twin aspects of the holy, Christian, gnostic quest:
Perhaps the best way to summarize what we have learned is to quote one of Steiner’s leading spokesmen today, Christopher Bamford, who has served as the editor-in-chief of SteinerBooks. 
There’s a built-in contradiction for Steiner to have followed all three ways. The Yoga way is obsolete, he said. But perhaps his immense soul transcended past and present and thus found wisdom in all sorts of traditions and thinking. Anything is possible, I suppose.
— Roger Rawlings
For a review of some related topics,
please see "Manichaeism".
Many of the illustrations on this page represent Rosicrucianism and esotericism in general outside the bounds of Anthroposophy; they provide a context for Steiner's teachings. Bear in mind that when Steiner spoke of Rosicrucianism, he generally meant his own, Anthroposophical interpretation of Rosicrucian traditions.
Although he enumerated three paths, Steiner essentially taught that we have only one correct option: It is to follow the Sun God, Christ, who is our "Prototype" — meaning we must imitate Him.
And the correct understanding of Christ comes from one source: "spiritual science," i.e., Anthroposophy.
[Ernst Lehner, SYMBOLS, SIGNS & SIGNETS
(Dover Publishing, 1950), p. 116.]
“Yet a step higher is when we consciously find ourselves in the higher spheres. We feel ourselves there not as an 'I' but entirely selfless. Then the following temptation approaches: the devil shows us the world which then reveals a certain splendor. The devil says, 'Behold, there lies the world. It is to be yours, if you attach yourself to me.' ... In order to withstand the temptation of the devil, one should meditate on the rose cross." — Rudolf Steiner, ESOTERIC LESSONS 1904-1909 (Steiner Books, 2007), pp. 394-395. [R.R. sketch, 2009, based on image on p. 395, where the cross is shown solid black.]
Here is the same cross as shown on the cover of Steiner's THE SUBMERGED CONTINENTS OF ATLANTIS AND LEMURIA (Rajput Press, 1911):
"The original symbol of the Rosicrucian Fraternity was a hieroglyphic rose crucified upon a cross. The cross was often raised upon a three-stepped Calvary. Occasionally the symbol of a cross rising from a rose was used in connection with their activities. The Rosicrucian rose was drawn upon the Round Table of King Arthur, and is the central motif for the links forming the chain from which the 'Great George' is suspended among the jewels of The Order of the Garter. Hargrave Jennings suspects this Order of having some connection with the Rosicrucians." — Manly P. Hall, THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES (H. S. Crocker Co. 1928), "The Fraternity of the Rose Cross".
"The rose is a yonic symbol associated with generation, fecundity, and purity. The fact that flowers blossom by unfolding has caused them to be chosen as symbolic of spiritual unfoldment. The red color of the rose refers to the blood of Christ, and the golden heart concealed within the midst of the flower corresponds to the spiritual gold concealed within the human nature. The number of its petals being ten is also a subtle reminder of the perfect Pythagorean number. The rose symbolizes the heart, and the heart has always been accepted by Christians as emblematic of the virtues of love and compassion, as well as of the nature of Christ--the personification of these virtues. The rose as a religious emblem is of great antiquity. It was accepted by the Greeks as the symbol of the sunrise, or of the coming of dawn. In his Metamorphosis, or Golden Ass, Apuleius, turned into a donkey because of his foolishness, regained his human shape by eating a sacred rose given to him by the Egyptian priests.
"The presence of a hieroglyphic rose upon the escutcheon of Martin Luther has been the basis of much speculation as to whether any connection existed between his Reformation and the secret activities of the Rose Cross." — Ibid. Hall's work is distinct from Steiner's. Here at Waldorf Watch, I include some images and passages from non-Anthroposophical sources in order to place Steiner's teachings in the context of broader esoteric traditions.]
The rose cross of Christian mysticism stems from
the similar cross of Jewish mystic (Qabalistic) tradition:
[J. C. Cooper, AN ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA
OF TRADITIONAL SYMBOLS
(Thames and Hudson, 1978), p. 143.]
The meaning of the Qabalist rose cross is, of course,
different from that of the Rosicrucian cross.
The Qabalistic roses grow on the Tree of Life,
and their petals represent the infinite variety of creation.
Here are more occult symbols than you can shake a stick at. The whole shebang. The works. The big ball of wax. [J. C. Cooper, AN ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TRADITIONAL SYMBOLS (Thames and Hudson, 1978), frontispiece.] Steiner's doctrines exist within the universe of occult beliefs, but they are distinctive and should not be confused with other forms of occultism.
Here is an item from the Waldorf Watch "news" page
(a Quote of the Day with commentary):
“If you do not use your own powers [for improvement]...the ground you stand on will be pulled out from under your feet. The purified world will develop over and beyond you [i.e., spiritual evolution will continue without you]. You will be excluded from it. If this is your choice, then yours is the black path. But those from whom you separate yourself tread the white path ... [The] temptation of personal salvation on the ‘black’ path is the greatest we can conceive of. The white path, on the other hand, does not seem tempting at all. It does not appeal to our egotism ... Thus those seeking salvation only for themselves will almost certainly choose the black path ... [W]e must not expect occultists on the white path to provide any instructions on the development of the egotistic I [i.e., to encourage egotism].” — Rudolf Steiner, HOW TO KNOW HIGHER WORLDS (SteinerBooks, 2002), pp. 204-205.
• ◊ •
Waldorf schools usually claim that they prepare their students to become free adults, able to make their own choices. This is a fine ideal. But in the belief system upon which Waldorf schools stands — Anthroposophy — there is really no such thing as freedom as we in the West normally understand it. Your options are these: the evil (“black”) path or the good (“white”) path.*
Steiner himself spoke of freedom; he himself held it up as a goal. But how much freedom do you have if your only options are the path of evil and the path of virtue?** Anthroposophy effectively eliminates any real power of choice, given that evildoers will pay an enormous price (they will lose their souls), while good-doers will reap an enormous payoff (they will evolve upward toward ultimate divinity). If you understand these alternatives properly, as described in Anthroposophy, there is only one choice you can reasonably make: It is to embrace Anthroposophy, which lays out for you the white path.
Steiner’s conception of freedom, such as it was, was Germanic or — if you prefer — fundamentalist. Steiner wanted to help us free ourselves of our low, ignoble tendencies. Good people rise above their egotistic desires and work for the good of all, not just for their individual gain.*** They “free” themselves of egotism. This is excellent. Surely we should want to free ourselves in this manner. But this sort of “freedom” is very different from the pro-active ability to make choices among a range of potentially beneficial options. Anthroposophy offers no such range of options. You can walk the black path and go to your doom, or you can walk the white path (i.e., the path laid out by Steiner) and go to your reward.
When children graduate from Waldorf schools, they are — in theory — free to decide how to live the rest of their lives. But those students who spent many years in the Waldorf system will have been molded to prefer a single path, the one-and-only good path, the path of Anthroposophy. Of course, not all Waldorf graduates become Anthroposophists. Waldorf schools often fail in their effort to “free” students of the desire to go astray. But Waldorf schools strive to succeed at their self-appointed, often clandestine, messianic task. They work to point students down the true path, as defined by themselves, which means as defined by Rudolf Steiner.
* Steiner’s use of the terms “white” and “black” is loaded. White is good, black is evil. In his day, such usage was common and, perhaps, acceptable.
** Anthroposophists sometimes suggest that there are differing lanes on the true path, and we can freely choose among them. This is not, however, the legacy Steiner established. Steiner identified various approaches that, he said, had been appropriate at prior stages of human evolution but that were no longer adequate. The right path for modern people, he said, is Rosicrucianism. [See “Rosy Cross”.] By this, he meant Rosicrucianism as reworked by himself — that is, Anthroposophical Rosicrucianism (i.e., the white path). Indeed, all approaches and teachings that he affirmed in any way were approaches and teachings that he reworked to suit his own vision. All of the older true approaches led to the new true approach, the one true path now.
Why did Steiner identify Rosicrucianism, instead of Anthroposophy itself, as the true path? It boiled down to the same thing. Steiner claimed that Anthroposophy is not a religion but a science — specifically, the “science” of using clairvoyance to study the spirit realm. As a science, Anthroposophy is not, in itself, a body of religious or spiritual practices (although, contradicting himself, he often indicated that it is this). He claimed that Anthroposophy is the objective body of knowledge we need for our religious or spiritual endeavors. This is why he was prepared to see a separate church established, the Christian Community, which uses the “knowledge” provided by Anthroposophy to inform its faith. [See “Christian Community”.] The Christian Community is the religion, Anthroposophy is the science underlying the religion. Likewise, Steiner designated Rosicrucianism, rather than Anthroposophy itself, as the correct path for spiritual aspirants today: Rosicrucianism is the path, Anthroposophy is the light illuminating the path. But in fact, as defined by Steiner, there is scarcely a hair’s breadth of difference between Anthroposophy, the Anthroposophical Christian Community, and Anthroposophical Rosicrucianism. They are all the same path, the path laid out by Steiner.
*** In accordance with Germanic tradition, “all” may be the tribe, the nation, or the world.
Primeval man, naturally attuned to the cosmos,
and fallen man, contaminated.
Many of Steiner's teachings harken back to ancient,
deep human longings. Anthroposophy is, in a sense,
an elaborate effort to rationalize ancient myths and fantasies.
King Arthur's Round Table.
Note the Rosicrucian rose at its center.
THE ROSICRUCIANS, THEIR RITES AND MYSTERIES
(G. Routledge & Sons, Lmt., 1921).]
Friends have said this photo seems mystical, but there is nothing mystical in it — no intimations of spirit. Indeed, Anthroposophists might consider this an Ahrimanic image: It depicts remnants of jet contrails mingling with clouds, near sunset in winter. Jets: machines, technology, Ahriman. Actually, it's just a photo, of the real sky, marked by nature and by man. The truth can be disappointing, sometimes, but it has one inestimable advantage: It is the truth. [R. R. photo, 2000.]
Here are three more statements by Steiner, bearing on the subjects we have been considering. I won’t comment on them; I’ll just invite you to consider them in whatever light you choose.
This is the one drawing I still possess that I made
while I was a student at a Waldorf school
or immediately after I graduated from the school.
It is doubtless based on images I saw in the school,
although what I was taught about the importance of roses
left my conscious mind long ago.
The pentagram is the occult symbol for man
(the microcosm: embodying all of the cosmos).
[Ernst Lehner, SYMBOLS, SIGNS & SIGNETS
(Dover Publishing, 1950), p. 77.]
The inverted pentagram is the occult symbol
for black magic.
The Holy Grail is often depicted as a goblet like this.
[HARTER'S PICTURE ARCHIVE
(Dover Publications, 1978].
For Steiner's teachings about the Holy Grail,
please use this link: "Grail".
Christ, as the prototypical innocent child,
vaguely emerging from the heart of a mystic rose.
[Based on image in John Fletcher's
ART INSPIRED BY RUDOLF STEINER
(Mercury Arts Publications, 1987), p. 219. R.R. sketch, 2010.]
[Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000.]
[Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001.]
The advice may seem strange, coming from me,
but I urge you to buy and study several books of Rudolf Steiner's teachings.
Perhaps you will be won over — perhaps you will conclude that
Steiner offered the world great wisdom. Or perhaps you will reach
a somehwat different conclusion.
Some illustrations on each page here at Waldorf Watch
are closely connected to the essay on that page;
others are not — they provide general context.
 Rudolf Steiner, MACROCOSM AND MICROCOSM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1985), p. 94.
In a larger sense, Steiner taught that there are just two paths, only one of which leads upward. There is the white path leading to spiritual truth and the black path leading to perdition. [See "Guardians".] The three paths discussed here are essentially subdivisions of the white path.
 "Rosicrucian." ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, Online, 07 Sep. 2009.
 Andrew J. Welburn, introduction to Rudolf Steiner's CHRISTIAN ROSENKREUTZ (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001), p. 1.
 Rudolf Steiner, ESOTERIC CHRISTIANITY AND THE MISSION OF CHRISTIAN ROSENKREUTZ (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000), pp. 306-307.
Some Anthroposophists contend that Steiner was initiated by Christian Rosenkreutz. “Rudolf Steiner himself speaks of two initiatory encounters ... The first is with the herb gatherer Felix Koguzki and the other with the Master ‘M.,’ traditionally taken to be Christian Rosenkreutz.” — Chrisopher Bamford, afterword to Rudolf Steiner's THE SECRET STREAM: CHRISTIAN ROSENKREUTZ AND ROSICRUCIANISM (SteinerBooks, 2000), p. 248. Others are less sure of M's identity, although links to Rosicrucianism are suspected. “Steiner informed the French occultist Edouard Schuré that at about this time in his life [before turning 21] he had been ‘initiated’ by the ‘M.’ Anthroposophists say they do not know who ‘M’ was ... The impersonality and the letter are reminiscent of the Tibetan ‘Masters’ ... ‘M’ — if he was of flesh and blood — may have followed a more Western path, particularly a revived Rosicrucianism ... The term ‘M’ is also reminiscent of the mythical ‘Book of M’ of Christian Rosenkreutz over two centuries later, and indeed, Steiner saw Anthroposophy as a spiritually complete Rosicrucianism.” — Geoffrey Ahern, SUN AT MIDNIGHT (James Clarke & Co., 2009), pp. 28-29.
Note that “Rosenkreutz” is sometimes spelled without the “t”: Rosenkreuz.
 Rudolf Steiner, AT THE GATES OF SPIRITUAL SCIENCE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1986), lecture 12, GA 95.
 An alternate name for the “Christian” path is the “Christian-Gnostic” path. Steiner referred to “the occult form of Christian-Gnostic wisdom.” — Rudolf Steiner, THEOSOPHY OF THE ROSICRUCIAN (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1966), p. 10. For more on Gnosticism, please see “Gnosis”.
 See “Steiner’s Illogic”.
Contradicting the affirmation of logic we find here, Steiner more typically derided logical use of the brain. For instance, “Logic does not apply when we come into a sphere that can no longer be comprehended by physical means. We finally have to realize that our physical logic works neither in the realm of philosophy nor anywhere else where we concern ourselves with other than physical forms of existence." — Rudolf Steiner, THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN (Anthroposophic Press, 1990), p. 84.
 There is a logical contradiction between advocating logic and advocating “living thought.” The latter is not a process of rational thinking but the recovery of concepts implanted in our souls before birth. We do not think any “living thought” on our own; we do not reach a “living thought” through logic. I develop this point later in the essay.
 See “The Center”.
 In 19th century physics, a universal ether was posited: It was thought to be the medium through which light is propagated. [See "ether", ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA.] The concept was later discarded, but Steiner held on to his own spiritualistic version of the theory.
 Rudolf Steiner, CURATIVE EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), lecture 2, GA 317.
For more on the incarnation of the etheric body, see "Incarnation."
 CURATIVE EDUCATION, lecture 2.
"[T]he brain and nerve system have nothing at all to do with actual cognition.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE: Foundations of Waldorf Education (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 60.
 CURATIVE EDUCATION, lecture 1.
 Rudolf Steiner, ROSICRUCIAN WISDOM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000), p. 2.
Note: This is essentially a later edition of THEOSOPHY OF THE ROSICRUCIAN.
 See “What We Are”.
 ROSICRUCIAN WISDOM, p. 23.
 Ibid., p. 25.
 What are the real teachings of Rosicrucianism, as opposed to Steiner’s Theosophical/Anthroposophical take? It’s a little hard to say, since the teachings are secret, and there have been various Rosicrucian orders. In general, Rosicrucian doctrines correspond in some ways to Steiner’s teachings on the human constitution, but not to his teachings on evolution through planetary stages (which Steiner derived mainly from Theosophy). Rosicrucians place emphasis on spiritual development, which for them usually requires a process or reincarnation; in Steiner's teachings, reincarnation is an absolute reality and requirement. Interest in alchemy has been high among Rosicrucians; Steiner's alchemical teachings are, if anything, more esoteric but otherwise similar. Holistic medicine and natural healing constitute another area of common interest. Most fundamentally, Steiner shared the Rosicrucian interest in Gnostic Christianity. Explications of Rosicrucianism you might consult are ROSICRUCIAN MANUAL, by H. Spencer Lewis, THE TRUE AND INVISIBLE ROSICRUCIAN ORDER, by Paul Foster Case, WISDOM OF THE MYSTIC MASTERS, by Joseph Weed, and THE ROSICRUCIANS, by Christopher McIntosh. Perhaps the most reliable and learned is THE ROSICRUCIAN ENLIGHTENMENT, by Frances A. Yates.
For an explication of planetary stages, see "The Planets".
 ROSICRUCIAN WISDOM, p. 150.
 THEOSOPHY OF THE ROSICRUCIAN, p. 159.
The same text, in slightly different wording, can be found in ROSICRUCIAN WISDOM, pp. 159-160.
 THEOSOPHY OF THE ROSICRUCIAN, p. 161.
 Remember that Steiner said the seeker must “find a Guru on whom he can strictly rely.“ [AT THE GATES OF SPIRITUAL SCIENCE.]
 THEOSOPHY OF THE ROSICRUCIAN, pp. 161-163. In ROSICRUCIAN WISDOM, this information appears on pp. 162-163.
Steiner identified imagination as one of three forms of clairvoyant insight. The others are inspirations and intuition. [See the entries for these terms in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]
 THEOSOPHY OF THE ROSICRUCIAN, p. 163.
 Ibid., pp. 164-165.
 Ibid., p. 165.
The Godhead may be considered the highest God, living apart, or it may be considered the creative force that is extended throughout Creation. The Godhead can be considered the origin as God is the goal of evolution. See "All".
 Ibid., pp. 165- 166.
While in this passage Steiner refers to God, he more often referred to multiple gods and denied that monotheism presents an accurate view of reality. “Monotheism or monism can only represent an ultimate ideal; it could never lead to a real understanding of the world, to a comprehensive, complete view of the world.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE MISSION OF THE FOLK SOULS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005), p. 115.
 “The fate of individual human beings may not now be connected in a deep way with the rest of the universe, but the matter out of which each of us is made is intimately tied to the processes that occurred immense intervals of time and enormous distances in space away from us. Our Sun is a second- or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic materials we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interiors of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff.” — Carl Sagan, CARL SAGAN'S COSMIC CONNECTION (Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 190.
 Rudolf Steiner, START NOW! (SteinerBooks, 2004), p. 197.
 Ibid., pp. 195-196.
 Rudolf Steiner, THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN (Anthroposophic Press, 1948), lecture 1, GA 112.
 Rudolf Steiner, OCCULT SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (Anthroposophic Press, 1972), p. 43.
 THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN, lecture 1.
Steiner’s convoluted language and thought may result from the profundity of the spiritual truths he intimated. Or not.
 I am writing these words on Sept. 8, 2009.
 START NOW!, p. 188.
 Rudolf Steiner, THE MISSION OF CHRISTIAN ROSENKREUTZ (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1950), lecture 7, GA 130.
 Rudolf Steiner, KARMIC RELATIONSHIPS, Vol. 1 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), lecture 12, GA 235.
 Rudolf Steiner, COSMIC AND HUMAN METAMORPHOSES (Spiritual Research Editions, 1989), lecture 4, GA 175 .