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Based on the ideas of Rudolf Steiner's 'spiritual science', Anthroposophy (a Greek word meaning man-wisdom) is a philosophy (or, as its opponents claim, a religion) that developped from Helen Blavatsky's Theosophy movement. Anthroposophy is not to be confounded with Anthropology.

Major differences from the Theosophical Society are the emphasis on developing artistic impulses, the practical focus of Antroposophy, its theoretical base in Western Occultist (rather than Hiduist and Buddhist) thought, and the positive view of Christ, which however is still very different from the standard Church view.

Steiner defined Anthroposophy as 'a path of knowledge, to guide the Spiritual in the human being to the Spiritual in the universe'. It advocates that we are not mere observers of a self-contained reality. According to Steiner, reality only arises at the juncture between the spiritual and the physical (i.e. 'where concept and percept meet'). This bears no small resemblance to Rene Descartes' assertion that imagination was what unified mind and body into a full being.

Both views share a focus on discipline: The anthrosophist's aim is to become 'more human' by becoming more conscious and deliberate about one's thoughts and deeds. One may reach higher levels of consciousness through meditation, observation and openness over a lifelong 'quest'. Most religions follow some similar pattern.

Anthroposophists view human beings as consisting of three members: the body, the soul and the spirit. This view is thoroughly outlined in the books 'Theosophy', and 'Occult Science'. (Compare to Gnosticism, which has the same three-fold view and which influenced this view within theosophy.) The Epistemic basis for Anthroposophy is contained in the seminal work: 'The Philosophy of Freedom' in which Steiner mainly provides a treatment of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, which is not, however, generally accepted within modern philosophy; many people think Steiner did not understand Kant's thought.

Members of the movement also practice homeopathy and use the theory that a plant treats diseases in organs which look similar to parts of the plant.

Some practical results of Anthroposophy include work in: Architecture (Goetheanum), Bio-dynamic Farming, Childhood Education ( Waldorf Schools), Medicine (Weleda), Philosophy (The 'Philosophy of Freedom'), Eurythmy ('the poetry of movement'), and centres for helping the mentally-challenged (Camphill Villages).

Anthroposophy is not uncontroversial, however. A number of outspoken critics have termed it a cult with similarities to the various New Age movements. These critics maintain that Anthroposophists tend to elevate Steiner's personal opinions, many of which are at odds with views generally held in current science and humanities, to the level of absolute truths. Another critique is that, according to these critics, Anthroposophists tend to hide the fact that Anthropopsophy contains many religious elements, and present themselves as non-sectarian, which, according to the critics, they in fact aren't.

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