website is dedicated to Rudolf Steiner’s Method of Writing
Organic thinking is way of organizing your ideas
and objects so that the compositional form resembles a natural process.
Rudolf Steiner, the clairvoyant scientist and reformer, used this method
of organic thinking in the writing of his books and lectures, pedagogy,
and artistic projects. Steiner taught that if we based our work on the
archetype of the human being, and other organic thought-forms, our
lives, creations, and even social interactions would be enhanced.
There are two models Steiner made as
the basis of all organic forms. In his early career, Steiner talked
about Goethe’s archetypal plant. And later he presented the four-fold
human being in its various manifestations: 9-fold, 7-fold, 3-fold etc.
Steiner believed that this new thinking would be added to logical
thinking, thereby creating an altogether new way of seeing the world.
According to Steiner, everything has at
least four perspectives or levels. In order to understand an organic or
creative process, we function in the levels represented by the four-fold
Everything that exists or
is created can be seen through these perspectives. A lamp consists of a
physical level (metal, glass, plastic, wood); a life level (electricity,
on and off switch); a feeling level (design, purpose, beauty); and a
thinking level (name, inventor, idea). None of these perspectives alone
is the lamp and thus it requires us to see all of its level in order to
know its true concept. Organic thinking expands consciousness and does
not get stuck in limited perspectives.
When we create, we start with the
Thinking or idea level. For example a house starts with an architect’s
plan or idea. Then we go to the physical level and gather the necessary
building materials. We combine these materials according to plan and we
call this process building, which takes places on the life level. In
order to insure our process is going according to plan, we check the
work against the original plan and codes of building and live in the
feeling or consciousness level. (We often move between the life and
feeling levels.) Finally, when the building is complete we have
completed the circle and have returned to the Thinking level: the
The building process in short form:
Who? the plan and the
Why? checking the process
How? the building process
What? the materials
Steiner used this type of
organic thinking in the writing of his books. The archetypal plant and
seven-fold human being serve as introductions to this new thinking.
Every thing Steiner wrote follows the four questions of what? how? why?
and who? and imitates this organic growth. In addition to these
questions are the organic inter-relationships of polarity and inversion.
In the diagram of the archetypal plant we see the laws of growth that
all plants follow: seed, leaf, bud, flower, pistil, fruit, and new seed.
There is also the
seven-fold human model based on the seven-fold human being, which has
the same stages as the archetypal plant.
Steiner created about fifty different
schema which writers could use for their work. Although this website is
not exhaustive, below are examples of these archetypes which writers can
use for their work. It helps to study the Philosophy of Freehood,
which gives flesh and blood to these skeletons of organic thinking.
Steiner called this process "heart-thinking"
because he believed organic-living thought-structures engage our
heart-chakra. Organic-living thought-structures exist in many texts in
all languages and cultures. Steiner said that they are forms which are a
vehicle for godly inspired thoughts. Organic-living thinking is not a
set of rules, but a way of thinking that is dynamic. Practicing organic
thinking strengthens our conceptualization powers by expanding our
whole-to-the-parts vision. As we learn to see our thoughts from the
whole to the parts, we slowly learn to overcome the limitations of the
fragmented Western mind.
Steiner never gave an exact or complete
account of his work. George O’Neil, whose work is celebrated on this
website, made the first discoveries concerning Steiner’s use of organic
thinking in his books. I have made George’s pioneering attempts at
deciphering Steiner’s work available here. Some of the mimeographed
pages are hard to read, but the gist is clear. A more systematic and
objective account of Steiner’s work is in Florin Lowndes’ Das
Erwecken des Herz-denkens, which is unfortunately only available in
German (see “Related Book”). For the English speakers there is my
booklet, A Primer for Spiritually Thinking Educators, which has
the basics for learning how to read, study, and write in the