Theosophy Study Group Notes and Diagrams

We will be posting various synopses and questions about how Rudolf Steiner composed his book Theosophy.  Our first online meeting will be on January 7th 2018.

January 21st assignment: Going from the whole to the parts


Make synopses for each section of the Introduction. I gave one example online at


There are 13 paragraphs in the Introduction. Make synopses for paragraph 1 thru 7, and for paragraphs 7 thru 13.


Break it down again. Make synopses for paragraph 1 thru 3, and 4 thru 7, for paragraph 7 thru 9, and 10 thru 13.


Why do this? So you can see how the thought-form unfolds more clearly and gradually. We could also make a synopsis of the whole 13 paragraphs and thereby give the Introduction a new title.


The next step is to see the two parts, and then the four parts, and then the 13 paragraphs.  This is an important heart-thinking exercise. You will learn to master any text very quickly by breaking it down in this mathematical way.


For the 21st of January: Choose one of the assignments. And prepare it to present to the group.


1)      Please see if you can see how what is said in paragraph 1/4 (Fichte’s new teaching requires a new sense organ) is repeated in paragraph 2/4 (Fichte’s Blind vs. good will to open eyes).   What is the common idea?


Just like in the archetypal plant where each stage of a plant is a leaf e.g. a fruit is an expanded leaf, a flower is a highly differentiated leaf, a seed is a contracted dried leaf, see if you can follow how the same idea reappears in each paragraph.


There should be one idea repeated again and again in all 13 paragraphs. See how the perspective changes. In other words there are no new ideas in the chapter, only new perspectives of the same idea.


2)      Find the polarities in paragraphs

1 and 7

2 and 6

3 and 5

 or do as many as you want! (7 and 13, 8 and 12, 9 and 11)


When searching for polarities first compare perspectives:

For example, Outer vs. inner

Then compare key words

Then compare grammar (voice? Syntax?)


How does what Steiner writes in paragraph 1/4 transform in paragraph 7/5?


For example, in paragraph one, Fichte’s new science can’t be seen by the blind, but in paragraph 7/5 the blind people are the ones who are immersed in science!


Or in paragraph 1/4, Fichte says ordinary man and senses can’t comprehend, but in 7/5 steiner says ordinary men can develop spiritually!


See the polarities!



Scott's new thinking notebook!