All anthroposophy does is give us a terminology to interpret what everybody can perceive directly.
RB: Yes! Although for me it has been less obvious when you looks at "parts" of reality that are more far off than children and their temperaments. Are you of the opinion that all of us - in fact - experience everything, and that what the spiritual teachings really does is that they gives names (concepts) to structure the experience and excercises to strengthen the experience (perception)?
*******Ways to understand what we're really already experiencing and to develop our abilities to experience everything more deeply, yes. For instance, in our thinking the universe's "thinking" is hidden, the World-Thoughts upon which the universe is fashioned--- in other words, within the subjective the objective is there, but we have to seek for it because from the time we're children we're taught to ignore it, to devalue our inner experiences. Only external "proofs" are considered valid by our modern scientific culture, and nothing spiritual can be known externally. So we're not given the tools to understand the inner planes.
Lots of people for a century now have been having experiences of the Christ within, for instance, but without spiritual science they cannot connect this experience to their knowledge of everything else, so they largely have only the Bible to turn to, which has preserved only a fraction of what its authors experienced in the spirit and also was for men of a previous era. So they become fundamentalists and frequently enemies of anthroposophy, where anthroposophy could actually give them the language they need to digest the Christ-experience.
It would be interesting to hear how you see the temperaments, if it is possible to do?
> ******* There are two ways in which you "see" them, one which can be caught by a camera and one which cannot. The sense-perceptible things are, for instance, that the fiery or choleric temperament frequently makes people very small and compact in space, while the phlegmatic temperament makes people put on weight easily. But beyond that, the reason why choleric temperaments aren't very large physically is that they have a high metabolism and are constantly burning up their food, because everything we call "fire" is present in them to a high degree. In fact, this is the starting point for really developing science towards spiritual science, tackling the etheric world instead of only the physical: there are four main ethers. (The reason why the ether was thrown out of science was the Michelson Morley experiment which disproved a single stationary ether; but it is neither single nor stationary, but rather several kinds of ethers in constant movement. I recommend starting with Guenther Wachsmuth's "The Etheric Formative Forces in Cosmos Earth and Man".) What the ancients called "Fire" anthroposophy calls the Warmth Ether, and the choleric temperament has a lot of this in the etheric body. Red hair and reddish skin are common among Caucasians, but as I said, besides what can be photographed, there is a "fieriness" in these people, which anyone with normal sense perceives--- as when you say a person is a "fiery" speaker.
> Fire and air, which we call the warmth ether and the Light Ether, are both masculine or outward-going, so these people are active rather than passive. Fire symbolically means the will, and choleric people have lots of it; the air temperament (which we today call the sanguine) is also active but mentally, with the constant flow of ideas, rather than so much of the will. This temperament is seen in most children, where they are active mentally but don't stay very long on any one perception or subject, instead quickly jumping to another and another, like a sun beam bouncing around a room.
> Very different are the more passive water and earth temperaments. You could start by saying the masculine ones are the talkers, while the feminine ones are the listeners. Having a lot of the Chemical, Sound or Number Ether (which the ancients symbolically called Water) makes a person like to have things reverberate, echo and re-echo within one; it is contemplative rather than active, the opposite of the fiery temperament. The phlegmatics like to ponder things and return to them again and again, rather than experiencing them once and moving right on to action like the choleric. There's a special liking for cycles, for doing things at the same time of day every day, the same time of year every year, and so on. They are inward oriented rather than outward-oriented like the fiery and airy people, and so are mysteries to the latter.
> Still more mysterious in a way is the earthy or melancholic temperament, which is oriented more toward the actual sense perceptions rather than the reverberation of them like the phlegmatic, to sense rather than feeling. They have a preponderance of the Life Ether, which is what individualizes everything in our material world and which works especially strongly in the head; but everything which is a finished material manifestation is already beginning to die, and the melancholic feels these death forces too acutely. Hence the word melancholy.
> A person reading this e-mail or reading about the four temperaments in any form might be skeptical or form all sorts of judgments about how real they may be. This is completely irrelevant to anyone with actual experience working with children, who show their temperaments quite clearly all the time. As we grow up, we learn to hide them a little bit, but they can become objects of direct perception for anyone who observes young people. The class clown in any group of children is a choleric, the morose sulking one is a melancholic, and they haven't learned to hide it yet. It may be a long time before physical scientists who we all think are so smart climb off their high horses and see this in their children or other people's children, but thankfully no one needs to know about Avogadro's number or the Fleming left hand rule in order to see it for themselves.
RB: Thanks for this description! I`ll use it to interpret what I have experienced over the years, and come back when I have something to say.