******* For any of you who have only recently come into contact with anthroposophy or who are puzzled about it, let me say that the same thing can be said that college professors say about Wikipedia: you can't just get stuff off the Internet to understand a subject. So if you have the wrong impression of it, that's understandable.
I've been studying it for over 35 years, so let me say what it is in my opinion. What Rudolf Steiner gave to the world is, first of all, the answer to a multitude of unsolved riddles of philosophy & science, especially all those dealing with the fundamental questions we all must face at some time: who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? As such, it also gives the key to the understanding of the questions of religion, the meaning of life, the ultimate destiny of the human being and the world. All of us must have some kind of answer to these questions to base our life on: it may be a borrowed one or a foolish one, but we have to have something. Our modern culture gives us nothing. Dr. Steiner gives us concrete answers, for instance, not only the theoretical teaching of reincarnation and karma, but ways in which to see into our past lives and our present karma as well.
Since our present materialistic culture does not give us any basis for living, it also provides no inspiration for our creative selves. Anthroposophy leads to a renewal of the arts--- painting, music, poetry, theater, dance and so on. In both philosophy and art, it enables us to find our inner selves again which the modern paradigm estranges us from.
Further, starting a century ago we have an entirely new system of medicine and healing, homeopathic remedies and an entirely different picture of the human body. We have a new system of agriculture with a new and deeper understanding of nature, of the plant and animal worlds, and new insight into nutrition, into the connection of the human being with nature. And we have the beginning of a whole new educational system, to raise the human being from childhood able to become what he should become. And this was envisioned as part of an entire regeneration of human society.
All this is still really in its infancy, but Dr. Steiner created a society to be the backbone of this movement in all these directions. While lots of "New Age" people feel dissatisfied with the ruling paradigm, the arts, medicine, food production and education--- they are like children, groping and trying to find their way still, and don't have the will to accomplish much because they have yet to find a firm connection to the Spirit. It is what Steiner found, and what others need to find their way to.
He foresaw the great communications system we now have and how it could be used to spread spiritual truth; unfortunately, just as television is mainly inanity, so the Internet hasn't started contributing much to this new movement which is so vital to the world. What we need to do is try to lift ourselves up when we write here, just as, when you walk into an anthroposophical study group, you strive to leave "the street" outside. Let's try to have what has been termed "Goethean conversation" here, speaking only important things, trying to lift up our thoughts to the level of anthroposophy. No conspiracy theories, no political ranting, no irrationality is allowed in this group, so that anyone wishing to express insight derived from real contemplation need fear doing so.