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Robert McDermott is president-emeritus of the California Institute for Integral Studies. His books The Essential Steiner and The New Essential Steiner have introduced anthroposophy to many thousands of readers.
“Throughout this book, I compare the life and ideas of Steiner with the lives and ideas of the ‘kindred spirits.’ They are the thinkers whom I imagine could have been his companions on the way to spiritual insight. I have never wanted to be someone who participates in every conversation by quoting and recommending Rudolf Steiner. Rather, I want to be—as I want this book to be—one who puts Steiner in relation to other major spiritual thinkers important for contemporary culture and for our individual spiritual seeking. Some chapters (especially those on social justice, feminism, and ecology) discuss groups of spiritual thinkers. The six primary figures with whom I am eager to compare Steiner—Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin, the Dalai Lama, Martin Buber, C.G. Jung, and Rabindranath Tagore—did not contribute to as many fields as Steiner did. We should not look to Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard, or C. G. Jung for significant contributions to social justice, education, or ecology. For those chapters for which these six do not offer substantial comparisons, I have introduced other thinkers.” — From the Preface