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Nature's Open Secret

Introductions to Goethe's Scientific Writings (CW 1)

Rudolf Steiner Introduction by John Michael Barnes

320 pp.  
6" x 9"



Published:  December 2015


  • The holistic paradigm, Gaia, deep ecology, and new alchemy all have a hidden ancestor: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832).

At the youthful age of twenty-one, Steiner was chosen to edit Goethe’s scientific writings for the principle Geothe edition of his time. Goethe’s literary genius was universally acknowledged; it was Steiner’s task to understand and comment on Goethe’s scientific achievements. Steiner recognized the significance of Goethe’s work with nature and his epistemology, and here began Steiner’s own training in epistemology and spiritual science.

This collection of Steiner’s introductions to Goethe’s works re-visions the meaning of knowledge and how we attain it. Goethe had discovered how thinking could be applied to organic nature and that this experience requires not just rational concepts but a whole new way of perceiving.

In an age when science and technology have been linked to great catastrophes, many are looking for new ways to interact with nature. With a fundamental declaration of the interpenetration of our consciousness and the world around us, Steiner shows how Goethe’s approach points the way to a more compassionate and intimate involvement with nature.

  • Nature's Open Secret is a translation of Einleitung zu Goethes Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften (1884-1897). Previous translations were titled Goethe the Scientist and Goethean Science.

Related Titles

  • Colour : (CW 291)
  • Goethe on Science : An Anthology of Goethe's Scientific Writings
  • The Time Is at Hand! : The Rosicrucian Nature of Goethe's Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily and the Mystery Dramas of Rudolf Steiner
  • Goethe's Theory of Knowledge : An Outline of the Epistemology of His Worldview (CW 2)
  • Taking Appearance Seriously : The Dynamic Way of Seeing in Goethe and European Thought
  • Goethe's Science of Living Form : The Artistic Stages
  • Anthroposophy in the Light of Goethe's Faust : Writings and Lectures from Mid-1890s to 1916 (CW 272)
  • The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Anthroposophy: Classics in Anthroposophy ; Anthroposophy: General ; Science & Nature: General and Science & Nature: Goethean Studies