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Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Panic, and Fear

Rudolf Steiner Selected and Introduced by Harald Haas

152 pp.  
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Rudolf Steiner Press


Published:  December 2018


Threshold Experiences, Crises of the Soul and Healing on the Anthroposophical Path

The origin of fear:

  • “To the extent that human consciousness was developed at all, it could foresee how things would go in the future according to the preconceived plan. [Because of luciferic influences] this consciousness that foresaw the future was lost as the veil of earthly perceptions wove itself before the revelation of higher spiritual beings, and the real forces of the Sun beings were concealed in them. The future now became uncertain. And this planted in the soul the possibility of feeling fear. Fear is a direct consequence of [perceptual] error.” (Rudolf Steiner)

Mental and emotional disorders have reached epidemic levels in Western societies. Self-doubt, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and personal fears of all kinds present major challenges to contemporary medical science. Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual research offers a startlingly original and complementary contribution to this problem. True insight into psychological issues requires knowledge of the influences of spiritual beings, he suggests. In everyday life we are all confronted with metaphysical entities that can hinder or aid our development. Many forms of anxiety and self-doubt derive from such meetings on the border—or threshold—of consciousness. Furthermore, these “threshold experiences” are exacerbated today by a general loosening of the subtle bodies and components of the human soul.

As these constitutional changes persist, according to Rudolf Steiner a condition of “dissociation” becomes increasingly common. A healthy emotional life will never be possible unless individuals engage in a conscious practice of personal self-development, strengthening their constitution through the action of one’s “I.”

The expertly selected and collated texts in Self-Doubt offer numerous cognitive and practical ideas for the improvement of everyday mental and emotional health.


  • The origin of error, fear, and nervousness
  • Crossing the threshold in the development of humanity and the individual
  • The polarity of shame and fear
  • The polarity of doubt and terrifying disorientation
  • The polarity of skepticism and claustrophobia, astraphobia, and agoraphobia
  • The origin of panic
  • Anxiety
  • The multilayered nature of terrifying disorientation
  • Healing aspects of the anthroposophic path of training
  • The spiritual-scientific qualities of fear compared with standardized diagnostic terms

Originally published in German as Grenzerlebnisse der Seele: Schreck, Scham, Zweifel und schreckvollste Verwirrung (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Basel, 2016).

Related Titles

  • Extending Practical Medicine : Fundamental Principles Based on the Science of the Spirit (CW 27)
  • Jung and Steiner : The Birth of a New Psychology
  • Broken Vessels : The Spiritual Structure of Human Frailty (CW 318)
  • Helping Children to Overcome Fear : The Healing Power of Play
  • Lifting the Veil of Mental Illness : An Approach to Anthroposophical Psychology
  • The Counselor . . . as if Soul and Spirit Matter : Inspirations from Anthroposophy
  • Understanding Deeper Developmental Needs : Holistic Approaches for Challenging Behaviors in Children

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Anthroposophy: Therapy and Medicine ; Body, Mind, Health & Healing: Psychology ; Body, Mind, Health & Healing: Self-Help ; Esoteric: Psychology ; Family: Psychology and Psychology: Spiritual Psychology