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Paper presentation at the International Steiner Symposium 2021. The Actuality of Rudolf Steiner: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Steiner in the 21st Century.

Goethean phenomenology is best known in connection with natural science. Fundamental to its approach is seeing the phenomenon of Nature as whole, where wholeness comes to presence within its parts in a process called ‘beholding’, a kind of receptive contemplation that reveals the patterns or essence of a phenomenon. Although originally orientating to the natural, not human, sciences, Goethean methodology unites these two fields as it is also a path to self-discovery. Its particular significance is that it provides an enlightening understanding of the direct experience and how to ‘capture’ it.

The human being is a phenomenon whose wholeness should be intrinsically connected with Nature, though modern consciousness distances us. Learning to see the human being through a phenomenological lens leads to a more living connection with Nature, but also a more living connection with our thinking. And when the human being begins to really think and experience an idea living within, he then looks upon Self and Nature as being one whole. Goethean phenomenology is a cultural therapeutic because it offers a practice that enlivens our thinking. It is therapeutic because it potentially restores our wholeness to Nature. It is a cultural therapeutic because as a practice for understanding human culture within Nature, it could be therapeutic for our whole culture. This paper further explores how enlivened perception leads to dynamic thinking and wholeness through innovative exercises developed from my interdisciplinary research into creative cognition.

Dr. Fiona Campbell: University of Technology Sydney & Sydney Rudolf Steiner College, Australia

Interdisciplinary researcher, visual artist and communications professional, Fiona’s research interests are creativity and cognition, consciousness studies, visual art, phenomenology and researcher training. Her current projects are: Where do new ideas come from? And how do they emerge? on the phenomenological approach to thinking; and Enlivening the World Script within on developing a salutogenic approach to life through reconnecting to Nature’s health-giving forces. Fiona has 25 year’s experience teaching foundational anthroposophic studies and visual arts at Sydney Rudolf Steiner College and 10 years teaching information science at UTS (Sydney).