‘To be man is to know the animals and all the creatures of the earth; it is to recognize our responsibility towards these beings, once of the same order as ourselves, but now obliged to live beside us in an incompleteness that never ceases its appeal to human beings – warning us to make ourselves worthy of the trust invested in us.’ – Hermann Poppelbaum
What is the historical and evolutionary relationship between man and animal? In this classic text, based on the anthroposophical science founded by Rudolf Steiner, Poppelbaum, trained in Biology, compares the outer forms of man and animal, revealing their essential differences and contrasting inner experiences.
Drawing a bold and clear delineation between the fundamental nature of man and that of the animal, Poppelbaum argues that human beings are not the accidental outcome of animal development, but the hidden source of evolution itself. He goes on to discuss the true relationship of both man and animal to their environment, and develops a critique of contemporary theories regarding human and animal evolution. He argues that, rather than a simple reflex of the nervous system, the human spirit is a microcosmic reflection of the spiritual macrocosm, and our individual consciousness is a crucial seed for future evolution.
HERMANN POPPELBAUM, Dr Phil. (1891–1979) was an anthropologist, psychologist, philosopher, anthroposophist, teacher and author of numerous books. An expert on the works of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), Poppelbaum was a visiting lecturer in anthropology and psychology at Alfred University, New York. In 1949 he became director of the Education Section at the Goetheanum, Switzerland, and in 1963 the Department of Natural Sciences.