Everything that is, sprouted from the spirit.
All life roots in the spirit.
It is the spirit all beings seek to attain.
Welcome to my Phenomenology site
On this website you will find information on Observing, Phenomenology (Goethean science), the Twelve senses, Rudolf Steiners Basic exercises, Threefoldness of man and animals and Embryology from an anthroposophical point of view.
After 20 years of teaching at the bio-dynamic agricultural school Warmonderhof in the Netherlands it seemed a good idea to put the things I wrote down during these years on the internet, so that more people can read about these subjects.
The starting point for phenomenology is observing. How to observe, how to make your observations richer, what is important in observing and what are your limitations are discussed. In phenomenology, the seven ways of observing to meet the core of a subject and to come to individual actions are described. You will find many exercises for observing and phenomenology. In the Twelve senses, all twelve are discussed, examples given of their activity and many exercises are given as well.
If you want more exercises, please take a look at het Basic exercises of Rudolf Steiner, they are nice and simple ones and they can enrichen your life.
A page on the Threefoldness of the human was added, too, and some five on threefoldness of mammals. In future some more pages on the threefoldness of mammals will follow, as they will be translated from Dutch.
In Embryology, the development of the plant and a simple animal are given. These illuminate the anthroposophical concepts of them. After that, the development of man during the first eight weeks is described and shown in many drawings.
You can download four books/booklets: Observing with Twelve senses, Phenomenology, Embryology and the Basic exercises. See the page Books.
These English pages form a part of a larger Dutch site. See Dutch under Introduction in the menu for all the items, or you can click here.
Please send me your remarks and questions by e-mail via the contactpage.
The website was designed by Manja Kindt, an artist who has a website of her own, too.
I hope you enjoy this site.
Tom van Gelder.
Tom van Gelder
March 8, 1953 - November 16, 2011
Seek the truly practical material life,
but seek it in such a way
that it does not numb you
to the spirit that works within it.
Seek the spirit,
but not out of spiritual lust or spiritual egoism;
seek it rather
because you wish to become selfless
in the practical life of the material world.
Turn to the ancient principle:
"Spirit never without matter,
matter never without spirit!"
Rudolf Steiner has given six simple exercises to develop and purify thinking, feeling and willing. They are called basic exercises or additional exercises ((German: Nebenübungen) because you can do them in addition to meditation. Even if you do not want to meditate, these exercises are good to do. You get to know yourself better and life becomes more interesting.
A cat can be compared with a point, a dog with a circle. The cat is the point because it lies next to the stove, in the centre. That is how it behaves: keeping to itself, keeping control. What it does, comes from within. It is an obstinate, individual animal. In the point is rest, everything comes to a halt and it is closed, we have no access.
The dog is the circle, guarding the boundaries. In the circle is movement and activity. It is open, we have access to it. The dog learns easily and can be educated and trained. What the dog does, is a reaction to what comes from outside.
The egg cell (or ovum, or oocyte) is the largest human cell. She measures 0.15 to 0.2 mm and is just visible to the naked eye. She is also the roundest cell, she is almost perfectly round (Fig. 4). She therefore has the largest volume in relation to her surface. The cell consists of a large amount of cytoplasm (= cell fluid) in which the nucleus is dissolved (and therefore invisible) until just before conception.