One might compare theoretical anthroposophy to a photograph. If you are very anxious to learn to know someone you have once met, or with whom you have been brought into touch through something or other, you would not want to be offered a photograph. You may find pleasure in the photograph; but it cannot kindle the warmth of your feeling life, for the man’s living presence does not confront you.
Theoretical Anthroposophy is a photograph of what Anthroposophy intends to be. It intends to be a living presence; it really wants to use words, concepts and ideas in order that something living may shine down from the spiritual world into the physical. Anthroposophy does not only want to impart knowledge; it seeks to awaken life.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 234 – Anthroposophy, An Introduction: Lecture VI: RESPIRATION, WARMTH AND THE EGO – Dornach, 3rd February, 1924
Translated by Vera Compton-Burnett