goethe hero

John Gouldthorpe

For the Love of Nature: An Exploration of Goethe's Holistic Thinking

One knows oneself only insofar as one knows the world, becoming aware of it only within oneself and of oneself within it. Each new subject well observed, opens up within us a new organ of thought.   – Goethe

An essential task of our time is to embrace and cultivate a style of thinking that is true to life, that is continually creative, moving, and stable: a thinking that is an expression of life, meaning a thinking that is beautiful and inherently satisfying. Though mostly unrecognized, Goethe accomplished this task. Rudolf Steiner, the first editor of Goethe’s collected scientific writings, took it as his essential task to clarify and bring forth Goethe’s method. That method and the insights gained from its application became the basis of Steiner’s thinking and vast life-serving accomplishments.

In this next conversation between TNS Host Michael Lerner and John Gouldthorpe—a part of our Archetypal Psychology Series—they will explore Goethe’s romantic sensibility primarily through Steiner’s first book, Goethe’s Theory of Knowledge.

For the Love of Nature: An Exploration of Goethe's Holistic Thinking


John Gouldthorpe

John began immersing himself in Goethe’s worldview about 7 years ago and is now beginning to connect the dots to the questions of our time and the radically pertinent insights that Goethe’s approach to science and art have for us. For John, Goethe’s approach affords a deepening of his own life long questions into the nature of Nature, the nature of knowing and the relationship between the two. 

For many years John was a deep tissue massage therapist working with a clientele of psychologists influenced by Stanly Keleman followed by brief period as a clinical psychologist then onto working on the issue of understanding economic globalization and its structural antidote: localized economies. Living in West Marin since 1994, he worked for 8 years helping to start KWMR; for several years he was chairman of West Marin Commons, and spent two years as president of the Point Reyes Village Association.