April 25, 2022
Rudolf Steiner offers us a unique perspective on world events with an exploration of spiritual impulses working behind the scenes. Through his lectures and books available in English here online, Dr. Steiner teaches that we can come to know the spiritual world through our own thinking and factual observation of the material world. Beyond merely understanding spiritual impulses manifesting in the material, we can further work with them to actively transform ourselves and participate in the evolution of mankind.
In a lecture given in Zurich on November 13, 1917, Steiner discusses the necessity for establishing real relationships with the spiritual world. This takes courage, but it is necessary to lift ourselves out of our current predicament:
Today there is evidence on all hands that when one speaks of man's concrete relationship with the spiritual world to those who as yet know nothing about Anthroposophy, they are unwilling to go into such matters; they are afraid of it all. They will not summon up courage to think about impulses that are said to come from the spiritual world. […] That, after all, is why people simply did not listen when it was said that momentous, incisive thoughts and undertakings are called for by men if the world is to be lifted out of its present pitiable state — and that such thoughts and undertakings must be born from spiritual knowledge, real spiritual knowledge. […]
Constant references to the universal Spirit, all the talk about inner, spiritual deepening and the like — none of it leads anywhere. What is essential is that men of the present time shall establish real and concrete relations with the spiritual world. […] Intimate and penetrating knowledge of these things is the only means whereby the aims of the Spirits of Darkness may be counteracted.
Certain occult brotherhoods, however, make it their business to work in exactly the opposite sense; they want to retain the wisdom exclusively within their own narrow circles, in order to exploit it in connection with their lusts for power. We are living in the midst of this struggle. On the one side there is the necessity for men to be led along the right paths by the assimilation of the spiritual truths; on the other side there are enclosed occult brotherhoods of an evil kind, desiring to prevent these truths from finding their way to men, with the result that they remain dull and stupid as regards the spiritual world, and thus make it possible for those within narrowly enclosed brotherhoods to carry on their intrigues from there.
Events of the present time bristle with such intrigues and machinations, and calamity looms ahead if men will not realise that these machinations are in full swing. You will feel at once that light is shed upon the real background of these things when I tell you of certain truths which have matured in our time — truths which must fall as it were like ripened fruit from the spiritual world into the kingdom of men but are prevented from spreading — against which, moreover, men are instinctively prejudiced because they are afraid of them.
—Rudolf Steiner, November 13, 1917 BEHIND THE SCENES OF EXTERNAL HAPPENINGS, GA 178, Lecture II
Read more of this fascinating lecture to gain a new perspective on:
- Human thought as an actual power in the soul;
- Monotheism and man's relationship to his Guardian Angel;
- The battle of Michael with the Dragon;
- Aims of occult brotherhoods in connection with the acquisition of power; and
- Life after death.
April 10, 2022
We invite you to read some of the many lectures Steiner gave regarding Easter. In his discussions about what he terms “the Mystery of Golgotha,” he shares the cosmic significance of the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. You can find some of his selected works under the Festivals topic on the left-hand side navigation of our website. The excerpts presented here cannot begin to capture the profound teachings of Steiner on this topic. We merely share them as highlights to encourage you to explore the full lectures yourself.
The Soul was transformed by the Mystery of Golgotha with the Christ impulse now streaming forth from the Soul rather than streaming into it. In a lecture given in 1912, Steiner states:
In the ages before the Mystery of Golgotha, a certain revelation came to mankind like sunshine falling upon an object from without. Just as the light falls upon this object, so did the light of the spiritual sun fall from without upon the soul of man and enlightened it. After the Mystery of Golgotha, we can speak of that which works in the soul as Christ-Impulse, as the spiritual sunlight, as though we saw a self-illumined body before us radiating its light from within. If we look at it thus, the fact of the Mystery of Golgotha becomes a significant boundary line in human evolution. We can represent the whole connection, symbolically. If we take this circle (Diagram 1) as representing the human soul, we may say that the spiritual light streams in from without from all sides into this human soul. Then comes the Mystery of Golgotha, after which the soul possesses the Christ-Impulse in itself and radiates forth that which is contained in the Christ-Impulse (Diagram 2). Just as a drop which is illumined from all sides radiates and reflects this illumination, so does the soul appear before the Christ-Impulse. As a flame which is alight within and radiates forth its light, thus does the soul appear after the Mystery of Golgotha, if it has been able to receive the Christ-Impulse.
|1908||Influence of Spiritual Beings Upon Man: Lecture VIII|
|1909||Lecture: Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse: Part 2: Lecture Seven|
|1909||Principle/Economy: Lecture IX: Ancient Revelation and Learning How to Ask Modern Questions|
|1910||Esoteric Lessons Part II: Hamburg, 5-16-10|
|1910||Manifestations/Karma: Lecture: The Nature and Significance of Karma in the Personal and Individual, and in Humanity, the Earth and the Universe|
|1916||Things Past and Present: Lecture X|
|1920||Man: Hieroglyph: Lecture Sixteen|
|1921||The Development of Thought from the 4th to the 19th Century - 2|
|1923||Man's Being: Lecture I: On the Nature and Destiny of Man and World|
|1924||Karmic Relationships, Volume II: Lecture X|