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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Four Mystery Plays
GA 14
The Soul's Probation (Written 1911)

Persons, Forms and Features

The spiritual and psychic experiences of the characters appearing in this ‘Soul's Probation’ are a continuation of the experiences given in the scenes of ‘The Portal of Initiation,’ and the events related occur several years later.

Benedictus, Theodosius, Romanus, Hierophants of the Temple of the Sun.

Professor Capesius.

Philia, Astrid, Luna, The spiritual beings who facilitate the connection between the Soul and the Cosmos. They are not allegorical, but are realities for the spirit Seer.

The Other Philia, The spiritual being who enters the connection between the Soul and the Cosmos.

The Voice of Conscience, not allegorical, but a reality, for the spirit Seer.



Doctor Strader.

Felix Balde.

Felicia, his wife.

The ‘Double’ of Johannes Thomasius.



The events of the Sixth to the Ninth Scenes contain the spiritual vision, of Capesius into his former life. Maria and Johannes share the experiences at the same time; but Strader's former incarnation is only seen by Capesius, Maria, and Johannes.

These scenes back into the fourteenth century are conceived as results of imaginative cognition, and in the physical world are only recognizable by their effect. The way in which these lives are repeated (from occurrences of the fourteenth century into the present day) should not be generalised. This kind of repetition can only happen at a turning point of time.


The Spirit of Benedictus.

The Grand Master, chief of a branch of mystic brother-hood.

First Preceptor, of the mystic brotherhood. (A former incarnation of Professor Capesius.)

Second Preceptor, of the mystic brotherhood.

First Master of the Ceremonies, of the mystic brotherhood.

Second Master of the Ceremonies, of the mystic brotherhood.

Simon, the Jew (a former incarnation of Dr. Studer). Thomas (a former incarnation of Johannes Thomasius).

A Monk (a former incarnation of Maria).

Joseph Keane (a former incarnation of Felix Baide). His Wife (a former incarnation of Felicia Balde)

Bertha, their daughter (a former incarnation of the Other Maria).

Cecilia, their foster-daughter (a former incarnation of Theodora).

Six Country Men, and

Six Country Women.

NOTE ON THE COSTUMES WORN (see also notes to the “Portal of Initiation”). The knights are in chain armour and dark blue lobes of their order, with a white Maltese cross on their mantle and on their tunic. The mantle of the Grand Master is crimson; is tunic is white with a red cross. Their blue caps and the Grand Master's red cap are flat and triangular. The apparition Benedictus in Scene 7, is in pink peach blossom colour. He spears in the background about nine feet above the stage and mains rigid with his arms extended in cross fashion the whole ire of his appearance in this scene.