This volume contains translations of the so-called Leading Thoughts, brief paragraphs dealing with Anthroposophy as a Path of Knowledge. They were written by Rudolf Steiner for Members of the Anthroposophical Society and at a later stage were accompanied by communications known as the Letters connected with sets of Leading Thoughts. Articles with contents of a quite different kind, dealing with the character, aims and problems of the Society, are published separately, in two volumes entitled The Life, Nature and Cultivation of Anthroposophy and The Constitution of the School of Spiritual Science.
The Leading Thoughts are printed here in the order in which they first appeared in German and are numbered consecutively from 1 to 185, to facilitate reference. The translations of the Leading Thoughts and of accompanying Letters are those that were printed in the periodical Anthroposophical Movement during 1924 and the early months of 1925 until publication came to an end with Rudolf Steiner's death. The later Letters and Leading Thoughts (from No 79 to the end) formed a continuous series and until now have been available as a separate volume, the last edition of which was entitled The Michael Mystery, translated by Mrs. E. Bowen Wedgwood. As, however, the original translations of all the Leading Thoughts and of nearly all the Letters accompanying them were the work of George and Mary Adams, they have been used throughout the present volume for the sake of uniformity of language and literary style.