Rudolf Steiner Archive 

The Anthroposophical Movement


LECTURE ONE (Dornach, 10 June 1923)

  1. Bayreuther Blatter: official organ of the Wagner Association, founded in 1878.
  2. cf. Rudolf Steiner. The Course of My Life. Translated by O. D. Wannamaker. Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1970. Also Briefe I. (Dornach, 1955).
  3. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, 1821–1881, leading Russian novelist. cf. also lecture of 13 February 1915 in GA 174b. Rudolf Steiner speaks in some detail about Dostoevsky's book The Brothers Karamazov in the lecture of 13 February 1916 in GA 167; typescript (C42) in Rudolf Steiner House library, London.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, 1831–1891. Her main works are Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. Together with Col. H. S. Olcott, Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society on 17 November 1875 in New York, which soon thereafter moved its headquarters to India.
  5. Alfred Percy Sinnett, 1840–1921. Esoteric Buddhism.
  6. J. W. von Goethe. Fairy-tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily. Floris Books, Edinburgh, 1979. cf. Rudolf Steiner, Goethes Geistesart in ihrer Offenbarung durch seinen Faust und durch das Marchen von der Schlange und der Lilie (1918), GA 22. Also The Course of My Life, The Course of My Life, Chapter XXX.
  7. From 1890 to 1896/7 Rudolf Steiner was employed at the Goethe-Schiller Archive to edit Goethe's scientific writings within the Weimar edition of Goethe's works. cf. Rudolf Steiner. The Course of My Life. Chapters XIII-XXIII. The Course of My Life, Chapter XIIIChapter XXIII. Also Briefe I, idem.
  8. Hermann Grimm, 1828–1901. cf. The Course of My Life, p.150ff.
  9. The article referred to is “Eine vielleicht zeitgemsse persnliche Erinnerung” in the periodical Das Goetheanum, Vol. 2, no. 43 of 3 June 1923. Reproduced in GA 36.
  10. Herman Grimm. Unüberruindliche Machte. Berlin 1867.
  11. In detail on 16 January 1913 in GA 62 (not translated). Also on 6 February 1915 in GA 161; typescript (Z140) in Rudolf Steiner House library, London.
  12. In the winter of 1900/1901, Rudolf Steiner delivered 27 evening lectures in the Theosophical Library of Count and Countess Brockdorff. They were published as a collection in 1901 (GA 7) and appeared in English as Mysticism and Modern Thought. Revised edition: Eleven European Mystics. Translated by Karl Zimmer. Rudolf Steiner Publications, New York, 1971. cf. also The Course of My Life, Chapter XXX.
  13. Annie Besant, 1847–1933. Was elected in May 1907 to succeed H. S. Olcott as President of the Theosophical Society.

LECTURE TWO (Dornach, 11 June 1923)

  1. Ralph Waldo Trine, 1866–1958. American author of philosophical books. Pupil of R. W. Emerson. His best known work is In Tune with the Infinite (New York, 1897).
  2. The German Section of the Theosophical Society unanimously rejected the absurd theories here referred to, which began to circulate in the Society from 1910/11 (see also Lecture Six). The Section's rejection led to a decision by the General Council in Adyar on 7 March 1913 to expel the German Section. Since such a move was not totally unexpected, the Anthroposophical Society had been founded on 28 December 1912 with an executive committee comprising Dr. Carl Unger, Michael Bauer and Marie von Sivers (Marie Steiner).
  3. This principle, enunciated by Goethe, was chosen by Rudolf Steiner as the motto for the constitution which he gave to the Anthroposophical Society in 1912. From: Sprüche in Prosa; Goethes naturwissenschaftliche Schriften, edited by Rudolf Steiner. Dornach, 1975. Vol. V, p.360.
  4. Rudolf Steiner, Philosophy of Spiritual Activity: A philosophy of freedom. Translated by Rita Stebbing. Rudolf Steiner Press, Bristol, 1992.
  5. Johann Gottlieb Fichte, 1762–1814, philosopher. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, 1770–1831, philosopher. Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand Solger, 1780–1819, philosopher and aesthetician.
  6. 1817. Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Philosophical Library, New York, 1959. Part One: Logic.
  7. Robert Zimmermann, 1824–1912. Philosopher and aesthetician. From 1861 to 1895 Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vienna. One of the leading representatives of Herbartian philosophy. cf. Rudolf Steiner, The Course of My Life, Chapter III.
  8. Franz Hartmann, 1838–1912. Doctor and theosophist. Founder of a separate school within the Theosophical Society. cf. Rudolf Steiner, The Course of My Life, Chapter IX.
  9. Also Briefe I.
  10. Geschichte der Aesthetik als philosophische Wissenschaft. Vienna, 1858. Anthroposophie im Umriss-Entwurf eines Systems idealer Weltansicht auf realistischer Grundlage. Vienna, 1882. The text of the dedication referred to is as follows: To Harriet. It was your strength of soul, when night threatened to blanket my eyes, which made me resolve to use the long and involuntary leisure in my dark room to bring an ordered conclusion to a stream of thoughts long maturing in isolation, for which a willing hand kindly lent itself to write them down. Thus is the origin of this book of whose content no one will be able to dispute that, like the light, it was born in the dark. Who else but you could lay claim to the same?
  11. Paul Topinard, 1830–1911. French anthropologist. A German translation of his Anthropology appeared in 1888.
  12. The date and title could not be established.
  13. The name Die Kommenden was used by a society founded in Berlin by the poet Ludwig Jacobowski which consisted of literary figures, artists, scientists and others, with an interest in the arts. Rudolf Steiner delivered 24 lectures from October 1901 to March 1902. cf. also Rudolf Steiner, The Course of My Life, Chapter XXX and Chapter XXX.
  14. In the same winter, from October 1901 to April 1902, Rudolf Steiner again delivered a series of lectures in the Theosophical Library (see Lecture One, Note 12) which provided a comprehensive expansion of the subject treated in the previous year (mysticism). In 1902 these lectures were published as Christianity As Mystical Fact. Translated by C. Davy and A. Bittleston. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1972.
  15. cf. Rudolf Steiner, Eine historische Antwort. From an address on 14 December 1911, reprinted in Aus dem Leben von Marie Steiner-von Sivers. Dornach, 1956. See also Briefe II.
  16. The reference is to the second major lecture cycle of 27 lectures from October 1902 to April 1903 which was given to the society Die Kommenden under the title From Zarathustra to Nietzsche. The inaugural meeting of the German Section of the Theosophical Society took place on 20 October 1902 in the presence of Annie Besant. cf. also The Course of My Life, Chapter XXX.
  17. Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, 1775–1854. Die Weltalter, a fragment from his unpublished works; English translation The Ages of the World. Columbia University Press, New York, 1942. Philosophie der Offenbarung. 2 vols. Stuttgart/Augsburg, 1858. cf. the chapter “The Classics of World and Life Conceptions” in Rudolf Steiner, Riddles of Philosophy (1914). Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1973. pp. 151–164. cf. also the lecture in Dornach on 16 September 1924, in Karmic Relationships, Vol. 4. Translated by D. S. Osmond and C. Davy. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1983.
  18. See Lecture Three, Note 10.
  19. Lawrence Oliphant, 1829–1888. His two most important books are Sympneumata and Scientific Religion. London, 1888. cf. Rudolf Steiner's lecture in London on 24 August 1924, in Karmic Relationships, Vol. 6. Translated by D. S. Osmond. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1975.

LECTURE THREE (Dornach, 12 June 1923)

  1. These are the so-called Mahatma Letters which were printed in A. P. Sinnett's The Occult World, London, 1881. They are linked with the so-called Coulomb affair of a later date, which is what Rudolf Steiner is referring to when he speaks about the rather sensational affair, and all kinds of sleight of hand with sliding doors.
  2. Simon Ohm, 1787–1854. Famous physicist.
  3. Philipp Reis, 1834–1874. Teacher and physicist.
  4. Adalbert Stifter, 1805–1868. Writer and painter. The episode concerning his discovery as a writer by Baroness Mink in 1840 and his later appointment as schools inspector in 1849/50 is recounted in every biography.
  5. Julius Robert Mayer, 1814–1878. Doctor and physicist.
  6. cf. Dornach, 11 October 1915 in The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century. Translated by D. S. Osmond. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1973. Berlin, 23 October, 1911 in Earthly and Cosmic Man. Translated by D. S. Osmond. Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., London, 1948. Address in Helsingfors, 11 April, 1912, in GA 158; typescript (Z409) in Rudolf Steiner House library, London.
  7. Carl Gustav Jung, 1875–1961. Leading proponent of psychoanalysis. cf. also Rudolf Steiner's lectures of 10 and 11 November 1917 in Psychoanalysis in the Light of Anthroposophy. Translated by M. Laird-Brown. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, and Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1946 as well as the question-and-answer session related to the lecture of 28 April 1920 in The Renewal of Education. Rudolf Steiner Schools Fellowship, 1981.
  8. Jakob Boehme, 1575–1624. Cf. Rudolf Steiner, Eleven European Mystics. pp. 123ff.
  9. Dr. Bruno Wille, author of Offenbarungen des Wacholderbaums (Novel of a Seer). Leipzig, 1901. cf. Rudolf Steiner's detailed review reprinted in GA 34. Also The Course of My Life, Chapter XXIX, and Briefe II.
  10. The reference is to the lecture “Monismus und Theosophie” of 8 October 1902. cf. also The Course of My Life, Chapter XXIX, and Briefe II.
  11. Ignoramus et ignorabimus (we do not know and we will never know). Phrase coined by the Berlin physiologist Emil Du Bois-Reymond (1818–1896) in his speech “ber die Grenzen des Naturerkennens”, which passed into common usage.

LECTURE FOUR (Dornach, 13 June 1923)

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844–1900. The Anti-Christ. Translated by R. J. Hollingdale. Penguin Classics, Harmondsworth 1988. See Rudolf Steiner, Friedrich Nietzsche (1895). Translated by M. Ingram de Ris. Rudolf Steiner Publications, New Jersey, 1960.

LECTURE FIVE (Dornach, 14 June 1923)

  1. Rudolf Steiner: The Gospel of St. John (Hamburg 1908). Translated by M. B. Monges. Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1962. The Gospel of St. John and its Relation to the Other Gospels (Kassel 1909). Translated by S. and L. Lockwood, revised by M. St. Goar. Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1982. The Gospel of St. Luke (Basel 1909). Translated by D. S. Osmond and O. Barfield. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1975. The Gospel of St. Matthew (Bern 1910). Translated by D. S. Osmond and M. Kirkcaldy. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1965. The Gospel of St. Mark (Basel 1912). Translated by C. Mainzer, edited by S. C. Easton. Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1986. Background to the Gospel According to St. Mark (Berlin and other places 1910/11). Translated by E. H. Goddard and D. S. Osmond. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, and Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1968.
  2. Published in 1897.
  3. Theosophy: An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man (1904). Translated by M. Cotterell, revised by A. P. Shepherd. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1989.
  4. From 18–21 May 1907 the fourth annual Congress of the Federation of European Sections of the Theosophical Society took place in Munich. Under Rudolf Steiner's guidance the attempt had been made to create a harmonious correlation between the spiritual activity in and the artistic arrangement of the conference room. In addition there was a performance of E. Schure's reconstruction of The Holy Drama of Eleusis. See The Course of My Life, Chapter XXXVIII.
  5. Also GA 284/285.
  6. In the lecture of 14 December 1911 Rudolf Steiner said: In front of a witness (Marie von Sivers) who is willing to testify to this at any time, Annie Besant said in Munich in 1907 that she was not qualified to deal with Christianity. And that is why she, as it were, handed the movement over to me, in so far as its Christian aspects were concerned. See Aus dem Leben von Marie Steiner-von Sivers, p.45f.
  7. The lecture — Theosophy and Imperialism. A Lecture by Annie Besant. London (Theos. Publ. Soc.) 1902 — was delivered at the Theosophical Society Congress in London in July 1902. cf. Rudolf Steiner's lecture of 12 March 1916 in GA 174b (not yet translated).
  8. See Lecture Two, Note 2.
  9. See Aus dem Leben von Marie Steiner-von Sivers, p.70f.
  10. See Lecture Two, Note 2.

LECTURE SIX (Dornach, 15 June 1923)

  1. The appearance of Occult Science: An Outline (Translated by G. and M. Adams. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1969) had been announced in 1905 as a continuation of
  2. Theosophy which was published in 1904. For technical reasons, however, it did not appear until 1910 (the preface is signed: written in December 1909). “Only the absolute necessity of uninterrupted lecturing activity by the author has delayed the publication of this book for so long. Now it is to be made available to the public whatever the cost.” (Rudolf Steiner in the journal Luzifer-Gnosis, No. 33 from 1907.)
  3. See Lecture Two, Note 8.
  4. William Quan Judge, 1851–1896. One of the co-founders of the Theosophical Society. In 1895 he split away from the Adyar-based society and became the leader of a secessionist movement in America.
  5. August Weismann, 1834–1914. Medical doctor, zoologist. Disputed the heredity of acquired changes.
  6. Dr. Wilhelm Hübbe-Schleiden, 1846–1916. From 1886–1896 edited the occultist monthly journal Sphinx. See Rudolf Steiner, The Course of My Life, Chapter XXXII, and Briefe II.
  7. Charles Webster Leadbeater, 1847–1934. Prominent member of the Theosophical Society in England. See in this context the book Occult Chemistry by Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater, a series of clairvoyant observations about the chemical elements and atomic theory.
  8. Dr. Eugen Kolisko, 1893–1939. Medical doctor and teacher at the Stuttgart Waldorf School.
  9. The scientific research institute was one of the sections of Kommende Tag, a company set up for the promotion of economic and spiritual values, Stuttgart 1920–1925. The biology department (L. Kolisko) was transferred to the Goetheanum by Rudolf Steiner in 1924.
  10. Dr. Ernst Blümel, 1884–1952. Mathematician and teacher, first in further education at the Goetheanum and subsequently (1927–1938) at the Waldorf School in Stuttgart.
  11. The journal appeared from June 1903 to 1908. cf. The Course of My Life, Chapter XXXII. Rudolf Steiner's essays in Luzifer-Gnosis have been reprinted in the volume of the same name in GA 34.
  12. See Aus dem Leben van Marie Steiner-von Sievers, pp.40ff.
  13. Rudolf Steiner. The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity (1911). Translated by H. B. Monges. Anthroposophic Press, Hudson, New York, 1992.
  14. The Portal of Initiation (1910), The Soul's Probation (1911), The Guardian of the Threshold (1912), The Soul's Awakening (1913): Rudolf Steiner, The Four Mystery Plays. Translated by A. Bittleston. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1982.
  15. Max Seiling: member of the Anthroposophical Society for a time. He turned against it when a book which he wanted to have published by Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag had to be turned down. See Rudolf Steiner's lecture of 11 May 1917 in GA 174b (not translated).
  16. Bhagavan Das: prominent member of the Theosophical Society. Resigned his office as General Secretary of the Indian Section in 1912 because he disapproved of the goings-on within the Order of the Star of the East in connection with the Krishnamurti-Alcyone cult, and of the behaviour of the President of the Theosophical Society who approved of and encouraged these events unworthy of the society.
  17. Henry Steel Olcott, 1832–1907. Founder President of the Theosophical Society. See Rudolf Steiner, “Henry Steel Olcott (Obituary)”, in the journal Luzifer-Gnosis, No. 33 (March/April 1907). Olcott had proposed Annie Besant as his successor. Some of the circumstances surrounding this nomination had become public, which is why Rudolf Steiner wrote in this issue:

    “… The deceased President did not merely state that he nominated Mrs Besant as his successor, but he informed the General Secretaries through a variety of circulars — which then found their way into the theosophical press and, unfortunately, beyond — that the elevated individuals who are described as the Masters, and those in particular who are especially connected with theosophical affairs, had appeared at his death bed and had instructed him to nominate Mrs Besant as his successor.
    … Now this addition to Mrs Besant's nomination could simply have been ignored. For whether or not one believes that the Masters genuinely appeared in this case, the source of Olcott's advice has no relevance to the members casting their vote in accordance with the Statutes. Whether he was advised by the Masters or by some ordinary mortals is his business alone. The voters have to adhere to the Statutes and solely ask themselves whether or not they consider Mrs Besant to be the right choice. An immediate difficulty arose, however, through the fact that Mrs Besant announced that she had been called upon by her Master to accept her nomination and that for this reason she would assume the burden; indeed, that she considered the order from the Masters as decisive in determining the outcome of the election. Objectively that is a disaster … There would have been no reason to write these lines if the affair were not being discussed so much outside Germany. But under the circumstances the readers of this journal can rightly demand that it should not keep silent about a matter which is the subject of so much debate elsewhere.”

  18. C. W. Leadbeater (see Lecture 6, Note 6) left the Theosophical Society in 1906 after the emergence of serious differences between him and the Society. But in 1909 he was re-admitted by Annie Besant, despite her earlier condemnation of his methods.
  19. The person concerned is James Ingall Wedgwood. See Emily Lutyens, Candles in the Sun. London 1957.

LECTURE SEVEN (Dornach, 16 June 1923)

  1. “The Secret Machinery of Revolution”, by G. G. London, 1923. (Reprinted from The Patriot. The relevant passage, with the sub-heading A Mystery League, appeared in No. 37, Vol. III, 19 October 1922, p.169. It is contained in Part VI of a series of articles entitled “The Anatomy of Revolution”.)
  2. Died 27 February 1784. cf also the lecture by Rudolf Steiner of 4 November 1904 in Berlin in The Temple Legend. Translated by J. M. Wood. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1985.
  3. Marie Steiner had been involved with eurythmy from its beginnings in 1912 and took over the practice and development of Rudolf Steiner's indications from 1914 onwards. See Aus dem Leben von Marie Steiner-von Sivers, pp.74ff.
  4. Reprinted in GA 24.
  5. The courses for theologians (Stuttgart, 12–16 June 1921; Dornach, 26 September — 10 October 1921; Dornach 6–22 September 1922) have not been published.
  6. Carl Unger, 1878–1929. Engineer. One of the most effective advocates of anthroposophy in Germany. Member of the Executive Council of the Anthroposophical Society from 1912 to 1923. A few moments before he was due to deliver his public lecture “What is anthroposophy?” in Nuremberg, he was fatally shot by a mentally deranged person. See his book Die Grundlehren der Geisteswissenschaft. Dornach, 1929.
  7. It has not been possible to establish when this incident took place.
  8. On 17 October 1904. There is no transcript.
  9. The Appeal was printed in Stuttgart in 1919 and distributed as a leaflet with the signatures of many well-known personalities from German-speaking culture. Rudolf Steiner further included it in his book Towards Social Renewal: Basic Issues of the Social Question (1919). Translated by F. T. Smith. Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1977. See also GA 189.
  10. Title of a poem from the Gallows Songs by Christian Morgenstern, which is often presented in eurythmy. []
  11. Literally: charcoal burners. Name of a secret political society in Italy which was connected with Freemasonry and which also established a strong presence in France in the nineteenth century.
  12. The reference is to the three objects of the Theosophical Society: 1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour. 2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science. 3. To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.

LECTURE EIGHT (Dornach, 17 June 1923)

  1. Goethe the Scientist. Translated by O. D. Wannamaker. Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1950. See also Rudolf Steiner. A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethes World Conception (1886). Translated by O. D. Wannamaker. Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1940.
  2. See, for example, Goethean Science. Translated by W. Lindemann, Mercury Press, New York, 1988. Chapter XI: Relationship of the Goethean Way of Thinking to Other Views.
  3. See Note 1 above.
  4. See Lecture One, Note 6. See also Goethes Marchen von der grunen Schlange und der schnen Lilie with nine drawings by Assia Turgenieff, drawn according to a chiaroscuro technique set out by Rudolf Steiner. Dornach, 1929.
  5. Faust I, in the scene of Faust's Study. In the Penguin Classics edition of Faust/Part One, Philip Wayne translates the relevant passage as follows:

    To docket living things past any doubt
    You cancel first the living spirit out:
    The parts lie in the hollow of your hand,
    You only lack the living link you banned.
    This sweet self-irony, in learned thesis,
    The chemists call naturae encheiresis.

  6. Could not be traced.
  7. Rudolf Steiner. Friedrich Nietzsche, Fighter for Freedom. Translated by M. Ingram de Ris. Rudolf Steiner Publications, New Jersey, 1960.
  8. See Rudolf Steiner's essay and lecture of 5 October 1905 in Two Essays on Haeckel. Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co. and Anthroposophic Press (undated), GA 54 and GA 30.
  9. See also Lecture 2, Note 10.
  10. In 1907 and 1908 Rudolf Steiner delivered public lectures in various cities on the subject “Natural science at the crossroads”. The one in Nuremberg took place on 1 December 1907. The reference could not be traced more precisely.
  11. See Lecture 3, Note 5. cf. Kleinere Schriften und Briefe von Robert Mayer nebst Mitteilungen aus seinem Leben. Ed. Weyrauch. Stuttgart, 1893. Also Weyrauch. Robert Mayer. Stuttgart, 1890.
  12. Theophrastus Bombastus Paracelsus von Hohenheim, 1493–1541. cf. Rudolf Steiner's lecture in Berlin on 26 April 1906, “Paracelsus”, in GA 54; typescript (NSL 154) in Rudolf Steiner House library, London. Also Eleven European Mystics, pp. 100ff.
  13. Johann Baptist van Helmont, 1577–1644. Great Dutch doctor and philosopher. His works appeared under the title Ortus medicinae, Amsterdam 1648, and Opuscula medica inaudita, Cologne 1644.
  14. Auguste Comte, 1798–1857. Positivist philosopher. John Stewart Mill, 1806–1873. Philosopher who attempted to provide the logical justification for the positivist method. Charles Darwin, 1809–1882.
  15. A detailed list of the institutions in the fields of science, education, curative education, medicine, publishing, the economy, and theology which were established on the basis of anthroposophy can be found in GA 37/260a, pp.712–724. cf also the lecture in Dornach on 2 March 1923 in Awakening to Community.
  16. At the tenth general meeting of the Goetheanum Association on 17 June 1923 in Dornach. Reproduced in Aufbaugedanken und Gesinnungsbildung. Dornach, 1942.

We need your support!

We are a small nonprofit with the expenses of a large website. Your generous financial gifts make this venture possible. If you can't contribute now, please visit our Help Out page for additional ways to support our work in the future. Thank you!

External Links