PUBLICATION OF LECTURES
THE foundation of anthroposophically orientated Spiritual Science is laid in the works which were written and published by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925). At the same time Steiner held numerous lectures and courses both for the general public and for Members of the Theosophical (later Anthroposophical) Society in the years between 1900 and 1924. It was not his original wish to have these lectures published which were without exception of a spontaneous nature and conceived as “oral communications not intended for print.” However, after an increasing number of incomplete and erroneous listeners’ transcripts had been printed and circulated, he found it necessary to have the notes regulated. He entrusted this task to Marie Steiner von Sivers. She was made responsible for the choice of stenographers, the supervision of their transcripts and the necessary revision of texts before publication. As Rudolf Steiner was only in a very few instances able to correct the notes himself his reservation in respect of all publications of his lectures must be taken into account: “Errors occurring in transcripts which I myself have been unable to revise will just have to be tolerated.”
In Chapter 35 of his autobiography, Rudolf Steiner expounds on the relationship between his lectures for Members which were initially only circulated internally and his public writings. The relevant text is printed at the end of the book. What is expressed there also applies to the lecture courses directed towards a restricted audience already familiar with the principles of Spiritual Science.
After Marie Steiner's death (1867–1948) the editing of a “Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner” was commenced according to her directions. This book constitutes a part of this complete edition.