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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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The New Spirituality
and the Christ Experience of the Twentieth Century
GA 200

The constitution of the human soul has undergone a tremendous evolution since the 15th century. “I” consciousness and individuality have emerged as central to the life of soul along with intellectualism and the possibility of free will. At the same time the intensity with which the human being experiences knowledge has declined along with the old clairvoyance. The time is now ripe for the awakening of new forces of spiritual perception with which humanity will perceive the working of Christ in the etheric world.

These seven lectures comprise the entire contents the lecture series emtitled, The New Spirituality and the Christ Experience of the 20th Century. They were published in German as, Die Neue Geistigkeit und Das Christus-erlebnis des Zwangzigsten Jahrhunderts.

Lecture I October 17, 1920
Significant moments of world history. Study of the symptoms of history. The dispute around 800 AD concerning the nature of death between the French philosopher Alcuin and a Greek thinker. The influences of oriental spiritual life on the Centre and on the West. Platonism and Aristotelianism. The culture of the East — a decadent spiritual life; the culture of the West — a thinking suited to the economic life; the culture of the Centre — a logical-dialectical-legal thinking occupying itself with what the human being experiences between birth and death and capable of establishing the civic-judicial element. The culture of the ‘I.’ ‘We have arrived at the point of human development at which an understanding for all three areas must spread equally over all humanity.’ Spiritual science as an initiate culture is the means and path for this. The need to extend the Free School of Spiritual Science and to establish a World Fellowship of Schools.
Lecture 2 October 22, 1920
The development of I-consciousness since the fifteenth century. The threefold principle in the course of history. The elemental beings in the West and the East who oppose the threefold idea.
Lecture 3 October 23, 1920
Development in the three streams arising from the decline of Rome. The human being of the Centre between East and West. New economy, static jurisprudence, finished spiritual life.
Lecture 4 October 24, 1920
Schiller's Aesthetic Letters and Goethe's Fairy-tale in their relation to Anthroposophy and the threefold principle.
Lecture 5 October 29, 1920
The change in the soul-constitution of humanity since the fifteenth century. The decline in the intensity of knowledge. The emergence of intellectualism and the development of human freedom. The power of intellect and the human longing for knowledge.
Lecture 6 October 30, 1920
The development of the perception of Christ from Gnosis up to the present. The church ban on reading the Gospels. The path of Imagination. The reappear¬ance of Christ.
Lecture 7 October 31, 1920
The future spiritual battle between the East and the West. The imminent Christ-experience of the twentieth century. The change in humanity?s constitution of soul since the fifteenth century.