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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Significant Facts Pertaining to the Spiritual Life of the Middle of the XIXth Century
GA 254

Three lectures delivered in Dornach, Switzerland, in October and November, 1915. Authorized translation from the German of Notes unrevised by the lecturer.

A part of Steiner's Lectures on the Anthroposophical Movement and Society, these are lectures 11, 12, and 13 of 13 lectures from the lecture series: Occult Movements of the 19th Century (formerly Bn 164.2, GA 164). Published in German as: Die Okkulte Bewegung Im Neunzehnten Jahrhundert und Ihre Beziehung zur Weltkultur. Bedeutzames aus dem aeusseren Geistesleben um Mitte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Translated by D. S. Osmond

Lecture I October 31, 1915
A convulsive element is at work in the evolution of humanity during the 19th century. Two examples from European literature of significant insight into happenings in the spiritual worlds: “The Mahaguru,” a novel by Gutzkow, and “The Undivine Comedy,” a drama by Zigmunt Krasinski.
Lecture II November 1, 1915
When most of the souls now living are reincarnated they will know as a natural matter of course that there are many earthly lives. The men of the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs and their occult arts. Knowledge and application of hidden forces of nature. The gradual development of free will and a new knowledge of nature. Decadent remains of ancient, occult chemistry, for example in Tibet. Necessity for acquiring knowledge of Lucifer and Ahriman, The Ego must be permeated by Christ. Senses-perceptions and ideas. The concept of knowledge and the concept of life. Extract from a letter written by Petrarch to Boccaccio. Ahasver, the Wandering Jew. “Christ is seeing us.”
Lecture III November 7, 1915
The tragic wrestling with knowledge. How can man find the link with the true realities in the cosmos? Fechner and the discovery of medicaments. The moral physiognomy of men in the sixth post-Atlantean epoch as the nemesis of materialism. Gradual stiffening of the etheric body, and its consequences.