The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Karmic Relationships VI
GA 240

Publisher's Note

During the year 1924, before his last illness in September, Rudolf Steiner gave over eighty lectures on Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies to Members of the Anthroposophical Society in the following places: Dornach, Berne, Zurich, Stuttgart, Prague, Paris, Breslau, Arnhem, Torquay and London. The first four volumes of the present series, containing translations in English of the forty-nine lectures given in Dornach, have been available since 1955 and in 1966 were followed by the fifth, containing the lectures given in Prague and Paris. The present volume (VI) contains those given in Berne, Zurich, Stuttgart and Arnhem. The lectures given in Torquay and London (12th to 27th August, 1924) are at present (1971) contained in a volume entitled: Cosmic Christianity and the Impulse of Michael. Karma in the life of Individuals and in the Evolution of the World. The series will be complete when a translation of the lectures given in Breslau (7th to 15th June, 1924) is eventually published.

It will be especially important to study the Arnhem lectures (Nos. VII to IX) in the present volume in connection with those given at Dornach at about the same time and contained in Vol. Ill of the series in English under the title of Karmic Relationships of the Anthroposophical Movement (second edition 1957). Readers familiar with the contents of Vols. I to V will find repetitions in certain of the following lectures. Such repetitions were inevitable because Dr. Steiner was speaking to different audiences on each occasion.

All these lectures were given to Members of the Anthroposophical Society only and were intended to be material for study by those already familiar with the teachings and terminology of Anthroposophy. The following extract from the lecture of 22nd June, 1924 (Vol. II, p. 215) calls attention to the need for exactitude when passing on such contents:

“The study of problems connected with karma is by no means easy and discussion of anything that has to do with the subject entails — or ought at any rate to entail — a sense of deep responsibility. Such study is in truth a matter of penetrating into the most profound mysteries of existence, for within the sphere of karma and the course it takes lie those processes which are the basis of the other phenomena of world-existence, even of the phenomena of nature. ... These difficult and weighty matters entail grave consideration of every word and every sentence spoken here, in order that the limits within which the statements are made shall be absolutely clear. ...”

Brief notes will be found at the end of the volume, together with a list of relevant literature and a summarised plan of the Complete Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works in the original German.