During the year 1924, before his illness in September, Rudolf Steiner gave over eighty lectures, published with the title 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. English translations of these lectures are contained in the following volumes of the series:
Vols. I to IV. Lectures given in Dornach (49).
Vol. V. Lectures given in Prague (4) and Paris (3).
Vol. VI. Lectures given in Berne (2) Zurich (1), Stuttgart (3) Arnhem (3).
The present volume (VII) contains the nine lectures given in Breslau.
The six lectures that were given in Torquay and London will eventually be republished. They have previously been published as: Cosmic Christianity and the Impulse of Michael. Karma in the life of individuals and in the evolution of the world (1953).
Readers familiar with the contents of earlier volumes will find certain repetitions in the present collection. 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 fundamental principles and terminology of Anthroposophy. The following extract from the lecture of 22nd June, 1924 (see Vol. II) 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 the 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. ...”