Ascension and Pentecost
May 18 & 28, 2023
Christ’s rescue of the human physical and etheric bodies &
the evolution of the astral body and ego through the Holy Spirit.
Following the account of Acts 1:3 that the risen Christ Jesus appeared for 40 days prior to his Ascension, Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on the 40th day of Easter. It commemorates the ascension of the Christ as witnessed by His Disciples. Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday or Whitsun (“White Sunday”), has its roots in the Greek word pentecoste which means "50th day." It is celebrated on the seventh Sunday (50 days) after Easter, ten days after the Ascension. Pentecost commemorates the arrival of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples which appeared as tongues of fire upon their heads.
In his lecture entitled The Mystery of Pentecost and the Ascension, Rudolf Steiner discusses these two pivotal events.
From Jesus to Christ — Easter
March 30, 2023
This Eastertide, we highlight two lectures Steiner gave on 10-11 October 1911 pertaining to Christ’s resurrection. These are contained in GA 131, From Jesus to Christ, lectures VI and VII. There, Steiner masterfully explains the biblical account of the resurrection as a historical fact. We merely share these excerpts here to entice you to read these fascinating lectures in full.
Steiner sets the stage with a reading from the Gospel of John.
Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’
Our New Responsive Website
February 20, 2023
We are pleased to present to you a new, modernized Rudolf Steiner Archive. Since assuming responsibility for the Archive in late October 2021, we have replaced nearly the entire website platform since the technology had become outdated and crash-prone. The website is now stable and substantially faster. There has been zero downtime in the past year despite updating nearly 100% of the codebase.
In this update, we have refreshed the website’s appearance and, most importantly, added new technical capabilities.
The New Rudolf Steiner Archive
January 1, 2023
Since its creation in 1978, the online web-based Rudolf Steiner Archive has been used by Anthroposophists and others around the world for personal and professional research. In 2021, the US-based organisation behind the Archive, The e.Lib. Inc., transferred the Rudolf Steiner Archive website of RSArchive.org and related technology, books, and materials to a new non-profit organisation, Steiner Online Library. What follows is a brief history of this whole development.
From a small cottage nestled between two lakes in Northern Michigan, Dr. Christopher Wietrzykowski and his wife Karin run the Rudolf Steiner Archive—the largest digital collection of works of Rudolf Steiner available online in English. In 2021, Chris and Karin formed the not-for-profit corporation Steiner Online Library (SOL) which then acquired the assets of the Archive from The e.Lib, Inc. The Archive holds more than 3,000 of Dr. Steiner’s teachings and reaches approximately 6,000 unique visitors each day.
A Turning Point in Human Evolution
December 2, 2022
During the Christmas Festival, many people enjoy the traditions of gift exchanges, decorations, and carols. In these challenging times, however, let us also take some time to delve into the esoteric meaning of the birth of Christ Jesus. We invite you to also explore the many Christmas lectures on our Festivals page, and others that can be found using our new search engine.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell two different Christmas stories.
Before investigating the occult meaning of Christmas, it is helpful to first recall the two biblical accounts of the event in the Gospels. Here are some key differences.
Annual Update and Fundraising Drive
November 1, 2022
It has been about a year since Steiner Online Library assumed responsibility for the Rudolf Steiner Archive from the eLib, Inc.* After a challenging transition, we are happy to report we have made great progress. While donations are less than expected and down almost 50% from October of last year, we hope our list of accomplishments will inspire you to support us financially.
The Michaelmas Festival
September 15, 2022
The Michaelmas Festival is celebrated each year on the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. This time of year, we recognize the power of the spirit known as Michael and his victory over the forces that would drag us down. We invite you to explore Rudolf Steiner’s teachings on the battle of Michael and the Dragon, the Michaelmas Festival, and the importance of the seasons in our soul development.
There arose a revolt of divine spirits seeking free will prematurely before men came into human form.
There are forces among us who do not belong to the earthly realm. They were banished by Michael from the heavens for revolting against Divine will.
The Transfiguration & The Great Initiation
August 4, 2022
On August 6th, many Christian communities celebrate the transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor. This momentous occasion was discussed by Steiner in his lectures on the four gospels and in Christianity as a Mystical Fact, as highlighted below. We invite you to read the full lectures to realize the astounding importance of this event. In The Gospel of St. John, Lecture 3, Steiner teaches:
Jesus goes with three disciples Peter, James and John, up a mountain: this means into the inner sanctuary where one is initiated into higher worlds and where one also speaks in occult language. The disciples were carried up into a higher state of consciousness. They saw then that which is not transitory but eternal. Moses and Elias appear and Jesus himself with them.
What does this mean? In occult science the word Elias means the same as El — the goal, the way. Moses is the spiritual scientific word for truth. By the fact that Elias, Moses and Jesus appear you have the fundamental Christian truth: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus himself says — this is a fundamental Christian mystical truth — “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John, ch. 14, v. 6)
New Material is Available!
Meditation and Concentration
July 12, 2022
We've added two new lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in Dornach, Switzerland in the Spring of 1915 are now available. They are included in a volume of GA 161 that contains a previously posted lecture in which Steiner outlines three types of clairvoyance.
A Shift From Materialism to Spiritual PerceptionOn May 1, 1915, Steiner discussed the beginning of a new age in which humanity must shift from materialistic thinking to perception of the spiritual impulses and forces behind material sense phenomena. He says,
St. John’s Festival—
A Celebration of the Birth of John the Baptist
June 18, 2022
June 24th is St. John’s day which celebrates the birth of John the Baptist approximately 6 months before the birth of Jesus. John, the forerunner of Christ Jesus, knew the Christ would come and that he must prepare the way for Him. Steiner tells us:
St. John's Day reminds us that the most exalted Individuality that ever took part in the evolution of mankind was preceded by a forerunner. […] In the course of human evolution there appear again and again events of such profound import as to throw a stronger light than others.
THE MYSTERY OF PENTECOST—THE WITSUN MYSTERY
May 30, 2022
Pentecost, also known as Witsun, is a major festival in the Christian church. It is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter which is June 5th this year. Pentecost commemorates the arrival of the Holy Spirit appearing as tongues of fire to the disciples of Christ Jesus after His death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit healed the disciples’ pain and sorrow following the Ascension by facilitating an inner experience of the Christ Himself within them. Rudolf Steiner teaches:
Behind the Scenes of External Happenings
April 25, 2022
Rudolf Steiner offers us a unique perspective on world events with an exploration of spiritual impulses working behind the scenes. Through his lectures and books available in English here online, Dr. Steiner teaches that we can come to know the spiritual world through our own thinking and factual observation of the material world. Beyond merely understanding spiritual impulses manifesting in the material, we can further work with them to actively transform ourselves and participate in the evolution of mankind.
Easter and the Mystery of Golgotha
April 10, 2022
We invite you to read some of the many lectures Steiner gave regarding Easter. In his discussions about what he terms “the Mystery of Golgotha,” he shares the cosmic significance of the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. You can find some of his selected works under the Festivals topic on the left-hand side navigation of our website. The excerpts presented here cannot begin to capture the profound teachings of Steiner on this topic. We merely share them as highlights to encourage you to explore the full lectures yourself.
A Time of Testing and Preparation
March 14, 2022
The Christian season of Lent is the 40 days before Easter. It is a time when Christians contemplate Christ Jesus fasting in the wilderness for 40 days and facing worldly temptations. Rudolf Steiner teaches it was necessary for Jesus to retreat into the wilderness after his baptism to fully develop his super-sensible abilities. Observance of this season is a wonderful time to follow the example of Christ Jesus by fasting and preparing both physically and spiritually for what lies ahead.
Fasting brings harmony between the universe and man.
Man as a Microcosm of the Universe
February 19, 2022
While Rudolf Steiner produced volumes of material, his message could be summed up by the Ancient Greek aphorism "Man, know thyself!" By studying his teachings, we begin to truly understand our whole being and its purpose in the world. In fact, by understanding ourselves in this way, we can come to understand the whole universe.
Rudolf Steiner reminds us we are literal microcosms of the vast universe—a map of the entire cosmos is within us:
What Is Love?
February 11, 2022
This time of year, the stores in the United States are filled with Valentine’s Day chocolates, flowers, and love-themed greeting cards. People celebrate their bonds of friendship and love as a special, warm-hearted feeling toward one another. But what is love in its highest sense?
Transformation and Renewal
January 24, 2022
You have probably noticed some changes on the Archive. It's under construction to provide you with a more reliable, faster service with streamlined access to Steiner's materials. Our goal is to have a site that can scale for increased use as more people seek this information in the coming years.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION 2022
A Call for a Spiritual Uprising
December 30, 2021
On December 31, 1918, after four years of war, Dr. Steiner spoke in a somber mood about the fall of mankind into materialism and sleep. This is as much of a wake-up call today as it was then — for each of us to earnestly pursue our spiritual development in the present time of crisis:
In early Fall 2021 The e.Lib, Inc. transferred The Rudolf Steiner Archive to a new nonprofit, Steiner Online Library (SOL). Since then, the SOL team has been responsible for the ongoing operations and financing of RSArchive.org. Many thanks to the original founder of this website, James D. Stewart, for this great honor and responsibility.