« Le célèbre poète Homère écrit dans le dix-huitième livre de l'Iliade, et nous le lisons aussi dans les autres historiens grecs, que Thétis, femme de Pélée, roi de Thessalie, et mère d'Achille, ce grand héros de l'ancienne Grèce, pria Vulcain, le forgeron des dieux, de faire à son fils Achille des armes, sur lesquelles il put se fier dans la guerre et dans la chaleur du combat. La taille de ce héros était, suivant quelques-uns, de sept coudées ; c'est pourquoi Lycophron 1 l'appelle 'Eptaphron. Hérodote dit qu'Oreste était aussi de la même taille. C'est en ces termes qu'Homère rapporte les paroles de Thétis à Vulcain : " Je viens donc maintenant me jeter à tes genoux, je viens te supplier de donner à mon fils, dont la vie doit être si courte, un bouclier, un casque, de belles cnémides garnies d'oreilles et une cuirasse."
Vulcain répondit :" Rassure-toi ; que ces soucis n'occupent pas ton âme. Puissé-je préserver ton fils d'un affreux trépas, lorsqu'arrivera le moment fatal, aussi facilement que je peux lui donner des armes superbes dont la vue étonnera les mortels. » ...
In 1904, Rudolf Steiner first made this account of the Western esoteric path of initiation public. With great precision, he carefully leads us from the cultivation of the fundamental soul attitudes of reverence and inner tranquility to inner development through the stages of preparation, illumination, and initiation. Practical exercises in inner and outer observation and moral development are given. By patiently and persistently following these, new organs of soul and spirit begin to form that reveal the contours of the higher worlds hitherto concealed from us.
"The methods by which a student is prepared for the reception of higher knowledge are minutely prescribed. The direction he is to take is traced with unfading, everlasting letters in the worlds of the spirit where the initiates guard the higher secrets. In ancient times, anterior to our history, the temples of the spirit were also outwardly visible; today, because our life has become so unspiritual, they are not to be found in the world visible to external sight; yet they are present spiritually everywhere, and all who seek may find them."
How is Knowledge of the Higher Worlds Attained? The Stages of Initiation: Enlightenment; Preparation; The Control of Thoughts and Feelings Initiation Some Practical Aspects The Conditions of Esoteric Training Some Results of Initiation The Transformation of Dream Life The Continuity of Consciousness The Splitting of the Human Personality during Spiritual Training The Guardian of the Threshold Life and Death: The Greater Guardian of the Threshold Appendix
"Not everyone can immediately achieve spiritual vision; but the discoveries of those who have it can be health-giving life nourishment for all. The results of supersensible knowledge, when properly employed in life, prove to be not impractical, but rather, practical in the highest sense....
"The acquisition of higher knowledge is not the end, but the means to an end; the end consists in the attainment, thanks to this knowledge, of greater and truer self-confidence, a higher degree of courage, and a magnanimity and perseverance such as cannot, as a rule, be acquired in the lower world....
"The student places all the higher knowledge he has acquired at the service of humanity." --Rudolf Steiner
Steiner provides practical exercises of inner and outer observation and moral development. By patiently and persistently following his guidelines, new "organs" of soul and spirit begin to form, which reveal the contours of the higher worlds thus far concealed from us.
Steiner in this important work becomes a teacher, a counselor, and a friend whose advice is practical, clear, and effective. The challenges we face in life require increasingly deeper levels of understanding, and Steiner's text helps readers to cultivate the capacities for such insights and places them at the service of humanity.
This is Steiner's most essential guide to the modern path of initiation he advocated throughout his life. It has been translated into many languages and has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. How to Know Higher Worlds has been admired by some of the most brilliant minds of our time.
Contents: Foreword by Arthur Zajonc Prefaces by Rudolf Steiner How to Know Higher Worlds The Stages of Initiation Initiation Practical Considerations Requirements for Esoteric Training Some Effects of Initiation Changes in the Dream Life of the Esoteric Student Achieving Continuity of Consciousness The Splitting of the Personality in Esoteric Training The Guardian of the Threshold Life and Death: The Great Guardian of the Threshold Epilogue (1918) Afterword by Arthur Zajonc Index
"A true classic of spiritual literature. It is one of the best ways I know for opening up one's life to the spiritual realms in a manner that is balanced, integrated, and loving. It is the product of a great soul who pointed out new routes into the interior." --David Spangler, author of Blessing: The Art and the Practice
"It is not only a personal guide to the spirit, but also a path through self-knowledge to compassionate action in the world."--Arthur Zajonc, author of Catching the Light: The Entwined History of Light and Mind