The Archangel Michael: His Mission and Ours : Selected Lectures and Writings

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For centuries, the tradition of the "mystical chronology" of the world's seven archangelic regents has been part of Western esoteric teaching. According to this tradition, 1879 marked the return of the solar spirit Michael--the archangel of the Sun--to oversee earthly evolution. Steiner always placed his life and work in the service of Michael's evolutionary task. And he recognized that, at the beginning of the twentieth century, humanity emerged from the Kali Yuga--the Dark Age--and entered the Age of Light.

Against this background, Steiner described the ascent of Michael as cosmic ruler, his battle with the "dragon" of the spirits of darkness, and his roles as the countenance of Christ and the guardian of cosmic intelligence. He also gave many profound indications of how Michael's evolutionary task depends on the free and independent collaboration of human coworkers. Speaking on behalf of Michael, Steiner laid out the essentials for a new Michaelic path to full humanity.

Among the elements of this path are the development of selfless individuality; cosmopolitanism; the practice of the presence of Christ; fearlessness; the transformation of thinking and perception in a new synthesis of science, art, and religion; the spiritualization of space; and the separation of thought from language.

The Archangel Michael gathers most of Steiner's statements on this subject, making it an important source for coming to terms with today's political, social, psychological, and spiritual crises.

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This is one of the most popular classic translations of Steiner's foundational guide to the spiritual path. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment is a manual for attaining suprasensory knowledge of the invisible and opens new perspectives on one's essential purpose in life.

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."

Contents:
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

During the early seventeenth century, Europe was suddenly embroiled in controversy after the publication of the first Rosicrucian texts. Ever since, Rosicrucianism has been at the center of Western Christian esotericism. Forced underground by the Thirty Years War, it was secretly handed down by alchemists, hermeticists, and Masons to the nineteenth century, when it inspired new spiritual movements such as Theosophy, the Order of Golden Dawn, and Rudolf Steiner's Spiritual Science.

The Secret Stream collects all of Steiner's discussions of the Rosicrucians, answering questions such as Who are the Rosicrucians? What is Alchemy? What is the Rosicrucian path? What is the difference between Rosicrucianism and mysticism? And what does it mean for today? The topics include the Tao and the Rose Cross; the history and mission of Christian Rosenkreutz; the nature of Rosicrucian practice and experience; the meaning of "The Chymical Wedding," and Goethe's Rosicrucian poem, "The Mysteries."

Rosicrucian meditation is also discussed, including how to meditate the Rose Cross itself. This important collection goes to the spiritual heart of Anthroposophy, whose essence is the Rosicrucian path. Edited and introduced by Christopher Bamford, The Secret Stream brings to light the hidden fraternity that has lived and worked since the fourtheenth century. It reveals the Rosicrucian path that is Christian, alchemical, and profoundly modern.

Contents:
Rosicurcianism The Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz The Rosicrucian Path of Alchemy Rosicrucianism and Modern Initiation Rosicrucian Meditation
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Publisher
SteinerBooks
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Published on
Dec 31, 1994
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Pages
319
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ISBN
9780880103787
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Reference
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This content is DRM free.
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This is the classic account of the modern Western esoteric path of initiation made public by Steiner in 1904. He begins with the premise that "the capacities by which we can gain insights into the higher worlds lie dormant within each one of us." Steiner carefully and precisely leads the reader from the cultivation of the fundamental soul attitudes of reverence and inner tranquility to the development of inner life through the stages of preparation, illumination, and initiation.

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

The rebirth of the feminine surrounds us in many forms--from the global movement for women's rights to a renewed interest in feminine spirituality, the Goddess, and the Divine Mother. What is the spiritual meaning of this rebirth? What is the feminine divine? Who is she?

The feminine divine has had many names in many cultures: Ishtar in Babylon, Inanna in Sumeria, Athena, Hera, Demeter, and Persephone in Greece, Isis in Egypt, Durga, Kali, and Lakshmi in India. She is the Shekinah of the Cabalists, and the Sophia of the Gnostics. To Steiner, she is Anthroposophia (or Divine Wisdom), who descended from the spiritual world and passed through humanity to become now the goal and archetype of human wisdom in the cosmos.

This book contains most of Steiner's statements on Sophia. We see him "midwifing" the birth of the Sophia, the new Isis, and divine feminine wisdom, in human hearts on earth. Each chapter explores the mystery of the various relationships of Sophia: Sophia and Isis, Sophia and the Holy Spirit, Sophia and Mary, the mother of Jesus (and Mary Magdalene), Sophia and the Gnostic Achamod, and Sophia and the New Isis.

Above all, in a remarkable way, Steiner makes clear the relationship of Christ and Sophia.

Contents:

Introduction by Christopher Bamford Prologue: Living Thinking Thinking Is an Organ of Percpetion Thinking Unites Us with the Cosmos The Holy Spirit and the Christ in Us Sophia, the Holy Spirit, Mary, and Mary Magdalene The Virgin Sophia and the Holy Spirit Mary and Mary Magdalene Sophia Is the Gospel Itself Wisdom and Health The Nature of the Virgin Sophia and of the Holy Spirit Isis and Madonna Wisdom and Love in Cosmic and Human Evolution The Being Anthroposophia The Gifts of Isis From the Fifth Gospel Sophia and Achamoth The Legend of the New Isis The Search for the New Isis Sophia and Pistis Michael, Sophia, and Marduk A Christmas Study: The Mystery of the Logos
Initiation enables a person to see, understand, and communicate what may be observed with spiritual eyes. St. John's text arises from such an initiation. It addresses the fundamental questions of existence that every human being asks: Where are we? Where have we come from? Where are we going? And because it arises from esoteric Christian vision, it emphasizes the task of the individual: What am I, and what is my purpose now in this era of cosmic and human evolution? These talks by Rudolf Steiner unveil the mysteries of John's vision and show it to be a profound description of Christian initiation. As he says,

"The deepest truths of Christianity may be considered quite naturally in connection with this document, for it contains a great part of the mysteries of Christianity--that is, the profoundest part of what may be described as esoteric Christianity."

Steiner shows that the messages to the seven churches and the unsealing of the seven seals must be understood as an initiation text. Based on his initiation and on spiritual science, Steiner interprets John's insights into cosmic and human history. In this way, the spiritual images of John's writing--the twenty-four elders, the sea of glass, the woman clothed with the sun, the vials of wrath, the lamb and the dragon, the new heaven and the new earth, and the number of the beast --all take on new meaning.

Since the previous painful century has closed, these important words have even greater meaning and significance; readers interested in contributing their moral will to future generations cannot afford to pass them by.

Read Bobby Matherne's review of this book
12 lectures, Berlin, Oct. 23, 1909-Dec. 16, 1911 (CW 115)

This series of lectures provides the basis for an entirely new psychology. The first four lectures give a precise, dynamic understanding of the human soul in relation to the activity of the senses and to the subtle processes that make up the human being on Earth. The next four lectures focus on what we can know of the human soul based on direct observation alone. No theorizing takes place. To show what we can know of soul life through the immediacy of engaged observation of oneself and others, Rudolf Steiner refrains from using his own higher capacities of clairvoyance to form a picture of our soul life. The concluding lectures portray the relationship of soul life to spirit life, showing us how to awaken individual spirit life and how to distinguish between illusory and genuine spiritual experiences.

Presented more than a century ago, we might be tempted to think that, insofar as psychology is concerned, the content of these lectures are outdated. It is also tempting to think that, because Steiner is not usually associated with the founders of modern psychology, his efforts must be considered, at best, an interesting aside. On the contrary, these lectures are actually a wellspring for the true stream of psychology, as the term itself means "soul study."

A Psychology of Body, Soul, and Spirit should be read by anyone interested in psychology as well as by those interested in inner development. Whether we are involved in education, medicine, art, drama, economics, or business, the perspectives contained in this book have the potential to restore the frequently missing element of soul in psychology today.

Robert Sardello's in-depth introduction places Steiner's lectures in the context of modern life and psychology and provides insights into how to read and use this text for inner development and a deeper understanding of spiritual science.

Contents:

Introduction by Robert Sardello Part 1 -- "Anthroposophy" The Human being and the Senses Supersensible Processes in the Human Senses The Higher Senses, inner Forces, and Creative Principles in the Human Organism Supersensible Currents, Group Soul, and the I in Human Beings and Animals Part 2 -- "Psychosophy" Aspects of Soul Life The Activities of Human Soul Forces The Senses, Feeling, and Aesthetic Judging Consciousness and Soul Life Part 3 -- "Pneumatosophy" Franz Brentano and Aristotle's Doctrine of the Spirit Truth and Error in Light of the Spiritual World Imagination-Imagination; Inspiration-Self-Fulfillment; Intuition-Conscience Nature, the Evolution of Consciousness, and Reincarnation


"Steiner does not talk about soul; he speaks from soul. That is the entire method. There is, however, an entrance fee for doing psychology. The fee is that you need to leave behind your well-known-to-you self-identity. You must suffer the experience of leaving behind not only what you know, but also what you think you know of yourself. This requirement qualifies psychology as integral to the work of initiation. --Robert Sardello, from his introduction


A previous translation of these lectures were published as Anthroposophy, Psychosophy, Pneumatosophy and as Wisdom of Man, of the Soul, and of the Spirit. This volume is a translation from German of Anthroposophie, Psychosophie, Pneumatosophie (GA 115)

“The nation needs to be confronted with the crime that we’re committing and the promises we are betraying. This is a book about betrayal of the young, who have no power to defend themselves. It is not intended to make readers comfortable.”

Over the past several years, Jonathan Kozol has visited nearly 60 public schools. Virtually everywhere, he finds that conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the 15 years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. First, a state of nearly absolute apartheid now prevails in thousands of our schools. The segregation of black children has reverted to a level that the nation has not seen since 1968. Few of the students in these schools know white children any longer. Second, a protomilitary form of discipline has now emerged, modeled on stick-and-carrot methods of behavioral control traditionally used in prisons but targeted exclusively at black and Hispanic children. And third, as high-stakes testing takes on pathological and punitive dimensions, liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society.

Filled with the passionate voices of children and their teachers and some of the most revered and trusted leaders in the black community, The Shame of the Nation is a triumph of firsthand reporting that pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, but directly challenges the chilling practices now being forced upon our urban systems by the Bush administration. In their place, Kozol offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill at last the promise made some 50 years ago to all our youngest citizens.


From The Shame of the Nation

“I went to Washington to challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations,” the president said in his campaign for reelection in September 2004. “It’s working. It’s making a difference.” It is one of those deadly lies, which, by sheer repetition, is at length accepted by large numbers of Americans as, perhaps, a rough approximation of the truth. But it is not the truth, and it is not an innocent misstatement of the facts. It is a devious appeasement of the heartache of the parents of the poor and, if it is not forcefully resisted and denounced, it is going to lead our nation even further in a perilous direction.


Also available as a Random House AudioBook and an eBook


From the Hardcover edition.
With four simple truths as his framework, Charles Murray, the bestselling coauthor of The Bell Curve, sweeps away the hypocrisy, wishful thinking, and upside-down priorities that grip America’s educational establishment.

Ability varies. Children differ in their ability to learn academic material. Doing our best for every child requires, above all else, that we embrace that simplest of truths. America’s educational system does its best to ignore it.

Half of the children are below average. Many children cannot learn more than rudimentary reading and math. Real Education reviews what we know about the limits of what schools can do and the results of four decades of policies that require schools to divert huge resources to unattainable goals.

Too many people are going to college. Almost everyone should get training beyond high school, but the number of students who want, need, or can profit from four years of residential education at the college level is a fraction of the number of young people who are struggling to get a degree. We have set up a standard known as the BA, stripped it of its traditional content, and made it an artificial job qualification. Then we stigmatize everyone who doesn’t get one. For most of America’s young people, today’s college system is a punishing anachronism.

America’s future depends on how we educate the academically gifted. An elite already runs the country, whether we like it or not. Since everything we watch, hear, and read is produced by that elite, and since every business and government department is run by that elite, it is time to start thinking about the kind of education needed by the young people who will run the country. The task is not to give them more advanced technical training, but to give them an education that will make them into wiser adults; not to pamper them, but to hold their feet to the fire.

The good news is that change is not only possible but already happening. Real Education describes the technological and economic trends that are creating options for parents who want the right education for their children, teachers who want to be free to teach again, and young people who want to find something they love doing and learn how to do it well. These are the people for whom Real Education was written. It is they, not the politicians or the educational establishment, who will bring American schools back to reality.

Twenty-four years ago, Charles Murray’s Losing Ground changed the way the nation thought about welfare. Real Education is about to do the same thing for America’s schools.


From the Hardcover edition.
How do other countries create “smarter” kids? What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers? The Smartest Kids in the World “gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign cultures and manages to make our own culture look newly strange....The question is whether the startling perspective provided by this masterly book can also generate the will to make changes” (The New York Times Book Review).

In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they’ve never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. Inspired to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embed­ded in these countries for one year. Kim, fifteen, raises $10,000 so she can move from Oklahoma to Finland; Eric, eighteen, trades his high-achieving Minnesota suburb for a booming city in South Korea; and Tom, seventeen, leaves a historic Pennsylvania village for Poland.

Through these young informants, Ripley meets battle-scarred reformers, sleep-deprived zombie students, and a teacher who earns $4 million a year. Their stories, along with groundbreaking research into learning in other cultures, reveal a pattern of startling transformation: none of these countries had many “smart” kids a few decades ago. Things had changed. Teaching had become more rigorous; parents had focused on things that mattered; and children had bought into the promise of education.
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