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
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.
"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)