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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.
C O N T E N T S
Introduction by Christopher Bamford
Prologue: Intimations of the Archangel Michael in Different Traditions
1. Rudolf Steiner's Early Accounts of the Michael Event of 1879
2. The Integration of Humanity into the Ranks of the Hierarchies
3. Michael, the Messenger of Christ
4. The Archangel Michael: The Time Spirit
5. Michael and the Buddha
6. Behind the Scenes of External Happenings: The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness
7. Signs of the Times: Michael's War in Heaven and Its Reflection on the Earth
PART TWO THE MISSION OF THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL
Six Lectures in Dornach, November 21-30, 1919
1. Michael's Mission: The Spiritualization of the Knowledge of Space
2. Michael, the Dragon, and the Human Soul, or Gamüt
3. The Michael Imagination
4. The Tasks of the Michael Age
5. From the Gabriel to the Michael Age
6. The Michael Impulse: To Read in the Book of Nature
7. Michael, Sophia, and Marduk
8. Michael, Arthur, and the Grail
9. From Rudolf Steiner's Last Address
10. From the Michael Letters
Appendix Johannes Trithemius, A Treatise on the Seven Secondary Causes
Rudolf Steiner tackles this age-old problem in a new way. He shows that by taking account of our own activity of thinking, we can know the reasons for our actions. And if these reasons are taken from our world of ideals, then our actions are free, because we alone determine them. But this freedom cannot be settled for us by philosophical argument. It is not simply granted to us. If we want to become free, we have to strive through our own inner activity to overcome our unconscious urges and habits of thought. In order to do this we must reach a point of view that recognises no limits to knowledge, sees through all illusions, and opens the door to an experience of the reality of the spiritual world. Then we can achieve the highest level of evolution. We can recognise ourselves as free spirits.
This special reprint, featuring the acclaimed translation by Michael Wilson, is being made available in response to public demand.