Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he founded a spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy; other influences include Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.
In the first, more philosophically oriented phase of this movement, Steiner attempted to find a synthesis between science and spirituality; his philosophical work of these years, which he termed spiritual science, sought to apply the clarity of thinking characteristic of Western philosophy to spiritual questions, differentiating this approach from what he considered to be vaguer approaches to mysticism. In a second phase, beginning around 1907, he began working collaboratively in a variety of artistic media, including drama, the movement arts and architecture, culminating in the building of the Goetheanum, a cultural centre to house all the arts.
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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

The holistic paradigm, Gaia, deep ecology, and new alchemy all have a hidden ancestor: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).

At the youthful age of twenty-one, Steiner was chosen to edit Goethe's scientific writings for the principle Geothe edition of his time. Goethe's literary genius was universally acknowledged; it was Steiner's task to understand and comment on Goethe's scientific achievements. Steiner recognized the significance of Goethe's work with nature and his epistemology, and here began Steiner's own training in epistemology and spiritual science.

This collection of Steiner's introductions to Goethe's works re-visions the meaning of knowledge and how we attain it. Goethe had discovered how thinking could be applied to organic nature and that this experience requires not just rational concepts but a whole new way of perceiving.

In an age when science and technology have been linked to great catastrophes, many are looking for new ways to interact with nature. With a fundamental declaration of the interpenetration of our consciousness and the world around us, Steiner shows how Goethe's approach points the way to a more compassionate and intimate involvement with nature.

Contents:
1. Introduction by John Barnes 2. The Origin of Goethe's Concept of Metamorphosis 3. The Origin of Goethe's Thinking on Animal Morphology 4. The Nature & Significance of Goethe's Writings on Organic Morphology 5. Goethe's Way of Knowing 6. Concluding Remarks on Goethe's Morphology 7. The Arrangement of Goethe's Scientific Writings 8. From Art to Science 9. Goethe's Theory of Knowledge 10. Knowledge & Action in the Light of Goethe's Ideas 11. Goethe's Way of Thinking Compared to Other Views 12. Goethe and Mathematics 13. Goethe's Fundamental Geological Principle 14. Goethe's Meteorological Ideas 15. On the Subjectivity of Sensory Perceptions 16. Goethe As Thinker & Researcher 17. Goethe versus Atomism 18. Goethe's Worldview in His Verses in Prose Essay by John Barnes: "Participatory Science As the Basis for a Healing Culture" Bibliography & Further Reading
Nature's Open Secret is a translation of Goethes Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften, Einleitungen, (1884-1897).

Previous translations were titled Goethe the Scientist and Goethean Science.
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

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.

Read Bobby Matherne's review of this book
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