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Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive and e.Lib

Man in the Light of Occultism, Theosophy and Philosophy

On-line since: 17th January, 2000


The following lecture-course was given by Rudolf Steiner to an audience familiar with the general background and terminology of his anthroposophical teaching. It should be remembered that in his autobiography, The Course of my Life, he emphasises the distinction between his written works and reports of lectures which were given as oral communications and were not originally intended for print. For an intelligent appreciation of the lectures it should be borne in mind that certain premises were taken for granted when the words were spoken. “These premises,” Rudolf Steiner writes, “include, at the very least, the anthroposophical knowledge of Man and of the Cosmos in its spiritual essence; also what may be called ‘anthroposophical history,’ told as an outcome of research into the spiritual world.”

The word “Theosophy” is used by Rudolf Steiner in these lectures in the sense of his fundamental work, Theosophy: an introduction to super-sensible knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man, first published in German in 1904 (28th edition, Stuttgart, 1955). He acted as General Secretary of the German Section of the Theosophical Society from 1902 until 1913, when the Charter of the German Section was cancelled by the officials of that Society. In the “Anthroposophical Society” which then came into being, Rudolf Steiner continued to present the results of his own occult research. The “Theosophy” of these lectures should thus be understood as identical with the “Anthroposophy” of the years after 1913.

A list of publications in English translation relevant to the themes of the following lectures, and a summarised plan of the Complete Centenary Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works in the original German, will be found at the end of the present volume.

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