CONCERNING THE TRANSCRIPTS OF THE LECTURES
Rudolf Steiner's autobiography Mein Lebensgang (My Life),
Chapter 35, 1925.
consequences of my anthroposophical activity are the books which were
made accessible to the general public and an extensive series of
lecture courses which were initially intended for private circulation
and were available only to members of the Theosophical (later
Anthroposophical) Society. The transcripts of the latter were taken
down — some more accurately than others — during my
lectures. But time did not permit me to undertake their correction.
I, for my part, would have preferred spoken word to remain spoken
word, but the Members were in favour of private publication of the
Courses. And so it came about. If I had had time to correct the
transcripts, the reservation “For Members Only” need not
have been made from the very first. Now it has been dropped for over
Here in “My Life” it is above all necessary to explain
how the two — the publications in general and in private
circulation — are accommodated in my elaboration of
Whoever wishes to pursue my own inner conflict and toil in my effort
to introduce Anthroposophy to contemporary thought, must do so with
the aid of the works in general circulation which include analysis of
all forms of cognition of this age. Therein also lies that which
crystallised within me in “spiritual vision” and from
which came into existence the structure of Anthroposophy, even if
imperfect in many respects.
Apart from this obligation to construct Anthroposophy and thereby to
serve only that which ensues when communications from the Spirit
World are to be transmitted to modern civilisation, the need also
arose to meet the claims which were manifested within the Membership
as a compulsion, a yearning of the soul.
Above all, many Members were greatly disposed to hearing the Gospels
and the scriptural content of the Bible presented in an
anthroposophical light. Courses were requested which were to examine
such revelations to humanity.
Internal courses were held to meet this requirement. At these
lectures only Members were present who were initiated in
Anthroposophy. It was possible to speak to them as to those well
versed in Anthroposophy. The delivery of these internal lectures was
such as simply could not be communicated in written works intended
for the general public.
In these closed circles I was able to discuss subjects which I would
have had to present quite differently if they had been intended for a
general public from the very first.
Thus in the duality of the public and private works there actually
exists something of two-fold diverse origin. The wholly public
writings are a result of that which struggled and toiled within me;
in the private publications, the Society struggles and toils with me.
I listen to the vibrations within the Soul-life of the Membership and
within my own being and the tone of the lectures arises from what I
Nowhere has even the slightest mention of anything been made which
does not proceed from the substance of Anthroposophy. No concessions
can be made to any prejudices or presentiments existing within the
Membership. Whoever reads these private publications can accept them
as a true representation of anthroposophical conviction. Thus when
petitions became more urgent, the ruling as to the private
circulation of these publications within the Membership could be
amended without any hesitation. Any errors occurring in transcripts
which I have not been able to revise will however have to be
The right to pass judgement on the content of any such private
publication is nevertheless reserved to those possessing the
prerequisite to do so. For the great majority of these publications,
this is at least an anthroposophical knowledge of man and the
universe, in so far as its essence is presented in Anthroposophy, and
of “the history of anthroposophy” such as it is derived
from communications from the Spirit-World.