Fall of the Spirits of Darkness
On-line since: 15th January, 2008
LECTURE 1 (29 September 1917)
‘visible sign’ was the First Goetheanum, built
from 1913 onwards and destroyed by fire on New Year's Eve
1922/23. See H. Biesantz, A. Klingborg, et al.,
The Goetheanum: Rudolf Steiner's Architectural Impulse.
Rudolf Steiner Press, London 1979.
The Inner Nature of Man and Life Between Death and a New Birth.
Trans. by A. Meuss.
Rudolf Steiner Press, Bristol 1993 (GA 153). The passage
referred to is in the lecture given on 14 April 1914.
Lectures given by Rudolf Steiner on 7, 14 and 15 October
1916, also on 24 September 1916, published in
Inner Impulses of Human Evolution
(GA 171), trans. revised by G. Church, F. Kozlik and S.C. Easton,
Antroposophic Press, Hudson, NY, 1984.
For example, in
The Karma of Materialism.
Trans. by R. Everett. Anthroposophie Press, Hudson, NY, and Rudolf
Steiner Press, London 1985.
Vladimir Alexandrovitch Suchomlinov, 1848–1926,
Minister for War at the time when the First World War broke
out. Together with Janushkievitch, Chief of General Staff,
and Sasonov, Foreign Minister, Suchomlinov played a key
role in the fateful mobilization of the Russian army on 29
July 1914, ignoring a direct order from the Tsar to
countermand the mobilization at the last minute. After the
deposition of the Tsar, Suchomlinov was questioned in
court. According to the paper
the words he said in court were: ‘On that day I almost
went out of my mind.’ Quoted from Suchomlinov, die
Mobilmachung im Lichte amtlicher Urkunden und
der Entlillungen des Prozesses, Berne 1917.
On 1 August 1917 Pope Benedict XV issued a Peace Note to the
governments of the belligerent nations.
LECTURE 2 (30 September 1917)
Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834–1919), German
first appeared in 1899. Rudolf Steiner was probably referring to the
following statement from the first chapter:
Today we feel justifiably proud as we
see the tremendous advances made in the pure and applied
science of nature in the nineteenth century.
Unfortunately the picture is entirely different and far
from pleasing when we consider other aspects of modern
civilization that are no less important. Much to our
regret, we have to agree with Alfred Wallace who wrote
that compared to our remarkable progress in the physical
sciences and their practical application, our system of
government, the justiciary, national education and the
whole of our social and moral organization was still in a
state of barbarism.
Jacob Boehme (1575–1624), shoemaker in Goerlitz,
Germany,. was a mystic whose influence went beyond Germany
to Holland and England. He was studied by Henry More,
Newton and William Law among others. His main works were
Vom irdischen und himmlischen Mysterium
(title translates as
‘The mystery of earth and heaven’
— not available in English) and
Der Weg zu Christo in acht Buchern
(title translates as
‘The road to Christ in eight books’
— not available in English).
was a quarterly published in Munich and
Heidelberg by Alexander Freiherr von Bernus. Rudolf Steiner
contributed three consecutive essays on the subject in Nos.
3 and 4 of the second and No. 1 of the third volume
(October 1917 and January and April 1918). These have been
Philosophie und Anthroposophie
(GA 35) 1965. Johann Valentin Andreae's (1586–1654) work
was translated into modern German and published by Walter
Weber in Dornach in 1942; 2nd improved edition, Stuttgart
1957. Available in English as
The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz:
Anno 1459, as translated by Edward Foxcroft in 1690. Minerva Books,
London (no date).
The Thirty Years War, 1618–1648, devastated Central
Europe. It held great terrors for the civilian population,
which have lived on in people's memories, in tales, legends
and in the literature and were still very real to people in
Germany up to the Second World War. (Trans.)
David Lloyd George, later Lloyd George of Dwyfor
(1863–1945), elected as an Advanced Liberal for
Carnarvon Boroughs in 1890, Prime Minister of Great Britain
from 1916 to 1922.
LECTURE 3 (1 October 1917)
The German for ‘kingdom’ in this
sense is Reich (Trans.).
Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924), President of the
United States 1913–1921. (Wilson propagated
‘open’ diplomacy but refused to permit
publication of his discussions at the 1919 Peace Conference
in Paris. His Fourteen Points were to be the basis for the
armistice in November 1918. Trans.)
Semi-Kuerschner oder Literarisches Lexikon der
Schriftsteller, Dichter, Bankiers, Geldleute, Schauspieler,
Kunstler, Musiker, Offiziere, Rechtsanwlte, Revolutionre,
Frauenrechtlerinnen, Sozialdemokraten usw. jdischer Rasse
und Versippung, die von 1813–1913 in Deutschland ttig
oder bekannt waren
(Semi-Kuerschner or literary
lexicon of authors, poets, bankers, financiers, physicians,
actors, artists, musicians, officers, lawyers,
revolutionaries, women's rights activists, social
democrats, etc., who were Jewish by birth or marriage and
were active or known in Germany from 1813–1913),
published by Philipp Stayff, Berlin 1913. The passage about
Hermann Bahr reads as follows: ‘It is said, and
people have assured me over and over again, that Hermann
Bahr is not a Jew, but I believe in the adage: ‘Tell
me who your friends are’ (Bahr's first wife was
Jewish), and would maintain that Bahr is of Jewish origin
even if he were to show me the certificates of baptism of
his forebears for the last ten generations, and indeed if
really pushed into a corner I would rather subscribe to
belief in the transmigration of souls.’
Adolf Barthels in his
Kritiker und Kritikaster,
Martin Luther (1483–1546) religious reformer who led
the German Reformation. He translated the Bible into the
vernacular to make it accessible to everyone and wrote many
works, their vigour still much appreciated today. The
actual quote is: ‘How can these asses form an opinion
on contradictory elements in our doctrine if they don't
understand any aspect of those contradictory
elements?’ From Ricarda Huch,
Luthers Glaube, 10. Brief
(translates as ‘10th letter’).
Max Seiling (1852–1928), Austrian poet and
Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag is the publishing
house established by Marie von Sivers in 1913 in Berlin for
the publication of Rudolf Steiner's works. It moved to
Dornach in November 1923.
LECTURE 4 (6 October 1917)
Leonardo da Vinci, 1452–1519.
Examples are the chapter on the evolution of the world and
the human being in
Occult Science. An Outline
(trans. by G. and M. Adams; Rudolf Steiner Press, London
1969) and the chapter on our Atlantean forebears in
(translated by K. E. Zimmer; Steinerbooks, New York 1976).
Ricarda Huch (1864–1947), German writer:
Luthers Glaube, Briefe an einen Freund
(Luther's faith, letters to a friend),
Leipzig: Insel-Verlag 1916. A new edition of the work appeared in 1964.
Quote from Goethe's
Part 1, scene in Auerbach's Tavern. Trans. by Philip Wayne; Penguin.
The German term for ‘tawny beast’ is
‘blonde Bestie’. Nietzsche experts are in two
minds about the interpretation of the term. It comes from
Zur Genealogie der Moral
(1887, I, 11): ‘das Raubtier, die prachtvolle nach Beute lstern
schweifende blonde Bestie’ (the predator, that
magnificent blonde/tawny beast roaming far and wide lusting
for prey). One interpretation is that this refers to the
Janissary, a ‘killing order’ of warriors who in
their boyhood had been taken from Christian families by the
Turks and, thus removed from the humanizing influence of a
family, trained to be utterly ruthless and inhuman. Other
experts, and clearly also Ricarda Huch, think the term
refers to a lion. (Translator.)
LECTURE 5 (7 October 1917)
Riddles of the Soul.
Translated by Eva Frommer. Rudolf Steiner Press, Bristol 1994.
Eduard von Suess (1831–1914), Austrian geologist born
in London, Professor of Geology in Vienna from 1875 to
1901. He was the founder of the ‘new geology’
and a member of the Lower House in Austria. His most
Das Antlitz der Erde,
was translated into English in 1904–1910.
The major lecture given by Rudolf Steiner on this subject
was in Dornach on 24 January 1917. This lecture, entitled
‘Griechische und Roemische Plastik —
Renaissance-Plastik’ (Greek and Roman sculpture
— Renaissance sculpture), has been published in
Kunstgeschichte als Abbild innerer geistiger Impulse,
GA 292. It has not yet been translated into English.
Franz Brentano (1838–1917), Catholic priest who
abandoned the priesthood in 1873. Professor of Philosophy
at Wurzburg 1872–1880, senior lecturer at the
University of Vienna 1880–1895.
Riddles of the Soul
(see Note 1 above). The parts are: Anthropology and anthroposophy;
Max Dessoir on anthroposophy; Franz Brentano, a memoir; outline
Max Dessoir (1867–1947), Professor of Philosophy in
Das Genie, lecture given in the hall of the Engineers' and
Architects' Society in Vienna, published in Leipzig in
Woodrow Wilson, see Note 2 of lecture
‘Eugenetics’ or, more commonly,
‘eugenics’, a term coined by Francis Galton
(1822–1911) in a series of articles on
‘Hereditary talent and genius’ published in
1865. The term is now generally only used in the applied
sense, whilst the scientific discipline is now called
Leonard Darwin (1850–1943) was Chairman of the
Eugenics Education Society from 1911 to 1928; his book
The Need for Eugenic Reform
was published in 1926.
Paul Moebius (1853–1907): Goethe, 2 voll, Leipzig 1903;
Ueber Scheffels Krankheit, Halle
The 1941 German edition has the following additional
sentences at this point: It is easy to see why people have
no mind for such things today, materialism being so
prevalent. They have to be said, however, for they are
realities. The future will show that all efforts which do
not arise from the Spirit will not be for the good, but
will increasingly lead to chaos. These are facts which have
to be reckoned with.
The shorthand record does not include
these sentences and it is assumed they got into the
earlier edition by accident.
De Loosten (Dr Georg Lomer), Jesus Christus vom Standpunkte
des Psychiaters, Bamberg 1905. Also, Emil Rasmussen, Jesus.
Eine vergleichende psychopathologische Studie, Leipzig
LECTURE 6 (8 October 1917)
Riddles of the Soul.
See Note 1 of lecture 5.
In a lecture given in Dornach on 21 October 1916, for
example. (GA 171. Not available in English.)
Plutarch also teils the story in his Life of Cimon.
For example, Rudolf Steiner's library in Dornach includes a
book by Max Kernmerich called
Prophezeiungen, alter Aberglaube oder neue Wahrheit
“Prophesies, an old superstition or a new truth”),
Munich 1911; it includes prophesies which have since come true.
Numa Pompilius (probably 715–673 BC) succeeded
Romulus as King of Rome. See Livy's
History of Rome,
Book 1, Chapter 19.
Peter Rosegger (1843–1918), Austrian poet and
novelist. Some of his works were in the Styrian dialect,
which also applies to the quoted sentences.
Rudolf Steiner generally made careful distinction between
‘imagination’ in the ordinary sense, using the
ordinary German terms for this, and
‘Imagination’ as the ability to see images of
spiritual realities, which is generally achieved in the
course of initiation. The same applies to the terms
‘Intuition’ and ‘Inspiration’. The
three should be treated as technical terms in the field of
anthroposophy. The convention in English versions of his
works has become to use capitals for the higher faculties
described by these words.
In this text, capital first letters
are put where Steiner is using them as technical
See Note 3, lecture 3.
See Note 2, lecture 3.
Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743–1803) took up
German at the age of 49 so that he might translate Jacob
Boehme's writings into French. His
Des erreurs et de la vrit ou les hommes rappels au principe
universel de la science par un Ph(ilosophe) inc(onnu)
of 1775 was translated into German by Matthias Claudius in 1782.
A new edition of the translation was published by Der Kommende
Tag in Stuttgart in 1925.
Revised English Bible.
This was the parish priest at Arlesheim, which is next to
Dornach. For further details see Necessity and Freedom (GA
166), translated by P. Wehrte, the lecture given in Berlin
on 25 January 1916, Anthroposophic Press N.Y.; and
‘Things of the Present and of the Past in the Spirit of Man’
(GA 167), MS translation C42, Rudolf Steiner House Library, London.
Matthias Claudius (1740–1815), German poet and
writer. The ‘verses’ in question are the third
and fourth verses of his evening hymn
Der Mond ist aufgegangen.
LECTURE 7 (12 October 1917)
Herman Grimm (1828–1901), German cultural
Reference to the 400th Anniversary of the Reformation,
which started on 31 October 1517, when Martin Luther nailed
his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg.
See Note 3 of lecture 4.
See Note 2 of lecture 2.
To understand Steiner's concept of the consciousness soul
(another translation would be ‘awareness
soul’), see his
Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803), German critic
and poet who was a major influence on Goethe.
Herman Grimm: see Note 1 above. The story told by Rudolf
Steiner is in a biography of Gottfried Herder which was
published by his son
(Gottfried Herders Lebensbild,
1. Band, S. 39). This also gives a more
detailed description of Grimm's educational method.
See Lecture 4.
LECTURE 8 (13 October 1917)
Henri Lichtenberger (1864–1941).
Duldeck House, built opposite the Goetheanum according to a
model made by Rudolf Steiner.
Rudolf Kjellen (1864–1922), Swedish political
scientist who first conceived the idea of geopolitics,
which was later taken up by Haiford Mackinder in England
and Karl Haushofer in Germany (who coined the term
Lebensraum) and finally by the Nazis. The German title of
Kjellen's book was
Der Staat als Lebensform,
Albert Schaeffle (1831–1903), sociologist and
politician, minister of trade for Austria. His works include
Bau und Leben des sozialen Koerpers
(translates as ‘Anatomy and life of the body social’),
4 vols, Tübingen 1875–8, and
Die Aussichtslosigkeit der Sozialdemokratie
(translates as ‘Social democracy — Outlook
Hermann Bahr, see Note 3 of lecture 3.
Die Einsichtslosigkeit des Herrn Schaeffle,
Rudolf Steiner used two made-up words, durchwurlt und
durchwirlt, that were sufficiently close to existing German
words to paint a lively picture in his listeners' minds.
See the lecture of 24 September 1916 in
Inner Impulses of Human Evolution
(GA 171), translation revised by G. Church, F. Kozlik and S. C. Easton.
Anthroposophie Press, Hudson NY 1984.
Vladimir Soloviev (1853–1900), Russian philosopher
and poet. His selected works were translated into German by
Harry Koehler, with the first volume published in Jena in
Justification of Good
was first translated into English in 1918.
See Note 2 of lecture 3.
After the war had broken out, Rudolf Steiner spoke on
various occasions about the centrast between East and West.
Examples are two lectures given in Stuttgart on 13 and 14
February 1915 (GA 174b), available in manuscript
translation by M. Cotterell (“The Christ Impulse as
Bearer of the Union of the Spiritual and the Bodily”
— Z 270) at Rudolf Steiner House Library in London,
and a lecture given in Leipzig on 7 March 1915 (in GA 159)
which is not available in English.
The February Revolution in Russia; on 12 March 1917
(February by the Gregorian calendar) the Duma chose a
See Note 3 of lecture 1.
Annie Besant (1847–1933), President of the
LECTURE 9 (14 October 1917)
See Note 1 of lecture 8.
See Note 2 of lecture 4.
Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), German philosopher, wrote an
essay on Newtonian cosmology in 1755 in which he anticipated
the nebular hypothesis of Simon Pierre Laplace
(1749–1827). The hypothesis is that the planets
condensed from a nebula which finally contracted into the
John Tyndall (1820–1893), Irish physicist. Thomas Henry
Huxley (1825–1895), English biologist, friend of Darwin
and one of the major protagonists of Darwinism. Ernst Haeckel,
see Note 1 of lecture 2.
Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886), German historian. His best
known work in English is his
History of the Popes in the 16th and 17th Centuries
(1834–37; translated into English
by Sarah Austin, 1846). He wrote many historical works
right until the end of his life.
See Note 6 of lecture 8.
LECTURE 10 (20 October 1917)
Friedrich Spielhagen (1829–1911), German novelist.
Gustav Freytag (1816–1895), German novelist and playwright.
Works translated into English are
Soll und Haben
Debit and Credit
Die Verlorne Handschrift
The Lost Manuscript
(English translation in 1890).
Paul Johann von Heyse (1830–1914), German writer, Nobel
Prize and ennoblement in 1910. Wrote novels, plays, epic poems
and translations of Italian poems but was especially famed as a
writer of short stories.
Friedrich Wilhelm Weber (1813–1894), Westphalian poet.
an epic work on the time when the
Saxons were converted to Christianity, was published in
The German naturalist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel was Professor of
Zoology at Jena and one of the first to outline the tree of
animal evolution. His theory was one of materialistic monism.
Works translated into English are
4th edn. 1892
Evolution of Man,
(See also Note 1 of lecture 2.)
David Friedrich Strauss (1808–1874), German theologian. His
(1835/36) was designed to show the Gospels to be
a collection of myths with perhaps just a little historical
truth to them. His second
Life of Jesus,
composed for the German people (1864; translated 1865) sought
to create a positive life of Christ. In
Der alte und der neue Glaube
‘Old and New Religious Belief,
1872) he aimed to show that religious
belief was dead and a new faith had to be created on the
basis of modern science and of art.
‘David Friedrich Strauss, der Bekenner und Schriftsteller’
‘David Friedrich Strauss, Confessor and Writer’)
is part one of Nietzsche's volume of essays
Lecture given in
Basle on 19 October 1917.
Not translated. Published in German in GA 72,
Freiheit — Unsterblichkeit — Soziales Leben
See lecture 6.
Sir James Dewar (1842–1923), Professor of Physics at Cambridge.
(Earlier editions referred to Professor Drews
(1865–1935) in error.)
Wagner, Faust's narrow-minded, pedantic servant and pupil in Goethe's
LECTURE 11 (21 October 1917)
Lectures given in Basle on 18 and 19 October 1917. See Note 8,
Alfred Edmund Brehm (1829–1884) wrote
(The illustrated lives of animals), with the second,
10-volume edition appearing in 1876–1879. Later
editions were revised by other authors, and the narratives
that gave the kind of picture of which Rudolf Steiner was
speaking were gradually replaced with ‘strictly
scientific’ texts. Many other natural histories have
been based on Brehm's work.
In an addendum to a lecture given on 6 August 1916 (GA 170).
The addendum has not so far been published in German or in
Dr Roman Boos (1889–1952), social scientist, writer and
lecturer; represented anthroposophy and later Rudolf Steiner's
idea of the Threefold Social Order; he was head of a social
sciences association at the Goetheanum in Dornach.
Der Gesamtarbeitsvertrag nach Schweizerischem Recht,
Munich and Leipzig 1916.
Wissen und Leben
‘Knowledge and life’),
a fortnightly Swiss journal edited by Alb.
Baur which appeared from 1907 to 1925. The issue concerned
was dated 15 October 1917.
‘Die Kermfragen der Schweizer-Politik’, later reprinted
Michael gegen Michel,
Basle 1926, pp. 36–47.
Adolf Keller (b. 1872), Swiss Protestant theologian, professor
in Geneva and Zurich.
LECTURE 12 (26 October 1917)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), German poet, dramatist,
scientist and statesman. His scientific writings were edited by
Rudolf Steiner in the 1880s and provided with introductions
Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805),
German dramatist, poet and historian. Schiller and Goethe
had an interesting correspondence on aesthetics and
collaborated in writing for a literary magazine called
which was against bourgeois attitudes.
For instance, in
Goethe's World View
(GA 6), translated by W. Lindemann, Mercury Press,
Spring Valley, NY, 1985. Goethe's
account of the conversation appears in Steiner's
(GA 2), translated by W. Lindemann, Mercury Press,
Spring Valley, NY, 1988.
LECTURE 13 (27 October 1917)
See fourth to last paragraph of lecture 5.
See lecture 5.
Geisteswissenschaftliche Erlaeuterungen zu Goethes
Band I. GA 272. Not available in English.
Oswald Marbach (1810–1890), Professor of Technology in Leipzig,
poet and writer; head of ‘Balduin zur Linde’
Goethes Faust, Teil I and II erklaert,
2, Act 1, Scene 2: in the imperial palace, Mephistopheles
tells the emperor and his advisers that paper money will
solve the financial crisis. Scene 4 describes the rapid
spread of paper money.
During 1916, the work on stage productions with eurythmy of scenes
from Part 2 of Goethe's
which had started in 1915,
culminated in a number of performances. See the lecture of
4 November 1916 (GA 172) in
The Karma of Vocation,
tr. by 0. D. Wannamaker, rev. by G. Church. Anthroposophic
Press, Hudson NY, 1984.
The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita.
Tr. by G. M. Adams, rev. by D. M. Bugbey. Anthroposophic Press, Hudson
See Note 2 of lecture 1.
LECTURE 14 (28 October 1917)
The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and of Humanity.
(GA 15) Tr. by H. Monges. Anthroposophic Press, New York,
See lecture 5.
See lecture 2.
Fritz Mauthner (1849–1923),
Woerterbuch der Philosophie, neue
Beitraege zu einer Kritik der Sprache
‘Dictionary of Philosophy, New contributions to a
critique of the language’),
2 vols, 1910/11. The
statement relating to Darwin is to be found in a section on
history. It reads as follows: ‘It is not the way in
which Darwin annihilated teleology that will remain for
ever; what will not be forgotten is the fact that he sought
to understand the world of nature without resorting to
Ferdinand Lassalle (1825–1864), German social democrat.
Karl Marx (1818–1883), founder of modern international
derives from the past participle of the verb
to have come to pass;
nowadays translates into English as ‘history’, or
‘story’, ‘account’, depending on
the context. (Translator)
See Note 2 of lecture 11.
Count Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949), Belgian dramatist
and writer. Nobel prize for litersture 1911. His
La vie des abeilles
(1901) has been translated into English. Maeterlinck also wrote
La vie des termites
La vie des fourmis (1930).
See Note 7 of lecture 8.
Francis Delaisi (b. 1873), French social scientist and writer.
Alexandre Millerand (1859–1943), the first socialist to
hold ministerial Position in a French government. Minister of
Commerce 1899–1902, of Works 1909–1910, of War
Raymond Nicholas Poincar (1860–1934), president of the
French Republic 1913–1920; his policies were extremely
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