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The Christmas Conference

for the Foundation of the General Anthroposophical Society 1923/1924

On-line since: 21st December, 2008

The Christmas Conference for the Foundation of the General

Rudolf Steiner Archive Document

Lectures Section

Anthroposophical Society includes: The Laying of the Foundation Stone, Lectures and Addresses, and Discussion of the Statutes. There is a Foreword and Conclusion by Marie Steiner, and an introduction by Virginia Sease. It was translated by Johanna Collis. Verses within the text were translated by Michael Wilson.

By Rudolf Steiner

Translated by Johanna Collis
Bn/GA 260

The Christmas Conference for the Foundation of the General Anthroposophical Society includes: The Laying of the Foundation Stone, Lectures and Addresses, and Discussion of the Statutes. There is a Foreword and Conclusion by Marie Steiner, and an introduction by Virginia Sease. It was translated by Johanna Collis. Verses within the text were translated by Michael Wilson.

Translated from the original german: Die Weinachtstaung zur Begründung der Allgemeinen Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft 1923/1924, GA 260. This volume is presented here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland.

Copyright © 1990
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CONTENTS

 Cover Sheet  
Contents
Manuscripts and Blackboard Sketches
The Programme of the Christmas Foundation Conference
Introduction by Virginia Sease
Preface to the 1985 German Edition
 
PART ONE
INTRODUCTORY
 
The Close of the Year and the Turn of the Year 1923/24
Foreword by Marie Steiner to the first German edition in 1944

The year 1922: The culmination of Rudolf Steiner's work in public and the commencement of acts of sabotage. The burning of the Goetheanum. Dr Steiner forcefully stresses the tasks of the Anthroposophical Society. The establishment of the General Anthroposophical Society. The Christmas Foundation Conference bound up with infinite tragedy. What it meant for Rudolf Steiner to take karma upon himself. The grave illness of Rudolf Steiner at the beginning of 1924 and his lectures until 28 September 1924.

Lecture 1: Introduction to the Eurythmy Performance by Rudolf Steiner
23 DECEMBER 1923
December 23, 1923

Eurythmy as an original art stemming from Anthroposophy. Art only flows into human evolution when it can make use of super-sensible forces; it cannot flourish on a basis of materialistic thinking. The relationship of Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition to eurythmy and to recitation and declamation.

 
PART TWO
THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE
 
Lecture 2: The Opening of the Christmas Foundation Conference
by Rudolf Steiner
24 DECEMBER, 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
December 24, 1923

The significance of the fact that the Goetheanum and the Anthroposophical Society have their centre on Swiss soil. Thanks to Albert Steffen for his lecture.

Lecture 3: Rudolf Steiner's Opening Lecture and Reading of the Statutes
24 DECEMBER, 11.15 IN THE MORNING
December 24, 1923

The ruins of the Goetheanum are a symptom of conditions in the world. The Anthroposophical Movement as a link with the primeval sources of human evolution in the spiritual world, and the Anthroposophical Society as a dwelling for the Anthroposophical Movement. Lessons learnt from experience over ten years. Reasons for the decision to take on the Presidency. The General Anthroposophical Society; its Statutes; complete openness to the public; release of the manuscripts for publication and their protection by moral means. Undisguised public work on behalf of the Anthroposophical Movement using the examples of eurythmy, recitation and declamation, and medical therapy. Reading of the Statutes with explanations. Rudolf Steiner suggests the members of the Vorstand.

Lecture 4: The Laying of the Foundation Stone of the General Anthroposophical Society through Rudolf Steiner
25 DECEMBER, 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
December 25, 1923

The spiritual laying of the Foundation Stone with verses that sum up the essence of the most important spiritual findings of recent years and renew the ancient word of the Mysteries: ‘Know thyself’. The Christmas Verse and its harmonizing knowledge of man. Call to found a true community of human beings for Anthroposophia for the progress of the world.

Lecture 5: The Foundation Meeting of the General Anthroposophical Society
25 DECEMBER, 11.15 IN THE MORNING
December 25, 1923

Reports from representatives of the national Societies.

Lecture 6: Meeting of the Vorstand and the General Secretaries of the National Societies and their Secretaries
25 DECEMBER, 2.30 IN THE AFTERNOON IN THE GLASS HOUSE
December 25, 1923

Answers to questions concerning the admission of members, the Classes, election of General Secretaries, dissemination of anthroposophical knowledge amongst the general public.

Lecture 7: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting
26 DECEMBER, 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
December 26, 1923

The Anthroposophical Society, fully open and yet deeply esoteric. The Foundation Stone Verses with explanations by Rudolf Steiner. Reports of the General Secretaries. Reading of the Statutes. Practical arrangements.

Lecture 8: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting
27 DECEMBER, 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
December 27, 1923

The Foundation Stone Verses with explanations by Rudolf Steiner. General debate: Contributions on the journal Das Goetheanum. Tasks of the central Vorstand. The relationship of the Anthroposophical Society in Switzerland to the branch at the Goetheanum. The Classes and the Sections. Detailed debate on Paragraphs 1 to 3.

Lecture 9: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting
28 DECEMBER, 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
December 28, 1923

The Foundation Stone Verses with explanations by Rudolf Steiner. Detailed debate on Paragraphs 4 and 5 (Rudolf Steiner's suggestions as to the leaders of the Sections), and Paragraphs 6 to 14. Addition of Paragraph 15 naming the founding Vorstand. Answers to questions. Note to Paragraph 2. Adoption of the Statutes at the third reading.

Lecture 10: Rudolf Steiner's Contribution during the Meeting of the Swiss School Association
28 DECEMBER, IN THE AFTERNOON IN THE GLASS HOUSE
December 28, 1923

Present social circumstances make it impossible to finance a large number of Waldorf Schools. The importance, particularly in Switzerland, of founding a truly independent school as a model. The financial basis for an independent school in Switzerland.

Lecture 11: Meeting of the Vorstand of the General Anthroposophical Society and of the General Secretaries of the National Societies together with their Secretaries and the Swiss Branches
29 DECEMBER, 8.30 IN THE MORNING IN THE GLASS HOUSE
December 29, 1923

The Swiss Anthroposophical Society and its relationship to the branch at the Goetheanum and to the General Anthroposophical Society. The standard amount per member to be paid to the General Anthroposophical Society. Contributions by General Secretaries regarding the membership fee. Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner reflect on their work in Berlin.

Lecture 12: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting
29 DECEMBER, 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
December 29, 1923

Foundation Stone Verses with explanations by Rudolf Steiner. Contributions from delegates on the subjects of the opposition to Anthroposophy and of the Free Anthroposophical Society.

Lecture 13: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting
30 DECEMBER, 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
December 30, 1923

Foundation Stone Verses and Christmas Verse. Contributions of delegates on the subjects of the youth movement, the work in England, the independent school in The Hague. Problems of the Society as regards continuity and work in public. On the content of the reports for the supplement to Das Goetheanum. The opposition in Holland. The financial situation of the Waldorf schools. Eurythmy in North America.

Lecture 14: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting
31 DECEMBER, 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
December 31, 1923

Foundation Stone Verses and Christmas Verse. The resistance of some sciences to the views of spiritual science. The need to unite all the sciences in an overall view of the world. The Anthroposophical Society must give the impulse for bridging the abyss between art and science. The successes of anthroposophical research. It is urgent for anthroposophical research to link up with present-day civilization.

Lecture 15: The Idea of the Future Building in Dornach
Lecture by Rudolf Steiner
31 DECEMBER, IN THE MORNING
December 31, 1923

The rebuilding of the Goetheanum: financial considerations; the form it will take. Concrete as a new building material. The difficulty of achieving an artistic style in concrete. The ground plan to combine round and rectangular shapes. Arrangement of rooms and halls in the new building. Roof constructed of flat surfaces. Changes in the Anthroposophical Movement since the building of the first Goetheanum mean new demands will be made on the new Goetheanum. On Paragraphs 5 and 7 of the Statutes.

Lecture 16: Open Discussion of Swiss Delegates under the Chairmanship of Rudolf Steiner
31 DECEMBER, 2.30 IN THE AFTERNOON
December 31, 1923

Presidency and administration of the Swiss national Society. The representatives of its branches at delegates meetings. Explanations of the Christmas Foundation Conference in public and within the Society. Courtesy as an unwritten paragraph of the Statutes.

Lecture 17: The Envy of the Gods — the Envy of Human Beings
Looking back to the burning of the Goetheanum on New Year's Eve 1922/23
Lecture by Rudolf Steiner
31 DECEMBER, 8.30 IN THE EVENING
December 31, 1923

The burning of the temple at Ephesus and the saying from Antiquity about the envy of the gods. The Mysteries as places where human beings and the ‘good gods’ encounter and understand one another. The envy of luciferic and ahrimanic gods. The deed of Golgotha by the God capable of supreme love. What was once the affair of gods and human beings becomes in the age of freedom the affair of human beings in physical life. The modesty with which divine wisdom presents itself on the earthly plane in the Middle Ages. Instruction of a Rosicrucian master to his pupil: the relationship of physical, etheric and astral bodies to the earth; their membership of the hierarchies; the special relationship of the human being to warmth. The ‘language’ of new spiritual revelation in the forms and picture content of the Goetheanum. The statue of the goddess at Ephesus ? the statue of the representative of mankind in the Goetheanum. The burning of the Goetheanum and the envy of human beings. The transformation of pain into faithfulness and activity with regard to the spiritual impulse of the Goetheanum.

Lecture 18: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting
1 JANUARY 1924, 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
January 01, 1924

Foundation Stone Verses. Contributions of delegates on the subjects of the opposition and of books.

Lecture 19: The Rebuilding of the Goetheanum
Lecture by Rudolf Steiner
1 JANUARY, IN THE MORNING
January 01, 1924

On the shaping of the doorways, windows, pillars, columns and the roof in the new Goetheanum. Internal and external forms making up an organic building. Contributions of delegates on the financing of the new building. Answers to questions on the membership contribution.

Lecture 20: On the Right Entry into the Spiritual World. The Responsibility Incumbent on Us
Lecture and words of farewell by Rudolf Steiner
1 JANUARY, IN THE EVENING
January 01, 1924

The future goal of anthroposophical endeavour: to prevent mankind from failing to make the historically imposed step over the threshold through misuse of the capacity to form ideas by applying this capacity exclusively to the material world. The task of Dornach as the place where spiritual realities must be openly spoken about. The need to be uncompromising and truthful with regard to the impulse of Anthroposophy in the various branches of practical life. The hope which is united with the Christmas Foundation Conference. The Foundation Stone Verses.

On Behalf of the Members
 
PART THREE
CONCLUSION & APPENDICES
 
Conclusion
by Marie Steiner to the first German edition of 1944

Rudolf Steiner's work following the Conference. His lectures, books and essays in continuation of what had been inaugurated by the Christmas Foundation Conference.

Rudolf Steiner's Words of Welcome at the Social Gathering
1 January, 4.30 in the afternoon
Notes on the Verses
NOTE ON THE VERSES IN THE 1985 GERMAN EDITION
NOTE ON ELEMENTAL AND ELEMENTARY BEINGS
The Printed Version of the Verses in German
Facsimile 1

Handwritten copy of the ‘Statutes of the Anthroposophical Society’ ready for printing.

Facsimile 2

The printed Statutes, with handwritten alterations and additions arising during the debate on the Statutes.

Facsimile 3

The version of the meditation for the laying of the Foundation Stone used during the Christmas Conference.

Facsimile 4

The ‘Rhythms’ as Rudolf Steiner wrote them on the blackboard.

Facsimile 5

Sketches referring to the constitution of the School of Spiritual Science and to the rebuilding of the Goetheanum.

Facsimile 6

The version of the meditation for the laying of the Foundation Stone prepared for the Supplement to Das Goetheanum, Vol. 1, No. 1, 13 January 1924.

Three English Versions of the Verses

Notes
List of Names
 Inside Dust Jacket  




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