THE TRANSCRIPTS OF THE LECTURES
From Rudolf Steiner, An Autobiography, Chapter
35, 2nd Ed., Multimedia Publishing Corp., New York, 1980.
Two 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
clown — 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 a year.
my autobiography it is above all necessary to explain how the two —
the publications in general and in private circulation — are
accommodated in my elaboration of anthrosophy.
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 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.
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
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 hear there.
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 presentiment; 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 tolerated.
to pass judgment 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