BY MARIE STEINER
the publication of the Lectures given by Dr. Rudolf Steiner to the
Workmen at the Goetheanum, between August, 1922, and September, 1924.
lectures are almost like conversations, for at Rudolf Steiner's own
request their contents were always determined by the workmen themselves.
They were allowed to choose the subjects and were encouraged by Rudolf
Steiner to ask questions, to speak themselves and to bring forward their
difficulties. Many different themes, remote and immediate, were touched
upon. The special interest taken in therapy and hygiene showed how
closely such questions were connected with the cares of the workmen's
daily lives. All kinds of natural phenomena in the kingdoms of mineral,
plant and animal were elucidated and this led on to study of the cosmos
and the cosmic origins of created things. Finally the workmen themselves
asked to be introduced to the principles of Spiritual Science and to the
foundations necessary for understanding the deeper aspects of
This common work
developed out of study-courses at first conducted by Dr. Roman Boos for
any of the workmen who were interested, after their daily tasks on the
site of the building; later on, courses were continued by other members
of the Anthroposophical Society. But then the workmen asked Rudolf
Steiner whether he would not himself help them to satisfy their desire
for knowledge — also whether it would be possible to devote to this
purpose a working hour when they were fresher and better able to
assimilate what they heard. The lectures were then given in the morning.
Apart from the workmen, only one or two people employed in the office
and two or three close co-workers of Dr. Steiner were allowed to attend.
Practical activities were also studied — for example, bee-keeping.
The texts of the nine lectures on bees were subsequently published by
the Agricultural Experimental Circle at the Goetheanum for its members.
very many others now felt a wish to know the
contents of these lectures. They had, however, been given to an
audience of a very special kind, always quite extempore
— just as the particular circumstances and
the mood of the workmen demanded — with never a thought of
publication. But to do anything in the way of editing which might
take away their spontaneity and directness would be the greatest
pity; they would lose the atmosphere arising from the interplay
between the souls of the questioners and the answerer. Nobody would
want to deprive them of vividness by making pedantic changes in the
structure of the sentences. We have therefore tried to leave them as
far as possible untouched. Even if the text does not everywhere
conform with accepted standards of literary style, it has freshness,