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Spiritual Soul Instructions and Observation of the World

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document




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Spiritual Soul Instructions and Observation of the World

On-line since: 31st March, 2014

Preface to this Edition

GA 52

Berlin
September 6, 1903

The talks of this volume belong to that part of Rudolf Steiner’s lecturing work with which he turned to the general public. “Berlin had been the starting point for this public lecturing activity. What was treated in other cities in single talks could be expressed here in a coherent course of lectures whose topics merge into each other. They thereby received the character of a well-founded methodical introduction to spiritual science and could count on a regularly returning audience to which it was crucial to penetrate deeper and deeper into the fields of knowledge being revealed to it anew, while the bases of the understanding of the offered material were given to the newcomers.” (Marie Steiner)

Since Rudolf Steiner could correct the transcripts only in few cases because of lack of time, his reservation has to be taken into consideration with all publications of talks: “It has just to be accepted that mistakes may be found in the transcripts not checked by me.”

The first of five lecture courses of this volume deals with the eternal core of the human being, the soul, the concept of God, and Christianity in the theosophical view and in the scientific discussion. In the second course, Rudolf Steiner - like in his Philosophy of Freedom - indicates the hopelessness and consequences of Kant’s philosophy and shows the way to a knowledge of the spirit. There follows the representation of the relation of the soul to the body, to destiny and to the spirit. The historical soul doctrines are compared with the contemporary ones. The explanations about the soul in the hypnotic state already point to the fourth course of lectures which deal with the search for the super-sensible experience in spiritism, hypnotism, and somnambulism. In doing so, Rudolf Steiner shows the justified meeting points and the necessary differences between these movements and theosophy. Four talks on challenges of theosophy by questions of the human beings and by the criticism of science finish the volume.



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