We shall best realise the significance of these 31 lectures given in
1905 if we transpose ourselves still further back in time to the year
1902, when, during her first personal conversation with Rudolf
Steiner, Marie von Sivers, later Marie Steiner, put to him the
all-important question: Would it not be a very important thing
to found an Occult Society suited to people of the West? His
response to this question was to begin laying the foundations of what
was to become his greatest creation, the worldwide Anthroposophical
A small number of Berlin theosophists gathered round him, and formed a
group to which he began imparting the basic elements of Spiritual
Science, translating the expression was his
direct from the Akashic Script into the words of an earthly language.
The mood of these first meetings was profoundly earnest. They were
strictly private. If anyone wished to join the group he was only
admitted after Marie von Sivers had taken through with him all the
material already given. There was at that time no stenographer, and
she, together with two members of the group, took copious notes, and
as soon as possible after the meeting wrote the lecture out from
memory. Later they compared their drafts and decided upon the final
version. These manuscripts still exist and when these lectures were
published in the complete edition of Rudolf Steiner's works they were
again used to check their content.
When we remember that the Ancient Wisdom upon which Theosophy was
based did not as yet include the immortality of the individual, or the
eventual development, made possible by the Mystery of Golgotha, of
individual human freedom, we can see that Rudolf Steiner had to give
an entirely new direction to the thoughts of his hearers.
Thus we find that the manifold exact and detailed descriptions of the
events of evolution form in a sense the background to the evolving
figure of man. The mighty event of the Moon leaving the Earth, most
vividly described, took place in order to provide an environment
suited to his progress.
The wonderful moment when the higher being of man descended in a
bell-like form and enveloped the lower human form, still on a level
with the animals, depicts what eventually provided him with a body
suited to the development of the ego. Spiritual Beings and the great
Initiates led him along the path he had to tread.
Where do we look today for these ego-endowed human beings? They are
within each one of us. We stand poised between guidance and
responsibility. Let us turn our thoughts from the past to the future.
One of the most impressive Basic Elements tells how the present
conduct of life can affect the far distant future. It is a cosmic law
that what has once taken place can never vanish, but must reappear
later in a metamorphosed form. Every thought, feeling and action
brought about by man does not only affect the world around him but
will re-appear on the future Jupiter as the equivalent of the kingdoms
of nature of our earthly world; for, to quote Rudolf Steiner's words,
Jupiter will be a man-made Planet.
Vera and Judith Compton-Burnett