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Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib

Three Lectures on the Mystery Dramas

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

The drama of initiation ...

Beginning in 1910 in Munich Rudolf Steiner wrote four modern "Mystery Dramas" to portray in artistic form the spiritual path of self knowledge described by Anthroposophy. These plays are not merely symbolic but "spiritually realistic" depictions.

In these three lectures Steiner describes how "The Portal of Initiation" presents the intense and tempestuous inner events of initiation experienced by the young painter, Johannes Thomasius. The spiritual background of his several karmic tests and his higher guidance and progressions is explained.

The third lecture emphasizes the power of certain fairy tales and poetry to bridge the gap between the spiritual and material worlds. This is especially valuable for intellectual souls such as the character, Capesius, in the drama.

Diagram 1

Steiner incorporated much of the wisdom of spiritual science in the Mystery Dramas. "If people will exert themselves ... to try to work with the drama," said Steiner, "I will not have to give any more lectures for a long time."

The Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was a respected and well- published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, when just after the turn of the century he surprised his academic colleagues by turning toward the esoteric spirituality of the Theosophical Society. In 1913 he founded the independent movement, Anthroposophy, under the aegis of which he continued research out of his trained seership for the renewal of twentieth century society.

Steiner's multi-faceted genius has led to radically new, holistic approaches in medicine, science, education (Waldorf schools), special education, religion, philosophy, economics, history, agriculture (Bio-Dynamic method), architecture, drama, the new art of eurythmy, and other fields.

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