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Fall of the Spirits of Darkness

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

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

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Fall of the Spirits of Darkness

Fall/Darkness: Notes

On-line since: 15th January, 2008



LECTURE 1 (29 September 1917)

1. The ‘visible sign’ was the First Goetheanum, built from 1913 onwards and destroyed by fire on New Year's Eve 1922/23. See H. Biesantz, A. Klingborg, et al., The Goetheanum: Rudolf Steiner's Architectural Impulse. Rudolf Steiner Press, London 1979.

2. Rudolf Steiner, The Inner Nature of Man and Life Between Death and a New Birth. Trans. by A. Meuss. Rudolf Steiner Press, Bristol 1993 (GA 153). The passage referred to is in the lecture given on 14 April 1914.

3. Lectures given by Rudolf Steiner on 7, 14 and 15 October 1916, also on 24 September 1916, published in Inner Impulses of Human Evolution (GA 171), trans. revised by G. Church, F. Kozlik and S.C. Easton, Antroposophic Press, Hudson, NY, 1984.

4. For example, in The Karma of Materialism. Trans. by R. Everett. Anthroposophie Press, Hudson, NY, and Rudolf Steiner Press, London 1985.

5. Vladimir Alexandrovitch Suchomlinov, 1848–1926, Minister for War at the time when the First World War broke out. Together with Janushkievitch, Chief of General Staff, and Sasonov, Foreign Minister, Suchomlinov played a key role in the fateful mobilization of the Russian army on 29 July 1914, ignoring a direct order from the Tsar to countermand the mobilization at the last minute. After the deposition of the Tsar, Suchomlinov was questioned in court. According to the paper Novoie Vremia, the words he said in court were: ‘On that day I almost went out of my mind.’ Quoted from Suchomlinov, die russische Mobilmachung im Lichte amtlicher Urkunden und der Entlillungen des Prozesses, Berne 1917.

6. On 1 August 1917 Pope Benedict XV issued a Peace Note to the governments of the belligerent nations.

LECTURE 2 (30 September 1917)

1. Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834–1919), German naturalist. His Welträtsel first appeared in 1899. Rudolf Steiner was probably referring to the following statement from the first chapter:

Today we feel justifiably proud as we see the tremendous advances made in the pure and applied science of nature in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately the picture is entirely different and far from pleasing when we consider other aspects of modern civilization that are no less important. Much to our regret, we have to agree with Alfred Wallace who wrote that compared to our remarkable progress in the physical sciences and their practical application, our system of government, the justiciary, national education and the whole of our social and moral organization was still in a state of barbarism.

2. Jacob Boehme (1575–1624), shoemaker in Goerlitz, Germany,. was a mystic whose influence went beyond Germany to Holland and England. He was studied by Henry More, Newton and William Law among others. His main works were Aurora (1612), Vom irdischen und himmlischen Mysterium (title translates as ‘The mystery of earth and heaven’ — not available in English) and Der Weg zu Christo in acht Buchern (title translates as ‘The road to Christ in eight books’ — not available in English).

3. Das Reich was a quarterly published in Munich and Heidelberg by Alexander Freiherr von Bernus. Rudolf Steiner contributed three consecutive essays on the subject in Nos. 3 and 4 of the second and No. 1 of the third volume (October 1917 and January and April 1918). These have been reprinted in Philosophie und Anthroposophie (GA 35) 1965. Johann Valentin Andreae's (1586–1654) work was translated into modern German and published by Walter Weber in Dornach in 1942; 2nd improved edition, Stuttgart 1957. Available in English as The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz: Anno 1459, as translated by Edward Foxcroft in 1690. Minerva Books, London (no date).

4. The Thirty Years War, 1618–1648, devastated Central Europe. It held great terrors for the civilian population, which have lived on in people's memories, in tales, legends and in the literature and were still very real to people in Germany up to the Second World War. (Trans.)

5. David Lloyd George, later Lloyd George of Dwyfor (1863–1945), elected as an Advanced Liberal for Carnarvon Boroughs in 1890, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1916 to 1922.

LECTURE 3 (1 October 1917)

1. John 18:36. The German for ‘kingdom’ in this sense is Reich (Trans.).

2. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924), President of the United States 1913–1921. (Wilson propagated ‘open’ diplomacy but refused to permit publication of his discussions at the 1919 Peace Conference in Paris. His Fourteen Points were to be the basis for the armistice in November 1918. Trans.)

3. Semi-Kuerschner oder Literarisches Lexikon der Schriftsteller, Dichter, Bankiers, Geldleute, Schauspieler, Kunstler, Musiker, Offiziere, Rechtsanwlte, Revolutionre, Frauenrechtlerinnen, Sozialdemokraten usw. jdischer Rasse und Versippung, die von 1813–1913 in Deutschland ttig oder bekannt waren (Semi-Kuerschner or literary lexicon of authors, poets, bankers, financiers, physicians, actors, artists, musicians, officers, lawyers, revolutionaries, women's rights activists, social democrats, etc., who were Jewish by birth or marriage and were active or known in Germany from 1813–1913), published by Philipp Stayff, Berlin 1913. The passage about Hermann Bahr reads as follows: ‘It is said, and people have assured me over and over again, that Hermann Bahr is not a Jew, but I believe in the adage: ‘Tell me who your friends are’ (Bahr's first wife was Jewish), and would maintain that Bahr is of Jewish origin even if he were to show me the certificates of baptism of his forebears for the last ten generations, and indeed if really pushed into a corner I would rather subscribe to belief in the transmigration of souls.’

4. Adolf Barthels in his Kritiker und Kritikaster, Leipzig 1903.

5. Martin Luther (1483–1546) religious reformer who led the German Reformation. He translated the Bible into the vernacular to make it accessible to everyone and wrote many works, their vigour still much appreciated today. The actual quote is: ‘How can these asses form an opinion on contradictory elements in our doctrine if they don't understand any aspect of those contradictory elements?’ From Ricarda Huch, Luthers Glaube, 10. Brief (translates as ‘10th letter’).

6. Max Seiling (1852–1928), Austrian poet and writer.

7. Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag is the publishing house established by Marie von Sivers in 1913 in Berlin for the publication of Rudolf Steiner's works. It moved to Dornach in November 1923.

LECTURE 4 (6 October 1917)

1. Leonardo da Vinci, 1452–1519.

2. Examples are the chapter on the evolution of the world and the human being in Occult Science. An Outline (trans. by G. and M. Adams; Rudolf Steiner Press, London 1969) and the chapter on our Atlantean forebears in Cosmic Memory (translated by K. E. Zimmer; Steinerbooks, New York 1976).

3. Ricarda Huch (1864–1947), German writer: Luthers Glaube, Briefe an einen Freund (Luther's faith, letters to a friend), Leipzig: Insel-Verlag 1916. A new edition of the work appeared in 1964.

4. Quote from Goethe's Faust, Part 1, scene in Auerbach's Tavern. Trans. by Philip Wayne; Penguin.

5. Matthew 18:20.

6. The German term for ‘tawny beast’ is ‘blonde Bestie’. Nietzsche experts are in two minds about the interpretation of the term. It comes from Nietzsche's Zur Genealogie der Moral (1887, I, 11): ‘das Raubtier, die prachtvolle nach Beute lstern schweifende blonde Bestie’ (the predator, that magnificent blonde/tawny beast roaming far and wide lusting for prey). One interpretation is that this refers to the Janissary, a ‘killing order’ of warriors who in their boyhood had been taken from Christian families by the Turks and, thus removed from the humanizing influence of a family, trained to be utterly ruthless and inhuman. Other experts, and clearly also Ricarda Huch, think the term refers to a lion. (Translator.)

LECTURE 5 (7 October 1917)

1. Steiner, Rudolf, Riddles of the Soul. Translated by Eva Frommer. Rudolf Steiner Press, Bristol 1994.

2. Eduard von Suess (1831–1914), Austrian geologist born in London, Professor of Geology in Vienna from 1875 to 1901. He was the founder of the ‘new geology’ and a member of the Lower House in Austria. His most important work, Das Antlitz der Erde, was translated into English in 1904–1910.

3. The major lecture given by Rudolf Steiner on this subject was in Dornach on 24 January 1917. This lecture, entitled ‘Griechische und Roemische Plastik — Renaissance-Plastik’ (Greek and Roman sculpture — Renaissance sculpture), has been published in Kunstgeschichte als Abbild innerer geistiger Impulse, GA 292. It has not yet been translated into English.

4. Franz Brentano (1838–1917), Catholic priest who abandoned the priesthood in 1873. Professor of Philosophy at Wurzburg 1872–1880, senior lecturer at the University of Vienna 1880–1895.

5. Steiner, Rudolf, Riddles of the Soul (see Note 1 above). The parts are: Anthropology and anthroposophy; Max Dessoir on anthroposophy; Franz Brentano, a memoir; outline extensions.

6. Max Dessoir (1867–1947), Professor of Philosophy in Berlin.

7. Das Genie, lecture given in the hall of the Engineers' and Architects' Society in Vienna, published in Leipzig in 1892.

8. Woodrow Wilson, see Note 2 of lecture I.

9. ‘Eugenetics’ or, more commonly, ‘eugenics’, a term coined by Francis Galton (1822–1911) in a series of articles on ‘Hereditary talent and genius’ published in 1865. The term is now generally only used in the applied sense, whilst the scientific discipline is now called genetics.

10. Leonard Darwin (1850–1943) was Chairman of the Eugenics Education Society from 1911 to 1928; his book The Need for Eugenic Reform was published in 1926.

11. Paul Moebius (1853–1907): Goethe, 2 voll, Leipzig 1903; Nietzsche, Leipzig 1904; Schopenhauer, Leipzig 1904; Ueber Scheffels Krankheit, Halle 1907.

12. The 1941 German edition has the following additional sentences at this point: It is easy to see why people have no mind for such things today, materialism being so prevalent. They have to be said, however, for they are realities. The future will show that all efforts which do not arise from the Spirit will not be for the good, but will increasingly lead to chaos. These are facts which have to be reckoned with.

The shorthand record does not include these sentences and it is assumed they got into the earlier edition by accident.

13. De Loosten (Dr Georg Lomer), Jesus Christus vom Standpunkte des Psychiaters, Bamberg 1905. Also, Emil Rasmussen, Jesus. Eine vergleichende psychopathologische Studie, Leipzig 1905.

LECTURE 6 (8 October 1917)

1. Riddles of the Soul. See Note 1 of lecture 5.

2. In a lecture given in Dornach on 21 October 1916, for example. (GA 171. Not available in English.)

3. Plutarch also teils the story in his Life of Cimon.

4. For example, Rudolf Steiner's library in Dornach includes a book by Max Kernmerich called Prophezeiungen, alter Aberglaube oder neue Wahrheit (translates as: “Prophesies, an old superstition or a new truth”), Munich 1911; it includes prophesies which have since come true.

5. Numa Pompilius (probably 715–673 BC) succeeded Romulus as King of Rome. See Livy's History of Rome, Book 1, Chapter 19.

6. Peter Rosegger (1843–1918), Austrian poet and novelist. Some of his works were in the Styrian dialect, which also applies to the quoted sentences.

7. Rudolf Steiner generally made careful distinction between ‘imagination’ in the ordinary sense, using the ordinary German terms for this, and ‘Imagination’ as the ability to see images of spiritual realities, which is generally achieved in the course of initiation. The same applies to the terms ‘Intuition’ and ‘Inspiration’. The three should be treated as technical terms in the field of anthroposophy. The convention in English versions of his works has become to use capitals for the higher faculties described by these words.

In this text, capital first letters are put where Steiner is using them as technical terms.

8. See Note 3, lecture 3.

9. See Note 2, lecture 3.

10. Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743–1803) took up German at the age of 49 so that he might translate Jacob Boehme's writings into French. His Des erreurs et de la vrit ou les hommes rappels au principe universel de la science par un Ph(ilosophe) inc(onnu) of 1775 was translated into German by Matthias Claudius in 1782. A new edition of the translation was published by Der Kommende Tag in Stuttgart in 1925.

11. Genesis 6:2. Revised English Bible.

12. This was the parish priest at Arlesheim, which is next to Dornach. For further details see Necessity and Freedom (GA 166), translated by P. Wehrte, the lecture given in Berlin on 25 January 1916, Anthroposophic Press N.Y.; and ‘Things of the Present and of the Past in the Spirit of Man’ (GA 167), MS translation C42, Rudolf Steiner House Library, London.

13. Matthias Claudius (1740–1815), German poet and writer. The ‘verses’ in question are the third and fourth verses of his evening hymn Der Mond ist aufgegangen.

LECTURE 7 (12 October 1917)

1. Herman Grimm (1828–1901), German cultural historian.

2. Reference to the 400th Anniversary of the Reformation, which started on 31 October 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg.

3. See Note 3 of lecture 4.

4. See Note 2 of lecture 2.

5. To understand Steiner's concept of the consciousness soul (another translation would be ‘awareness soul’), see his Theosophy and Occult Science.

6. Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803), German critic and poet who was a major influence on Goethe.

7. Herman Grimm: see Note 1 above. The story told by Rudolf Steiner is in a biography of Gottfried Herder which was published by his son (Gottfried Herders Lebensbild, 1. Band, S. 39). This also gives a more detailed description of Grimm's educational method.

8. See Lecture 4.

LECTURE 8 (13 October 1917)

1. Henri Lichtenberger (1864–1941).

2. Duldeck House, built opposite the Goetheanum according to a model made by Rudolf Steiner.

3. Rudolf Kjellen (1864–1922), Swedish political scientist who first conceived the idea of geopolitics, which was later taken up by Haiford Mackinder in England and Karl Haushofer in Germany (who coined the term Lebensraum) and finally by the Nazis. The German title of Kjellen's book was Der Staat als Lebensform, Leipzig 1916.

4. Albert Schaeffle (1831–1903), sociologist and politician, minister of trade for Austria. His works include Bau und Leben des sozialen Koerpers (translates as ‘Anatomy and life of the body social’), 4 vols, Tübingen 1875–8, and Die Aussichtslosigkeit der Sozialdemokratie (translates as ‘Social democracy — Outlook

5. Hermann Bahr, see Note 3 of lecture 3. Die Einsichtslosigkeit des Herrn Schaeffle, Zurich 1886.

6. Rudolf Steiner used two made-up words, durchwurlt und durchwirlt, that were sufficiently close to existing German words to paint a lively picture in his listeners' minds. (Translator)

7. See the lecture of 24 September 1916 in Inner Impulses of Human Evolution (GA 171), translation revised by G. Church, F. Kozlik and S. C. Easton. Anthroposophie Press, Hudson NY 1984.

8. Vladimir Soloviev (1853–1900), Russian philosopher and poet. His selected works were translated into German by Harry Koehler, with the first volume published in Jena in 1914. His Justification of Good was first translated into English in 1918.

9. See Note 2 of lecture 3.

10. After the war had broken out, Rudolf Steiner spoke on various occasions about the centrast between East and West. Examples are two lectures given in Stuttgart on 13 and 14 February 1915 (GA 174b), available in manuscript translation by M. Cotterell (“The Christ Impulse as Bearer of the Union of the Spiritual and the Bodily” — Z 270) at Rudolf Steiner House Library in London, and a lecture given in Leipzig on 7 March 1915 (in GA 159) which is not available in English.

11. The February Revolution in Russia; on 12 March 1917 (February by the Gregorian calendar) the Duma chose a Provincial Government.

12. See Note 3 of lecture 1.

13. Annie Besant (1847–1933), President of the Theosophical Society.

LECTURE 9 (14 October 1917)

1. See Note 1 of lecture 8.

2. See Note 2 of lecture 4.

3. Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), German philosopher, wrote an essay on Newtonian cosmology in 1755 in which he anticipated the nebular hypothesis of Simon Pierre Laplace (1749–1827). The hypothesis is that the planets condensed from a nebula which finally contracted into the primitive Sun.

4. John Tyndall (1820–1893), Irish physicist. Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895), English biologist, friend of Darwin and one of the major protagonists of Darwinism. Ernst Haeckel, see Note 1 of lecture 2.

5. Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886), German historian. His best known work in English is his History of the Popes in the 16th and 17th Centuries (1834–37; translated into English by Sarah Austin, 1846). He wrote many historical works right until the end of his life.

6. See Note 6 of lecture 8.

LECTURE 10 (20 October 1917)

1. Friedrich Spielhagen (1829–1911), German novelist.

2. Gustav Freytag (1816–1895), German novelist and playwright. Works translated into English are Soll und Haben (1855; Debit and Credit 1858), Die Verlorne Handschrift (1864; The Lost Manuscript 1865) and Reminiscences (English translation in 1890).

3. Paul Johann von Heyse (1830–1914), German writer, Nobel Prize and ennoblement in 1910. Wrote novels, plays, epic poems and translations of Italian poems but was especially famed as a writer of short stories.

4. Friedrich Wilhelm Weber (1813–1894), Westphalian poet. Dreizehnlinden, an epic work on the time when the Saxons were converted to Christianity, was published in 1878.

5. The German naturalist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel was Professor of Zoology at Jena and one of the first to outline the tree of animal evolution. His theory was one of materialistic monism. Works translated into English are Creation, 4th edn. 1892 (Natuerliche Schoepfungsgeschichte, 1868) and Evolution of Man, 1879 (Anthropogenie 1874). (See also Note 1 of lecture 2.)

6. David Friedrich Strauss (1808–1874), German theologian. His Leben Jesu (1835/36) was designed to show the Gospels to be a collection of myths with perhaps just a little historical truth to them. His second Life of Jesus, composed for the German people (1864; translated 1865) sought to create a positive life of Christ. In Der alte und der neue Glaube (translates as ‘Old and New Religious Belief, 1872) he aimed to show that religious belief was dead and a new faith had to be created on the basis of modern science and of art.

7.David Friedrich Strauss, der Bekenner und Schriftsteller’ (translates as ‘David Friedrich Strauss, Confessor and Writer’) is part one of Nietzsche's volume of essays Unzeitgemaesse Betrachtungen (translates as ‘Untimely Thoughts’), Leipzig 1873.

8. Lecture given in Basle on 19 October 1917. Not translated. Published in German in GA 72, Freiheit — Unsterblichkeit — Soziales Leben (1990).

9. See lecture 6.

10. Sir James Dewar (1842–1923), Professor of Physics at Cambridge. (Earlier editions referred to Professor Drews (1865–1935) in error.)

11. Wagner, Faust's narrow-minded, pedantic servant and pupil in Goethe's Faust.

LECTURE 11 (21 October 1917)

1. Lectures given in Basle on 18 and 19 October 1917. See Note 8, lecture 10.

2. Alfred Edmund Brehm (1829–1884) wrote Illustriertes Tierleben (The illustrated lives of animals), with the second, 10-volume edition appearing in 1876–1879. Later editions were revised by other authors, and the narratives that gave the kind of picture of which Rudolf Steiner was speaking were gradually replaced with ‘strictly scientific’ texts. Many other natural histories have been based on Brehm's work.

3. In an addendum to a lecture given on 6 August 1916 (GA 170). The addendum has not so far been published in German or in English.

4. Dr Roman Boos (1889–1952), social scientist, writer and lecturer; represented anthroposophy and later Rudolf Steiner's idea of the Threefold Social Order; he was head of a social sciences association at the Goetheanum in Dornach.

5. Der Gesamtarbeitsvertrag nach Schweizerischem Recht, Munich and Leipzig 1916.

6. Wissen und Leben (translates as ‘Knowledge and life’), a fortnightly Swiss journal edited by Alb. Baur which appeared from 1907 to 1925. The issue concerned was dated 15 October 1917.

7. ‘Die Kermfragen der Schweizer-Politik’, later reprinted in Boos' Michael gegen Michel, Basle 1926, pp. 36–47.

8. Adolf Keller (b. 1872), Swiss Protestant theologian, professor in Geneva and Zurich.

LECTURE 12 (26 October 1917)

1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), German poet, dramatist, scientist and statesman. His scientific writings were edited by Rudolf Steiner in the 1880s and provided with introductions and commentaries.

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805), German dramatist, poet and historian. Schiller and Goethe had an interesting correspondence on aesthetics and collaborated in writing for a literary magazine called Die Horen, which was against bourgeois attitudes.

2. For instance, in Goethe's World View (GA 6), translated by W. Lindemann, Mercury Press, Spring Valley, NY, 1985. Goethe's account of the conversation appears in Steiner's Goethean Science (GA 2), translated by W. Lindemann, Mercury Press, Spring Valley, NY, 1988.

LECTURE 13 (27 October 1917)

1. See fourth to last paragraph of lecture 5.

2. See lecture 5.

3. Geisteswissenschaftliche Erlaeuterungen zu Goethes “Faust”. Band I. GA 272. Not available in English.

4. Oswald Marbach (1810–1890), Professor of Technology in Leipzig, poet and writer; head of ‘Balduin zur Linde’ Freemasons' Lodge. Goethes Faust, Teil I and II erklaert, 1881.

5. Faust 2, Act 1, Scene 2: in the imperial palace, Mephistopheles tells the emperor and his advisers that paper money will solve the financial crisis. Scene 4 describes the rapid spread of paper money.

6. During 1916, the work on stage productions with eurythmy of scenes from Part 2 of Goethe's Faust which had started in 1915, culminated in a number of performances. See the lecture of 4 November 1916 (GA 172) in The Karma of Vocation, tr. by 0. D. Wannamaker, rev. by G. Church. Anthroposophic Press, Hudson NY, 1984.

7. Steiner, R. The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita. Tr. by G. M. Adams, rev. by D. M. Bugbey. Anthroposophic Press, Hudson NY, 1984.

8. See Note 2 of lecture 1.

LECTURE 14 (28 October 1917)

1. Steiner, R. The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and of Humanity. (GA 15) Tr. by H. Monges. Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1970.

2. See lecture 5.

3. See lecture 2.

4. Fritz Mauthner (1849–1923), Woerterbuch der Philosophie, neue Beitraege zu einer Kritik der Sprache (translates as ‘Dictionary of Philosophy, New contributions to a critique of the language’), 2 vols, 1910/11. The statement relating to Darwin is to be found in a section on history. It reads as follows: ‘It is not the way in which Darwin annihilated teleology that will remain for ever; what will not be forgotten is the fact that he sought to understand the world of nature without resorting to teleology.’

5. Ferdinand Lassalle (1825–1864), German social democrat.

6. Karl Marx (1818–1883), founder of modern international Communism.

7. Das Geschicht, or die Geschichte, derives from the past participle of the verb geschehen, to have come to pass; die Geschichte nowadays translates into English as ‘history’, or ‘story’, ‘account’, depending on the context. (Translator)

8. See Note 2 of lecture 11.

9. Count Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949), Belgian dramatist and writer. Nobel prize for litersture 1911. His La vie des abeilles (1901) has been translated into English. Maeterlinck also wrote La vie des termites (1926) and La vie des fourmis (1930).

10. See Note 7 of lecture 8.

11. Francis Delaisi (b. 1873), French social scientist and writer.

12. Alexandre Millerand (1859–1943), the first socialist to hold ministerial Position in a French government. Minister of Commerce 1899–1902, of Works 1909–1910, of War 1912–1913.

13. Raymond Nicholas Poincar (1860–1934), president of the French Republic 1913–1920; his policies were extremely anti-German.