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Old and New Methods of Initiation

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

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

Old and New Methods of Initiation

On-line since: 30th June, 2010

By Rudolf Steiner

Translated by Johanna Collis
GA 210

These lectures deal not only with the theme of initiation into the ancient mysteries and how that contrasts with what is required today of people treading a spiritual path of knowledge, but also covers such topics as the working of Lucifer and Ahriman in the threefold organization of the human being; the relationship of the individual to the folk spirit; and the need to think with exactitude and impartiality.

The last four lectures examine in some detail the impulse of freedom behind the work of Goethe and Schiller, particularly Faust and the Aesthetic Letters, and draw interesting connections with Shakespeare on the one hand and French Revolution on the other.

This edition was translated from the volume in the Complete Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works entitled, Alte and Neue Einweihungsmethoden (GA 210), first edition, 1967. It was translated by Johanna Collis, and edited by Joan M. Thompson. The Cover design is by Brian Gold. The diagrams in the text were redrawn from Rudolf Steiner's blackboard sketches by Hedwig Frey.

Copyright © 1991
This e.Text edition is provided with the cooperation of:
The Rudolf Steiner Press
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 Cover Sheet  
Lecture One January 01, 1922

The working of Lucifer and Ahriman in the human being's body, soul and spirit.

Lecture Two January 07, 1922

Distinction between human beings of East, West and the middle region. Contemplation of the Christ-being.

Lecture Three January 08, 1922

The development of religious life during the post-Atlantean cultural periods.

Lecture Four January 19, 1922

Intimate aspects of soul and spiritual life. Crossing the threshold. Contrast between West and East.

Lecture Five February 01, 1922

Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition as actions on the way to reincarnation. The individual's relationship to the folk spirit — the cause of disorder among nations.

Lecture Six February 11, 1922

Ancient Mystery wisdom — ‘the prince of this world’, an opponent of Christ. Two main aspects of initiation. Cultivation of the will.

Lecture Seven February 12, 1922

Old and new methods of initiation. Thinking with exactitude. Impartiality.

Lecture Eight February 17, 1922

Metamorphosis of soul aspects during life on earth and life in the spiritual world. The heathen and Old Testament streams.

Lecture Nine February 18, 1922

The threefold human organism and repeated earthly lives. The heathen stream and the Old Testament stream. Cyprianus (Calderón) and Faust (Lessing and Goethe).

Lecture Ten February 19, 1922

Threefold man in relation to the four elements and to Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition. The need for spiritual life.

Lecture Eleven February 24, 1922

Shakespeare, Goethe and Schiller in connection with the spiritual change of the fifteenth century.

Lecture Twelve February 25, 1922

The spiritual struggle of Goethe and Schiller during the age when intellectualism triumphs over ancient spirituality.

Lecture Thirteen February 26, 1922

Recapitulation of the previous two lectures. The search for access to the spiritual world out of a modern constitution of soul.

Lecture Fourteen March 19, 1922

The ideal of freedom in the work of Schiller and Goethe. The French Revolution. How can man as a social being achieve freedom?


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