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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.

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Old and New Methods of Initiation

On-line since: 30th June, 2010


Lecture One

  1. Yesterday I spoke about initiation science: See lecture of 31 December 1921 in Rudolf Steiner, The Rediscovery of Spiritual Reality in Nature and in Man. English text available in typescript only.

  2. This lecture was given during the 1921/22 Christmas course for teachers: Rudolf Steiner, Soul Economy and Waldorf Education, Rudolf Steiner Press London and Anthroposophic Press New York, 1986.

  3. luciferic or ahrimanic: Regarding luciferic and ahrimanic beings, see the chapter ‘Man and the Evolution of the World’ in Rudolf Steiner, Occult Science — An Outline, Rudolf Steiner Press, London 1979.

  4. which starts with Augustine: Aurelius Augustinus 354-430, Bishop of Hippo in North Africa.

  5. Bismarck made a remarkable statement: in a speech on 9 May 1884, ‘I recognize unconditionally the right to work and will defend this so long as I occupy my present position. In doing so, I stand, not on the soil of socialism but on the soil of the Prussian constitution.’ Quoted in Gide and Rist Geschichte der volkswirt schaftlichen Lehrmeinungen, Jena 1921.

  6. Maximilien Francois Marie Isidore de Robespierre, 1758-1794. From 1793 a leading member of the Committee of Public Safety. Guillotined in 1794.

Lecture Two

  1. Vladimir Soloviev, 1853-1900. The quotation in German is from Die geistigen Grundlagen des Lebens, Part One (The Spiritual Foundations of Life), Selected Works translated by H Kohler, Stuttgart 1922.

  2. See Lecture One, Note 4.

Lecture Three

  1. Rudolf Steiner, Occult Science — An Outline. For the post-Atlantean cultural periods see the chapter ‘Man and the Evolution of the World’.

  2. a cosmosophy, a philosophy, a religion: See also Rudolf Steiner, Philosophy, Cosmology and Religion, Anthroposophic Press, New York 1984, and Rudolf Steiner's own reports of these lectures in Cosmology, Religion and Philosophy, Anthroposophic Press, New York 1984.

  3. Johannes Scotus Erigena c.810-877. Irish philosopher and theologian, one of the most notable thinkers of the Carolingian Middle Ages. His principal work De divisione naturae was burnt by Pope Honorius in Paris in 1225.

Lecture Four

  1. some recent historical events: There are numerous gaps in the shorthand report of this lecture. The conclusion has been omitted. It deals with contemporary questions and covers virtually the same ground as Lecture One (Soloviev, Bismarck, Robespierre).

  2. about which the Apostle Paul taught: For example: 1 Corinthians, 15.

    1 Corinthians, 15
  3. Waldorf school: The Free Waldorf School, Stuttgart, was founded by Rudolf Steiner in 1919. The education of the children was to be in harmony with the knowledge of the human being as revealed by anthroposophical spiritual science.

  4. Herbert Spencer, 1820-1903. Education: Intellectual, Moral and Physical, 1861.

  5. Vladimir Soloviev: See Lecture Two, Note 1.

  6. Adolf von Hamack, 1851-1930. Theologian and historian.

  7. Council of Nicaea: 19 June 325. Establishment of the creed of identity of Son (Jesus Christ) and Father.

Lecture Five

  1. Rudolf Steiner Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. How is it achieved? Rudolf Steiner Press, London 1985.

  2. Vienna lecture cycle: Rudolf Steiner, The Inner Nature of Man and Life between Death and New birth, Anthroposophical Publishing Company, London 1959.

Lecture Six

  1. Today: In his introduction to this lecture (contained in GA 255), Rudolf Steiner spoke words of appreciation for the way in which Albert Steffen had reported in the journal Das Goetheanum on a lecture denigrating Anthroposophy.

  2. Thales of Miletus, c.640-545 B.C.

  3. Rudolf Steiner, Riddles of Philosophy, Anthroposophic Press, New York 1973.

  4. early church fathers: For instance, St Justin Martyr, Apologia I, 46.

  5. Rudolf Steiner, Christianity as Mystical Fact, Rudolf Steiner Press, London 1972.

Lecture Seven

  1. Order of the Knights of Malta: In 1798 Napoleon seized and occupied Malta on his way to Egypt.

  2. a public lecture: See the lecture of 2 November 1921 in Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophie und Wissenschaft, Dornach GA 75 (not yet published).

  3. Rudolf Steiner Theosophy, Anthroposophic Press, New York 1986.

  4. David Lloyd George, 1863-1945. British Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922.

  5. In the nineties: On 16 February 1894 Ernst Haeckel celebrated his sixtieth birthday. Rudolf Steiner was one of the invited guests. Bismarck, much admired by Haeckel, was also present. He had been forced to resign his office in 1890.

Lecture Nine

  1. Philo of Alexandria, c.20 B.C. – c.40 A.D. Jewish philosopher and theologian.

  2. Pedro Calderön de la Barca, 1600-1681. Greatest Spanish dramatist. The drama about Cyprianus, El mägico prodigioso (The Miracle-working Magician) was written in 1637. The story was taken from a late version of an old tale in the Golden Legend. It is set in Antioch at the time of the Roman Emperor Decius.

  3. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, 1729-1781. German dramatist, critic and writer on aesthetics; one of the great seminal minds in German literature.

Lecture Ten

  1. Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily: Floris Books, Edinburgh 1979. See, for instance, Rudolf Steiner, The Portal of Initiation & The Character of Goethe's Spirit as Shown in the Fairy Story (incl. a translation of the Fairy Story by Thomas Carlyle), Rudolf Steiner Press, New Jersey 1961.

  2. ‘The sun makes music’: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part One, ‘Prologue in Heaven’. The English versions of the quotations from Faust are taken from the translation by Bayard Taylor, with the exception of these lines from the ‘Prologue in Heaven’, which are translated by Shelley. (Tr.)

  3. first Mystery Drama: The Portal of Initiation. A Rosicrucian Mystery through Rudolf Steiner, transl. Ruth and Hans Pusch, Steiner Book Centre, Toronto, 1973.

  4. his scientific writings: Rudolf Steiner Goethes Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften, mit Einleitungen, Fussnoten und Erlauterungen im Text (Goethe's Natural Scientific Writings) in Kürschners Deutsche National-Litteratur. On the intermaxillary bone see Volume 1.

  5. Paul's words: Galatians 2, 20.

  6. ‘Stand on free soil’: Faust: Part Two, Act 5, Great Outer Court of the Palace.

  7. Karl Julius Schröer, 1825-1900. On his booklet Goethe und die Liebe (Goethe and Love) see Rudolf Steiner's collected essays 1921-1925 in Der Goetheanumgedanke inmitten der Kulturkrisis der Gegenwart, p.111. GA 36.

  8. He who would study’: Faust Part One. The Study.

  9. essay by Ruedorffer: J.J. Ruedorffer, Die drei Krisen. Eine Untersuchung fiber den gegenwartigen politischen Weltzustand (The Three Crises. A consideration of the present state of world politics.) Stuttgart/Berlin 1920.

  10. Franz Overbeck, 1837-1905.

Lecture Eleven

  1. post-Atlantean periods: See Lecture Three, Note 1.

  2. Calderón: See Lecture Nine, Note 2.

  3. Faust belongs to the sixteenth century: The first mention of Faust appeared in 1506. In 1587 the first Faustbuch, a popular chapbook, was published in Frankfurt-am-Main.

  4. Philosophy and Jurisprudence’: Faust Part One. The Study.

  5. Johann Gottfried Herder, 1744-1803. Called Kant's system ‘a kingdom of never-ending whims, blind alleys, fancies, chimeras and vacant expressions.’

  6. Emil Du Bois-Reymond, 1818-1896: In ‘Goethe und kein Ende’ (No end to Goethe), address of 15 October 1882 in Reden (Speeches), Leipzig 1886.

  7. William Shakespeare, 1564-1616. Hamlet is one of his later plays.

  8. book and volume of his brain’: Hamlet, Act One, Scene 5.

  9. what one has in black and white’: Faust Part One, The Study.

  10. Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire, 1694-1778. One of the greatest French authors.

  11. Waldorf school: See Lecture Four, Note 3.

  12. in an ahrimanic form: See Lecture One, Note 3.

  13. Saxo Grammaticus, d.1204. Danish historian who wrote the Gesta Danorum.

Lecture Twelve

  1. a little while ago: For instance see Rudolf Steiner The Bridge Between Universal Spirituality and the Physical Constitution of Man, Anthroposophic Press, New York 1958, lecture of 19 December 1920; and Rudolf Steiner, The Shaping of the Human Form out of Cosmic and Earthly Forces, lecture of 26 November 1920. English text available in typescript only.

  2. was seen to make sense: See Rudolf Steiner, Goethe as Founder of a New Science of Aesthetics [Goethe als Vater einer neuen ństhetik], Anthroposophical Publishing Company, London 1922; and Rudolf Steiner, Goethe's Secret Revelation and The Riddle of Faust, Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., London 1933.

  3. The lofty might’: Faust, Part One, Witches' Kitchen. The quotation ‘See, thus it's done!’ is also from this scene.

  4. Rudolf Steiner, The Spiritual Guidance of Man, Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1983.

  5. he sought the cosmic element: See Rudolf Steiner, Schiller und die Gegenwart (Schiller and the Present Time), Dornach 1955, lecture in Berlin on 4 May 1905.

  6. another angle too: See Rudolf Steiner Geisteswissenschaftliche Erlauterungen zu Goethes Faust, (Goethe's Faust Illumined by Spiritual Science), Dornach 1967, GA 272 and 273.

  7. legend of Theophilus: This legend, of Greek origin, came to the West some time around the tenth century and was recounted both in prose and in verse in almost every known language. Hrosvitha, the poetess from Lower Saxony, a nun in Gandersheim, told the story in Latin verse.

  8. In this, thy Nothing’: Faust to Mephisto in Faust Part Two, A Gloomy Gallery.

  9. the Queen of Heaven: Faust Part Two, last scene.

  10. Friedrich Theodor Vischer (1807-1887), philosopher and aesthete. In 1862 he wrote a satire Faust. Der Traglidie dritter Teil (The Tragedy of Faust, Part Three).

Lecture Thirteen

  1. John Milton, 1608-1674. English poet and puritan politician. His epic poem Paradise Lost was finished by 1665.

  2. legend of Theophilus: See Lecture Twelve, Note 7.

  3. Wolfram von Eschenbach, c.1170-1220. One of the greatest medieval German poets. Parzival was probably written between 1200 and 1210.

  4. ‘Und es wallet ...’: ‘And it bubbles and seethes, and it hisses and roars’, Der Taucher by Friedrich von Schiller, translated by E. Bulwer Lytton in The Poems and Ballads of Schiller, Leipzig 1844.

  5. Till Eulenspiegel, a popular German peasant jester, was supposed to have died in Winn in 1350. The first extant text of the chapbook in High German chronicling his escapades was published in 1515. The name ‘Eulenspieger means, literally, ‘owl's mirror’. (Tr.)

  6. Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, d.1676. German writer. Simplicissimus, published in 1669, is said to be the greatest German novel of the seventeenth century.

  7. Hartmann von Aue, c.1170-1213. Middle High German poet. Der arme Heinrich (Poor Henry).

  8. Thou'rt like the spirit’: Faust Part One. The Study.

  9. in the nineteenth century: Jerennas Gotthelf (A. Bitzius), 1797-1854; Karl Immermann, 1796-1840; George Sand (A.A.L. Dupin-Dudevant), 1804-1876; D.W. Grigorovich, 1818-1883; I.S. Turgeniev, 1818-1883.

Lecture Fourteen

  1. Numa Pompilius, 715-672 BC. Roman King. By tradition, the nymph Egeria was his wife and adviser.

  2. a mere caricature: Letter to Goethe of 7 January 1795.

  3. Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man, Letter 15.

  4. Rudolf Steiner, Philosophy of Freedom, Rudolf Steiner Press, London 1988.

  5. Generals’: This is a reference to speeches given by General von Gleich.

  6. Ralph Waldo Trine, 1866-1958. In Tune with the Infinite, London 1915.

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