It is commonly believed that, as regards
his life of soul and spirit, man has been essentially the same
as he is today throughout the whole of the time that we call
history. But history is only seen in its true light when we
study the differences in man's life of soul in the different
epochs. For it cannot be denied that the present only becomes
comprehensible as we try to understand its. origin in the past.
Rudolf Steiner starts this course of
lectures with a survey of the development of memory in the
evolution of mankind. He then describes how man understood
himself and the world in the ancient Orient, and how this
understanding manifested itself in the Ancient Mysteries. The
lecturer follows their development from Babylonia to Greece and
shows their influence on the spiritual life of the present day.