by Marie Steiner to
the First German Edition of 1944
THE WORK that now began, without the interruption
of even a single day, was at first devoted to medical knowledge; its
scientific aspect had to be filled full of genuine spiritual forces;
the esoteric work for which the younger doctors were so intensely
striving had to be deepened, so that the loving will and the healing
will that requires so much selflessness in the practice of caring for
the sick could be unfolded.
On 2 January 1924 the
third of the lectures to doctors was given.
[ Note 81 ]
And also on 2 January the course of eight lectures
[ Note 82 ]
doctors and medical students began; it continued till 9 January.
The evening lectures
brought contemplations of the destinies of inner spiritual life
between the ninth and the end of the twelfth century.
Rosicrucianism and Modern Initiation
is the title of the cycle running from 4 to 13 January.
[ Note 83 ]
In the final lecture we are led from
the principle of Rosicrucian initiation up to the mystery of modern
initiation and the beginning of the Age of Michael. A lecture given
to members on 18 January
[ Note 84 ]
is of particular importance. It gives a concise account of the coming
into being of the Anthroposophical Society, from its beginnings,
through the war years and right up to the completion of the building
in Dornach. In opposition to the institutions being founded chiefly
in Stuttgart, and to the work of scientists who join the Society in
considerable numbers, there arises the will to destroy it held by a
well-organized coalition of opponents. The gauntlet is thrown down
when the Goetheanum is burnt to the ground, and finally we come, in
view of the newly created world situation to the new founding of the
Society as the General Anthroposophical Society.
The question now
demanding an answer of us is: How can Anthroposophy be represented
before the world? That lecture of 18 January culminates in this
question. It also gives us a greater understanding of the coming
inauguration of the Classes. And in order to provide a firm basis for
the spiritual schooling to be striven for, nine lectures give new
aspects of a deeper penetration into the nature of Anthroposophy,
made possible only by the work of many years, under the modest title of
Anthroposophy — an Introduction.
[ Note 85 ]
At the same time in
began the series of what came to be called Dr Steiner's
Letters to Members.
In these he endeavoured to awaken and strengthen people's sense of
responsibility for the forming of the life of the Society and of what
went on in the different branches. They have recently been republished
in the little book
Life, Nature, and Cultivation of Anthroposophy.
[ Note 86 ]
From this foundation Dr Steiner goes on to what he describes as the
special fields of the different Sections at the Goetheanum. In the
first few essays, under the title ‘The School of Spiritual
Science’, he turns first to the promotion of the medical work
with which he was at that time particularly concerned. Then he goes
on to the tasks of the young people who search with such yearning for
a spiritual view of the world. The perennial conflict between the
generations, particularly strong at the time, is thoroughly examined.
Youthful impetuosity, now emerging to the full rather exuberantly and
immaturely amid the strife within the Society, is given an orderly
field of work in the newly to be founded Section ‘for the Spiritual
Striving of Youth’. There follow other brief discussions.
Since a new edition
of these essays has been long awaited, this seemed the appropriate
moment to bring it out as a continuation of the proceedings of the
Christmas Foundation Conference. So the next private publication
under the title of
The Constitution of the School of Spiritual Science
[ Note 87 ]
will contain in the main those
essays as well as Dr Steiner's lectures of 18 and 30 January and an
address given on 3 February. They treat of questions of dividing up
the School into Sections and of the special significance of belonging
to the Class.