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Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies - Volume IV

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

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

Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies - Volume IV

On-line since: 30th April, 2011

Editorial Note

The attention of readers is called to the fact that fundamental explanations given by Rudolf Steiner of the laws and conditions of karma are contained in Vols. I and II of this series, as well as in many other published writings and lectures. Knowledge of these earlier works should therefore be regarded as an essential basis for study of the material contained in this fourth and last volume of the series. (See Note by Publishers)

Vol. IV



The Anthroposophical Movement and the Anthroposophical Society. States of human consciousness at the present day and in prehistoric times. The life of dream. Chaotic symbolisations of the outer life of sense and revelations of the spirit-world. The spinning of the thread of our destiny during the life of sleep in communion with divine-spiritual Beings.

5th September, 1924


The continuing thread of karma or destiny is little connected with a man's outer profession or inner calling, but far more with the inner forces and resistances of soul, with moral relationships. Investigation of the thread of destiny requires us to concentrate on certain intimate features of a man's life and on his finer qualities and characteristics. Ludwig Schleich and August Strindberg.

7th September, 1924


The inner motives of world-history and life cannot be understood unless our gaze is turned to that spiritual background which underlies the outer, physical happenings. The results of former civilisation-epochs are carried into later ones by the personalities of history and are changed in the process. By studying the external aspect we may not immediately recognise these impulses in their new form; they must be perceived as a deeply inward stream. Haroun al Raschid and his counsellor. Arabism penetrates into the culture and civilisation of Europe. The individualities of Alexander and Aristotle go forward with the evolution of Christianity. The 8th Œcumenical Council as the earthly projection of a spiritual event. Ancient Cosmic Christianity and King Arthur's Round Table. Arnold Böcklin. The School of Chartres. Brunetto Latini. Preparation of the Michael stream.

10th September, 1924


Continued preparation of the Michael stream through the individualities of Christian Aristotelians and Platonists. Christianity illuminated in the School of Chartres through traditions of the ancient Mysteries. The Goddess Natura. The planetary Intelligences and the spiritual Powers in the fixed stars. Radiations of the living spirituality of the School of Chartres. Until the time of the School of Chartres the Platonic souls are working, and then the Aristotelian, who now begin to descend from the super-sensible to the physical world and to teach in the Dominican Order. The service of Michael is continued in Scholasticism. Rudolf Steiner's experiences in connection with the Cistercian Order. Founding of a far-spread School of Michael in the super-sensible worlds at the time when, in the age of the Spiritual Soul, materialism took its start on earth.

12th September, 1924


A twilight mood pervades the Platonism of the School of Chartres, while from the super-sensible School of Michael are born the impulses for the spiritual life of the future. These impulses work into the Anthroposophical Movement of the present time. The figure of Julian the Apostate.

14th September, 1924


The individuality of Julian the Apostate — Herzeleide — Tycho Brahe. The daemonic idols of Bacon of Verulam. A super-sensible cult at the turn of the 18th and 19th century, which flows down in real Imaginations of a spiritual kind. Inspiration proceeding from the individuality of Julian the Apostate — Tycho Brahe. Schelling. Jacob Frohschammer. The end of the century.

16th September, 1924


The importance of a knowledge of karma for understanding the general evolution of spiritual life. The stars are colonies of spiritual Beings. To understand karma we must discover spiritually the paths of man between death and a new birth in connection with the Beings of the stars. Difficulties for the man of modern time in approaching a real wisdom of the stars. The rulership of Michael opens the way for the spiritual investigation of man's path between death and a new birth and the forming of his karma. Intensity of the experiences in the life after death. The figure of Strader; the Battle of the Minstrels in the Wartburg; Heinrich von Ofterdingen.

18th September, 1924


Further examples of the few individualities whose successive earthly lives, if described one after the other, at the same time give descriptions of history. A Roman philosopher belonging to the school of the Sceptics at the end of the first Christian century. Cardinal Mazarini, Hertling. Gregory the Great, Ernst Haeckel. The Council of Nicæa; the hermit, the nun, Vladimir Solovioff.

19th September, 1924


Guiding-lines for an understanding of the spiritual life of the present time. Difficulties in the carrying over of spiritual substance, exemplified in four incarnations of a particular individuality. Thomas Campanella — Otto Weiniger. In the soul of this individuality, earlier visionary life and a spiritual world-conception struggle with the rationalism and intellectuality of the modern age.

21st September, 1924


Emancipation of intellectuality from the elementary human qualities, from the deeper being of the soul. Human bodies of to-day, being altogether attuned to intellectualism, cause the spirituality that comes over from former times to withdraw into the subconscious. To transform into spirituality the intellectualism of the present age is the task of Anthroposophy, which must reckon with the rationalism of the times in order that man may find the path of ideas upward to the Spirit no less than downward into nature. At the end of the 19th century the spiritual element in human souls was dammed up, and in order to reveal itself in any way had to draw back from intellectualism. It will be evident in such men how they shrink from being touched too deeply by modern intellectualism. Plato and the individuality reborn as Goethe. Plato — Hroswitha — Schröer.

23rd September, 1924

Note by Publishers (1957)

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