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Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

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

The Apocalypse received by John ... when properly understood, expands our conception of Christianity to cosmic proportions again. It reveals in images — in a kind of picture language — the deepest secrets of earthly and human evolution. John was instructed to pass on these images to humanity so that, through knowledge, we can be better equipped to evolve spiritually and meet the unfolding power of the adversaries. These images contain the power of the Word, the Logos. ... Taken into the soul, they transform; over time they can initiate. This is the connection between the Apocalypse and the work of Rudolf Steiner, who said that simply hearing and reading the results of anthroposophical research can gradually transform the human soul and awakin in us the ability to perceive the spirit. — from the Introduction

AS WE APPROACH THE END OF THE CENTURY — and the end of the millennium — we find ourselves overwhelmed by powerful pictures of the world situation in which we live. These pictures reflect the mighty spiritual events taking place in our time. Our task as human beings is to learn to read these pictures. Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse offers a practice or inner schooling in reading “the signs of the times,” so that we can meet the world situation responsibly and in full consciousness.

Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse consists of listener's notes to lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in 107 and 1909. The notes present Rudolf Steiner's masterful account of the meaning of the most esoteric book in the Bible.

In brief, forceful sections, Steiner surveys and penetrates the sweep of world history on a cosmic scale. His powerful, authoritative interpretation, based on his own spiritual-scientific research, shows how the human soul as presently constituted will evolve and change through the great conflagrations that await humanity in the near and distant future.

Themes include: the nature of the third millennium, Sorat and the significance of the number 666; the War of All against All; the Second Coming of Christ; and above all, the true nature of the I and the possible futures open to it — futures that depend upon our actions now.

The illustration of the cover is taken from the lectures. It represents the occult sign for the Intelligence of the Son, the Christ.

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