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Turning Points Spiritual History

On-line since: 15th May, 2017

INTRODUCTION

(part 3)

 

OCTOBER, 1913, TO APRIL, 1914.

1913, 30 Oct. The Spirit-World, and Spiritual Science. A glance at our present aims.
    6 Nov. Theosophy, and its Shrewd Critics.
  20   ‘’ Spiritual Science and Religious Denominations.
  27   ‘’ Death.
    4 Dec. The Significance of the Soul's Immortality.
1914,   8 Jan. Michelangelo, and his period, from the standpoint of Spiritual Science.
  15   ‘’ Evil in the light of Spiritual Knowledge.
  12 Feb. The Moral Foundations of Human Life.
  26   ‘’ Voltaire, from the Stand-point of Spiritual Science.
  19 March. Between Death and Rebirth.
  26   ‘’ The Homunculus.
    2 April. Spiritual Science as Life's Heritage.

 

1914 TO 1915.

1914, 29 Oct. Goethe's Spiritual Method as applied to our Critical Times, and German Culture.
    5 Nov. The ‘Barbarous’ People of Schiller and Fichte!
  26   ‘’ The Soul of Man in Life and Death in the light of Spiritual Science.
  27   ‘’ Folk Souls in the light of Spiritual Science.
1915, 14 Jan. The German (Germanische) Soul, and the German (Deutsche) Spirit, in the light of Spiritual Science.
  15   ‘’ Spiritual Knowledge in Joyous and Solemn Moments. Reflections on The Times.
  25 Feb. The Enduring and Creative Power of the German Spirit.
  26   ‘’ The Mortal Element in Man.
    4 March. The Rejuvenating Power of the German Folk Soul.
    5   ‘’ The Mortal Element in Man.
  15 April. German Idealism.
  16   ‘’ Sleep, Death, and Spiritual Science.
  22   ‘’ The Cosmic Conception of German Idealism with respect to our Critical Times.
  23   ‘’ Self-knowledge and Cosmic-knowledge as viewed by Spiritual Science.

 

1915 TO 1916.

1915,   2 Dec. Goethe and the Cosmic Conception of German Idealism, in respect of the sentiment of our Critical Times.
    3   ‘’ The Eternal Forces of the Human Soul.
    9   ‘’ Examples of Austrian Spiritual Life in the nineteenth century, with reference to our Critical Times.
  10   ‘’ The Human Soul and Spirit.
  16   ‘’ The Spirit of Fichte is in our midst.
1916,   3 Feb Faust's Cosmic Wanderings, and his Rebirth through German Spiritual Life.
    4   ‘’ Perfection in Soul Life and Spiritual Research.
  10   ‘’ Poets and Scientists among the Austrians.
  11   ‘’ How may we investigate the Eternal Forces of the Soul?
  25   ‘’ Striving after Spiritual Science, a forgotten trend of German thought.
  26   ‘’ Why is Spiritual Investigation so often misunderstood?
  23 March. Nietzsche's Soul Life, and Richard Wagner; up to the time of Modern Cosmic Conception.
  24   ‘’ Immortality and Spiritual Research.
  13 April. The Evolution of the German Soul.
  15   ‘’ The Evolution of Body, Soul, and Spirit; through Birth and Death, and their place in the Cosmos.

 

1917.

1917, 15 Feb. Spirit, Matter, Life, and Death, with regard to our Critical Times.
  17   ‘’ Destiny and the Soul. Observations and Conclusions of Spiritual Science.
    1 March. The Immortality of the Soul. The Forces of Destiny, and The Passage of Life. Deliberations and Conclusions of Spiritual Science concerning our present Critical Times.
  15   ‘’ The Body and Soul of Man in Nature, and Spiritual Knowledge.
  17   ‘’ The Riddle of the Soul and of the Cosmos and German Spiritual Life.
  22   ‘’ Cosmic Conceptions of Spiritual Science (Anthroposophy); Life, Death, and the Immortality of the Soul.
  31   ‘’ Matters transcending Sense-perception and Soul. Spiritual Science Observations, and Life Experiences.

 

LECTURES HELD AT THE KLINDWORTH-SCHARWENKA-SAALE, BERLIN.

1918, 24 Jan. The Aims and Nature of Spiritual Investigation.
    7 Feb. Man as a Being of Spirit and Soul.
  21   ‘’ Goethe -- The Father of Spiritual Investigation.
  28   ‘’ The Body, Soul, and Spirit of Man.
    7 March. The Riddle of Nature in the light of Spiritual Investigation.
  14   ‘’ The Riddle of Life's History in the light of Spiritual Investigation.
  21   ‘’ Revelations of the Unconscious, and Spiritual Science.
  28   ‘’ Life in Art and Art in Life in the light of Spiritual Science.
  15 April. The Origin and Evolution of the World of Man and Animals in the light of Spiritual Science.
  18   ‘’ Superperceptual Man; as deduced from Spiritual Science Investigations.
  20   ‘’ Freedom of Will, and Immortality, in the light of Spiritual Science.

In the spring of 1919 it was announced that a series of lectures was to be held that would be suitable to the times, the purpose of which was to deal with the ever-burning questions of the day; these discourses had, however, to be cancelled, owing to pressing calls upon Rudolf Steiner from Württemberg, which made it impossible for him to leave Stuttgart. The titles of these proposed lectures were as follows:

  1. The Vital Claims of Life: From the Standpoint of Spiritual Science and Truth.
  2. The Driving Forces of Society, and the Influence of Spiritual Science.
  3. The Ethical Life of Man, as viewed by Spiritual Science.
  4. The Connection between Thought and Reality in Everyday Life in the light of Spiritual Science.
  5. Social Science, Natural Science, and Spiritual Knowledge.
  6. Modern History in the light of Spiritual Science.
  7. The Basis of Modern National Life in the light of Spiritual Science.
  8. The Claims of Modern Opinion, and Ancient Habits of Thought, in the light of Spiritual Science.
  9. The Brotherhood of Souls, and the Fellowship of Man.
10. Social and Anti-Social Influences in the Life of Man in the light of Spiritual Science.

On the 15th of September, 1919, Rudolf Steiner was once more at liberty to speak in Berlin, and it was there in the Philharmonic Hall that he delivered his address on The Gist of the Social Question and the Threefold Character of the Social Organism; which lecture caused much sensation. In the meantime the attention of the widest circles became centred upon him, he was everywhere the topic of conversation, and whenever he spoke the most capacious halls were filled to overflowing.

Meanwhile, Stuttgart had become the main field of his public activities. His next return to Berlin, on the 15th of September, 1921, was in order to hold a discourse in the large hall of the ‘Philharmonie’ (Philharmonic Hall), on The Importance of Anthroposophy in the Science and Life of the Present Day; this lecture was followed by another given in the same place on the 19th of November, 1921, the subject being, Anthroposophy and the Riddle of Science; and on the 26th of January, 1922, by yet another in the ‘Marmorsaal’ entitled, Anthroposophy and the Riddle of the Soul. The placing of Anthroposophy at the very centre of Spiritual life, was in response to the greatest need of the times and evoked on all sides the keenest interest.

A High School course was held in the following March, during which Rudolf Steiner spoke upon the subjects mentioned below:

1. Harmony in Science, Art, and Religion, through Anthroposophy.
2. The Scientific Character of Anthroposophy.
3. Anthroposophy in Life.
4. The Need of the Times, and Anthroposophy.

Anthroposophy now struck out new paths and threatened to become a definite cultural factor. This was especially evident at the last lecture held by Rudolf Steiner on the 12th of May, 1922, in the large Assembly room of the Philharmonic Hall; the theme chosen being: Anthroposophy and Spiritual Knowledge. The crowd was enormous and a violent uproar ensued, against which no opposition could be ventured, for, any attempt to check the clamour only started an increase of secret and deeply-laid counter-plots.1 The Sachs and Wolff agency which had been making inquiries with a view to organizing further lectures to be delivered in Germany stated, that they could not hold themselves responsible for the proposed plans being carried through without personal danger.

Thus it was that all in a moment twenty-one years of lecture-activity was forcibly brought to an end; at the very time when it had opened up for itself a flaming path, leading to the salvation of humanity from just those very evils which have now come to pass. There had, indeed, been an earnest endeavour to counteract the cankerous growth of the times -- to put into man's hands those spiritual weapons, whereby he might meet and overcome the decadence and corruption, the negation of his powers of cognition, his ever weakening will, and the unexpected attacks made upon his volition. The words of those who gave warning and counsel were smothered in the tumult of pre-War autocratic activity, and by the crashing of the ever-breaking waves of discord, both during and after the cessation of the strife. The voice of the living has been stilled in death, but his word will endure, and therein abides the power to overcome decay and dissolution.

It was next decided that a number of lectures, which Rudolf Steiner had delivered before general audiences in Berlin, should now be published for the first time; these lectures he did not, however, review personally, as in those days he opposed any such transcriptions with the greatest vigour; often asserting that ‘The word which is spoken differs from that which is written.’ The former being regulated so as to accord strictly with the attitude of the listeners, it allows of repetition, increased emphasis, or of further elucidation of that which has been stated, while it warrants momentary artistic modulations of tone and the use of gesture in accordance with the intelligence of those present. Quite delicate and subtle thoughts -- particularly when related to occult truths -- often become coarse, distorted and diverted from their true proximate meaning, if only a single word be missing, or one of secondary importance misunderstood.

Rudolf Steiner suffered unspeakably when he had before him a transcript containing words that he had uttered; only twice did he thoroughly review the manuscripts of his lectures, and that was during the War: the first occasion being when he looked over The Mission of Folk Souls, which lecture Prince Max von Baden had expressed a desire to read; the second time it was a series which had appeared in the monthly DIE DREI (The Three) entitled The East in the light of the West with The Children of Lucifer and the Brothers of Christ.2 In most cases he handed the manuscripts back in a distressed manner saying, that it would be easier for him to re-write the whole; this naturally his fully occupied and all too fleeting time would not permit. In the end, however, he gave way; and thus it is that many priceless works have been saved for humanity. The decision to publish all the lectures was for him, indeed, a severe trial, and personally a great sacrifice; he determined upon this course in order to avert a worse evil, namely, the publication of a profusion of faulty notes and transcriptions by all manner of unauthorized persons.

Life entails sacrifice and the outcome must be endured -- that sacrifice which Rudolf Steiner made, cost him his life but will surely bear fruit, for it was the price that he paid that we might know, and follow, the true path.

Dornach, September, 1926.
MARIE STEINER.

 

Notes for this page:

1. The disturbances on this occasion were due to the fact that the altruistic  teachings of Rudolf Steiner had already shown signs of undermining the pernicious influence of certain restless and materially minded sections of the community; and were rapidly tending to create a true spiritual outlook, entirely opposed to all forms of violence, war, and the purely physical conceptions of man's origin and life so generally accepted. Hence came that bitter feeling of antagonism which blazed up at the time of Steiner's lecture on Anthroposophy and Spiritual Knowledge. [Ed.]

2. The works here mentioned have been translated and published by Messrs. Putnam's under the title, The East in the Light of the West. [Ed.]




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