The following lectures were given by Rudolf Steiner to an audience
familiar with the general background of his anthroposophical
teachings. He constantly emphasised the distinction between his
written works and reports of lectures which were given as oral
communications and were not originally intended for print. It should.
also be remembered that certain premises were taken for granted when
the words were spoken. “These premises,” Rudolf Steiner
writes in his autobiography, “include at the very least the
anthroposophical knowledge of Man and of the Cosmos in its spiritual
essence; also of what may be called ‘anthroposophical history’, told
as an outcome of research into the spiritual world.”
A list of publications in English translation suggested for reading
and a summarised plan of the Complete Edition of Rudolf Steiner's
works in the original German will be found at the end of the present
The purpose of the following synopses is to facilitate reference to
the particular themes occurring in the lectures.
Everything belonging to the Mysteries is founded on the experiences of
Initiates in the higher worlds. The principles of Initiation change in
the successive epochs. Attainment of Initiation in the present age is
possible without personal guidance, but the experiences must be
carried through in the right way. Sense-impressions become merely a
means of experiencing what lies behind them. “Opinions” and
“points of view” must be transcended. The moral qualities of
courage and fearlessness. Certain experiences are common to all
Mysteries, whether Eastern or Western: contact with death, passage
through the elementary world, seeing the Sun at midnight, meeting with
the Upper and Lower Gods. The path into the higher worlds is bound up
with a strengthening of the soul's inner powers.
Natural laws and moral laws intermingle in the spiritual world. The
fate of morally irresponsible souls after death is to become the
servants of terrible beings. Untimely deaths, also epidemics and
illnesses, are caused by forces and beings of the spiritual world.
Love of ease a widespread attribute. Souls subject to it become
servants of the gods of opposition (under the rulership of Ahriman),
after death. Suitable and unsuitable characteristics for the
development of seer-ship. A seer has direct perception of the
interaction of influences from the Earth and those from stellar space.
Experience at a definite stage of the Mysteries is that in respect of
the higher members of his being (astral body and ego) man belongs not
only to the Earth but is also at home in the Cosmos.
Ascent into the spiritual worlds is accompanied by certain unavoidable
experiences. Possibility of a retrospect into the far past, a reading
of the Akashic Record. In the higher worlds a seer is able to discern
the activities of beings associated with the Sun and the Moon in
engendering the physical and etheric bodies of men. How the astral
body and ego are brought into being is veiled in secrecy. The
Zarathustrian Initiation. The Hermes Initiation. Two phases of the
Isis Initiation, separated by the point of time when Moses lived. When
Moses led his people out of Egypt he took with him the part of the
Egyptian Initiation which added the Osiris Initiation to that of the
mourning Isis. “Sons of the Widow”. In the later Egyptian
Initiation the candidate experienced the dying of a God in the Heavens
in order to descend into another world.
The Being formerly known spiritually as the Creative Word first became
manifest in physical life when Moses heard the “Ejeh asher
Ejeh”. Candidates in the later Egyptian Mysteries felt that the
Creative Word was disappearing. When it reappeared, belonging now to
Earth-evolution, it was spoken of as the “Holy Grail”.
Repetition in every epoch of the earlier experiences of humanity.
Secrets of the Egypto-Chaldean epoch were related to the inpouring
forces of the Zodiac and planets, particularly of the Sun and Moon. In
the fifth epoch these secrets must work right into the Consciousness
Soul, into that which constitutes human personality. Inspirations from
the twelve directions of the Zodiac flowed into the Twelve Knights of
King Arthur's Round Table. Something in the human organism is now
dead, withdrawn from the sovereignty of the soul; it must be made
living again through the new wisdom of the Grail.
“Montsalvat.” Teaching is now no longer tied to particular
localities. Hostility to the Grail. Klingsor. The fastness known as
Calot bobot. Chastel Merveille. Dual nature in Goethe and in many men
of the modern age still under the influence of the Intellectual Soul.
Parsifal: the ideal of later Initiation. Present-day Mysteries are an
after-effect of the Grail Mystery. The Amfortas nature in man must be
recognised before the forces of Parsifal can be developed in human