Skylark Books


From Symptom to Reality in Modern History - Rudolf Steiner Anthroposophy bookFrom Symptom to Reality in Modern History
9 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

In these nine lectures, given in the final weeks of the First World War, Rudolf Steiner surveys some of the great developments in European consciousness and outlook since the fifteenth century that have gradually formed the Europe of the twentieth century. He examines the rise of nationalism as it has affected different peoples and shows how profoundly a difference in religious outlook has played its part in the course of events, distinguishing between what he calls the People of the Christ in Russia, the People of the Church in Europe and the People of the Lodges in England. He speaks personally of his own confrontation with the attitudes and movements of his time. Whilst stressing the inevitability and necessity of socialism, he makes it quite clear  what has stood in the way of its true development so far.

Overall these lectures give the basis for a far deeper understanding of the present world situation and, whilst offering no suggestion of an easy path ahead, they provide insight for those concerned for the future of mankind. 

Trans. A. H. Parker, re-edited by Brendan McQuillan
Dornach, 18 Oct to 3 Nov 1918, GA185
Rudolf Steiner Press
250pp, paperback


Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', which he defined as 'the consciousness of one's humanity', and the disciplined methods of studying this he termed ‘spiritual science’.  As a highly developed clairvoyant and spiritual initiate, he spoke from his direct cognition of the spiritual world. However, he did not see his work as religious or sectarian, but rather sought to found a universal 'science of the spirit'.

His many published works (written books and lectures) - which include his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development - invite readers to develop their own spiritual faculties.  He also provided indications for the renewal of many human activities, including education - both general and special - agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. He wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6000 lectures across Europe, and in 1924 founded the General Anthroposophical Society which today has branches throughout the world.

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