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Mystery of the Universe - Rudolf Steiner Anthroposophy bookMystery of the Universe
The Human Being, Image of Creation
(Formerly titled: Man, Hieroglyph of the Universe)

16 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

An ancient mystery saying called on the human being to ‘Know Thyself!'  In the lecture series, Mystery of the Universe, Rudolf Steiner explains that this maxim is not simply asking us to study subjectively our own personal character, but rather to come to  knowledge of our true, archetypal human nature and with it the position we occupy m the universe.

He speaks of the human being as the image, in form and function, of the Powers of creation, and as the primary creative focus of the cosmos. In this extensive exposition he talks of the constellation of cosmic Beings whose sensory impressions we see in the zodiac and planets, and how their qualities come to expression in our spiritual and physical constitution.

Only a true knowledge of our human nature and the spiritual forces which surround us - the microcosm within the greater macrocosm - can enable humanity to progress, he says. This book is an important contribution to that goal: the development of a contemporary spiritual science of the human being.

Trans: revised by M. Barton
16 lectures, Dornach, 9 April - 16 May 1920, GA201
Rudolf Steiner Press
 240pp; paperback
1 85584 069 3

See also: Harmony of the Creative Word


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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