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Old and New Methods of Initiation - Rudolf Steiner Anthroposophy bookOld and New Methods of Initiation
14 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

The lecture series, Old and New Methods of Initiation, deals not only with the theme of initiation into the ancient mysteries and how this contrasts with what is required today of people pursuing a spiritual path of knowledge, but also covers such topics as the working of Lucifer and Ahriman in the three­fold organisation of the human being; the development of religious life in the post-Atlantean cultural epochs, particularly with reference to the pagan and Old Testament streams; the relationship of the individual to the folk spirit; the need to think with exactitude and impartiality; and the role of the higher cognitive states of  Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition in helping to understand the human being. The last four lectures examine in some detail the impulse of freedom behind the work of Goethe and Schiller, particularly Faust and the Aesthetic Letters, and draw interesting connections with Shakespeare on the one hand and the French Revolution on the other. Behind all the lectures stands Rudolf Steiner’s stress on the importance of understanding the transition from the Fourth to the Fifth (or own) cultural epoch, and how imperative it is to work free of the abstract intellectualism of our age through to the newly developing cognitive faculty of spiritual  Imagination.

Trans: J. Collis
14 lectures, Dornach 1 Jan - 19 Mar 1922, Mannheim 19 Jan 1922, Breslau 1 Feb 1922, GA210
Rudolf Steiner Press
188pp; paperback
ISBN: 0 85440 446 5


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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