Skylark Books

The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century - Rudolf Steiner Anthroposophy lecturesThe Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century
10 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

In the lecture series, The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century, Rudolf Steiner discusses the forces behind the explosion of interest in spiritual matters which started around the middle of the nineteenth century.  He covers the essential threads which wove together to form various secret brotherhoods and esoteric activities which emerged in the last decades of this century, including the origins and development of the Theosophical Society, the beginnings of the Anthroposophical movement within this society and its eventual separation.

He addresses the unique character and mixed fortune of Madame H. P. Blavatsky, including her difficult relationships with occult orders of the day and her mediumistic channelling of Theosophy.

The mysterious subject of the Eighth Sphere which had been erroneously described through the mediumistic channelling of the book, Esoteric Buddhism by A. P. Sinnett, is addressed at some length.

Other subjects included are: materialism and its culmination in the 19th century, the dangers of mysticism and the fallacies of mediumism (channelling as it is more often called nowadays), the revitalisation of the etheric body through the new experience of Christ, the period of kamaloka following death, the problems of Ahrimanic Intelligence and Luciferic Will, the dangers of objective occultism and subjective mysticism, and the guiding principles of Spiritual Science.

Trans. D. S. Osmond
10 lectures, Dornach, Oct 1915, GA254
Rudolf Steiner Press
190pp; hardback
ISBN: 0 85440 280 2


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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