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World History and the Mysteries in the Light of Anthroposophy - Rudolf Steiner lectures on the influences of the ancient sacred Mystery CentresWorld History and the Mysteries
in the Light of Anthroposophy

9 lectures by Rudolf Steiner
Previously titled
World History in the Light of Anthroposophy

It is a common belief that human consciousness, as we experience it today, has been essentially the same throughout the whole of what we know as history, its only evolutionary change being a greater degree of conceptual sophistication replacing child-like superstitions.

In World History and the Mysteries in the Light of Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner presents a radically different view. History, he suggests, is seen in its true light only when we study the differences in the human being's soul life during the various historical eras. Consciousness constantly evolves, not only quantitatively but qualitatively as well, with later stages growing out of the fruits of earlier developments. In this light, Steiner show how we can only understand the present by having a clear understanding of its origin in the past.

Steiner begins this course of lectures by surveying the development of memory in human evolution. He then describes how people saw themselves and the world in the ancient East, and how that understanding manifested in the ancient Mystery Centres. He follows their development from Babylon to Greece, and shows the influence of the Mysteries on modern spiritual life.

Trans. G. & M. Adams & D. Osmond (9 lectures, Dornach 24 Dec 1923 - 1 Jan 1924, GA233); 160pp
Rudolf Steiner Press
ISBN: 1 85584 066 9; paperback

See also: Mystery Knowledge and Mystery Centres


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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