Ancient Myths and the New Isis Mystery

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Anthroposophic Press, 1994 - Religion - 180 pages
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8 lectures, Dornach, 1918, 1920 (CW 180 & 202)

The ancient myths were an expression of great truths about the nature of the universe and human development. Through mysterious, lively images, they describe a people's knowledge of their origins, their place in the cosmos, and their particular state of consciousness. Because our modern consciousness has become so abstract, these stories challenge us to exercise another kind of consciousness if we want to experience their truths and reunite with the realities behind them.

In these lectures, Steiner looks at the Egyptian, Greek, and Hebrew myths and illustrates how the myths expressed the consciousness of the people of that time. He sees in the Osiris-Isis story an expression of the loss of a direct experience of the suprasensory world. He shows the connection between this loss and the challenge we face today to bring new life to our abstract ways of knowing.

Steiner then offers a remarkable story, a new Isis legend. In the Egyptian myth the veiled Isis states, "I am the All; I am the Past, the Present, and the Future; no mortal has yet lifted my veil." In the New Isis legend as told by Rudolf Steiner, the Isis figure states, "I am the Human Being, I am the Past, the Present, and the Future. Every mortal should lift my veil." This extraordinary story is a challenge to modern humanity to awaken to a new consciousness of the spiritual forces at work in our lives and in society, and to bear this new spirit within us with ever greater understanding and a sense of responsibility.

These lectures are a tremendous inspiration to transform our head knowledge into heart knowledge and to lift the veil to spirit and know our place in the past, present, and future.

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About the author (1994)

Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner was a noted Goethe (see Vol. 2) scholar and private student of the occult who became involved with Theosophy in Germany in 1902, when he met Annie Besant (1847--1933), a devoted follower of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (1831--1891). In 1912 he broke with the Theosophists because of what he regarded as their oriental bias and established a system of his own, which he called Anthroposophy (anthro meaning "man"; sophia sophia meaning "wisdom"), a "spiritual science" he hoped would restore humanism to a materialistic world. In 1923 he set up headquarters for the Society of Anthroposophy in New York City. Steiner believed that human beings had evolved to the point where material existence had obscured spiritual capacities and that Christ had come to reverse that trend and to inaugurate an age of spiritual reintegration. He advocated that education, art, agriculture, and science be based on spiritual principles and infused with the psychic powers he believed were latent in everyone. The world center of the Anhthroposophical Society today is in Dornach, Switzerland, in a building designed by Steiner. The nonproselytizing society is noted for its schools.

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