Nature Spirits: Selected Lectures

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Rudolf Steiner Press, 1995 - Religion - 197 pages
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Based on knowledge attained through his highly trained clairvoyance, Steiner contends that folk traditions regarding nature spirits are based on spiritual reality. He describes how people possessed a natural spiritual vision in ancient times, enabling them to commune with nature spirits. These entities--also referred to as elemental beings--became immortalized as fairies and gnomes in myth, legend, and children's stories.

Today, says Steiner, the instinctive understanding that humanity once had for these elemental beings should be transformed into clear scientific knowledge. He even asserts that humanity will not be able to reconnect with the spiritual world if it cannot develop a new relationship to the elementals. The nature spirits themselves want to be of great assistance to us, acting as "emissaries of higher divine spiritual beings."

 

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Contents

Introduction by WolfUlrich Klunker
1
Elemental Beings of Earth and Water
19
Elemental Beings and the Spirits of the Cosmos
31
Redemption of the Elementals
46
Gnomes Undines Sylphs and Salamanders
60
Phantoms Spectres and Demons
77
Elemental Spirits of Birth and Death
90
Truth Beauty Goodness and the Elemental
104
Elemental Spirits and the Plant World
117
Elemental Spirits and the Animal Kingdom
132
Ahrimanic Elemental Beings
146
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About the author (1995)

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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