The Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World: Reality and Illusion

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SteinerBooks, Aug 1, 2008 - Education - 159 pages
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Ever since nature and consciousness were separated in the late Middle Ages, giving rise to a science of matter alone, the spiritual beings who are the universe have felt abandoned and unable to complete their work, for this work depends for its success on human collaboration. At the same time, human beings have also felt abandoned, condemned to a speck of dust in an infinitely decaying universe. In these remarkable lectures, Rudolf Steiner reestablishes the human being as a participant in an evolving, dynamic universe of living spiritual beings: a living universe, whole and divine. And he does so in concrete images, capable of being grasped by human consciousness as if from within. How is this possible? Implicit in Rudolf Steiner's view is the fact that, fundamentally, the universe consists of consciousness. Everything else is illusion. Hence to understand the evolution of the cosmos and humanity in any terms other than consciousness is also illusion. Whenever we have to do with mighty cosmic facts, we have to do with states of consciousness. But states of consciousness never exist apart from the beings who embody them. Therefore, the only true realities are beings in different states of consciousness. In this sense, Rudolf Steiner's spiritual science is a science of states of consciousness and the beings who embody them. Indeed, rightly considered, all science-physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, psychology, astronomy, etc.-is a science of beings. And the sensory perception, the physical trace, is but the outer vestment of the activity of beings in different states of consciousness. To describe these beings, Steiner uses the names made familiar by the wisdom tradition of the West. He speaks of the evolutionary states of Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan; and the nine "choirs" of angels (Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones; Dominions, Virtues, and Powers; Principalities, Archangels, and Angels); as well as of elemental beings and nature spirits; and the elements of fire, earth, air, and water.

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INTRODUCTION by Christopher Bamford
The Renewal of Primeval Wisdom
Saturn and Sun Stages of Evolution
The Work of the Spiritual Hierarchies and the Zodiac
Cosmic Evolution and The War in Heaven
Geocentricity and Heliocentricity in Cosmic Evolution
The Constitution of Spiritual Beings and Humanity
The Spiritual Hierarchies the Zodiac and the Human
The Inner Aspect of the Saturn Embodiment of the Earth
The Inner Aspect of the Sun Embodiment of the Earth
The Inner Aspect of the Sun Embodiment of the Earth
The Inner Aspect of the Moon Embodiment of the Earth
The Inner Aspect of the Earth Embodiment of the Earth
A Concerning the Socalled Interchange of Mercury

Evolution and the Cosmic Human Body
B Humanitys Relation to the Sun a lecture by Rudolf

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About the author (2008)

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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