A Way of Self-knowledge: Including, The Threshold of the Spiritual World

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Anthroposophic Press, 1999 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 181 pages

2 written works, 1912 & 1913 (CW 16/17)

Part one, "A Way of Self-Knowledge" Eight meditations that take the reader on a journey through human experience. Beginning with ordinary experience, Steiner offers ways to imagine and understand the physical body, the elemental (or etheric) body, the elemental world, the Guardian of the Threshold, the astral body, the "I"-body (or thought body), the nature of experience in suprasensory worlds, and ways of perceiving previous earthly lives.

Part two, "The Threshold of the Spiritual World" Sixteen short chapters in which Steiner provides aphoristic thoughts on trusting one's thinking, cognition of the spiritual world, karma and reincarnation, the astral body and luciferic beings, how to recognize suprasensory consciousness, the true nature of love, and more.

These two complete books together represent Steiner's most personal statements about his own spiritual path. He speaks directly from experiences of cognitive research and explorations. Each of the meditations and aphorisms arises from his spiritual research and demonstrates how such spiritual research is to be undertaken. The "content" is Steiner's own, but readers can discover their own "content." Steiner's method of awareness--his path of attention to one's own experience--is universal and truly human.

A Way of Self-Knowledge is a true sequel and complement to the classic of inner development, How to Know Higher Worlds. It lays out in a way that is accessible to anyone the road to self-knowledge and to the world of spirit.


Introduction by Christopher Bamford
Preface by Friedemann Schwarzkopf


1. The Physical Body
2. The Elemental (or Etheric) Body
3. Clairvoyant Cognition of the Elemental World
4. The "Guardian of the Threshold"
5. The Astral Body
6. The "I"-Body or Thought-Body
7. The Nature of Experience in Suprasensory Worlds
8. Beholding Your Previous Earthly Lives


1. Trust in Thinking. The Nature of the Thinking Soul
2. Cognizing the Spiritual World
3. The Human Etheric Body and the Elemental World
4. Repeated Earthly Lives and Karma
5. The Astral Body and Luciferic Beings.
6. The "Guardian of the Threshold."
7. "I"-Feeling, the Human Soul's Capacity to Love, and Their Relationship to the Elemental World
8. The Boundary between the Sensory and the Supersensory Worlds
9. On the Nature of the Spiritual Worlds
10. Cosmic Beings of the Spiritual Worlds
11. On the First Rudiments of the Physical Body
12. The True "I" of the Human Being

A Way of Self-Knowledge: And the Threshold of the Spiritual Worldis a translation of «Ein Weg zur Selbsterkenntnis des Menschen: In acht Meditationen» (GA 16) and «Die Schwelle dre geistigen Welt: Aphoristische Ausführungen» (GA 17).

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About the author (1999)

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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