Esoteric Lessons, 1904-1909: Lectures, Notes, Meditations, and Exercises, Volume 1

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Anthroposophic Press Incorporated, 2007 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 549 pages
Notes written from memory by the participants and meditation verses by Rudolf Steiner (CW 266/1)

To read this book is to be part of Rudolf Steiner's Esoteric School, to experience the growth and development of Anthroposophy from within. First and most essential here is the primacy of practice. Steiner stresses attention and concentration. We waste much of our time and energy on thoughts and feelings that to nowhere. Meditation--concentration on a living thought, an idea of higher origin--begins the process of self-gathering. Controlling our thoughts, we begin to form our "mental" (etheric) body; ordering our memories, we begin to work on our astral body. These two tasks are our preliminary goal. "We must make our life into a school for learning." Humility is the key--when the world becomes our teacher, we must become humble.

With the beginning of these esoteric lessons, the path is deepened. We witness Rudolf Steiner the spiritual teacher in action. Throughout the lessons, Steiner moves between the so-called Christian-Gnostic path and the theosophical framework of the Masters. As the years unfold, however, the lessons move from the framework given by H. P. Blavatsky toward a deeper, more universal and, at the same time, more contemporary focus. Steiner reveals that behind what Blavatsky brought is the wisdom of Atlantis, which today must come to life again. Here, Christian Rosenkreutz, the Rosicrucians, and the "old philosophers" (alchemists) become important, for it was their task to bring this wisdom, now "enchristed," into the West.

This volume is the English translation of «Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden, Gedächtnisaufzeichnungen von Teilnehmern. Band.1, 1904-1909» (GA 266/1).

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About the author (2007)

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.

Rev. James H. Hindes has been a Christian Community priest for more than thirty years and has served as pastor in congregations in England and Germany as well as in New York City, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, and for the last five years in Denver, Colorado. Rev. Hindes is the author and translator of several books.

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