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.