Awakening to Community (eBook)

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Awakening to Community

10 lectures, Stuttgart and Dornach, January 23 – March 4, 1923 (CW 257)

“We are firmly in our understanding of things of the spirit only when we do not rest content with abstract spiritual concepts and a capacity to express them theoretically, but instead grow into a sure belief that higher beings are present with us in a community of spirit when we engage in spiritual study. No external measures can bring about anthroposophical community-building. You have to call it forth from the profoundest depths of human consciousness.” —Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner presented these lectures right after the fire that destroyed the first Goetheanum. Given during the year before the Anthroposophical Society was reestablished, they form an important part of the history of the anthroposophic movement.

Steiner calls for a “searching of conscience.” He explains that in anthroposophic communities we can experience our first awakening to the spirit in our encounters with others, and he describes how the reversed cultus” forms the foundation for a new community life.


  1. Words of grief. A challenge to search our consciences. The need to develop an awareness of responsibility
  2. Forming judgments on a sound basis of fact. The twofold re-casting of spiritual scientific judgments
  3. New thinking, new willing. The three phases of anthroposophical work
  4. The development of the Anthroposophical Society. The soul-drama of the anthroposophist
  5. The renewal of art, science and religion, mankind’s three great ideals
  6. Anthroposophical community building. First lecture at the meeting of delegates
  7. Anthroposophical community building. Second lecture at the meeting of delegates
  8. Report on the delegates’ meetings in Stuttgart. The inner reality of a community and the unity it creates
  9. Building community with speech and cultus. The awakening of the consciousness soul through a connection with one’s fellow men
  10. Causes of the lack of a brotherly spirit in spiritual societies. Origins of enhanced egoism. The necessity of overcoming sectarianism

Translated from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer, from the German edition titled Anthroposophische Gemeinschaftsbildung (GA 257)

About the Author

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

Additional information



Marjorie Spock




April 1975






CW 257


Steiner Books


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