Becoming the Archangel Michael’s Companions: Rudolf Steiner’s Challenge to the Younger Generation
13 lectures, Stuttgart, October 3–15, 1922 (CW 217)
“This cycle of lectures ‘to the younger generation’ speaks of a pathway to a Michaelic harvest for ears that have the goodwill to hear.” –Carlo Pietzner
Rudolf Steiner presented these lectures to about a hundred German young people who hoped to bring Waldorf education into the culture of their time and for the future. Steiner stressed upon his listeners the great importance of “self-education” as a prerequisite to all other education. His was an attempt to guide the youth toward understanding themselves within the world situation.
Steiner showed how the stream of generations had been interrupted by eighteenth-century intellectualism, emphasizing that they would have to reject the general acceptance of impersonal social routine, dead intellectual thinking, and personal and social egoism. Steiner discussed the need, instead, for a form of education permeated by art and feeling, which brings inner nourishment that can grow throughout one’s life. It was his view that, without such an education, society will not reach a future built on moral love and mutual human confidence—a truly human culture.
A previous translation of these lectures was published as The Younger Generation: Educational and Spiritual Impulses for LIfe in the Twentieth Century (1967). Original German title: Geistige Wirkenskräfte im Zusammenleben von alter und junger Generation. Pädagogischer Jugendkurs (GA 217). This Collected Works edition includes a new introduction, notes, and an index.
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.
Carlo Pietzner (1915-1986) was born in Vienna. As an art student, he was introduced to anthroposophy and Dr. Karl König, founder of the international Camphill movement for children and adults in need of special care, which led Pietzner to help further the work of Camphill in Northern Ireland and the U.S. His artistic efforts have ranged from stained glass murals and paintings to novels, and drama. He served the Anthroposophical Society in America and was known internationally for his many lectures and his consulting work.
Christopher Bamford is Editor in Chief for SteinerBooks and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. He is the author of The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity (1990) and An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West (2003). He has also translated and edited numerous books, including Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness (1982); Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science; and The Noble Traveller: The Life and Writings of O. V. de L. Milosz (all published by Lindisfarne Books). HarperSanFrancisco included an essay by Mr. Bamford in its anthology Best Spiritual Writing 2000.
René M. Querido, LLD, was a seminal figure in Waldorf education for a half century. He was educated in Holland, Belgium, France, and England and studied mathematics and physics at London University. Mr. Querido lectured throughout the world on historical and educational topics and was director of Rudolf Steiner College (Fair Oaks, California). He was also Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America.