Christ and the Spiritual World: The Quest for the Holy Grail
6 lectures, Leipzig, Dec. 1913–Jan. 1914 (CW 149)
“There is no way of approach to the Grail through words of any kind, or through philosophical speculations. The only way is by changing all these words into feeling, by becoming able to feel in the Grail the sum of all that is holy.” —Rudolf Steiner (lecture 6)
Reassessing human history in relation to the cosmic and earthly events of Christ’s incarnation, Rudolf Steiner stresses the significance of Gnostic spirituality and legends of the Holy Grail. He tells us that the Christ impulse “is not a one-time event but a continuous process, beginning well before Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth.” The Christ impulse is a force that gives impetus to human development, such as the extraordinary flowering of free thinking during the past two millennia.
Surveying this pattern of evolving human thought, Steiner explains the roles of historical figures such as the great teacher Zarathustra, Joan of Arc, and Johannes Kepler. We are shown the widespread influence of the sibyls, the clairvoyant prophets who formed a backdrop to the Greco-Roman world. Steiner contrasts their revelations to those of the Hebrew prophets.
The lectures culminate in the secret background of the Parsifal narrative. Steiner illustrates how it is possible to experience the Holy Grail by reading the starry script at Eastertime. He also provides a rare personal account of the processes he uses to conduct esoteric research.
This new edition features a revised translation and an introduction, appendices, and notes by Frederick Amrine.
Christ and the Spiritual World is a translation from German of Christus und die geistigen Welt. Von der Suche nach dem heiligen Gral (GA 149).
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. 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.
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