The Circle of Mystery Streams
The Circle of Mystery Streams
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The Circle of Mystery Streams

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The Circle of Mystery Streams: Karmic Groups in the Anthroposophical Society and Movement

During summer 1924, Rudolf Steiner began his lectures on karmic relationships by tackling the question of karmic predispositions that lead people into the Anthroposophical Society and movement. Ever since, when discussing the karmic groups connected to modern spiritual science, the focus has been predominantly on two streams— “Aristotelian” and “Platonist.” However, it is far less understood that, to Rudolf Steiner, his lectures on karma in 1924 were incomplete. In the final presentation of the series, he offered clear hints on the intended direction of future elaborations.

this book presents for the first time the various karmic groups in the Anthroposophical Society and movement, as laid out in Steiner’s lectures and written works. This approach takes us beyond the duality of Aristotelians and Platonists toward a fourfold picture, adding the two streams of the “Novalis-souls” and “Rosicrucians,” equal to the other two.

Aristotelians and Platonists represent, foremost, the dimension of insight in Anthroposophy, whereas the Novalis-souls and Rosicrucians represent the dimension of life—the moral, social, and world-changing side of Anthroposophy. By considering all four groups, we gain a full picture of the anthroposophic “circle of mystery streams”—karmic groups that are truly capable of forming a spiritual home for everyone connected with Anthroposophy.



Insight into karma as the basis for a new mystery culture

Chapter 1
Aristotelians and Platonists
Aristotelianism and the challenge to develop conceptual thinking
• Aristotle and Alexander
• From Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas and Rudolf Steiner
• Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman
Platonism and the task of developing thinking in images
• The individual nature of Plato
• The School of Chartres
• Goethe
More on the Aristotelian and Platonic mystery streams

Chapter 2
Novalis souls and Rosicrucians
Rudolf Steiner’s Last Address as a key giving greater insight into karma
Elias-John the Baptist and Hiram-Lazarus
Raphael-Novalis and Christian Rosenkreuz
More on the Novalis-soul and Rosicrucian streams

Chapter 3
Four mystery streams working together
• Conceptual clarification and overview
Servants of Michael and Christ Seekers
Cainite and Abelian, ‘male’ and ‘female’ types of soul
Old and young souls, souls tired of Christianity and those who are longing for it
Guardians of the Grail and Arthurian knights

Chapter 4
The mystery streams as they relate to nature, cosmos and etheric world
The four elements and the mystery streams
The ‘attitude plant’ of anthroposophy and how it relates to the mystery streams
The four seasons and how the spirits relate to the mystery streams
Anthroposophy’s founts of life and the mystery streams

Chapter 5
The mystery streams’ relationship to the human body, soul and spirit
• The significance of diagrammatic presentations, incidental remark on method
The functions and qualities of the human soul in relation to the four mystery streams
The bodily foundations and spiritual origins of soul functions and their relationship to the four mystery streams
The four mystery streams as they relate to the Foundation Stone and the Foundation Stone Meditation
More on the human organization in body, soul and spirit and its relationship to the four mystery streams

Chapter 6
How the mystery streams relate to the path of initiation and to the planetary spheres
Path of initiation and planetary spheres
Microcosmic and macrocosmic mystery streams

Chapter 7
How the mystery streams relate to science, art and religion
Science, art and religion
How the mystery streams reveal themselves in science, art and religion
The four mystery streams in science, art and religion

Chapter 8
Movements and individuals who shaped the cultural life and how they relate to the four mystery streams
• Brief introduction
The medieval orders
The three great artists of the Renaissance
The philosophers of German idealism

Chapter 9
Members of the Anthroposophical Society and movement in the circle of the mystery streams
Friends and collaborators of Rudolf Steiner
Council of the Anthroposophical Society and Section leaders
Summing up and looking ahead

Translator’s postface

About the Author

Malte Diekmann (b. 1954) studied philosophy and German in Hamburg before working in drug therapy. In 1985, together with Hans-Willi Haub and other interested people, he founded the Sammatzer Arbeits- und Lebensgemeinschaft (Sammatzer working and living community) in the small Wendland village of Sammatz, southeast of Lüneburg, and as its intellectual core the Academy in Michaelshof and its associated publishing house there. Since then, Diekmann has worked as a lecturer, author and, since 1998, as a freelance photographer.

Additional information

Weight 35 oz
Dimensions 6 × 1.5 × 9 in


Anna R. Meuss




September 2023






Wynstones Press


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