Concerning the Astral World and Devachan
Notes from 19 lectures and 4 private lessons, Berlin, 1903–1904 (CW 88)
In Berlin, just past the turn of the twentieth century, Rudolf Steiner, then a relatively unknown writer, educator, and editor, first began his spiritual teaching activity under the auspices of the Theosophical Society. The gatherings at this time were small, often being held in private homes, and therefore, in terms of size and location, intimate.
Immediately after assuming leadership of the German Section of the Theosophical Society, Rudolf Steiner began a comprehensive program of teaching, at first within the Berlin Branch of the Theosophical Society. The notes from nineteen of those early lectures and four private lessons form the content of this volume.
Moving back and forth between Eastern theosophical terminology and Western esoteric tradition, searching for words and pictures, for the first time Steiner was presenting the results of his spiritual-scientific research to small groups of people longing for deeper truths.
“These lectures from 1903 and 1904 are among the very earliest for which we have any written reports. These reports are not, however, the product of professional stenography, as was the case with later lectures, but have been assembled from notes taken during and after the lectures by those attending…. With all of his printed lectures, but especially with the early ones for which we have only notes, we do not know for certain if he spoke these exact words or meant exactly what he seems to say. We are compelled to use our own best judgment as to what he actually said, and what the meaning might be…in other words, we must think for ourselves” (James Hindes, from the introduction).
C O N T E N T S:
Introduction by James Hindes
Part I: Concerning the Astral World
1. The Mystery of Birth and Death (Berlin, Oct. 28, 1903)
2. The Higher Worlds and Our Participation in Them (Berlin, Nov. 4, 1903)
3. The Origin and Nature of the Human Being (Berlin, Nov. 11, 1903)
4. The Being and Nature of the Astral World (Berlin, Nov. 18, 1903)
5. The Character of Astral Processes (Berlin, Nov. 25, 1903)
6. Kamaloca (Berlin, Dec. 2, 1903)
Part II: The World of Spirit, or Devachan
1. Berlin, Jan. 28, 1904
2. Berlin, Feb. 4, 1904
3. Berlin, Feb. 11, 1904
4. Berlin, Feb. 25, 1904
Part III: Four Private Lessons
1. The Sun-Logos and the Ten Avatars (Berlin–Schlachtensee, summer 1903)
2. The Bhagavad Gita (Berlin–Schlachtensee, summer 1903)
3. The First, Second, and Third Logoi (Berlin–Schlachtensee, summer 1903).
4. The Higher Development of the Human Being (Berlin–Schlachtensee, summer 1903)
Part IV: Nine Individual Lectures
1. Questions about Reincarnation (Berlin, Aug. 24, 1903)
2. Secrets and Secrecy (Berlin, Sept. 1, 1903)
3. Occult Research of History (Berlin, Oct. 18, 1903)
4. Physical Illnesses and Cosmological Laws (Berlin, Oct. 27, 1903)
5. Early Images of God (Berlin, Nov. 2, 1903)
6. The Fall into Sin (Berlin, Nov. 24, 1903)
7. Cosmology according to Genesis (Berlin, Dec. 8, 1903)
8. Laws of the Universe and Human Destiny (Berlin, Dec. 21, 1903)
9. The Evolutionary Stages of Humanity (Berlin, Dec. 29, 1903)
Editorial and Reference Notes
Glossary of Sanskrit Theosophical Terms
Significant Events in the Life of Rudolf Steiner
This book is volume 88 in the Collected Works (CW) of Rudolf Steiner, published by SteinerBooks, 2018. It is a translation from German of Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan, published by Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach, Switzerland, 1999.
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.
Rev. James H. Hindes has been a Christian Community priest for more than thirty years and has served as pastor in congregations in England and Germany as well as in New York City, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, and for the last five years in Denver, Colorado. Rev. Hindes is the author and translator of several books.