Cosmosophy (Vol. 1) Cosmic Influences on the Human Being
11 lectures, Dornach, September 23 – October 16, 1921 (CW 207)
The year 1921 was a time of intense activity for Rudolf Steiner. Three years after World War 1, with social ideals and democracy trying to make their way into the Weimar Republic and the disastrous financial collapse just around the corner, Steiner concentrated his efforts on cultural renewal in economics, education, the arts, medicine, theology, and the sciences. Two clinics were opened; two publications began. He lectured in Germany, Switzerland, Amsterdam, The Hague, and Oslo, often giving two or three and occasionally four lectures a day. Anthroposophy was becoming more known with all this activity, but opposition was also growing stronger. Steiner said:
“The modern materialistic worldview is a product of fear and anxiety. This fear lives on in the outer actions of human beings, in the social structure, in the course of history…. Why did people become materialists? Why would people admit only the outer—what is given in material existence? People were afraid to descend into the depths of the human being.”
The mind–body split is the result of this fear to penetrate the inner human being; our lack of courage rebounds on society, producing the terrible conditions of modern civilization. Healing will come only when we summon the courage to penetrate the hidden mysteries of the inner human being.
In the Anthroposophical Society itself, Steiner sought to awaken the local groups from their comfortable complacency. Cosmosophy, volume 1, is the first part of a two lecture courses Steiner gave in Dornach in the fall of 1921 to members of the Society on Anthroposophy as cosmosophy—wisdom of the human being as cosmic wisdom. The eleven lectures, which are also part of a wider course of lectures during 1920 to 1921 (CW 201–209), reveal deep mysteries of the human being in relation to the cosmos.
- the origin of fear in Western civilization
- the mystery of evil
- sleeping and waking in higher cognition
- the Jupiter existence of Earth
- past and future karma
- the relationship of human beings to the hierarchies through Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition
- foundations of an esoteric psychology
- metamorphosis of the worlds of thought and will in our life after death
- preparation of the future from the nature of the will
- the conscience
- the reversal of sensory experience in the life after death
- the manifestation of the human senses as a prerequisite for freedom
- the Mystery of Golgotha as the sense-giving center to historical events
- and much more
Cosmosophy (vol. 1) is a translation from German of Der Mensch in Zusammenhang mit dem Kosmos 7: Anthroposophie als Kosmosophie – Erster Teil: Wesenszüge des Menschen im irdischen und kosmischen Bereich (GA 207).
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.
Alan Howard was a teacher in public and Waldorf schools in England for about 35 years and editor of Child and Man, a magazine for Waldorf education in Great Britain. He emigrated to Canada to help found the first Waldorf school in Toronto. After retiring from teaching, he relocated to Vancouver and wrote for anthroposophical journals and lectured for the Anthroposophical Society throughout North America.