The First Class of the Michael School: Recapitulation Lessons and Mantras
Recapitulation Lessons given in Prague, Berne, Breslau, London, and Dornach, 1924 (CW 270)
“Why does the Guardian of the Threshold stand there? The Guardian of the Threshold stands there because true knowledge can be achieved only when we approach it with the right, well-prepared, inward attitude of mind and a genuine desire for knowledge. There is nothing theoretical about truly striving for knowledge. True striving for knowledge is achieved only when the soul lifts itself above all that is offered by the sensory world.” —Rudolf Steiner, April 3, 1924
This volume supplements Rudolf Steiner’s First Class Lessons and Mantras (2017). It contains the so-called recapitulation lessons given in various places, including Dornach, from April 3 to September 20, 1924. While the book does not introduce any new mantras, it offers new forms of presenting and explaining many of them.
This supplemental volume presents a real discovery—two recapitulation lessons given in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), on June 12 and 13, 1924. The lessons were discovered only recently in the archive of Eugen and Lili Kolisko. The lessons (first published in German by Perseus Basel in 2016) were written in shorthand and deciphered by Elea Gradenwitz, published here in English for the first time, with the kind permission of Andrew Clunies-Ross, grandson of the Koliskos. Attentive readers will find in these Breslau lessons a discussion of the Guardian of the Threshold not found in any other lessons.
The commentary in this volume by the editor T. H. Meyer sheds light on two striking modifications in the lessons. First is the introduction of Rudolf Steiner’s Michael and Rosicrucian signs. Second is the new function assigned to Ita Wegman following Rudolf Steiner’s return from England at the end of August 1924. Both actions were motivated by, as Steiner called it, a “betrayal” of the mantras that occurred in London.
Blackboard sketch: Seventh Recapitulation Lesson in Dornach, September 20, 1924
Preface to the First English Edition by T. H. Meyer
Foreword to the German Edition by T. H. Meyer
The Recapitulation Lessons of the Michael School
First Lesson in Prague
Second Lesson in Prague
Lesson in Berne
First Lesson in Breslau
Second Lesson in Breslau
Notes of the Second Lesson in London
First Recapitulation Lesson in Dornach
Second Recapitulation Lesson in Dornach
Third Recapitulation Lesson in Dornach
Fourth Recapitulation Lesson in Dornach
Fifth Recapitulation Lesson in Dornach
Sixth Recapitulation Lesson in Dornach in Dornach
Seventh Recapitulation Lesson in Dornach
Passages Omitted from the Text
Mantras of the Michael School in English and German
Afterword: The Nineteen Steps of the Meditative Path and Its Expected Continuation
Rudolf Steiner’s Blackboard Drawings (in color)
This book was originally published by Perseus Verlag in Basel, Switzerland, with the title Der Meditationsweg der Michaelschule: Ergänzungsband: Die Wiederholungsstunden in Prag, Bern, Breslau, London und Dornach, 2016.
These classes were originally published in German in Esoterische Unterweisungen für die erste Klasse der Freien Hochschule für Geisteswissenschaft am Goetheanum 1924 (4 volumes, CW 270).
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.
T. H. Meyer was born in Switzerland in 1950. He is the founder of Perseus Verlag, Basel, and is editor of the monthly journal Der Europäer. He has written numerous articles and is the author of several books, including Reality, Truth, and Evil (2005) and major biographies of D.N. Dunlop and Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz. He also edited Light for the New Millennium (1997) describing Rudolf Steiner’s association with Helmuth and Eliza von Moltke.