Four Modern Mystery Dramas: The Doorway of Initiation • The Trial of the Soul • The Guardian of the Threshold • The Souls Awaken
Written 1910 to 1913 (CW 14)
Rudolf Steiner’s four modern mystery dramas are powerful portrayals of the complex laws of reincarnation and karma, transporting us to landscapes of soul and spirit where suprasensory beings are visible, active, and influential. Through perception of those hidden worlds, we are given tools to comprehend the background of the struggles we face in everyday life—both in human relationships and in our attempts to practice spiritual development.
Written from 1910 to 1913—during periods of intense inner and outer work—the dramas present powerful testimonies to Steiner’s artistic creativity. By manifesting soul and spirit forms on stage, they foreshadow a dramatic art of the future.
Steiner planned for all four mystery dramas to be performed in August 1923, but this was rendered impossible after the first Goetheanum was destroyed by fire on New Year’s Eve 1922. The dramas were eventually performed together for the first time in 1930, and since then they have been staged regularly, in many languages, throughout the world.
This fresh rendering into English by Richard Ramsbotham also features his extensive introduction.
This volume is a translation from German of Vier Mysteriendramen (GA 14).
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.