From Beetroot to Buddhism…

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From Beetroot to Buddhism… Answers to Questions (CW 353)

16 lectures, Dornach, March 1 to June 25, 1924 (CW 353)

“[These discussions were] intended for a particular group of people, and Rudolf Steiner spoke off the cuff, in accord with the given situation and the mood of the workmen at the time…the very way in which he spoke had a freshness and directness…it has a directness and vitality.” — Marie Steiner

The remarkable discussions in this volume took place between Rudolf Steiner and workers at the Goetheanum, Switzerland. The varied subject-matter was chosen by his audience at Rudolf Steiner’s instigation. Steiner took their questions and usually gave immediate answers. The astonishing nature of these responses – their insight, knowledge and spiritual depth – is testimony to his outstanding ability as a spiritual initiate and profound thinker. Accessible, entertaining and stimulating, the records of these sessions will be a delight to anybody with an open mind.

In this particular collection, Rudolf Steiner deals with topics ranging from beetroot to Buddhism! He discusses, among other things, Christianity and Islam; the Crusades; cemeteries; comets; the zodiac and fixed stars; scars; Egyptian mummies; astronomy; Tibet and the Dalai Lama; Freemasonry; star wisdom, moon and sun religions; the Mysteries; the Trinity; Moses; Easter; the ancient Indians, Egyptians, Babylonians and Jews; Kant and Schopenhauer, and nationalism.

This volume is a translation from German of Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker (GA 353).

C O N T E N T S:

1. Discussion of March 1, 1924: Effects of cemetery atmosphere on people; how the ancient Indians, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Jews saw life

2. Discussion of March 5, 1924: Aspects of human life that are not physical; Greek culture and Christianity

3. Discussion of March 8, 1924: Christianity coming into the world of antiquity and the mysteries

4. Discussion of March 12, 1924: Star wisdom, Moon, and Sun religions

5. Discussion of March 15, 1924: What did Europe look like at the time when Christianity spread?

6. Discussion of March 19, 1924: The Trinity; three forms of Christianity and Islam; the Crusades

7. Discussion of March 26, 1924: Past and more recent ideas of the Christ

8. Discussion of April 12, 1924: Easter

9. Discussion of April 26, 1924: How scars develop; the mummy

10. Discussion of May 5, 1924: Creating an astronomy based on the science of the spirit

11. Discussion of May 10, 1924: The Sephiroth Tree

12. Discussion of May 14, 1924: Kant, Schopenhauer, and Eduard von Hartmann

13. Discussion of May 17, 1924: Comets and the solar system; the zodiac and the rest of the fixed stars

14. Discussion of May 20, 1924: Moses; decadent Atlantean civilization in Tibet; Dalai Lama; how can Europe spread its culture in Asia? British and Germans as colonial powers

15. Discussion of June 4, 1924: Nature of the Sun; origins of Freemasonry; sign, handshake, and the word; Ku Klux Klan

16. Discussion of June 25, 1924: Man and the hierarchies; ancient wisdom lost; The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity

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.

Additional information

Weight 21 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.8 × 9 in



Anna Meuss




December 1999






CW 353


Rudolf Steiner Press


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