Initiation, Eternity, and the Passing Moment
Seven Lectures, Munich, August 25–31, 1912 (CW 138)
At one pole, the human soul hardens within itself, winds itself into the cocoon of its selfhood, and only desires what is of service to itself, what is for its self-gratification. At the other pole, the human soul draws forces from its own depths that are able to radiate into the whole life of humanity…. This happens the moment we think how necessary it is for every man to sacrifice for others what is his own, what is his most individually, what belongs most deeply to his egohood. But in all that man can do for his fellows out of his egohood lives Lucifer, the other pole of Lucifer; in all that man can thus achieve for humanity under the influence of the Light-bearer, lies a reflection of what Lucifer really is in higher worlds, a reflection of his creative activity, which is the revealing of the unrevealed. —Rudolf Steiner
These lectures delineate the difference between ordinary and initiate consciousness. Steiner further distinguishes between the initiation of the Christ, who gave the earth its meaning by working from within the physical body, and the initiations of the great initiates who guided humanity by imparting truths gained while outside the body. Steiner goes on to describe the means of initiation needed today and how Lucifer and Ahriman, the opposing forces in earthly existence, play into this process.
These profound lectures can help us in understanding the place, purpose, and methods of true inner development.
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.