Macrocosm and Microcosm
Macrocosm and Microcosm (CW 119)
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Macrocosm and Microcosm (CW 119)

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Macrocosm and Microcosm: The Greater and the Lesser World: Questions Concerning the Soul, Life and the Spirit

12 lectures, Vienna, March 19–31, 1910 (CW 119)

Rudolf Steiner shows how deeply and intimately human beings, the microcosm, are related to the macrocosm. But for Steiner the macrocosm is more than just the physical universe. It includes many hidden realms—including the world of elements and the world of archetypes—that lie behind outer manifestations such as our physical body. The macrocosm works within us continuously—in the daily rhythm of sleeping and waking and in the great cyclical interchange between incarnation on Earth and our time between death and rebirth.

Steiner discusses various paths of self-development that lead across the threshold to spiritual dimensions, transforming human soul forces into organs of higher perception. In the future, we will even have the capacity to evolve a form of thinking that is higher than the intellect—thinking of the heart.

In this classic series of lectures—now retranslated and featuring a previously unavailable public address—Rudolf Steiner discusses the planets and their connection with our sleeping and waking life; the inner path of the mystic; the “greater” and “lesser” guardians of the threshold; the Egyptian mysteries of Osiris and Isis; initiation in the Northern mysteries; the four spheres of the higher worlds; mirror images of the macrocosm in humankind; the strengthening powers of sleep; the symbol of the Rose Cross; reading the akashic record; four-dimensional space; the development of future human capacities, and much more.

This volume includes an introduction, notes, and index.

Macrocosm and Microcosm is a translation from German of Makrokosmos und Mikrokosmos. Die große und die kleine Welt. Seelenfragen, Lebensfragen, Geistesfragen (GA 119).

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 17 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.75 × 9 in


Paul King


Paul King




July 2021






CW 119


Rudolf Steiner Press


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