The Mission of the Folk-Souls: In Relation to Teutonic Mythology
Eleven Lectures Given IN Christiania (Oslo) between 7 and 17 June, 1910 (CW 121)
“If we wish to understand the inner life of an individual we must study the soul as well as the body, and if we desire to gain real insight into national characteristics we must explore the psychic and spiritual element underlying them. This psychic and spiritual element, however, reflects not merely the activity of individual human souls working in concert, but has its origin in a higher order…. Either one must seek a basis for the psychology of peoples in a spiritual reality or one must abandon such a psychology in total.” -Rudolf Steiner
According to spiritual teachings, each “folk” each race or ethnic group has a kind of over-soul that interacts with those people, lending them unique characteristics that affect the karma and destiny of tribes, races, and nations. These lectures explore the nature and activities of the various folk souls, their influences, and their meaning in the modern world.
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.