An Outline of Occult Science (AE)

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An Outline of Occult Science (Archive Edition)

Written in 1909 (CW 13)

A Guide to the Evolving Destiny of Humanity and the Cosmos

This book “contains the outline of Anthroposophy as a whole,” as Rudolf Steiner states in his preface. The “occult science” presented here is not a “secret” knowledge, but rather knowledge of what remains hidden from ordinary sensory perception. The light of suprasensory research illumines this knowledge and makes it her into an “open secret.”

Following an introduction to the invisible nature of the human body, soul, and spirit—including Steiner’s spiritual-scientific research on sleep, dreams, after-death experience, and reincarnation—the main content of the book begins in chapter 4.

This is a systematic description of cosmic evolution as it presents itself to an individual consciousness that has transcended the limits of space and time. Steiner portrays the immense drama of the cooperative activity of lofty spiritual beings on the complex harmony of the human structure during the seven cycles of previous incorporations of Earth.

Following this sweep through long ages of time, the higher tasks and events of more recent “historical” periods are traces up to the present time and beyond. The fulcrum of this cosmic evolution is shown to be the “Mystery of Golgotha.”

An additional chapter describes the training that students must undertake to prepare for the that of initiation. Steiner depicts the first stages of knowledge of the new “Grail” initiation with the Christ mystery at its center. This path begins with a study of results of spiritual science, including those presented in this book.

The cosmogony outlined in An Outline of Occult Science provides an inexhaustible source of insights into cosmic and human evolution and eventual destiny. With repeated study of this material, readers will find ways to open new vistas of understanding the spiritual origins and connections of the universe, Earth, and humankind.

This volume is a translation by Maud and Henry B. Monges of Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss (GA 13). Lisa D. Monges revised that translation for this 1972 edition.

C O N T E N T S:

Preface, 16th to 20th Edition
Preface, 7th to 15th Edition
Preface, 4th Edition
Preface, 1st Edition

1. The Character of Occult Science
2. The Essential Nature of Mankind
3. Sleep and Death
4. The Evolution of the Cosmos and Man
5. Cognition of the Higher Worlds—Initiation
6. The Present and Future of Cosmic and Human Evolution
7. Details from the Realm of Spiritual Science
8. Special Comments

This volume is a translation by Maud and Henry B. Monges of Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss (GA 13). The translation was revised for this 1972 edition by Lisa D. Monges. This translation has been authorized for the Western Hemisphere by agreement with the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland.

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.

Henry Babad Monges (1870–1954) was born in Texas. As a student of architecture, he received M.S. degrees from the U. C. Berkeley and also graduated from the California School of Design with a teaching certificate. At twenty three, Monges joined the Theosophical Society; twenty-one years later, he resigned over his dissatisfaction with the society’s leadership. In 1915, Henry married Madeleine (Maud) Breckenridge. That year, he also encountered Anthroposophy, to which he dedicated the rest of his life. Henry was instrumental in establishing Anthroposophy and the Anthroposophical Society in North America. In 1922, Henry and his wife Maud began publishing anthroposophic works from their home in Highland, New York, which led to founding Anthroposophic Press (now SteinerBooks). Henry worked tirelessly for the remainder of his earthly life to make Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy known in North America. He died in New York City at the age of eighty-five.

Madeleine (Maud) Breckenridge Monges was married to Henry B. Monges, with whom she lived in Berkeley, California. Together, they were active and devoted students and promoters of Anthroposophy, and both she and Henry translated numerous works by Rudolf Steiner into English. She passed away in March 1936.

Additional information

Weight 20 oz
Dimensions 5.5 × 1.3 × 8.5 in


Henry B. Monges, Lisa Monges, Maud B. Monges




October 1972






CW 13


Steiner Books

Available Resources

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