Rudolf Steiner’s Path of Initiation and the Mystery of the Ego and the Foundations of Anthroposophical Methodology
A special conference took place in Bologna in spring 2011, marking the hundredth anniversary of a unique lecture Steiner delivered to a philosophically trained audience in the same city. In his key exposition, Steiner had given a concise description of the spiritual-scientific theory of knowledge as well as a brief outline of the anthroposophic path of training.
In his contribution to the 2011 congress, Prokofieff tackles two principal aspects. On the one hand, he describes how Steiner’s Bologna lecture contained the essential foundations for a new “science of the human ego” (human “I”). On the other hand, Prokofieff states that Steiner was the first person to transform this theory into a practical path of knowledge, following it to its very conclusion. Thus, the words of Steiner’s lecture were based entirely on personal experience.
Together with a transcript of Steiner’s full Bologna lecture, Prokofieff’s lecture is reproduced here in an expanded version. In addition, this volume features Steiner’s important “summaries of essential points,” in which he develops and connects some of his key thoughts with further aspects of Anthroposophy, especially in relation to their Christological foundations.
C O N T E N T S:
Foreword by Sergei O. Prokofieff
PART ONE: SERGEI O. PROKOFIEFF
RUDOLF STEINER’S PATH OF INITIATION AND THE MYSTERY OF THE EGO
Lecture in Bologna, March 31, 2011
PART TWO: RUDOLF STEINER
THE FOUNDATIONS OF ANTHROPOSOPHICAL METHODOLOGY
1. Lecture in Bologna, April 8, 1911
– The Psychological Foundations of Anthroposophy
– A Spiritual-scientific Mode of Perception Based upon Potential Psychological Facts
– The Experiences of the Spiritual Researcher and the Theory of Knowledge
2. Two Summaries of Essential Points from the Lecture in Bologna
– Theosophy and Modern Cultural Life
– A Statement about Theosophy at the Fourth International Philosophy Conference
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.
Sergei O. Prokofieff (1954-2014) was born in Moscow, where he studied fine arts and painting at the Moscow School of Art. At an early age he encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner and quickly realized that his life would be dedicated to the Christian path of esoteric knowledge. He wrote his first book, Rudolf Steiner and the Founding of the New Mysteries, while living in Soviet Russia, and it was published in English in 1994. After the fall of Communism, he helped establish the Anthroposophical Society in Russia. In 2001, he became a member of the Executive Council of the General Anthroposophical Society at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. More than 30 of his books have been translated into English. Sergei Prokofieff passed away in Dornach, Switzerland.