The Effects of Esoteric Development
10 lectures at The Hague, March 20–29, 1913 (CW 145)
Address in Berlin, February 3, 1913
“The future of spiritual esoteric movements such as ours will depend more and more upon the realization that human spiritual development is necessary. Whoever rejects or is hostile toward spiritual development will thus have identified with what is no longer useful on Earth, with what is withered and shriveled, and will have abandoned cosmic evolution as willed by the gods.” —Rudolf Steiner
On February 3, 1913, the first General Meeting of the newly formed Anthroposophical Society was convened in Berlin. Six weeks later, in Holland, Rudolf Steiner spoke for the first time to an anthroposophic audience in a detailed, intimate way about individual esoteric training and the subtle effects of spiritual development on every level of one’s being.
Beginning with questions regarding the body’s experience of food and drink—meat, coffee, alcohol, and so on—he lays out the progression of anthroposophic spiritual inner work, up to direct perception of “Paradise” and the Holy Grail. He discusses the role of human beings in our evolution that takes place between the forces of Lucifer and Ahriman.
Included is Steiner’s important lecture “The Being of Anthroposophy,” which this volume introduces to the English-speaking world. This edition also includes Steiner’s “introductory words,” previously available only as an unpublished German typescript.
The Effects of Esoteric Development is a translation from the German of Welche Bedeutung hat die okkulte Entwicklung des Menschen für seine Hüllen—physischen Leib, Ätherleib, Astralleib—und sein Selbst? (GA 145).
C O N T E N T S:
Introduction by Christopher Bamford
Prologue: “The Being of Anthroposophy” (Feb. 3, 1913)
1. “The Influences of Esoteric Life on the Human Sheaths”
2. “The Question of Food”
3. “The Senses and the Temperaments in Esoteric Training”
4. “The Differentiated Experience of the Etheric”
5. “Transforming Judgments, Feelings, and Willing”
6. “The Paradise Legend and the Holy Grail Legend”
7. “Astrality’s Struggle with Egoism—Amfortas and Parzifal”
8. “The Guardian of the Threshold—Cain and Abel”
9. “Centaur and Sphinx—Lucifer and Ahriman—Christ in the Etheric Sphere”
10. “The Etheric Body as a Picture of Cosmic History”
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.
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