The Mystery of the Earth
The Mystery of the Earth
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The Mystery of the Earth

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The Mystery of the Earth: Essays in the Time of Coronavirus

“Rudolf Steiner himself did not just comment critically about the out-of-hand ‘fear of bacilli’ or the “obsession with hygiene” as “modern superstition,” but also warned about the dangerous reality of ‘pathogens of the worst kind’ that could become ‘destroyers of human life’ and bring with ‘dreadful epidemics.’”

This volume gathers a collection of essays on the medical, sociopolitical, and spiritual dimensions of the Covid crisis, written by Peter Selg between Easter and Pentecost 2020. He offers these essays as a means of orientation and of “explorations” (in Paul Celan’s meaning). The author emphasizes in his preface, however, that representatives of Anthroposophy nevertheless have an obligation to speak out on the subject:

“If they silence or censor themselves because they do not want to seem in any way negative as a result of their critical reflections, or because even ‘before corona’ they quickly became the target of various accusations, they lose nothing less than the justification for their existence, their inner identity and credibility, as well as their ‘historical conscience’—the crucial meaning of which Rudolf Steiner pointed to time and again and not without reason.”

C O N T E N T S:


The Mystery of the Earth
Where Are the Sources of Life to Be Found?
No Standing Still
Perspectives on Epidemic Infectious Diseases in the Work of Rudolf Steiner
A Medicalized Society?
The Difficult Way to the “Whitsun Path”

Paris and the Fifth Gospel (2019)
“The Mystery of the Earth” (1929), by Ita Wegman


This book was originally published in German as Mysterium der Erde. Aufsätze zur Corona-Zeit (Verlag des Ita Wegman Instituts, Arlesheim, Switzerland, 2020). An earlier English translation of the essay “A Medicalized Society?” (translated by Thomas O’Keefe and Charles Gunn) first appeared in Deepening Anthroposophy, no. 9.1. In this volume, that translation has been revised.

About the Author

Peter Selg was born in 1963 in Stuttgart. He studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke, Zurich, and Berlin and, until 2000, worked as the head physician of the juvenile psychiatry department of Herdecke Hospital in Germany. Dr. Selg is director of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy (Arlesheim, Switzerland) and professor of medicine at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Germany). He lectures extensively and is the author of numerous books on Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Science, and the development of culture and consciousness, many of which have been translated and published in EnglishHe is married with five children.

Thomas O’Keefe discovered Anthroposophy while studying philosophy at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2007. He founded the newsletter Deepening Anthroposophy in 2012, has been a student at the Seminary of the Christian Community in North America, has done editing and translating work for SteinerBooks, Temple Lodge Publishing, Wynstones Press, Occident Verlag, and Inner Work Books, and has been a coworker at the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy in Arlesheim, Switzerland. He currently works as the editorial director of Chadwick Library Edition, a project that aims to publish new or revised translations of twelve of Rudolf Steiner’s core written works in special hardcover editions.

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Dimensions 5.5 × 0.6 × 8.5 in


Charles Gunn, Douglas E. Miller, Marguerite V. Miller, Thomas O'Keefe




July 2012






Steiner Books


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