3 lectures (revised by Rudolf Steiner), Copenhagen, June 5-8, 1911 (CW 15)
“The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity reveals an extremely artistic composition. Rudolf Steiner weaves together the themes of the beings that guide humanity, the working of the Christ impulse before and after the Mystery of Golgotha, and our common soul experience, in a way that can best be called ‘musical.’” —Hilmar Moore
Steiner begins this work by pointing to our awareness of a second self that guides us through life. It guides us as infants and children as we attain vertical balance in space, learn to communicate in community, and begin to think in the world. Through this initial wisdom (which is still connected to the spiritual hierarchies) we enter the physical realm and then, as we grow, we exchange it for self-awareness and memory.
What – or who – is this wisdom? Steiner suggests that it is connected with the “higher self” of humankind that lived in Jesus between his baptism and the Crucifixion. Even if there were no Gospels to tell us of the Christ, we can know of it through human nature. Looking within ourselves and at human history, we are able to understand the spiritual guidance of humanity and human beings. Christ’s sacrifice for humanity is only part of the cosmic, spiritual participation of beings of every level and kind in human evolution.
Steiner’s written works differ from his lectures in their directness, depth, and ramifications, and it was rare for him to take time from his busy schedule to rewrite any of his numerous lectures for publication. However, Steiner considered these lectures essential and important for our understanding of the foundations of spiritual science.
This volume is a translation of « Die geistige Führung des Menschen und der Menschheit » (GA 15).
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