Three Paths to Christ: Experiencing the Supersensible
14 lectures, various cities, January 11 – December 29, 1912 (CW 143)
Replete with fresh immediacy, rich spiritual content, innovation, and occasional humor, these talks were given at a time when Rudolf Steiner was preparing for independence from the Theosophical Society. Alongside the much-loved lectures “Nervousness and Ego Development”—in which Steiner shares practical exercises for coping with contemporary life’s challenges—and “Love and Its Significance in the World,” the collection finds a focal point in descriptions of the three soul paths to Christ. The first of these is via the Gospels; the second through inner experience, and the third through initiation, which Steiner characterizes as a path that transcends religion. He further elaborates these themes in a lecture entitled “Mysteries of the Kingdoms of Heaven in Parables and in Real Form.”
Elijah, John the Baptist, Raphael, and Novalis form a golden thread throughout, appearing as a fourfold herald of true Christianity of the future. In a moving yet astringent tribute to H. P. Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, on the tenth anniversary of her death, Steiner adds Christian verities not embraced by Blavatsky during her lifetime, as well as two stirring talks that set the mood for Christmastime—via Matthew, Eudocia and Luke—rounding off the volume with paeans to Novalis.
These lectures are complemented by an introduction by Margaret Jonas, detailed notes, and an index.
This volume is a translation from German of Erfahrungen des Übersinnlichen. Die drei Wege der Seele zu Christus (GA 143).
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.