Wonders of the World: Trials of the Soul, Revelations of the Spirit
11 lectures in Munich, August 18–28, 1911 (CW 129)
“From the contents of original Greek drama and the soul drama of the present day that leads to self-knowledge, Rudolf Steiner develops his thought processes—pulsating with lively contemplation—about wonders of the world, trials of the soul, and revelations of the spirit!” —Marie Steiner
In this remarkable interpretation of Greek mythology, Rudolf Steiner goes beyond Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell in his reading of such mythical figures as Demeter, Persephone, Eros, and Dionysos as primordial archetypes of macrocosmic thinking, feeling, and will. Moreover, he explains in detail how human archetypal consciousness was gradually lost, giving way to newfound, subjective experience of those faculties, which in turn opens possibilities for human freedom. His overarching theme of the “evolution of consciousness” is grand in sweep, while Steiner shows himself to be a master of telling details.
The freshly revised text features an introduction, notes, color images, an index, and appendices by Prof. Frederick Amrine.
This volume is a translation from German of Weltenwunder, Seelenprüfungen und Geistesoffenbarungen (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 1995, vol. 129).
L E C T U R E S:
- The Origin of Dramatic Art in European Cultural Life and the Mystery of Eleusis
- The Living Reality of the Spiritual World in Greek Mythology and The Threefold Hecate
- Nature and Spirit
- The Entry of the Christ Impulse into Human Evolution and the Activity of the Planetary Gods
- The Merging of the Ancient Hebrew and the Greek Currents in the Christ-Stream
- The Ego-Nature and the Human Form
- The Dionysian Mysteries
- Eagle, Bull, and Lion Currents, Sphinx and Dove
- The Two Poles of All Soul Ordeals
- On Goethe’s Birthday
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.
Frederick Amrine is associate professor of German at the University of Michigan. He holds advanced degrees from Cambridge University and Harvard. His publications include Goethe and the Sciences: A Reappraisal, The Bildungsroman, and Literature and Science as Modes of Expression. He has translated several works by Rudolf Steiner.
Owen Barfield (1898–1997), the British philosopher and critic, has been called the “First and Last Inkling,” because of his influence and enduring role in the group known as the Oxford Inklings. The Inklings included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. It was Barfield who first advanced the ideas about language, myth, and belief that became identified with the thinking and art of the Inklings. He is the author of numerous books, including Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning; Romanticism Comes of Age; Unancestoral Voice; History in English Words; and Worlds Apart: A Dialogue of the 1960s. His history of the evolution of human consciousness, Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry, achieved a place in the list of the “100 Best Spiritual Books of the Century.”
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