In the short interval before the true horror of the First World War unfolded, Rudolf Steiner was able to give these lectures, which lay out in the clearest fashion the path of anthroposophical meditation, and its assumptions, language, and consequences. The first lectures expand on the idea of "reading" and "hearing" as the path to spiritual knowing. The spiritual world gives something and we, as spiritual researchers, receive and then read or interpret it. Spiritual knowledge is not a matter of will, desire, or intention on our part, but a gift from the spiritual world for which we must prepare ourselves by silencing our desires, emptying ourselves, and presenting ourselves in humility and devotion to the spiritual world. Then we become aware of the reality that the spiritual world is nowhere else but here, all around us; and if we dissolve the sense of being skin-bound, we can become open to it, reflect its images in our astral bodies, and then learn to read them by identification. Steiner describes this complex, subtle, profoundly existential and living process in a masterful way from which anyone who meditates, or wishes to begin to meditate, will learn a great deal. The second lecture cycle, "How to Achieve Existence in the World of Ideas," deepens the themes developed in the first cycle to provide a useful guide to the processes underlying meditation or learning to know the spiritual world. At the same time, because work was just beginning on the building that would become the Goetheanum, Steiner connects the esoteric principles of its design with the overall theme of the supersensible human being in its relationship with meditation and spiritual knowing. The volume closes with a celebration of Christmas. Here Steiner has a three-fold emphasis: Christ, supra-terrestrial, glorious, and divine; Christ fully united with humanity and the Earth; and Christ born in each human heart. To truly celebrate Christmas means that we recognize all three of these as one in the spiritual world, in the earthly world, and in ourselves. Book jacket.
Inner Reading and Inner Hearing
Mind, Body & Spirit