10 lectures, various cities, 1913–1914 (CW 152)
In February of 1913—a landmark year for Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy—the first General Meeting of the Anthroposophical Society was held. In September, the Foundation Stone for the Goetheanum was laid in Dornach. The ground for Anthroposophy as we know it today was established.
Such is the background for the remarkable lectures contained in this volume. Outwardly, they begin to set the record straight. Inwardly, they seek to establish a right relationship of service to Christ and the spiritual worlds in accord with the spirit of the times, the archangel Michael. For the first time, Rudolf Steiner reveals openly the need for a true “Michael School” and that he and Anthroposophy, the fruit of his spiritual research, are earthly representatives of Michael.
Christ and Michael are the explicit guiding lights of this collection, which itself represents a profound act of Christ–Michael service. With courage, devotion, and conviction, Rudolf Steiner, now free and independent, the “teacher” of his own “school,” sets about unveiling the truth and reality, as he knows it. Again and again, he returns to the sacrificial deeds of Christ—creative, sustaining, and enabling our humanity—before, during, and after Golgotha.
The teaching at the heart of this volume, as it is at the heart of the Christ, is selflessness: the overcoming of egotism and the primacy of the other. “We must become selfless—that is the task of culture today for the future. Human beings must become more and more selfless. Therein lies the future of right moral life actions, the future of all acts of love that can occur through earthly humanity.”
C O N T E N T S:
Introduction by Christopher Bamford
1. Esoteric Science and Esoteric Development—Initiation
2. Christ at the Time of the Mystery of Golgotha and Christ in the 20th Century
3. The Michael Impulse and the Mystery of Golgotha (1)
4. The Michael Impulse and the Mystery of Golgotha (2)
5. Christ’s Path through the Centuries
6. The Three Spiritual Preliminary Stages of the Mystery of Golgotha
7. The Christ Impulse across the Ages and It’s Power in the Human Being
8. The Christ Spirit and Its Relation to the Evolution of Consciousness
9. Progress in the Knowledge of Christ: The Fifth Gospel
10. The Four Sacrifices of Christ: The Three Precursors of the Mystery of Golgotha
Approaching the Mystery of Golgotha is the first complete English translation of «Vorstufen zum Mysterium von Golgatha» (GA 152).
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.
Christopher Bamford is Editor in Chief, Emeritus, for SteinerBooks and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. He is the author of The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity (1990) and An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West(2003). He has also translated and edited numerous books, including Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness (1982);Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science; and The Noble Traveller: The Life and Writings of O. V. de L. Milosz (all published by Lindisfarne Books).