Published in 1904 (CW 10)
Rudolf Steiner's foundational handbook for spiritual and personal development has grown more modern with time, though his methods remain clearly distinguishable from many current paths of inner work. First, Steiner's method is based on the clarity of thought normally associated with scientific research. Instead of denying clear thinking, his aim is to extend it beyond its present limitations. Second, Steiner recognizes—as do all genuine paths—that the way to spiritual experience is arduous and dangerous and calls for self-control in thought, word, and action. The human being comprises a unity, and we cannot develop knowledge without a corresponding development of feeling and will.
Steiner predicted that humanity would begin to experience a longing for forms of experience that transcended intellectual, materialistic thinking. More than a hundred years after the first publication of this book, countless means are offered for achieving transcendental experience, including Eastern meditation practices, channeling, remote viewing, and astral projection. Moreover, there has been a huge increase in the number of people who report various suprasensory perceptions, such as near-death experiences and meetings with angels. In this context, Steiner's key spiritual guidebook is needed more than ever, given its unique, precise instructions for inner training, its protective exercises, and its indications for staying grounded and centered. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds begins with the preconditions for personal development and guides the reader through the stages of initiation, its practical aspects, and its effects.
This volume is a translation from German of the written work Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der höheren Welten? (GA 10).
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.
Peter Bridgmont is involved in voice training at the Globe Theatre in London. He has been a professional actor in theater, films, and on radio and TV. In 1975 he and his wife, Barbara, opened the Chrysalis Theatre Acting School in London.