1 lecture, Dornach, Switzerland, August 4, 1924 (CW 237)
“Be a person of initiative, and take care that the hindrances of your own body or hindrances that otherwise confront you do not prevent you from finding the center of your being, where the source of your initiative lies. Likewise, you will find that all joy and sorrow, all happiness and pain, depend on finding or not finding your own individual initiative” (Rudolf Steiner).
Rudolf Steiner urges those who feel the calling of the Archangel Michael to become people of initiative. Anthroposophists should be aware that initiative lies in their karma, and much of what meets them in this life will depend on the extent to which they can become willingly, actively conscious of it.
In the second half of this inspiring lecture, Steiner describes how the being of Ahriman is able to work through the personal intellect of human beings today. Consequently, we are called on to remain inwardly awake and vigilant at all times.
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.
Matthew Barton is a translator, editor, teacher, and poet, and taught kindergarten for many years at the Bristol Waldorf School. His first collection of poems was Learning To Row (1999). He has won numerous prizes for his work, including an Arts Council Writer's Award and a Hawthornden Fellowship.