In the popular imagination, the Holy Grail—which played a central role in the legend of King Arthur—belongs in the realm of myth. The Knights Templar also play an enigmatic role in popular legends. Despite the immense volume of historical research available, plausible explanations to the “mystery” at the core of their practices have yet to be revealed.
By studying these two themes side by side and showing their interrelationship, Willem Veltman reveals significant new perspectives. On the one hand, he demonstrates that the “poetic imagination” of the Grail mystery originated in actual historical events. On the other hand, he shows that the true history of the Knights Templar is essentially esoteric.
Combining historical research with insights gained from the work of Rudolf Steiner, Veltman presents an impressive survey of the subject, beginning with pre-Christian mysteries and ending with his vision of Michaelic Christianity. Veltman analyzes the significance of the holy city of Jerusalem, the Temple of Solomon, the Temple Legend, the Grail Temple, the Rosicrucians, the Templars’ gold, and the charged issue of evil.
In addition, Willem Veltman sketches the continuation and metamorphosis of the Grail and Temple impulses in the future, including the critical role of Europe in “balancing” East and West. To become effective, this important European task—which, according to Veltman, is being continuously thwarted—must be correctly understood in the realm of human consciousness.
Willem Frederik Veltman was born in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1923. During World War II, he encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner. He was later asked to become a teacher at the Waldorf School in The Hague, which had been closed by the Nazis and reopened immediately after the war. He remained at the school for forty years, teaching French and art history and organizing numerous theatrical performances.
Philip Mees was born in Holland and has lived in the United States since 1969. He is a retired bank officer and was for many years a trustee of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation (RSF Social Finance, San Francisco CA). He is a long-time student of Rudolf Steiner’s work and one of his particular interests is the evolution of human consciousness through the ages as expressed in art, as well as in human actions in everyday life today. His principal retirement occupation is translating Dutch anthroposophical books, in which his ably assisted by his wife Linda Connell. Linda and he live in Glendale CA.