At the end of his life Rudolf Steiner took up the task that was his special destiny; to bring to the West a knowledge of reincarnation and karma. To do this he gave over eighty lectures in 1924 in which he explicitly and concretely revealed the destinies of various individuals from one life to the next in order to show how the general laws of karma operate in individual cases. He also revealed many details of the karmic streams of the members of the Anthroposophical Society. These volumes constitute an immeasurable contribution to the understanding of reincarnation and karma, and the tasks of the Anthroposophical Society in connection with the Archangel Michael.
Ten lectures given at Dornach, between 5th and 23rd September, 1924. Published here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland.
Translated from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer by Charles Adams, D. S. Osmond and Charles Davy. The original texts of the lectures are contained in Vol. IV of the series entitled Esoterische Betrachtungen karmischer Zusammenhänge (No. 238 in the Bibliographical Survey, 1961).
|Introductory Lecture||September 05, 1924|
|The Anthroposophical Movement and the Anthroposophical Society. States of human consciousness at the present day and in prehistoric times. The life of dream. Chaotic symbolisations of the outer life of sense and revelations of the spirit-world. The spinning of the thread of our destiny during the life of sleep in communion with divine-spiritual Beings.|
|Lecture II||September 07, 1924|
|The continuing thread of karma or destiny is little connected with a man's outer profession or inner calling, but far more with the inner forces and resistances of soul, with moral relationships. Investigation of the thread of destiny requires us to concentrate on certain intimate features of a man's life and on his finer qualities and characteristics. Ludwig Schleich and August Strindberg.|
|Lecture III||September 10, 1924|
|The inner motives of world-history and life cannot be understood unless our gaze is turned to that spiritual background which underlies the outer, physical happenings. The results of former civilisation-epochs are carried into later ones by the personalities of history and are changed in the process. By studying the external aspect we may not immediately recognise these impulses in their new form; they must be perceived as a deeply inward stream. Haroun al Raschid and his counsellor. Arabism penetrates into the culture and civilisation of Europe. The individualities of Alexander and Aristotle go forward with the evolution of Christianity. The 8th Œcumenical Council as the earthly projection of a spiritual event. Ancient Cosmic Christianity and King Arthur's Round Table. Arnold Böcklin. The School of Chartres. Brunetto Latini. Preparation of the Michael stream.|
|Lecture IV||September 12, 1924|
|Continued preparation of the Michael stream through the individualities of Christian Aristotelians and Platonists. Christianity illuminated in the School of Chartres through traditions of the ancient Mysteries. The Goddess Natura. The planetary Intelligences and the spiritual Powers in the fixed stars. Radiations of the living spirituality of the School of Chartres. Until the time of the School of Chartres the Platonic souls are working, and then the Aristotelian, who now begin to descend from the super-sensible to the physical world and to teach in the Dominican Order. The service of Michael is continued in Scholasticism. Rudolf Steiner's experiences in connection with the Cistercian Order. Founding of a far-spread School of Michael in the super-sensible worlds at the time when, in the age of the Spiritual Soul, materialism took its start on earth.|
|Lecture V||September 14, 1924|
|A twilight mood pervades the Platonism of the School of Chartres, while from the super-sensible School of Michael are born the impulses for the spiritual life of the future. These impulses work into the Anthroposophical Movement of the present time. The figure of Julian the Apostate.|
|Lecture VI||September 16, 1924|
|The individuality of Julian the Apostate — Herzeleide — Tycho Brahe. The daemonic idols of Bacon of Verulam. A super-sensible cult at the turn of the 18th and 19th century, which flows down in real Imaginations of a spiritual kind. Inspiration proceeding from the individuality of Julian the Apostate — Tycho Brahe. Schelling. Jacob Frohschammer. The end of the century.|
|Lecture VII||September 18, 1924|
|The importance of a knowledge of karma for understanding the general evolution of spiritual life. The stars are colonies of spiritual Beings. To understand karma we must discover spiritually the paths of man between death and a new birth in connection with the Beings of the stars. Difficulties for the man of modern time in approaching a real wisdom of the stars. The rulership of Michael opens the way for the spiritual investigation of man's path between death and a new birth and the forming of his karma. Intensity of the experiences in the life after death. The figure of Strader; the Battle of the Minstrels in the Wartburg; Heinrich von Ofterdingen.|
|Lecture VIII||September 19, 1924|
|Further examples of the few individualities whose successive earthly lives, if described one after the other, at the same time give descriptions of history. A Roman philosopher belonging to the school of the Sceptics at the end of the first Christian century. Cardinal Mazarini, Hertling. Gregory the Great, Ernst Haeckel. The Council of Nicæa; the hermit, the nun, Vladimir Solovioff.|
|Lecture IX||September 21, 1924|
|Guiding-lines for an understanding of the spiritual life of the present time. Difficulties in the carrying over of spiritual substance, exemplified in four incarnations of a particular individuality. Thomas Campanella — Otto Weiniger. In the soul of this individuality, earlier visionary life and a spiritual world-conception struggle with the rationalism and intellectuality of the modern age.|
|Lecture X||September 23, 1924|
|Emancipation of intellectuality from the elementary human qualities, from the deeper being of the soul. Human bodies of to-day, being altogether attuned to intellectualism, cause the spirituality that comes over from former times to withdraw into the subconscious. To transform into spirituality the intellectualism of the present age is the task of Anthroposophy, which must reckon with the rationalism of the times in order that man may find the path of ideas upward to the Spirit no less than downward into nature. At the end of the 19th century the spiritual element in human souls was dammed up, and in order to reveal itself in any way had to draw back from intellectualism. It will be evident in such men how they shrink from being touched too deeply by modern intellectualism. Plato and the individuality reborn as Goethe. Plato — Hroswitha — Schröer.|