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Posted December 27, 2000
This book is actually a series of articles from a German Theosophical weekly called Luzifer-Gnosis. Not all articles have been included in the book, and the editing is done by the author himself, thus the overall structure can give a kind of blurry impression. At the time of writing these articles the author was the chief editor of the magazine in question. He was also starting a school of meditation, the so-called Esoteric School within the Theosophical Society (at the time Steiner was the head of its German branch). So in a sense these articles were meant as an advertisement for the school, which was running during the ten years from 1904 to the outbreak of WWI. After the war Steiner, then leading a movement of his own, re-edited his major works, including the present title, emphasizing in an appendix that the need for a spiritual teacher, stressed throughout the text, can be replaced by an intimate study of the book itself and the guidance that will come from this study. While this may seem to be an outrageous claim inconsistant with the general thrust of the text itself, it it a known fact by now that it can be that way. Not least the original research of Valentin Tomberg, who never met Steiner in person, shows that Steiner's spiritual guidance can come through in the way he himself foresaw in 1918. The inner attitude required for the kind of training that the present title describes is also well described by Paulo Coehli in his little book The Alchemist, which can be warmly recommended to any student and practicioner of spiritual science.
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Posted December 16, 1999
In this classic account of the Western esoteric path of initiation, Rudolf Steiner leads students to cultivate reverence and inner tranquility and to develop the inner life through the stages of preparation, illumination, and initiation. He describes practical exercises that involve inner and outer observation and moral development. By patiently and persistently following these suggestions, new 'organs' of the soul and spirit begin to form, revealing the contours of higher spiritual worlds previously concealed from us. This is an essential book for understanding Rudolf Steiner as a teacher, counselor, and friend. His advice is down-to-earth, clear, and powerful.
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