‘And however paradoxical it may seem today, the “Grail mood” is in the fullest sense to be found in Russia. And the future role that Russia will play in the sixth post-Atlantean epoch... rests firmly upon this unconquerable “Grail mood” in the Russian people.’ – Rudolf Steiner
Transforming Evil, Meeting the Other, and Awakening to the Global Initiation of Humanity
• Yeshayahu Ben-Aharon
With love, humour and brilliant insight, Ben-Aharon addresses some of the most critical questions of our age, ranging from artificial intelligence and global politics to education and postmodern philosophy. Although tackling diverse subject-matter, this accessible anthology – delivered initially as lectures in locations as contrasting as New York, Oslo and Munich – features a coherent inner rhythm. With his lively and intense presentation, the speaker invites us to share and participate in the creative process and the dynamic activity of incarnating new ideas – indeed, to awaken to the very Spirit of our Time.
Can there be such a thing as spiritual science today? Should faith and spirit remain as purely private concerns – or, as traditionally, preserves of the Church? When Rudolf Steiner founded anthroposophy in the early twentieth century, his intention was to create a fundamentally scientific approach to the spirit. His basic works detail methods for developing spiritual consciousness, allowing the individual to replicate the results of his research. This key aspect distinguishes anthroposophy from the wealth of spiritual teachings, sects, cults and religions within the modern cultural milieu. But did Steiner fail in his endeavour to build a scientific path to spiritual knowledge? Is anthroposophy just another ‘theory’ based on intellectual thought, to be analysed and dismissed?
Stigmata - the spontaneous appearance of bodily marks in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ - have long been a controversial phenomenon. Former well-known stigmatics, such as Saint Francis of Assisi, Anne Catherine Emmerich and Therese Neumann, have mostly been associated with the Catholic Church. Judith von Halle however, who received the stigmata at Passiontide in 2004, is a member of the Anthroposophical Society, and has to date published a dozen notable volumes of spiritual-scientific research.
"Emerson was really a working together - a sum total of all the life's paths, the working of karma and the fulfilling of pre-birth impulses and intentions of so many people, both staff and students. Every person who came to Emerson in some way touched it and changed it. Each year had its own biography. It was never an institution to which people came and passed through without leaving any mark on it." - Michael Spence
The Esoteric Inspiration, Rituals and Beliefs of the Knights Templar
• Margaret Jonas
What spiritual or esoteric practices took place within the mysterious and often controversial Knights Templar? Whilst little is known about this aspect of the Order's history, speculation and wild rumours continue to persist.
Whether souls have returned in physical incarnations as Platonists, as Aristotelians, as pupils of Chartres, as members of the Dominican Order, as Templars, as Cathars, or whether these souls accompany us as spiritual beings, a stream of spiritual continuity that begins in the Middle Ages flows through human history.
'Destiny Learning', a path of adult education conceived and developed by Coenraad van Houten (based on the work of Rudolf Steiner), is here expanded to show a threefold way of working with karma: understanding, transforming and ordering. This threefold approach opens new vistas for healing relationships and conflicts, for developing creative faculties for community building, and for taking initiatives based on freedom. The author widens and deepens his previous work on the theme, showing that learning from destiny, as well as awakening the forces of will, are ongoing processes. He offers practical advice that is directly applicable to everyday life.
Written in the years immediately following the Second World War, this brief booklet is a powerful meditation on evil and its eventual transformation. Focusing on the realm of 'sub-nature' or 'the subterranean spheres', Gleich shows how the various layers of the earth's interior are intimately linked with the mystery of evil.
Individuals, groups and organizations find themselves in a process of continual change, transformation and growth. Margarete van den Brink suggests all people, whether individually or in groups, experience the same archetypal process of development, consisting of seven steps. Giving practical examples, she describes how these steps or phases can be recognized in individuals, in relationships and groups, and even in commercial and voluntary organizations. A knowledge of the various steps allows for clarity and vision, helping to prepare for the sorts of challenges and rewards we might face.
Ancient and Modern Spiritual Paths and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Château
• Sylvia Francke
Recent works of fiction and popular history have promoted the idea that the Holy Grail symbolizes a physical bloodline resulting from the union of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. This, supposedly, is the 'secret' that esoteric movements have kept tirelessly for the past 2,000 years. From her groundbreaking research, Sylvia Francke exposes this notion to be a blatant misinterpretation of the mystery traditions that preceded and ran parallel to the birth of Christianity. She traces the ancient spiritual paths of knowledge from the Cathars, the Knights Templar and the enigmatic Rosicrucians, to the work of Rudolf Steiner in the twentieth century. Here, she concludes, is true Grail knowledge: the Tree of Life and the Holy Grail itself explained in their metaphysical context. From her research she suggests a solution to the riddle of the sudden wealth and strange behaviour of Bérenger Saunière, the mysterious priest of Rennes-le-Château in southern France.
Rudolf Steiner argued that the primary function of education is to exercise pupils' faculties of thinking, feeling and willing. These basic human qualities manifest in civilization as the "eternal verities" of truth, beauty and goodness, and these in turn in science, art and religion.
Prokofieff draws on the whole extent of Rudolf Steiner's work and combines it with his own original spiritual research to form an intricate picture of the cosmic forces at play between Christmas and Epiphany. We are led on a tour through the circle of the zodiac and spiritual hierarchies, and shown how they form a path from Jesus to Christ. The author further explains that the Starry Script is a key to anthroposophical Christology, and shows how it relates to the conception of the First Goetheanum. Prokofieff guides us imaginatively through the interior of Steiner's architectural masterpiece, destroyed by fire in 1922, whose structure and decorations are seen to constitute a coherent esoteric map. Our task now, he suggests, is to build the First Goetheanum in ourselves and, through a new schooling of the self, strive for a truly modern path of initiation. Supplementary essays focus on the cosmic aspects of Sophia as well as the being of Michael.