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.
Following on from his popular first reader Patter-Paws the Fox, Brien Masters presents us with twelve further stories for school children. This time, however, his exuberant tales are related more closely to the modern, urban experience of the town-dweller. We are introduced to many new and delightful characters, both animal and human, such as Rory the guide-dog and his master Scotty, Trevor the puzzled postman, Wriggly-Caterpillar, and Fudge-fed Bee. Once again, the narratives are complemented by the inspiring illustrations of Brian Gold.
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.
‘Growing old is a constant battle... One has the experience of being squeezed out of one’s bodily home, and one sets out to protect oneself against it, and holds on to what one can.... But when we make an effort to grow old in the right way, which means transforming what is earthly into what is spiritual, we are working at the transubstantiation of the earth.’
A Celebration of Rudolf Steiner's book The Philosophy of Freedom
• Karen Swassjan
Swassjan's sparkling humour, wit and lively style spill over every page, making this a thoroughly unique discourse on Rudolf Steiner's book The Philosophy of Freedom. His brilliant insight and comprehensive scholarship will ensure that your attention is engaged to the very end.
Valentin Tomberg was for many years a strong proponent of the science of spirit, anthroposophy, founded by Rudolf Steiner. He became prominent as a lecturer and writer, but in 1945 turned away from anthroposophy and converted to Roman Catholicism, authoring two influential Catholic texts. Nevertheless, a number of Tomberg's modern-day followers have maintained that he remained faithful to esoteric Christianity and Rudolf Steiner.
Based on personal knowledge and intimate interviews with his subject, as well as access to W.J. Stein’s archive of letters and documents, Tautz’s biography is a thoroughly-researched and lovingly-detailed study of an exceptional life.
Reports from the Religious-Social Institute, Stockholm
• Gunnar Hillerdal • Berndt Gustafsson
‘And at this moment a peculiar, inconceivable, but wonderful thing happened. Suddenly – I assure you, completely unexpected and unwished for – I felt precisely that Someone stood beside me, Someone who radiated comfort and strength. And I heard, but without sound... as clearly and distinctly as if someone had literally spoken to me: “Do not despair, you are not alone, I am alive.”’
Is there truly life beyond death? What really happens when we die? Can the living stay connected with, or even help, their loved ones who have passed on? Answers to these questions have traditionally been sought for in Eastern religions but – perhaps surprisingly for some – they can also be found within the Christian tradition. In fact, such knowledge was prevalent in early Christianity, but was gradually suppressed and eventually forgotten.
Unlike other works on this theme, Sergei Prokofieff's short book is not a straightforward introduction. Presupposing an acquaintance with the basic principles of anthroposophy, it focuses instead on the central Christological insights which form the core of Rudolf Steiner's philosophy.
Receiving, Considering and Acting on their Messages
• Irene Johanson
"When an angel wants to be perceived he fixes his eyes on me. It feels the same as when a person stares at you. You look up from your book or your work and look in the direction from which the stare is coming. I am aware there is someone in the room, but I do not know, before I turn round, whether it is an angel, three angels, my dead father, my son's teacher or someone else. The presence can be felt, like the presence of a bodily human being... Once, an archangel was present. The air gets so dense, so full, it makes you afraid. You have the feeling you are being overwhelmed, you are not able to breathe any more..."