Esoteric Christianity

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The Spiritual Background to Christian Festivals

Charles Kovacs

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The rhythms of the Earth can be seen, for example, in the daily cycle of day and night and in the yearly seasonal changes. Rudolf Steiner spoke of how Christian festivals such as Easter, Pentecost (or Whitsun), and Christmas fit not into only these patterns, but also into the macrocosmic rhythms of the cosmos and into the microcosmic human rhythms.

In this concise, readable volume, Charles Kovacs explores the structure of our calendar year and considers in detail the background to the various Christian festivals, including less popular St. John's Tide and Michaelmas.

The Spiritual Background to Christian Festivals offers inspiring insights into why we worship and celebrate at particular times, as well as discussions of the deep spiritual significance of the Christian year.

Love and Its Meaning in the World

Lectures by Rudolf Steiner

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After over 25 years of reading this book and thinking about its content, I am of the opinion that these are Steiner's most important lectures. A better knowledge and understanding of their content would go a long way toward removing a lot of the dogmatism and hierarchical thinking that has permeated the Anthroposophical movement and the world at large over the years. The title lecture alone is worth the price of the book - in it Steiner clarifies with poignant and exquisite beauty that the Being called Christ is Love, that anyone for whom Love is the primary reality of life is "Christian," regardless of whether he or she has ever heard of Jesus or Christ.

In relation to his development of Anthroposophy, love is the very heart and ground of all Steiner's teaching, the foundation of all he did, and all he hoped that others would do. These are the lectures that make that usually implicit assumption explicit - these are the lectures that reveal the foundation of his work. Steiner taught that, without love, nothing is possible; but that with love, we can do everything. Love is always love of the not-yet. To love is to create; it is to enter selflessly into the current of time that flows toward us from the future.

This collection brings together all of Steiner's main lectures and writings relating to love - from earthly love to the nature and function of spiritual love. Among the topics included are: The Mystery of Love; The Division into Sexes; The Mission of Reverence; the Buddha's Teaching of Compassion; and Love, Faith, Love, Hope; and the title lecture.

Wonderful reading!

Christianity as Mystical Fact

Rudolf Steiner

Translated by Andrew Welburn

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Rudolf Steiner clearly presents a vision of the relationship of Christ to the world that is both creation centered and universal. We hope that the understanding possible through these thoughts will transform discord between "Christians" and "non-Christians" into renewed understanding, moving us beyond our apparent differences toward a celebration of every possible way of seeing Love alive in the Earth today.

 

The Timeless Storyteller

A Study of the Parables in the Gospels

Evelyn Francis Capel

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Originally, Christ told the parables to crowds gathered by the lakeside in Galilee, to his disciples in private, and even to his opponents. These parables grow from age to age as human consciousness develops, revealing as little or as much as we are able and ready to hear. In The Timeless Storyteller, Capel considers twelve of Christ's parables in a way suitable for our time.

The Lord's Prayer

An Esoteric Study

Four Lectures by Rudolf Steiner

Introduction by Judith von Halle

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The Lord’s Prayer is at the very heart of Christianity. Over the past two millennia, it has been recited many millions of times by millions of people around the world. Here, Steiner affirms the power of the prayer given by Jesus Christ, encouraging us to understand its most profound meanings. Such understanding, he tells us, has become necessary for humanity’s continued development.

In these four lectures, Rudolf Steiner penetrates the esoteric significance of the Lord’s Prayer by relating the seven petitions in the prayer to the seven spiritual and physical human bodies. He also discusses the difference between prayer and meditation and shows how real prayer is truly selfless.

This volume features an introduction by Judith von Halle, whose work is valued for her experiential knowledge of the Lord’s Prayer and the events of Christ’s life.

Secrets of the Stations of the Cross and the Grail Blood

The Mystery of Transformation

Judith von Halle

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After she received the stigmata in 2004, Judith von Halle began vividly to experience the events that occurred at the time of Christ. These continuing experiences are not visionary or clairvoyant in nature, but constitute an actual participation, involving all human senses, in the events themselves. To complement this method of witnessing Christ’s life, von Halle applies a spiritual-scientific mode of observation—a form of research based on one’s true being—the human “I”—crossing the spiritual threshold while fully conscious. Combining the results, here she describes, in her most powerful book to date, secrets connected to various events of Christ’s Passion.

Von Halle discusses the Mystery of Golgotha in its relationship to the formation of the Resurrection Body; the Mystery of the Spear Wound in Christ’s side and the Grail Blood; and how Christ’s Seven Words on the Cross relate to the Stations of the Cross.

Easter

The Legends and the Facts

Eleanor C Merry

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In this volume, Eleanor Merry applies her remarkably wide-ranging knowledge of world religion and mythology to the Easter story. She focuses on three legends: that of The Holy Grail and Perceval; an old Irish legend, and the legend of Faust.

With the Sun, the Moon, and Nature forming a continuous background to her ideas, Merry draws out the common themes that lead, ultimately, to the Christian Easter story.

Parzival

The Quest for the Holy Grail

Illustrated by David Newbatt

Based on Wolfram von Eschenbach's epic poem as translated by Mustard and Passage - retold by David Newbatt

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Parzival is one of the great classic stories of the last millennium, a colourful tale from the time of knighthood, full of romance, love and adventure.

David Newbatt's illustrations in this book bring a refreshingly vivid and direct interpretation of the Quest for the Holy Grail. The accompanying text gives a brief introduction to some of the many characters and events portrayed in this epic tale, in a clear and concise way.

It is the artist's intent that his (sumptuous!!) book be a lively introduction to Eschenbach's great work, not a replacement. However, the joy of discovery that awaits the reader, whether or not you are familier with the original story, is so exciting that this book itself can be the source of hours of pleasure and deepened understanding about our own human story.

Parzival is a great story for reading by the fireside. It is also a deep and intense piece of literature in which is portrayed an individual's archetypal biography, which can speak to us today in our own search for the modern Grail Temple.

The Knitghts Templar

The Mystery of the Warrior Monks

Rudolf Steiner

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During the early twelfth century, the Knights Templar were established, allegedly, to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. In the process, the knights became famous for their pioneer banking system, crusading zeal, and strict vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty. As membership grew to around 15,000, they came to be seen as a threat by Philippe le Beau of France, who disbanded the group in 1307 and tortured their leaders for confessions of heretical practices. King Philippe accused the order of heresy, sodomy, and blasphemy.

Recent fictional works and popular histories have created a renewed interest in the mysterious Knights Templar, with numerous contradictory and fantastic claims made about them, thus adding to the enigma surrounding the warrior monks of France.

In this unique collection of lectures and writings by Rudolf Steiner, a new perspective emerges. Based on his spiritual perceptions, he speaks of the Templars’ connection to the esoteric tradition of St. John and the Holy Grail and their spiritual dedication to Christ. He describes a secret order within the Templars and their strange rituals. He also sheds light on the Templars’ attitude toward the Roman Church and the spiritual forces that inspired their torture and confessions.

Isis Mary Sophia

Her Mission and Ours

Selected lectures and writings by Rudolf Steiner

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The rebirth of the feminine surrounds us in many forms·from the global movement for women·s rights to a renewed interest in feminine spirituality, the Goddess, and the Divine Mother. What is the spiritual meaning of this rebirth? What is the feminine divine? Who is she?

The feminine divine has had many names in many cultures: Ishtar in Babylon, Inanna in Sumeria, Athena, Hera, Demeter, and Persephone in Greece, Isis in Egypt, Durga, Kali, and Lakshmi in India. She is the Shekinah of the Cabalists, and the Sophia of the Gnostics. To Steiner, she is Anthroposophia, who descended from the spiritual world and passed through humanity to become now the goal and archetype of human wisdom in the cosmos.

This book contains most of Steiner·s statements on Sophia. We see him ·midwifing· the birth of an awareness of the Sophia, the new Isis, and divine feminine wisdom, in human hearts on earth. With this birth, he also offered a new and renewed understanding. Each chapter explores the mystery of the various relationships of Sophia: Sophia and Isis, Sophia and the Holy Spirit, Sophia and Mary, the mother of Jesus (and Mary Magdalene), Sophia and the Gnostic Achamod, and Sophia and the New Isis.

Above all, in a remarkable way, Steiner makes clear the relationship of Christ and Sophia.

Contents:

  • Introduction by Christopher Bamford
  • Prologue: Living Thinking Thinking Is an Organ of Percpetion
  • Thinking Unites Us with the Cosmos
  • The Holy Spirit and the Christ in Us
  • Sophia, the Holy Spirit, Mary, and Mary Magdalene The Virgin Sophia and the Holy Spirit
  • Mary and Mary Magdalene
  • Sophia Is the Gospel Itself
  • Wisdom and Health
  • The Nature of the Virgin Sophia and of the Holy Spirit
  • Isis and Madonna
  • Wisdom and Love in Cosmic and Human Evolution
  • The Being Anthroposophia
  • The Gifts of Isis
  • From the Fifth Gospel
  • Sophia and Achamoth
  • The Legend of the New Isis
  • The Search for the New Isis
  • Sophia and Pistis
  • Michael, Sophia, and Marduk
  • A Christmas Study: The Mystery of the Logos

Seeing Christ in Sickness and Healing

Anthroposophical medicine as a medicine founded in Christianity

Dr. Peter Selg

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For those who are in daily contact with people who are ill or in need, there may be a tendency to forget the larger purpose of healing because of a need to focus on the day-to-day mechanics of healthcare. Anthroposophic medicine, however, encompasses more than the physical body—it is also concerned with the soul and individual biography of patients, which brings a broader dimension to conventional medical care.

Peter Selg shows how anthroposophic therapies draw heavily on the Christian concept of healing as seen in the Christian Bible. In practical terms, he suggests that, through meditation, healers and caregivers can allow the healing power of Christ to work through them. They must come to recognize that sickness is part of a person’s destiny and that the healing process can help realize the purpose of the sickness for the person’s individual life story.

Nurses, caregivers, social workers, therapists, counselors, and doctors can all benefit from this insightful book.

The Grail Legend

Emma Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz

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Emma Jung who, in addition to being married to Carl Jung was also a student of Rudolf Steiner's, made the legend of the Holy Grail her life's work. When she died before completing her work, Marie-Louise von Franz (Carl Jung's best student) took up the task and bought the work to completion. The result is The Grail Legend.

Writing in a clear and readable style, the authors present the Grail legend as a living myth that is profoundly relevant to modern life. We encounter such universal figures as the Fool (the naive young Perceval), the Wise Old Man (the Hermit Gornemanz), the Virgin Maiden (Blancheflor), the Loathly Damsel, and such important theses as the Waste Land, the Trinity, and the vessel of the Grail. Weaving together narrative and interpretation, the authors show us how the legend reflects not only fundamental human problems but also the dramatic psychic events that form the background of our Christian culture.

This is a book that I have found rewarding in both the depth of its insight and the pleasure of its story. A rare combination! Very highly recommended.

Parzival & Gawain

Two Plays from The Grail

A. M. Miller

Translated and edited  by Daniel J. Polikof

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A beautiful way to encounter the archetypal characters of the Grail legends, whether you already know the stories or not. These plays read beautifully and are suitable for high school and community drama performance.

A worthy contribution to the Grail literature, Daniel Polikoff's inspired translation captures the high drama and lyric beauty of Miller's art. These dramatic recastings of the German original build a bridge to modern times, and admirably reflect the ideals and enthusiasm for the spirit that the Grail legends evoke in so many seekers.

Bruce T. Donehower, PhD University of California, Davis

Paths of the Christian Mysteries

From Compostela to the New World

Virginia Sease and Manfred Schmidt-Brabant

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In recent decades, there has been an upsurge of interest in ·the Camino,· the pilgrim·s route to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. But where does this fascination in the spiritual exploration of the Middle Ages come from, and what is its significance?

Virginia Sease and Manfred Schmidt-Brabant assert that we live in a time of spiritual quest, discovery, and change. Humanity is becoming increasingly sensitive, and primal memories are beginning to emerge in people·s consciousness. Within this dynamic context of inner transformation, the Camino·s historic importance is being reechoed in human souls.

Rudolf Steiner explained that people need to live not only with outer history, but also with the esoteric, hidden narrative behind it·the history of the Mysteries. Today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the authors suggest that it is increasingly necessary for us to live consciously with this veiled history of humanity·s continual search for communion with the divine world.

Based on long research and contemplation, the authors present a survey of extraordinary breadth and depth. Focusing on the spiritual history of humankind, they begin with the cosmic origin of the Grail Mysteries and culminate with the suprasensory Michael cultus and the being of Anthroposophia.

Topics also include:

  • the school of Athens;
  • early Christian art and its Gnostic impulses;
  • the Grail initiation in northern Spain;
  • the role of the Cathars and Troubadours in the Manichean spiritual stream;
  • the Camino to Santiago de Compostela and the esoteric aspect of music for the pilgrims;
  • the Music of the Spheres and the Elders of the Apocalypse;
  • the Templars as emissaries of the Holy Grail;
  • the initiations of Christian Rosenkreutz and his relation to anthroposophical art;
  • the early Rosicrucian impulses in America and Europe;
  • and much more.

Esoteric Background of Waldorf Education

The Cosmic Christ Impulse

René Querido

Five lectures given at the Annual Waldorf Teacher's Conference in Spring Valley, NY in 1993

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My recollection of René Querido from the years when I worked at Rudolf Steiner College is that the topic of this book was actually the passion of his life. For whenever he was able to speak publicly or privately about the Cosmic Christ, especially as the living foundation of Waldorf Education, he lit up with an enthusiasm that both captivated and inspired whoever listened.

I believe you will find in these printed lectures the same energy and spirit many of us were fortunate to experience first hand - and learn a great deal about both Waldorf Education and esoteric Christianity as well.

Reverse Ritual

Rudolf Steiner and Friedrich Benesch

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Perception of the idea in the reality is the true communion of the human being.

-GOETHE

When we think of rites and rituals we usually think of something that has to do with a church. There are various rituals, however, in which we are all involved whether or not they have an outward form: pre-birth, death, and after-death, for example. There is still another ritual available to all: the path of attaining spiritual knowledge, which has been called the "reversed ritual" in anthroposophy. As Steiner describes it this ritual of knowledge is formed by "the free spiritual activity of the human being, in awareness of the God as a spirit."

Every true ritual has the same four parts: revelation, offering, transformation (or transubstantiation), and communion. The differences between rituals have to do with the ordering of these four parts, as well as with their forms and purposes. While the sacraments proceed from revelation to offering to transubstantiation to communion, the ritual of spiritual knowledge moves from communion to transformation, then to offering and revelation. Here, Steiner's research and lectures, and Benesch's further elucidations, render a detailed comparison of the various ritual forms, leading us to a deep appreciation of the reversed ritual: the ritual of knowledge.

  • Part One: "The Spiritual Communion of Humanity" (5 lectures, GA 219)
  • Part Two: "Preparing for the Sixth Epoch"
  • Part Three: Commentaries by Friedrich Benesch; and Appendices with selections from Dietrich Asten, "Spiritual and Sacramental Communion,"and Athys Floride, "Human Encounters and Karma."

The Secret Stream

Christian Rosenkreutz and Rosicrucianism

Rudolf Steiner

With an Introduction, "Who Added the Roses to the Cross?" by Christopher Bamford

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Rosicrucianism is one of the most important, and least recognized, streams of Western spirituality. The publication of the first Rosicrucian texts in the early seventeenth century created a cultural riot, the so-called Rosicrucian furore. Forced underground in the maelstrom of the Thirty Years War, Rosicrucianism was passed down secretly by alchemists, hermetists, and Masons into the nineteenth century, when it inspired new spiritual movements, including theosophy, the Order of the Golden Dawn and Rudolf Steiner's spiritual science.

This book collects from many different sources Steiner's discussions on Rosicrucianism: The Tao and the Rose Cross; the history and mission of Christian Rosenkreutz; the nature of Rosicrucian practice and experience; the meaning of The Chemical Wedding; Goethe's Rosicrucian poem "The Mysteries;" and how to meditate on the Rose Cross itself.

Edited and introduced by Christopher Bamford, The Secret Stream brings to light the hidden fraternity that has lived and worked since the fourteenth century and uncovers the Rosicrucian path that is Christian, alchemical, and profoundly modern.

The Gospel of St. Mark

Rudolf Steiner

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Mark is the choleric Gospel writer, someone who's strength of will and conviction impressed the page with compact descriptions, crisp images, and a Greek that retained the concise depth of Mark's native Aramaic. From beginning to end, you can read his Gospel in about an two hours--but it will be two hours of potential personal breakthrough into a personal knowing of Christ Love. Steiner's lectures unveil the human and cosmic mysteries that inform what appears as St. Mark's brief account, and re-present this Gospel as the one in which the full relationship of Christ and the human being, Jesus of Nazareth, is revealed.

The Gospel of St. John

Rudolf Steiner

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John was the disciple of whom it could truly be said that "his head rested on Christ's heart." Rudolf Steiner began his work of renewing the world's understanding of Christianity with these lectures, focusing on the most deeply spiritual of the Gospels. The result is one of the most probing and inspiring accounts of the mysteries of the Divine Word in its various manifestations and intent. These lectures are a priceless treasure.

The Gospel of St. John in Relation to the Other Gospels

Rudolf Steiner

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This lecture series was my first introduction to Steiner's Christology, and quite an introduction it was. It was here that I first learned to consider that the parables and events of the other three Gospels may have been deeply symbolic while the apparently symbolic, miraculous Gospel of St. John may be the most accurately historical. The retraining of thinking and viewpoint that I received through these lectures was truly one of the most postive events of my life.

Friend of My Heart

Meeting Christ in Everyday Life

Claire Blatchford

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How, when, and where can one meet this Friend of every heart? My guess is that there are as many ways of meeting him as there are human beings in the world. I have heard of people who met him unexpectedly in near death experiences, during illnesses, or at crossroads in their lives. Some of these people saw and heard him, while for others the experience was less direct but no less meaningful. For example, they heard his voice or sensed his presence in the words or deeds of a friend or a stranger. I have also read of people meeting him because they earnestly desired it. Whether we are conscious or not of wanting to meet him, I believe his wish for the encounter is always present, but he never forces himself upon us. I have always felt complete respect from him for my freedom, both inner and outer" (from Friend of My Heart).

To open this book is to open yourself to the possibility of an extraordinary meeting. For this is the story of such a meeting, and it is one that can happen to anyone who wants it. The book begins as each of us must begin--with a declaration of hope, heartfelt longing, expectation. Gathered from more than twenty-five journals over twenty years, the messages in this book invite us to listen in the spirit of simplicity, openness, and faith, and then to be attentive to what stirs within. First comes the question: how, when and where can one meet this Friend of the heart? The answer comes from the author's experiences and the messages she has received inwardly. Made deaf by illness at the age of six, Claire Blatchford speaks to us about how to listen and how to hear from our own inner and outer lives.

These are primary messages, put into the context of the author's life, that enable us, in the context of our own lives, to enter into a relationship with this Being who is the Friend of every heart. Friend of My Heart leaves us with the profound sense that we can all stand truly as our own selves in the presence of love.

Willi Sucher - the Father of Astrosophy

Cosmic Influences in and around the Year 2000

Karl M. Levin

DVD - 50 minutes

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The title only addresses a portion of this fascinating talk by Willi Sucher, the father of Astrosophy. In this rare (possibly the only) footage filmed in 1984, Sucher gives a brief summary of his life and work; explains the difference between astrology and astrosophy - the former focusing on present influences on human beings of planetary relationships, the latter a discovery of the rhythms Cosmic Christianity within the lives of individuals and humanity as a whole; and discusses the nature of these influences at the end of the millennium. This is a talk that is so interesting you will want to know much more about both the man and his work.

Cosmic Christianity & the Changing Countenance of Cosmology

Willi Sucher

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Cosmic Christianity attempts to understand the connection between the earthly and the extraterrestrial worlds by understanding how the cosmic world - expressed in the movements of the stars - and the deeds of Christ during the three years of his ministry are related. The gestures of each of the classical planets during these years are worked out, and correlated with the specific deeds of Christ as recorded in the Gospels. For example, the apparent looping movements of the planet Mercury are connected to the so-called "seven signs" or miracles described in the Gospel of St. John. Sucher then explores the many ways in which these healing deeds, inscribed in the heavens during the "three years," continue to work on in evolution through historical events and human biographies. Through studying this we realize how human beings are responsible for developing the new Christian mysteries, thereby renewing the cosmos of the stars.

Egyptian Myths and Mysteries

Lectures by Rudolf Steiner

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This unique series of lectures leads to an understanding of the progression from Egyptian spiritual perception to the mystery of Golgotha. In Egyptian Myths And Mysteries, Rudolf Steiner emphasizes the astonishing and special relationship between our own time and that of ancient Egypt -—how, in the natural rhythm of the ages, the so-called third Post-Atlantian (Egyptian) epoch is mirrored by the fifth (present) epoch. In this sense, it is particularly relevant to look today with fresh eyes at ancient Egypt. The evolution of Western civilization has been permanently influenced by Egyptian myths by way of the Greek mysteries.

Due to other influences, however, this heritage has degenerated —thinking has "mummified," and myth has all but disappeared. It has become necessary in our time, therefore, to revive the seed of goodness passed down to us from ancient Egypt. Through true imagination, we have the task of renewing human knowledge of the creative forces in nature, as the Egyptians attempted through the Osiris-Isis myth, and the Greeks through the myth of Demeter. This is what Rudolf Steiner attempts in this lecture cycle. Steiner discusses experiences of Egyptian initiations, esoteric anatomy and physiology, the stages of evolution of the human form, and much more. The final lecture is on the Christ impulse as the conqueror of matter.