Esoteric Christianity

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.

 

Death as Metamorphosis of Life

Including "What Does the Angel Do in Our Astral Body?" and "How Do I Find the Christ?"

Rudolf Steiner

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The lectures in Death as Metamorphosis of Life address us in our soul life and speak to our hearts. They make clear the bond that must unite our inner, spiritual work and the outer work of manifesting spirit in life. For, if spiritual wisdom does not live and grow as a reality in the souls of those who practice it, then the practical wisdom of service called for by the spirit of the times will come to nothing.

The particular realities that Rudolf Steiner focuses on are twofold: working with the dead (and the spiritual hierarchies) and coming to know the Christ. What these two have in common is that they are both Earth-centered. They teach us the fundamental importance of everyday human destiny and earthly life—not just for humanity, but also for divinity and the cosmos. We learn not only what the dead can teach us about the spiritual world and the working of the hierarchies, but also what it means to be human in a spiritual sense. We learn of the importance of working with the dead and the angelic worlds, both for our own and for their development, as well as for the future evolution of the Earth.

The Mystery of Golgotha is equally important; we must understand it spiritually. As Steiner says, “It is the will of the gods that the most important event on Earth must compel us to spirituality.” The Christ must be experienced inwardly, not historically. At the same time, he must be found on Earth—for instance, in human destiny. The more we become aware of what is secretly, invisibly, and unconsciously working in our lives, the closer we will come to working with the dead and to the kingdom of Christ.

How can we find the Christ? Steiner quotes the seventeenth-century mystic, Angelus Silesius: “The Cross on Golgotha cannot save you from evil if it is not also raised within you.”

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.

And If He Had Not Been Raised . . .

The Stations of Christ's Path to Spirit Man

Judith von Halle

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At Passiontide 2004, Judith von Halle received the stigmata, the duplication on her body of the wounds of Christ. Following a period of careful consideration, she eventually decided to share this intimate occurrence with a small group in Berlin in Michaelmas of that year. Usually, the phenomenon of the stigmata is either seen as a sheer miracle or simply denied. By contrast, in her first lectures contained in this volume, she tries—based on Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual scientific knowledge—to understand it and its significance for personal destiny.

As a result of receiving the stigmata, von Halle began to experience the events of the life of Christ in full sensory detail. Moreover, she has explored these events through spiritual scientific research, sometimes called “continuity of consciousness.” In the following five lectures, she offers commentary to the Mystery of Golgotha, the “turning point in world history.” Her intention is to stimulate the reader to reflect patiently and repeatedly upon this great mystery and to enter an continually closer relationship with Christ.

Contents:

  • About the Knowledge and Reality of the Resurrection of Christ
  • The Significance of the Phantom, the Resurrection Body, for an Understanding of the Human Being
  • The Mystery of Golgotha as the End of the Old and Beginning of the New Initiation
  • An Account of the Events between Death and Resurrection (Descent into Hell)
  • The Transfiguration on Mount Tabor and the Last Night on the Mount of Olives
  • The Event of Easter at the Time of Christ
  • The Event of Whitsun at the Time of Christ and Its Connection with Anthroposophy

Includes three pages of color plates.

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.

The Healing Power of Prayer

Hans-Werner Schroeder

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My experience of reading The Healing Power of Prayer is that it is, in itself, a taste of the grace of wholeness that awaits us if we but ask. Schroeder's little book is so awake with a warm wisdom that it becomes a portal into the world of Love, into the universe of Hope, and shows us how to walk there upon the foundation of Faith.

None of which is as easy to do as it is to percieve as possibility. Schroeder so gently but clearly makes plain the reason so few of us experience the healing that can come through prayer: we don't feel ourselves worthy to ask, we don't feel worthy to stand alongside Love. And yet, because he allows Love to answer, through his book, and with Schroeder as companion and guide, allowing blessing to be given us becomes a gift in the face of which we can bow our heads.

May this little book touch many hearts.

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

Hardbound, Dust-jacketed, Large Format, Gloriously Illustrated!

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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 Death of Merlin

Arthurian Myth and Alchemy

Walter Johannes Stein

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The story of King Arthur and the Grail still holds a remarkable fascination for many people. In this classic work, Walter Johannes Stein traces its origins in early Christianity and classical and Nordic mythology, and follows its development in medieval and modern times. In particular, Stein explores the parallels between the quest for the Grail and the medieval alchemists search for the Philosopher’s Stone.

The Death of Merlin collects Stein’s essays and lectures from the 1920s and 1930s. The first section contains Stein’s memoirs, which provide context for his research within the culture of the era.

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

Three Virtues

Karl König

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Karl König traces the historical antecedents of the mediaeval vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and brings their contemporary relevance into sharp focus. Poverty today is not only material lack but also spiritual destitution. Obedience can be attained through suffering for the ego to learn humility. Chastity is much more than a vow of abstinence, sexual or otherwise.

This is a beautiful little book.

The Esoteric Meaning of Raphael's Paintings

The Philosophy of Composition in The Disputa, The School of Athens, The Transfiguration

Giorgio I Spadaro

Includes full-color plates of each painting as well as black-and-white line drawings

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Step into three of Raphael's most well-known and also most complex paintings and discover the artist's language that reveals deep truths and relationships both human and divine. Just a glance at any of these paintings quickly reveals that geometry plays an enormous role in the composition, but Spadaro goes well beyond the superficial concept of "balance of composition" to reveal that each degree of placement and it's counterparts carry a deep, often sacred, message to humanity. And he does much more than even this (as if this weren't enough!): He identifies each and every character in these paintings that are so filled with people, introduces us to their story and then paints with his words and drawings the infinitely rich tapestry that their lives contribute, in just that very spot, at just that very moment, to the sum total that each marvelous painting then becomes.

This book is a joy - the work of a master about the work of a master.

Jesus, Lazarus and the Messiah

Unveiling Three Christian Mysteries

Charles S. Tidball with Robert Powell

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No one who has ever paused over the incomprehensible claim that Jesus is fully human and fully divine, and who has studied the Church’s writhing attempts to explicate that claim, should be surprised that the transcendent appears to contradict the evident. Tidball’s book moves beyond orthodox paradoxes to lay out a complex interpretation of the person of Jesus that strives to reconcile textual contradictions (such as distinct genealogies in Matthew and Luke), and to explicate his cosmic significance using sources outside the mainstream of the tradition.... Tidball and his co-author Robert Powell offer a remarkable opportunity to consider the inexhaustible meaning of the Christ, particularly seen as the confluence of cosmic intentions for the divinization of humanity—an expectation for us clearly articulated in the great theologian Arthanasius. Not the least of what amazes here is Tidball’s commitment and the consistency of his achieved synthesis.

— The Rev. Canon Michael Wyatt,
Canon Theologian and Director of Education at the Cathedral College, Washington National Cathedral

At the heart of the mystery of Christianity, we encounter the divinity of Jesus Christ—the revelation of the descent of God from the spiritual world into the material world for the sake of humanity. To unveil the meaning of this cosmic event, authors Charles Tidball and Robert Powell (in his two chapters) draw on four very different sources: the Gospels themselves, medieval and Renaissance tradition and art, the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, and the spiritual science, or Anthroposophy, of Rudolf Steiner.

Viewing the former in the light of the latter, the authors unravel three key riddles: the nature of Jesus, the identity of Lazarus and the meaning of his initiatory “raising from the dead,” and the Messianic mystery of the incarnation of the Christ. In the process, much is learned of the actual dating of the Gospel events, as well the repercussions of these events in history.

This is a book for all those who want a deeper understanding of the New Testament Gospels and, especially, for those interested in the “Jesus mysteries.”

Humanity as a whole produced evangelists as mediators, who provided revelations that can be understood only gradually. These scriptures will be understood more and more as humanity progresses.

—Rudolf Steiner, 1911

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.

Man as a Social Being

and the Mission of Conscience

Karl König

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These lectures about the deeper aspects of contemporary social questions lead the reader ever deeper into the Christian spiritual background of man as a social being, culminating in the majestic lextures on teh esoteric objectives and meaning of the central even of human evolution, the resurrection of Christ. The approach to the social questions König addresses, and the spiritual dimension of his thought, have enormous value for all of us.

Synopses of lectures:

  • In his lectures on 'The Threefold Structure of the Social Organism' and 'The Threefold Social Order' König starts with a march through history, including Ancient Rome and Greece, the Knights Templar, the French Revolution, the 19th and 20th Centuries. Next he relates the social order to the threefold human being, the higher senses and the Christ impulse.
  • In his lectures, 'On Community Building', König turns to the Karlstejn Castle near Prague and the Goetheanum Building near Basel in order to enter into secrets of community building.
  • The lectures about 'Man as a Social Being and the Mission of Conscience', given during Advent, Christmas, the Holy Nights and Epiphany and aided by verses from the Calendar of the Soul, describe the growing voice of conscience. König also refers to Zarathustra, Buddha, Krishna and the Damascus Event.
  • The Easter lectures about 'Re-awakening and Resurrection' make us aware that the Risen Christ is the core of the pulse beat and breath with which man encompasses the depths of the earth and the spheres of life surrounding it.

The Bible's Hidden Cosmology

Gordon Strachan

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Strachan turns back to the roots of biblical wisdom. Patterns appear repeatedly throughout the Bible and influence festivals and belief systems, but what are their bases? And, are they incidental or deliberate?

By returning to the principles of ancient cosmology, that is, how the biblical writers viewed the universe, the author reveals a new understanding of the Bible. He uses the disciplines of music theory, astronomy and astrology, numerology, and sacred geometry to uncover hidden wisdom and allow the ancient secrets of the Bible to shine through.

This book is a compelling whirlwind through the imagery and metaphor inherent in the Bible, giving the reader a deeper understanding of ancient wisdom traditions and a new respect for the implicit coding of the Bible.

The Ninth Century and the Holy Grail

W. J. Stein

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Walter Johannes Stein was a personal pupil of Rudolf Steiner and one of the founding teachers at the original Waldorf School in Stuttgart. His research of the 9th Century and the various Grail legends coupled with his understanding of reincarnation and karma produced what is really the seminal work on the subject from the perspective of esoteric Christianity: The Ninth Century and the Holy Grail.

In studying the central Grail narrative - Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach - Stein takes a twofold approach. On the one hand he searches historical records in order to identify atual people and events hidden behind the Grail epic's veil of romance. As a counterpoint to that, he deciphers Eschenbach's hidden spiritual messages, revealing Parzival to be an esoteric document containing mighty pictures of the huma beings inner path of development.

Most importantly, Stein reveals the period of the ninth century to be of more than historical and academic interest. It is the karmic ground out of which the destiny of modern times grows - the mighty battle that must take place between the powers of the Grail and those of the anti-Grail.

Note: This is one of those books that has been out-of-print more often than it has been available. We are extremely happy to see it on the shelves once again and encourage you to take advantage of its availablility - it is a truly remarkable work.

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

The Life of Christ

From the Visions of the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich 1774-1824

As recorded in the journals of Clemens Brentano

Four volume set

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These four volumes record the visions of the famous 19th-century Catholic mystic, Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich, as recorded at her bedside by Clemens Brentano. Emmerich was nun who beheld innumerable events of biblical times, going back all the way to the creation of the world. Her sense of the mysteries contained in details is amazing, inspiring even. Her visions include the fall of the Angels, the sin of Adam, Noah and the Flood, the lives of St. John the Baptist, St. Anne, St. Joseph, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Mary Magdalen. The focus of her visions however, was the birth, life, public ministry, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, as well as the founding of His Church. It is this that forms the content of this 4-volume set. Her visions and Brentano's work in recording them were known to Rudolf Steiner, who valued them as being highly accurate as mystical pictures describing the actual events.

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.

The Mysteries

Rudolf Steiner's Writings on Spiritual Initiation

Andrew Welburn

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Around this collection of extracts from Steiner's books and lectures, Welburn examines the Mystery schools of the ancient world and their relevance to Christianity and the world today.

Steiner wrote and spoke extensively on the Mystery-structure of the Christian experience. This collection includes his account of the mystic patterns of the ancient world, the pre-Socratic and Platonic philosophers, the initiation Mysteries of Egypt and the Orient, as well as his commentary on the Apocalypse of St. John.

Andrew Welburn is also the author of The Beginnings of Christianity; Gnosis: the Mysteries and Christianity

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.

Becoming Aware of the Logos

The Way of St. John the Evangelist

Georg Kühlewind

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Becoming Aware of the Logos places the reader in the world of living thinking and cognitive love. It teaches the way of grace and truth in a radical, original manner. For the logos, although it is the ground of any true logic, is beyond ordinary dialectic. The author approaches his subject through the unfolding of central themes such as: the logos as speech and relationship; the logos in the beginning; the light in the darkness; the speaker; life; spirit; grace and truth.

According to Matthew

The Gospel of Christ's Humanity

Rudolf Steiner

(formerly titled, The Gospel of St. Matthew)

Introduction by Richard Smoley

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If we read [Steiner’s] lectures with an open and attentive inner eye, we may be able to see the Christ mystery, not as a collection of dogmas or facts, but as a spiritual impulse that stretches far beyond the limits of Christ’s own time and even of the lifespan of Christianity itself. We may even catch a glimpse of the high powers that govern the life of civilizations and of the great entity known as the human race.

—Richard Smoley (from the introduction)

For centuries people have been baffled by the varying accounts of Christ’s life as presented in the four Gospels and have struggled to reconcile them. In these profound and stimulating lectures, Steiner addresses this conundrum. He shows how each of the Gospels presents a different lens onto Christ’s life and message.

Here Steiner reveals the Gospel of Matthew as the one that emphasizes Christ’s humanity. But he does not stop there; his visionary perspective traces Christ’s life and message to spiritual impulses that go back centuries, even millennia, to the legendary civilization of Atlantis, to the mysterious Zarathustra, and to the Jewish sect known as the Essenes.

An introduction by Richard Smoley, author of Inner Christianity, puts Steiner’s vision into perspective for modern readers. Once you have experienced Steiner’s powerful exploration of Matthew, you will never see the Gospels in the same way again.

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.

According to Luke

The Gospel of Compassion and Love Revealed

Rudolf Steiner

(formerly titled The Gospel of St. Luke)

Introduction by Robert McDermott

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Steiner was born with clairvoyant capacities, but it was not until he was forty that he could connect his inner experiences with Jesus Christ. After that ·solemn festival of knowledge,· as he described it in his Autobiography, Steiner received ceaseless revelations about the significance of the Christ·s incarnation. For the next twenty years, he spoke of the hidden background to all four gospels, the Book of Revelations, and even what he called the Fifth Gospel, read directly from the spirit worlds.

These lectures present the most accessible and illuminating of Steiner·s revelations about the significance of the Christ for the spiritual development of humanity. He discusses the link between the Buddha and the Christ, which unites Buddhism and Christianity·not in theory but in the spiritual activities of those two beings. Steiner also describes the relationship between the Greek Mystery traditions and the Mystery of Golgotha:

A sign was to be placed before them as well, a sign that would now be enacted before the eyes of all humankind. The ·mystical death,· which had been a ceremonial act in the Mystery temples for hundreds and thousands of years, would now be presented on the great stage of world history. Everything that had taken place in the secrecy of initiation temples was brought into the open as a single event on Golgotha.

Utilizing a historical overview, revealing the relationship between the great religious traditions, and how they have conspired together for the good of humanity, Steiner never loses sight of the Gospel·s great inner meaning, as echoed in the Gospel of St. Luke: ·The revelation of the spiritual worlds from the Heights and its answering reflection from human hearts brings peace to all whose purpose upon the evolving Earth is to develop good will.·

Contents:

  • Introduction by Robert A. McDermott
  • The Four Gospels in the Light of Anthroposophy
  • The Luke Gospel As an Expression of Love and Compassion
  • Buddha's Contribution to Humanity
  • Formation of the Nathan-Jesus Child
  • Contributions of the Nathan Jesus from Buddha and Zarathustra
  • Elijah, John the Baptist, and Zarathustra
  • Christ, the Great Mystery of Earth Evolution
  • Illness and Healing in Luke and in the Evolution of Consciousness
  • Christ and Maitreya buddha
  • Robert A. McDermott's descriptive outline of Steiner's Lectures on Luke

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.

The Apocalypse of St. John (Steiner)

Rudolf Steiner

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"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet . . ." Thus begins John's account of the momentous revelation that came to him in wave upon wave of pictures so deeply symbolic that they have resounded throughout human history and continue to echo within our human hearts. In these lectures, Rudolf Steiner offers some approaches for grasping the significance of these pictures in ways that can lift up our souls to the life of our spirits.

The Apocalypse of St. John (Bock)

Emil Bock

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$30.00

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Emil Bock interprets John's rich pictorial language, which is often found harsh and mysterious, helping the reader understand that John deals with the universal problems of spiritual development. This is not merely a detailed commentary on the Apocalypse but a profound and encouraging examination of human needs in today's world. Bock shows how we can read The Revelation to understand Christ's position as leader through danger, both in the present and in the future.

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.

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.

The Hidden Agenda

Beyond the Veil of Esoteric Christianity in the Light of Rudolf Steiner's Spiritual Science

Alan Whitehead

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This is a fascinating exposition not only of Esoteric Christianity - especially Rudolf Steiner's exposition of the subject - but also of the ancient mysteries and their relationship to human beings, their transformation as a result of a mingling with the newer Christian impulse, a close look at the four gospels, and much more. Throughout the author returns again and again to the theme of casting aside distracting modern overlays and focusing on the true light of Creative Love - of Christ.

Alive in God's World

Human Life on Earth and in Heaven as Described in the Visions of Joa Bolendas

Joa Bolendas

Foreword by Therese Schroeder-Sheker

Compiled, Translated, and Introduced by John Hill

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I have found enormous wisdom, insight and warmth in the visions of Joa Bolendas. Whenever I have endeavored to carry into my own life a prayer, an attitude, an awareness gleaned from her work, I have always found it to be true and valuable. Working with the world in this way is so fundamentally healing - for oneself and for the world - that my hope is that many more may become aware of her message. This is the message of life lived in awareness of the unity with the divine - and in an awareness that this is to live as a full human being.

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.

Ere the Century Closes

Peter Tradowsky

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$6.95

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Starting from Rudolf Steiner's pointers to the reappearance of Christ in the etheric world as the most significant event of the 20th Century, Tradowsky reveals the hidden threads linking the tragic destiny of Kaspar Hauser with the malevolent rise of Hitler's National Socialism in the 1930s. In the last 10 years of the 20th Century mankind confronts a severe testing by the powers of evil. The concise account of historical influences outlined here suggests not answers, but the contextual landscape in which answers may be sought by all who begin to recognise the significance of the questions now facing mankind.