In this inspiring lecture, addressed primarily to the anthroposophic movement, Prokofieff gives an overview of how the spiritual hierarchies and Christ, the lord of karma, work in the ordering of human karma.
'It depends on the human being whether he merely conceives of anthroposophy or whether he experiences it.' - Rudolf Steiner During the Christmas period of 1923-4, Rudolf Steiner refounded the Anthroposophical Society at its headquarters in Dornach, Switzerland. This important event, which has come to be known as the Christmas Conference, can be studied on many levels, and its many mysteries have been central to Sergei O. Prokofieff's anthroposophical research over the years. His beginning point has been an enduring question: What did Rudolf Steiner mean when he called the Christmas Conference the 'start of a World-Turning-point of Time'? In this far-reaching work, the author - working from several different viewpoints - guides the reader towards an answer. Prokofieff suggests that the impulse of the Christmas Conference can only be reenlivened today through conscious action by individuals to experience its spiritual essence. Rather than offering dogmatic conclusions, he opens up paths of approaching this goal by throwing light on different aspects of the Conference and what lies at its heart: the Foundation Stone and its Meditation.In particular, Prokofieff explores three key perspectives: the connection of the Christmas Conference with humanity's evolution; the inner relationship of each individual anthroposophist to the Christmas Conference; and the significance of the Conference to Rudolf Steiner himself. Although this is major work of some length, the individual chapters of May Human Beings Hear It! are complete in themselves, and can therefore be studied independently of each other.
A special conference took place in Bologna in spring 2011, marking the hundredth anniversary of a unique lecture Steiner delivered to a philosophically trained audience in the same city. In his key exposition, Steiner had given a concise description of the spiritual-scientific theory of knowledge as well as a brief outline of the anthroposophic path of training. In his contribution to the 2011 congress, Prokofieff tackles two principal aspects. On the one hand, he describes how Steiner's Bologna lecture contained the essential foundations for a new "science of the human ego" (human "I"). On the other hand, Prokofieff states that Steiner was the first person to transform this theory into a practical path of knowledge, following it to its very conclusion. Thus, the words of Steiner's lecture were based entirely on personal experience. Together with a transcript of Steiner's full Bologna lecture, Prokofieff's lecture is reproduced here in an expanded version. In addition, this volume features Steiner's important "summaries of essential points," in which he develops and connects some of his key thoughts with further aspects of Anthroposophy, especially in relation to their Christological foundations.
It is not the author's concern to persuade the reader in an outward way to join the Anthroposophical Society. He is concerned with the communication of a few esoteric viewpoints and possible motives, so that the decision in this regard can develop in a fully aware and responsible manner, based on a solid inner cognitive foundation. For only when the decision in regard to membership in the Anthroposophical Societyfor whatever reason the individual might make itoccurs on such a basis, does it also have spiritual justification" (from the preface).
Rudolf Steiner's core mission, repeatedly delayed due to the incapacity of colleagues, was to pursue contemporary spiritual-scientific research into the phenomena of reincarnation and karma. This stimulating book describes the winding biographical path this mission took, and in particular focuses on the mystery of Rudolf Steiner's connection with the influential medieval philosopher and theologian, Thomas Aquinas. Utilizing numerous archival sources and publications, Thomas Meyer reveals many facts relating to Steiner's core mission, and shows the critical roles played by Wilhelm Anton Neumann and Karl Julius Schroer in its genesis and development. Meyer examines how Steiner's pupils responded to his insights into karma, and places this 'most intrinsic mission' into the context of current divisions within the anthroposophic movement. In particular, he highlights the place of spiritual science within culture and history, showing how Steiner developed the great scientific ideas of evolution propounded by Darwin by raising them to the plane of each individual's soul and spiritual development.As Steiner stated in 1903: 'Scientific researchers explain the skull forms of higher animals as a transformation of a lower type of skull. In the same way one should explain a soul's biography through the soul biography which the former evolved from.'
To acknowledge and understand Rudolf Steiner’s unique achievement and life’s work, one must be able to accept that the founder and spiritual researcher of Anthroposophy was “a citizen of two worlds”: the spiritual and the physical. Anthroposophy teaches that this duality, rather than being a quality reserved for special individualities, is inherent to human nature. According to Rudolf Steiner, it is a central aspect of being human, even in times when the suprasensory aspect of humanity is eclipsed (for ordinary day consciousness) and almost eliminated by certain civilizations. The interest in Rudolf Steiner’s person and essence, in his attitude toward life and work, will continue to grow in the decades and centuries that lie ahead, both within and outside the anthroposophical movement. It will take hold of entirely different groups of people, including those who come with spiritual questions or discover them in times of need. Rudolf Steiner’s work grew to be “one unique effort of bringing courage to human beings” (Michael Bauer). This is the first of seven comprehensive volumes on Rudolf Steiner’s “being, intentions, and journey.” It presents Rudolf Steiner from childhood and youth through his doctorate degree and up to the time of his work for the Goethe Archives as editor of Goethe’s scientific writings. By considering his formative years in depth, we come to understand better the roots and development of Rudolf Steiner’s later spiritual research and teachings. This volume is a translation from German of the first three chapters of Rudolf Steiner. 1861 - 1925: Lebens- und Werkgeschichte. Band 1: 1861 - 1914 (Ita Wegman Institut, 2012).
‘Because I felt that he knew how things were, I said simply:“I will stay with you.” Then he said significant things to me that I was not to repeat. A very ancient karma existing between him and myself was renewed. It was not until many years later that I first realised the significance of that meeting.’ – Ita Wegman Ita Wegman was one of Rudolf Steiner’s most important co-workers, collaborating with him principally in the field of Medicine – co-authoring the key book Extending Practical Medicine and heading the Medical Section of the School of Spiritual Science. In the background to that external work, however, was an esoteric connection. In this seminal work of karma research, the authors attempt, sensitively and with responsibility, to shed light on that spiritual and karmic history. Written for members of the Anthroposophical Society, this book is a profound study of a series of different incarnations linked to the figures of Ita Wegman and Rudolf Steiner. Spread over six disparate lifetimes, they range from Gilgamesh and Eabani (Enkidu) in Uruk, ancient Chaldea, to the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, the twentieth-century setting of the world centre of anthroposophy. Based on copious historical research, verbal statements and not a little spiritual insight, this rare and valuable work, reprinted here for the first time, features many illustrations and facsimiles of documents and personal letters.