The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity


This volume contains the stenographic records of lectures Rudolf Steiner gave to members of the Anthroposophical Society in Stuttgart during a number of visits to that city in 1920.

Sources. The lectures were taken down by a number of stenographers whose names are not recorded. The original German text of the book was based on the full texts written out by the stenographers afterwards. These are kept in the archives of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlass-Verwaltung in Dornach.

The German title of the book was not given by Rudolf Steiner but by the editors.

Other works by Rudolf Steiner that are part of the German Collected Works (Gesamtausgabe GA) are referred to by their GA numbers in these notes.

Most of the notes are translations of the notes in the German edition. A few have been added by the translator. These are identifiable from the letters TN at the beginning. Published German and English titles are shown in italics. Translations of German titles have been given initial capitals as appropriate if published in English; initial capitals have not been used where titles have merely been translated to inform English-speaking readers as to their meaning.

1. Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, German philosopher. Referring to Feuerbach's anthropomorphism, Rudolf Steiner repeatedly quoted from his book Das Wesen des Christentums (1841), e.g. in a lecture given in Dornach on 15 October 1921 (Anthroposophie als Kosmosophie, GA 207, English title Cosmosophy).

Ludwig Buechner, German physician and materialist philosopher.

2 ‘Die Weisheitslehren des Christentums in Lichte der Theosophie’ (The wisdom taught in the Christian faith in the light of Theosophy),Colmar, 21 November 1905 (no written record in existence).

3 Details not known.

4 Paul Deussen, philosopher and Sanscrit scholar.

5 Richard von Garbe, Sancrit scholar.

6 Johann Gottlieb Fichte, German philosopher. Die Bestimtnung des Menschen 1800.

Friedrich Wilhem Joseph von Schelling German philosopher. Bruno, oder über das göttliche and natürliche Prinzip der Dinge. Ein Gespräch (Bruno, or concerning the divine and natural principle of things. A dialogue).

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, German dramatist, poet and historian. Briefe über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen (letters on aesthetic education) 1795.

7 Ralph Waldo Trine, American writer.

8 Stuttgart, 21 December 1919. In Weltsilvester and Neujahrsgedanken GA 195. English in The Cosmic New Year. London: Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co. 1938.

9 A. Ferrière. La loi du progres economique et la justice sociale. Suisse-Belgique Outremer juillet-aout 1919; 1:no.3-4

10 Grigoriy Efimovich Rasputin, reputed ‘holy man’ who influenced the Tsarina and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

TN. William II (1859–1941), third German emperor and ninth king of Prussia.

11 Dr Roman Boos. anthroposophical lecturer, writer in the field of social sciences. Pioneer of the Threefold Movement.

12 TN. plaisamerie — joke; méchanceté — spitefulness, malice.

13 Prince-Archbishop Johann Baptist Katschthaler, Salzburg, Austria. Pastoral of 2 February 1905 entitled 'Die dem katholischen Priester gebiihrende Ehre' (The honour due to Catholic priests), reprinted in Carl Mirbt Quellen zur Geschichte des Pabst-rums and des rdmischen Katholizismus (Sources relating to the history of the papacy and of Roman Catholicism) 5. Aufl. Tubingen 1934, S. 497 ff. The passage relating to the powers of consecration is given below.

‘Honour your priests, for they have the power of consecration. Catholic priests have this wonderful power of consecration, Protestant pastors do not. This power of consecration, to make the Body of the Lord be present, with the precious Blood, with the whole of His sacred humanity and His divine nature in the Bread and the Wine — that is a great and sublime power, a truly extraordinary power! Where in heaven is a power like that of the Catholic priest to be found? Among the angels? Or does the Mother of God have it? Mary conceived Christ, the Son of God, in her womb and gave birth to Him in the stable in Bethlehem. Yes. But consider what happens during Holy Mass! Does not the same thing happen, as it were, when the priest raises his hands in blessing during the consecration? Christ is really and truly made to be present, to be reborn, as it were, in the Bread and the Wine. Mary bore her child in Bethlehem, wrapping it in swaddling clothes; a priest does the same, as it were, placing the wafer on the corporal cloth. Mary brought her child into the world just once. But see, a priest does this not once, but rnany hundreds and thousands of times, each time he celebrates the Mass. There, in the stable, the child which Mary gave to the world was small, capable of suffering and mortal. Here, on the altar, in the hands of the priest, we have Christ in His glory, not capable of suffering and also immortal, sitting in heaven to the right of the Father, glorious and triumphant, perfect in every regard. Do priests merely make the Body and Blood be present? No. They sacrifice, offering sacrifice to the Heavenly Father. This is the same sacrifice that Christ brought by shedding His blood on Calvary and bloodlessly at the Last Supper. There the eternal High Priest Jesus Christ sacrificed His Flesh, His Blood and His very Life to the Heavenly Father; here, at the Mass, He does the same through his representative, the Catholic priest. He ordained priests to take His place so that they might continue the same sacrifice that He had brought. He has transferred to them the authority over His sacred humanity, giving them power over His body, as it were. A Catholic priest is able not only to make Him be present on the altar, lock Him up in the tabernacle, take Him out again and give Him to the faithful to eat, he is actually able to offer Him, the Son of God become Man, as a bloodless sacrifice for the living and the dead. Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father by whom heaven and earth were created and who sustains the whole world, submits to the Catholic priests in this respect.'=’ (Italics as in the original text given by Mirbt.)

14 ‘Suprema lex regis voluntas’. William II (see note 10) wrote this in the Golden Book of the City of Munich. See also J. von Kiirenberg War alles falsch? Das Leben Kaiser Wi/helms II. (Was it all wrong? A life of the emperor William II. Translated into English and published in 1954, but exact English title not known), Basle-Olten 1940; German edition S. 190.

15 Dionysius the Areopagite (an Athenian converted by St Paul): ‘ the Heavenly and Ecclesiastical Hierarchies' and The hierarchy of the church,’ in Die angeblichen Schriften des Areopagiten Dionysius, übersetzt and mit Abhandlungen begleitet von J.G. V. Engelhardt (Writings ascribed to Dionyius the Areopagite, translated and provided with commentaries by J.G.V. Engelhardt), part 2, Sulzbach 1823.

16 Aurelius Augustinus, De Civitate Dei. libri XII.

Dante Alighieri, De Monarchia.

17 Wycliffe, John, English reformer.

Hus, or Huss, John, Bohemian reformer, burned when the Council of Constance condemned his and Wycliffe's writings.

18 TN. Luke 17:20-21. Rudolf Steiner was quoting from the Luther Bible, but saying 'gods' instead of 'God'.

19 Grim, Herman, Fragtmente (vol. 1), Berlin & Stuttgart, S. 212: ‘For the people of today [1891], it is no longer the Wars of Liberation fought against Napoleon I that are the last important historical event in their lifetime, but the Wars of Liberation fought against Austria and France in the 1860s and 1870s. We have been a nation where children had to be taught that they would never be permitted to act freely in influencing the destinies of their country. Today, however, Germans are compelled to act in this way. Fifty years ago it would have been unthinkable to make it part of education to tell children that they would one day be citizens of a great united German Empire and that their duties towards God, the Emperor and their country would one day also consist in having to elect someone to represent them in a German Parliament, basing their choice on their personal judgement of the country's needs. Just to utter such things would have sounded like high treason and might have ruined the life of the person who uttered them.’

20 ‘Der Weg zum gesunden Denken und die Lebenslage des Gegenwartsmenschen’ (A way to develop sound thinking and people's life situation in the present day), Stuttgart 8 June 1920. Published in Geisteswissenschaft und die Lebensfordeningen der Gegenwart No. 6, Dornach 1950. To be published in Germany in GA 355. No record of translation into English.

21 Lenin (formerly Ulyanov), Vladimir Ilyich, Russian revolutionary.

Trotsky. Leon (Lev Davidovich Bronstein), Russian revolutionary leader in 1917.

22 Basler Vonvärts of 2 June 1920. X.N. , ‘Die Politik der Sowjetregierung auf dem Gebiete der Religion’ (Soviet government policies concerning religion).

23 See Franz Brentano. Die Psychology des Aristoteles (The psychology of Aristotle), Mainz 1867. S. 199 ff.

24 Traub, Friedrich, professor at Tuebingen University, author of Rudolf Steiner als Philosoph und Theosoph (Rudolf Steiner as a philosopher and theosophist), Tuebingen 1919.

25 For details relating to this see Boos, Roman, ‘Aktenmäßige Darstellung der Hetze gegen das Goetheanum’ (The virulent campaign againt the Goetheanum presented in documents), in Rudolf Steiner/Roman Boos: Die Hetze gegen das Goetheanum (The virulent campaign against the Goetheanum), Arlesheim 1920.

26 Refers to the Council's rejection of ‘trichotomy’. Rudolf Steiner referred to this on a number of occasions, e.g. in Bausteine zu einer Erkenntnis des Mysteriums von Golgatha GA 175, 1st and 2nd lectures. English translation in Cosmic and Human Metamporphoses. H. Collison ed. London: Anthroposophical Publishing Co. 1926.

27 Mathilde Reichardt, a lady who published a book on science and moral philosophy in the form of letters to Moleschott in 1856, is able to lay undoubted and unenviable claim to rank first among those who turn moral concepts upside down. It is the opinion of this lady that moral philosophy merely has to ask whether a human individual develops his or her inherent traits in a balanced way. Yet nature — so she says — expresses a different intent in every human individual. She therefore does not hesitate to state ‘that when someone has an inherent tendency to cheat and to steal, such a person can only be an entirely moral person if he or she is a cheat or a thief.’ ‘Someone born to be a thief has also been born with the right to live out those inherent tendencies, developing them to the full, for that is the only way in which he or she can be a strong and moral individual. And what applies to thieves also applies to all other vices, including those born to be murderers.’
(Quoted from Jurgen Bona Meyer, Philosophische Zei&agen, Bonn 1874, S. 323 f.)

28 Vogt, Carl, champion of Darwinism.

Moleschott, Jakob, physiologist.

Buechner, Ludwig, German physician and materialist philosopher.

29 Die Philosophie der Freiheit (1894), GA. 4. English: The Philosophy of Freedom. M. Wilson tr. London: Rudolf Steiner Press 1970.

30 ‘Die Erziehung und der Unterricht gegenüber der Weltlage der Gegenwart’ (Education and teaching in the light of the present world situation), Stuttgart 10 June 1920. Published in Geisteswissenschaft und die Lebensforderungen der Gegenwart 6, Dornach 1950. To be published in GA 335. No record of translation into English.

31 Die Kernpunkte der Sozialen Frage in den Lebensnotwendigkeiten der Gegenwart und Zukunft (1919) GA 23. English translation: Towards Social Renewal. F.T. Smith tr. London: Rudolf Steiner Press 1977.

32 See Rudolf Steiner's Mein Lebensgang (1923–25) GA. 28. English translation: Rudolf Steiner: An Autobiography. R. Stebbing tr. New York: Rudolf Steiner Publications 1977.

33 Von Seelenrätseln (Riddles of the soul) (1917) GA. 21. Parts translated into English in The Case for Anthroposophy. Owen Barfield tr. London: Rudolf Steiner Press 1970.

34 Molt, Emil, see ref. 37.

Kühn, Hans, writer and publisher.

Unger, Carl, grad. engineer, owner of machine tool works, member of Council of the German Anthroposophical Society from 1905, lecturer and writer. Shot by a mentally sick individual in Nuremberg in 1929.

Leinhas, Emil, businessman, managing director of Der Kommende Tag AG (see ref. 39), writer.

35 Seiling, Max, first a follower then an opponent of Rudolf Steiner. Bore the title Privy Councillor.

TN. Rudolf Steiner used word-play here, calling Hofrat (Privy Councillor) Seiling an Un-Rat. The word Unrat means garbage, refuse, ordure.

36 An das deutsche Volk und an die Kultunvelt! (Appeal to the German nation and the civilized world), pamphlet, 1919, reprinted a.o. in Towards Social Renewal (ref. 31).

37 Appeal to establish a Council for Culture. Whitsun 1919, signed by many well-known figures in cultural life.

38 Waldorf School: intergrated primary and secondary school established by Emil Molt in 1919 for the children of workers in the Waldorf Astoria Cigarette Factory and the general public. This was done under the guidance of Rudolf Steiner who also appointed the teachers and himself gave the preparatory teachers' seminars.

39 Der Konunende Tag, Aktiengesellschaft zur F6rderung wirtschaftlicher and geistiger Werte (join-stock company for the promotion of economic and cultural values), established in Stuttgart in March 1920. Rudolf Steiner was Chairman of the Board until 1923. The company became a victim of post-war inflation in Germany and had to be dissolved in 1925.

40 Stuttgart 16 June 1920; published in Landwirtschafi und Industrie/Neuordnung des Bodenrechtes als soziale Forderung der Gegenwart (Agriculture and industry/New proposals for land ownership as a social requirement for the present age); quoted from the writings and lectures of Rudolf Steiner, Roman Boos ed., Stuttgart 1957, S. 84 ff. (to be published in GA 335). No record of translation into English.

41 Spengler, Oswald, German historic writer. Der Untergang des Abendlandes (Decline of the West, C.F. Atkinson tr.) Munich, vol. 1, 1918, vol. 2, 1922.

42 Die Philosophie des Thomas von Aquino. 3 lectures given in Dornach on 22-24 May 1920. GA 74. English translation: The Redemption of Thinking. A.P. Shepherd, M.R. Nicoll tr. London: Hodder & Stoughton 1956.

43 Durch den Geist zur Wirklichkeits-Erkenntnis der Menschenrätsel: Philosophie und Anthroposophie. Vier Marchen (aus den Mysteriendramen). Anthroposophisicher Seelenkalender. Der Seelen Erwachen, 7. und 8. Bild. [Discovering the reality of the riddles of human nature through the spirit. Philosophy and Anthroposophy. Four tales (from the Mystery Plays). Calendar of the Soul. The Soul's Awakening, scenes 7 and 8]. Berlin 1918.

44 TN. Eckhart, Johannes, known as Meister Eckhart, German mystic.

45 Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der höheren Welten? 1904. GA 10. English translation: Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. G. Metaxa tr., D.S. Osmond, C. Davy rev. London: Rudolf Steiner Press 1976.

46 Trinity Group: a sculpture in wood generally referred to as the Group Sculpture at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. It shows the Representative of Humanity between Lucifer and Ahriman.

47 Dessoir, Max. Vom Jenseits der Seele. Die Geheimwissenschaften in kritischer Betrachtung (From the beyond of the soul. A critical assessment of the occult sciences). S. 254 ff. Stuttgart 1917.

48 Die geistige Fahrung des Menschen und der Menschheit, 1910. GA 15. English translation: The Spiritual Guidance of Man and Humanity. H.B. Monges tr. New York: Anthroposophical Press 1970.

49 Prof. Hugo Fuchs, Goettingen. See also Rudolf Steiner, ‘Ein paar Worte zum Fuchs-Angriff’ (A few words on the attack made by Fuchs), in Dreigliederung des sozialen Organismus 2. Jahrg. Nr. 5 (Aug. 1920); reprinted in Aufsätze zur Dreigliederung des sozialen Organismus and zur Zeitlage 1915-1921 GA 24.

50 Dreigliederung des sozialen Organismus 2. Jahrg. Nr. 4, Beilage (Juli 1920).

51 Atwood, George. English mathematician, invented a machine to illustrate the motion of a body falling under the action of gravity.

52 Von Jesus zu Christus GA 131. English translation: From Jesus to Christ. H. Collison tr., C. Davy rev. London: Rudolf Steiner Press 1973.

53 Die Geheimwissenschaft im Umriß 1910. GA 13. English translation: Occult Science. An Outline. G and M. Adams tr. London Rudolf Steiner Press 1969.

54 Wasmann, Erich, entomologist. Major researches on ants. The MS of the lecture is not quite clear at this point, and the German editors have added the words in [ ].

55 Literally Goethe said the following:
‘It is said that the truth lies halfway between two contradictor), opinions. Far from it! The problem lies in between, it cannot be beheld; life, for ever active, calmly thought’ Maximen und Reflexionen).
The MS of the lecture had been quoted verbatim in the earlier German edition but has been found to be incomplete and therefore was revised for the German edition on which this translation is based.

56 Christlieb, Max, a friend from Rudolf Steiner's time at Weimar who had done much to make The Philosophy of Freedom more widely known when it had just been published. See also Rudolf Steiner and Christlieb Ludwig Kleeberg, Wege und Worte, 2. Aufl. 1961 S. 76 ff. This also refers to the Marburg occasion.

57 ‘Die groflen Aufgaben von heute im Geistesleben, Rechtsleben und Wirtschaftsleben. Eine dritte Gegenwartsrede.’ (Major presentday tasks in cultural life, the sphere of rights and in economic life. A third topical talk.) Publ. in Rudolf Steiner: Drei Gegenwartsreden (Three topical talks), Heft 8, Dornach 1952. To be published in GA 335.

58 See conclusions of lectures given on 11 and 17 January 1920 in Geistige und soziale Wandlungen in der Menschheitsentwickelung. GA 196, S. 52 & 82 ff. (Cultural and social changes in the evolution of humanity). No record of translation into English.

59 Rohm, Karl, editor of the journal Der Leuchtturm, Lorch (Württemberg).

60 Further details in E. Uehli, ‘Die gestohlene Dreigliederung’ in Dreigliederung des sozialen Organismus 2. Jahrg. Nr. 11 (Sept. 1920).

61 Knapp, Alfred, established 'Internationaler Orden fiir Ethik und Kultur' (International Order for Ethics and Culture).

62 Tagore, Sir Rabindranath, Nationalism (also translated into German).

63 James, William, American psychologist and pragmatic philosopher.

64 ‘Das Märchen von der griinen Schlange und der Lilie’ (Tale of the green Snake and the Lily) in Unterhaltungen deutscher Ausgewanderten 1795, Weimarer Ausgabe, 18. Bd., S. 225 ff.

65 Humboldt, Karl Wilhelm von, Ideen zu einen Versuch, die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staates zu bestimmen (Ideas for an attempt to determine the limits of effectiveness for a political state) 1792.

66 Wilson, Thomas Woodrow, The State. Elements of Historic and Practical Politics (also translated into German).

67 Keely, John Worrell. See also lecture given by Rudolf Steiner in Dornach on 1 Dec. 1918 in Die soziale Grundforderung unserer Zeit/In gednderter Zeitlage GA 186 S. 70 ff. English translation in In the Changed Conditions of the Times. O.D. Wannamaker tr. New York/London: Anthroposophic Press/Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co. 1941.

68 TN. The Franco-Prussian War 1870–71.

69 TN. Throughout this lecture Rudolf Steiner used an invented word, Technizismen (technicisms) for ‘products of technology’.

70 Stuttgart 10 November 1920, ‘Die Geisteskrisis der Gegenwart und die Krafte zum Menschheitsforschritt’ (The spiritual and cultural crisis of the present time and the forces that mean progress for humanity). To be published in GA 335.

71 Bayle, Pierre, French philosopher. Statement has not been traced to date.

72 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Die Leiden des jungen Werther (The sorrows of Werther) 1775. Weimarer Ausgabe, 19. Bd.

73 Miller, Johann Martin. Siegwart, novel published in 1776 (2 y ears after Werther), very popular for a time.

74 Paquet, Alfons, writer. Im korrunzinistischen Ruffland In communist Russia, appeared in 1919.

75 See also public lecture referred to in note 69.

76 Clemenceau, Georges. French physician and politician.

77 Harnack, Adolf von. German theologian.

78 ‘Goethe als Vater einer neuen Aesthetik’ lecture to the Goethe Society in Vienna on 9 November 1888; first published in Vienna in 1889, reprinted in Methodische Grundlagen der Anthroposophie 1884–1901 GA 30 and Kunst und Kunsterkenntnis GA 271. English translation: Goethe as Founder of a New Science of Aesthetics. G. Metaxa tr. Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1922.

79 Stuttgart 16 November 1920, ‘Die Wahrheit der Geisteswissenschaft und die praktischen Lebensforderungen der Gegenwart’ (The truth of spiritual science and the practical requirements of present-day life). To be published in GA 335.

80 Keyserling, Hermann, Graf. German philosopher.

81 Keyserling, Hermann, Philosophie als Kunst (Philosophy as an art), Darmstadt 1920.

82 Keyserling, Hermann, Das Reisetagebuch eines Philosophen (Travel Diary of a Philosopher, 1925), Darmstadt 1919.