During the year 1924, before his illness in September, Rudolf Steiner gave over eighty lectures, published with the title Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies, to members of the Anthroposophical Society in the following places: Dornach, Berne, Zurich, Stuttgart, Prague, Paris, Breslau, Arnhem, Torquay and London. English translations of these lectures are contained in the following volumes of the series:
Vols. I-IV. Lectures given in Dornach (49)
Vol. V. Lectures given in Prague (4) and Paris (3)
Vol. VI. Lectures given in Berne (2), Zurich (1), Stuttgart (3) and Arnhem (3).
Vol. VII. Lectures given in Breslau (9)
Vol. VIII, the present volume, lectures given in Torquay (3) and London (3).
All these lectures were given to members of the Anthroposophical Society only, and were intended to be material for study by those already familiar with the fundamental principles and terminology of Anthroposophy. The following extract from the lecture of 22nd June 1924, (see Vol. II) calls attention to the need for exactitude when passing on such contents:
The study of problems connected with karma is by no means easy and the discussion of anything that has to do with the subject entails — or ought at any rate to entail — a sense of deep responsibility. Such study is in truth a matter of penetrating into the most profound mysteries of existence, for within the sphere of karma and the course it takes lie those processes which are the basis of the other phenomena of world-existence, even of the phenomena of nature. ... These difficult and weighty matters entail grave consideration of every word and sentence spoken here, in order that the limits within which the statements are made shall be absolutely clear
A brief list of relevant literature will be found at the end of this volume, together with a summarized plan of the Complete Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works in the original German.