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Three Lectures on the Mystery Dramas

The Portal of Initiation and the Soul's Probation (CW 125)

Rudolf Steiner
Translated by Ruth Pusch
August 1983
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    1st August 1983
  • ISBN 9780880100601
  • Language English
  • Pages 108 pp.
  • Size 5.5" x 8.5"

3 lectures, Basel and Berlin, Sept. 17, 1910 – Dec. 19, 1911 (CW 125)

Rudolf Steiner wrote four mystery dramas intended to portray the spiritual path of self-knowledge as described by spiritual science, or Anthroposophy. Those plays are not merely symbolic but realistic depictions in a spiritual sense.

In this book, Steiner describes how "The Portal of Initiation" (the first of his dramas) portrays the intense and tempestuous inner events of initiation as experienced by a young painter. He explains the spiritual background of this character's "karmic" tests and higher guidance. He also discusses the Rosicrucian nature of this play, as well as the "symbolism and fantasy" of the second drama, "The Soul's Probation." Steiner also emphasizes the power of certain fairy tales and poetry for bridging the gap between the spiritual and material worlds. As one of the mystery dramas shows, this is especially valuable for those who tend to be intellectuals.

Rudolf Steiner portrayed much of the wisdom of his spiritual science in the mystery dramas and intended them to graphically depict what he taught all his life. As he said, "If people will exert work with the drama, I will not have to give any more lectures for a long time."

This book is a translation from German of 3 (of 14) lectures in Wege und Ziele des geistigen Menschen. Lebensfragen im Lichte der Geisteswissenschaft (GA 125).


1. Self-knowledge as Portrayed in the Rosicrucian Mystery, The Portal of Initiation
2. On the Rosicrucian Mystery, The Portal of Initiation
3. Symbolism and Phantasy in Relation to the Mystery Drama The Soul's Probation

This book is a translation from German of 3 (of 14) lectures in Wege und Ziele des geistigen Menschen. Lebensfragen im Lichte der Geisteswissenschaft (GA 125).

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (b. Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner, 1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.