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Classics in Anthroposophy Series

The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity

Some Results of Spiritual-Scientific Research into Human History and Development (CW 15)

Rudolf Steiner
Introduction by Hilmar Moore
Translated by Samuel Desch
April 1992
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    1st April 1992
  • ISBN 9780880103640
  • Language English
  • Pages 124 pp.

3 lectures, edited and rewritten by Rudolf Steiner in 1911 (CW 15)

“If periodically we look back on what we have experience or done in life, we make a strange discovery, one that becomes more meaningful for us the older we become. Whenever we think about what we did or said at some time in the past, it turns out that we did a great many things we actually understood only at a later date. When we think of things we did seven or eight years ago—or perhaps twenty years ago—we realize that only now, after a long time, is our mind sufficiently developed to understand what we did or said then.” —Rudolf Steiner

Steiner begins this work by pointing to our awareness of a second self that guides us through life. It guides us as infants and children as we attain vertical balance in space, learn to communicate in community, and begin to think in the world. Through this initial wisdom (which is still connected to the spiritual hierarchies) we enter the physical realm and then, as we grow, we exchange it for self-awareness and memory.

What—or who—is this wisdom? Steiner suggests that it is connected with the “higher self” of humankind that lived in Jesus between his baptism and the Crucifixion. Even if there were no Gospels to tell us of the Christ, we can know of it through human nature. Looking within ourselves and at human history, we are able to understand the spiritual guidance of humanity and human beings. Christ’s sacrifice for humanity is only part of the cosmic, spiritual participation of beings of every level and kind in human evolution.

Steiner’s written works differ from his lectures in their directness, depth, and ramifications, and it was rare for him to take time from his busy schedule to rewrite any of his numerous lectures for publication. However, Steiner considered these lectures essential and important for our understanding of the foundations of spiritual science.

This volume is a translation of «Die geistige Führung des Menschen und der Menschheit» (GA 15).

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf 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.