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Mystics after Modernism

Discovering the Seeds of a New Science in the Renaissance (CW 7)

September 2000
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    1st September 2000
  • ISBN 9780880104708
  • Language English
  • Pages 208 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

The mystics Steiner writes about in this book were early giants in the modern art of illumined self-knowledge. Their ways of seeing the world, God, and themselves foreshadowed all that we practice now in the best of meditation, both East and West. Here, you can read about their essential passion for unity, their practice of intensification of perception, and their ever-fresh insights into the process of knowing itself.


  • Foreword by Christopher Bamford
  • Preface to the 1923 Edition
  • Introduction: Mystics, Natural Science, and the Modern World (by Rudolf Steiner)
  • Meister Eckhart
  • The Friendship with God: Johannes Tauler
  • Cardinal Nicolas of Cusa
  • Agrippa of Nettesheim & Theophrastus Paracelsus
  • Valentin Weigel & Jacob Boehme
  • Giordano Bruno & Angelus Silesius
  • Epilogue
  • Afterword: About the Author, the People, and the Background of This Book (by Paul M. Allen)
  • Preface to First Edition 1901

Steiner immerses us in the evolving stream of these eleven mystics who appeared in central Europe between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries. They managed to resolve the conflict between inner perceptions and the new seeds of modern science and human individuality. Based on the lives of those mystics and on his own spiritual insight, Steiner shows how their ideas can illuminate and preserve our true human nature today.

Rudolf Steiner ends his book with a quotation from the Cherubinic Wanderer, a collection of sayings gathered by Angelus Silesius: "Dear Friend, this is enough for now. If you wish to read more, go and become the writing and the essence yourself."

A previous edition was titled Mysticism at the dawn of the Modern Age.

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.