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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"

Written in 1901, based on lectures at the Theosophical Library, Berlin (CW 7)

“Natural science makes bread; the ‘mystics’ taught the way of cultivating their souls as a garden in which such seeds could sprout and reach their full potential. ‘Mysticism’ from this point of view is an inner process that can illuminate and transform—make transparent to their higher meaning—outer facts. The fragmented multiplicity of the ‘dissected’ world becomes thereby unified in meaning.” — Christopher Bamford (foreword)

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.

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 illumine 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."

“The present book, Mystics after Modernism, is a fruit of Steiner’s lecturing activity. The substance of it was contained in a series of lectures he gave in Berlin beginning just after Michaelmas in 1900 when he was thirty-nine. Steiner wrote later, ‘By means of the ideas of the mystics from Meister Eckhart to Jacob Boehme, I found expression for the spiritual perceptions that, in reality, I decided to set forth. I then summarized the series of lectures in the book Mystics after Modernism.’” — Paul Marshall Allen (afterword)

Mystics after Modernism is a translation from German of Die Mystik im Aufgange des neuzeitlichen Geisteslebens und ihr Verhältnis zur modernen Weltanschauung (GA 7), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach, 1993. A previous edition was titled Mysticism at the dawn of the Modern Age.

C O N T E N T S:

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


Afterword: About the Author, the People, and the Background of this Book (by Paul M. Allen)
Preface to First Edition: 1901
Bibliography and Further Reading

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.