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Self-Knowledge, the Journey to Wisdom

Higher Knowledge, the Guardian of the Threshold and the Power of Christ

Rudolf Steiner
Compiled by Andreas Neider
Translated by Matthew Barton
August 2015
More details
  • Publisher
    Rudolf Steiner Press
  • Published
    1st August 2015
  • ISBN 9781855844124
  • Language English
  • Pages 98 pp.
  • Size 5.5" x 8.5"

Selections from various volumes in The Collected Works of Rudolf Steiner

Many spiritual traditions speak of a “guardian” or “dweller” who protects the threshold to the spiritual world, warning the unprepared to pause in their quest for higher knowledge. The Guardian reveals the consequences of our negative actions and points to the full reality of our untransformed nature. This experience is said to be one of the deepest and most harrowing on the inner path, but is an essential precondition to any form of true initiation.

The words “know yourself” were inscribed at the entryway to the ancient Greek temple of Apollo. Those who sought initiation in the mysteries were instructed to look within themselves first. Likewise, as spiritual seekers today we need true self-knowledge to distinguish between what belongs to our awareness and what is objectively part of the spiritual environment. Steiner taught that, as long as we draw back from such knowledge, our spiritual quest will be unsuccessful.

When we begin to engage with Anthroposophy, it becomes clear that Steiner’s teachings do not constitute a doctrine or set of dogmas but a path toward deeper understanding. In this essential handbook, the editor gathered many of Rudolf Steiner’s statements on the intricate and arduous path of self-knowledge that offer steady support and guidance.

This volume is a translation from German of Erkenne dich selbst (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 2010).

C O N T E N T S:

About this Book by Andreas Neider

1. The Importance of Self-knowledge for Acquiring Higher Knowledge
2. Seeking to Form an Idea of the “Guardian of the Threshold”
3. The Guardian of the Threshold and Some Characteristics of Supersensible Consciousness
4. Morality on the Path of Knowledge
5. Self-knowledge and Nearness to Christ
6. The Powers of Chris in Our Own Life
7. Knowing Ourselves in the Other
8. Conclusion: Self-knowledge—World Knowledge

Notes and References

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.