The Mysteries of Initiation
From Isis to the Holy Grail (CW 144)
4 lectures, Berlin, Feb. 3–7. 1913 (CW 144)
In this concise study, Rudolf Steiner sketches the evolution of the mysteries, from ancient Persia through Egypt and Greece to the present Christian era. He traces the line of initiates from the Egyptian divinities Isis and Osiris to Moses and to King Arthur’s Round Table and the Holy Grail in the twelfth century.
Steiner focuses on the process of initiation in historical terms—how initiation worked in ancient Egypt and during the late Middle Ages. However, his inspirational presentation leads to this question: How can we advance to initiation today? He underscores the potential for achieving enlightenment today without an incarnated teacher and explains the four stages of the process toward initiation. He also highlights the need for strenuous efforts to overcome the subtle powers of evil (Lucifer and Ahriman) through selfless effort.
These four lectures form an important landmark in Rudolf Steiner’s biography—the first delivered on February 3, 1913, the very day that the Anthroposophical Society was founded.
First published in English as The Mysteries of the East and of Christianity and unavailable for many years, this revised edition features appendices, an index, and an introduction by Robert McDermott.
The Mysteries of Initiation is a translation from German of Die Mysterien des Morgenlandes und des Christentums (GA 144). A previous edition of this translation was published in 1972 as The Mysteries of the East and of Christianity.