The Riddle of Dmitri
Considered from Historical, Psychological, and Spiritual-Scientific Viewpoints
In a private conversation on his deathbed, Rudolf Steiner informed his friend Count Polzer-Hoditz of three spiritual problems that would need to be resolved in the coming years: First is the question of the two Johns (John the Baptist and John the Evangelist). Second is the question of who Dmitri actually was. Third is the matter of Caspar Hauser’s origin.
Tackling these issues, Steiner said, would be critically important to humanity’s future. He added, “In all three problems, it is important that one’s gaze is directed not toward death but toward birth. Where did they come from and with what tasks?” In the case of Dmitri, Steiner emphasized that the most important thing is to discover what was supposed to be achieved through his being.
Utilizing the significant clues left by Steiner, Prokofieff tackles the second of these tasks, a great unsolved mystery of Russian history. Tsarevich Dmitri, the son of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, was murdered as a young boy. He was later impersonated by a series of rogues and pretenders.
Prokofieff’s wideranging study integrates historical, psychological, and spiritual-scientific perspectives in his effort to uncover the truth behind Dmitri’s brief life and mission and the distortions created by the “false Dmitris.” He also examines the significance of Friedrich Schiller’s unfinished play, Demetrius.