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Method and Purpose Among Spiritual Persons

Wege und Ziele des geistigen Menschen
Lebensfragen im Lichte der Geisteswissenschaft

Paths and Goals of the Spiritual Human Being Three Lectures on the Mystery Dramas
The Christmas Festival In The Changing Course Of Time

Rudolf Steiner
(Given in 1919; Bn 125, GA 125, CW 125)

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Throught the year 1910, Rudolf Steiner spoke to audiences in Denmark, Germany, and France, discussing a wide range of topics — from positive and negative human soul capacities, true self-knowledge, and karma, to changes in human consciousness; from ancient times to the modern era, all in the context of Christ's incarnation on Earth.

These talks illustrate the diversity of Steiner's approach when speaking to different audiences. Reflecting on Novalis, for example, he is urgent about the responsibility of Spiritual Science to help humanity awaken to the New Age. A few months later, speaking of Hegel and deploring the fact that an interest in spiritual matters often fails to be accompanied by an equal interest in logical thinking, Steiner uses dispassionate or philosophical tones. Nevertheless, throughout these lectures, he is consistent in his view that Spiritual Science does not reject conventional science. Trained, philosophical thinking leads to conclusions that are different from those of materialists; but there is nothing in the field of Spiritual Science that needs rejection by rigorous scientific thought.

There are strong thematic links running through all of these lectures that include:

  • the relationship between philosophy and science;
  • the nature of clairvoyance;
  • Christ's presence in the etheric realm;
  • reincarnation and karma;
  • the mystery drama The Portal of Initiation;
  • Christmas and its symbols;
  • and the transformation of consciousness when Christ incarnated physically on Earth.
These fourteen lectures offer tools that bring contemporary, spiritual approaches into everyone's lives.

  • Words at the Novalis Strassburg;
  • Philosophy and Hegel;
  • Methods and Goals of Spiritual Humans;
  • Philosophy and Science Today;
  • Self Knowledge and the Mystery Play, “The Portal of Initiation,”
  • On the Rosicrucian Mystery Play, “The Portal of Initiation,”
  • The Wisdom Contained in Ancient Documents and in the Gospels;
  • Schiller adn Goethe;
  • Knowledge and Immortality;
  • Effects of Karma, or Envy, Lying ..., or Karmic Effects;
  • The Christmas Festival in the Changing Course of Time;
  • The Yuletide Festival.

Known Publications:

  • Wege und Ziele des geistigen Menschen. Lebensfragen im Lichte der Geisteswissenschaft, German language editions: 1973, 1992. ISBN 978-3-7274-1250-9,
  • The Christmas Festival in the Changing Course of Time, ISBN 0-88010-271-3, paperback, copyright © 1988 Anthroposophic Press, a single lecture, translated by Ernst Katz and edited by Marguerite Miller
  • Three Lectures on the Mystery Dramas, ISBN 0-88010-060-5, paperback, 3 lectures, copyright © 1983 Anthroposophic Press, translated by Ruth and Hans Pusch
  • Paths and Goals of the Spiritual Human Being. Life Questions in the Light of Spiritual Science, ISBN 978-1-85584-421-6, paperback, 14 lectures, 296 pages, copyright © 2015, SteinerBooks, translated by Christian von Arnim

GA 125 ... Selections ...


Three Lectures on the Mystery Dramas

Book Cover Image These three lectures, given in 1910 at Bern and Berlin, discuss the Rosicrucian and anthroposophical background to the events depicted in the dramas as well as symbolism and fantasy in relation to the second drama, ‘The Soul's Probation.’ From Bn 125.D, GA 125, CW 125.


Self-knowledge in Relation to the Mystery Drama, 'The Portal of Initiation'

Book Cover Image From the lecture series entitled, Method and Purpose among Spiritual Persons, a single lecture, number 5 of 14, discussing self-knowledge and the anthroposophical background to the events depicted in the dramas as well as symbolism and fantasy in relation to the first mystery drama, ‘The Portal of Initiation.’ It were published in German in the volume entitled, Wege und Ziele des Geistigen Menschen. Lebensfragen im Lichte der Geisteswissenschaft. This lecture was translated by G. A. Kaufmann, and edited by H. Collison.


The Christmas Festival In The Changing Course Of Time

Book Cover Image This short but profound lecture is a true gem among Steiner's works. Here he surveys the meaning of Christmas in past, present, and future. Contrasting the contemporary focus on gift giving with the deeply spiritual mood connected with advent and Christmas in earlier times, Steiner goes on to outline the history and meaning of the traditional Christmas Plays. Steiner then discusses the future development and significance of the Christmas festival, which will grow out of the new spiritual attitude brought by anthroposophy.

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