"Today, the 'I' is empty of atavistic, clairvoyant visions, and when we look back at the 'I', it is, so to speak, more or less only a point in our soul life. The content of this 'I' is a firm point of support for everyone, but still only a point. But we are living in a time when the point should once again become a circle in which the 'I' should once again received content...Just as the 'I' was filled for the human being of the past with atavistic, clairvoyant content, so in our time our 'I' should fill itself with a new spiritual content, received in full consciousness, which once again provides the tie that binds our soul to the soul being of the divine. Now, a start must be made." - Rudolf Steiner During Christmastime of 1919 to 1920, Rudolf Steiner was in Stuttgart to celebrate the end of the first semester of the first Waldorf school and participate in its Christmas festivities. During his visit, he gave not only two courses for teachers (The Light Course and The Genius of Language), but also the five lectures for Anthroposophical Society members collected in this book.As with all of Steiner's lectures given around the Holy Nights, these jewel-like lectures are both inspiring and sobering.
The Archangel Michael is once again the "world regent". He shows us a new path to Christ and to the spirit world, calling on us to create new relationships to spiritual realities. Yet, inertia or lack of will, materialism, and powerful opposing forces make his and our task more difficult. World War I had ended, but peace was still a distant hope. Prescient to our own moment, these stirring lectures are more relevant than ever, still inspiring a call to arms. Cosmic New Year is a translation from the German book Weltsilvester und Neujahrsgedanken.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). 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. Christopher Bamford is Editor in Chief for SteinerBooks and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. He is the author of The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity (1990) and An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West (2003). He has also translated and edited numerous books, including Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness (1982); Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science; and The Noble Traveller: The Life and Writings of O. V. de L. Milosz (all published by Lindisfarne Books). HarperSanFrancisco included an essay by Mr. Bamford in its anthology Best Spiritual Writing 2000.