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The Effects of Esoteric Development

(CW 145)

Rudolf Steiner Introduction by Christopher Bamford Revised and Updated by Jann W. Gates

224 pp.  
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"



Published:  April 1997


10 lectures at The Hague, February 3 – March 29, 1913 (CW 145)

  • "...we stand at the beginning of—not a new work—but a significant endeavor to consolidate and expand our old work.... In the time that now lies ahead of us, I hope we shall find ways and means of representing what we fostered in the old form still more strongly and devotedly than before.... If we feel that what we call Anthroposophy is a necessity in our time and recognize that it must flow into contemporary cultural life and become a ferment in all domains—if we feel that Anthroposophy can become that, will to become that—then we shall be able to work in the right way. Words, however, are not the best tool with which to do all this; rather, you must use your feelings and sensitivities, your purposes, the fundamental principles that you take into yourselves to develop your own individual powers." —Rudolf Steiner, February 3, 1913

On February 3, 1913, the first General Meeting of the newly formed Anthroposophical Society was convened in Berlin. Six weeks later, in Holland, Rudolf Steiner spoke for the first time to an anthroposophic audience in a detailed, intimate way about individual esoteric training and the subtle effects of spiritual development on every level of one's being.

Beginning with questions regarding the body’s experience of food and drink—meat, coffee, alcohol, and so on—he lays out the progression of anthroposophic spiritual inner work, up to direct perception of “Paradise” and the Holy Grail. He discusses the role of human beings in our evolution that takes place between the forces of Lucifer and Ahriman.

Included is Steiner’s important lecture “The Being of Anthroposophy,” which this volume introduces to the English-speaking world. This edition also includes Steiner’s “introductory words,” previously available only as an unpublished German typescript.

  • "Faced by the sheer volume of the apparent 'content' of Anthroposophy and by the dynamic effectiveness of its practical applications—in Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophic medicine, the Camphill villages, and so forth—readers and students of Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy often forget that Rudolf Steiner is, above all, a spiritual teacher whose teaching is initiatory, demanding inner work on the part of the student, provoking not always comfortable change and transformation."
    Christopher Bamford (from the introduction)



  • Introduction by Christopher Bamford
  • Prologue in Berlin: The Being of Anthroposophy
  • Lecture 1: The Influences of Esoteric Life on the Human Sheaths
  • Lecture 2: The Question of Food
  • Lecture 3: The Senses and the Temperaments in Esoteric Training
  • Lecture 4: The Differentiated Experiences of the Etheric
  • Lecture 5: Transforming Judgments, Feeling, and Willing
  • Lecture 6: The Paradise Legend and the Holy Grail Legend
  • Lecture 7: Astrality's Struggle Egoism—Amfortas and Parzifal
  • Lecture 8: The Guardian of the Threshold—Cain and Abel
  • Lecture 9: Centaur and Sphinx—Lucifer and Ahriman—Christ in the Etheric Sphere
  • Lecture 10:The Etheric Body as a Picture of Cosmic History

The Effects of Esoteric Development is a translation from the German of Welche Bedeutung hat die okkulte Entwicklung des Menschen für seine Hüllen—physischen Leib, Ätherleib, Astralleib—und sein Selbst? (GA 145).

Related Titles

  • Guidance in Esoteric Training : From the Esoteric School (CW 245)
  • Start Now! : A Book of Soul and Spiritual Exercises
  • Soul Exercises : Word and Symbol Meditations, 1903–1924 (CW 267)
  • Mantric Sayings : Meditations 1903-1925 (CW 268)
  • Paths and Goals of the Spiritual Human Being : Life Questions in the Light of Spiritual Science (CW 125)

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Anthroposophy: Esoteric Studies ; Anthroposophy: General ; Esoteric: Esoteric Studies and Esoteric: Meditation