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Concerning the Astral World and Devachan

(CW 88)

Rudolf Steiner Translated and Introduced by James H. Hindes

268 pp.  
6" x 9 1/4"



Published:  August 2018


Notes from 19 lectures and 4 private lessons, Berlin, 1903–1904 (CW 88)

  • “My first lectures within the groups that arose from the theosophical movement had to be adjusted to the soul disposition of those people. They had assimilated theosophic literature and were accustomed to certain modes of expression. Initially, in order to be understood, I had to remain with those modes. Nor was it possible for me to use my own terms until, over the course of time, the work had progressed. As a result, the lecture material as it was made available through notes taken during the ?rst years of the anthroposophic work gives a true, inner picture spiritually. It portrays the path I adopted to gradually make spiritual knowledge known, so that what was closer could lead to an understanding of what was more remote. But this approach must really be seen in light of its inner quality.” —Rudolf Steiner, Autobiography: Chapters in the Course of My Life, 1861–1907 (pp. 66–67)

In Berlin, just past the turn of the twentieth century, Rudolf Steiner, then a relatively unknown writer, educator, and editor, first began his spiritual teaching activity under the auspices of the Theosophical Society. The gatherings at this time were small, often being held in private homes, and therefore, in terms of size and location, intimate.

Immediately after assuming leadership of the German Section of the Theosophical Society, Rudolf Steiner began a comprehensive program of teaching, at first within the Berlin Branch of the Theosophical Society. The notes from nineteen of those early lectures and four private lessons form the content of this volume.

Moving back and forth between Eastern theosophical terminology and Western esoteric tradition, searching for words and pictures, for the first time Steiner was presenting the results of his spiritual-scientific research to small groups of people longing for deeper truths.


  • Introduction by James Hindes

  • Part I: Concerning the Astral World
  • 1. The Mystery of Birth and Death (Berlin, Oct. 28, 1903)
  • 2. The Higher Worlds and Our Participation in Them (Berlin, Nov. 4, 1903)
  • 3. The Origin and Nature of the Human Being (Berlin, Nov. 11, 1903)
  • 4. The Being and Nature of the Astral World (Berlin, Nov. 18, 1903)
  • 5. The Character of Astral Processes (Berlin, Nov. 25, 1903)
  • 6. Kamaloca (Berlin, Dec. 2, 1903)

  • Part II: The World of Spirit, or Devachan
  • 1. Berlin, Jan. 28, 1904
  • 2. Berlin, Feb. 4, 1904
  • 3. Berlin, Feb. 11, 1904
  • 4. Berlin, Feb. 25, 1904

  • Part III: Four Private Lessons
  • 1. The Sun-Logos and the Ten Avatars (Berlin–Schlachtensee, summer 1903)
  • 2. The Bhagavad Gita (Berlin–Schlachtensee, summer 1903)
  • 3. The First, Second, and Third Logoi (Berlin–Schlachtensee, summer 1903)
  • 4. The Higher Development of the Human Being (Berlin–Schlachtensee, summer 1903)

  • Part IV: Nine Individual Lectures
  • 1. Questions about Reincarnation (Berlin, Aug. 24, 1903)
  • 2. Secrets and Secrecy (Berlin, Sept. 1, 1903)
  • 3. Occult Research of History (Berlin, Oct. 18, 1903)
  • 4. Physical Illnesses and Cosmological Laws (Berlin, Oct. 27, 1903)
  • 5. Early Images of God (Berlin, Nov. 2, 1903)
  • 6. The Fall into Sin (Berlin, Nov. 24, 1903)
  • 7. Cosmology according to Genesis (Berlin, Dec. 8, 1903)
  • 8. Laws of the Universe and Human Destiny (Berlin, Dec. 21, 1903)
  • 9. The Evolutionary Stages of Humanity (Berlin, Dec. 29, 1903)

  • Editorial and Reference Notes
  • Glossary of Sanskrit Theosophical Terms

This book is volume 88 in the Collected Works (CW) of Rudolf Steiner, published by SteinerBooks, 2018. It is a translation from German of Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan, published by Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach, Switzerland, 1999.

Related Titles

  • Esoteric Lessons 1904–1909 : From the Esoteric School, vol. 1 (CW 266/1)
  • Freemasonry and Ritual Work : The Misraim Service (CW 265)
  • Rosicrucianism Renewed : The Unity of Art, Science & Religion: The Theosophical Congress of Whitsun 1907 (CW 284)
  • The Bhagavad Gita and the West : The Esoteric Significance of the Bhagavad Gita and Its Relation to the Epistles of Paul (CW 142 & 146)
  • An Esoteric Cosmology : Evolution, Christ & Modern Spirituality (CW 94)

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Collected Works ; Anthroposophy: Esoteric Studies and Anthroposophy: Evolution & History