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The Threshold of the Spiritual World

Aphoristic Contemplations (CW 17)

Rudolf Steiner Translated by Thomas O'Keefe

144 pp.  
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"





  • The Chadwick Library Edition represents an endeavor to republish—mostly in new or thoroughly revised English translations—several written works of Rudolf Steiner. The edition is named for the late horticulturist Alan Chadwick, whose life and work has served as inspiration to the small group from which the idea originated. Our extensive experience with special bindings led to the selection—for this “trade edition” of 750 books—of a leather spine binding, cloth sides, and a light slipcase. For the hand-numbered edition (100 books), the binding is full leather with a hand-gilt top of the pages in a fine, stiff, cloth-covered slipcase. The leather is blue calfskin, and the title stamping on the spines is in genuine gold leaf. All of this is being carried out by hand at one of the finest binders, Ruggero Rigoldi.

The Threshold of the Spiritual World contains sixteen short chapters in which Rudolf Steiner provides aphoristic thoughts on trusting one’s thinking, cognition of the spiritual world, karma and reincarnation, the astral body and luciferic beings, how to recognize suprasensory consciousness, the true nature of love, and much more.

This book represents some of Rudolf Steiner’s most personal statements about his own spiritual path. He speaks directly from experiences of cognitive research and explorations. Each of the aphorisms arises from his spiritual research and demonstrates how such spiritual research is to be undertaken. The “content” is Steiner’s own, but readers can discover their own content. His method of awareness—a path of attention to one’s actual experience—is universal and truly human.


  • Introductory Remarks

  • I. On the Trust One Can Have in Thinking and on the Nature of the Thinking Soul; On Meditating
  • II. On the Recognition of the Spiritual World
  • III. On the Human Etheric Body and on the Elemental World
  • Summary of the Preceding Contemplations

  • IV. On Repeated Earthly Lives and Karma; On the Human Astral Body and the Spiritual World; On Ahrimanic Beings
  • V. On the Astral Body and on Luciferic Beings; On the Nature of the Etheric Body
  • Summary of the Preceding Contemplations

  • VI. On the “Guardian of the Threshold” and Some Characteristics of Suprasensory Consciousness
  • VII. On the “I”-Feeling and on the Human Soul’s Capacity to Love, and on Their Relationships to the Elemental World
  • VIII. On the Boundary between the Sensory World and the Suprasensory Worlds
  • IX. On the Beings of the Worlds of Spirit
  • X. On Spiritual Cosmic Beings
  • XI. On the First Rudiments of the Physical Human Body
  • XII. On the “True I” of the Human Being
  • Summary of Some Aspects of the Preceding Contemplations

  • Remarks on the Relationship of the Descriptions Given Here to Those Given in My Books Theosophy and Occult Science
  • Afterword to the 1918 Edition
  • Citation Notes

Hand-working the leather-bound, numbered Chadwick edition.

Click here for the limited, numbered editions.

Click here to read more about the Chadwick Library Editions.

The Threshold of the Spiritual World is a translation from German of Die Schwelle dre geistigen Welt: Aphoristische Ausführungen (GA 17).

Related Titles

  • The Stages of Higher Knowledge : Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition (CW 12)
  • How to Know Higher Worlds : A Modern Path of Initiation (CW 10)
  • A Way of Self-Knowledge : And the Threshold of the Spiritual World (CW 16-17)
  • Start Now! : A Book of Soul and Spiritual Exercises
  • The Language of the Consciousness Soul : A Guide to Rudolf Steiner’s “Leading Thoughts”

    Related Titles by Subject:

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