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The Source of Speech

Word, Language and the Origin of Speech – From Indology to Anthroposophy

Hermann Beckh Translated by Alan Stott and Michael Stott

246 pp.  
6" x 9"

Temple Lodge Press


Published:  January 2020


  • “An abundance of books [by Beckh] came into existence whose significance perhaps will only be properly appreciated in the future.” – Emil Bock (1959)

Hermann Beckh’s lectures on language—published here in English for the first time—offer a unique and penetrating discussion of the origins and evolution of speech. Based on his professional knowledge of Tibetan, Sanskrit, and Pali—as well as complete fluency in at least six other ancient languages and nine modern languages—and accompanied by a heartfelt understanding of Anthroposophy, these lectures comprise an unparalleled marriage of academic and meditative insights. Moreover, they offer a valuable introduction to the author’s later works on music, the stars, and the gospels of Mark and John.

The Source of Speech features Beckh’s complete series of articles on the subject that were developed during the early, “seeding” period of his life and work. These include “Rudolf Steiner and the East,” an unprecedented study of Steiner’s relationship to Sanskrit and Buddhist spirituality; “Let There be Light,” Beckh’s exploration of the six Hebrew words forming Genesis 1:3; articles devoted to the origins of language, Indian philosophies, and the names of the Divine in sacred texts; and essays published in Das Goetheanum that examine speech sounds, especially those of Sanskrit and classical Hebrew.

Also included are contemporaneous reviews of Beckh’s articles by Albert Steffen and Eugen Kolisko and a lecture at the University of Berlin on academia, materialism, and undisciplined enthusiasm for Indian spirituality.

After nearly a hundred years, Beckh’s perspectives and themes remain as exciting, relevant, and fresh as ever.

Related Titles

  • Anthroposophical Therapeutic Speech
  • Speech and Drama : (CW 282)
  • Creative Speech : The Formative Process of the Spoken Word: A Selection of Lectures, Exercises, and Articles (CW 280)
  • The Art of Speech : Body - Soul - Spirit - Word, a Practical and Spiritual Guide
  • Speech - Invisible Creation in the Air : Vortices and the Enigma of Speech Sounds
  • Eurythmy as Visible Speech : (CW 279)
  • The Source of Speech : Word, Language and the Origin of Speech – From Indology to Anthroposophy

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Anthroposophy: Art & Literature ; Arts & Literature: Speech & Drama and Esoteric: Art & Literature