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The Collected Works of Rudolf Steiner Series 110

The Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World

Zodiac, Planets & Cosmos (CW 110)

Paperback
May 2008
9780880106016
More details
  • Publisher
    SteinerBooks
  • Published
    30th May 2008
  • ISBN 9780880106016
  • Language English
  • Pages 240 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
$25.00

10 lectures in Düsseldorf, April 12–18, 1909;
participants' notes from Q&A sessions (CW 110)

Ever since nature and consciousness were separated during the late Middle Ages—giving rise to scientific thinking that considers only the physical world and views the mind as merely an epiphenomenon of neural chemistry—the spiritual beings who are the universe have felt abandoned and unable to complete their work, which depends on human collaboration for its suc­cess. Human beings have likewise felt aban­doned and alienated.

In these remarkable lectures, Rudolf Steiner reestablishes the human being as a participant in an evolving, dynamic universe of living spiritual beings: a living universe, whole and divine. He does so in concrete images, capable of being grasped by human consciousness as if from within.

How is this possible? Implicit in Rudolf Steiner's view is the fact that, essentially, the universe consists of consciousness. Everything else is illusion. Hence, to understand the evolution of the cosmos and humanity in any terms other than consciousness is also an illusion. Whenever we are dealing with grand cosmic facts, we are dealing with states of consciousness.

But states of consciousness never exist apart from the beings who embody them. Therefore, the only true realities are beings in various states of consciousness. In this sense, Steiner's spiritual science is a science of states of consciousness and the beings who embody them. Indeed, any science—physics, chemistry, botany, psychology—is a science of beings. And the sensory perception, or physical trace, is simply the outer vestment of the activity of beings in various states of consciousness. To describe these beings, Steiner uses the names made familiar by the wisdom traditions of the West. He speaks of the evolutionary states of Saturn, Sun, Moon, and so on; the nine choirs of angels; elemental beings and nature spirits; and the elements of fire, earth, air, and water. 

The Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World: Zodiac, Planets & Cosmos is a translation from German of «Geistige Hiearchien und ihre Wiederspiegelung in der physischen Welt. Tierkreis, Planeten, Kosmos» (GA 110). The Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World: Reality and Illusion (1996) contained a previous edition of this lecture course.

L E C T U R E S:

1. The Renewal of Primeval Wisdom
2. The Four Elements, Fire, and the Elemental Beings
3. Planetary Evolution
4. The Work of the Spiritual Hierarchies and the Zodiac
5. Cosmic Evolution and the War in Heaven
6. Geocentricity and Heliocentricity in Cosmic Evolution
7. The Constitution of Spiritual Beings and Humanity
8. The Spiritual Hierarchies, the Zodiac, and the Human Being
9. Evolution and the Cosmic Human Body
10. The Christ

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. 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.