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How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation

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In this classic account of the Western esoteric path of initiation, Steiner leads the student from the cultivation of reverence and inner tranquility to the development of inner life through the stages of preparation, illumination, and initiation. Practical exercises in inner and outer observation and moral development are described. By patiently and persistently following In this classic account of the Western esoteric path of initiation, Steiner leads the student from the cultivation of reverence and inner tranquility to the development of inner life through the stages of preparation, illumination, and initiation. Practical exercises in inner and outer observation and moral development are described. By patiently and persistently following these suggestions, new "organs" of soul and spirit begin to form, revealing the contours of higher worlds that had been concealed from us. Here, Rudolf Steiner is available as teacher, counselor, and friend. His advice is practical, clear, and powerful.


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In this classic account of the Western esoteric path of initiation, Steiner leads the student from the cultivation of reverence and inner tranquility to the development of inner life through the stages of preparation, illumination, and initiation. Practical exercises in inner and outer observation and moral development are described. By patiently and persistently following In this classic account of the Western esoteric path of initiation, Steiner leads the student from the cultivation of reverence and inner tranquility to the development of inner life through the stages of preparation, illumination, and initiation. Practical exercises in inner and outer observation and moral development are described. By patiently and persistently following these suggestions, new "organs" of soul and spirit begin to form, revealing the contours of higher worlds that had been concealed from us. Here, Rudolf Steiner is available as teacher, counselor, and friend. His advice is practical, clear, and powerful.

30 review for How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    I learned that the path to true knowledge lies outside of the perception of our normal senses. The esoteric knowledge can only result in a quieting of our mind and a focus on the improvement of the individual within us while recognizing the dependence of ourself on the world around us and the traits of others. The meaning of life is the question and not the answer.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Murray

    I have put various Steiner books on my goodbooks shelves - and have read more than I can track down here. Rudolph Steiner was a remarkable man whose unusual ideas about Occult History and the nature of man did not prevent him form leaving a formidable stamp on the practice of education, medicine and agriculture. Indeed it is because his ideas have worked so well (particularly in education - I did a study of a Steiner school for my MA and can attest to its success) in practical fields that it ras I have put various Steiner books on my goodbooks shelves - and have read more than I can track down here. Rudolph Steiner was a remarkable man whose unusual ideas about Occult History and the nature of man did not prevent him form leaving a formidable stamp on the practice of education, medicine and agriculture. Indeed it is because his ideas have worked so well (particularly in education - I did a study of a Steiner school for my MA and can attest to its success) in practical fields that it rasies the possibility that his other speculations have merit also. There is a wonderful resource on line that has all his published works available for download. I find that on many topics (of myth, religion, history, civilisation and so forth) he often had really interesting thisgs to stay. His lectures generally stimulate fresh thinking, which is hwat he intended when he gave them. This was the first book of his that I read and it remains a favourite; I see I have attached it to the CD version, that was not intentional and I know it is still in print as a book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Despite the seemingly poor translation, the heavy, sludge like writing of the early 1900s, and very little organization, this volume contains some of the most descriptive visualizations of supersensible phenomenon. Extremely detailed, often pontificating, and always slow reading, this book is screaming out for a modern translation, or even a remake. But although it took me 10 times longer than a book of similar length to finish, I have never received this level of knowledge from any source.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Jourdan

    What can I say? Wow. If you ever want to read the very finest book ever written by a not-at-all-flaky clairvoyant scientist genius saintly guy, this would be my highest recommendation. It's almost too much to handle, especially the description of meeting The Guardian of the Threshold. And it's NON FICTION. Don't need no vampires to make this interesting. What can I say? Wow. If you ever want to read the very finest book ever written by a not-at-all-flaky clairvoyant scientist genius saintly guy, this would be my highest recommendation. It's almost too much to handle, especially the description of meeting The Guardian of the Threshold. And it's NON FICTION. Don't need no vampires to make this interesting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Coquille Fleur

    Practical ways to apply more philosophical advice from Steiner. When I read this book, my life got really intense. Warning, if you don't want to be initiated, don't read this book. Seriously, every lesson I read in here gave me a life lesson as a test. Do you really want to become stronger spiritually? The golden road is a bitch, someone said that to me once, and it is so true. Reading this book will land you on the golden road. Worth it? I think so. Practical ways to apply more philosophical advice from Steiner. When I read this book, my life got really intense. Warning, if you don't want to be initiated, don't read this book. Seriously, every lesson I read in here gave me a life lesson as a test. Do you really want to become stronger spiritually? The golden road is a bitch, someone said that to me once, and it is so true. Reading this book will land you on the golden road. Worth it? I think so.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hong Vo

    I've had this book sitting on my shelf for nearly 20 years. Even though I am familiar with much of Steiner's work, every time I attempted to read this over the years, something always seem to get in the way. I understand now the perfection of timing & the depth of readiness that was necessary for me to receive the knowledge contained in this wonderful book. A must for all serious students on the spiritual journey. I've had this book sitting on my shelf for nearly 20 years. Even though I am familiar with much of Steiner's work, every time I attempted to read this over the years, something always seem to get in the way. I understand now the perfection of timing & the depth of readiness that was necessary for me to receive the knowledge contained in this wonderful book. A must for all serious students on the spiritual journey.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jann

    This is the second time I've read this. It is more meaningful to me now than in the past. This is the second time I've read this. It is more meaningful to me now than in the past.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Didem

    Although the language may challange the reader from time to time, the knowledge inside this book is a real gem for the individuals walking on the spiritual path...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dave Klaboe

    This book captured my life for several years, and changed my way of thinking. I did find a lot of frustration in the practice of steiners ideas and philosophy which delves into the deep waters of Gnosticism, and esoteric metaphysics, as I tried to understand the methods. Still looking back, I know subtle changes did take place. The book does require a lot of introspection, and that is why it is hard to rate it as one would rate a book on its entertainment or literary merit.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mari

    This is a great way to listen to this book. Having it on tape made me understand it in a different way, and I listened to it over and over. This book really changed my life because it has exercises in it, that when applied, really work! I cannot recommend this enough, for any student of Anthroposophy, or someone interested in learning about the path of Anthroposophy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rina Tirtz

    Reminder that some religious beliefs that are against proper medication have killed many innocent yet ignorant people and those that force these ideals HAVE to stop and research actual biology or seek professional doctors and not con-artists that will lie in your face that your body's bad health is important for your magical powers. Reminder that some religious beliefs that are against proper medication have killed many innocent yet ignorant people and those that force these ideals HAVE to stop and research actual biology or seek professional doctors and not con-artists that will lie in your face that your body's bad health is important for your magical powers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Holly McIntyre

    It is interesting to find all the accoutrements of 1980s New Age endeavors in a book first published in 1904! Meditation, chakras, auras, spirit bodies -- the whole shebang. The translation from the German was less than crystal clear, although I do not know if that is because of terminology or the ideas themselves. While I find the text too impenetrable to be useful for my own spiritual growth, it is an intriguing artifact in the history of culture and ideas.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Valenfore Alestreneon

    A really, really good book that prepares the student and demystifies a lot of rumors and stigma from non-Occultists.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    A fascinating and challenging work that provides direct instruction for how to gain increasing awareness and cognition of the "supersensible" realms. If you're a materialist then there's nothing here for you; but if you're not a materialist, then you recognize the importance of the mental and spiritual worlds that we all inhabit, even if you haven't really thought about them as things that can be actively explored, so to speak. This book tells you how to embark on that journey. Why? Because man d A fascinating and challenging work that provides direct instruction for how to gain increasing awareness and cognition of the "supersensible" realms. If you're a materialist then there's nothing here for you; but if you're not a materialist, then you recognize the importance of the mental and spiritual worlds that we all inhabit, even if you haven't really thought about them as things that can be actively explored, so to speak. This book tells you how to embark on that journey. Why? Because man does not live by bread alone. We are spiritual beings, and, whether we know it or not, we are engaged in a long-term path of self perfection. One of the most thought-provoking revelations of this book, for this reader, was that although we are fundamentally spiritual beings, we can only improve our spiritual condition here in the physical world. Our time on Earth matters, every moment of it. So this book is really about how to make the most of it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    This right here is the seed bed of the Late New Age. "Spirit Science" enthusiasts. Weekend reiki trainees. "Light workers" with round-the-world plane tickets, harem pants and deity tattoos. People who think channeling disembodied entities is beneficial for humanity. If this is you, put Higher Worlds on your kindle. A weird thing though is that, unlike everything in the Late New Age, there's a bit of empirical heft to the teachings here. It's a little bit grounded. And some of what is being transm This right here is the seed bed of the Late New Age. "Spirit Science" enthusiasts. Weekend reiki trainees. "Light workers" with round-the-world plane tickets, harem pants and deity tattoos. People who think channeling disembodied entities is beneficial for humanity. If this is you, put Higher Worlds on your kindle. A weird thing though is that, unlike everything in the Late New Age, there's a bit of empirical heft to the teachings here. It's a little bit grounded. And some of what is being transmitted here is a little bit real. There is a legitimate energy in the text. And something even more striking: Steiner wrote this before the first World War. Whole worlds away in terms of culture and consciousness. The only really meaningful experience of this book for me was an attempt to empathize with the awareness that could have produced it. The late edition's serial prefaces aid in this. Steiner's a weirdo, but still demonstrates a creative spiritual intelligence that truly inspires. Some of his personal understanding of layers of consciousness connects with insights that career meditators and hallucinators would not write about for many decades to come. The intelligent combination of mental clarity and spacious awareness makes for a tolerable read even when he gets a little lost in his own idiolect. His constant exhortation that clairvoyant play MUST NOT take one away from daily life helps explain the worldly legacy he left through writing and institution building, and in this there is a sort of early 20th century grit amid all the chakra spinning. But to what end? Ultimately Steiner seems to think clairvoyance is a gift from the dubious disembodied ghosts of the astral realms. The book is a preparation to make yourself into a channel for whatever or whoever wants to borrow your bodymind. That's awfully sketchy, especially given Steiner's exhortation not to depend on a teacher but to open up your consciousness to random occupation. That said, who knows, maybe the astral realms weren't such a dive bar a hundred years back. Some of the techniques Steiner offers for dilating the upper chakras are genuinely creative and for that context. His warnings against cult tendencies and loss of personal responsibility are more than a little prescient with Crowley and the Theosophists on the horizon. Though I do expect some spacey readers of this book have ended up far dumber as a result of reading it, it is wonderful to imagine how readers a hundred years ago might have been opened up to new feelings of the cosmos as a result of Steiner's - well -clairvoyance.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lucia

    This was one of the first books that led me to spirituality and still remember its first sentence by heart: "There slumber, in every human being, faculties by means of which the knowledge of the higher worlds is attained..." I loved the archaic language it was written in, and felt like I was uncovering a hidden treasure. Eager to experience some of this hidden potential within me, I immediately put some of it to practice, for example about observing the forces of death and life in everything. I This was one of the first books that led me to spirituality and still remember its first sentence by heart: "There slumber, in every human being, faculties by means of which the knowledge of the higher worlds is attained..." I loved the archaic language it was written in, and felt like I was uncovering a hidden treasure. Eager to experience some of this hidden potential within me, I immediately put some of it to practice, for example about observing the forces of death and life in everything. I also really liked the chapter on chakras, and how they are slowly developing in us accordingly to our inner merits. How, for example by lying, the petals of some of these chakras become crooked and don't develop harmoniously, which then causes us to have twisted perception of the higher worlds. However, after a while I realized that it didn't provide very detailed descriptions or methods to achieve inner transformation and awakening, maybe due to the time it was published, where some things had still to be kept hidden. Despite the mentioned limitations, I found a lot of truth in this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone just starting to delve into the mysteries of higher worlds.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ishkira

    This is the first book by Mr. Steiner that I've read, I recommend it for those who want to learn more on their spiritual paths. A pleasant read that encompasses many subjects that I'm interested in. I was intuitively drawn to it, and , though I don't know yet how it correlates with other works of R. Steiner, as a stand alone piece, it is a comprehensive guide for the sincere seeker. ~~~ Completely off-topic now. Maybe someone needs to hear this "Not all those who wander are lost" <3 Dream the words This is the first book by Mr. Steiner that I've read, I recommend it for those who want to learn more on their spiritual paths. A pleasant read that encompasses many subjects that I'm interested in. I was intuitively drawn to it, and , though I don't know yet how it correlates with other works of R. Steiner, as a stand alone piece, it is a comprehensive guide for the sincere seeker. ~~~ Completely off-topic now. Maybe someone needs to hear this "Not all those who wander are lost" <3 Dream the words...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    The fourth Steiner book I've read and one of the most straight-forward. Made a lot of good points and always has an interesting and thought provoking perspective. I enjoyed reading this, i like the ideas. Unlike Bees and Agriculture, this is not a series of lectures. Organized as a progression from the starting point as a novice this book doesn't have the asides that the lectures experienced by fielding questions from the audience. The fourth Steiner book I've read and one of the most straight-forward. Made a lot of good points and always has an interesting and thought provoking perspective. I enjoyed reading this, i like the ideas. Unlike Bees and Agriculture, this is not a series of lectures. Organized as a progression from the starting point as a novice this book doesn't have the asides that the lectures experienced by fielding questions from the audience.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mervyn Caplan

    This Book is the 5th Bible. As the Songs of the Mahabarata, Upanishads, and Vedas are the Bible of the Ancient Indians, the Zend Avesta, the book written by Zarathustra, The book of the dead and the OLD Testament, Egypt and the ancient Hebrews, The NEW Testament, the Ancient Graeco-Romans, so Dr. Steiners Knowledge of the Higher Worlds is the Bible for the Anglo Germanic Culture, the 5th post atlantean epoch. Dr. Steiner was also the Prophet of the 2nd Coming of THE LIVING CHRIST.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lord

    One of the essential books by Rudolf Steiner. A must for anyone interested in anthroposophy or spiritual growth.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tom Evans

    If you want to tune in, this is the manual of how to do it. Just wait until you meet the Lesser and Greater Guardians of the Gate !!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Voelbel

    A very illumined exposition on the path to initiation replete with discernible truths for the betterment of self. An excellent piece for anyone desiring to be, "A servant of the world and humanity." A very illumined exposition on the path to initiation replete with discernible truths for the betterment of self. An excellent piece for anyone desiring to be, "A servant of the world and humanity."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Silvio

    Wowowow. I didn’t expect this book to be so great. I am so grateful for life to have led me to Janine’s farm in France, where I found and read this book (among so many others) and was able to get into Steiner. What an interesting man. I am still a bit skeptical, but nevertheless many of his teachings are pure gold. And, interestingly, much of it corresponds in some way to the streams of Eastern thought I have come to love and follow. So… First of all, here are Steiner’s 10 commandments: Gentleness R Wowowow. I didn’t expect this book to be so great. I am so grateful for life to have led me to Janine’s farm in France, where I found and read this book (among so many others) and was able to get into Steiner. What an interesting man. I am still a bit skeptical, but nevertheless many of his teachings are pure gold. And, interestingly, much of it corresponds in some way to the streams of Eastern thought I have come to love and follow. So… First of all, here are Steiner’s 10 commandments: Gentleness Reverence (Love) Feeling Stillness Equanimity Presence Discernment (Truth) Self-control Surrender Empowerment … and now some rules for the path to higher knowledge... Rule #1: Devotion to Truth Willpower, truthfulness, earnestness. Rule #2: Focus on the inner experience Silence the outer life, let the inner life sing. It is crazy how similar much of this is to the Recognition school of classical Tantra displayed by Christopher Wallis - for example the meditation on savoring the flavor of the experience and following its flow (without jumping to another experience) until it dissolves into stillness. Here Steiner says that "it is necessary that he should seek enjoyment, for only through enjoyment can the outer world reach him. [...] The student of higher knowledge considers enjoyment only as a means of ennobling himself for the world. Pleasure is to him as a scout informing him concerning the world; but once instructed by pleasure, he passes on to work. He does not learn in order to accumulate learning as his own treasure, but not to occupy in order that he may devote his learning to the service of the world." Concerning knowledge, he continues: "Every knowledge pursued merely for the enrichment of personal learning and the accumulation of personal treasure, leads you away from the path; but all knowledge pursued for growth to ripeness within the process of human ennoblement and cosmic development, brings you a step forward." Or: "Every idea which does not become your ideal, slays a force in your soul; every idea which becomes your ideal, creates within you life-forces." Rule #2.1: Develop inner tranquility A sweet, bit naive/innocent/superficial description of meditation or meditative contemplation (compared to the Tantrik approach, for example) follows. Rule #2.2: Cultivate clear thoughts (the soul's landscape) This is pretty much parallel to pure vikalpas in Tantra. Steiner doesn't seem to seek to transcend them eventually, but rather let them become the inner landscape and source of wisdom (-> Pratibha?) And now: Steiner's Spiritual Science. "Spiritual science gives the means of developing the spiritual ears and eyes, and kindling the spiritual light" Stage 1: Probation Turning inside, deepening experience. "A strict and definite cultivation of the life of thought and feeling through which the psychic-spiritual 'body' becomes equipped with organs of sense activity, in the same way that natural forces have fitted the physical body with organs built out of indeterminate living matter." Practice: Having attention on the creation/unfolding/flourishing and the dissolution/fading/dying of events in the world. With a one-pointed attention, surrendering oneself to this one event/impression, "marinating" in the inner feeling-vibration that is evoked through the impression - listening to its flavor. What a parallel to Tantrik practice! "Yet it must not be thought that much progress can be made if the senses are blunted to the world. First look at the things as keenly and as intently as you possibly can; then only let the feeling which expands to life, and the thought which arises in the soul, take procession of you. The point is that the attention should be directed with perfect inner balance, upon both phenomena." The practicioner will be able to experience a new and deeper layer of thoughts and feelings. The more attention, the more vivid the soul's thoughts and feelings. Steiner says that growing and decaying evoke different kinds of inner feelings: That of a sunrise, and that of a moonrise, respectively. Surrendering to these feelings, one awakens to the "soul-world" or "astral plane", where the impressions of growth and decay transform into distinct spiritual lines and figures (with different forms for each phenomenon). This is the door into the next stage, that of perceiving "things which have no corresponding physical existence, and which therefore remain entirely hidden (occult) from those who have not received suitable instruction and training." Important: No interpreting or intellectualizing. The student "should look out in the world with keen, healthy senses, and quickened power of observation, and then give himself up to the feeling that arises within him. He should not try to make out, through intellectual speculation, what the things mean, but rather allow the things themselves to tell him." Steiner remarks that "artistic feeling" is the best condition for the development of spiritual faculties, surpassing superficiality into the depths of the things' secrets. Also important: One should be clear about the veritable reality of feelings and thoughts: "In the soul- and thought-world, feelings and thoughts react upon each other just as physical objects react upon each other in the physical world. As long as the student is not vividly permeated with this consciousness, he will not believe that a wrong thought in his mind may have as devastating an effect upon other thoughts that spread life in the thought-world, as the effect wrought by a bullet fired at random, upon the physical objects it hits. He will perhaps never allow himself to perform a physically visible action which he considers to be wrong, though he will not shrink from harboring wrong thoughts and feelings, when these appear harmless to he rest of the world. There can be no progress, however, on the path to higher knowledge, unless we guard our thoughts and feelings in just the same way as we guard our steps in the physical world." - now if that isn't next level positive psychology! Also: Conscious listening - especially to the sounds of living bodies. These not only produce a feeling in us, like all sounds, but also let us sense the inward experience of that living creature - the sound telling a story of experience that is outside one's own soul. The student then must unite his own feeling with the feeling of pleasure or pain that is perceived in the sound, disregarding personal attraction or aversion to the sound (this intermingling is easier for a person sensitive to music). Thus, "through her resounding tones, the whole of nature begins to whisper her secrets to the student. What was hitherto merely incomprehensible noise to his soul, will become by this means a coherent language of nature.“ Another part of listening consciously is also, of course, listening to others when they speak: it must be done with absolute inner silence, equanimity, and selflessness. „The student feels it his duty to listen, by way of practice, at certain times, to the most contradictory views, and, at the same time, entirely to bring to silence all assent, and, more especially, all adverse criticism.“ A wonderful way to practice this is to listen to children - „for even the wisest can learn incalculably much from children.“ Stage 2: Enlightenment Beholding impermanence. Continuing the process of the Probation stage, by deeply looking into the workings of nature (especially birth and death = impermanence), and sinking deeply into the inner feelings they evoke, one develops „spiritual eyes“. By this the world becomes „enlightened“: One starts to see the colors, lines and figures of the spiritual world, in the material world, and over time one also notices the spiritual beings. The control of thoughts and feelings: „Everyone must say to himself: ‚In my own world of thought and feeling, the deepest mysteries lie hidden, only hitherto I have been unable to perceive them.’ […] Hence it is highly important to give the proper direction to thoughts and feelings, for then only can the perception be developed of all that is invisible in ordinary life.“ One does this by concentrating thought and feeling on the invisible „force of life“ (= desire?) that is hidden inside all things, that makes them grow and unfold, express their nature, whither and die, recycle and create new life, and so on. Allowing the inner feeling coupled with this thought to sink in, an „inner force“ is awakened in the student, allowing new powers of perception. While doing this kind of spiritual research, „it is necessary that the student should lose none of his qualities as a good and noble man, or his receptivity for all physical reality." „The necessity must be emphasized of maintaining unimpaired and of perpetually cultivating that healthy sound sense which distinguishes truth from illusion.“ This discernment is crucial, shaping the way for the "true path of knowledge". Steiner mentions a golden rule of spiritual research: „For every one step that you take in the pursuit of higher knowledge, take three steps in the perfection of your own character.“ It seems that this is generally Steiner’s way of self-transformation: the „acquisition of knowledge is not the end, but the means to the end; the latter consists in the attainment, thanks to this knowledge of the higher worlds, of greater and truer self-confidence, of a higher degree of courage and magnanimity and perseverance such as cannot, as a rule, be acquired in the lower world.“ - in other words, EMPOWERMENT. „Courage and self-confidence are two beacons which must never be extinguished on the path to higher knowledge. No one will ever travel far who cannot bring himself to repeat, over and over again, an exercise which has failed, apparently, for a countless number of times. Long before any distinct perception of progress, there rises, in the student, from the hidden depths of the soul, a feeling that he is on the right path. This feeling should be cherished and fostered, for it can develop into a trustworthy guide.“ Steiner also repeatedly mentions the importance of observing silence concerning one’s spiritual experiences, keeping it all for oneself. „Do not attempt to clothe in words what you contemplate in the spirit, or to pore over it with clumsy intellect. Lend yourself freely and without reservation to these spiritual impressions, and do not disturb them by reflecting and pondering over them too much. For you must remember that your reasoning faculties are, to begin with, by no means equal to your new experience." Stage 3: Initiation Developing higher wisdom. There are multiple steps and trials the would-be Initiate must go through: The 'Fire-Trial': „The would-be Initiate proceeds to learn how the objects of nature and being gifted with life manifest themselves to the spiritual ear and the spiritual eye. In a certain way, these things then lie disclosed - naked - before the beholder. The qualities which can then be seen and heard are concealed from the physical eyes and ears. For physical perception they are enwrapped as in a veil, and the falling away of this veil for the would-be Initiate consists in a process designated as the process of ‚Purification by Fire‘“ - wow, that sounds so yogic! The new spiritual sign-language: „The candidate grows into clairvoyant knowledge, in an appropriate way, and, during this growth, a new strength is developed in his soul, as a new faculty, through which he feels himself impelled to decipher the occurrences and the beings of the spiritual world like characters of a writing.“ These „signs" correspond to the forms, colors, figures, etc which the student has learned to perceive in the Probation and Enlightenment stages. „He realized that all he learnt previously was only like learning how to spell, and that he is only now beginning to read in the higher worlds.“ This new language comes with certain rules of conduct and duties, allowing him to act „from out of the higher worlds“, for the good of humanity. The ‚Water Trial": This inner call of duty moves the student to perform a specific action. „The nature of this action can be understood by means of the hidden writing with which he is now familiar. If he recognizes his duty and acts rightly, his Trial has been successful. The success can be recognized in the alteration produced by his actions in the figures, colors and tones apprehended by his spiritual eyes and ears.“ Without support from outward circumstances, the student is now „floating“ in his activity in the higher worlds, thus making this the ‚Water Trial‘. Again, importance lies on the purity and inner authenticity of the activity: the student must not in any way introduce any personal ideas, feelings, desires, etc., or else the whole process would be distorted and the sight of the „goal" lost. It is all about the development of self-control - again, how yogic! Steiner here says that „anyone having acquired the faculty of following high principles and ideas, while putting into the background all personal predilection; anyone capable of always performing his duty, with inclinations and sympathies only too ready to seduce him from his duty - such a one is unconsciously an Initiate in the midst of ordinary life.“ One must by now have thoroughly cultivated his faculty of discernment in order to progress further on the path: „Every prejudice, every cherished opinion with regard to the things in question, must vanish; truth alone must guide. […] Dreamers and fantastical people are as unfit for the path to higher knowledge as superstitious people.“ „It is better for the student to be matter-of-fact than excitable and fantastic." The ‚Air Trial‘: Without rules or goal, this 'indefinite' trial is about finding, sinking into and following the voice of the higher self, the spirit. Steiner says that here for the student „there is no time for doubt or hesitation. Every minute of hesitation would prove that he was still unfit. Whatever prevents him from listening to the voice of the spirit must be eradicated. It is a question of showing presence of mind in this situation, and the training at this stage is concerned with the perfect development of this quality.“ So one could call this the stage of conscious surrender - and it results in „a moment of supreme happiness“. In Tantrik terms, this seems to be the stage of finding ‚pratibha‘. And because there is even less hold and support as in the previous trials, this one is called the ‚Air Trial‘. Entering the ‚Temple of Higher Wisdom‘, which includes: The ‚draught of forgetfulness‘: Applying the higher knowledge for the service of humanity - but only this knowledge that springs forth from the spirit in every moment. All other knowledge, e.g. memory, opinions, etc, shall be laid aside, „forgotten". The Initiate „must have full faith in the immediate present." This doesn’t mean fully renouncing memory, but the „ability of judging every new experience wholly according to what is inherent in it, and of letting it react upon him, unobscured by the past. We must be prepared at every moment, that every object and every being shall bring to us some new revelation.“ - in other words, living in the moment with a ‚beginner’s mind‘. „Opinions“ shall only be formed once an absolute (spiritual) Truth has been realized. The ‚draught of remembrance‘: The Initiate "acquires the faculty of retaining the knowledge of higher truths ever present in his soul.“ Steiner says: „We must unite ourselves and become as one with the higher truths. We must not only know them, but be able, quite as a matter of course, to manifest and administer them in living actions, even as we ordinarily eat and drink. They must become our practice, our habit, our inclination. There must be no need to keep thinking about them, in the ordinary sense: they must come to living expression through man himself; they must flow through him as the functions of life through his organism.“ What else? * Patience and equanimity * Integrity and self-honesty („There is only one way to get rid of faults and failings, and that is, by a just recognition of them“) * Letting curiosity (as a selfish thirst for knowledge) fall away, only asking for knowledge in service of evolution (keeping the delight in and devotion to knowledge, but no attachment to the ends) * Transforming desire through right knowledge, otherwise silencing it („Do not desire at all until you know what is right in any one sphere“) * Getting rid of emotional/psychological hindrances: anger, timidity, superstition, prejudice, vanity, tendencies of preaching and judging * Conscious speech (every word must be considered) and sensitivity in conversation (the person's state must be considered) - always thinking: „The importance lies not in the difference of our opinions but in his discovering what is right if I contribute something towards it" * Gentleness * Subtlety and depth of awareness (sinking into stillness) - but at the same time filtering out everything that is not in the focus of attention * Acceptance * Trust in goodness * Environment supporting spiritual growth - preferably nature (which „develops the inner organs in a harmony which can never ensue in a modern city“) * Studying sacred scripture * Earnestness and dedication - personal willingness to go through struggle in order to find Truth * Concentration and meditation * Holistic Health: Advancement of bodily, mental and spiritual health („sound knowledge can alone proceed from sound human beings“), using pleasure (and pain) only as a means to improve health (= harmony) and wisdom (-> no indulgence and excitement, and no unauthentic renunciation) * Interbeing: Feeling co-ordinated as a link in the whole of life, all as one (leading to compassion) * Inner alignment: Thoughts and feelings are as important for the world (in a beneficial or destructive way) as actions * Faith in spirit and its essentiality (vs. the physical world), allowing distinction between inner duty and outer success (one cannot be directly measured by the other), and finding a „spiritual balance“ between an „open heart for the needs of the outer world“ and an „inner fortitude and unfaltering endurance" * Selfless steadfastness and perseverance in carrying out a resolution (coming out of Truth) * Love for work: loving the action itself (the means), not the results (the ends) * Gratitude So what? * Activation and alignment of the chakras - the beginning of clairvoyance, as the chakras are the sense organs of the soul * Perception of specific desires, ideas, feelings, moods, and other aspects in other people in the form of (spiritual) colors, shapes, sensations, etc * Perception of spiritual atmospheres of places * Intercourse with beings of higher worlds * Entering the spiritual world, allowing for a true understanding of spiritual truths and for the wisdom and will of the spiritual world to directly flow through into the physical world, acting for the benefit of all * True discernment between truth and illusion * Disconnecting and separating the powers of willing (desire), feeling, and thinking, and taking away their power (to evoke a reaction), resulting in true equanimity * Unfolding inner freedom/liberation (from the illusion of individuality and its bounds) * The ability to see one’s inner world as the outside world (turning inside-out) and to control it accordingly * Direct knowledge of one’s higher Self (and thus realizing one’s immortality and oneness with everything) * Coming alive and transformation of one’s dream life and fully lucid dreams - „the difference between dream and waking consciousness grows ever smaller" Nice.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bard

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What are we to make of Steiner’s claims, much less of his curriculum for attaining verification? He is not a moonchild and a dreamer only, nor is he a scientist walking us through his experimental results. In a nutshell, he claims to be able to teach clairvoyance. Steiner himself pre-empts our doubts about his work at the outset by explaining that it is scientific knowledge for someone who has developed the same abilities as he has, but to those who have not developed those abilities they must ta What are we to make of Steiner’s claims, much less of his curriculum for attaining verification? He is not a moonchild and a dreamer only, nor is he a scientist walking us through his experimental results. In a nutshell, he claims to be able to teach clairvoyance. Steiner himself pre-empts our doubts about his work at the outset by explaining that it is scientific knowledge for someone who has developed the same abilities as he has, but to those who have not developed those abilities they must take his claims somewhat on faith. So this rhetorical double-bind leaves us relying on feelings and interactions to assess his work. Not a good start. His path to cognitive verification involves feeling and making time for reflective veneration, devotion, wonder and awe. He says that recollection, quiet time, and tranquility - essentially the Buddhist idea of shamatha - helps develop supersensible cognition. He says we should develop spiritual ears and eyes - whatever that means - in order to verify his findings. Chapter two concerns developing these organs of cognition in three stages. In the first stage PREPARATION he makes three directions for developing this cognition: first by meditating on the inner feelings of flourishing and decaying, second by distinguishing the inner quality of living sound versus inanimate sound, and third by listening to other humans selflessly. In the second stage ENLIGHTENMENT he directs us to cognise the order of a stone, plant, and animal; meditate on the inner nature of a seed and plant; strive to cognise the astral form of a human desire; strive to cognise the astral form of a fulfilled human desire. Many warnings about morality, silence, modesty and basic decency hedge these suggestions. In the third stage INITIATION Steiner suddenly talks about all kinds of esotericism: three trials by fire, water and air. He talks about strength of character (fire), reliance on some kind of astral writing based on the grammar of the previous two stages (water), and some kind of initiatory commitment (air). Chapter three gives advice on developing supersensible cognition successfully: patience, gentleness, stability, understanding, observation. Chapter four concerns itself with high quality morality as a help in this cognition. Chapter five gives detailed advice for using thoughts and feelings to develop the chakras. It is long, detailed, technical, confusing, and a bit overwhelming. Chapters 6&7 are a short dull digression on sleep and dream. This provides the basis for Chapter 8 where Steiner announces that thinking willing and feeling will become separate persons! Chapter 9 presents an unusually poetic way of dealing with first personal then collective karma. It seems kind of oddball. In the appendix he says that the proposed course of action occurs all in thought and the everyday self goes about its business while the inner life flourishes along quite different lines. He justifies the long chapter five on the chakra by saying that knowing these chakras enables one to be aware of their astral body without which one would be a baby. What to say about all this? I think the main thing is to judge his work on a thorough test or else ignore his ideas. Also, it’s clear Steiner is talking about INNER practice only; spiritual trappings are the opposite of what he has in mind. So clearly he is suggesting an inner course of reflection and contemplation aimed at verifying non-physical realities. And it is up to the reader whether she wants to pursue that course of verification.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    This book is straight forward if you're good with fuzzy directions. One of Steiner's that does not require reading of Theosophy, Study of Man or Occult Science. (although those are certainly helpful). As with any spiritual path, one must have earnestness or all work is done in vain. The way to the Higher Worlds, to limitless freedom is through: concentration, meditation, bodily health and a balance between thinking willing feeling. An opening of the lotus pedals, received from earnest work leads This book is straight forward if you're good with fuzzy directions. One of Steiner's that does not require reading of Theosophy, Study of Man or Occult Science. (although those are certainly helpful). As with any spiritual path, one must have earnestness or all work is done in vain. The way to the Higher Worlds, to limitless freedom is through: concentration, meditation, bodily health and a balance between thinking willing feeling. An opening of the lotus pedals, received from earnest work leads to clairvoyance in waking life. For the initiate, physical vision shifts beyond the veil and spirit becomes the master, leaving angels to their own. Steps of initiation include Buddha's eightfold path, thats the best place to start if you're new to esoteric training. Remember, little Steiner says was new to the world. Through his clairvoyance he was able to tie many universal truths together and expand on them.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Although some would say that science and spirituality do not mix, I’ve always considered myself a metaphysical witch of some sort; one who acknowledges my inner power and ability to transmute energy thanks to meditation and visualization, BUT at the same time; I also want to know why and how this magick is possible. If you’re a truth seeker like myself and have not yet read any of the works by Rudolph Steiner, I highly, highly recommend you get your hands on one of his books. Since early childho Although some would say that science and spirituality do not mix, I’ve always considered myself a metaphysical witch of some sort; one who acknowledges my inner power and ability to transmute energy thanks to meditation and visualization, BUT at the same time; I also want to know why and how this magick is possible. If you’re a truth seeker like myself and have not yet read any of the works by Rudolph Steiner, I highly, highly recommend you get your hands on one of his books. Since early childhood, humans are instructed to use sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch to ‘better’ their life experience, so it’s no surprise that most of the mainstream world focuses on the well-being of the body over the spirit. Although many physical sensations are enjoyable and helpful at times, a true understanding of a soul’s path (in this life and beyond) lies hidden outside of physical perception. Steiner wrote How to Know Higher Worlds in 1904, a time when society was hungry for knowledge and philosophers and scholars were actively exploring the science of the spirit. Steiner not only reminds us to go inward as often as possible, but he also shows us how. He acts as the spiritual guide that many students seek and leads each of us a couple of steps further outside the material realm until we can transverse and explore the spirit world on our own. After I finished this book, I reflected on the lessons for quite some time, truly amazed that such illuminated teachings are still relatively unknown (if not written off as New Age rubbish) in modern society. Reading Steiner’s words are not necessarily easy, it requires an open mind and perhaps a few re-reads to grasp the meaning behind his words fully. The concepts are tricky, and the language sometimes outdated (let’s not forget it was written over 100 years ago!), but the messages remain, strong as ever for those prepared to look.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wholly_Cats

    My Life I had only ever heard Steiner's name mentioned relative to education. I'm in my mid 60s and I've never really left the "classroom" in a manner of speaking. But he writes outwardly what I've taken to be the course of my life , even before I've read his work. So in that respect this book, my first of his, has been rather mind-blowing. I can't speak for other people , look for me it's almost as if I received the message that I've been on track . I can't speak highly enough of this book . Th My Life I had only ever heard Steiner's name mentioned relative to education. I'm in my mid 60s and I've never really left the "classroom" in a manner of speaking. But he writes outwardly what I've taken to be the course of my life , even before I've read his work. So in that respect this book, my first of his, has been rather mind-blowing. I can't speak for other people , look for me it's almost as if I received the message that I've been on track . I can't speak highly enough of this book . There is so much Truth in it that as I come across new ideas he has written here , I'm approaching it as more truth pointing in the right direction . Your experiences may differ but Wow.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennie smallenbroek

    My experience whilst reading this book is that I wanted to read it in one day. Remarkable is the language that is used is not of the beginning of the 20th century. It is for all times. To start this straining is to quiet the mind and be still. Gaze upon things, plants, animals, people, to attain the quality of feeling and seeing the astral body. Interesting also is that mr. Steiner refers to the yogic scriptures and that this method is a scientific way of developing the qualities to attain the h My experience whilst reading this book is that I wanted to read it in one day. Remarkable is the language that is used is not of the beginning of the 20th century. It is for all times. To start this straining is to quiet the mind and be still. Gaze upon things, plants, animals, people, to attain the quality of feeling and seeing the astral body. Interesting also is that mr. Steiner refers to the yogic scriptures and that this method is a scientific way of developing the qualities to attain the higher worlds.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    What if the internet never existed and cocaine-fueled quacks were given legitimate platforms? Well, welcome to the true sub-text of Waldorf education! If these believers in Anthroposophy simply practiced their freedom of religion/speech/etc. that would be great! However, they pretend to be interested in the education of children, solely for their own eugenic means. Waldorf is a cult! Rudolph Steiner was a drug-addicted lunatic with racist affiliations.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Henk

    Steiner's works are dense and complex and voluminous. This text offers a good cross-section of his essential teachings. Aimed at readers who wish to apply what is put forwards. This book covers many topics that are often too widely defined in popular esoterics. Like Lujan Matus, Steiner foregoes a mass-market appeal text in favor of getting things clear. Steiner's works are dense and complex and voluminous. This text offers a good cross-section of his essential teachings. Aimed at readers who wish to apply what is put forwards. This book covers many topics that are often too widely defined in popular esoterics. Like Lujan Matus, Steiner foregoes a mass-market appeal text in favor of getting things clear.

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