"In our long human journey, individual and collective, the journey that science calls evolution, many indeed are the turning points. But they are not so much turning points in outer, material manifestation in the fossils of paleontology, for those fossils are only the shed garments worn by humans in an earlier age, vestments designed by providence to meet the need of a changing human consciousness moving through time. Where the real evolution occurs, for which the necessary outer garments are tailored over time, is in the realm of consciousness as it transitions from spirit to matter and back to spirit." - Edward Reaugh Smith (from the introduction). Rudolf Steiner gave the six lectures contained in this volume between January 1911 and January 1912. Soon after Steiner's death in 1925, Marie Steiner - realizing the importance of those lectures for understanding the evolution of consciousness and the central role of the Christ event in that process - collected them under the title "Turning Points in Spiritual History". According to Rudolf Steiner, Earth is the crucible of cosmic evolution, and earthly evolution is accomplished through humanity.
Further, there were five turning points - or critical, transformative moments - in the process leading to the culmination of the Christ's incarnation through the Mystery of Golgotha. Each of those five points is exemplified by an individual: Zarathustra, Hermes, Moses, Elijah, and the Buddha. Each of these lectures deals in turn with one of these great beings. In them, Steiner provides us with astonishing views of esoteric history and shows the remarkable ways in which the spiritual world guided and nurtured the spiritual evolution in preparation for the Christ's appearance on Earth.
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Author Biography - Rudolf Steiner
RUDOLF STEINER (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', meaning 'wisdom of the human being'. As a highly developed seer, he based his work on direct knowledge and perception of spiritual dimensions. He initiated a modern and universal 'science of spirit', accessible to anyone willing to exercise clear and unprejudiced thinking. From his spiritual investigations Steiner provided suggestions for the renewal of many activities, including education (both general and special), agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. Today there are thousands of schools, clinics, farms and other organizations involved in practical work based on his principles. His many published works feature his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development. Steiner wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6,000 lectures across Europe. In 1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world.