The implications of the worldview that arises from Anthroposophy—the life’s work of Rudolf Steiner—are both primary and far-reaching. More nuanced than any remotely comparable approach, his work not only suggests the need for a fundamental alteration of our deeply ingrained tendency to accept passively the received wisdom of staid conventionality, it also provides the concrete framework—for anyone with the will to do so—to wake up to reality in an entirely new way. In short, this work and its implications are, therefore, both radical and possibly quite powerful. If this were not true, Anthroposophy would have no real impact and no real enemies. However, this has not been the case.
On New Year’s Eve 1922/23, the (first) Goetheanum—an architectural marvel and the “House of the Word” intended to stand as the fully realized physical, artistic embodiment of Anthroposophy on Earth—was deliberately destroyed by fire. This was an unfathomably heavy blow to Steiner and the entire anthroposophic movement. Afterward, however, he was adamant that not a single lecture or event scheduled to take place at the destroyed Goetheanum should be cancelled or postponed. He himself carried on with an even more determined—indeed, fiery—resolve.
The course of lectures in this book began on January 5, 1923, as living testament to that resolve. As truly relevant today as they were in 1923—probably more so—this volume is an exceptionally urgent, heartfelt articulation of what could be considered Steiner’s core message and plea to modern humanity—simply put, for the sake of the future, wake up!
Introduction by Jann W. Gates
1. Meeting Humanity’s New Need for Christ through a New Knowledge of Christ
JANUARY 5, 1923
2. The Task of Knowing for Today’s Youth
JANUARY 6, 1923
3. The Earth’s Interior and Celestial Constellations in Relation to the Physical Human Being
JANUARY 7, 1923
4. Jacob Boehme, Giordano Bruno, and Francis Bacon as Representatives of the Struggle
to Discover a New Knowledge of Humanity and the Cosmos
JANUARY 12, 1923
5. Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury Processes in the Inner Human Being:
The Dissolution of Ancient Clairvoyance through Spiritual Observation
JANUARY 13, 1923
6. The Sleep of Civilization in the Present Era
JANUARY 14, 1923
7. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness
JANUARY 19, 1923
8. The Human Being and the Spirits of Nature: Implications of an Anthroposophic Worldview
JANUARY 20, 1923
9. The Intellectual Fall of Humanity: Enlivened Thinking as a Path to the Spiritual World
JANUARY 21, 1923
10. Rising Beyond the Intellectual Fall of Humanity through Inner Discipline; Materialistic Science and Medieval Thinking
JANUARY 26, 1923
11. Realism and Nominalism: The Divine Essence in Nature and the Human Being
JANUARY 27, 1923
12. Hermann Grimm and Friedrich Nietzsche in Relation to the New Life of the Spirit:
Moral and Anti-moral Impulses as Seeds of a Future Order of Nature
JANUARY 28, 1923
Historical Background to the course of lectures compiled in Lebendiges Naturerkennen, intellektueller Sündenfall und spirituelle Sündenerhebung, GA 220 (literal translation: Living Knowledge of Nature, Intellectual Fall, Rising beyond the Fall, the Future of Humanity and the Earth). Prepared by Caroline Wispler, editor of the 1982 German edition of GA 220.
Archival sources and German and English Editions of CW 220
Awake! For the Sake of the Future is a translation from German of Lebendiges Naturerkennen. Intellektueller Sündenfall und spirituelle Sündenerhebung (GA 220).
Cover image: A man stands amid the burned out ruins of the (first) Goetheanum, January, 1923.