First published in the run-up to the new millennium, van Manen’s seminal study remains a unique and important source for understanding the spiritual and karmic background to the Anthroposophical Movement and Society, as founded around the work of the twentieth-century seer and scientist Rudolf Steiner.
In his lectures on karma given in 1924, Steiner spoke of the principal Aristotelian and Platonic traditions – and the movements based on their thinking. Van Manen studies the streams of destiny connected to these groups, and elaborates upon Steiner’s presentations – also tackling the apparent contradictions in the Karmic Relationships lecture series.
The author discusses the background to these groupings of destiny, beginning with the cosmic Michael School in the life before birth. He throws light on many different esoteric aspects connected to anthroposophy, including the archetypal representations of thinking arising from the Middle Ages; the Arthurian and Grail movements; the mystery of ‘Old’ and ‘Young’ souls; the individuals identified as ‘Seekers for Christ’ and ‘Servants of Michael’, and the ‘Shepherds’ and ‘Kings’.
We are led to the point at which the two principal groups of souls incarnate and meet together on earth for the first time ever – an event which is to take place within the contemporary anthroposophical movement. In an inspiring conclusion, the author presents his thoughts on a great Whitsun happening at the end of the twentieth century, and expounds on the tasks of the new millennium and the future of anthroposophy.