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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. 4 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. 4 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. 4 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.

  5. 4 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.

  6. 4 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.

  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.

  8. 5 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.

  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. 5 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 5 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...

  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. 5 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.

  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. 5 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

    Stewart

    This is "occult" science. The pursuit of truth behind appearances is at the heart if any real religion or philosophy or science. This book is a practical manual for training the mind to perceive not just sense-perceptions but also to recognize activities occurring between physical objects. Steiner unfolds a Western articulation of the Perennial Philosophy (Huxley) before Huxley. This 1909 book is an extraction of the core of mystical Christianity, Mahayana Buddhism, and Theosophy. It discusses c This is "occult" science. The pursuit of truth behind appearances is at the heart if any real religion or philosophy or science. This book is a practical manual for training the mind to perceive not just sense-perceptions but also to recognize activities occurring between physical objects. Steiner unfolds a Western articulation of the Perennial Philosophy (Huxley) before Huxley. This 1909 book is an extraction of the core of mystical Christianity, Mahayana Buddhism, and Theosophy. It discusses crystals and auras and preempts the false New Age fantasies concerning such things. In reality, a "blue" aura is no color at all and is completely invisible; recognizing an aura is feeling the same emotion that the same color imposes through the eyes. A "blue" aura is an analogous spiritual feeling to the physical seeing of blue. Crystal contemplation is not fortune-telling but part of a series of simple mental exercises comparing mineral, vegetable, and animal. Much of the book is cautionary. It gives you simple and SAFE exercises to develop Eastern wisdom for Western lives. I personally have engaged a self-forged path that proved unsafe. I wish I had read this first.

  18. 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.

  19. 4 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lord

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

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    If you start reading this and you think "this dude is out there", well, you might be right, but take some time with it. And then call me and we'll chat.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    My son starts at a Waldorf school this fall, so I thought I'd read some Steiner. Happened to have an ancient copy of this one on my shelf. No idea how I got it.

  24. 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 !!

  25. 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."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wendy 'windmill'

    Interesfing Read along side doing esoteric work. Very interesting & informative. Steiner gives good views & has interesting opinions. A very interesting character Interesfing Read along side doing esoteric work. Very interesting & informative. Steiner gives good views & has interesting opinions. A very interesting character

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Brady

    German author covers chakra clearing and levels of awareness

  28. 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.

  29. 5 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.

  30. 5 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.

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