Way of Initiation

Way of Initiation
Catalog # SKU3681
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Rudolf Steiner, Edouard Schure, Max Gysi
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ISBN 13: 0000000000000


Way of Initiation

How to Attain Knowledge
of the Higher Worlds

Rudolf Steiner
Edouard Schure
Translated by Max Gysi

Many of even the most cultivated men of our time have a very mistaken idea of what is a true mystic and a true occultist. They know these two forms of human mentality only by their imperfect or degenerate types, of which recent times have afforded but too many examples.

Large Print, 17 point font



To the intellectual man of the day, the mystic is a kind of fool and visionary who takes his fancies for facts; the occultist is a dreamer or a charlatan who abuses public credulity in order to boast of an imaginary science and of pretended powers.

Be it remarked, to begin with, that this definition of mysticism, though deserved by some, would be as unjust as erroneous if one sought to apply it to such personalities as Joachim del Fiore of the thirteenth century, Jacob Boehme of the sixteenth, or St. Martin, who is called "the unknown philosopher," of the eighteenth century. No less unjust and false would be the current definition of the occultist if one saw in it the slightest connection with such earnest seekers as Paracelsus, Mesmer, or Fabre d'Olivet in the past, as William Crookes, de Rochat, or Camille Flammarion in the present. Think what we may of these bold investigators, it is undeniable that they have opened out regions unknown to science, and furnished the mind with new ideas.

No, these fanciful definitions can at most satisfy that scientific dilettantism which hides its feebleness under a supercilious mask to screen its indolence, or the worldly scepticism which ridicules all that threatens to upset its indifference. But enough of these superficial opinions. Let us study history, the sacred and profane books of all nations, and the last results of experimental science; let us subject all these facts to impartial criticism, inferring similar effects from identical causes, and we shall be forced to give quite another definition of the mystic and the occultist.

The true mystic is a man who enters into full possession of his inner life, and who, having become cognizant of his sub-consciousness, finds in it, through concentrated meditation and steady discipline, new faculties and enlightenment. These new faculties and this enlightenment instruct him as to the innermost nature of his soul and his relations with that impalpable element which underlies all, with that eternal and supreme reality which religion calls God, and poetry the Divine.

The occultist, akin to the mystic, but differing from him as a younger from an elder brother, is a man endowed with intuition and with synthesis, who seeks to penetrate the hidden depths and foundations of Nature by the methods of science and philosophy: that is to say, by observation and reason, methods invariable in principle, but modified in application by being adapted to the descending kingdoms of Spirit or the ascending kingdoms of Nature, according to the vast hierarchy of beings and the alchemy of the creative Word.

The mystic, then, is one who seeks for truth and the Divine directly within himself, by a gradual detachment and a veritable birth of his higher soul. If he attains it after prolonged effort, he plunges into his own glowing centre. Then he immerses himself, and identifies himself with that ocean of life which is the primordial Force.

The occultist, on the other hand, discovers, studies, and contemplates this same Divine outpouring given forth in diverse portions, endowed with force, and multiplied to infinity in Nature and in Humanity. According to the profound saying of Paracelsus: he sees in all beings the letters of an alphabet, which, united in man, form the complete and conscious Word of life. The detailed analysis that he makes of them, the syntheses that he constructs with them, are to him as so many images and forecastings of this central Divine, of this Sun of Beauty, of Truth and of Life, which he sees not, but which is reflected and bursts upon his vision in countless mirrors.

The weapons of the mystic are concentration and inner vision; the weapons of the occultist are intuition and synthesis. Each corresponds to the other; they complete and presuppose each other.

216 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover

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