Sexuality, Inner Development, and Community Life Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of the Crisis in the Anthroposophical Society in Dornach, 1915 (CW 253)


7 lectures, Dornach, 10 September , 1915 (CW 253)
"These lectures and documents from the summer and fall of 1915 were a response to a crisis in the Anthroposophical Society, a crisis Rudolf Steiner wanted the membership to be aware of. In part, the crisis was provoked by Alice Sprengel, a long-time student of Rudolf Steiner, and her reaction to the marriage of her spiritual teacher to Marie von Sivers. Her expectations, the exact nature of which is not quite clear, were connected to the important role she felt herself playing in the anthroposophical movement. Faced with the close working relationship and then the marriage of Rudolf Steiner and Marie von Sivers in the winter of 1914, Alice Sprengel not only sent personal letters to both but also brought her disappointment and sense of abandonment to the attention of other members of the Anthroposophical Society.

"She also had a close relationship to Heinrich and Gertrud Goesch, a couple whose interest in Rudolf Steiner’s work was matched by an equally strong fascination with the then-emerging psychoanalytical school of Sigmund Freud. Influenced by Alice Sprengel and his own inner uncertainties, Heinrich Goesch accused Rudolf Steiner, both privately and publicly, of manipulating the membership of the Anthroposophical Society into a dependent status." - Christopher Schaefer, PhD (from the introduction)

Occasioned by a "scandal" precipitated by Rudolf Steiner’s marriage to Marie von Sivers in 1915, the lectures that constitute part one contain Steiner’s strongest statements on the issue of human relationships in a spiritual community. Using emphatic language Steiner makes it clear that becoming part of a spiritual community entails responsibilities and, indeed, a new way of being, and that members must become actively interested and engaged in the concerns of the group rather than simply wanting or expecting personal benefit from it. Above all, he asserts that it is essential for members to realize that a spiritual community is a living entity that needs the care and respect of its creators.

Because the crisis had been provoked by individuals under the influence of Freudian psychoanalysis, Steiner assesses Freud’s work, and psychoanalysis as a whole, illumined by an anthroposophic understanding of the human being. Steiner also speaks on sexuality and modern clairvoyance, relating them to Freudian psychoanalysis, as well as to the seer Emanuel Swedenborg as an example of the difficulties of entering the spiritual world. Then, starting from a historical perspective, Steiner poses a question: How old is love? He goes on to examine our modern idea of love in the context of mysticism.

Part two includes documentation of the Dornach crisis, along with two addresses by Rudolf Steiner to the members there, as well as Marie Steiner’s address to the Women’s Meeting on the particular tasks and challenges of women, both as members of the women’s movement of the time and in a spiritual community.
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Title: Sexuality, Inner Development, and Community Life Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of the Crisis in the Anthroposophical Society in Dornach, 1915 (CW 253)

Author(s): STEINER, RUDOLF, TRANS. CREEGER, CATHERINE, FOREWORD SCHAEFER, CHRISTOPHER

Categories: Books by Rudolf Steiner,

Publisher: SteinerBooks:

ISBN Number: 1621480933

ISBN Number 13: 9781621480938

Seller ID: 14657

Keywords: Community Freud Psychoanalysis Relationships Society START Books by Rudolf Steiner,