SOS: Introduction by Brien Masters

This is one of a series of posts discussing Rudolf Steiner’s Founding a Science of the Spirit: Fourteen Lectures Given in Stuttgart Between 22 August and 4 September 1906. Visit the tag Science of Spirit for all posts on this topic. 

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The introduction of Founding a Science of the Spirit: Fourteen Lectures Given in Stuttgart Between 22 August and 4 September 1906 is written by Brien Masters, a well regarded waldorf teacher, lecturer and prolific writer.

In the very first paragraph, on the very first page of the introduction, Masters tells readers that the term “door” (or “Portal” or in German Pforte) is used metaphorically a concept that I am going to broadly apply to all of Steiner’s work to make it easier to sleep at night when I get to the later lectures on “Post-Atlanetean Cultural Epochs.”

Actually, I’m going to cling to the metaphor concept now as Steiner’s lectures are going to provide a general survey of inner spiritual realms of pure thought. Why it took four pages for Masters to say that is still unclear, and I’m left wondering if I missed some other salient message.

The introduction has left me with more questions than answers. My three main questions are as follows:

  1. What are these realms?
  2. How do we get there?
  3. Why should we go there?

From what I have read in the introduction I can glibly answer all of these:

  1. They are spiritual realms of pure thought. To be fair, this does not feel like a complete answer. 
  2. We get there through our inner portal. Yes, but WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!
  3. We should go there to find our inner strength/quiet. See comment on #2, which is only somewhat answered by the verse: 

Inner Quiet

Quiet I bear within me
I bear within myself
Forces to make me strong.
Now will I be imbued
With their glowing warmth
Now will I fill myself
With my own will’s resolve.
And I will feel the quiet
Pouring through all my being,
When by my steadfast striving
I become strong
The source of strength,
The strength of inner quiet.

– Rudolf Steiner

With my questions penciled into my little notebook, I shall now embark on lecture one: The Being of Man – I have not easily found an online copy of this to link to, so unless you have the book, you can’t read ahead, and will have to wait. I wonder what awaits me.