To those tired of sleeping
The architects of the cathedral of humanity
Theosophy and pseudo-theosophy
On the three steps
What needs to be comprehended!
The mystery of artistic expression
The light of the spirit in Christianity
The secret of the ancient cathedral building works
On the true service of God
This book grew out of a collection of what had been individually published treatises first combined as early as 1921. The reprint allowed a number of definitive changes to be made which have added precision to the meaning found within them.
In the meantime I have brought my spiritual teachings to a conclusion with the book ‘Hortus Conclusus’; I have also given the complete work the symbolic description which has lent its name to the last volume. What I bequeath in the thirty-two organically united parts of this complete teaching, – which include the present book, – would experience a most inadequate reception, were one to comprehend it solely as a ‘literary output’. Although the whole teaching had not been available without my having given it expression in language, its content is with me: – with my continuing being from which I live – identical, and not just a ‘literary production’, not the product of the earthly urge to create! Until my own times there have been, among all the peoples of the earth, less than ten men in temporal being who were capable of identifying in language their own eternal being with the substance of earthly feelings. Those who had that capability were always fully entitled to say: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my WORDS will not pass away!” – Moreover, the contents of the ‘prologues’ and ‘epilogues’ to my teachings belong for the most part to these ‘words’ and must not be separated from the text they frame!
Like jewels which seemed to have taken their final shape a long time ago can sometimes be polished again to reflect more light, so too have the contents of this present book been ‘polished’ anew. No one acquainted with the earlier version can today doubt that this re-polishing has added relevance and validity to the crystalline material. I can acknowledge only this new version of the book within my now concluded works of teaching. This applies in particular to those chapters which received new titles for the sake of general clarity.
Many of my words have been used for serving a cause they were never intended to serve. I therefore felt duty bound to protect them from any misjudgements and abuse, although – heaven knows – such protection should be unnecessary as I have never fed the slightest suspicion that I am beholden to some human institution or other, and that I am spiritually dependant on any human ideology. In each one of the thirty-two parts of my spiritual teaching I was, determined by eternity, always concerned with creating a body of language for myself through which I could be absorbed by others. If in centuries to come innumerable people may in a spiritual way take into their own possession my spiritual life, it will belong each time undivided to each individual: – substantially fused with his own eternal spiritual substance.
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The Original German text