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Freemasonry and Ritual Work

The Misraim Service - Letters, Documents, Ritual Texts, and Lectures from the History and Contents of the Cognitive-Ritual Section of the Esoteric School: 1904-1919

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translated by John Wood, introduction by Christopher Bamford.
pp. lxii-570, Massachusetts
data stampa: 2007
codice isbn: 978088010612

Alongside the Esoteric Section, Rudolf Steiner created the "Cognitive Ritual Section," an order connected to Masonic tradition, but independent and Inspired by Anthroposophy. This astonishing volume contains the rituals, lectures, meditations, and other instructions Steiner gave to students and members of the esoteric school. As he began to establish his esoteric mission, Rudolf Steiner chose to connect his spiritual goals and efforts with the wisdom streams that had prepared the ground for his task. For the sake of conscience, gratitude, and continuity, he determined to acknowledge those who preceded him and to relate himself to them in his characteristically free, creative, conscious, and independent way. Steiner also understood that ritual was central, even necessary, as the essence of embodied spiritual work. For this reason, he saw Freemasonry as the preeminent spiritual, non-sectarian, communitarian paradigm. He knew, too, that Freemasonry, though it appeared hollow, was perhaps the main repository of esoteric, ritual tradition and initiation remaining in the West.
Most of the guiding spirits in the recent Western development had been Masons, including Goethe, Herder, Lessing, the founders of the United States, as well as Madame Blavatsky and the other great esotericists of the nineteenth century. Although he never "became" a Mason, in 1904 the "Great Orient of the Scottish A & A Thirty-Three Degree Rite of the Order of the Ancient Freemasons of the Memphis-Misraim Rite" granted Rudolf Steiner - based on his self-evident, extraordinary initiatory status - a patent to direct his own "order" under the name "Mystica Aeterna." He received his charter from Theodore Reuss of the Ordo Templum Orientalis or O.T.O. Nevertheless, Steiner was never a member of, nor did he have any involvement with, the O.T.O. Reuss had received permission to operate the Memphis-Misraim rite from John Yarker, who, some twenty years previously, had initiated Madame Blavatsky into the same Order. In time, Mystica Aeterna became the "Cognitive Cultic Section" (also called the "Misraim Service") of the Esoteric School of the German Section of the Theosophical Society; this is the subject of this book.
The "Masonic" phase in Rudolf Steiner's life and work passed, but it remains transformed and alive in many ways in Anthroposophy as he handed it down to us today. This book contains an introduction, a chronology of Rudolf Steiner's life, and an index. This volume is a translation of "Zur Geschichte und aus den Inhalten der erkenntniskultischen Abteilung der Esoterischen Schule" 1904-1914 (GA 265).

Indice:

A Note about the British Edition        xi   
Introduction by Christopher Bamford        xv   
Preface to the German Edition by Hella Wiesberger        1   
Introduction to the German Edition by Hella Wiesberger        5   
    Concerning the spiritual-scientific meaning of ritual.
   
    The understanding of ritual is based on spiritual insight.
   
    The ideal of turning the whole of life into a sacrament.
   
    Spiritual thinking as spiritual communion, as the beginning of a cosmic ritual that is right and fitting for humanity today.
   
    The ritual-forms created for the various groups.
   
I. THE INTRODUCTION OF THE MISRAIM SERVICE INTO THE ESOTERIC SCHOOL   
    Preliminary Remarks by Hella Wiesberger
        43   
    Concerning the history of the Cognitive-Ritual Section.
   
    Why the connection was made to Egyptian Masonry.
   
    The "outer" prehistory of the Cognitive-Ritual Section.
   
    The "inner" prehistory of the Cognitive-Ritual Section.
   
    Concerning the constituting of the new Misraim Service.
   
    The cognitive-ritual work is suspended owing to the outbreak of the First World War and the opposition to Freemasonry caused thereby.
   
    Why Rudolf Steiner wished to avoid the term "secret society" for his cognitive-ritual work.
   
    Letters and Documents
   
    Rudolf Steiner to A.W. Sellin, Berlin, August 15, 1906
        69   
    Supplement to the above letter to A.W. Sellin
        73   
    Three reports about the Memphis-Misraim-Freemasonry Hamburg, December 12, 14, 20, 1904
        74   
    Recipt for Membership Fee for Rudolf Steiner and Marie von Sivers
        83   
    Berlin, November 24, 1905 (facsimile)
        84   
    Rudolf Steiner to Marie von Sivers in Berlin (extracts) Nuremberg, November 25, 1905
        84   
    Karlsruhe, November 30, 1905
        85   
    Contract between Theodor Rea and Rudolf Steiner Berlin, January 3, 1906
        86   
    Concerning the admittance of women by Marie von Sivers
        90   
    Announcement of the agreement of January 3, 1906
        91   
    Rudolf Steiner to Michael Bauer (excerpt) Berlin, July 3, 1906
        92   
    Excerpts from two letters to Rudolf Steiner from Emil Adriányj Nuremberg, September 3 and 8, 1906
        92   
    Announcement by Theodor Rea about the separation of the combined three rites into three separate bodies in Oriflamme, fifth year No. 2, July-December 1906
        95   
    Appointment of Rudolf Steiner to be General Grand Master of the Egyptian Rite of Memphis in Germany June 15, 1907
        97   
    Rudolf Steiner on the Difference between Freemasonry and the Misraim-Service Celebrated in his Esoteric School
   
    Notes from memory by a participant Berlin, December 16, 1911
        98   
    Munich, August 30, 1911
        99   
    Basle, September 25, 1912
        99   
    Rudolf Steiner on the History of the Cognitive-Ritual Section
   
    From: Rudolf Steiner: An Autobiography
        100   
    Supplementary remarks by Hella Wiesberger
        104   
    Marie Steiner Concerning the History of the Cognitive-Cultic section
   
    From a conversation with Kurt Englert-Faye, according to his diary notes Dornach, February 25, 1933
        105   
    Marie Steiner to C.S. Picht in Stuttgart Dornach, March 11, 1934
        108   
    Three sketches for the essay: "Was Rudolf Steiner a Freemason?" 1934
        116   
II. THE CONTENTS OF THE COGNITIVE-RITUAL SECTION   
    Preliminary Remarks by Hella Wiesberger
        125   
    About the meaning and spiritual origin of the Cognitive Ritual.
   
    Why the Cognitive Ritual was practiced in brotherly union.
   
    Concerning the name of the study circle.
   
    The preparation for admittance.
   
    Concerning the degrees.
   
    Symbolic accessories.
   
    The vestments.
   
    Concerning the rituals.
   
    Explanations of the Cognitive Ritual and the symbolism of the ritual objects.
   
    The Temple Legend and the Golden Legend and how they figure in the rituals.
   
    Preparation for Admittance
   
    Preparation Lessons
   
    Notes of two lessons by Rudolf Steiner recorded by participants Munich, 1906
        151   
    Cologne, May 7, 1912
        154   
    Formulas for the Pledge
   
    Two handwritten notices by Rudolf Steiner Notebook, Archive No. 611
        157   
    Ritual Texts
   
    Ritual Text for the Opening of the Lodge
        161   
    Ritual Text for the Closing of the Lodge (with facsimiles)
        165   
    Ritual Text for Admission into the First Degree
        183   
    Ritual Text for Promotion into the Second Degree
        196   
    Ritual Text for Promotion into the Third Degree (with facsimile)
        202   
    Notes by a participant concerning a fourth altar
        214   
    Notes and Parts of Ritual Texts
   
    Notes about the Ritual for Admission to the First Degree
        218   
    Notes on the Admission Ritual for the First Degree
        220   
    Wording for "Chamber of Contemplation"
        221   
    Wording for "Hell"
        222   
    Wording for "Journey through Life"
        222   
    Notes on the Third Degree
        228   
    Fragments and Notes about the Rituals of the Higher Degrees
   
    Notes about the Fourth Degree
        229   
    Notes about the Opening Ceremony for the Fourth Degree
        231   
    Notes on the Admission Ritual for the Fifth Degree
        233   
    Notes about the Opening Ceremony for the Fifth Degree
        234   
    Fragments That Cannot Be Classified
        236   
    Meditation for the Second Degree
        244   
    Meditation for the Third Degree (Pentagram exercise)
        245   
    Note by a participant (about the Pentagram exercise)
        246   
    Explanation of the Ritual Texts
   
    About the Three Words: "Wisdom û Beauty û Strength"
        249   
    Concerning the Prayer "Brothers of Ages Past"
        251   
    Concerning the Four Principles, "Learn to Keep Silence..."
        255   
    Concerning the Pledge-formula (Vow)
        261   
    Concerning Ashes, Salt, and Water
        264   
    Concerning the Rosicrucian Maxim
        266   
    Concerning the Mantra "The Stones Are Mute."
        284   
    Concerning Sign, Handclasp, and Word
        287   
    Concerning the Seven Words of the Ritual of Promotion into the Second Degree
        303   
    Concerning the Coffin Ceremony for Promotion into the Third Degree
        304   
    Concerning the Contents of the Fourth Degree
        310   
    Why No Ritual Can Take Place between December 24 and January 6
        313   
    Sketches and Explanations of Ritual Objects
   
    Sketches for Lodge Arrangements (facsimiles)
        319   
    The Lodge or Temple Room
        332   
    The Carpet
        333   
    The Three Altars
        334   
    The Three Candles
        335   
    The Three Candlesticks Beside the Altars
        340   
    The Mallet (TAO)
        340   
    The Triangle
        343   
    The Triangle with the Eye
        345   
    The Right Angle
        348   
    Compasses and Rule
        348   
    The Cross (Rose-Cross) Beside the Altar in the East
        348   
    The Cosmic Cross and the Golden Triangle in the Cosmos and the Human Being
        351   
    The Two Pillars Jachin and Boaz, Otherwise Known as the "Pillars of Hercules" (The Golden Legend)
        355   
    The Mirror
        369   
    The Four Elementary Beings
        370   
    The Book of Thoth (Tarot)
        375   
    Explanation of the Temple Legend
   
    The Temple Legend
        379   
    The Ebb and Flow of Macrocosmic and Microcosmic Energy Currents and the Temple Legend
        386   
    Meditational Instructions for the Beginning of the Temple Legend
        400   
    Explanations of the Beginning of the Temple Legend
        406   
    Explanations of the Brazen Sea
        412   
    The Initiation of the Hiram Abiff Individuality through Jesus Christ
        417   
    Appendix
   
    Rudolf Steiner's Research into the Hiram Abiff Individuality by Hella Wiesberger
        433   
III. DOCUMENTS OF A NEW BEGINNING AFTER THE FIRST WORLD WAR   
    Preliminary Remarks by Hella Wiesberger
        433   
    From the new beginnings after the First World War until the refounding of the Esoteric School as "the Free High School for Spiritual Science."
   
    Documents
   
    Handwritten notes by Rudolf Steiner, no date, presumably for Christiania, December 1921
        460   
    The Solemn Disbandment of the Cognitive-Ritual Work Group in Norway, December 1921
        464   
    From memory by Ingeborg Möller-Lindholm, February 20, 1952.
        464   
    Esoteric lesson in Christiania, May 18 or 20, 1923 Report from memory by Helga Geelmuyden
        465   
    Sketch by Rudolf Steiner for Professor Wohlbold, Munich, ca. 1923
        467   
    Three Esoteric Lessons with Subject Matter from Earlier Cognitive-Ritual Work Connections, Dornach, May 27 and October 23, 1923 and January 3, 1924 Report from memory by Röschl-Lehrs
        468   
    Concerning the Three Esoteric Lessons for the WachsmuthLerchenfeld Group(with facsimiles) From notebook Archive No. 281, Dornach, May 27, 1923
        480   
    Notes by Rudolf Steiner for Edith Maryon on the Esoteric Lesson of May 27, 1923 (with facsimiles) From notebook Archive, Nos. 5852/5853
        497   
Epilogue Record of a festival for the first anniversary of Rudolf Steiner's death by Marie Steiner        501   
Supplementary Notes        507   
Chronological Register of Lectures        525   
Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works        531   
Significant Events in the Life of Rudolf Steiner        547   
Index

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