Rudolf Steiner


Spring Valley, New York

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Steiner, Rudolf, 1861-1925
The Karma of Vocation.

"The ten lectures presented here were given in Dornach, Switzerland, November 4 through 27,1916. In the Collected edition of Rudolf Steiner's works, the volume containing the German texts is entitled Das Karma des Berufes des Menschen in Anknüpfung an Goethe's Leben (vol. 172 in the Collected edition). They were originally translated from the German by Olin D. Wannamaker and revised for this edition by Gilbert Church, Ph.D. The final revision was prepared by Peter Mollenhauer"--T.p. verso.

Rev. ed. of: The karma of human vocation in connection with the life of Goethe. 1st ed. 1944.

Includes bibliographical references.

1. Anthroposophy -- Addresses, essays, lectures.
2. Karma -- Addresses, essays, lectures. 3. Goethe,
Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832-- Addresses, essays,
lectures. I. Mollenhauer, Peter. II. Title.
BP595.S8544813 1984 299'.935 84-2902
ISBN 0-88010-085-0
ISBN 0-88010-086-9 (pbk.)

First Edition 1944

Second Edition 1984

Copyright © 1984 by Anthroposophic Press, Inc.

Cover design by Peter Stebbing

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers, except for brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Printed in the United States of America

About the Publication of
Rudolf Steiner's Lectures

The works written and published by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) constitute the foundation of anthroposophically oriented spiritual science. From 1900 to 1924, however, Steiner also gave a number of lectures and courses to the general public and to members of the Theosophical (later the Anthroposophical) Society. At first, he himself expressed the wish not to have his lectures, which were always delivered in loose form from a few sketches, committed to paper since they were "oral communications and not intended for publication." However, after some of his listeners had increasingly prepared and circulated incomplete and erroneous written reports of these lectures, Steiner felt compelled to regulate these practices and entrusted Marie Steiner-von Sievers with the task. She had to choose stenographers, administer the reports and take care of the editing for publication. Since Rudolf Steiner did not, except in a few isolated cases, have the time to correct the reports himself, his caveat regarding all publications of lectures must be taken into consideration: "What will have to be accepted, however, is that the transcriptions not checked by me may contain some errors."

In his autobiography, The Course of My Life (Chapter 35), Rudolf Steiner comments on the relationship of lectures for members, which initially were available only as internal printings of manuscripts, to his public writings. The exact text of these remarks can be found at the end of this volume. What is stated there is also applicable to the courses on special subject matters which addressed themselves to a limited circle of participants who were familiar with the foundations of spiritual science.

After the death of Marie Steiner (1867-1948), the publication of a complete edition of Rudolf Steiner's works was begun in accordance with her instructions. This volume is part of the complete edition. To the extent necessary, more information on the original texts is provided at the beginning of the "Footnotes."



FIRST LECTURE, Dornach, November 4, 1916
Goethe's life as spiritual phenomenon and his relationship to our age.

SECOND LECTURE, November 5, 1916
The rhythm in Goethe's life.

THIRD LECTURE, November 6, 1916
The connection of the soul-spiritual with the physical during sleeping and waking. The involvement of the animal in the wisdom of the world. The relationship of man's creative activity and vocational work to the total evolution of the earth. Jakob Bohme.

FOURTH LECTURE, November 12, 1916
The transformation of vocational life in the beginning of the modern age. Vocational work as a seed for the continuing evolution of the world.

FIFTH LECTURE, November 13, 1916
Vocation and official position. Psychoanalysis. The destiny-like formation of life in relation to repeated earthly lives. Aspects of man's essence and their significance for vocational karma.

SIXTH LECTURE, November 18, 1916
Symptomatic study of linkages with destiny: Friedrich Theodor Vischer, Max Eyth, Hofrath Eysenhardt by Alfred von Berger.

SEVENTH LECTURE, November 19, 1916
Hereditary impulses and impulses from previous earthly lives. John Stuart Mill and Alexander Herzen. The activities of occult brotherhoods. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. Ku Hung-Ming. The encyclicals of 1864.

EIGHTH LECTURE, November 25, 1916
The life of Galileo in the light of the problem of destiny. Der rechte Liebhaber des Schicksals [The True Lover of Destiny] by Albert Steffen.

NINTH LECTURE, November 26, 1916
The relationship of the human being to the hierarchies. The conjury of destructive forces from the cosmos by the aberrations of human beings. The removal of divine substance from the word. How can the human being of our time find his way to Christ? James Watt. Modern technology as demonic magic.

TENTH LECTURE, November 27, 1916
Ancestor-worship, polytheism, monotheism, and the Mystery of Golgotha. Lucifer and the mystery of the moon. Mithras and Christ.


Rudolf Steiner on the transcriptions of lectures

The Karma of Vocation