Steiner Rudolf - The Karma of untruthfulness Volume 1

Author : Steiner Rudolf
Title : The Karma of untruthfulness Volume 1 Secret societies, the media, and preparations for the Great War 13 lectures
Year : 1916

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Introduction. Rudolf Steiner gave the lectures collected in this book to audiences of anthroposophists in Dornach, Switzerland throughout the month of December 1916. The lectures were taken down by a professional stenographer, Helene Finckh, who was solely authorized to do so, and as a result there is only one of the frequent gaps in the shorthand reports that mar transcriptions of Steiner’s lectures in the early years of the century. These lectures are not easy, but Steiner never wanted his work to be easy; he wanted people to work at it in full, active, wakeful consciousness. There is a wealth of historical detail and individual colour here-more perhaps than in any of Steiner’s work, and readers whose grasp of the history is tenuous will find the notes indispensable. Publication history. Given the importance of the content for an understanding of the events surrounding the First World War, it is significant that these lectures ‘were not made accessible, even in the Dornach archive’, until 1948 and even then Marie Steiner ‘decided to bring out a restricted mimeographed edition which was handed out on a personal basis only’. The first German edition in book form did not come out until 1966, and the second edition (from which this translation by Johanna Collis was made) appeared in 1978 (GA 173). Vol. 2 (GA 174) was not available to the public until 1983. The first English translation of Vol. 1 was only published in 1988 (Rudolf Steiner Press, London and Anthroposophic Press, New York), 72 years after the lectures were given, and Vol. 2 did not appear in English till 1992. The two English language volumes contain all the lectures contained in GA 173 and 174; none are omitted. The uniqueness of The Karma of Untruthfulness. We are approaching the centenary of the terrorist assassination at Sarajevo in 1914 that sparked the Great War, which ultimately led to the Second World War and the Cold War. Thus the Great War could be said to have shaped the whole twentieth century. By 2014 there will be no one left who fought in the war. Many might think, ‘What’s the point of dwelling on such an unattractive conflict in the past that has little relevance to the modern world?’, until it is pointed out that the Israel-Palestine problem, the development of Iraq, Fascism, Nazism, Communism, Maoism, national self-determination, the centralization of society and economic organization in the West, women’s rights, the rapid and radical development of aircraft, military technology, and the arts, the end of the old British Liberal Party and the rise of the Labour Party, the break-up of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, the decline and fall of European empires and colonialism, the movement for European unity, the United Nations and the emergence of the United States as world superpower-all these were to a greater or lesser degree rooted in or made possible by the Great War. That titanic struggle was a caesura between two ages; it did so much to define and shape the modern world. Its consequences are still with us-many of them in the form of still unresolved problems. It could even be said that with the outbreak of war in 1914, western civilization somehow failed to maintain its progress and has been treading water ever since-despite space rockets, the Beatles, the Pill and the Internet. ...

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