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Sleep and Dreams - Rudolf Steiner - 14 selected lecturesSleep and Dreams
A Bridge to the Spirit
Fourteen selected lectures by Rudolf Steiner
Edited and introduced by Michael Lipson, Ph.D.

Sleep and Dreams is a compilation of various lectures given by Rudolf Steiner between 1910 and 1924, in which he examines our dreaming and sleeping states as natural, though unconscious, passages into the spiritual realms that surround and permeate our physical existence.
 


 

What are dreams? Every age, every culture, perhaps even every person has a different answer. They agree at least on this: that dreams offer us something other than our waking state perception of the world. Their presence in our lives demonstrates that we are not limited to a single mode of consciousness. The world of sleep is largely a blank for us, an abyss of non-consciousness yawning between one day and the next. But the very fact that we can dream suggests our potential for some kind of awareness within the abyss.

Sleep and Dreams is a selection of talks in which Rudolf Steiner offers a completely different way of looking at dreams, one based on an understanding of the spiritual nature of the human being. If we admit the possibility that physical existence is just the tip of the iceberg whose mass belongs in the spiritual world, a radically new view of dream-consciousness offers itself for consideration: not simply as a chaotic assemblage of feelings and images, but with the development of refined inner faculties, as the threshold to a previously hidden spiritual reality.

Sleep, death, and meditation are the three realms in which consciousness has the opportunity to deepen its immersion in the divine flow of existence. In principle, we can become infinitely more self-aware in each of them. For human consciousness is not fixed, neither in its contents nor in its level of alertness. All day long the contents of consciousness change; at night the level of alertness and also the inner qualities of consciousness change. These lectures permit the reader to consider the profound qualities of experience we normally "sleep through" and to contemplate Steiner's astounding program: to develop heightened states of consciousness which not only maintain themselves through dreams and through sleep, but also to open our waking consciousness to realms which are ordinarily blocked out by our physical senses. What is described thereby, from various aspects, is the developmental path of the spiritual Initiate.

Steiner Books
214pp; paperback
ISBN: 978-0-88010-512-5
 

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Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', meaning 'wisdom of the human being'. As a highly developed seer, he based his work on direct knowledge and perception of spiritual dimensions. He initiated a modern and universal 'science of spirit', accessible to anyone willing to exercise clear and unprejudiced thinking.

From his spiritual investigations Steiner provided suggestions for the renewal of many activities, including education (both general and special), agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. Today there are literally thousands of schools, clinics, farms and other organizations involved in practical work based on his principles. His many published works feature his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development. Steiner wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6,000 lectures across Europe. In 1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world.

 

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