KRI - Karmic Relationships Individualities

From Anthroposophy

This page complements the general overview page Karma research case studies and has subsections for

  • the Individualities described in Rudolf Steiner's Karmic Relationship lectures of 1924,
  • as well as additional Individualities covered throughout the 20 years of lecturing,
  • and additions from other sources.

Karmic studies on these Individualities consists of:

  • mostly: biographical study of the Personality or Personalities (life or lives, looking at karmic themes, 7 and 18 year periods, key relationships, challenges, influences)
  • sometimes also
    • astrological study of birth and death charts
    • physiognomical characteristics (for initiates)

The Karmic relationships topic page provides more information on the connectedness and interrelationships between groups of Individualities.


Schema FMC00.241A provides a reference to the Individualities (KRI) and the Karmic Relationship lecture number (KRL)


Schema FMC00.241 as an example of a structured table, made on the basis of listening to KR lectures in chronological order.


Schema FMC00.531 depicts a simple metaphoric image for the main karmic patterns, challenges and debts in one's life or incarnation.

On the upper left is represented the accounting 'balance sheet' of karmic unbalances as a result of many previous lives, the 'book of lives' (part of Man's higher spiritual self or Individuality), also called 'causal body' in theosophy. In the accounting image, each life delivers like the equivalent of 'annual results' that is added to the balance sheet in the process and journey between death and a new birth.

When we investigate our current life with biography work and karma exercises (on the right), we will find particularities, obvious or recurrent challenges, curious patterns. Some don't seem to belong in our experience of this current life, and/or may be an odd aspect of our Personality, even though we feel and have to acknowledge they are an intrinsic part of our true self (and Individuality). Depending on the individual, the process may include spontaneous Past life memories, whereby certain karmic patterns may clearly point to a particular previous incarnation. Importantly, the patterns are typically interwoven with relationships with key people in our lives (their role, impact, the period of our life) see Karmic relationships.

Rudolf Steiner gave examples of the above with the Karma research case studies about the KRI - Karmic Relationships Individualities.

During the journey between death and a new birth, before incarnating the soul develops a life plan in the spiritual world, and so each life has a selection of challenges to work and balance out these karmic unbalances - see a.o. Schema FMC00.287. The image of the slide projector depicts how patterns seen in one life stem from elements from various previous lives shown here as overlay slides.

Initiation is the process of fast tracking this process (versus the 'wheel of karma') by taking on this work on our human character consciously during incarnate life with daily initiation exercises.


KRI 5: Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)


  • Individuality
    • Franciscan ascetic monk (who inflicted intense self-torture on his body with the result that through the self-inflicted pain he knitted himself strongly with his physical body .. the effect of which was that, in the next incarnation the soul had no desire to be in the body at all)
      • for reference: the Franciscan order was founded in 1209
  • relations with
    • KRI 83 Richard Wagner
    • Paul Rée
    • Lou Salomé, who also had friendships with Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Rée, and Sigmund Freud.

Lecture coverage and references

1895-GA005 - Friedrich Nietzsche, Fighter for Freedom
GA065 - Nietzsches Seelenleben und Richard Wagner: zur Weltanschauungs-Entwicklung der Gegenwart

It may seem disrespectful to relate such things, but no disrespect whatever is intended. Moreover I am convinced that it can be of great value for any human being to know of such connections and apply them to his own life, even if it means that he has to say to himself: Three incarnations ago I was an out-and-out scoundrel! It can be of immense benefit to life when a man can say to himself: In one incarnation or another, perhaps not only in one, I was a thoroughly bad lot! In speaking of such things, just as in other circumstances present company is always excepted, so here present incarnations are excepted!

I was also intensely interested in the connections of destiny of a man with whom my own life brought me into contact, namely Friedrich Nietzsche. I have studied the problem of Nietzsche in all its aspects and, as you know, have written and spoken a great deal about him.

His was indeed a strange and remarkable destiny. I saw him only once during his life. It was in Naumburg, in the nineties of last century, when his mind was already seriously deranged. In the afternoon, about half-past-two, his sister took me into his room. He lay on the couch, listless and unresponsive, with eyes unable to see that someone was standing by him: He lay there with the remarkable, beautifully formed brow that made such a striking impression upon one. Although the eyes were expressionless, one nevertheless had the feeling: This is not a case of insanity, but rather of a man who has been working spiritually the whole morning with great intensity of soul, has had his mid-day meal and is now lying at rest, pondering, half dreamily pondering on what his soul worked out in the morning. Spiritually seen, there were present only a physical body and an etheric body, especially in respect of the upper parts of the organism, for the being of soul-and-spirit was already outside, attached to the body as it were by a stubborn thread only. In reality a kind of death had already set in, but a death that could not be complete because the physical organisation was so healthy. The astral body and the ego that would fain escape were still held by the extraordinarily healthy metabolic and rhythmic organisations, while a completely ruined nerves-and-senses system was no longer able to hold the astral body and the ego. So one had the wonderful impression that the true Nietzsche was hovering above the head. There he was. And down below was something that from the vantage-point of the soul might well have been a corpse, and was only not a corpse because it still held on with might and main to the soul — but only in respect of the lower parts of the organism — because of the extraordinarily healthy metabolic and rhythmic organisation.

Such a spectacle may well make one attentive to the connections of destiny. In this case, at any rate, quite a different light was thrown upon them. Here one could not start from a suffering limb or the like, but one was led to look at the spirituality of Friedrich Nietzsche in its totality.

There are three strongly marked and distinct periods in Nietzsche's life. The first period begins when he wrote The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music while he was still quite young, inspired by the thought of music springing from Greek tragedy which had itself been born from music. Then, in the same strain, he wrote the four following works: David Friedrich Strauss; Confessor and Author, Schopenhauer as Educator, Thoughts out of Season, Richard Wagner in Bayreuth. This was in the year 1876. (The Birth of Tragedy was written in 1871). Richard Wagner in Bayreuth is a hymn of praise to Richard Wagner, actually perhaps the best thing that has been written by any admirer of Wagner.

Then a second period begins. Nietzsche writes his books, Human, All-too Human, in two volumes, the work entitled Dawn and thirdly, The Joyful Wisdom.

In the early writings, up to the year 1876, Nietzsche was in the highest sense of the word an idealist. In the second epoch of his life he bids farewell to idealism in every shape and form; he makes fun of ideals; he convinces himself that if men set themselves ideals, this is due to weakness. When a man can do nothing in life, he says: Life is not worth any thing, one must hunt for an ideal. — And so Nietzsche knocks down ideals one by one, puts them to the test, and conceives the manifestations of the Divine in nature as something “all-too-human,” something paltry and petty. Here we have Nietzsche the disciple of Voltaire, to whom he dedicates one of his writings. Nietzsche is here the rationalist, the intellectualist. And this phase lasts until about the year 1882 or 1883. Then begins the final epoch of his life, when he unfolds ideas like that of the Eternal Recurrence and presents the figure of Zarathustra as a human ideal. He writes Thus spake Zarathustra in the style of a hymn.

Then he takes out again the notes he had once made on Wagner, and here we find something very remarkable! If one follows Nietzsche's way of working, it does indeed seem strange. Read his work Richard Wagner in Bayreuth. — It is a grand, enraptured hymn of praise. And now, in the last epoch of his life, comes the book The Case of Wagner, in which everything that can possibly be said against Wagner is set down!

If one is content with trivialities, one will simply say: Nietzsche has changed sides, he has altered his views. But those who are really familiar with Nietzsche's manuscripts will not speak in this way. In point of fact, when Nietzsche had written a few pages in the form of a hymn of praise to Wagner, he then proceeded to write down as well everything he could against what he himself had said! Then he wrote another hymn of praise, and then again he wrote in the reverse sense! The whole of The Case of Wagner was actually written in 1876, only Nietzsche put it aside, discarded it, and printed only the hymn of praise. And all that he did later on was to take his old drafts and interpolate a few caustic passages.

In this last period of his life the urge came to him to carry through an attack which in the first epoch he had abandoned. In all probability, if the manuscript he put aside as being out of keeping with his Richard Wagner in Bayreuth had been destroyed by fire, we should never have had The Case of Wagner at all.

If you study these three periods in Nietzsche's life you will find that all show evidence of a uniform trend. Even the last book, the last published writing at any rate, The Twilight of Idols, which shows entirely his other side — even this last book bears something of the fundamental character of Nietzsche's spiritual life. In old age, however, when this work was composed, he becomes imaginative, writing in a graphic, vividly descriptive style. For example, he wants to characterise Michelet, the French writer. He lights on a very apt expression when he speaks of him as having the kind of enthusiasm that takes off its coat. This is a marvelously apt description of one aspect of Michelet. Other similar utterances — graphic and imaginative — are also to be found in The Twilight of Idols.

If you once have this tragic, deeply moving picture before you of the individuality hovering above the body of Nietzsche, you will be compelled to say of his writings that the impression they make is as though Nietzsche were never fully present in his body while he was writing down his sentences. He used to write, you know, sometimes sitting but more often while walking, especially while going for long tramps. It is as though he had always been a little outside his body. You will have this impression most strongly of all in the case of certain passages in the fourth part of Thus Spake Zarathustra, of which you will feel that they could have been written only when the body no longer had control, when the soul was outside the body.

One feels that when Nietzsche is being spiritually creative, he always leaves his body behind. And this same tendency can be perceived, too, in his habits. He was particularly fond of taking chloral in order to induce a mood that strives to get away from the body, a mood of aloofness from the body. This tendency was of course due to the fact that the body was in many respects ailing; for example, Nietzsche suffered from constant and always very prolonged headaches, and so on.

All these things give a uniform picture of Nietzsche in this incarnation at the end of the 19th century, an incarnation which finally culminated in insanity, so that he no longer knew who he was. There are letters addressed to George Brandes signed “The Crucified One” — indicating that Nietzsche regards himself as the Crucified One; and at another time he looks at himself as at a man who is actually present outside him, thinks that he is a God walking by the River Po, and signs himself “Dionysos.” This separation from the body while spiritual work is going on reveals itself as something that is peculiarly characteristic of this personality, characteristic, that is to say, of this particular incarnation.

If we ponder this inwardly, with Imagination, then we are led back to an incarnation lying not so very long ago. It is characteristic of many such representative personalities that their previous incarnations do not lie in the distant past but in the comparatively near past, even, maybe, in quite recent times.

We come to a life where this individuality was a Franciscan, a Franciscan ascetic who inflicted intense self-torture on his body. Now we have the key to the riddle. The gaze falls upon a man in the characteristic Franciscan habit, lying for hours at a time in front of the altar, praying until his knees are bruised and sore, beseeching grace, mortifying his flesh with severest penances — with the result that through the self-inflicted pain he knits himself very strongly with his physical body. Pain makes one intensely aware of the physical body because the astral body yearns after the body that is in pain, wants to penetrate it through and through. The effect of this concentration upon making the body fit for salvation in the one incarnation was that, in the next, the soul had no desire to be in the body at all.

Such are the connections of destiny in certain typical cases. It can certainly be said that they are not what one would have expected! In the matter of successive earthly lives, speculation is impermissible and generally leads to false conclusions. But when we do come upon the truth, marvellous enlightenment is shed upon life.


Michael teaches how recognition can be made to-day if men are willing to listen to him. For the Michael schooling has worked on and still to-day it is possible for men to draw near it. Then it teaches how Ahriman himself as an author has made attempts — first attempts of a deeply shattering, deeply tragic character — working, of course, through a human being.

Nietzsche's Anti-Christ, his Ecce Homo, his autobiography, and the annotations in The Will to Power — those most brilliant chapters of modern authorship with their often devilish content — Ahriman was their writer, exercising his sovereignty over that which in letters on the Earth can be made subject to his dominion through the art of printing!

Ahriman has already begun to appear as an author and his work will continue.

On Earth in the future alertness will be necessary in order that not all the productions of authorship shall be deemed of the same calibre. Works written by men will appear, but some individuals at least must be aware that a Being is training himself to become one of the most brilliant authors in the immediate future: that Being is Ahriman!

Human hands will write the works, but Ahriman will be the author. As once the Evangelists of old were inspired by super-sensible beings and wrote down their works through this inspiration, so will the works of Ahriman be penned by men.


Input from a reader 2023-06 (RH)

The story is the following:

Wagner and Nietzsche were incarnated together again and again. A common incarnation was Pontius Pilate (Nietzsche) and his wife (Wagner). Pilate's wife pleaded for the release of Jesus. Pilate "What is truth" is said to have been Solomon "There is nothing new under the sun". This rejection of evolution by Solomon had dramatic, tragic consequences; when he said this, his heart chakra was damaged. Merlin was a magician who could be effective in the etheric sphere. Wagner's music is an efficacy in the etheric sphere (while the composers of Viennese Classicism were efficacious in the soul sphere). Nietzsche threatened to fall further and further into the arms of Ahriman and so Merlin or Wagner saved Nietzsche. This happened when Nietzsche had the serious psychic incident in Turin when he fell around the neck of the coachman's horse. It was at this moment that Merlin cut off Nietzsche's etheric head with an etheric sword (these are of course words from the physical material sphere which can only partially describe any etheric realities). After this incident in Turin, Nietzsche was 'benighted', mentally deranged.

Rudolf Steiner describes his visit to Nietzsche when Nietzsche is in his sick bed, and writes how his luminous etheric head hovers above his physical head.

The Nietzsche-Pontius Pilatus-Salomo story comes from Tomberg. I cant judge whether it s true or not, but it may be possible. In Nietzsche I see this "being torn between 2 sides, 2 forces" in his life and when you look at his entire life this seems to be the greatest, strongest most important trait: most pious poems in his youth and the mouthpiece of the Antichrist himself later. And I see something similar in Pontius Pilatus and also Salomo. These are my ideas, not Tombergs.    

Such biographical "constellations" can drag on through many incarnations, through the millennia. I know this from myself, but I don't know the deeper background. How does it come to such a main characteristic in many successive biographies? Does it possibly go back to events in the Atlantean epoch ? Are such main constellations actually kamic tasks, assignments that go beyond the personal? Maybe certain represent tasks beyond the personal, i.e. to bring together again the fragmentation of mankind into many groups, currents, mysteries etc.? Doesn't it seem as if we walk around like in a labyrinth without knowing the entrance and the exit?

Further reading and references

  • Friedrich Rittelmeyer: 'Friedrich Nietzsche und die Religion' (1919)
  • D. Beckenhaupt: 'Nietzsche und das gegenwärtige Geistesleben' (1930)
  • Rudolf Meyer: 'Christ und Antichrist : Friedrich Nietzsches Erleuchtung und Verfinsterung' (1945)
  • Walter Schubart: 'Dostojewski en Nietzsche : de symboliek van hun leven' (1946)
  • Otto Julius Hartmann: 'Tiefenpsychologie : Goethe, Nietzsche, Dostojewski ; Grossinquisitor und Antichrist ; Die Lehre der Dämonen - Die Offenbarung des Gott-Menschen ; Was ist 'Kirche' ? - Ikonen-Kunst und Naturwissenschaft ; Bilderstürmerei' (1978)
  • Karen Swassjan: 'Nietzsche : Versuch einer Gottwerdung ; Zwei Variationen über ein Schicksal' (1994)
  • Rüdiger Safranski: 'Nietzsche : een biografie van zijn denken' (NL 2011, original in DE 'Nietzsche. Biographie seines Denkens')
  • Andreas Meyer: 'Nietzsche und Dionysos : eine Suche nach den Quellen des Lebens : die Dionysos-Mysterien' (2015)

Steiner and Nietzsche

  • Rudolf Steiner: Nietzsches Seelenleben und Richard Wagner : zur Weltanschauungs-Entwicklung der Gegenwart (1944) also in GA065C
  • Rudolf Steiner: Veröffentlichungen aus dem literarischen Frühwerk, Heft 12-18; Band III : Friedrich Nietzsche (also in GA31 and GA32) (1940)
  • Rudolf Steiner: 'Die Persönlichkeit Friedrich Nietzsches : Eine Gedächtnisrede, gehalten im Kreise der "Kommenden"' (2000)
  • David Marc Hoffmann: 'Zur Geschichte des Nietzsche-Archivs : Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, Fritz Koegel, Rudolf Steiner, Gustav Naumann, Josef Hofmiller ; Chronik, Studien und Dokumente' (1991)
  • Rudolf Steiner und das Nietzsche-Archiv : Briefe von Rudolf Steiner, Elisabeth Nietzsche-Förster, Fritz Koegel, Constantin Georg Naumann, Gustav Naumann und Ernst Horneffer 1894-1900 (1993)

KRI 10: Gardibaldi

KRI 11: Lessing

Further reading

  • Friedrich Oberkogler: 'Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Versuch einer Geisteswissenschaftlichen Karmabetrachtung'
  • Gideon Spicker (1883, 1909)
    • Lessing's Weltanschauung
    • Am Wendepunkt der christlichen Weltperiode : philosophisches Bekenntnis eines ehemaligen Kapuziners

KRI12: Haeckel

  • Monk or Abbot Hildebrand, who became Gregory the Great
  • Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919)
    • Haeckel visited Darwin and promoted and popularised his work in Germany
    • developed the influential recapitulation theory ("ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny")

Lecture coverage and references

Steiner mentions this Individuality in three KR lectures


Anyone who did not research, but merely thought things out, would of course come to absolutely different conclusions. But we only understand karma when we can take these most extreme cases and connections, seeming almost paradoxical in the world of sense.

They are there none the less in the spiritual world, even as that other fact is there, which I have often mentioned — I mean that Ernst Haeckel, who so violently fought against the Church, is the re-incarnation of Abbot Hildebrand, who became Pope Gregory the Great.

Here we see how indifferent a matter is the external content of a man's belief or theory in earthly life, for all these things are his thoughts. But if you study Haeckel, especially in connection with what he was as Abbot Hildebrand, as Gregory — (I believe he too is included among these pictures from Chartres) — you will see that there is in fact a real dynamic sequence.

I chose the above example in order that you might see how present individualities carry the past into this present time.

If you will afterwards observe the features of the Monk Hildebrand, who became Gregory the Great and whom you know from history, you will see how wonderfully the soul-configuration of Haeckel is contained in this countenance of Hildebrand, of Gregory the Great.

KRI 14: Lord Byron

Further reading

  • Norbert Glas: 'Byrons Schicksalsrätsel' (1962)

KRI 17: Amos Comenius

Hannah Krämer-Steiner studied Amos Comenius

Steiner 1916-04-11-GA167 references 'book by Friedrich Eckstein entitled Comenius and the Bohemian Brothers'

Further reading

  • Renate Riemeck: 'Der andere Comenius' (1970)

KRI 19: Conrad Ferdinand Meyer

  • Italy 6th century -> Canterbury    
  • woman at time Thirty Years' War
  • Conrad Ferdinand Meyer (1825-1898) was a Swiss poet and historical novelist

Further reading

  • C. Rens-Portielje: 'Iets over Conrad Ferdinand Meyer en Wladimir Solowjeff' (article in NL, Mededelingen van de Antroposofische Vereniging in Nederland, jaargang/nr 22)

KRI 20: Pestalozzi

Further reading

  • C. Englert-Faye: 'Vom Menschen Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi : Gesammelte Aufsätze' (1967)
  • J.E. Chr. Geissler: 'Het karakter van Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi' (1938 in NL)
  • Albert Steffen:
    • 'Lebensbildnis Pestalozzis' (1959)
    • 'Pestalozzi' - Schauspiel (1938)

KRI 22: Emerson - Tacitus

KRI 23: Grimm - Pliny the Younger

KRI 26: Friedrich Hölderlin


Further reading

  • Treichler Rudolf junior: 'Friedrich Hölderlin. Leben und Dichtung. Krankheit' (1987)
  • Michael Ladwein: Hölderlins griechische Seele (2020)

KRI 30: Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was a French romantic writer and politician.


  • from KR lectures
  • connection with KRI 65 - Leo Tolstoj (inspiration for, and they met)
  • exoteric biography
    • would influence other writers such as Charles Dickens and Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • as a politician, spoke in parliament against the death penalty and social injustice
    • his work appeared on the Church's list of banned books, eg Hugo counted 740 attacks on 'Les Misérables' in the Catholic press
    • music lover and friends with Hector Berlioz and Franz Liszt.

Further reading

  • Norbert Glas: 'Im Zeichen des Saturn : Victor Hugo - Leben und Gestalt' (1975)
  • Willem Frederik Veltman:
    • 'Victor Hugo, Oceaan : Mysteriesporen in leven en werk van Frankrijks grootste dichter' (2006 in NL)

KRI 33: Heine

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) was a German poet, writer and literary critic. His poetry was set to music by oa Franz Schubert.

Lecture coverage


KRI 36 - Eabani - Aristotle - Thomas Aquinas - Rudolf Steiner

KRI 37 - Alexander the Great - Reginald Piperno - Ita Wegman

Further reading

  • Various authors: 'Erinnerungen an Ita Wegman' (1945)
  • Rudolf Hauschka: 'Dr. Ita Wegmans Forschungsauftrag : aus den Anfängen des Forschungslabors am Klinisch-Therapeutischen Institut in Arlesheim' (1956)
  • Margarete Kirchner-Bockholt, Erich Kirchner: 'Die Menschheitsaufgabe Rudolf Steiners und Ita Wegman' (1976)
  • Hilma Walter, M.P. van Deventer, Liane Collot d’Herbois, et al.: 'Ita Wegmans Erdenwirken aus heutiger Sicht' (1976) - eine Festschrift zu ihrem 100. Geburtstage : Beiträge ihrer Freunde
  • Liane Collot d'Herbois: 'Persönliche Erinnerungen an Ita Wegman' (1989-1990, original in EN: 'A lighter aspect of the personality of Ita Wegman')
  • J.E. Zeylmans van Emmichoven: 'Wer war Ita Wegman : eine Dokumentation'
    • Band 1: 1876 bis 1925 (1990), 389 p
    • Band 2: 1925 bis 1943 (2000), 403 p.
    • Band 3: Kämpfe und Konflikte 1924 bis 1943 (1992, 2000), 407 p.
  • Ed a. Taylor: 'Ita Wegman, wegbereider voor de nieuwe geneeskunst' (1994)
  • Wolfgang Weihrauch: 'Ita Wegman und die Anthroposophie : Ein Gespräch mit Emanuel Zeylmans' (1996)
  • Peter Selg
    • 'Die letzten drei Jahre : Ita Wegman in Ascona 1940-1943' (2004)
    • 'Ita Wegman und Arlesheim' (2006)
    • '»Ich bleibe bei Ihnen« : Rudolf Steiner und Ita Wegman' (2007)
    • 'Ita Wegman and Karl König : Letters and Documents' (2008, original in DE 2007)
    • 'Ita Wegman und Karl König : Eine biographische Dokumentation' (2007)
      • I. «Verständnis und Liebe für die Impulse selbständiger Menschen». Zur Lebensbegegnung von Karl König und Ita Wegman
      • II. Ita Wegman – Karl König: Gesammelte Korrespondenz (1926-1941)
      • III. Karl König: Erinnerungen an Ita Wegman

KRI 38 - Dionysus - Plato - Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim - Karl Julius Schröer


  • incarnations
    • Dionysus (1911-08-24-GA129)
      • Note: Silenus and Dionysos are not timed in classical history, and many individuals with the name Dionysius can be found but should not be confounded with the Dionysus described by Rudolf Steiner as no direct reference allows to map this unambiguously, eg the figures below whose profiles show up on Wikipedia date from after Plato .
        • Dionysius the Renegade (ca. 330 BC – c. 250 BC), also known as Dionysius of Heraclea, was a Stoic philosopher and pupil of Zeno of Citium who, late in life, abandoned Stoicism when he became afflicted by terrible pain.
        • Dionysius the Younger or Dionysius II (ca. 397 BC – 343 BC), was a Greek politician who ruled Syracuse, Sicily, Magna Graecia, from 367 BC to 357 BC and again from 346 BC to 344 BC.
    • Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim (ca. 935–973)
      • Hrotsvitha was a secular canoness who wrote drama and Christian poetry under the Ottonian dynasty. She was born in Bad Gandersheim to Saxon nobles and entered Gandersheim Abbey as a canoness. She is considered the first female writer from the Germanosphere, the first female historian, the first person since the Fall of the Roman Empire to write dramas in the Latin West, and the first German female poet.
    • Plato (either 428/427 or 424/423 – 348 BC)
    • Karl Julius Schröer

Lecture coverage


describes ancient greece with Silenus and his pupil Dionysos, and how both reincarnate later as Socrates and Plato

Little by little such things have to be told if spiritual science is not to stop at platitudes, if it is to enter into the reality. Things which are true have to be told for the sake of the further evolution of humanity.

The wise old teacher of Dionysos was born again, and in his further incarnation was none other than Socrates. Socrates is the reincarnation of old Silenus, he is the reincarnated teacher of Dionysos.

And Dionysos himself, that reincarnated being in whom verily lived the soul of Dionysos of old, was Plato.

One only realises the profound meaning of Greek history if one enters into what was known—not of course to the writers of external history — but to the Initiates who have handed down the tradition from generation to generation right up to today — knowledge which can also be found in the Akasha Chronicle. Spiritual science can once more proclaim that Greece in its early period harboured the teacher of humanity whom it sent over to Asia in the journey conducted by Dionysos, whose teacher was Silenus. What Dionysos and the wise Silenus were able to do for Greece was renewed in a manner suited to a later age by Socrates and Plato. In the very time when the Mysteries were falling into decay, in the very time in which there were no more Initiates who could still see the younger Dionysos clairvoyantly in the holy Mysteries, that same Dionysos emerged as the pupil of the wise Silenus, he who had himself become Socrates — emerged as Plato, the second great teacher of Greece, the true successor of Dionysos.

One only recognises the meaning of Greek spiritual culture in the sense of ancient Greek Mystery-wisdom when one knows that the old Dionysian culture experienced a revival in Plato. And we admire Platonism in quite another way, we relate ourselves to it in its true stature when we know that in Plato there dwelt the soul of the younger Dionysos.

Further reading

  • von Hella Krause-Zimmer: 'Hroswitha von Gandersheim: Eine Karmastudie' (1995)
  • Luigi Morelli: Karl Julius Schröer and Rudolf Steiner: Anthroposophy and the Teachings of Karma and Reincarnation (freely downloadeable PDF)

KRI 39: Swedenborg - Ignatius von Loloya

Ignatius von Loyola (1491-1556) IT

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) SE


  • Mars sphere

Lecture coverage and references




Further reading

  • Norbert Glas: 'Ignatius von Loyola und Emanuel Swedenborg: Eine karmische Betrachtung'

Emanuel Swedenborg : his life, teaching and influence

George Trobridge

Boek, Engels, 2nd revised ed., 140 p.

Warne London enz.

Emanuel Swedenborg : Naturforscher und Seher

Ernst Benz

Boek, Duits, 588 p.

Rinn München 1948

Die Lehren der Psychoanalyse ; Sehergabe Swedenborgs ; Die Schwierigkeiten auf dem Wege in die geistigen Welten ; (Über Psychoanalyse")

Rudolf Steiner

Boek, Duits

Ook opgenomen in: Probleme des Zusammenlebens in der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft (GA253).

GA 253 C

KRI 40: Ovid - Laurence Oliphant

  • Ovid (43 BC-17/18 AD) was a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom he is often ranked as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature. Although Ovid enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime, the emperor Augustus banished him.
  • Laurence Oliphant (1829-1888) a Member of Parliament, was a South African-born British author, traveller, diplomat, British intelligence agent, Christian mystic, and Christian Zionist.

Further reading

  • Norbert Glas: 'Laurence Oliphant und seine Beziehung zu Ovid' (1991)

KRI 42: Titius Livius - Walther von der Vogelweide - Ludwig Schleich

  • helper    
  • Titius Livius or Livy (59 BC-17AD) was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, and was a friend of Augustus, whose young grandnephew, the future emperor Claudius, he encouraged to take up the writing of history.
  • Walther von der Vogelweide (ca 1170-1230) was a Minnesänger who composed and performed love-songs and political songs ("Sprüche") in Middle High German, and has been described as the greatest German lyrical poet before Goethe. His hundred or so love-songs are widely regarded as the pinnacle of Minnesang, the medieval German love lyric, and his innovations breathed new life into the tradition of courtly love. He was also the first political poet to write in German, with a considerable body of encomium, satire, invective, and moralising. Little is known about Walther's life. He was a travelling singer who performed for patrons at various princely courts in the states of the Holy Roman Empire. His work was widely celebrated in his time and in succeeding generations - for the Meistersingers he was a songwriter to emulate - and this is reflected in the exceptional preservation of his work in 32 manuscripts from all parts of the High German area. The largest single collection is found in the Codex Manesse, which includes around 90% of his known songs. However, most Minnesang manuscripts preserve only the texts, and only a handful of Walther's melodies survive.
  • Carl Ludwig Schleich (1859-1922) was a German surgeon and writer best known for his contribution to clinical anesthesia. He was also a philosopher, poet and painter

KRI 44: Tycho Brahe - Julian the Apostate

see: Individuality of Julian the Apostate

KRI 48: von Hertling - Cardinal Mazarini

  • unnamed incarnation connected to decadent system of Mysteries in Asia Minor (pagan cults that proceeded out of the ancient Mysteries)
  • sceptic philosopher 'agrippa' (end 1st century AD)
  • Cardinal Mazarin (1602-1661), born Giulio Raimondo Mazarini: Italian cardinal, diplomat and politician who served as the chief minister to the Kings of France Louis XIII (1601-1643) and Louis XIV (1638-1715) from 1642 to his death in 1661.
    • first years in office were marked by military victories in the Thirty Years' War, which he used to make France the main European power and establish the Peace of Westphalia (1646–1648). Mazarin's policies also added Alsace to France.
    • links with oa Richelieu, Anne of Austria, French king and queen
    • patron of the arts in France in the 17th century
  • Georg Friedrich von Hertling (1843-1919): German politician, foreign minister and minister president of Bavaria, chancellor of the German Reich and minister president of Prussia

Reference extracts


extract below shortened (SWCC), bullet point summary of essential elements

[sceptic philosopher]

  • a personality who lived at the end of the first Christian century
  • his name in that incarnation is of no great importance, he was a certain “Agrippa”
  • he was a philosopher .. one of the Sceptics, who really think nothing in the world is certain
    • belonged to that sceptical School which though it already saw the dawn of Christianity, stood altogether on the ground that it is impossible to gain certain knowledge, and above all that it is quite impossible to say with certainty whether a Divine Being could assume a human form or the like.
    • this individuality in his incarnation gathered up into himself the whole of Greek Scepticism.
  • if we use the word not in a contemptuous sense but as a technical term, he was one whom we should even call a Cynic. I mean a Cynic not in his conception of life, for in that he was a Sceptic, but a Cynic in his way of taking things.
    • was really very fond of making light and joking about most important things that met him in the world.
  • In that life Christianity passed him by, leaving no trace.
  • between death and new birth
    • a certain mood remained with him as he passed through the gate of death.
      • This mood was not so much a result of his scepticism, for that was his philosophic conviction, a thing that one does not carry very far after one's death. But it lay in the deeper habits of his soul and spirit as an easy-going way of taking important events of life, a certain mischievous delight when things in the world which look important turn out to be not quite so important. This fundamental mood he carried with him into the life after death.
    • [paragraph on Moon region and primeval wise Teachers of mankind with only etheric body, their teaching in Mysteries being felt as inner inspiration. Moon region being first station after death .. they explain the laws of karma]
    • the philosopher 'Agrippa' in that region: there dawned upon him the meaning of a former incarnation. The characteristic of that former incarnation which now made so great an impression on him as he looked back after death, was that in it he had still been able to see a very great deal of how the cults of Asia Minor and Africa proceeded out of the ancient Mysteries.
      • he went once more, with great intensity, through all that he had once undergone on Earth in connection with many a decadent system of the Mysteries in Asia Minor .. he saw supersensibly, how in the ancient Mysteries the Christ had been expected [whereas in this life on earth he had not been touched by Christianity].
      • the cults that proceeded from the Mysteries had already grown external .. he had received the impressions of cults and religious institutions which were transmitted in the first centuries A.D., in a Christianised metamorphosis, to Roman Christianity.
      • in this region after his death, there was prepared in this individuality an understanding for the external features of the cults and clerical institutions which had formerly been Pagan but were arising again in the first Christian centuries and passing over into the clearly defined Roman cult and ceremony with all the ecclesiastical conceptions connected with it
    • this brought about in him a very peculiar spiritual configuration .. in the further course of the life between death and a new birth .. elaborating his karma most especially in the region of Mercury, so he is able to see things not in an inward sense but in the sense of being gifted with outward intelligence. He gains a wide sweep of vision for many facts and relationships.

[Cardinal Mazarini]

  • Cardinal Cardinal Mazarini, who carried on the Government of Louis XIV when Louis XIV was still a child
    • in all his greatness and splendour and with the external conception of Christianity into which he finds his way so readily, so naturally, under the woman who was Louis XIV's guardian.
    • He absorbs of Christianity all the external institutions, the Christian cult, the Christian pomp and grandeur. For him all these things are surrounded, as it were, with an Eastern glamour as of Asia Minor. Indeed we may say he rules Europe like one who in a former incarnation had strongly absorbed the character of Asia Minor.
    • in this incarnation he had the occasion to be more powerfully touched by the facts and circumstances.
      • You need only remember that it was the time of the Thirty Years' War. Remember all the things that took place proceeding from Louis XIV. There was indeed a peculiar quality in this Cardinal Mazarini. He was a great statesman with a wide sweep of vision, yet on the other hand in the midst of a certain noise and confusion. We might say that he was intoxicated by his own deeds so that they seemed deeds of magnificent skill, but not coming out of the depths of the heart.
  • between death and new birth
    • in passing again through the region of Mercury, all that this personality had done was dissolved as in a cloud of mist
    • there remained with him the ideas he had absorbed about Christianity and all he had undergone by way of scepticism in relation to knowledge. These things were transformed
    • “Science can never lead us to the final truths.” An intense feeling for knowledge of which there was a suggestion already in his former passage through Mercury, came and passed away again.
    • there was karmically developed in his life a peculiar mentality .. which held fast with great tenacity to penetrating ideas which he had passed through before. But while he held fast to them, he could evolve for his next life on earth very few concepts with which to master and express them.
    • As this personality passes through the life between death and a new birth one has the feeling: Whatever will he try to do in his next incarnation? Is there anything with which he is really united? One has the feeling: he may be more or less intensely united with all kinds of things and yet again with nothing. All the antecedents are there: the preceding life of scepticism, followed by his intense life in a Christianity with all its external details along the paths by which one becomes a Cardinal. All these things are deeply embedded in him. He will become a man rich in knowledge, yet able to come forward with concepts by no means profound. Moreover the map of Europe which he once ruled over is as though blotted out. One does not know how he will find his way to it again. What will he do with it? He will be altogether at a loss with it.

[Georg Friedrich von Hertling]

  • Hertling, who became Chancellor of the German Reich at a great age
  • re-born showing a strangely double countenance. He cannot be quite a statesman, nor quite a cleric, but is drawn strongly in both directions.
  • In karmic sequence he had to use up in this way the remnants of his Mazarini nature. All the peculiar qualities with which he came to Christianity, and entered into it, came forth again in his Christian professorship at the present time.

KRI 49: Vladimir Solovyov


  • participant Council of Nicæa 4th century christian - see also 325
  • woman middle ages  (- visionary nun)
  • Vladimir Solovioff


  • influence at his death and expanding ether body in 1900 (1912-02-09-GA130)

Lecture coverage


Solovyov goes further than Hegel and Kant. He is the prophetic dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean cultural age.

He has a much more advanced conception of Christ has been able to come in the East than in Western Europe, excepting where it has come about through Anthroposophy. Of all non-anthroposophists the most advanced conception of Christ is that held by the Solovyov.

It is very remarkable and extremely interesting to see how the Eastern European expresses his tendency of receptivity towards the pure Spirit by receiving with great devotion Western European culture, thus indicating prophetically that he will be able to unite something still greater with his being. Hence also the little interest he has in the details of this Western European culture. He receives what is presented to him more in broad outlines and less in details, because he is preparing himself to take up that which as Spirit-Self is to enter into mankind.

It is particularly interesting to see how, under this influence, a much more advanced conception of Christ has been able to come in the East than in Western Europe, excepting where it has come about through Anthroposophy.

Of all non-Anthroposophists the most advanced conception of Christ is that held by the Russian philosopher, Solovioff. It is so advanced that it can only be understood by Anthroposophists, because he develops it higher and higher and gives it an endless perspective, showing that what man is able to recognize in Christ to-day is only the beginning, because the Christ-impulse has as yet only been able to reveal to man a small degree of what it contains within it. But as regards the conception of Christ, if we look for instance at the way in which Hegel understood Him, we shall find that one may say: Hegel understood Him as only the most refined, most sublimated Spiritual Soul could.

But in Solovioff the concept of Christ is a very different one. He fully recognizes the two parts in this conception, and everything which has been expressed in the many theological disputes, and which in reality rest upon great misunderstandings, is put aside, because the ordinary conceptions do not suffice to make the idea of Christ in His twofold nature comprehensible; they do not suffice to make one understand that therein the human and the spiritual must be clearly distinguished. The concept of Christ rests upon clearly grasping what took place when the Christ entered into the Man Jesus of Nazareth, who had developed all the necessary qualities. There were, then, two natures which must first of all be comprehended as such, although at a higher stage they again form unity. As long as one has not grasped this duality, one has not realized Christ in His complete form. This can, however, only be done by the philosophical comprehension which has a premonition that man himself will reach a culture in which his Spiritual Soul will attain to a state into which the Spirit-Self can come; so that man will in the sixth age of civilization feel himself to be a duality in whom the higher nature will hold the lower nature under complete control.

Solovioff carries this duality into his conception of Christ and brings emphatically into notice that there can be no meaning in it unless one accepts the facts of a divine and a human nature, both really working together, so that they do not merely form an abstract but an organic unity, that thus only can this be understood. Solovioff recognizes that two Will-centers must be thought of in this Being.

If you take the teachings of Spiritual Science as to the true significance of the Christ-Being, which proceed from the existence of, not an imaginary, but a spiritually real Indian influence, you then have to think of Christ as having developed within His three bodies the capacities of feeling, thought and will. There you have a human feeling, thinking and willing into which the divine Feeling, Thinking and Willing has immersed itself.

The European will only thoroughly assimilate this when he has risen to the sixth stage of culture. This has been prophetically expressed in a wonderful way in Solovioff's conception of Christ, which like a rosy dawn announces a later civilization.

Hence this philosophy of Eastern Europe strides with giant steps beyond that of Hegel and Kant, and when one enters the atmosphere of this philosophy, one suddenly feels as it were the germ for a future unfolding. It goes so much further because this conception of Christ is felt to be a fore-shining, the morning dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean civilization.

By means of this the whole Christ-Being and the whole significance of Christ becomes the central point of philosophy, and it thus becomes a very different thing from what the Western European conceptions are able to offer concerning it. The conception of Christ, — so far as it has been worked out in non-Anthroposophical circles, in which it is comprehended as living substance which, as a spiritual personality, is to work into the social life and the life of the States, which is felt as a Personality in Whose service man finds himself as ‘man with the Spirit-Self,’ — this Christ-Personality is worked out in a wonderful, plastic manner in the various expositions Solovioff gives of St. John's Gospel and its opening words. Again it is only on the ground of Spiritual Science that a comprehension can be found of what is so profoundly understood by Solovioff in the sentence, ‘In the beginning was the Word, or the Logos,’ and so on, of how differently St. John's Gospel is understood by a philosophy, which can be felt as a germinating philosophy which points in a remarkable manner to the future. Although on the one hand it must be admitted that in the domain of philosophy Hegel's work represents a most mature fruit, something that is born from the Spiritual Soul as a very ripe philosophical fruit, on the other hand this philosophy of Solovioff is the germ in the Spiritual Soul for the philosophy of the Spirit-Self, which will be added in the sixth age of culture.

There is perhaps no greater contrast than that eminently Christian conception of the State which hovers as a great ideal before Solovioff as a dream of the future, that Christian idea of the State and the people, which takes everything it finds in order to offer it to the down-streaming Spirit-Self to hold it towards the future so that it may be Christianized by the powers of the future: — there is really no greater contrast than this conception by Solovioff of a Christian community in which the Christ-idea is still a future one, — and the conception of the divine State held by St. Augustine, who accepted, it is true, the Christ-idea, but constructed the State in such a way that it was still the Roman State; he took up Christ into the idea of the State given him by the Roman State. The essential point is, that which provides the knowledge for the Christianity which is growing on into the future. In Solovioff's State Christ is the blood which runs through all social life, and the essential point is that the State is thought of in all the concreteness of personality, so that it acts indeed as a spiritual being, but it will fulfill its mission with all the characteristic peculiarities of a personality. No other philosophy is so permeated by the Christ-idea, — the Christ-idea which shines forth to us from still greater heights in Anthroposophy, — and yet remaining only at the germinal stage.

Everything that we find in the East, from the general feeling of the people up to its philosophy, comes to us as something that bears only the germ of a future evolution within it, and that therefore had to submit to the special education of that Spirit of the Age whom we already know; for we have said that the Spirit of the Age of the ancient Greeks was given as an impulse to Christianity, and was entrusted with the mission of becoming later on the active Spirit of the Age for Europe. The national temperament which will have to develop the germs for the sixth age of civilization had not only to be educated but to be taken care of, from the first stages of its existence, by that Spirit of the Age. So that we may literally say, — whereby the ideas of Father and Mother lose their separate sense, — that the Russian temperament, which is gradually to evolve into the Folk-soul, was not only brought up, but was suckled and fed by that which, as we have seen, was formed out of the old Greek Spirit of the Age and then acquired another rank, outwardly.

Thus are the missions divided between Western, Central, Northern and Eastern Europe. I wished to give you an indication of these things. We shall work further on the foundations of these indications, and show what will distinguish the future of Europe, and also show that we must form our ideals from such knowledge. We shall show how through this influence the Germanic Scandinavian Folk-spirit gradually transforms himself into a Spirit of the Age.


There are two main streams. The first is known through the fact that there is a so-called Western philosophy, and that the most elementary concepts of the spiritual world arise out of the purest depths of philosophy. And it is remarkable what we see when we make a survey of what has gradually taken place within the science of Western culture. We see how some people become purely intellectual, whilst others are rooted in the religious life, yet at the same time are filled with what can only be given by the vision of the spiritual world that is behind all existence. On all sides we see spiritual life flowing out of Western philosophy. I will only mention Vladimir Soloviev, ( 12 ) the Russian philosopher and thinker, a real clairvoyant, though he only saw into the spiritual world three times in his life:

  • once when he was a boy of nine,
  • the second time in the British Museum,
  • and the third time in the Egyptian desert under the starry heavens of Egypt.

On these occasions there was revealed to him what can only be seen by clairvoyant vision. He had a prevision of the evolution of humanity, there welled up in him what Schelling and Hegel also achieved through sheer spiritual effort. As they stood alone on the heights of thinking, we may now place them on the summit which all educated people will eventually reach. All this was said in the course of previous centuries, particularly the last four centuries. When we survey this and work on it with the methods of practical occultism, as has been done recently, in order to make a special investigation into what the purely intellectual thinkers from Hegel to Haeckel have worked out, we can see occult forces at work here too.

And a very remarkable thing comes to light: we can speak of pure inspiration in the case of just those people who appear to have least of it. Who inspired all the thinkers who are rooted in pure intellectualism? Who gave the stimulus for this life of thought that speaks out of every book to be found even in the lowliest cottage? Where does all this abstract thought life in Europe come from, that has had such a curious outcome?

If we read Leibniz, Schelling and Soloviev today, and ask ourselves how they have been inspired, we find that it was by the individuality who was born in the place of Suddhodana, ascended from Bodhisattva to Buddha and then continued to work selflessly. In fact he continued to work in such a selfless way that we can go back in time today to a point when not even the name of Buddha was mentioned in the West. You do not find the name of the Bodhisattva who became Buddha, not even in Goethe! You know, though, that he lives in everything. He has met with so much understanding that he works on unnamed in Western literature. The Middle Ages knew about this, too, but they did not speak about it in this way then. They tell us something different.


And I want to begin here by giving an example. Those who participate consciously in the occult life of the spirit had a strange experience from the eighties on into the nineties of the previous century; they became aware of certain influences emanating from a remarkable personality (I am only mentioning one case among many). There was, however, something not quite harmonious about these influences.

Anyone who is sensitive to influences from contemporaries living a great distance away, would, at that time, have been aware of something raying out from a certain personality, which was not altogether harmonious.

When the new century dawned, however, these influences became harmonious.

What had happened? I will tell you the reason for this.

On the 12th August 1900 Soloviev had died — a man far too little appreciated or understood. The influences of his ether body radiated far and wide, but although Soloviev was a great philosopher, in his case the development of the soul was in advance of that of the head, the intellect; he was a great and splendid thinker, but his conscious philosophy was of far less significance than that which he bore in his soul. Up to the time of his death the head was a hindering factor and so, as an occult influence, he had an inharmonious effect.

But when he was dead and the ether body, separated from the brain, rayed out in the ether world, he was liberated from the restrictions caused by his thinking, and the rays of his influence shone out with wonderful brilliance and power.


I will now take another example, which will probably be of great and deep value to you all. Though I almost shudder to speak of it in any easy way, yet I cannot but choose it, for it leads so infinitely deeply into the whole spiritual texture of the present time.

I will now mention another personality, of whom as I said, I almost shudder to speak in this way. And yet he is infinitely characteristic of all that is carried from the past into the present and of the way in which this happens.

[325 AD - Council of Nicæa]

I have often referred — and it will be known to you from external history — to the Council of Nicæa, which was held in the 4th century, where the decision was made for Western Europe as between Aryanism and Athanasianism, and Aryanism was condemned.

It was a Council in which the important personalities were imbued with all the high scholarship of the first Christian centuries, and brought it forth. They did indeed dispute with deep and far-reaching ideas. For in that time the human soul still had quite a different mood and constitution. It was as a matter of course for the human soul to live directly within the spiritual world.

And they were well able to dispute with real content and meaning as to whether Christ was the Son, of the same essence with the Father, or only of like essence with the Father. The latter was the standpoint of Aryanism.

Today we will not go into the dogmatic differences of the question. We will only bear in mind that it was a question of immensely deep and sharp-witted controversies, which were, however, fought out with the peculiar intellectualism of that time. When we to-day are clever and sharp-witted we are so as human beings. Indeed to-day, as I have often said, almost all men are clever. They are really dreadfully clever — that is to say, they can think. Is it not so? It is not saying much, but it is a fact that they can think: I may indeed be very stupid and still be able to think ... but the fact is the men of today can think. In those times it was not so. It was not that men could simply think, but they felt their thoughts as inspiration.

He who was sharp-witted felt himself gifted by the grace of God, and his thinking was a kind of clairvoyance. It was still so even in the 4th century A.D., and those who listened to a thinker still had some feeling of the living evolution of his thought.

Now there was present at the Council of Nicæa a certain personality who took an active part in these discussions, but at the end of the Council he was in a high degree disappointed and depressed. His main effort had been to bring forward the arguments for both sides. He brought forward weighty reasons both for Aryanism and for Athanasianism. And if things had gone as he wished, undoubtedly the result would have been quite different. Not a wretched compromise, but a kind of synthesis of Aryanism and Athanasianism would have been the outcome. — One should not construct history in thought, but this may be said by way of explanation. — It would probably have been a very much more intimate way of relating the divine in the inner being of man to the divine in the universe. For, in the way in which Athanasianism afterwards evolved these things, the human soul was very largely separated from its divine origin. Indeed, it was thought heretical to speak of the god in the inner being of man.

If, on the other hand, Aryanism alone had won the day, there would of course have been much talk of this god in the inner being of man. But it would not have been spoken of with the necessary depth of reverence, and above all, not with the necessary inward dignity. Aryanism alone would indeed have come to regard man at every stage as an incarnation of the god who dwells within him. But the same may be said of any animal, indeed of the whole world, of every plant, of every stone. This conception only has real value if it contains at the same time the active impulse to rise ever higher and higher in spiritual development, for then only do we find the god within. The statement that there is a divine within us at any and every stage of life can have a meaning only if we take hold of this divine in a perpetual upward striving of the self, by whom it is not yet attained.

  • But a synthesis of the two conceptions would undoubtedly have been the outcome if the personality to whom I now refer had been able to gain any decisive influence at the Council of Nicæa. He failed. Deeply dissatisfied, he withdrew into a kind of Egyptian hermitage, lived a most ascetic life, and was deeply imbued at that time in the 5th century with all that was the real spiritual substance of Christianity during that age.
  • Indeed he was probably one of the best informed of Christians in his time, but he was not a wrangler. This is evident from the very way in which he came forward at the Council. He spoke as a man
    • who quietly weighs and judges all aspects of the question, and is yet deeply enthusiastic for his cause, though not for this or that one-sided detail.
    • as a man who felt his failure with extraordinary bitterness, for he was deeply convinced that good would only come for Christianity if the view for which he stood won its way through.

Thus he withdrew into a kind of hermitage. For the rest of his life he became a hermit, following however, in response to the inner impulses of his soul, a quite definite course of the inner life. It was that of investigating the origin of the inspiration of thought. His mystic penetration was in the effort to perceive whence thinking receives its inspiration. It became one great longing in him to find the source of thinking in the spiritual world, until at length he was filled through and through with this longing. And with this longing he died, without having reached any real conclusion, any concrete answer during that earthly life. No answer was forthcoming. The time was after all unfavourable.

  • between death and new birth
    • he underwent a peculiar experience. For several decades after his death he could still look back upon his earthly life, and he saw it forever coloured by that element to which he had come at last. He saw it forever in the atmosphere of that which, looking backwards, came immediately next his death. He saw the human being thinking. Still this was no fulfilment of the question. And this is most important. There was as yet no thought in answer to the question. But though there was no answer, he was able, after his death, to look, in marvellously clear imaginations, into the cosmic intelligence of the universe. The thoughts of the universe he did not see. He would have seen them if his longing had reached fulfilment. He did not see the thoughts of the universe, but he saw in pictures the Thinking of the universe.
    • he was as in a state of equilibrium between mystic imaginative vision and his former sharp-witted thinking — a thinking, however, in perpetual flow, that had not reached its conclusion. In the elaboration of the karma, his mystic tendency won the day to begin with.
  • He was born again in the Middle Ages as a visionary, a woman, who unfolded truly wonderful insight into the spiritual world. For a time, the tendency of the thinker fell entirely into the background; the quality of spiritual vision was in the foreground. For this woman had wonderful visions, while at the same time she gave herself up mystically to the Christ. Her soul was penetrated, with infinite depth, by a visionary Christianity. They were visions in which the Christ appeared as the leader of peaceful hosts, not quarrelsome or contentious, but like the hosts of peace, who would spread Christianity abroad by their very gentleness — a thing which had never yet been realised on earth. It was there in the visions of this nun. It was a deep, intensive Christianity, but it found no place at all in what afterwards evolved as Christianity in its more modern form. Nevertheless during her life this nun, the seeress, came into no conflict with positive dogmatic Christianity. She herself grew out of it and grew into a deeply personal Christianity, which was afterwards simply non-existent on the earth.
  • between death and new birth
    • And thus, if I might put it so, the whole universe then faced her with the question: how should this Christianity be realised in a physical body in a new incarnation? And at the same time, long after the seeress had passed through the gate of death, there came over her again the echoes of the old intellectualism, the inspired intellectualism. The after-echoes of her visions were now, if I might put it so, idealised through and through, filled with ideas.

Then, seeking for a new human body, this individual became the individuality of Solovioff, Vladimir Solovioff.

Read the writings of Solovioff! — I have frequently described the impression they make upon a modern man and have said it again in my introduction to the German edition of his works. You may well try to feel it in his writing. You will feel how much there lies between the lines, how much of a mysticism which we may often feel even sultry and oppressive. It is a Christianity quite individual in its forms of expression. It shows quite clearly how it had to seek for a pliable, in all directions supple body, such as can be obtained only out of the Russian people.

Looking at these examples, I think one may indeed preserve the holy awe and reverence before the truths of karma, which should indeed be held sacred and virginal in the inmost depths of life. For one who has a true feeling for the contemplation of the spiritual world, these deep truths are, verily, not unworthily unveiled. I mean this in the sense of what is so often said about the sacred veils of truth, of which people say that they should never be drawn aside.

Anthroposophy has been reproached again and again, notably in theological circles, for drawing aside the veil of sacred mystery from secret and mysterious truths, and thus making them profane. But the more deeply we enter into the esoteric portions of the anthroposophical conception, the more do we feel that there can truly be no talk of profanation. On the contrary the world itself will fill us with a holy awe when we behold the lives of man one after another in the marvellous working of former into later lives. We must only not be profane in our inner life or in our way of thinking and then we shall not make such objections.

Read the writings of Solovioff against the background of the previous nun, with her wonderful visions and infinite devotion to the Being of Christ. See that ancient personality going forth with deep and bitter feelings from the Council where he had brought forward such great and important things. Discover in the soul and in the heart of this individual what I may call the twofold background of Christianity, now in its rationalistic, but inspired rationalistic form, and now again in its visionary form of seership. See all this in the background, and of a truth the lifting of the veil will not profane the secret.

Further reading

  • Paul Marshall Allen: 'Vladimir Soloviev : Russian mystic' (1978)
  • Ton Jansen: 'Leven en werk van Vladimir Solovjov; in het licht van zijn filosofie van de liefde' (2001)
  • ‘Drei Begegnungen Moskau/London/Aegypten/1862 – 1875 – 1876’ (‘Three Meetings Moscow/London/Egypt/1862 – 1875 – 1876’) contained in the edition of poems by Vladimir Soloviev translated into German by Marie Steiner; Dornach 1969.

KRI 50: Weininger - Thomas Campanella


Schema FMC00.502 shows (above) birth and death horoscopes for two personalities of the same individuality KRI=50. It is an example taken from Wachsmuth (1956, see 'Further reading' section below). The two charts below show the remarkable clustering of planets in certain zodiac signs for birth and death of the two incarnations (so four planetary positions 1 to 4). Wachsmuth identifies alignments, oppositions and squares.

Further reading

  • Friedrich Hiebel: 'Campanella: Der Sucher nach dem Sonnenstaat. Geschichte eines Schicksals (1972,1980)


  • Adolf Godzek: 'Thomas Campanellas Metaphysik (1908, Ph D. thesis)

KRI 52: Elijah - John Baptist - Raphael - Novalis



Schema FMC00.503 shows (left) birth and death horoscopes for two personalities of the same individuality KRI=52. It is an example taken from Wachsmuth (1956, see 'Further reading' section below). The four charts on the right show the remarkable clustering of planets in certain zodiac signs for birth and death of the two incarnations (so four planetary positions 1 to 4). Wachsmuth identifies alignments, oppositions and squares.

Observe the remarkable clustering of four planets cluster in three zodiac signs (Taurus-Aries-Pisces), whereas Jupiter and Saturn take positions in the other zodiac signs (also with certain patterns).


Lecture coverage and references

GA143 lectures below available in audio version here:


is a lead-up to the lecture of 29th of Dec, already covers the four incarnations and Personalities of Elijah, John the Baptist, Raphale and Novalis, as a fourfold heraldship of Christianity through the same Individuality


Novalis as herald of the spiritual Christ Impulse


  • Novalis as prophet of the new times, his being radiated by the Christ Impulse
  • the reincarnated soul of Elijah, John the Baptist and Raphael in Novalis
  • Novalis and his contemporaries Goether, Schiller, Fichte [editor: see see Schema FMC00.497 and Schema FMC00.243A on Karmic relationships ]
    • Goethe's relation to Spinoza and Leibniz, how the monad teachings are related to the Sankhya philosophy. Fichte's renewed Vedanta words
    • Novalis as carrier of spirit, and Schiller of ethical individualism. Novalis praising of Schiller.
    • Goethe's quote 'wisdom is only in truth' as a leitmotiv (leading sentence)
  • Novalis path of incarnations as leading north star, his poem: 'when no longer figures and forms'

KRI 53: Spinoza - Fichte

Steiner explains that Fichte, Spinoza and Philo of Alexandria were three incarnations of the same Individuality. Can explain a great deal for those who read or studied Spinoza and Fichte.

He also mentions that John (the Evangelist, Individuality of Christian Rosenkreutz, generally believed to be one of Steiner's two masters), was a pupil of Philo of Alexandria (1904-05-27-GA090A).


Schema FMC00.510A - for explanation of this series see Schema FMC00.510.

Above: Rudolf Steiner talked on several occasions about Spinoza, Fichte and Philo of Alexandria being incarnations of the same Individuality. On the left are fairly trustworthy depictions (and compare the noses, for example); the illustrations on the right were added because it's still interesting how an imaginary depiction from the middle ages of Philo is shown 'coincidentally' with such expressive eyes, whereas the eyes are also a characteristic in Spinoza's and Fichte's facial expression.


Lecture coverage and references


KRI 55: Copernicus - Nicolas de Cusa

KRI 56: Charlemagne

Further reading and references

Charlemagne and the Emil Molt connection and Waldorf school movement
  • Frans Lutters:
    • 'An Exploration into the Destiny of the Waldorf School Movement' (2015, in DE 2019 as 'Eine karmische Untersuchung - zum Schicksal der Freien Waldorfschule', in IT as 'Uno sguardo sul destino del movimento della scuola Waldorf'
      • Emil Molt was the founder of the first Waldorf School. He wished for a school for the children of the workers in his Waldorf Astoria Cigarette factory. He turned to his friend and mentor, Rudolf Steiner to ask for help in developing a curriculum for the school. Steiner was thrilled and set to work immediately developing curriculum and finding the best teachers for the new school. Steiner told Molt’s niece that he was not surprised that her uncle Emil would be interested in education as his was an enormous personality connected to Charlemagne, hinting that this had been Emil Molt in a previous incarnation. Frans Lutters, longtime Waldorf teacher and anthroposophist, has considered this connection between Emil Molt and Charlemagne over many years and draws the many parallels that underscore this suggestion by Rudolf Steiner. His research illuminates some of the elements behind the founding of this important movement which introduces a new form of education designed to last into the coming millennium
    • see also related: 'The Grail Mystery and the Seven Liberal Arts (2014)
      • Charlemagne established schools in each of his courts throughout Europe. He wished for an educated citizenry and yearned for literacy himself. His schools had noteworthy Knights of the Grail, as well as Druid/Christian monks from the British Isles and Ireland, as teachers. The Seven Liberal Arts formed the structure of the schooling offered to those of all ages in the school. This book thoroughly and visually carries the reader through this high-level educational art form, a form Waldorf schools are working to recapitulate and transform for the modern world now. It provides a beautifully articulated structure for educators to adopt in organizing their work to ensure highly educated, logical and artistic thinkers, as well as providing parents ideas for the holistic educating of their children. The book carries rich and comprehensive research as well as inspiring visionary appeal for the future. It is illustrated with pictures from the Middle Ages with woven mythology entwined with history and plans for our educational future.

KRI 59: Marie Steiner von Sivers

Marie Steiner-von Sivers (1867-1948) was born to an aristocratic family and fluent in Russian, German, English, French and Italian. She studied theater and recitation with several teachers in Europe. As the second wife of Rudolf Steiner (who she met in 1900, they married in Dec 1914 after Steiner's first wife had died in 1911), she made a great contribution to the development of anthroposophy, particularly in her work on the renewal of the performing arts (eurythmy, speech and drama), and the editing and publishing of Rudolf Steiner's literary estate.

Previous incarnations

(potential/hypothetical - as deduced from conversations and interactions with Rudolf Steiner)

  • Orphic mysteries teacher of Pherecydes of Syros (died 520 BC)
  • Hypatia: neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire (unknown - died 415AD)
  • Albertus Magnus (approx 1200 - 1280) - was a German Dominican friar, philosopher, scientist, and bishop.


  • Question by Marie von Sivers to Rudolf Steiner at the so-called 'Chrysanthemum Tea' on 17 November 1901 about a western esoteric movement
  • involvement in Eurythmy from 1907
  • conflict with Ita Wegman after Rudolf Steiner's death over the continuation of anthroposophical work in the AAG, which led in 1935 to Ita Wegman and Elisabeth Vreede being recalled from their positions on the Executive Council and their supporters being expelled from the Society by the General Assembly.
  • founded the "Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung' in 1943 and transferred all rights to Steiner's works to it in 1947.
    • disputes with the General Anthroposophical Society (AAG) since 1945, which for its part claimed rights to Steiner's works.
    • lawsuit over the publishing rights for the work of Rudolf Steiner

Reference extracts

Virginia Sease - The karmic core of anthroposophy: Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner 1900-1907

published in The Golden Blade No 49 (1997)

Even as Marie von Sivers' translations into German of Edouard Shure's dramas meant a turning point for his international recognition, so too for Rudolf Steiner did she bring about the next and most vital step into the future.

He speaks about this moment years later in a lecture (11 October 1915) when he alludes to a conversation with Marie von Sivers in the autumn of 1901 at the home of a theosophist. Marie von Sivers always spoke of this destiny conversation as the 'Chrysanthemum Tea' conversation, as so many chiysanthemums decorated the room! The tea itself was to commemorate the founding of the Theosophical Society on 17 November 1875.

Marie von Sivers asked if it were not necessary to call into life a spiritual movement expressly for Europe, as Theosophy was so connected with eastern spirituality. Rudolf Steiner responded that he could only be for such a movement that would connect decidedly with western Christian occultism and which he would develop further. Through this question Rudolf Steiner knew that the person had appeared who could carry his own spiritual task with him. This was in a sense a prerequisite for the task itself. He referred to Marie von Sivers from the beginning as co-founder in the work.

Johanna Mücke, a trusted co-worker from the early days in Berlin, recalled a statement by Rudolf Steiner:

"Therewith [that is, Marie von Sivers' question] I received the possibility to work in the way which I imagined.

The question was presented to me and I could, true to spiritual laws, begin to give the answer to such a question."

Further reading and references

  • Aus dem Leben von Marie Steiner - von Sivers : biographische Beiträge und eine Bibliographie Hella Wiesberger (1956)
  • Marie Savitch: 'Marie Steiner-von Sivers : fellow worker with Rudolf Steiner' (1967 in EN, original in DE 1965 as 'Marie Steiner-von Sivers : Mitarbeiterin von Rudolf Steiner')
  • Edwin Froböse: 'Marie Steiner-von Sivers : Ihr Weg zur Erneuerung der Bühnekunst durch die Anthroposophie : eine Dokumentation' (1973)
  • Ilona Schubert: 'Selbsterlebtes im Zusammensein mit Rudolf Steiner und Marie Steiner' (1977)
  • Marie Steiner-Von Sivers, republished by Hella Wiesberger: 'Briefe und Dokumente vornehmlich aus ihrem letzten Lebensjahr : zu ihrem 33. Todestag' (1981)
  • Anna Samweber: 'Aus meinem Leben, Erinnerungen an Rudolf Steiner und Marie Steiner-von Sivers' (1983)
  • Conrad Schachenmann: 'Marie Steiner-Von Sivers im Zeugnis von Tatiana Kisseleff, Johanna Mücke, Walter Abendroth ..' (1984)
  • Hella Wiesberger : 'Marie Steiner-von Sivers : ein Leben für die Anthroposophie ; eine biographische Dokumentation in Briefen und Dokumenten, Zeugnissen von Rudolf Steiner, Maria Strauch, Edouard Schuré und anderen' (1988)
  • Fred Poeppig: 'Marie Steiner, ein Leben im Dienst der Wiedergeburt des Wortes' (1990)
  • Konstanze Brefin Alt, Otfried Doerfler: 'Besinnung auf Marie Steiner-von Sivers : Die Helferin Rudolf Steiners ; Die Mitgestalterin am Gesellschaftsbau ; Die Trägerin des Kunstimpulses in Eurythmie und Sprache' (1995)
  • Hans Peter van Manen: 'Marie Steiner: Her place in world karma' (1995)
  • Theodor Hundhammer
  • Wilfried Hammacher (1928-2021): 'Marie Steiner - Lebensspuren einer Individualität' (1998)
  • Peter Selg: 'Marie Steiner-von Sivers : Aufbau und Zukunft des Werkes von Rudolf Steiner (2006)
  • Rahel Kern, Brien Masters: 'Kindling the Word: The karmic background of Marie Steiner-Von Sivers' (2013)
  • Archivmagazin: 'Schwerpunkte: Zum 150 Geburtstag Marie Steiner-von Sivers and 100 Jahre Von Seelenrätseln' (2017)

KRI 65: Tolstoj

Leo Tolstoy or Tolstoj or Lev Tolstoi (1828-1910)


  • Rudolf Steiner lectured on Tolstoy on various occasions, see some RSL references below, and stated he was "inspired by the spiritual power which also stood behind Gothic initiate Ulfilas" or called him an "instrument of, inspired by Gothic Initiate Wulfila".
  • the figure of Socrates appears in Leo Tolstoy’s (9 Sep 1828-1910) diary entries as early as 8 Apr 1847. In 1885 Tolstoy published 'The Life of Socrates' also known as 'Socrates, The Greek Teacher'. Note coincidentally, Tolstoj's first moon node after 18 years and 7 months fell on .. April 1857.
  • influence on Gandhi regarding non violence - Tolstoj and Gandhi got into contact with one another through Edward Maitland (1824-1897) who played a key role next to Anna Kingsford and was in contact also with Laurence Oliphant (KRI 40) and William Butler Yeats
  • relationship with Victor Hugo (KRI 30)
    • Young Tolstoy visited Hugo during a trip to Europe and had read and admired 'Les Miserables' before he wrote 'War and Peace'. It is said that Hugo's writings inspired Tolstoj because they embed morality and moral themes in novel form.
  • works:
    • The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1893)
  • various other:
    • on Socrates:
      • "Socrates is the reincarnation of old Silenus, he is the reincarnated teacher of Dionysos (who incarnated as Plato)." (1911-08-24-GA129)
    • Saint Spyridon (see Individuality of Daskalos, who also had an incarnation as a russian writer) is the patron saint of the Tolstoy family, chosen by Andrei Tolstoy in the 15th century).


Schema FMC00.510A - for explanation of this series see Schema FMC00.510.


Lecture coverage


Now however Buddhi-Manas must also begin its development. Man must learn something beyond speech. Another force must be united with speech, such as we find in the writings of Tolstoi. It is not so much a matter of what he says, but that behind what he says stands an elemental force that has in it something of Buddhi-Manas, which must now enter into our civilisation.

Tolstoi's writings work so powerfully because they are consciously opposed to West[ern] European culture and contain something new and elemental. A certain barbarism which is still contained in them will later be brought into balance.

Tolstoi is just a small instrument of a higher spiritual power which also stood behind the Gothic initiate Ulfilas. This spiritual power uses Tolstoi as its instrument.


lecture: Tolstoy and Carnegie


This gives you the keynote of the Christ-event regarded from another point of view. Christ represents the descent to our Earth of the force of spiritual love, which is today but at the beginning of its work. If we pursue this thought with the help of the Gospels of St. John and St. Luke, we shall see that spiritual love is the very keynote of the Christ-impulse; we shall see how the Egos which had been sundered, are drawn together as regards their inmost being. From the beginning men have had but a dim presentiment of the significance of Christ for the world; as yet very, very little of this mission had been realized, for the separative influence (the after effect of the Luciferic powers) is still there, and the Christ principle has been at work but a short time. Though it is true that in our day a sympathetic cooperation is sought in certain external departments of life; in the most intimate and important things people have no inkling of the meaning of harmony and concord between souls, or at least they have it only in their thought and intellect, which matters least. It is indeed true that Christianity is only at the beginning of its mission; but it will penetrate ever deeper into the souls of men and ennoble the Ego ever more and more. Precisely the youngest nations recognize this in our day. They perceive that they must unite themselves with the power of Christ, and penetrate themselves with His force, if they would progress. A contemporary personality in Eastern Europe, the executor of the great Russian philosopher Solovioff, said: ‘Christianity must unite us as a nation, otherwise we shall lose our Ego and, with it, the possibility of being a nation!’ Powerful words which seem to issue from an intense intellect for Christianity. But it also shows how necessary it is that Christianity should pierce to the depths of the soul. Let us examine an outstanding case and we shall find that, as regards the inmost life of the soul, even the most exalted and noblest are far from grasping what they will one day experience, when man's inmost thoughts, opinions, and feelings are steeped in Christianity.

Think of Tolstoi and his work in the last few decades, as he strives to expose the true meaning of Christianity. Such a thinker must inspire the greatest respect, especially in the West, where whole libraries are filled with endless philosophical disquisitions on the same subject which Tolstoi expounds with greatness and power in a single work such as his essay On Life. There are pages in Tolstoy's writings where with an elemental force, certain deep knowledge of theosophical truth is set forth, certainly unattainable by a philosopher of Western Europe, or on which he must write an extensive literature, because something unusually powerful is expressed therein. In Tolstoi there is an undertone which we may call the Christ-impulse. Meditate on his words and you will see that the Christ-impulse it is, which fills him.

Turn now to his great contemporary, who interests us for the reason that he soared upwards from a comprehensive philosophical conception of the universe to the boundary line of a life so truly visionary, that he could survey an epoch, as it were in perspective, apocalyptically. Even though his visions are distorted, because they lack the true foundation, Solovioff nevertheless rises to a visionary perception of the future; he places before us vistas of the future of the twentieth century. If we give him our attention, we find in his writings great and noble thoughts, especially with regard to Christianity. But he speaks of Tolstoi as of an enemy of Christianity, as of Antichrist! Thus two men of our day may believe in their deepest thoughts that they are doing the best for their time; their work may spring from the profoundest depths of their soul, and yet they may altogether fail to understand one another, and see, each in the other, nothing but an antagonist. No one today stops to think that if outward harmony and a life steeped in love are to be realized, the Christ-impulse must have penetrated to the utmost depths of human nature, so that human love becomes something entirely different from what it is at present, even among the noblest spirits.

The Impulse which was foretold, and then entered the world, is only at the beginning of its work, and an even deeper understanding for it must be shown. What is lacking to all those who, precisely in our time, cry out for Christianity and declare it to be a necessity, yet cannot bring it within their reach? Anthroposophy, spiritual science, is lacking to them — the present day way of comprehending Christ. For Christ is so great that each successive epoch must find new methods by which to know and understand Him. In earlier centuries other methods of striving for wisdom, and other forms were employed. Today Anthroposophy is a necessity, and, for long periods to come, what Anthroposophy now teaches will hold good for the purpose of understanding the Christ. For Anthroposophy will prove to be a stimulus for all human powers of cognition. Man will gradually find his way to an understanding of Christ. But even the anthroposophical presentation is only temporal: of this we are well aware. We know too that the great subject of our temporal representations will require still greater modes of representation.

Alexander Strakosch - 'Lebenswege mit Rudolf Steiner, Erinnerungen

The book by Alexander Strakosch, 'Lebenswege mit Rudolf Steiner, Erinnerungen' is an autobio with a special emphasis on his encounters with Steiner. Both couples and Steiner and Strakosch were very good personal friends. In the early days, before WWI, and with close friends, Steiner talked quite naturally about esoteric and occult stuff.

In that context (the book contains more such anecdotes): they once visited a museum in Italy together, where they saw a bust of Socrates. After the visit Steiner said to Strakosch, "did you see the resemblance of Socrates who is now Tolstoj", and then with a twinkle in his eyes "and he even brought his wife (Xanthippe) with him again".

2022 - Socrates in Russia

Volume Editors: Alyssa DeBlasio and Victoria Juharyan

More info see eg abstract here, from Ch 14 from the book 'Socrates in Russia', below SWCC

Tolstoy not only references Socrates in admiration but later repeatedly uses the story of his life and death as literary and philosophical inspiration for his own fictional characters, polemical works, and religious views. In 1885 Tolstoy collaborated with Aleksandra Kalmykova (1849–1926) on a parabolic pedagogical essay in thirteen parts based on Socrates’ life and teachings. Unsurprisingly, Tolstoy’s Socrates is a Christian before Christ. Included here are translations of the biographical sections—chapters I and X–XIII of “The Greek Teacher Socrates”—on childhood and early education as well the concluding chapters about the trial, final days, and death of Socrates.

KRI 83 - Richard Wagner

See: Richard Wagner


  • relationship with Nietzsche


In anthroposophical secondary literature, several sources mention Richard Wagner as an incarnation of the Individuality of Merlin.

Sources include:

a) Steiner to Marie Steiner in presence of Ilona Schubert (Eurythmy)

Extract from book: Ilona Schubert: 'Selbsterlebtes im Zusammensein mit Rudolf Steiner und Marie Steiner', (p32) statement from 1921

„Nach einer Weile wiederholte Marie Steiner:

«Merlin-Wagner» und nochmals, wie erkennend, «Ach, Merlin-Wagner!» und dann fragend: «Ist Richard Wagner – Merlin?»

«Ja», sagte Rudolf Steiner, «so ist es. In seiner Musik kann man das herausfühlen.»

in EN

"After a while Marie Steiner repeated:

"Merlin-Wagner" and again, as if recognizing, "Oh, Merlin-Wagner!" and then asking: "Is Richard Wagner - Merlin?"

"Yes," said Rudolf Steiner, "that's right. You can feel it in his music."

b) In Tintagel, Eleanor Merry to Daan van Bemmelen

see: Eleanor C. Merry: 'Erinnerungen an Rudolf Steiner und D. N. Dunlop' (1992)

c) book: Merlin Richard Wagner. Eine Karmabetrachtung, by Friedrich Oberkogler

Further Reading

  • Friedrich Oberkogler: 'Merlin - Richard Wagner : Versuch einer geisteswissenschaftlichen Betrachtung über die karmischen Hintergründe der Biographie Richard Wagners' (1974)

KRI 87: Origen - Spyridon - Daskalos

see: Daskalos

Daskalos (1912–1995) spoke quite openly about his previous lives and relationships to other souls he met during life, below follow mentions of some 10-12 incarnations (more details on the topic page Daskalos), of which three incarnations of known historical personalities: Origen, Spiridon and Daskalos.

  • Daskalos: "In studying my own incarnations I discovered that I usually spend only one or two earthly years before I de­scend down again to work. And that is part of the reason why I can remember so much of my previous lives."
  • three or four incarnations in ancient Egypt as a hierophant
    • hierophant called Thorisis - also known as Khor-Amon or Khor-Aton (Korraton) - in ancient Egypt (connected with three other Individualities that appear in the various books),
      • The three main Individualities (Daskalos, the other two called Iacovos and Theophanis in the books MOS and HTS) are described in several incarnations as an example of karmic relationships. (HTS p 87-89, 94-96, 143; MOS p 29-32). A fourth Individuality part of this same group appears as Petrovna in FIH Ch 9.
      • see HTS Ch 5 'Thorisis and Rasadat' from where the following extract:

        One of the early worshippers of Aton was a cousin of the Pharaoh. He had two sons. The older was called Rasadat. The two brothers strikingly resembled each other. Rasadat was eventually brought to the temple by his father to become a hierophant of Aton. Rasadat's father had a cousin named Chapsitou. Her husband was a Greek by the name of Ares who served in the Pharaoh's army. His wife gave birth to Thorisis, myself. ... The first to enter Aton's temple was Thorisis. Rasadat, a year younger, followed. A great friendship developed between the two. ... The pharaoh was very angry at me. Consequently he sent me away to his colonies, to Cyprus. He changed my name from Thorisis to Korraton which in ancient Egyptian meant 'he who has been deceived by Aton'

      • from FIH, where a person called Petrovna was taken to Daskalos and has an amazing experience confronted with the painting of the Symbol of Life (see Schema FMC00.560)

        .. Kostas' fascination was also based on his realization that Petrovna was for him an old and close acquaintance from his Peruvian, Mexican, and English incarnations. Petrovna felt equally happy with her encounters with the Cypriot healers Daskalos, Kostas, and Theophanis. ... I sat there listening to the four of them as they reminisced of Egypt and Peru, men­tioning names and places they said they recalled from those distant and colorful incarnations. Petrovna seemed to have remembered it all, nodding, affirming, and hinting of expe­riences that Kostas, Theophanis, and Daskalos had shared with her.

      • Khor-Aton, prince and high hierophant at the time of pharaoh Ankh-en-Aton - see Daskalos#1 - Karmic relationships
        • In Symbol of Life (SoL), Daskalos mentions the hierophant Khor-Aton (p267) .. Khor-Aton was a new name, given by the Pharaoh to Khor-Amon, the grandson of the pharaoh (p263)
        • Daskalos confirmed the link also in the lesson of 1990-09-24

          Amenhotep gave himself a new name and called himself: "Ankh-en-Aton" (loved by Aton) and Khor Amon changed his name to "Khor Aton".

  • at the time of Christ-Jesus as a young boy called Jason, part of the group of children that apostle John brought to Christ-Jesus
    • see also Daskalos' book 'Joshua Immanuel the Christ: His Life on Earth and His Teaching' (2001)
  • Origen of Alexandria (ca 184 – ca 253 AD),
  • Saint Spyridon or Spiridon (ca 270-348), Bishop of Trimythous, Cyprus (and encounter with Arius at oecumenial council in Nicea 325 AD)
    • see HTS Ch 4.
  • tibetan lama
  • several incarnations in the Aztecs culture, ao one during the spanish conquest of Cortez (1485-1547)
  • Italian incarnation in Venice
  • incarnation as a russian writer


[1] - incarnation as a russian writer

From HTS:

"I was a Russian in my previous life"


Daskalos went on to say that his knowledge of several languages was the result of previous incarnations. He claimed he had never had training in the Russian language, yet he knew Russian because in his last incarnation he was a Russian writer. In the same way Daskalos knew Armenian and some Italian.


Daskalos was lying on the couch listening with eyes closed to Russian Gregorian chants on his portable stereo cassette recorder. ..

Daskalos seemed to be deeply engrossed in his medita­tion. As I gazed at him the thought crossed my mind that he was perhaps back to his beloved Russia. Although born a Greek Cypriot of half-Scottish parents (both his grand­fathers were Scottish expatriates who married local Greek women), he had a special identification with and love for Russia. His small library in the Stoa had several dusty old Russian monographs. He confided to me once that in his immediately previous life he was a Russian writer and that his memories of that life's intense experiences were still too vivid in his consciousness. It was not difficult for me to fantasize Daskalos as a bearded nineteenth-century Rus­sian novelist living in the midst of historical turmoil and passionately delving with his quill pen into the great mys­teries of existence.

Who could have been the russian writer Daskalos mentions as a previous incarnation?

  • Daskalos explains there are only few years between his incarnations (so previous death not so long before Daskalos' birth in 1912), and
  • Rudolf Steiner stated that very advanced Individualities incarnate in a very similar or same physical body (re Karma research case studies#1907-05-29-GA099).

As a disclaimer upfront: this will always remain guessing and pure speculation with no value.


  • A quick scan brought up Turgenev (1818-1883) as such potential candidate, one observes facial similarities of the nose and a left eye a bit smaller than the right, which is quite apparent when comparing certain pictures. However the public life of Turgenev does not show any signs of resonance with the Michaelic stream.
  • Also, this may well have been a writer which did not become world famous, one could imagine a scenario of a writer as a public professional activity (just as Daskalos had a daytime job all his life too) with little more, whereby the esoteric work remained hidden from the world.
  • The mentioned 'dusty old Russian monographs' might surely have given hints, but we don't have more info.

Further reading

  • Manfred Krüger: 'Ichgeburt: Origenes und die Entstehung der christlichen Idee der Wiederverkörperung in der Denkbewegung von Pythagoras bis Lessing' (1996)

Apollonius of Tyana or Tyre

Apollonius von Tyana (ca 40-120) originates from the city of Tyana and is described by Rudolf Steiner as a high adept, but not to be confused with Christ-Jesus.


  • comparison of the life of Apollonius with that of Jesus
  • similarities: wonders, healing, raising from the death
  • statement or rumours about the fact Apollonius would have appeared after his death.

Lecture references

Apollonius' letter to Valerius

There is no death of anyone, but only in appearance, even as there is no birth of any, save only in appearance. The change from being to becoming is considered birth, and the change from becoming to being is considered death, but in reality no one is ever born, nor does one ever die. It is simply visible at one time and then invisible; the former through the density of matter, and the latter because of the subtlety of being – being which is ever the same, only subject to differences of movement and state.

Philostratus: Life of Apollonius 8.26-31

[8.29] The memoirs then of Apollonius of Tyana which Damis the Assyrian composed, end with the above story; for with regard to the manner in which he died, if he did actually die, there are many stories, though, Damis has repeated none.

But as for myself I ought not to omit even this, for my story should, I think, have its natural ending. Neither has Damis told us anything about the age of our hero; but there are some who say that he was eighty, others that he was over ninety, others again who say that his age far exceeded a hundred. He was fresh in all his body and upright, when he died, and more agreeable to look at than in his youth. For there is a certain beauty even in wrinkles, which was especially conspicuous in his case, as is clear from the likenesses of him which are preserved in the temple at Tyana, and from accounts which praise the old age of Apollonius more than was once praised the youth of Alcibiades.

[8.30] Now there are some who relate that henote died in Ephesus, tended by two maid servants; for the freedmen of whom I spoke at the beginning of my story were already dead. One of these maids he emancipated, and was blamed by the other one for not conferring the same privilege upon her, but Apollonius told her that it was better for her to remain the other's slave, for that would be the beginning of her well-being.

Accordingly after his death this one continued to be the slave of the other, who for some insignificant reason sold her to a merchant, from whom she was purchased. Her new master, although she was not good-looking, nevertheless fell in love with her; and being a fairly rich man, made her his legal wife and had legitimate children with her.

Others again say that he died in Lindus, where he entered the temple of Athena and disappeared within it. Others again say that he died in Crete in a much more remarkable manner than the people of Lindus relate. For they say that he continued to live in Crete, where he became a greater center of admiration than ever before, and that he came to the temple of Dictynna late at night. Now this temple is guarded by dogs, whose duty it is to watch over the wealth deposited in it, and the Cretans claim that they are as good as bears or any other animals equally fierce. None the less, when he came, instead of barking, they approached him and fawned upon him, as they would not have done even with people they knew familiarly.

The guardians of the shrine arrested him in consequence, and threw him in bonds as a wizard and a robber, accusing him of having thrown to the dogs some charmed morsel. But about midnight he loosened his bonds, and after calling those who had bound him, in order that they might witness the spectacle, he ran to the doors of the temple, which opened wide to receive him; and when he had passed within, they closed afresh, as they had been shut, and there was heard a chorus of maidens singing from within the temple, and their song was this. "Hasten thou from earth, hasten thou to Heaven, hasten." In other words: "Do thou go upwards from earth."

[8.31] And even after his death, he continued to preach that the soul is immortal; but although he taught this account of it to be correct, he discouraged men from meddling in such high subjects.

For there came to Tyana a youth who did not shrink from acrimonious discussions, and would not accept truth in argument. Now Apollonius had already passed away from among men, but people still wondered at his passing, and no one ventured to dispute that he was immortal. This being so, the discussions were mainly about the soul, for a band of youth were there passionately addicted to wisdom. The young man in question, however, would on no account allow the tenet of immortality of the soul, and said: "I myself, gentlemen, have done nothing now for over nine months but pray to Apollonius that he would reveal to me the truth about the soul; but he is so utterly dead that he will not appear to me in response to my entreaties, nor give me any reason to consider him immortal."


The individuality in question is Apollonius of Tyana, and of him we speak as a really high Adept.


Apollonius of Tyana is an individuality who went through many incarnations; he won for himself high powers and reached a certain climax in his incarnation at the beginning of our era. Hence the individual we are considering is he who lived in the body of Apollonius of Tyana and had therein his earthly field of action.


DE version

internet translation of excerpts

.. it is told about Apollonius of Tyana, how he already showed great aptitudes in his childhood, how he grew up with these great aptitudes, how he participated in the most excellent teachings that could be given at that time, as for example the teaching that had grown out of the Pythagorean school. But then we are further told that Apollonius of Tyana set out on great journeys precisely for the attainment of knowledge, and we are told of his journeys, at first the less far-reaching ones, but then the long journey he made to the Indian sages. We are told how he learns to revere and admire the Indian sages there, how he has penetrated through them to certain sources of knowledge. Then we are told how he came back again, how he, one would like to say, fired by what he looked at in these Indian sages, then taught again in Southern Europe in the most different way. But then we are also told how he went to Egypt, how he first absorbed in northern Egypt what he could absorb there and how it seemed small to him, very small compared to what he had found in wonderful wisdom with the Indians. Then we are told how he went up the Nile, to the sources of the Nile, but also to the seats of the so-called Gymnosophists


But it is also told how Apollonius of Tyana was already so saturated with Indian wisdom that he could distinguish between this and the lesser of the Egyptian gymnosophists. And then it is told how he returned again, how he then made his various miraculous journeys to Rome, where he was persecuted, where he was put in prison, and so on.

But what is interesting for us is the fact that these great journeys are attributed to Apollonius of Tyana, and that these journeys are associated with the constant expansion of his own wisdom. Apollonius becomes wiser and wiser by meeting the wisest people of his world at that time. He wanders, so to speak, from place to place. He seeks out those people who were in possession of the greatest wisdom of that time.


Therefore, what kind of person is Apollonius of Tyana? Apollonius of Tyana wants to become wise on earth, although he does not live in such places - also the area near the Nile springs, where the Gymnosophists lived, was such a place, where one could become wise to a quite outstanding degree. He had only the urge for such becoming wise in himself. Therefore, he went on the journey, as Pythagoras once did, who was in the same case.

And thus we see how Apollonius of Tyana is in a certain sense a man who seeks in the vastness of the earth that which is to fill man with inner satisfaction, that which leads him to attain inner spirituality. For those times in which what I have now said about man's being bound to one place on earth was especially valid, these times lived in the time of Apollonius of Tyana more or less only in the afterglow. There was still something left in ancient India of what it once was, and Apollonius of Tyana got to know it. But he already represented the representative of a newer time, that man who is dependent on seeking in every place of the earth that which can be human wisdom in the highest sense. Only he is dependent on it to look for it on wide wanderings.

Here the mystery of Golgotha presents itself before us in such a way that we can say: through the fact that the Christ dwelt in Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus of Nazareth at the same time became the being on earth who set the tone for this search, independent of the localization on earth itself. Thus Apollonius of Tyana and the Christ Jesus are the greatest opposites. Apollonius of Tyana is, so to speak, the contemporary of the Christ Jesus, who, according to his human condition, no longer lives in the old time, but already in a new time. But in this new time one can live only with the Christ impact. The Christ impact comes from Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus of Nazareth and Apollonius of Tyana are the two poles of people from the beginning of our era.

Further reading

  • James A. Francis: 'Truthful Fiction: New Questions to Old Answers on Philostratus' "Life of Apollonius"' (1998)

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