The butterfly flutters above and over the earth, borne on the air and shimmering with light...We ought really to see them as thing other than beings of light, joyous in their colours and the play of colours. All the rest is garment and luggage. - Rudolf Steiner Truly poetic and deeply esoteric, these lectures by Rudolf Steiner have been gathered here in a single volume for the first time, with an in-depth introduction that traces and explains the stages of butterfly metamorphosis. The emergence of the butterfly from its pupa is one of the most moving phemena we can encounter in nature. In this creature's visible transformations, we can experience a revelation of spirit. The butterfly, says Rudolf Steiner, is ...a flower blossom lifted into the air by light and cosmic forces . It is a being that develops from and through light, via a process of incorporation and internalization. By gazing into the world of these special and rarefied creatures, we can intuit that they, ...ray out something even better than sunlight: they shine spirit light out into the cosmos .
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', meaning 'wisdom of the human being'. As a highly developed seer, he based his work on direct knowledge and perception of spiritual dimensions. He initiated a modern and universal 'science of spirit', accessible to anyone willing to exercise clear and unprejudiced thinking. spacer spacer From his spiritual investigations Steiner provided suggestions for the renewal of many activities, including education (both general and special), agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. Today there are thousands of schools, clinics, farms and other organizations involved in practical work based on his principles. His many published works feature his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development. Steiner wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6000 lectures across Europe. In 1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world.