GA 9

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An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man

Theosophie. Einführung in übersinnliche Welterkenntnis und Menschenbestimmung

„In this book a description of some parts of the supersensible world is to be given. Whoever wants to accept only the sensual world will regard this description as an insubstantial fantasy. But whoever wants to seek the paths that lead out of the sensual world will soon learn to understand that human life only gains value and meaning through insight into another world. Man is not - as many fear - alienated from "real" life by such insight. For it is through this insight that he learns to stand securely and firmly in this life. He learns to recognise the causes of life, while without it he gropes his way through the effects like a blind man. Only through the knowledge of the supersensible does the sensual "real" gain meaning. Therefore, through this knowledge, one becomes more fit and not less fit for life. A truly "practical" person can only become one who understands life.

The author of this book does not describe anything of which he cannot bear witness through experience, through the kind of experience one can have in these areas. Only what has been experienced by oneself in this sense is to be described. As one is accustomed to read books in our age, this one cannot be read. In a certain sense, the reader will have to work through every page, every sentence. This has been deliberately striven for. For only in this way can the book become for the reader what it should become for him. Anyone who merely reads through it will not have read it at all. Its truths must be experienced. Spiritual science has value only in this sense.

The book cannot be judged from the standpoint of common science unless the point of view for such a judgement is obtained from the book itself. If the critic adopts this point of view, he will of course see that nothing in these remarks is intended to contradict true science. The author knows that he does not wish to contradict his scientific conscientiousness in any way.

Whoever wishes to seek the truths presented here in another way will find such a way in my "Philosophy of Freedom". In different ways, these two books strive towards the same goal. The other is not at all necessary for the understanding of the one, although it is certainly beneficial for some.

Those who look for the "ultimate" truths in this book will perhaps put it down unsatisfied. The basic truths of the whole field of spiritual science should be given first“ (Lit.:GA 9, p. 2)


From the Prefaces to the First, Second, and Third Editions
Preface to the Revised English Edition
Chapter I. The Essential Nature of Man
    1. The Corporeal Nature of Man
    2. The Soul Nature of Man
    3. The Spiritual Nature of Man
    4. Body, Soul and Spirit
Chapter II. Re-embodiment of the Spirit and Destiny
Chapter III. The Three Worlds
    1. The Soul World
    2. The Soul in the Soul World After Death
    3. The Spiritland
    4. The Spirit in Spiritland After Death
    5. The Physical World and its Connection with the Soul and Spiritland
    6. Thought Forms and the Human Aura
Chapter IV. The Path of Knowledge


  • Rudolf Steiner: Theosophy. An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man, CW 9, translated by Henry B. Monges and revised by Gilbert Church, Ph.D., Anthroposophic Press 1971, ISBN 78-135997 English: German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub



Original editions

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