Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian religious philosopher and esotericist, who was once a leader in the German section of the Theosophical Society, but broke with them after refusing to acknowledge Jiddu Krishnamurti as the coming "World Teacher." Steiner then founded the Anthroposophical Society, and began an influential system of schools ("Waldorf Schools") based on his educational ideas. He wrote many other books, such as Theosophy, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment: An Esoteric Spiritualism Initiation, etc. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 395-page 1972 paperback edition.]
He explained in the Preface to the 16th-20th editions, "Originally, it was my plan to add [this book's] essential content as final chapters to my book Theosophy... This proved to be impossible... [as] the subject matter of Occult Science did not yet live in me in its final form... I perceived details, but not the complete picture. I, therefore, decided to publish Theosophy with the content I had seen as the nature of the life of individual man, and then to carry through Occult Science ... without undue haste." (Pg. ix-x) He adds, "What is spiritually perceived is fully comprehensible to the unprejudiced, unperceiving consciousness if the seer gives his perceptions thought form... the comprehension of the spirit world ... bears the stamp of thought employed in natural science." (Pg. xi-xii) He asserts, "Occult Science is the antithesis of Natural Science." (Pg. xiv) He contends, "the knowledge considered scientific today cannot penetrate into the spirit world, and these reasons are in a certain sense irrefutable." (Pg. xx)
He observes, "The following objection is often heard in regard to the statements of occult science: 'These latter do not offer proof; they merely assert this or that and say that occult science ascertains this.' The following exposition will be misjudged if it is thought that any part of it has been presented in this sense. Our endeavor here is to allow the capacity of soul unfolded through a knowledge of nature to evolve further, as far as its own nature will allow, and then to call attention to the fact that in such development the soul encounters supersensible facts." (Pg. 9) Later, he adds, "for supersensible perception itself there is no need of verification of its results through such experiences. It does not desire to PROVE anything by these references, but to elucidate its findings." (Pg. 63)
He argues, "Prior to the separation of the moon from the Earth... there were among the descendants of the abandoned germinal human beings left behind on earth, in which the human souls, returning from the body-free state of existence, could no longer incarnate... Certain human souls, therefore, found it no longer possible under such circumstances to return to the Earth... Another part... was only able to receive souls of an order lower than the human being... There were souls who had been unable... when the Sun separated from the Earth, to find a place in the latter... they were removed to a planet that... had been severed from the common universal substance... from which the sun had also detached itself. This planet is the one whose physical expression is known to modern science as Jupiter... The souls described evolved further on Jupiter... and later on... still another dwelling place had to be fashioned ... For these a place on Mars was provided for their further evolution." (Pg. 197-199) Later, he adds, "In the case of the inferior kinds of human beings... the consequence was a tremendous terrestrial catastrophe... Only the smallest part who had remained partly untouched by error was able to escape to a district of the earth that had remained until then protected from corrupting human influence... The earth region... situated between modern Europe, Africa, and America, is called 'Atlantis' by spiritual science." (Pg. 216)
He suggests, "At the moment in the life of Christ Jesus, when His astral body contained everything that the Luciferic impulse can conceal, He assumed His mission as teacher of mankind... At the moment when the event of Golgotha was accomplished, the other aptitude was injected into mankind by which it is possible to turn the influence of Ahriman to good... The event of Palestine is not only the center of the physical evolution of mankind, but it is also the center of the other worlds to which the human being belongs... Since the Christ event, human beings who elevate themselves... are able to carry with them into the spiritual world what they have acquired in the sense world." (Pg. 248-249)
He states, "in true spiritual training... the sources of delusion are stopped up... in preparing himself, the true spiritual science student will acquire sufficient knowledge about what may cause delusion and autosuggestion, and thus be in a position to protect himself from them." (Pg. 336) He further asserts, "Whoever believes that human freedom is not compatible with foreknowledge and predestination of the future ... should consider that free human action in the future depends just as little upon the character the predestined things will have as this freedom depends upon his resolve to live in a house a year hence, the plan of which he determines today. He will be as free as it is possible for him to be according to his inner nature... he will be as free upon Jupiter and Venus as his inner life permits..." (Pg. 363)
This book is "must reading" for anyone studying Steiner's philosophy and ideas.