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Mystics of the Renaissance & Their Relation to Modern Thought (1911)

Rudolf Steiner, Paul Marshall Allen (Introduction)

Buy this book at Amazon.com or try Amazon.co.uk in England, Amazon.ca in Canada, Amazon.de in Germany, Amazon.fr in France, Amazon.it in Italy, Amazon.es in Spain. ASIN=1564597229, Category: Philosophy, Language: E, cover: PB, pages: 296, year: 1997(1960).

The book is online here.

Review © (2004-2008) by interesting-books-selector.com

When a friend wrote that he admired my energy and devotion to reading, I answered that reading about Buddhism solved a problem of my life, i.e.: abolishing negativism, and that I now wanted to know more why and how my state of mind was transformed. I wanted to read more about Buddhism but from a Western writer. Having reading several Colin Wilson books I got the idea to look if Rudolf Steiner wrote something about Buddhism. To my surprise I found out that Steiner succeeded in combining Christianism and Buddhism at the beginning of the 20.th century with great success. But during and after World War I, people had no longer time to search for enlightenment because they struggled to fight Inflation and to get food. Bad luck! After Steiner's dead, his educational center called Goetheaneum in Dornach near Basel was burned down; it was never found out who did it, but many believe that the nazis were responsible.

Unification of Buddhism with Christianism should not be so difficult a task, if they had a common root. My friend was just reviewing and restudying the histories of ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, Russia, etc.. The history of ancient Egypt fascinates him more and more, and he felt that the ideas of Heaven and Hell, the Last Judgement etc. in Christianity have been derived from ancient Egypt. Buddhism too appears to have the ideas developed by Egyptians.

This reminded me what I've read in Steiner's book "Mystics of the Renaissance & Their Relation to Modern Thought (1911)", previously published under the titles "MYSTICISM at the Dawn of the Modern Age" or "Eleven European Mystics", quote:

The book has an excellent, comprehensive description of the author, the people and the background written by Paul Marshall Allen in 1960, quote: The Eleven European Mystics are
  1. Master [Johannes] Eckhart (1260-1329),
  2. Johannes Tauler (1300-1361),
  3. Heinrich Suso (1295-1366),
  4. Jan van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381),
  5. Cardinal Nicolas [Chrypffs] of Cusa (1401-1463),
  6. [Henry Cornelius] Agrippa of Nettesheim (1487-1535),
  7. [Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim] Paracelsus (1493-1541),
  8. Valentine Weigel (1533-1588),
  9. Jacob Boehme (1575-1624),
  10. Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) - burned at the stake in 06-Feb,
  11. Johannes [Scheffler] Angelus Silesius (1624-1677)
Reading about the msytics as explained by Steiner changed something in my mind. I've got more energy, concentration, motivation to find out more about all the inner world and the Self. Some quotes that really pleased me:

Quote Steiner from the chapter about Giordano Bruno:

Quote Steiner:

Quote Eckhart:

"Heretic!" said the pope.

Quotes from Johannes Tauler:

Quote Steiner:

Wouldn't it be interesting to find the answer to this questions which Tauler knew 700 years ago?

Quote Steiner from the chapter about Agrippa of Nettesheim

To me that sounds quite Ayn Randish.

Quote Steiner from his book about "The Bhagavad Gita":

Quote Johann Scheffler, called Angelus Silesius (1624-1677), ibid:

Isn't that beautiful?

The little "go" in the middle is the essence of it all! It is confirmed by what Steiner wrote at the end of the chapter about the earlier about the mystic Nicolas of Cusa, quote:

Simply GO! :-)

Matches well what my grandfather always said: "Those who ask many questions, will err often!" :-)

Once my friend had seen the above, he wrote to me: