The Karma of Untruthfulness: Secret Societies, the Media, and Preparations for the Great War (Vol. 2)
12 lectures, Dornach, January 1-30, 1917 (CW 174)
Although these lectures were given in 1916, they have much to teach us about today’s political spin, media distortions, propaganda and downright lies—all delivered by the media on a daily basis. Rudolf Steiner’s calm, methodological approach penetrates the smokescreen of accusations and counterclaims, illusions and lies, surrounding World War I. From behind this fog and under the guise of outer events, the true spiritual struggle is revealed. Steiner’s words give the reader a deeper understanding of the politics and world conflicts that confront us today through the filter of popular media.
Amid the turmoil of World War I, Steiner spoke out courageously against the hate, lies, and propaganda of the time. His detailed research into the spiritual impulses of human evolution allowed him to reveal the dominant role that secret brotherhoods played in events that culminated in that cataclysmic war. He warned that the retarding forces of nationalism must be overcome before Europe can find its true destiny. He also emphasized the urgent need for new social structures in order to avoid such future catastrophes.
Political and social changes around the world are moving at a breathless pace, hurtling us all toward an uncertain future. These lectures illuminate much of what lies behind today’s turbulent events and the scenes played out on the nightly news.
Like volume 1, this edition is placed within a modern context and introduced by Terry Boardman.
This volume is a translation from German of Zeitgeschichtliche Betrachtungen. Das Karma der Unwahrhaftigkeit – Zweiter Teil. Kosmische und Menschliche Geschichte Band V (GA 174).
About the Author
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
Terry M. Boardman (b. 1952) graduated from Manchester University with a BA (Hons) in History. He has lived and worked for ten years in Japan, and currently lives in the West Midlands, UK, where he teaches English as a second language. He is also active as a lecturer and writer.