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`I fall asleep. Until I awaken my soul will be in the world of spirit, and there will meet the guiding impulse-giver of my earthly life, my genius, who dwells in the world of spirit, hovering round my head...' - Rudolf Steiner
The night is an essential counterpart to the day. By day we possess the capacity of conscious, logical thought, whilst at night - leaving the physical body to regenerate during sleep - we give ourselves up to a different form of consciousness. Rudolf Steiner describes the night as the realm of intuition, a place of deep spiritual encounter, but also as a wellspring of renewal and healing.
With its lucid introduction and notes, The Night seeks to conjure the special atmosphere and quality of the nocturnal hours, so that the real spiritual encounters of night-time can fruitfully inform our daily life, helping us to live in a fuller, healthier way. Night-time is when we can, consciously or unconsciously, meet our higher self; we have the opportunity to work with angelic beings, and even to access the world of the dead. The night can be a source of poetic and artistic inspiration, whilst for initiates it provides a field for conscious awareness. It is also a special time - before going to sleep and upon waking - for specific esoteric exercises.
Edited by Edward de Boer, the textual passages, lecture extracts, exercises and the many verses and prayers in this anthology are an invitation to readers to engage more consciously with the starry heavens and the nightly realm.
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.
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.