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Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment
Rudolf Steiner
(New Translation: How to Know Higher Worlds)
Translated by George Metaxa

Published by Anthroposophic Press in 1947

Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2002


There is a parallelism in Steiner's book between his gentle instructions to the beginner on the path to higher knowledge and the content of the book itself. He exhorts the novice to observe a seed and contemplate it, then to plant the seed and imagine the plant that he wants the seedling to grow into. This imaginative process creates the final plant as surely as the planting of the seed into the soil itself. If one were building a house and spent a lot of time creating and nourishing such a mental blueprint of the house-to-be, that would be accepted as a valid approach to building a house in 1990's culture. But to do the same process with a living organism would be considered crazy, up until now.

Through the process of reading this book the reader can feel Steiner's presence hovering over him as though he were that seed plant, filling the space surrounding him with a glowing clairvoyant spirit, embellished with a frontispiece of seven rotating lotus flowers.

In a cogent presentation, Steiner describes the chakra energy centers as lotus flowers - using the flower metaphor to ease the description of the facets of the chakras by referring to them as the petals of the lotus. Each chakra has its unique number of facets or petals according to Steiner. When the meditative being attains higher knowledge through the exercises described in the book, the petals of the chakra associated with a particular energy center begin to rotate. Thus the origin of the wheel metaphor for these energy centers, in fact, chakra means wheel in the original Sanskrit.

The traveler on the path to higher knowledge, whether seed, plant, or flowering tree, will find directions and understandings, rather like a traveler in a strange land coming upon a map would find solace in the confirmation of his current bearings and joy in the delineation of his future path.


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