Paths of the Christian Mysteries: From Compostela to the New World

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In recent decades, there has been an upsurge of interest in "the Camino," the pilgrim's route to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. But where does this fascination in the spiritual exploration of the Middle Ages come from, and what is its significance?

Virginia Sease and Manfred Schmidt-Brabant assert that we live in a time of spiritual quest, discovery, and change. Humanity is becoming increasingly sensitive, and primal memories are beginning to emerge in people's consciousness. Within this dynamic context of inner transformation, the Camino's historic importance is being reechoed in human souls.

Rudolf Steiner explained that people need to live not only with outer history, but also with the esoteric, hidden narrative behind it--the history of the mysteries. Today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the authors suggest that it is increasingly necessary for us to live consciously with this veiled history of humanity's continual search for communion with the divine world.

Based on long research and contemplation, the authors present a survey of extraordinary breadth and depth. Focusing on the spiritual history of humankind, they begin with the cosmic origin of the Grail Mysteries and culminate with the suprasensory Michael cultus and the being of Anthroposophia. Topics also include:

  • the school of Athens;
  • early Christian art and its Gnostic impulses;
  • the Grail initiation in northern Spain;
  • the role of the Cathars and Troubadours in the Manichean spiritual stream;
  • the Camino to Santiago de Compostela and the esoteric aspect of music for the pilgrims;
  • the Music of the Spheres and the Elders of the Apocalypse;
  • the Templars as emissaries of the Holy Grail;
  • the initiations of Christian Rosenkreutz and his relation to anthroposophical art;
  • the early Rosicrucian impulses in America and Europe;
  • and much more.

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About the author (2003)

Virginia Sease was born in the United States in 1935, and received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1969. Since 1984 she has been a member of the Executive Council of the General Anthroposophical Society and served from 1991-2001 as the leader of the Section for the Arts of Eurythmy, Speech, Drama and Music. Her current responsibilities include liaising between the Executive Council and English-speaking anthroposophists around the world, and directing the English Anthroposophical Studies Program at the Goetheanum. Manfred Schmidt-Brabant was born in Berlin in 1926. In 1975 he became a member of the Executive Council of the General Anthroposophical Society at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, and served as Chair of the Council from 1984 until his death in 2001. His service during those years included leadership of the Social Science Section of the School of Spiritual Science, and he lectured around the world on many subjects. He was the author of several books that have been published in English.