WHY TWO NEW BOOKS OF THE FIRST CLASS LESSONS?

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WHY TWO NEW BOOKS OF THE FIRST CLASS LESSONS?

WHAT IS THEIR RELATIONSHIP?


For those not already familiar with the nature of the First Class Lessons, the two important recently published and similarly titled volumes of Rudolf Steiner’s esoteric legacy— the first bearing the title The First Class Lessons and Mantras: The Michael School Meditative Path in Nineteen Steps and the second the title The First Class of the Michael School with the subtitle “Recapitulation Lessons and Mantras”— may easily cause some confusion. Some explanation is thus required.

The first volume—The First Class Lessons and Mantras: The Michael School Meditative Path in Nineteen Steps—is complete. It contains all the nineteen lessons of the class as unveiled by Rudolf Steiner orally and for the first time in Dornach between February 15 and August 2, 1924.

The second volume— The First Class of the Michael School: Recapitulation Lessons and Mantras—contains individual lessons given between April 3 and September 20 1924 in various cities: Prague (First and Second Lessons, April 3 and 5), Berne (First Lesson, April17), Breslau (First and Seconds Lessons) June 12 and 13), London (Second Lesson, the record of the First Lesson being lost, April 27) and Dornach (the first seven Lessons, September 6 to September 20).

These lessons, once again given orally, “recapitulate,” that is repeat or recap not precisely, but in the moment, speaking to those present for whom this is the first hearing of them.

In other words, they differ somewhat but for those who attended and were already familiar with the first presentation of the Lessons—or now, given publication, have read and mediated them—they enlarge upon and illuminate in a new light what was given before.