Anthroposophy and the dream

Christoph Gassmann, 2004

Rudolf Steiner

In anthroposophy, founded by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the dream plays an important role. This spiritual movement, significant both within and outside German-speaking regions, sees itself as a way of knowledge that aims to lead the spiritual in mankind towards the spiritual in the cosmos. In order to better understand the spiritual in humans and its relationship to that of the cosmos the elucidation of dreams offers one possibility among others.

Essentially, anthroposophists distinguish between the carrier of the memories, that contributes the elements or symbols of the dream, and the dramatist that connects and arranges these elements. In order to better understand a dream, they examine the course of the actions and the mood that they create, in order to recognize the “stagecraft” therein and do not just remain stuck with interpreting individual symbols. Dreams can be a processing of the preceding day, but can also represent past incarnations. In addition, they mirror the happenings that arise in deep sleep in unconsciousness. These contain newly created motifs, which can influence the future life of the dreamer.

Anthroposophists understand the dream as a chaotic counterpart in the ethereal and astral world. Among other things, Rudolf Steiner described the latter as a subjective world in which conditions such as lust, wishes Goetheanum and imaginations appear as outer beings and happenings. Clarification of the dream consciousness through spiritual and occult training is needed so that it can serve as a bridge to these worlds. This connects anthroposophy with theosophy, out of which it arose, and with other occidental systems that have preserved occult practices. It is also thus a clear predecessor of lucidity training, as it is propagated today in such a contemporary, enlightened and demystified way. I maintain that it is important that the anthroposophic dream theories are not only studied by anthroposophists but also by all those who are interested in dreams, since many reflections and knowledge can be found there that enrich discussions about dreams.

Christoph Gassmann, Horgen, Switzerland

- Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy.
- The first Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerlan. It was the first center of the Anthroposophy Society.

- Johannes W. Schneider: Träume besser verstehen (Verlag Freies Geistleben, Stuttgart 1999)
- Rudolf Steiner: Über den Traum (Zusammengestellt von Herbert Senft, Verlag die Pforte 1997)