I ran into this book when I was doing a little investigation into Steiner’s ‘Masonic adventure‘. Halfway the book I had enough information to write that article, but I finished the book before I wrote this review.
As you can see in the article, it is not really Freemasonry what this book is about. Steiner wanted to form a lineage for his esoteric school and opted for an irregular form of Freemasony: the Rite of Memphis-Misraim. Therefor one of the working titles for the group was “Misraim Dienst” or “Misraim Service” in the English translation.
The book contains a lengthy introduction of how Steiner came in contact with the Rite of Memphis Misraim, how the Antroposophical Society started and its Esoteric School. The English translation differs of the German introduction in view. Like most books of Rudolf Steiner, this book is a collection of lectures, notes, etc. that have been compiled and published after Steiner’s death. The current title also has notes of students, scans of drawings and sketches, etc.
The first part of the book is really about the Misraim Dienst itself, but about halfway the book switches to lectures that were not necessarily for the esoteric group, but can just as well just touch on a related subject. When the lectures do speak of the rituals or an element therefrom, they can still be lengthy exposes about what the earth and humans looked like in the time of Lemuria or Atlantis, things that Steiner claimed to know from “the Akasha chronicles”, clairvoyant investigations.
It is safe to say -therefor- that the current title is a relatively typical Antroposophical publication, but what is different from most Steiner titles is that this book clearly shows the esoteric side of Antroposophy and Rudolf Steiner. It is a book that is probably interesting for Freemasons because there are both similarities and big differences to Masonic rituals. People interested in Steiner and Antroposophy might enjoy reading lectures that were never meant to be public, but Steiner’s death changed that idea.
I find the first half interesting, the second half a bit ‘too much’ here and there.
2007 SteinerBooks, isbn 0880106123