In occultism, adepts are initiates who, having gained the right to possess occult knowledge,
have also learned how to use that knowledge.
There a human adepts and nonhuman adepts.
According to Steiner, all good beings are evolving upwards.
This includes beings above us, beings Steiner called gods.
Becoming an adept is a crucial stage of spiritual evolution for all beings.
Steiner's followers, of course, consider Steiner an adept.
“The weapons of the mystic are concentration and inner vision; the weapons of the occultist are intuition and synthesis. Each corresponds to the other; they complete and presuppose each other.
“These two human types are blended in the Adept, in the higher Initiate. No doubt one or the other, and often both, are met with in the founders of great religions and the loftiest philosophies. No doubt also they are to be found again, in a less, but still very remarkable degree, among a certain number of personages who have played a great part in history as reformers, thinkers, poets, artists, statesmen.” — Edouard Schuré, “The Personality of Rudolf Steiner and His Development”, introduction to THE WAY OF INITIATION (Harper & Row, 1960), by Rudolf Steiner, GA 10.
“The adept who has had his capacities for higher consciousness awakened — as Steiner claimed to have done — is said to be able to read the Akashic record and learn of events about which writings and artifacts can offer no evidence.” — Richard Smoley, Introduction ACCORDING TO MATTHEW (SteinerBooks, 2003), by Rudolf Steiner, p. 3.
“[I]t is possible, by means of special training, to prolong life indefinitely by learning to live outside the physical body. Anyone, however, who imagined that no death, in the conventional sense of the word, could strike down an adept [i.e., an initiate having occult powers], would have quite a false view of the matter. So whoever imagined that an adept could not be hit and killed by a falling roof slate would also be wrong. To be sure, that would usually only occur if the adept allowed it.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE TEMPLE LEGEND (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1997), pp. 95-96.
“Folk-lore, which never contains anything haphazard or thought-out, has preserved the memory of ancient Atlantis in a beautiful way ... On this continent, which was situated between America and Europe, we must seek the seminary of the ancient adepts ... The seminary which flourished during the fourth Atlantean sub-race, this first school of adepts, would now be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean ... There was then a far more direct connection between the souls of teacher and pupil. The written signs in the Adept-School of ancient Atlantis were imitations of the phenomena of Nature, written by the hand in the air, these signs had their effect and also influenced the spirit of the population, arousing forces in the soul.” — Rudolf Steiner, “The Adept School of the Past”, ANTHROPOSOPHIC NEWS SHEET No. 31/32 (General Anthroposophical Society, 1941), GA 97.
“The procedure adopted by the adept in order to release his astral body is, on the one hand, to train and develop such feelings and thoughts as possess, in themselves, a certain rhythm which can then be communicated to the physical body and, on the other, to avoid those which give rise to physical disorder. Joy or suffering that runs to extremes is avoided. The adept teaches the necessity for equanimity of soul.” — Rudolf Steiner, AN ESOTERIC COSMOLOGY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1978), lecture 11, “The Devachanic World (Heaven)”, GA 94.
“During the 17th century, which had a great influence on culture, this knowledge was in the hands of the Rosenkreuz (Rose Cross) movement [i.e., Rosicrucianism], which was originally based on oriental knowledge, and this knowledge was passed on to the European adepts in the various degrees. At the end of the 18th century and especially at the beginning of the 19th century, these esoteric schools disappeared from the European cultural scene and the last Rosenkreuz adepts withdrew to the Orient.” — Rudolf Steiner, THEOSOPHIC/ESOTERIC COSMOLOGY (SOUTHERN CROSS REVIEW, 2001), “Spiritual Cosmology”, GA 89.
“Charlemagne was the reincarnation of a high, East Indian adept and an instrument of the spiritual individuality that's symbolized by the name Titurel.” — Rudolf Steiner, FROM THE CONTENTS OF ESOTERIC CLASSES (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), GA 266.
“The Sun-men too had attained a certain high development. There were also Sun Adepts, who had progressed further than the other Sun-men. They passed over to the Moon. There also they had the possibility of being on a higher level than the Moon-men, and they developed to quite special heights. They were the forefathers of the Earth-men, but had hastened much further ahead.” — Rudolf Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 23, GA 93a.
“On the Old Moon [our second evolutionary stage] the predecessors of man again went through a certain normal development. But there were also Moon Adepts who hastened on in advance of the rest of mankind. At the end of the Old Moon evolution these Pitri beings [spiritual forefathers of humanity] were much more advanced than the rest of humanity, just as the Adepts are today.” — Rudolf Steiner, ibid.
“Two streams now existed, that of Jahve and that of the Moon Adepts. The interest of the Moon Adepts lay in spiritualising mankind. Jahve [i.e., Jehovah], however, wished to make of them beautiful statues. At that time these two powers contested with one another.” — Rudolf Steiner, ibid.
“[L]ife in the Lemurian Age [i.e., on the lost continent of Lemuria] had to receive a new impulse, which was brought about by the turning around of the Earth Globe ... Four million years were needed by the Moon Pitris in order to turn the axis of the Earth. At that time the Moon Pitris development was already much further on than that of present day man.
"...Now there came a Sun Hero, similar to those who appeared in the Hyperborean Epoch [i.e., the evolutionary stage before Lemuria], represented by Ezekiel as the Winged Lion. This Hero, Who gave the second impulse, is the Christ, the Lion out of the tribe of Judah. The representative of the Eagle will come only later; he represents the Father Principle. Christ is a Solar Hero, a Lion-Nature, a Sun Pitri.
“The third impulse will be represented by an Adept who was already an Adept on Saturn. Such a one cannot as yet incarnate on the Earth. When man is not only able to develop his higher nature upwards, but working creatively is able to renounce completely his lower nature, then will this highest Adept, the Saturn Adept, the Father Principle, the Hidden God, be able to incarnate.” — Rudolf Steiner, ibid.
— Compilation and commentary by Roger Rawlings