Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Agriculture Course. Lecture 1

Figure 1
The Agriculture Course. Lecture 1 of 8.
Rudolf Steiner, Koberwitz, Silesia, June 7, 1924:
With profound thanks I look back on the words which Count Keyserlingk has just spoken. For the feeling of thanks is not only justified on the part of those who are able to receive from Anthroposophical Science. One can also feel deeply what I may call the thanks of Anthroposophia itself — thanks which in these hard times are due to all who share in anthrosposophical interests.
Out of the spirit of Anthroposophia, therefore, I would thank you most heartily for the words you have just spoken. Indeed, it is deeply gratifying that we are able to hold this Agriculture Course here in the house of Count and Countess Keyserlingk. I know from my former visits what a beautiful atmosphere there is in Koberwitz — I mean also the spiritual atmosphere. I know that the atmosphere of soul and spirit which is living here is the best possible premise for what must be said during this Course.
Count Keyserlingk has told us that there may be some discomforts for one or another among us. He was speaking especially of the eurythmists; though it may be the “discomforts” are shared by some of our other visitors from a distance. Yet on the other hand, considering the purpose of our present gathering, it seems to me we could scarcely be accommodated better for this Lecture Course than here, in a farm so excellent and so exemplary.
Whatever comes to light in the realms of Anthroposophia, we also need to live in it with our feelings — in the necessary atmosphere. And for our Course on Farming this condition will most certainly be fulfilled at Koberwitz. All this impels me to express our deeply felt thanks to Count Keyserlingk and to his house. In this I am sure Frau Doctor Steiner will join me. We are thankful that we may spend these festive days — I trust they will also be days of real good work — here in this house.
I cannot but believe: inasmuch as we are gathered here in Koberwitz, there will prevail throughout these days an agricultural spirit which is already deeply united with the Anthroposophical Movement. Was it not Count Keyserlingk who helped us from the very outset with his advice and his devoted work, in the farming activities we undertook at Stuttgart under the Kommende Tag Company? His spirit, trained by his deep and intimate Union with Agriculture, was prevalent in all that we were able to do in this direction. And I would say, forces were there prevailing which came from the innermost heart of our Movement and which drew us hither, quite as a matter of course, the moment the Count desired us to come to Koberwitz.
Hence I can well believe that every single one of us has come here gladly for this Agriculture Course. We who have come here can express our thanks just as deeply and sincerely, that your House has been ready to receive us with our intentions for these days. For my part, these thanks are felt most deeply, and I beg Count Keyserlingk and his whole house to receive them especially from me. I know what it means to give hospitality to so many visitors and for so many days, in the way in which I feel it will be done here. Therefore I think I can also give the right colouring to these words of thanks, and I beg you to receive them, understanding that I am well aware of the many difficulties which such a gathering may involve in a house remote from the City. Whatever may be the inconveniences of which the Count has spoken — representing, needless to say, not the “Home Office” but the “Foreign Office” — whatever they may be, I am quite sure that every single one of us will go away fully satisfied with your kind hospitality.
Whether you will go away equally satisfied with the Lecture-Course itself, is doubtless a more open question, though we will do our utmost, in the discussions during the succeeding days, to come to a right understanding on all that is here said. You must not forget: though the desire for it has been cherished in many quarters for a long time past, this is the first time I have been able to undertake such a Course out of the heart of our anthroposophical striving. It pre-supposes many things.
The Course itself will show us how intimately the interests of Agriculture are bound up, in all directions, with the widest spheres of life. Indeed there is scarcely a realm of human life which lies outside our subject. From one aspect or another, all interests of human life belong to Agriculture. Here, needless to say, we can only touch upon the central domain of Agriculture itself, albeit this of its own accord will lead us along many different side tracks — necessarily so, for the very reason that what is here said will grow out of the soil of Anthroposophia itself.
In particular, you must forgive me if my introductory words today appear — inevitably — a little far remote. Not everyone, perhaps, will see at once what the connection is between this introduction and our special subject. Nevertheless, we shall have to build upon what is said today, however remote it may seem at first sight. For Agriculture especially is sadly hit by the whole trend of modern spiritual life. You see, this modern spiritual life has taken an a very destructive form especially as regards the economic realm, though its destructiveness is scarcely yet divined by many.
Our real underlying intentions, in the economic undertakings which grew out of the Anthroposophical Movement, were meant to counteract these things. These undertakings were created by industrialists, business men, but they were unable to realise in all directions what lay in their original intentions, if only for the reason that the opposing forces in our time are all too numerous, preventing one from calling forth a proper understanding for such efforts. Over against the “powers that be,” the individual is often powerless. Hitherto, not even the most original and fundamental aspects of these industrial and economic efforts, which grew out of the heart of the Anthroposophical Movement, have been realised. Nay, they have not even reached the plane of discussion. What was the real, practical point? I will explain it in the case of Agriculture, so that we may not be speaking in vague and general terms, but in concrete terms.
We have all manner of books and lecture courses on Economics, containing, among other things, chapters on the economic aspects of Agriculture. Economists consider how Agriculture should be carried on in the light of social-economic principles. There are many books and pamphlets on this subject: how Agriculture should be shaped, in the light of social and economic ideas. Yet the whole of this — the giving of economic lectures on the subject and the writing of such books — is manifest nonsense. Palpable nonsense, I say, albeit that is practised nowadays in the widest circles. For it should go without saying, and every man should recognise the fact: One cannot speak of Agriculture, not even of the social forms it should assume, unless one first possesses as a foundation a practical acquaintance with the farming job itself. That is to say, unless one really knows what it means to grow mangolds, potatoes, and corn! Without this foundation one cannot even speak of the general economic principles which are involved. Such things must be determined out of the thing itself, not by all manner of theoretical considerations.
Nowadays such a statement seems absurd to those who have heard University lectures on the economics of Agriculture. The whole thing seems to them so well established. But it is not so. No one can judge of Agriculture who does not derive his judgment from field and forest and the breeding of cattle. All talk of Economics which is not derived from the job itself should really cease. So long as people do not recognise that all talk of Economics — hovering airily over the realities — is mere empty talk, we shall not reach a hopeful prospect, neither in Agriculture nor in any other sphere.
Why is it that people think they can talk of a thing from theoretical points of view, when they do not understand it? The reason is, that even within their several domains they are no longer able to go back to the real foundations. They look at a beetroot as a beetroot. No doubt it has this or that appearance; it can be cut more or less easily, it has such and such a colour, such and such constituents. All these things can no doubt be said. Yet therewithal you are still far from understanding the beetroot. Above all, you do not yet understand the living-together of the beetroot with the soil, with the field, the season of the year in which it ripens, and so forth.
You must be clear as to the following (I have often used this comparison for other spheres of life): You see a magnetic needle. You discern that it always points with one end approximately to the North, and with the other to the South. You think, why is it so? You look for the cause not in the magnetic needle, but in the whole Earth, inasmuch as you assign to the one end of the Earth the magnetic North Pole, and to the other the magnetic South.
Anyone who looked in the magnet-needle itself for the cause of the peculiar position it takes up would be talking nonsense. You can only understand the direction of the magnet-needle if you know how it is related to the whole Earth. Yet the same nonsense (as applied to the magnetic needle) is considered good sense by the men of today when applied to other things.
There, for example, is the beetroot growing in the earth. To take it just for what it is within its narrow limits is nonsense if in reality its growth depends on countless conditions, not even only of the Earth as a whole, but of the cosmic environment. The men of today say and do many things in life and practice as though they were dealing only with narrow, limited objects, not with effects and influences from the whole Universe. The several spheres of modern life have suffered terribly from this, and the effects would be even more evident were it not for the fact that in spite of all the modern science a certain instinct still remains over from the times when men were used to work by instinct and not by scientific theory.
To take another sphere of life: I am always glad to think that those whose doctors have prescribed how many ounces of meat they are to eat, and how much cabbage (some of them even have a balance beside them at the table and carefully weigh out everything that comes on to their plate) — it is all very nice; needless to say, one ought to know such things — but I am always glad to think how good it is that the poor fellow still feels hungry, if, after all, he has not had enough to eat! At least there is still this instinct to tell him so.
Such instincts really underlay all that men had to do before a “science” of these things existed. And the instincts frequently worked with great certainty. Even today one is astonished again and again to read the rules in the old “Peasants' Calendars.” How infinitely wise and intelligent is that which they express! Moreover, the man of pure instincts is well able to avoid superstition in these matters: and in these Calendars, beside the proverbs full of deep meaning for the sowing and the reaping, we find all manner of quips, intended to set aside nonsensical pretentions. This for example: —
“Kräht der Hahn auf dem Mist,
So regnet es, oder es bleibt wie es ist.” 
“If the cock crows on the dunghill,
It'll rain — or it'll stay still.”
So the needful dose of humour is mingled with the instinctive wisdom in order to ward off mere superstition.
We, however, speaking from the point of view of Anthroposophical Science, do not desire to return to the old instincts. We want to find, out of a deeper spiritual insight, what the old instincts — as they are growing insecure — are less and less able to provide. To this end we must include a far wider horizon in our studies of the life of plant and animal, and of the Earth itself. We must extend our view to the whole Cosmos.
From one aspect, no doubt, it is quite right that we should not superficially connect the rain with the phases of the Moon. Yet on the other hand there is a true foundation to the story I have often told in other circles. In Leipzig there were two professors. One of them, Gustav Theodor Fechner, often evinced a keen and sure insight into spiritual matters. Not altogether superstitiously, from pure external observations he could see that certain periods of rain or of no rain were connected, after all, with the Moon and with its coursing 'round the earth.
He drew this as a necessary conclusion from the statistical results. That however was a time when orthodox science already wanted to overlook such matters, and his colleague, the famous Professor Schleiden, poured scorn on the idea “for scientific reasons.” Now these two professors of the University of Leipzig also had wives. Gustav Theodor Fechner, who was a man not without humour, said: “Well, let our wives decide.”
In Leipzig at that time the water they needed for washing clothes was not easy to obtain, and a certain custom still prevailed. You had to fetch your water from a long distance. Hence they were wont to put out pails and barrels to catch the rain water.
This was Frau Prof. Schleiden's custom as well as Frau Prof. Fechner's. But they had not room enough to put out their barrels in the yard at the same time. So Prof. Fechner said: “If my honoured colleague is right, if it makes no difference, then let Frau Prof. Schleiden put out her barrel when by my indications, according to the phases of the Moon, there will be less rain. If it is all nonsense, Frau Prof. Schleiden will surely be glad to do so.”
But, lo and behold, Frau Prof. Schleiden rebelled. She preferred the indications of Prof. Fechner to those of her own husband. And so indeed it is. Science may be perfectly correct. Real life, however, often cannot afford to take its cue from the “correctness” of science!
But we do not wish to speak only in this way. We are in real earnest about it. I only wanted to point out the need to look a little farther afield than is customary nowadays. We must do so in studying that which alone makes possible the physical life of man on Earth — and that, after all, is Agriculture. I do not know whether the things which can be said at this stage out of Anthroposophical Science will satisfy you in all directions, but I will do my best to explain what Anthroposophical Science can give for Agriculture.
* * *
Today, by way of introduction, I will indicate what is most important for Agriculture in the life of the Earth. Nowadays we are wont to attach the greatest importance to the physical and chemical constituents. Today, however, we will not take our start from these; we will take our start from something which lies behind the physical and chemical constituents and is nevertheless of great importance for the life of plant and animal.
Studying the life of man (and to a certain extent it applies to animal life also), we observe a high degree of emancipation of human and animal life from the outer Universe. The nearer we come to man, the greater this emancipation grows. In human and animal life we find phenomena appearing — to begin with — quite independent not only of the influences from beyond the Earth, but also of the atmospheric and other influences of the Earth's immediate environment. Moreover, this not only appears so; it is to a high degree correct for many things in human life.
True, it is well-known that the pains of certain illnesses are intensified by atmospheric influences. There is, however, another fact of which the people of today are not so well aware. Certain illnesses and other phenomena of human life take their course in such a way that in their time-relationships they copy the external processes of Nature. Yet in their beginning and end they do not coincide with these Nature-processes. We need only call to mind one of the most important phenomena of all, that of female menstruation. The periods, in their temporal course, imitate the course of the lunar phases, but they do not coincide with the latter in their beginning and ending. And there are many other, less evident phenomena, both in the male and in the female organism, representing imitations of rhythms in outer Nature.
If these things were studied more intimately, we should for example have a better understanding of many things that happen in the social life by observing the periodicity of the Sun-spots. People only fail to observe these things because that in human life which corresponds to the periodicity of the Sun-spots does not begin when they begin, nor does it cease when they cease. It has emancipated itself. It shows the same periodicity, the identical rhythm, but its phases do not coincide in time. While inwardly maintaining the rhythm and periodicity, it makes them independent — it emancipates itself.
Anyone, of course, to whom we say that human life is a microcosm and imitates the macrocosm, is at liberty to reply: That is all nonsense! If we declare that certain illnesses show a seven day's fever period, one may object: Why then, when certain outer phenomena appear, does not the fever too make its appearance and run parallel, and cease with the external phenomena? It is true that the fever does not; but, though its temporal beginning and ending do not coincide with the outer phenomena, it still maintains their inner rhythm. This emancipation in the Cosmos is almost complete for human life; for animal life it is less so; plant life, an the other hand, is still to a high degree immersed in the general life of Nature, including the outer earthly world.
Hence we shall never understand plant life unless we bear in mind that everything which happens on the Earth is but a reflection of what is taking place in the Cosmos. For man this fact is only masked because he has emancipated himself; he only bears the inner rhythms in himself. To the plant world, however, it applies in the highest degree. That is what I should like to point out in this introductory lecture.
The Earth is surrounded in the heavenly spaces, first by the Moon and then by the other planets of our planetary system. In an old instinctive science wherein the Sun was reckoned among the planets, they had this sequence: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. Without astronomical explanations I will now speak of this planetary life, and of that in the planetary life which is connected with the earthly world.
Turning our attention to the earthly life on a large scale, the first fact for us to take into account is this. The greatest imaginable part is played in this earthly life (considered once more on a large scale, and as a whole) by all that which we may call the life of the silicious substance in the world. You will find silicious substance for example, in the beautiful mineral quartz, enclosed in the form of a prism and pyramid; you will find the silicious substance, combined with oxygen, in the crystals of quartz.
Imagine the oxygen removed (which in the quartz is combined with silicious substance) and you have so-called silicon. This substance is included by modern chemistry among the “elements,” oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, sulphur, etc. Silicon therefore, which is here combined with oxygen, is a “chemical element.”
Now, we must not forget that the silicon which lives thus in the mineral quartz is spread over the Earth so as to constitute 27-28% of our Earth's crust. All other substances are present in lesser quantities, save oxygen, which constitutes 47-48%. Thus an enormous quantity of silicon is present. Now, it is true this silicon, occurring as it does in rocks like quartz, appears in such a form that it does not seem very important when we are considering the outer, material aspect of the Earth with its plant-growth. (The plant-growth is frequently forgotten).
Quartz is insoluble in water — the water trickles through it. It therefore seems — at first sight — to have very little to do with the ordinary, obvious conditions of life. But once again, you need only remember the horse-tail — equisetum — which contains 90% of silica — the same substance that is in quartz — very finely distributed.
From all this you can see what an immense significance silicon must have. Well-nigh half of what we meet on the Earth consists of silica. But the peculiar thing is how very little notice is taken of it. It is practically excluded today even from those domains of life where it could work most beneficially.
In the medicine that proceeds from Anthroposophical Science, silicious substances are an essential constituent of numerous medicaments. A large class of illnesses are treated with silicic acid taken internally, or outwardly as baths. In effect, practically everything that shows itself in abnormal conditions of the senses is influenced in a peculiar way by silicon. (I do not say what lies in the senses themselves, but that which shows itself in the senses, including the inner senses — calling forth pains here or there in the organs of the body).
Not only so; throughout the “household of Nature,” as we have grown accustomed to call it, silicon plays the greatest imaginable part, for it not only exists where we discover it in quartz or other rocks, but in an extremely fine state of distribution it is present in the atmosphere. Indeed, it is everywhere. Half of the Earth that is at our disposal is of silica.
Now, what does this silicon do? In a hypothetical form, let us ask ourselves this question. Let us assume that we only had half as much silicon in our earthly environment. In that case our plants would all have more or less pyramidal forms. The flowers would all be stunted. Practically all plants would have the form of the cactus, which strikes us as abnormal. The cereals would look very queer indeed. Their stems would grow thick, even fleshy, as you went downward; the ears would be quite stunted — they would have no full ears at all.
That on the one hand. On the other hand we find another kind of substance, which must occur everywhere throughout the Earth, albeit it is not so widespread as the silicious element. I mean the chalk or limestone substances and all that is akin to these — limestone, potash, sodium substances. Once more, if these were present to a less extent, we should have plants with very thin stems — plants, to a large extent, with twining stems; they would all become like creepers. The flowers would expand, it is true, but they would be useless: they would provide practically no nourishment. Plant-life in the form in which we see it today can only thrive in the equilibrium and cooperation of the two forces — or, to choose two typical substances, in the cooperation of the limestone and silicious substances respectively.
Now, we can go still farther. Everything that lives in the silicious nature contains forces which come not from the Earth but from the so-called distant planets, the planets beyond the Sun: Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. That which proceeds from these distant plants influences the life of plants via the silicious and kindred substances into the plant and also into the animal life of the Earth. On the other hand, from all that is represented by the planets near the Earth — Moon, Mercury, and Venus — forces work via the limestone and kindred substances. Thus we may say, for every tilled field: Therein are working the silicious and the limestone natures; in the former, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars; and in the latter, Moon, Venus, and Mercury.
In this connection let us now look at the plants themselves. Two things we must observe in the plant life. The first thing is that the entire plant-world, and every single species, is able to maintain itself — that is to say, it evolves the power of reproduction. The plant is able to bring forth its kind, and so on. That is the one thing. The other is, that as a creature of a comparatively lower kingdom of Nature, the plant can serve as nourishment for those of the higher kingdoms.
At first sight, these two currents in the life and evolution of the plant have little to do with one another. For the process of development from the mother plant to the daughter plant, the granddaughter plant, and so on, it may well seem a matter of complete indifference to the formative forces of Nature whether or not we eat the plant and nourish ourselves thereby. Two very different sets of interests are manifested here. Yet in the whole nexus of Nature's forces, it works in this way:—
Everything connected with the inner force of reproduction and growth — everything that contributes to the sequence of generation after generation in the plants — works through those forces which come down from the Cosmos to the Earth from Moon, Venus, and Mercury, via the limestone nature. Suppose we were merely considering what emerges in plants such as we do not eat — plants that simply renew themselves again and again. We look at them as though the cosmic influences from the forces of Venus, Mercury, and Moon did not interest us. For these are the forces involved in all that reproduces itself in the plant-nature of the Earth.
On the other hand, when plants become foodstuffs to a large extent — when they evolve in such a way that the substances in them become foodstuffs for animal and man, then Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, working via the silicious nature, are concerned in the process. The silicious nature opens the plant-being to the wide spaces of the Universe and awakens the senses of the plant-being in such a way as to receive from all quarters of the Universe the forces which are moulded by these distant planets. Whenever this occurs, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are playing their part. From the sphere of the Moon, Venus, and Mercury, on the other hand, is received all that which makes the plant capable of reproduction.
To begin with, no doubt this appears as a simple piece of information. But truths like this, derived from a somewhat wider horizon, lead of their own accord from knowledge into practice. For we must ask ourselves: If forces come into the Earth from Moon, Venus, and Mercury and become effective in the life of plants, by what means can the process be more or less quickened or restrained? By what means can the influences of Moon or Saturn on the life of plants be hindered, and by what means assisted?
Observe the course of the year. It takes its course in such a way that there are days of rain and days without rain. As to the rain, the modern physicist investigates practically no more than the mere fact that when it rains, more water falls upon the Earth than when it does not rain. For him, the water is an abstract substance composed of hydrogen and oxygen. True, if you decompose water by electrolysis, it will fall into two substances, of which the one behaves in such and such a way, and the other in another way. But that does not yet tell us anything complete about water itself. Water contains far, far more than what emerges from it chemically, in this process, as oxygen and hydrogen.
Water, in effect, is eminently suited to prepare the ways within the earthly domain for those forces which come, for instance, from the Moon. Water brings about the distribution of the lunar forces in the earthly realm. There is a definite connection between the Moon and the water in the Earth. Let us therefore assume that there have just been rainy days and that these are followed by a full Moon. In deed and in truth, with the forces that come from the Moon on days of the full Moon, something colossal is taking place on Earth. These forces spring up and shoot into all the growth of plants, but they are unable to do so unless rainy days have gone before.
We shall therefore have to consider the question: Is it not of some significance, whether we sow the seed in a certain relation to the rainfall and the subsequent light of the full Moon, or whether we sow it thoughtlessly at any time? Something, no doubt, will come of it even then. Nevertheless, we have to raise this question: How should we best consider the rainfall and the full Moon in choosing the time to sow the seed? For in certain plants, what the full Moon has to do will thrive intensely after rainy days and will take place but feebly and sparingly after days of sunshine. Such things lay hidden in the old farmers' rules; they quoted a certain verse or proverb and knew what they must do. The proverbs today are outworn superstitions, and a science of these things does not yet exist; people are not yet willing enough to set to work and find it.
Furthermore, around our Earth is the atmosphere. Now, the atmosphere above all — beside the obvious fact that it is airy — has the peculiarity that it is sometimes warmer, sometimes cooler. At certain times it shows a considerable accumulation of warmth, which, when the tension grows too strong, may even find relief in thunderstorms. How is it then with the warmth? Spiritual observation shows that whereas the water has no relation to silica, this warmth has an exceedingly strong relation to it.
The warmth brings out and makes effective precisely those forces which can work through the silicious nature, namely, the forces that proceed from Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. These forces must be regarded in quite a different way than the forces from the Moon. For we must not forget that Saturn takes thirty years to revolve around the Sun, whereas the Moon with its phases takes only thirty or twenty-eight days. Saturn is only visible for fifteen years. It must therefore be connected with the growth of plants in quite a different way, albeit, I need hardly say, it is not only working when it shines down upon the Earth; it is also effective when its rays have to pass upward through the Earth.
Saturn goes slowly 'round, in thirty years. Let us draw it thus:
Figure 1

Here is the course of Saturn. Sometimes it shines directly on to a given spot of the Earth. But it can also work through the Earth upon this portion of the Earth's surface. In either case the intensity with which the Saturn-forces are able to approach the plant life of the Earth is dependent on the warmth-conditions of the air. When the air is cold, they cannot approach; when the air is warm, they can.
And where do we see the working of these forces in the plant's life? We see it not so much where annual plants arise, coming and going in a season and only leaving seeds behind. We see what Saturn does with the help of the warmth-forces of our Earth whenever the perennial plants arise. The effects of these forces, which pass into the plant-nature via the warmth, are visible to us in the rind and bark of trees, and in all that makes the plants perennial. This is due to the simple fact that the annual life of the plant — its limitation to a short length of life — is connected with those planets whose period of revolution is short. That, on the other hand, which frees itself from the transitory nature — that which surrounds the trees with bark and rind, and makes them permanent — is connected with the planetary forces which work via the forces of warmth and cold and have a long period of revolution, as in the case of Saturn: thirty years; or Jupiter: twelve years.
If someone wishes to plant an oak, it is of no little importance whether or not he has a good knowledge of the periods of Mars; for an oak, rightly planted in the proper Mars-period, will thrive differently from one that is planted in the Earth thoughtlessly, just when it happens to suit.
Or, if you wish to plant coniferous forests, where the Saturn-forces play so great a part, the result will be different if you plant the forest in a so-called ascending period of Saturn, or in some other Saturn period. One who understands can tell precisely, from the things that will grow or will not grow, whether or not they have been planted with an understanding of the connections of these forces. That which does not appear obvious to the external eye appears very clearly, nonetheless, in the more intimate relationships of life.
Assume for instance that we take, as firewood, wood that is derived from trees which were planted in the Earth without understanding of the cosmic rhythms. It will not provide the same health-giving warmth as firewood from trees that were planted intelligently. These things enter especially into the more intimate relationships of daily life, and here they show their great significance. Alas! the life of people has become almost entirely thoughtless nowadays. They are only too glad if they do not need to think of such things. They think it must all go on just like any machine. You have all the necessary contrivances; turn on the switch, and it goes. So do they conceive, materialistically, the working of all Nature.
Along these lines we are eventually led to the most alarming results in practical life. Then the great riddles arise. Why, for example, is it impossible today to eat such potatoes as I ate in my youth? It is so; I have tried it everywhere. Not even in the country districts where I ate them then can one now eat such potatoes. Many things have declined in their inherent food-values, notably during the last decades.
The more intimate influences which are at work in the whole Universe are no longer understood. These must be looked for again along such lines as I have hinted at today. I have only introduced the subject; I have only tried to show where the questions arise — questions which go far beyond the customary points of view. We shall continue and go deeper in this way, and then apply what we have found, in practice.


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