Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Veda: Flower and Fruit of the Earth

Rudolf Steiner, September 5, 1920:

"Our entire spiritual life basically still has a character which was inherited from what the Oriental possessed. Bear in mind, however, how I had to present this emergence of the Oriental spiritual life. It arose out of man's metabolism — out of the inner impulses of metabolism — in the Veda, in the magnificent poetry of the Orient. It must be sought as a new outgrowth of the metabolism, just as blossom and fruit issue from the tree. Anyone who can look upon the inner relationships as they are in reality knows how to look upon the blossoms and fruit of the tree; he will observe how the sap rises up from the Earth, ascends in the trunk, shoots out into the branches, turns green within the leaves, becomes varicolored in the blossoms and achieves ripeness in the fruit. This is what presents itself to our eyes. If we then note the result in our metabolic processes of what is drawn up with the substance coming from the Earth and taken up into ourselves, how it is digested and burned up, how it passes over into the blood, is refined and etherized within the body, we see that it sprouts, flourishes, and ripens just like the vegetative process that turns to blossoms, fruits, and trees. It only changes into something else by sprouting, flourishing, and ripening through the human organs; it turns into the poetic fruit of the Veda, it becomes the philosophic fruit of the Vedanta philosophy. In the Orient, the spiritual life was considered a fruit of the Earth, of the metabolism that courses through the human being, just as one looked upon the process coursing through the verdant, fruit-bearing tree. What appears in the Veda and in Oriental poetry is intimately bound up with the essence of the Earth. It is the flower of the Earth. It is nonsense when men of today make our Earth into a lifeless product, as geology does, for instance. For not only what arises from the Earth in flower and fruit belongs to her, but also what has arisen like a philosophical fruit in the primordial epochs of mankind in the Veda and the Vedanta philosophy. Whoever wishes to see nothing but stones come into existence in or upon the Earth, whoever sees her only as tillable soil, whoever views the Earth as nothing but mineral substance, does not know the Earth. For to her belongs also what she has borne in times past as blossom and fruit through the body of man."

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