Of course it remains a question of faith, if you want to tell these people that the primeval mist is real and the future state of slag or cinders is real, and in between there are beings creating moral illusions which rise in them as foam. Faith does not lay down the last, though to be honest, it should. It is not essentially different for a man to say: There is a kind of compensation, for Nature itself is so arranged that a compensation takes place; my thoughts will become shining light. The moral organization of the world is revealed. What at one period is moral organization is, at another, physical organization; and what at one time is physical organization was once moral organization. All moral things are therefore destined to emerge into physical things. Does the man who looks at Nature spiritually need still another proof that the world is morally organized? No; in Nature itself, spiritually seen, lies the justification of the moral order. One rises to this image when one regards man in his complete manhood.
Let us start from a phenomenon we all experience every day. We know that the phenomenon of sleeping and waking means that man is released in his ego and his astral body from the physical and etheric body. What does this mean in reference to the cosmos? Let us imagine it in a diagram. Imagine physical and etheric body, astral body and ego bound together during wakefulness and separated during sleep: What now is — I might call it — the cosmic difference between the two?
Now, if you consider the state of sleep, you experience light. And by experiencing light, you experience the dying world of past thoughts; and in doing so, you have a tendency to become aware of the spiritual as it stretches out into the future. That man today has only a dim perception of it doesn't alter the fact. What is for the moment essential is that we are in this state susceptible to the light.
For spiritual-scientific research this is shown in the following manner. When you have risen to the stage of knowledge known as Imagination, you can observe the etheric body of a plant. In doing so you will feel inwardly that this etheric plant-body draws you continually upward, it is without weight. On the other hand when you look at the etheric body of a man, it has weight, even for the imaginative picture. You simply have the feeling it is heavy. And from this point you come to realize that the etheric body of man, for instance, is something which transfers the weight to the soul within. But it is a supersensible primeval phenomenon. Asleep, the soul lives in light, and therefore in lightness. Awake, it lives in weight. The body is heavy; this force transfers itself to the soul: the soul lives in weight. This means something which is now carried over into the consciousness. Think of the moment of waking: what is it? When asleep — you lie in bed, you do not move, the will is crippled. It is true, vision is also crippled, but only because the will is. Vision is crippled because the will is not in your own body, and does not make use of the senses. The main fact is the crippling of the will. What makes the will active? This: that the soul feels weight through the body. This combined life with the soul produces in earthly man the fact of the will. And the will ceases in man himself when he is in the light.
Thus you have the two cosmic forces, light and weight, as the great antitheses in the cosmos. In fact, light and weight are cosmic antitheses. Think of the planets: weight draws toward the central point, light goes out from it into the whole universe. One imagines light only as quiescent: in reality it is directed outward from the planet. Whoever thinks of weight as a force of attraction, with Newton, really things very materialistically; or he imagines some sort of demon or something sitting in the middle of the Earth and pulling the stone with an invisible string. One speaks of a force of attraction, which no one can every prove except in imagination. Now, people are not able to realize it actually, but they speak of it, with Newton, as the force of attraction. In Western civilization the time will come when whatever exists must be somehow represented materially. Thus, someone could say to these people: Well, you want to represent the force of attraction as an invisible string, but then you will have to represent light at best as a kind of swinging away, as a shooting off. One could then represent light as a force of dispersion. It is enough for him who prefers to remain nearer reality, if he can simply realize the opposition, the cosmic opposition of light and weight.
Now, many things that concern man are based on what I have been saying. If we have considered the daily event of going to sleep and awaking, we say: In going to sleep, man passes out from the field of weight into the field of light. By living in the field of light, when he has lived long enough without weight, he gets again a strong longing to feel weight around him, and he returns once more to weight — he awakes. It is a continuous oscillation between life in light and life in weight, between going to sleep and awakening. If a man has developed his powers of perception sufficiently, he will be able to feel this sort of rising from weight into light, and the feeling of being possessed again by weight on awaking, as a personal experience.
Now, think of something else: think of this: between birth and death man is bound to the Earth, because his soul, having lived a time in light, always hungers again for weight, and returns to the condition of weight. When a condition has been set up — we shall speak further of this — in which this hunger for weight no longer exists, man will follow light more and more. He does this up to a certain point, and when he has arrived at the outermost periphery of the universe, he has exhausted that which gave him weight in his lifetime; then begins a new longing for weight and he begins his path over again, back to a new incarnation. So that in that interval also between death and a new birth, at the midnight hour of existence, there arises a kind of hunger for weight. This is man's longing to return to a new Earth life. Now, while he is returning to Earth he has to go through the spheres of the other adjacent heavenly bodies. Their effect on him is various and the result of these influences he brings with him into the physical life. So you see the question is important: What influence have the stars in the spheres through which he travels? For according to his passage through his stellar sphere, his longing for Earth weight is variously formed. Not the Earth alone radiates, as it were, a certain weight which is the object of man's longing, but also the other heavenly bodies, through whose sphere he travels as he moves toward a new life, influence him with their weights. So that man, while returning, can get into different situations, which justify one in saying this: Man while returning to Earth longs once more to live in the Earth weight. But first he passes through the sphere of Jupiter, who also radiates a weight of such a kind as to add something joyful to the longing for the Earth's weight. Thus the longing takes on a joyful mood. Man passes through the sphere of Mars. Mars' weight influences him also, and implants activity in his soul, which is joyfully longing for the Earth's weight, so that he may use forcefully the next life from birth to death. The soul has reached the stage of possessing in its subconscious depths the impulse clearly to long for the Earth's weight, and to use earthly incarnation forcefully, so that the joyful longing is expressed with intensity. Man passes also through the sphere of Venus. With this, joy and strength and longing is mingled with a loving understanding of life's tasks.
You note, we are speaking of several different weights, issuing from the heavenly bodies, and are connecting them with the living contents of the soul. We are seeking, again, in looking out into universal space, to assess what is spread out in physical space in moral terms. Knowing that will lies in weight, and that light is the opposite of will, we may say that Mars radiates light, as do Jupiter and Venus also, and that in the forces of weight lies at the same time modification through light. We know: in light are dying world-thoughts, in the forces of weight lie worlds to come through the seeds of will. All this streams through the souls moving in space. We are looking at the world physically and, at the same time, morally.
The physical and moral do not exist side by side, but in his limitations, man is disposed to say: here, on one side, is the physical, there on the other, the moral. No, they are only different aspects, in itself the thing is one. The world which develops toward light develops at the same time toward a compensating revelation. The moral world-order reveals itself out of the natural world-order. You must be clear that such a view of the universe is not reached through a philosophical interpretation, but that one grows into it by learning gradually through Spiritual Science to spiritualize physical concepts: for thus it takes on a moral quality of its own accord. And if you learn to look through the physical world into the world in which the physical has ceased to be and the spiritual exists, you will find the moral element is present.
It would be possible even now to explain quite “learnedly” what I have just said. You have this line, which is not an ellipse, because it is more rounded, here. (See Diagram 2)
[Dr. Steiner was here describing on the blackboard the three variations of the curve of Cassini. One of them is similar to an ellipse; the second to a figure eight (lemniscate); the third is composed of two separated parts. –Ed.] An ellipse would be like this: but that is only a special form of this line: this line could also, if we altered the mathematical equation, take this form. It is then the same line as the other: one time I go round like this and close here ... under certain conditions I do not go up here to the top like this — but round here — and return again, closing at the base. But the same line has still another shape. If I begin here, I must apparently close here also; now I must leave the level, the space, must cross here and return here. Now I must leave space again, continuing here, and closing at the base. The line is only modified somewhat; these are not two lines, but only one; it has also only one mathematical equation; it is a simple line, only I have gone out of space. If I continue this demonstration another possibility arises: I can simply take this line [lemniscate; figure 8], but I can also represent it so that half of it lies in space; by coming round here — I must leave space and finish it off so: here is the other half, but outside ordinary space, not inside. It is also there. And if one developed this method of perception — which mathematicians, if they would, could certainly do today — one would come to the other conception: of leaving space and returning into it. That is something which corresponds to reality. For every time you undertake something, you think; before you will it, you go out of space, and when you move your hand you return again. In between, you are outside of space: then you are on the other side. This conception must be thoroughly developed: from the other side of space. Then you arrive at the conception of what is truly supersensible, and above all at the conception of the moral element in its reality. Today it is so difficult, because people will divide everything they want to experience according to dimension, weight, and number, whereas in fact reality leaves space at every point, I might say, and returns again to it. There are people who imagine a solar system with comets in it. They say: the comet appears, traverses a huge ellipse, and after a long time returns. In the case of many comets that is not true. It is like this: comets appear, go out, disintegrate there, cease to be, but form themselves again on the other side and return again — comets describe in fact lines which do not return at all. Why? Because comets leave space and return at quite another place. This is certainly possible in the cosmos, that comets somehow disintegrate out of space and return again at a totally different place.
I must point out that Spiritual Science could deal with the most learned scientific concepts if it had the chance or possibility of permeating with spirit that which is today carried on without spirit, particularly in the so-called exact sciences. Unfortunately this possibility does not exist; things especially like mathematics, etc., are pursued today for the most part in the most materialistic way. And therefore Spiritual Science has been called upon to make itself known to educated laymen — for which many so-called scholars reproach us. Spiritual Science can deal with the highest scientific conceptions, and this with full exactitude, because it is conscious of its responsibility. Among all its other tasks, Spiritual Science has the task of purging our mental atmosphere from those mists of untruthfulness which obtain not only in outward life, but which can be shown to exist in the very heart of every science. And, again, there emerges from these depths something which has such a devastating effect on the social life. We must summon up the courage to illumine these things with the right light. But for this it is necessary to cultivate an enthusiasm for an outlook on life which really does combine the moral and physical world-orders, in which the light-giving Sun can be regarded not only as the concentration of crumbling thought-worlds, but also as that which springs forth from the depths of the Earth as the preparation for what lives on into the future, seedlike, permeating the world in accordance with will.