Saturday, August 31, 2019

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. ~ Emerson

Rudolf Steiner:  "Luciferic spirit prevails throughout the world. This luciferic spirit prevails also in all human social life. And this luciferic spirit wants above all to remove from the world everything that is law in the world, any law human beings have ever established. In human social life nothing is more hateful to Lucifer than everything that has a whiff of being law about it."

Rolling in the deep

O Man! Attend!
What does deep midnight's voice contend?
"I slept my sleep,
And now awake at dreaming's end:
The world is deep,
Deeper than day can comprehend.
Deep is its woe,
Joy—deeper than heart's agony:
Woe says: Fade! Go!
But all joy wants eternity,
Wants deep, deep, deep eternity!


The Redemption of Astronomy. Lecture 3

Figure 7 and Figure 8

The Redemption of Astronomy:
Toward the Reunion of Natural Science and Social Science
 Lecture 3 of 18.
Rudolf Steiner, Stuttgart, January 3, 1921:

My dear friends!
I have brought to your notice on the one hand how problematical it is to conceive the celestial phenomena in their mathematical and geometrical aspect alone. This is now being recognized by many people and from diverse angles. Only quite unadvanced thinkers still maintain that the world-picture of Copernicus and Galileo represents downright reality. Increasingly, we hear the voice of those who find this way of thinking of the celestial phenomena useful and practical, no doubt, for purposes of calculation, yet emphasize that it represents only a certain mode of understanding, and that quite other syntheses might be conceived.
There are even those who say, somewhat as Ernst Mach used to say: In the last resort, one can uphold the Ptolemaic just as well as the Copernican world-system, and a third system might equally well be devised. These are but practical ways of correlating the observed facts. The entire realm should now be confronted with a far freer kind of outlook.
You see from this that the problematical nature of the celestial charts, described but a short time ago as replicas of the real facts, is now conceded by the widest circles. On the other hand an escape from the manifest problems and uncertainties of this realm can only be found through such views as were brought forward in outline yesterday, — views which no longer remove Man from the whole cosmic background, but on the contrary, put him into it from the outset. We have to recognize the processes within Man himself in their connection with solar phenomena, lunar phenomena and terrestrial phenomena, thus taking as a starting-point all that goes on in Man, in order to find the way to what is going on out there in the Cosmos, the latter being in some sense the cause of the processes in Man.
A path like this can of course only be trodden from the standpoint of Spiritual Science. Precisely when we try to bring Astronomy into connection with the most varied spheres of life, we shall find that we are being led through Astronomy itself into the views of Spiritual Science. Bear in mind that the visible celestial phenomena, perceptible to our senses and also to our re-inforced senses, appear at first a manifestation of something outside of man. Man confronts and, as it were, arrests with his senses whatever approaches him, introducing it into his conscious world-picture. But the impulses streaming towards us from all sides, certainly do not come to a standstill before our senses. All that goes on without being held up by man's senses and brought into consciousness, all that lives in the celestial influences that stream towards us from all sides, must be sought for within our bodily organism. The organism must in a certain way reflect it all, and it does this in the unconscious and subconscious processes which can only be raised into consciousness in more complicated ways.
We will now continue in a certain direction what we began yesterday. Only an abstraction of our earthly world is dealt with in Geology or Mineralogy; the Earth as described by Geology consists of minerals has evolved in the mineral sphere; true as it is that forces are there in the Earth by virtue of which it brings forth the minerals; yet is is equally true that all that is living in plants, animals and physical human beings also belongs to the Earth. We only see the Earth in its totality when we do not simply cast aside what lives in plant, animal and man and have in mind the mere abstraction "mineral earth ", but bring it all into our consciousness. The living beings and entities that grow up out of the Earth are also part and parcel of the whole.
Of all that belongs in this way to the Earth, let us first take the plant kingdom. We will approach it in order then to find the transition to what meets us in man. Whereas the mineral kingdom to a certain extent carries on an independent Earth-existence and is only related to the Cosmos outside the Earth in such a way as is shown, for example, in the changing of water into ice in winter, the plant kingdom retains a much greater inner connection with the cosmic surroundings of the Earth — with all that enters the Earth from the Cosmos. Through the plant-world the life of the Earth as it were opens itself to the Universe. In geographical regions where in a given season an intensive interaction is taking place between Earth and Cosmos. We must pay heed to a phenomenon like this, for it will lead us into the realm of Astronomy not only quantitatively, but qualitatively. We must be able to derive our ideas from such a thing as this, even as the astronomers of our time derive their ideas from angles, parallaxes and so on.
Then we shall say to ourselves, for example: — The plant-life, covering a given region of the Earth, is a kind of sense-organ, sensitive to all that is revealed towards the Earth out of the Cosmos. At seasons when the interplay is more intense between a portion of the Earth's surface and the Universe, it is as though a human being were opening his eyes to the outer world to receive sense-impressions. And when the interplay is less intense between the Earth and the Cosmos, the consequent decline and inward closure of the vegetative life is like a closing of the eyes to the Cosmos. It is more than a mere comparison to say that through its vegetation a given territory opens its eyes to the Universe in spring and summer and shuts its eyes in autumn and winter, and as by opening and closing of our eyes we do in a way converse with the outer world, so too it is a kind of information or revelation from the Universe which the Earth receives by the opening and closing of its eyes through the life of plants.
And to describe it a little more precisely, we may consider the vegetation of a given region of the Earth when exposed, as it were, so to speak, to the most vivid interplay with the solar life, and we may then turn our attention to the state of vegetation in this region when it is not thus exposed. The winter, I need hardly say, does not interrupt the vegetative life of the Earth. It goes without saying that the vegetative life continues through the winter. But it expresses itself in quite another way than when exposed to the intensive working of the Sun's rays — or, shall we say, of the Cosmos. Under the influence of the solar life, the vegetative life of the Earth shoots outward into form. The leaves unfold and grow more complex; flowers develop. But when this is followed by the closing of the eyes to the Universe, if we may call it so, the vegetative life goes back into itself — into the seed. Withdrawing from the outer world, it no longer shoots into outward form; it concentrates, if I may put it so, into a point; it becomes centered in itself.
We may describe this contrast truly as a law of Nature. The interplay between the earthly and the solar life reveals itself in the Earth's vegetation. Under the solar influence the vegetative life shoots outward into form; under the influence of the earthly life it closes up into a plant, — it becomes seed or germ. In all this there is a quality of expansion and contraction or gathering into a center. Here we begin to apprehend the relationships of space itself in a directly qualitative aspect. This is the very thing which we must practice in the development of our ideas, if we would attain to really fruitful notions and perceptions in this sphere.
And now we pass from plant-life to the life of man. Naturally, what comes to expression in the life of plants will find expression in man too. In what way will it do so? What we somehow perceive, my dear Friends, so outwardly and evidently in the life of plants — what we have visibly before our eyes if only we are attentive to the qualitative aspect — this we can recognize in man, properly speaking, only in the first years of childhood.
Let us then trace the interaction of the solar and terrestrial life for man in the age of childhood, as we have just been doing for the plant kingdom. The little child opens through the senses to receive the impressions of the outer world. In doing so, the human being is really opening to receive the solar life. You only need see things in the proper light to recognize that what pours in upon our senses is inherently connected with what is brought about in the terrestrial sphere by the Cosmos. You can reflect upon the special case of light. When light and darkness succeed each other in the alternation of day and night, impressions are made upon our eyes by day, and no impressions are made by night. You can apply this also to other perceptions, though it is more difficult to make it clear. You will then say that a certain effect of the daily alternations, solar and earthly, expresses itself in man's soul-life. Man has an activity of soul through what arises in the rhythm of the day. What the Sun here brings to the Earth comes to expression in the soul-life of man. But if we follow the growth of the child, particularly until the 7th year — the change of teeth — and go into all the details, we find how, notably in the first years of the child's development (less and less, the older the child becomes), it is plainly perceptible that the changing seasons, year by year, have just as much significance for human growth as for the sprouting and dying-down of the vegetation.
We will represent it diagrammatically. If, for example, we study carefully and intelligently the development of the human brain in the earliest stages from year to year, we shall find the following. We have the human skull with its brain-content. (Fig. 1)
Fig. 1
It remodels itself, and one can follow how it remodels itself through what in the course of the changing year. Something which works formatively and creatively upon the human head, molding it from outside in a corporeal, physical sense, — we find this intimately connected with the forces playing between Earth and Sun in the course of the year. In the daily rhythmwe find what enters through the senses, independent of growth, to work on the soul and spirit of man. We see how what takes place in man by reason of the Sun's activity in the daily rhythm, has an inner effect which frees itself from the external world and becomes of a soul-and-spirit nature; it is what the child learns, what it assimilates through observation, what takes place in effect, in soul and spirit. Then we see how in a totally different tempo — from a different aspect — the brain remodels itself, organizes itself, and grows. That is the other activity, the yearly activity of the solar forces. We will say nothing yet of the changes occurring in the Universe between Sun and Earth; we will consider manifestations in man himself which are united with certain changes in the solar and terrestrial life.
We consider the day and find the soul- and spirit-life of man connected with the course of the Sun. We consider the change of seasons through the year and find man's life of growth, the physical, corporeal life, connected with the course of the Sun. We can say: The change taking place between Earth and Sun in 24 hours has certain effects on the spirit and soul of man. What happens between Earth and Sun in the course of the year has certain effects on the physical, corporeal part of man. We shall have to bring these effects into connection with others and thence arrive at a world-concept which can no longer be deceptive, for it speaks to us of real processes within ourselves, no longer dependent on illusory sense-impressions or the like.
Thus we must gradually draw near to what can give us a sure basis for the astronomical world-conception. We can only take our start from what appears in man himself. So we can say: the day is something in man's connection with the Cosmos that expresses itself in soul and spirit; the year is something in man's connection with the Cosmos that expresses itself in the physical-corporeal life, as for example in growth, and so on.
Now let us look at another complex of facts, referred to yesterday. With human reproduction we must relate certain ideas referring to the life of the Cosmos. We indicated yesterday that the female organism shows in a striking manner how the monthly functions connected with the sex-life — though not, to be sure, coinciding with the Moon's phases — are yet a reflection of them in their time rhythm. The process wrests itself free from the Cosmos, as it were, but still reflects the Cosmic Moon-process in its periodic course. We have here an indication, my dear friends, of inner processes in the human organism which we can study better if we turn our attention to more familiar phenomena, such as may make these more remote phenomena easier to understand.
There is something in the soul-life which actually reproduces in miniature the organic processes to which we have just alluded. Let us say, we have an outer experience which affects us through the senses and the mind, — perhaps also through our feelings. We retain a memory of the experience. The recollection — the retention of the experience — leads to the possibility of the picture of it emerging again at a later time. Anyone who considers these facts, not on the basis of fanciful theories, but with sound qualitative observation, will have to admit that in all that arises within us by way of memory, our physical bodily organization plays a part. The remembering itself is no doubt an event in the life of soul, but it needs the inner basis of the physical body in order to come into being. The activity of remembering is directly interrelated with bodily processes; though this has not yet been investigated sufficiently by external science. Comparing what occurs in the female organism in the monthly periods (it occurs in the male organism too, only it is less evident; it can be observed more in the etheric organism and this is not usually done) — comparing this with what happens in ordinary experience when we remember something, one will certainly find a difference. Yet if with sound inner perception one recreates the process in one's consciousness, one cannot but say that the activity of remembering, this soul-occurrence arising out of the physical organism, is similar to what takes place in the monthly functions of the female organism, only is in miniature and is more drawn into the realm of soul, less impressed upon the body. From this point of view you will be able to say: Inasmuch as man individualizes himself from the Cosmos, he develops the faculty of memory; inasmuch as he still lives within the Cosmos, developing more his sub-conscious functions, something in the nature of a common experience with the Cosmos arises, connected with the Moon-processes in the Cosmos. This experience remains, just as a past experience remains in our memory, and later it emerges in an inner constitutional process, like a remembrance which has been drawn into the body and has become organic.
There is no other way, my dear friends, of understanding these matters than by thus proceeding from the simpler to the more complex. Just as it is not necessary for a recollection to coincide with a fresh outer experience, so it is not necessary for what appears in the female organism, as a memory of an earlier cosmic connection of the human organism with the phases of the Moon, to coincide in time with these phases. Nevertheless, it is connected with the Moon's phases no less essentially than is the recollection of an earlier experience with the experience itself. Here then we have an activity in the human organism, more on the psychological side and yet not unlike the effects — precipitated, as it were, into the life of time — of influences due originally to the Moon. For the organic periodicity of which we have been speaking embraces about 28 days, as you know.
Now take the following. If we consider the daily influence of the Sun, we find an inner activity of soul and spirit; if we consider the yearly influence of the Sun, then we find laws of growth belonging to the outer physical body. Thus we can say, for the Sun life:
1. Soul and Spirit: Day
2. Physical bodily nature: Year
And now we come to the Lunar activity. We pass on to consider the lunar life, the life of the Moon. What I have just described as taking place in rhythm of 28 days belongs indeed to the soul and spirit; it has only impressed itself deeply into the body. Physiologically, there is really no difference, in a finer sense, between what takes place in the body on the arising of a memory with respect to the event to which the memory refers, and what takes place in the monthly periods of the female body with respect to what the female organism experienced long ago in conjunction with the phases of the Moon. Only the latter is a stronger, a more intensive experience, — a soul spiritual experience pressed more intensively into the body. Thus, for the Lunar life:
Soul and Spirit: 28 day's activity
Let us now seek the corresponding phenomena for the physical body. What will they be? You can find it for yourselves by deduction. We will have bodily, physical effects with a 28-year period. As a day here corresponds to a year, we shall have 28 years.
Physical bodily nature: 28 year's activity
You need only remember that 28 years is the period bringing us to our full inner maturity of growth. It is then that we first cease to be in the ascending scale of growth. Just as the Sun works upon us from outside in its yearly activity, in order to complete in us an outward process corresponding to the daily process in the inner life o soul and spirit, so something works in the Cosmos in a 28-year period, organizing us from outside even as the female human being is organized inwardly. (In her it is more obvious than in the male, for in the man the corresponding daily rhythm is more withdrawn into the etheric.) Here then a 28-day period impresses itself inwardly in the realm of the soul and spirit, and we can say: As the daily Sun-life is related to the yearly Sun-life in regard to man, so the 28-day Moon-life related to the 28-year Moon-life with respect to the whole man (the former belonging, in effect, more to the human head).
You see how we place man, and rightly place him, into the whole Cosmos. We leave off speaking of Sun and Moon merely as if we stood isolated here on Earth, and only looked out with our eyes or with our telescopes to Sun and Moon. We speak of Sun and Moon as of something inwardly united with our very life, and we perceive the connection in the special configurations of our life in time. Until we place man again, my dear friends, into the picture of the doings of Sun and Moon, we shall not have evolved a firm foundation for true Astronomy.
Thus a new science of Astronomy must be built upon a spiritual-scientific basis. It must be evolved out of a more intimate knowledge of man himself. We shall only be able to find a meaning in what is taught by the external Astronomy of today, when we are in a position to base our hypotheses on man himself. We shall then be able profitably to study the rather schematic statements made in Astronomy today and we shall also be able to make essential corrections in this external Astronomy.
What follows from all this? It follows that in these processes — no matter, for the moment, what the underlying basis of them is — a universal life reveals itself. Whether it be (and we will speak of this later) that the daily and yearly rotations of the Earth underlie what I have here described as solar life with respect to the soul and spirit for the day, and to the physical bodily nature for the year; whether it be the movements of the Moon described by modern Astronomy or something very different; — we shall never reach an understanding of it merely by setting up the well-known picture taught in the Schools. But we must understand all that is expressed in this picture as being in reality a continuing, enduring universal life — a life which cannot be approached in its fullness by a mere series of diagrammatic pictures.
We will now set to work in another way. We will begin to work from the standpoint offered us in the Astronomical ideas of a man who still had very much from the past. We do not want to return to the older ideas; we must work out of new ideas This man, however, still had much of the old qualitative virtues in his ideas. I refer to Kepler. Astronomy has become more and more quantitative in modern time, and it would be a delusion to look on Astrophysics as the entry of a qualitative element into Astronomy; of an universal life that lay behind the work of Kepler. In him a feeling still persisted that behind all that is manifest to ordinary astronomical observation there lies hidden something like the gesture of a vast cosmic life — a cosmic life that here reveals its presence.
If we have a man before us and see him move a hand or an arm, we do not merely calculate the mechanics of the movement; we recognize it as the outer revelation of an inner life of soul and spirit. We understand as an expressive gesture something that can, after all, also be looked on from a purely spatial, mathematical point of view. The further back one goes in the history of man's approach to Astronomy, the more one find men conscious that the pictures they conceived of the path of the Sun or of the stars were no mere passive pictures of indifferent events but that these pictures were gestures of life and being. It is quite easy to discern in olden times this feeling of the gesture-like nature of the movements of the heavenly bodies. When my hand moves through the air I shall not merely calculate its path, but in this path I see an expression of the soul . So did the earlier observer see in the path of the Moon an expression. of a life of soul. In all the movements of the heavenly bodies he saw expressions of a soul-nature lie pictures it somewhat in this s way — If I could held an umbrella here so that only my hand were seen, my hand would make an inexplicable movement, for I am there behind the umbrella; only the hand is to be seen. Somewhat in this way the men of ancient times pictured that the movement of the Moon up in the sky was but the outer expression — a sort of terminal ‘limb’ — end that the really active being stood behind it. So too in earlier times men did not speak of isolated heavenly bodies of the planets; they spoke of planetary spheres. They spoke of the several spheres, belonging to the heavenly bodies. Thus they distinguished the Moon-sphere, the Mercury-sphere, the Venus-sphere, the Sun-sphere, the Mars-sphere, the Jupiter-sphere, the Saturn-sphere, and then the eighth sphere — the Heaven of Fixed Stars They distinguished these eight spheres and saw in them something which expressed itself in outer gestures, so that a certain sphere expressed itself by lighting up now here, now there, and so on. The reality, for instance, was the sphere of the Moon. The Moon itself was not a separate entity, — only the gesture. Where the Moon appeared, the Moon-sphere was making a definite gesture I am relating this to show you the living nature of the old conceptions.
Kepler still retained in his whole consciousness a feeling for this universal life in space Only on this account was he able to draw up his three famous Laws For modern Astronomy the three famous Laws of Kepler are purely of a quantitative nature, to be regarded simply from the aspect of spatial and temporal concepts. For a man who still worked out of such a life of ideas as Kepler did, this was not the case. Let us now call to mind these Laws of Kepler. They are:
The First Law:
The Planets move in ellipses round the central body, which is situated in one of the foci of the ellipse.
The Second Law:
The Radius-vector of a Planet describes equal sectors, equal areas, in equal periods of time.
The Third Law:
The squares of the periods of revolution of the different Planets are proportional to the cubes of the major semi-axes
Now as we said, to the modern, purely quantitative view these laws too are purely quantitative To anyone like Kepler, the very expression ‘elliptical’ and the corresponding curve signified a greater livingness when it only moves in a circle, for it must use an inner impulse in order continually to alter the radius. When something simply moves in a circle it need do nothing to alter the radius. A more intense inner life must be employed in the radius-vector is continually altered. The simple. statement: “The Planets move in ellipses round the central body and the central body is not in the mid-point but in one of the foci of the ellipse”, implied an element of greater livingness than when something moves in a perfect circle.
Further: “The radius-vector describes equal sectors in equal periods of time”. We have here the transition from the line to the surface, to the plane. Please notice this.’ Inasmuch as at first only the ellipse is described, we remain in the line — the curve. When we are directed to the path that the radius-vector describes, we are led to the surface — the area. A more intensive condition in the planetary movement is disclosed, When the planet ‘rolls along’ — if I may express so myself — it is not only expressing something within itself, but draws its tail after it, as it were. The whole area which the radius-vector describes belongs to it spiritually. Moreover, in equal periods of time equal areas are described, Special attention is thus drawn to the quality, the inherent character of the movement of the planets.
The third Law above all relates to the life that plays its part between the various planets. This Law assumes a more complicated form. “The squares of the periods of revolution of the Planets are in proportion to the cubes of the semi-major axes” (or of the mean distance from the central body). This Law, you see, contains a great deal if one still understands it in Kepler's living way. Newton then killed the law. He did this in a very simple fashion. Take Kepler's Third Law. You can write it thus:
or written differently:
Now write it in a somewhat different form. Write it thus:
(I might of course also have written it in the reverse order.)
What have we on the left-hand side of the equation, here in the left-hand ratio? No less than what is expressed by one half of Newton's Law, and on the other side the other half, the forces of Newton's Law. You need only write Kepler's Law thus differently and you can say: “The forces or attraction are inversely proportional to the squares of the distances.” Here then you have the Newtonian Law of Gravity deduced from the Law of Kepler. The force of gravity between the planets, the celestial bodies, is in inverse proportion to the squares of their distances apart. It is nothing else than the killing of Kepler's Third Law. In principle that is what it is.
But now take the matter actively and livingly. Do not set before yourself the dead product “force of gravity” — “the forces of attraction decrease with the squares of the distances”, — but take what is living still in Kepler's form, the squares of the periods of time. Fill out the caput mortum of the Newtonian force of attraction, which is a mere external concept, with what is implied in the square of the period of time, and you will fill with inner life of the Newtonian concept, which is really the corpse of an idea! For inner life has to do with time. And here you have before you not only time in its simple course, you have time squared — time to the second power! We shall yet have to come back to what it means to speak of ‘time squared’ But you can realize that to speak of time to the second power is to speak or something of an inward nature. It is, indeed, time which in the life of man actually represents the course of his inner soul-life. The point is that we should look right through it dead concept of the Newtonian force of attraction to that which suddenly darts into the center, bringing time into it and therewith bringing in an element of inner life.
Now look at the matter from another point of view. Notice that Kepler's first Law also has reference to the Earth. Not only does the Earth describe an ellipse, but you, since you are on the Earth, describe an ellipse together with it. What takes place outwardly is in you an inner process. Thus the arising of the ellipse from the circle, in the living way in which Kepler still conceived it, corresponds to a process in your own inner being. And inasmuch as you move in the line which is formed by the radius-vector describing equal sectors in equal times, it is you who continually relate yourself to the central body, placing yourself in relation to your own Sun. You, together with the curve, are describing a path in time, along which you are in continual relation to the Sun. If I may put it a little quaintly You must take care all the time that you do not ‘skid’ or side-slip, that you do not go too fast, — that your radius-vector does not describe too great an area. This outer point which moves in the ellipse must be continuously in the right relation to the Sun. There you have the movement you yourselves make, characterized as a pure line in space. The relation to the Sun is characterized in the Second Law.
And if we pass on to the Third Law, you have an inner experience of the relation to the other planets — your own living connection with the other planets.
Thus we not only have to find, in man himself, processes that lead us out again into the Cosmos. If we interpret rightly the mathematical pictures presented to us by the cosmic process, we also turn into an inner experience what is apparently external and quantitative. For the cosmic Mathematics indwells man. Man is himself in the midst of the living Mathematics. Of this we shall speak more tomorrow.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Anthroposophia the Lionhearted : Ecce Homo

Frederick Douglass

Rudolf Steiner:  "Rather than surrendering to the fear that the elements of will in the spiritual world will seize, devour, and strangle us, one must swing oneself to the back of the lion, grasp these elements of will, and make use of them for action."

"I AM THE MAN."  — Frederick Douglass

"I have often been asked, how I felt when first I found myself on free soil. And my readers may share the same curiosity. There is scarcely anything in my experience about which I could not give a more satisfactory answer. A new world had opened upon me. If life is more than breath, and the 'quick round of blood,' I lived more in one day than in a year of my slave life. It was a time of joyous excitement which words can but tamely describe. In a letter written to a friend soon after reaching New York, I said: 'I felt as one might feel upon escape from a den of hungry lions.' Anguish and grief, like darkness and rain, may be depicted; but gladness and joy, like the rainbow, defy the skill of pen or pencil."

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Rudolf Steiner: "The shadow-side of the rational soul, senseless aggression, depicted as a lion, can be overcome by the corresponding virtue: self-reliant courage."

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Related post:

The Redemption of Astronomy. Lecture 2

Figure 7 and Figure 8

The Redemption of Astronomy:
Toward the Reunion of Natural Science and Social Science
 Lecture 2 of 18.
Rudolf Steiner, Stuttgart, January 2, 1921:

My dear friends!
Yesterday I showed a connection between two branches of science which according to our modern ideas are widely separated. I sought to show that the science of Astronomy should provide certain items of knowledge which must then be turned to account in quite a different branch of science, from which the study and method of Astronomy is completely excluded nowadays. In effect, I sought to show that Astronomy must be linked with Embryology. It is impossible to understand the phenomena of cell-development, especially of the sex-cells, without calling to our aid the realities of Astronomy, which lie apparently so far removed from Embryology.
I pointed out that there must come about a regrouping of the sciences, for a man specializing nowadays along certain lines finds himself hemmed in by the circumscribed divisions of science. He has no possibility of applying his specialized knowledge and experience to spheres which may lie near to hand but which will only have been presented to him from certain aspects, insufficient to give him a deeper understanding of their full significance. If it is true, as will emerge in these lectures, that we can only understand the successive stages in human embryonic development when we understand their counterpart, the phenomena of the Heavens; if this is a fact — and it will turn out to be so — then we cannot work at Embryology without working at Astronomy. Nor can we occupy ourselves with Astronomy without bringing new light to the facts of Embryology. In Astronomy we are studying something which reveals its most important activity in the development of the human embryo. How, then, shall we explain the meaning and reason of astronomical facts, if we bring into the kind of connection with these facts the very realm in which this meaning and reason are revealed?
You see how necessary it is to come to a reasonable world-conception, out of the chaos in which we are today in the sphere of science. If, however, one only accepts what is fashionable nowadays, it will be very difficult to grasp, even as a general idea, anything like what I said yesterday. For the evolution of our time has brought it about that astronomical facts are only grasped through mathematics and mechanics, while embryological facts are recorded in such a way that in dealing with them anything of the nature of mathematics or mechanics is discarded. At most, even if the mathematical-mechanical is brought into some kind of relation to Embryology, it is done in a quite an external way, without considering where lies the origin of what, in embryonic development, might truly be expressed in mathematical and mechanical terms.
Now I need only point to a saying of Goethe's, uttered out of a certain feeling — a ‘feeling knowledge’ I might call it — but indicating something of extraordinary significance. (You can read of it in Goethe's “Spruche in Prosa”, and in the Commentary which I added to the publication in the Kurschner edition of the Deutsche National-Literatur, where I spoke in detail about this passage.) Goethe says there: People think of natural phenomena so entirely apart from man that they are tending ever more and more to disregard the human being in their study of the phenomena of Nature. He, on the contrary, believed that natural phenomena only reveal their true meaning if they are regarded in full connection with man — with the whole organization of man. In saying this, Goethe pointed to a method of research which is well-nigh anathematized nowadays. People today seek an 'objective' understanding of Nature through research that is completely separated from the human being. This is particularly noticeable in such a science as Astronomy, where no account at all is taken of the human being. On the contrary, people are proud that the apparently ‘objective’ facts have shown that man is only a grain of dust upon an Earth which has somehow been fused into a planet, moving first round the Sun and then, in some way or other, moving with the Sun in space. They are proud that one need pay no attention to this ‘grain of dust’ which wanders about on Earth, — that one need only pay attention to what is external to the human being in considering the great celestial phenomena.
Now the question is, whether any real results are to be obtained by such a method.
I should like once more to call attention, my dear friends, to the path we must pursue in these lectures. What you will find as proof will only emerge in the further course of the lectures. Today we must take a good deal simply from observation in order to form certain preliminary ideas. We must first build up certain necessary concepts; only then shall we be able to pass on to the verification of these concepts.
From what source, then, can we gain a real perception of the celestial phenomena merely through the mathematics which we apply to them? The course of development of human knowledge can disclose — if one does not take up the proud position of thinking how ‘wonderfully advanced’ we are today and how all that went before was childish — the course of human development can teach us how the prevailing points of view can change.
From certain aspects one can have great reverence for the celestial observations carried out, for instance, by the ancient Chaldeans. The ancient Chaldeans made very exact observations concerning the connection of human time-reckoning with the heavenly phenomena. They had a highly develop ‘Calendar-Science’. Much that appears to us today as self-evident really dates back to the Chaldeans. Yet the Chaldeans were satisfied with a mathematical picture of the Heavens which portrayed the Earth more or less as a flat disc, with the hollow hemisphere of the heavenly vault arched above, the fixed stars fastened to it, and the planets moving over it. (Among the planets they also included the Sun.) They made their calculations with this picture in the background. Their calculations for the most part were correct, in spite of being based upon a picture which the science of today can only describe as a fundamental error, as something ‘childish’.
Science, or more correctly, the scientific tendency and direction, then went on evolving. There was a stage when men pictured that the Earth stood still, but that Venus and Mercury moved round the Sun. The Sun formed the central point, as it were, for the motions of Venus and Mercury, while the other planets — Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — moved round the Earth. Thereafter, men progressed to making Mars, Jupiter and Saturn also revolved around the Sun, but the Earth was still supposed to stand still, while the Sun with its encircling planets as well as the starry Heavens revolved round the Earth. This was still the fundamental view of Tycho Brahe, whereas his contemporary Copernicus established the other concept, namely, that the Sun was to be regarded as standing still and that the Earth was to be reckoned among the planets revolving round the Sun. Following hard one upon the other in the time of Copernicus were the two points of view, one which existed in ancient Egypt, of the stationary Earth with the other planets encircling the Sun, still represented by Tycho Brahe; the other, the Copernican concept, which broke radically with the idea of the center of coordinates being in the center of the Earth, and transferred it to the center of the Sun. For in reality the whole alteration made by Copernicus was nothing else than this, — the origin of coordinates was removed from the center of the Earth to the center of the Sun.
What was actually the problem of Copernicus? His problem was, how to reduce to simple lines and curves these complicated apparent motions of the planets, — ; for so they appear as observed from the Earth. When the planets are observed from the Earth, their movements can only be described as a variety of looped lines, such as these (Fig. 1). So, when taking the center of the Earth as the center of coordinates it is necessary to base the planetary movements on all sorts of complicated curves. Copernicus said, in effect: ‘as an experiment, I will place the center of the whole coordinate system in the center of the Sun.’ Then the complicated planetary curves are reduced to simple circular movements, or as was stated later, to ellipses. The whole thing was purely the construction of a world-system which aimed at being able to represent the paths of the planets in the simplest possible curves.
Figure 1
Now today we have a very remarkable fact, my dear friends. This Copernican system, when employed purely mathematically, supplies the necessary calculations concerning the observed phenomena as well as and no better than any of the earlier ones. The eclipses of the Sun and Moon can be calculated with the ancient Chaldean system, with the Egyptian, with the Tychonian and with the Copernican. The outer occurrences in the Heavens, in so far as they relate to mechanics or mathematics, can thus be foretold. One system is as well suited as another. It is only that the simplest thought-pictures arise with the Copernican system. But the strange thing is that in practical Astronomy, calculations are not made with the Copernican system. Curiously enough, in practical Astronomy, — to obtain what is needed for the calendar, — the system of Tycho Brahe is used! This shows how little that is really fundamental, how little of the essential nature of things, comes into question when the Universe is thus pictured in purely mathematical curves or in terms of mechanical forces.
Now there is another very remarkable fact which I will only indicate today, so that we shall understand each other about the aim of these lectures. I shall speak further about it in succeeding lectures. Copernicus in his deliberations bases his cosmic system upon three axioms. The first is that the Earth rotates on its own North-South axis in 24 hours. The second principle on which Copernicus bases his picture of the Heavens is that the Earth moves round the Sun. In its revolution round the Sun the Earth itself, of course, also revolves in a certain way. This rotation, however, does not occur round the North-South axis of the Earth, which always points to the North Pole, but round the axis of the Ecliptic, which, as we know, is at an angle with the Earth's own axis. Therefore the Earth goes through a rotation during a 24-hour day round its own N. S. Axis, and then, inasmuch as it performs approximately 365 such rotations in the year, there is added another rotation, an annual rotation, if we disregard the revolution round the Sun. The Earth, then, if it always rotates thus, and then again revolves round the Sun, behaves like the Moon as it rotates round the Earth, always turning the same side towards us. The Earth does this too, inasmuch as it revolves round the Sun, but not on the same axis as the one on which it rotates for the daily revolution. It revolves through this 'yearly day' on another axis; this is an added movement, besides the one taking place in the 24-hour day.
Copernicus' third principle is that not only does such a revolution of the Earth take place round the North-South axis, but that there is yet a third revolution which appears as a retrograde movement of the North-South axis round the axis of the Ecliptic. Thereby, in a certain sense, the revolution round the axis of the Ecliptic is canceled out. By reason of this third revolution the Earth's axis continuously points to the North celestial Pole (the Pole-Star). Whereas, by virtue of revolving round the Sun, the Earth's axis would have to describe a circle, or an ellipse, round the pole of the Ecliptic, its own revolution, which takes the opposite direction (every time the Earth proceeds a little further its axis rotates backwards), causes it to point continually to the North Pole. Copernicus adopted this third principle, namely: The continued pointing of the Earth's axis to the Pole comes about because, by a rotation of its own — a kind of ‘inclination’ (?) — it cancels out the other revolution. This latter therefore has no effect in the course of the year, for it is constantly being annulled.
In modern Astronomy, founded as it is on the Copernican system, it has come about that the first two axioms are accepted and the third is ignored. This third axiom is lightly brushed aside by saying that the stars are so far away that the Earth-axis, remaining parallel to itself, always points practically to the same spot. Thus it is assumed that the North-South axis of the Earth, in its revolution, remains always parallel to itself. This was not assumed by Copernicus; on the contrary, he assumed a perpetual revolving of the Earth's axis. Modern Astronomy is therefore not really based on the Copernican system, but accepts the first two axioms because they are convenient and discards the third, thus becoming lost in the prevarication that it is not necessary to suppose that the Earth's axis itself must move in order to keep pointing to the same spot in the Heavens, but that the place itself is so far away that even if the axis does move parallel to itself it will still point to the same spot. Anyone can see that this is a prevarication. To-day therefore we have a ‘Copernican system’ from which a most important element has actually been discarded.
The development of modern Astronomy is presented in such a way that no one notices that an important element is missing. Yet only in this way is it possible to describe it all so neatly: “Here is the Sun the Earth goes round in an ellipse with the Sun in one of the foci.” (Fig. 2)
Fig. 2
As time went on it became no longer possible to hold to the starting-point of the Copernican theory, namely that the Sun stands still. A movement is now attributed to the Sun, which is said to move forward with the whole ellipse, perpetually creating new ellipses, so to speak (Fig. 3). It became necessary to introduce the Sun's own movement, and this was done simply by adding something new to the picture they had before. A mathematical description is thus obtained which is admittedly convenient, but few questions are asked as to its possibility or its reality. It is only from the apparent movement of the stars that the Earth's movement is deduced by this method. As we shall presently see, it is of great significance whether or no one assumes a movement — which indeed must be assumed — namely the aforesaid ‘inclination’ (?) of the Earth's axis, perpetually annulling the annual rotation. Resultant movements, after all, are obtained by adding up the several movements. If one is left out, the whole is no longer true. Thus the whole theory that the Earth moves round the Sun in an ellipse comes into question.
Fig. 3
You see, purely from these historical facts, that burning questions exist in Astronomy today, though it is seemingly a most exact science because it is mathematical. The question arises: Why do we live in such uncertainty with regard to a real astronomical science? We must then ask further, turning the question in another direction: Can we reach any real certainty through a purely mathematical approach? Only think that in considering a thing mathematically we lift the observation out of the sphere of external reality. Mathematics is something that ascends from our inner being; in mathematics we lift ourselves out of external reality. It must therefore be understood from the outset that if we approach an external reality with a method of investigation that lifts itself out of reality, we can, in all probability, only arrive at something relative.
To begin with, I am merely putting forward certain general considerations. We shall soon come to the realities. The point is that in regarding things purely from the mathematical standpoint, man does not put reality into his thought with sufficient energy, in order to approach the phenomena of the outer world rightly. This, indeed, demands that the celestial phenomena be brought nearer to man; they must not be regarded as quite apart from man, but must be brought into relationship with man. It was only one particular instance of this associating of the heavenly phenomena with the human being, when I said that we must see what takes place out there in the starry world in its reflection in the embryonic process. But let us look at the matter at first somewhat more generally. Let us ask whether we cannot perhaps find another approach to the celestial phenomena than the purely mathematical one.
We can indeed bring the celestial phenomena, in their connection with earthly life, somewhat nearer to man in a purely qualitative way. We will not disdain to form a basis today with seemingly elementary ideas, these ideas being just the ones that are excluded from the foundations of modern Astronomy. We will ask the following question: How does man's life on Earth appear, in relation to Astronomy? We can regard the external phenomena surrounding man from three different points of view. We can regard them from the standpoint of what I will call the solar life, the life of the Sun; the lunar life; and the terrestrial, the tellurian life.
Let us think first in quite a popular, even elementary way how these three domains play around man and upon him. Clearly there is something on the Earth which is in complete dependence upon the Sun-life, including also that aspect of the Sun's life which we shall have to look for in the Sun's movement or state of rest, and so on. We will leave aside the quantitative aspect and today merely consider the qualitative. Let us try to be clear as to how, for instance, the vegetation of any given region depends upon the solar life. Here we need only call to mind what is very well known with regard to vegetation, namely, the difference in the vegetation of spring, summer, autumn and winter; we shall be able to say that we see in the vegetation itself an imprint of the solar life. The Earth opens herself in a given region to what is outside her in heavenly space, and this reveals itself in the unfolding of vegetative life. If the Earth closes herself again to the solar life, the vegetation recedes.
There is, however, an interplay of activity between the terrestrial or tellurian and the solar life. There is a difference in the solar life according to the variation of tellurian conditions. We must here bring together quite elementary facts and you will see how they lead us further. Take, for example, Egypt and Peru, two regions in the tropical zone. — Egypt, a low-lying plain, Peru a table land, and compare the vegetation. You will see how the tellurian element, simply the distance from the center of the Earth in this instance, plays its part in conjunction with the solar life. You only need study the vegetation over the earth, regarding the Earth, not as mere mineral but as incorporating plant-nature as well, and in the picture of vegetation you have a starting-point for an understanding of the connection of the earthly with the celestial. But we perceive the connection most particularly when we turn our attention to mankind.
We have, in the first place, two opposites on the Earth: the Polar and the Tropical. The Polar and the tropical form a polarity, and the result of this polarity shows itself very clearly in human life.
Is it not so that life in the polar regions brings forth in man a condition of mind and spirit which is more or less a state of apathy: The sharp contrast of a long winter and a long summer which are almost like one long day and one long night, produces a certain apathy in man; it is as though the setting in which man lives makes him apathetic. In the Tropics, man also lives in a region which makes him apathetic. But the apathy of the polar region is based upon a sparse external vegetation — sparse and meager in a peculiar way even where it develops to some extent. The tropical apathy of man is caused by a rich, luxuriant vegetation. Putting together these two pictures of environment one can say that the apathy which affects man in polar regions is different from that affecting him in tropical regions. He is apathetic in both regions, but the apathy results from different causes. In the Temperate Zone lies the balance. Here the human capacities are developed in a certain equilibrium.
No-one will doubt that this has something to do with the solar life. But what is the connection: (I will, as I said, first make a few remarks based on observation and in this way arrive at essential concepts.) Going to the root of things, we find that in the life around the Poles there is a very strong working-in of the Sun-forces upon man. In those regions the Earth tends to withdraw from the life of the Sun; she does not let her activity shoot upward from below into the vegetation. But the human being is exposed in these parts to the true Sun-life (you must not only look for the Sun-life in mere warmth). That this is so, the vegetation itself bears witness.
We have, then, a preponderance of solar influence in the Polar zones. What kind of life predominates in the Tropical? There it is the tellurian, the Earth-life. This shoots up into the vegetation, making it rich and luxuriant. This also robs man of a balanced development of his capacities, but the causes in the North and in the Tropics come from different directions. In Polar regions the sunlight represses man's inner development. In the Tropics, what shoots up from the Earth represses his inner powers. We thus see a certain polarity, the polarity shown in the preponderance of the Sun-life around the Poles, and of the tellurian life in tropical regions — ; in the neighborhood of the Equator.
If we then observe man and have in mind the human form, we can say the following. (Please do not object at once if it seems paradoxical, but wait a little. We shall be taking the human form seriously.) The head, the part of the human form which in its outer configuration copies universal space, — namely the sphere, the spherical shape of the Universe as a whole — the head is exposed by life in polar regions to what comes from the Cosmos outside the Earth. In the Tropics, the metabolic system in its connection with the limbs is exposed to the Earth-life as such.
We come to a special relationship, you see, of the human head to the cosmic life outside the Earth and of the human metabolic and limb-system to the Earth-life. Man is so placed in the Universe as to be more co-ordinated with the cosmic surroundings of the Earth in his head, his nerve-senses system, and with the Earth-life in his metabolic system. And in the temperate zones we shall have to look for a kind of perpetual harmonizing between the head-system and the metabolic system. In the temperate zones there is a primary development of the rhythmic system in man.
You see then that there exists a certain connection between this threefold membering of man — nerves-and-senses system, rhythmic system, metabolic system — and the outer world. The head-system is more related to the whole Cosmos, the rhythmic system is the balance between the Cosmos and the earthly world, and the metabolic system is related to the earth itself. Then we must take up another indication, which points to a working of the solar life upon mankind in a different direction.
The connection of the solar life with the life of man which we have just been considering can only be related to the interplay of the earthly and extra-earthly life in the course of the year. But as a matter of fact, in the course of the day we are also concerned with a kind of repetition, even as in the yearly course. The yearly course is determined by the relation of the Sun to the Earth, and so is the daily course. In the language of purely mathematical astronomy we speak of the daily rotation of the Earth on its axis, and of the revolution of the Earth round the Sun in the course of the year. But we are then confining ourselves to very simple aspects. We have then no justification for assuming that we are really starting from adequate premisses, giving an adequate basis for our investigations. Let us call to mind all that we have considered with regard to the yearly course. I will not say ‘the revolution of the Earth round the Sun’, but the course of the year with its alternating conditions. This must have a connection with the three-fold being of man. Since through the earthly conditions it finds different expression in the Tropics, in the Temperate Zones and at the Poles, this yearly course must be connected in some way with the whole formation of man — with the relations of the three members of the threefold man. When we bring this into consideration, we acquire a wider basis from which to proceed and can perhaps arrive at something quite different from what we reach when we merely measure the angles which one telescopic direction makes with another. It is a matter of finding broader foundations in order to be able to judge the facts.
Speaking of the daily course, we speak in the astronomical sense of the rotation of the Earth on its axis. But something rather different is here revealed. There is revealed a far-reaching independence of man upon this daily course. The dependence of man on the yearly rhythm, namely on what is connected with the yearly course, the shaping of the human form in the various regions of the Earth, shows us a very great dependence of man on the solar life, — on the changes that appear on Earth in consequence of the solar life. The daily course shows it far less. True, very much of interest will also be revealed in connection with the daily course, but as regards the life of mankind as a whole it is relatively insignificant. The differences appear in individual human beings. Goethe, who can be regarded in a certain respect as a normal type of man, felt himself best attuned to production in the morning; Schiller at night. This points to the fact that the daily rhythm has a definite influence upon certain subtler parts of human nature. A man who has a feeling for such things, will tell us that he has met many persons in his life who have confided to him that their really important thoughts were worked out in the dusk, that is, in the temperate period of the day-to-day rhythm, not at midday nor at midnight, but in the temperate time of the day. It is however, a fact that man is in a way independent of the daily course of the Sun. We have still to go into the significance of this independence and to show in what way a certain dependence does nevertheless exist.
A second element is the lunar life, the life that is connected with the Moon. It may be that a great deal of what has been said on this subject in the course of human evolution appears today as mere fantastic nonsense. But in one way or another we see that the Earth-life as such, for example in the phenomena of tidal ebb and flow, is connected quite evidently with the movement of the Moon. Nor must it be overlooked that the female functions, although they do not coincide in time with the Moon's phases, coincide with them in their periodicity, and that therefore something essentially concerned with human evolution is shown to be dependent in time and duration upon the phases of the Moon. It is as though this process of the female function were lifted out of the general course of Nature, but has remained a true image of Nature's process; it is accomplished in the same period of time as the corresponding natural phenomenon.
Just as little must it be overlooked — only people do not make rational, exact observations of these things if they turn aside from them at the very outset — just as little must it be overlooked that as a matter of fact, man's life of fancy and imagination is extraordinarily bound up with the phases of the Moon. If anyone were to keep a calendar-record of the upward and downward flow of his life of imagination, he would notice how much it had to do with the Moon's phases. The fact that the Moon-life, the lunar life, has an influence upon certain lower organs should he studied in the phenomenon of the sleep-walker. In the sleep-walker, interesting phenomena can be studied; phenomena which are overlaid by normal human life, but are present in the depths of human nature and point in their totality to the fact that the lunar life is just as much connected with the rhythmic system of man as is the solar life with his nerves-and-senses system.
This gives a sort of crossing of influences. We have seen how the solar life, in its interplay with the forces of the Earth, works on the rhythmic system in the temperate zones. Crossing this influence, we now have the direct influence of the lunar life upon the rhythmic system.
When we now look at the tellurian, the Earth-life as such, we must not disregard a domain in which the earthly influence makes itself felt; though, to be sure, this is not ordinarily taken into account. I ask you to turn your attention to such as phenomenon as home-sickness. It is difficult to from any clear ideas about home-sickness. It can no doubt be explained from the point of view of habit, custom, and so on. But I ask you to note that real physiological effects can be produced entirely as a result of this so-called home-sickness. Home-sickness can go so far as to make a man ill. It can express itself in such phenomena as asthma. Study the complex of the phenomena of home-sickness with its consequences, asthmatic conditions and general ill-health, a kind of emaciation, and it is possible to come to the following conclusion. One comes to see that ultimately the feeling of home-sickness results from an alteration of the metabolism — the whole metabolic system. Home-sickness is the reflection in consciousness of changes in the metabolism — changes entirely due to the man's removal from one place, with its tellurian influences from below, to another place, with different influences coming from below. Please take this in connection with other things which, unfortunately, Science as a rule leaves unconsidered.
Goethe, I said, felt most inspired to poetry, to the writing of his works in the morning. If he needed a stimulant however, he took that stimulant which in its nature takes least hold of the metabolic system, but only stirs it up via the rhythmic system, namely wine. Goethe took wine as a stimulant. In this respect he was, indeed, altogether a Sun-man; he let the influence of the solar life work upon him. With Schiller or Byron this was reversed. Schiller preferred to write his poetry when the Sun has set, that is to say when the solar life was hardly active any more. And he stimulated himself with something which takes thorough hold of the metabolic system — with hot punch. The effect was quite different from that obtained by Goethe from wine. It worked into the whole metabolism. Through the metabolism the Earth works upon man; so we can say that Schiller was essentially tellurian — an Earth-man. Earth-men work more through the emotions and what belongs to the will; the Sun-man works rather through calm and contemplation. For those persons, therefore, who could not endure the solar element, but only liked the tellurian, only what is of the Earth Goethe increasingly became “the cold literary Greybeard” as they called him in Weimar — “the cold, literary greybeard with the double chin.” That was the name which was so often given to Goethe in Weimar in the 19th century.
Now I should like to bring something rather different to your notice. We have observed how man is set into the universal connections of Earth, Sun, Moon: the Sun working more on the nerves-and-senses system; the Moon working more on the rhythmic system; the Earth, inasmuch as she gives man of her substance as nourishment and makes substance directly active in him, working upon the metabolic system, working tellurically. We see something in man through which we can perhaps find starting-point for an explanation of the Heavens as they exist outside man, upon broader foundations than merely through the measurement of angles by the telescope and so on.
This is especially so if we go yet further, if we now consider Nature outside of man, — but consider it so as to see more in it than a mere register of external data. Look at the metamorphosis of insects. In the course of the year it is a complete reflection of the external solar life. I would say that with man we must make our researches more in the inner being in order to follow what is solar, lunar and tellurain in him, whereas in the insect-life with its metamorphoses, we see the direct course of the year expressed in the successive forms the insect assumes. We can now say to ourselves: Maybe we have not to only proceed quantitatively, but should also take into account the qualitative impression which such phenomena make upon us Why always merely ask what a phenomenon of the outer Universe looks like in the objective of the telescope? Why not ask what relation is given, not merely by the objective of the telescope, but by the insect? How does human nature react? Is anything revealed to us through human nature regarding the celestial phenomena? Are we not led in this way to broader foundations, making it impossible that on the one hand, theoretically, we should be Copernicans when desiring to explain the world philosophically, while on the other we use Tychonic System as our basis for calculating the calendar etc., as practical Astronomy still does to this day. Or that we are Copernicans, but set aside the most important part of his theory, namely his third axiom Can we not overcome the uncertainties which create burning problems even in the most fundamental realms of Astronomy today, by working on a broader basis — working in this sphere too from the quantitative to the qualitative?
Yesterday I sought to point out the connection of the celestial with the embryonic phenomena; today, the connection with fully developed man. Here you have an indication towards a necessary regrouping of the sciences. Now take another thing to which I have also referred to in the course of today's remarks. I indicated the connection of human metabolism with the Earth-life. In man we have the faculties of sense-perception mediated through the nerves-and-senses system, connected as a whole with the solar and cosmic life. We have the rhythmic system connected with what lies between Heaven and Earth. We have the metabolism related especially to the Earth, so that in contemplating metabolic man we should be able to get nearer to the real essence of the tellurian. But what do we do today if we want to approach the tellurian realm? We behave as we habitually do, and investigate things from the outside. But things have an inner side also! Will they perhaps only show it in its true form when they pass through the human being?
It has become an ideal nowadays to regard the relationship of substances quite apart from man and to rest there; to observe by experimentation in chemical laboratories the reciprocal actions of substances in order to arrive at their nature. But if the substances only disclosed their nature within the human being, then we should have to practice Chemistry in such a way as to reach man. Then we should have to form a connection between true Chemistry and the processes undergone by matter within man, just as we see a connection between Astronomy and Embryology, or between Astronomy and the whole human form — the threefold being of man. Thus do the things work into one another. We only come to real life when we perceive them in their interpenetration.
On the other hand, inasmuch as the Earth is poised in cosmic space, we shall have to see the connection between the tellurian and the starry realm.
Now we have seen a connection between Astronomy and the substances of Earth; also between the Earth and human metabolism; and again a direct influence of the solar and celestial events upon man himself. In man we have a kind of meeting of what comes directly from the Heavens and what comes via earthly substance. Earthly substances work on the human metabolism, while the celestial influences work directly upon man as a whole. In man there meet the direct influences for which we are indebted to the solar life, and those influences which, passing indirectly through the Earth, have undergone a change by reason of the Earth. Thus we can say: The interior of the human being will become explicable even in a physical, anatomical sense as a resultant of cosmic influences coming directly from the Universe outside the Earth, and cosmic influences which have first passed through the earthly process. These flow together in man (Fig. 4).
Figure 4
You see how, contemplating man in his totality, the whole Universe comes together. For a true knowledge of man, it is essential to perceive this.
What then has come about by scientific specialization? It has led us away from reality into a purely abstract sphere. In spite of its 'exactness', Astronomy — to calculate the calendar — cannot help using in practice something other than it stands for in theory. And then again, Copernican though it is in theory, it discards what was of great importance to Copernicus, namely the third axiom. Uncertainty creeps in at every point. These modern lines of research do not lead to what matters most of all, — to perceive how Man is formed from the entire Universe.