Friday, June 30, 2023

Heart -Sun, Brain-Moon, Spleen-Saturn, Liver-Jupiter, Gall Bladder-Mars, Kidneys-Venus, Lungs-Mercury


Rudolf Steiner:  "The human organs that come under the influence of the etheric body, and which can fall sick as a result of irregularities of the etheric body, have quite definite relationships with one another. There is for instance a certain relationship between a man's heart and his brain which can be described in a somewhat pictorial way by saying that this mutual relationship of the heart and the brain corresponds to the relationship of the sun and the moon — the heart being the sun and the brain the moon. So we have to know, if a disturbance occurs in the heart for instance, that in so far as this is rooted in the etheric body it is bound to have an effect on the brain. Just as when something happens on the sun, an eclipse for instance, the moon is bound to be affected. It is no different, for these things have a direct connection. In occult medicine these things are also described by applying the images of the planets to the constellation of man's organs. Thus the heart is the sun, the brain the moon, the spleen Saturn, the liver Jupiter, the gall bladder Mars, the kidneys Venus, and the lungs Mercury. If you study the mutual relationships of the planets you have an image of the mutual relationships of man's organs in so far as they are in the etheric body."

What the world needs now is anthroposophy : Concerning The Lost Temple And How It Is To Be Restored. lecture 1


Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, May 15, 1905:

Today we will explain a great allegory, and deal with an object which is known to occult science as the image or teaching of the lost temple which has to be rebuilt. I have explained in earlier lectures (Note 1) why in occult science one starts from such images; today we shall see what an enormous number of ideas are contained in essence in this image. Thereby I will also have to touch upon a theme which is much misunderstood by those who know little or nothing about theosophy. There are some people who do not understand that theosophy and practical [everyday things] go hand in hand, that they must work together throughout the whole of life. Therefore I shall have to speak about the connection between theosophy and the practical things of life. For, basically, when we take up the theme of the lost temple which has to be rebuilt, we are speaking about everyday work.
I shall, indeed, thereby be in the position of a teacher who prepares his pupils for building a tunnel. The building of a tunnel is something eminently practical. Someone might well say: building a tunnel is simple; one only has to start digging into a hill from one side and to excavate away until one emerges at the other side. Everyone can see that it would be foolish to think in this way. But in other realms of life that is not always perceived. Whoever wishes to build a tunnel must, of course, first of all have a command of higher mathematics. Then he will have to learn how it is to be made, technically. Without practical engineering knowledge, without the art of ascertaining the right level, one would not be able to keep on course in excavating the mountain. Then one must know the basic concepts of geology, of the various rock strata, the direction of the water courses and the metallic lodes in the mountain, and so on.. It would be foolish to think that someone would be able to build a tunnel without all this prior knowledge, or that an ordinary stone mason could construct a whole tunnel.
It would be just as foolish if one were to believe that one could begin building human society from the point of view of ordinary life. However, this folly is perpetrated not merely by many people, but also in countless books. Even one today supposes himself called upon to know and decide how best to reform social life and the state. People who have hardly learnt anything write detailed books about how society should best be shaped, and feel themselves called to found reform movements. Thus there are movements for reform in all spheres of life. But everything done in this way is just the same as if someone were to try to cut a tunnel with hammer and chisel. That is all a result of not knowing that great laws exist which rule the world and spring forth out of the life of the spirit. The real problem of our day consists in this ignorance [of the fact] that there are great laws for the building of the state and of the social organism, just as there are for building a tunnel, and that one must know these laws in order to carry out the most necessary and everyday tasks in the social organism. Just as in building a tunnel, one has to know about the interaction of all the forces of nature, so must anyone wishing to start reforming society know the laws [which interweave between one person and the next] . One must study the effect of one soul on another, and draw near to the spirit. That is why theosophy must lie at the basis of every practical activity in life. Theosophy is the real practical principle of life; and only he who starts from theosophical principles and carries them over into practical life can feel himself called as able to be active in social life.
That is why theosophy should penetrate all spheres of life. Statesmen, social reformers and the like are nothing without a theosophical basis, without theosophical principles. That is why, for those who study these things, all work in this field, everything done today to build up the social structure, is external patchwork and complete chaos. For one who understands the matter, what the social reformer is doing today is like somebody cutting stones and piling them one on top of another in the belief that a house will thereby come into being of its own accord. First of all a plan of the house must be drawn up. It is just the same if one asserts that, in social life, things will take shape of their own accord. One cannot reform society without knowing the laws of theosophy.
This way of thinking, which works according to a plan, is called Freemasonry. The medieval Freemasons, who dealt with and made contracts with the clergy, about how they should build, wanted nothing else than to shape outer life in such a way that — along with the Gothic cathedral — it could become an image of the great spiritual structure of the universe. Take the Gothic cathedral. Though composed of thousands of individual parts, it is built according to a single idea, much more comprehensive than the cathedral itself. To become complete in itself, divine life must flow into it, just as light shines into the church through the multi-coloured windows. And when the medieval priest spoke from the pulpit, so that the divine light shone in his listener's hearts just like the light shining through the coloured panes, then the vibrations set up through the preacher's word were in harmony with the great life of God. And the life of just such a sermon, born out of the life of the spirit, set itself forth in the cathedral itself. In like manner, the whole of outer life should be transformed into the Temple of the Earth, into an image of the whole spiritual structure of the universe.
If we go still further back in time, we find that it is just this way of thinking which was mankind's from the very earliest times. Let me explain what I mean by way of an example. Our epoch is the time of the chaotic interaction of one human being with another. Each individual pursues his own aims. This epoch was preceded by another one, the age of the ancient priestly states. I have often spoken about the cultural epochs of our fifth Great Epoch. The first of these was the ancient Indian epoch, the second, that of the Medes and the Persians, the third, that of the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Egyptians and the Semites, and the fourth was the Graeco-Roman period. We are now in the fifth epoch.
The fourth and fifth cultural epochs were the first ones to be based on the intelligence of men, of individual men.
We have a great monument to the conquest of the old priestly culture by the intelligence of men in art, in the Laocoon. (Note 2) The Laocoon priest entwined with serpents — the symbol of subtlety — symbolises the conquest, by the civilisation of intelligence, of the old priestly culture, which held other views about truth and wisdom, and about what should happen. It is the overcoming of the third cultural epoch by the fourth. That is represented in still another symbol, in the saga of the Trojan Horse. The intelligence of Odysseus created the Trojan Horse, by means of which the Trojan priestly culture was overthrown.
The development of the old Roman State out of the ancient Trojan priestly culture is described in the saga of Aeneas. The latter was one of the outstanding defenders of Troy, who afterwards came over to Italy. There it was that his descendants laid the foundation of ancient Rome. His son Ascanius founded Alba Longa and history now enumerates fourteen kings up to the time of Numitor and Amulius. Numitor was robbed of his throne by his brother Amulius, his son was killed and his daughter, Rhea Silvia, was made to become a vestal virgin, so that the lineage of Numitor should die out. And when Rhea gave birth to the twins, Romulus and Remus, Amulius ordered them to be thrown in the Tiber. The children were rescued, suckled by a she-wolf, and brought up by the royal shepherd Faustulus.
Now history speaks about seven Roman kings: Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tuflus Hostilius, Ancus Martius, Tarquinius Pliscus, Servius Tullius and Tarquinius Superbus.
Following Livy's account (Note 3) it used to be believed that the first seven kings of Rome were real personalities. Today, historians know that these first seven kings never existed.
We are therefore dealing with a saga, but the historians have no inkling of what lies behind it. The basis of the saga is what follows:
The priestly state of Troy founded a colony, the priestly colony of Alba Longa (Alba, an alb, or priest's vestment). (Note 4) It was a colony of a priestly state and Amulius belonged to the last priestly dynasty. A junior priestly culture sprang from this, which was then cut off by a civilisation based on cleverness. History tells us no more about this priestly culture. The veil which was spread over the priestly culture of the earliest Roman history, is lifted by theosophy. The seven Roman kings represent nothing else than the seven principles as we know them from theosophy. Just as the human organism consists of seven parts — Sthula-Sharira [physical body], Linga-Sharira [etheric], Kama-Rupa [astral], Kama-Manas [ego], higher Manas [spirit-self], Buddhi [life-spirit] and Atma [spirit-man] — so the social organism was conceived, as it formed itself at the time, as a sequence in seven stages. And only if it was developed according to the law of the number seven, which lies at the base of all nature, was it able to prosper. Thus the rainbow has seven colours; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Likewise there are seven [intervals in the scale]: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and so on; likewise the atomic weights in chemistry follow the rule of the number seven. And that permeates the whole of creation. Hence it was self-evident to the Guardians of the Ancient Wisdom that the structure of human society must also be regulated by such a law. According to a precisely worked out plan, these seven kings are seven stages, seven [integral] parts. This was the usual way of inaugurating a new epoch in history at that time. A plan was devised, since this was considered a means of preventing any stupidities, and a law was written for it. This plan was actually there at the beginning. Everyone knew that world history was guided according to a fixed plan. Everyone knew: When I am in the third phase of the fourth epoch, I must be guided by this and that. And so, at first, in ancient Rome, one still had a priestly state with a plan at the basis of its culture, which was written down in books, called the Sibylline Books. These are nothing else than the original plan underlying the law of the sevenfold epoch, and they were still consulted when needed in the earliest days of the Roman Empire.
The physical body was taken as a model for the foundations. That is not so unreasonable. Today people are inclined to treat the physical body as something subordinate. People look down on the physical with a kind of disdain. However, that is not justified, because our physical body is our most exalted part. Take a single bone. Take a good look at the upper part of a thigh bone and you will see how wonderfully it is constructed. The best engineer, the greatest technician, could not produce anything so perfect, if he were set the task of attaining the greatest possible strength using the least amount of material. And so the whole human body is constructed in the most perfect way. This physical body is really the most perfect thing imaginable. An anatomist will always speak with the utmost admiration of the human heart, which functions in a wonderful way, even though human beings do little else throughout life than imbibe what is poison for it. Alcohol, tea, coffee and so on attack the heart in the most incredible fashion. But so wonderfully has this organ been built that it can withstand all this into ripe old age.
The physical body, the lowest of the bodies, therefore possesses the greatest perfection. Less perfect, on the other hand, are the higher bodies, which have not yet gained such perfection in their development: the etheric body and the astral body continually offend against our physical body through the attacks of our lust, desires and wishes. Then follows, as the fourth [principle], the real baby [of them all], the human ego, which like a wandering will-o’-the-wisp, must still wait for the future to offer it those rules which will act as a guide for its conduct, just as the physical body has long since had.
When we develop a social structure, we must have that which will make the foundations firm. Thus the saga allows Romulus, the first Roman king, who represents the first principle, to be raised to heaven as the god Quirinus. The second king, Numa Pompilius, the second principle. embodies social order; he brought laws for ordinary living. The third king, Tullus Hostilius, represents the passions. Under him, the attacks against divine nature begin, causing discord, struggle and war, through which Rome became great. Under the fourth king, Ancus Martius, the arts develop, those things which spring out of Kama-Manas, [the human ego].
Now the four lower principles of man are not able to give birth to the three higher principles, the fifth, sixth andc seventh. This is also symbolised in Roman history. The fifth-Roman king, Tarquinius Priscus, was not engendered out of the Roman organism, but was introduced into Roman culture from the Etruscan culture as something higher. The sixth king, Servius Tullus, represents the sixth member of the human cyclic law, Buddhi. He is able to rule over Kama [the astral body], the physical-sensual counterpart of Buddhi. He represents the canon of the law. The seventh king, Tarquinius Superbus, the most exalted principle, is he who must be overthrown, since it is not possible to maintain the high level, the impulse, of the social system.
We see it demonstrated in Roman history that there must be a plan underlying the building of the state, just as for any other building in the world. That the world is a temple, that social life must be structured and organised, and must have pillars like a temple, and that the great sages must be these pillars — it is this intention which is permeated with the ancient wisdom. That is not a kind of wisdom which is merely learned, but one which has to be built into human society. The seven principles were correctly applied. The only person able to work towards the building up of society is he who has absorbed all this knowledge, all this wisdom, into himself. We would not achieve much as theosophists if we were to restrict ourselves to contemplating how the human being is built up from its different members. No, we are only able to fulfil our task if we carry the principles of theosophy into everyday life. We must learn to put them to use in such a way that every turn of the hand, every movement of a finger, every step we take, bears the impress, is an expression of the spirit. In that case we shall be engaged in building the lost temple.
Along with that, however, goes the fact which I mentioned recently — that we should take into ourselves something of the greatness and all embracing comprehensiveness of the universal laws. Our habits of thought must be permeated by that kind of wisdom which leads from great conceptions into the details — just in the same way as house construction starts from the finished and complete plan and not by laying one stone upon another. This demand must be made if our world is not to turn into chaos. As theosophists we should recognise the fact that law is bound to rule in the world as soon as we realise that every step we make, every action of ours, is like an impression stamped in wax by the spiritual world. Then we shall be engaged in the building of the temple. That is the meaning of the temple building: whatever we set ourselves to do must be in conformity to law.
The knowledge that man has to include himself in the construction of the great world temple has become increasingly forgotten. A person can be born and die today without having any inkling of the fact that laws are working themselves out in us, and that everything we do is governed by the laws of the universe The whole of present-day life is wasted, because people do not know that they have to live according to laws. Therefore the priestly sages of ancient times devised means of rescuing, for the new culture, something of the great laws of the spiritual world. It was, so to speak, a stratagem of the great sages, to have hidden this order and harmony in many branches of life — yes, even so far as in the games which men use for their recreation at the end of the day. In playing cards, in the figures of chess, in the sense of rule by which one plays, we find a hint, if only a faint one, of the order and harmony which I have described. When you sit down with someone to a game of cards, it will not do if you do not know the rules, the manner of playing. And this really conveys a hint of the great laws of the universe. What is known as the sephirot of the Cabbala, what we know as the seven principles in their various forms, that is recognised again in the way in which the cards are laid down, one after the other, in the course of the game. Even in the allurements of playing, the adepts have known how to introduce the great cosmic laws, so that, even in play, people have at least a smack of wisdom. At least for those who can play cards, their present incarnation is not quite wasted. These are secrets, how the great Adepts intervene in the wheel of existence. If one told people to be guided by the great cosmic laws, they would not do so. However, if the laws are introduced unnoticed into things, it is often possible to inject a drop of this attitude into them. If you have this attitude, then you will have a notion of what it is which is symbolised in the mighty allegory of the lost temple.
In the secret societies, among which Freemasonry belongs, something connected with the lost temple and its future reconstruction has been described in the Temple Legend. The Temple Legend is very profound, but even the present-day Freemasons usually have no notion of it. A Freemason isnot even very easy to distinguish from the majority of people, and he does not carry much of importance with him in new life. But if he lets the Temple Legend work upon him, it is a great help. For whoever absorbs the Temple Legend receives something which, in a specific way, shapes his thinking in an orderly fashion. And it [all] depends on ordered thinking. This Temple Legend is as follows:
Once one of the Elohim united with Eve, and out of that Cain was born. Another of the Elohim, Adonai or Jehovah-Yahveh, thereupon created Adam. The latter, for his part, united with Eve, and out of this marriage Abel was born. Adonai caused trouble between those belonging to Cain's family and those belonging to Abel's family, and the result of this was that Cain slew Abel. But out of the renewed union of Adam with Eve the race of Seth was founded.
Thus we have two different races of mankind. The one consists of the original descendants of the Elohim, the sons of Cain, who are called the Sons of Fire. They are those who till the earth and create from inanimate nature and transform it through the arts of man. Enoch, one of the descendants of Cain, taught mankind the art of hewing stone, of building houses, of organising society of founding civilised communities. Another of Cain's descendants was Tubal-Cain, who worked in metal. The architect Hiram-Abiff was descended from the same race.
Abel was a shepherd. He held firmly to what he found, he took the world as it was. There is always this antithesis between people. One sticks to things as they are, the other wants to create new life from the inanimate, through art. Other nations have portrayed the ancestor of these Sons of Fire in the Prometheus saga (Note 5) It is the Sons of Fire who have to work into the world the wisdom, beauty and goodness from the all-embracing universal thought, in order to transform the world into a temple.
King Solomon was a descendant of the lineage of Abel. He could not build the temple himself; he lacked the art. Hence he appointed the architect Hiram-Abiff, the descendant of the lineage of Cain. Solomon was divinely handsome. When the Queen of Sheba met him, she thought she saw an image of gold and ivory. She came to unite herself with him.
Jehovah is also called the God of created form, (Note 6) the God who turns what is living into a living force, in contrast with that other Elohim who creates by charming life out of what is lifeless. To which of these does the future belong? That is the great question of the Temple Legend. If mankind were to develop under the religion of Jehovah all life would expire in form. In occult science, that is called the Transition to the Eighth Sphere. (Note 7) But the point in time has now arrived when man himself must awaken the dead to life. That will happen through the Sons of Cain, through those who do not rely on the things around them, but are themselves the creators of new forms. The Sons of Cain themselves frame the building of the world.
When the Queen of Sheba saw the temple and asked who the architect was, she was told it was Hiram. And as soon as she saw him, he seemed to her to be the one who was predestined for her. King Solomon now became jealous; and indeed, he entered into league with three apprentices who had failed to achieve their master's degree, in order to undermine Hiram's great masterpiece, the Molten Sea. This great masterpiece was to be made by casting it. Human spirit was to have been united with the metal. Of the three apprentices, one was a Syrian mason, the second was a Phoenician carpenter, and the third was a Hebrew miner. The plot succeeded: the casting was destroyed by pouring water over it. It all blew apart. In despair the architect was about to throw himself into the heat of the flames. Then he heard a voice from the centre of the earth. This came from Cain himself, who called out to him: ‘Take here the hammer of the world's divine wisdom, with which you must put it all right again.’ And Cain gave him the hammer. Now it is the spirit of man which man builds into his astral body, if he is not to let it remain in the condition in which he received it. This is the work which Hiram now had to do. But there was a plot against his life. We shall proceed from there next time.
I wanted to recount the legend up to this point, to show how, in the original occult brotherhoods, the thought lived, that man has a task to fulfil; the task of restructuring the inanimate world, of not being satisfied with what is already there. Wisdom thus becomes deed through its penetration of the inanimate world, so that the world should become a reflection of the original and eternal spirituality.
Wisdom, Beauty, Strength are the three fundamental words of all Freemasonry. So to change the outer world, that it becomes a garment for the spiritual — that is its task. Today, the Freemasons themselves no longer understand this, and believe that man should work on his own ego. (Note 8) They regard themselves as particularly clever when they say that the working masons of the Middle Ages were not Freemasons. But the working masons were precisely those who have always been Freemasons, because outward structure was to become the replica of the spiritual, of the temple of the world, which is to be constructed out of intuitive wisdom. This is the thought which formerly under lay the great works of architecture, and was carried through into every detail.
I will illustrate by an example the superiority of wisdom over mere intellect. Let us take an old Gothic cathedral, and consider the wonderful acoustics, which cannot be matched today, because this profound knowledge has been lost.
The famous Lake Moeris in Egypt is just such a wonder-work of the human spirit. It was not a natural lake, but was constructed through the intuition of the wise men, so that water could be stored in time of flood, for distribution over the whole country in time of drought. That was a great feat of irrigation.
When man learns to create with the same wisdom with which the divine powers have created Nature and made physical things, then will the temple be built [on earth]. It does not depend upon how many separate things we have the power to create out of our own wisdom; we must however just have the attitude of mind that knows that only by means of wisdom can the temple of humanity be created.
When, today, we go about the cities, here there is a shoe shop, there a chemist, further on a cheese-monger and a shop selling walking sticks. If just now we do not want anything, why should that concern us? How little does the outward life of such a city reflect what we feel, think and perceive! How very different it was in the Middle Ages. If a person walked through the streets then, he saw the house fronts built in the resident's style, manner and character. Every door knob expressed what the man had lovingly shaped to suit his spirit. Go, for instance, through a town such as Nuremberg: there you will still find the basis of how it used to be. And then, by contrast, take the fashionable abstraction that no longer has anything to do with people. That is the age of materialism and its chaotic productions, to which one has step by step come from an earlier spiritual epoch.
Man was born from a nature which was once so formed by the gods that everything within it fitted the great scheme of the world, the great temple. There was once a time when there was nothing on this earth upon which you could gaze without having to say to oneself: Divine beings have built this temple to the stage in which the human physical body was perfected. Then the higher principles (the psychic forces) [of man's nature] took possession of it, and through this disarray and chaos came into the world. Wishes, desires and emotions brought disarray into the temple of the world. Only when, out of man's own will, law and order once again shall speak in a loftier and more beautiful way than the gods once did in creating Nature, only when man allows the god within him to arise, so that like a god he can build towards the temple — only then will the lost temple be regained.
It would not be right if we were to think that only those who are able to build should do so. No, it depends upon the attitude of mind, even if one knows a great deal. If one has the right direction to one's thinking, and then one engages in social, technical and juristic reform, then one is building the lost temple which is to be rebuilt. But should one start reforms — however well-intended they may be — lacking this attitude of mind, then one is only bringing about more chaos. For the individual stone is useless, if it does not fit into the overall plan [of the building]. Reform the law, religion, or anything else — as long as you only take account of the particular item, without having an understanding of the whole, it only results in a demolition.
Theosophy is thus not just theory, but practice, the most practical thing in the world. It is a fallacy to suppose that theosophists are recluses, not engaged in shaping the world. If we could bring people to engage in social reform from a theosophical basis, (Note 9) they would achieve much of what they want swiftly and surely. For, without needing to say anything against particular movements, they only lead to fanaticism if pursued in isolation. All separate reform movements — emancipators, abstainers, vegetarians, animal protectors and so forth — are only useful if they all work together. Their ideal can only be properly realised in a great universal movement that leads in unity to the universal world temple.
That is the idea that lies behind the allegory of the lost temple which has to be rebuilt.

Notes from replies to questions
Question: What is the difference between the sons of Cain and the sons of Abel?
Answer: The sons of Cain are the unripe ones; the sons of Abel are the over-ripe ones. The sons of Abel turn to the higher spheres when they have finished with these incarnations. The sons of Abel are the Solar Pitris [those who underwent their human stage on the Old Sun]; the sons of Cain are the most mature of the Lunar Pitris [those who passed their human stage on the Old Moon].

Question: Why have so many mystical and masonic associations developed?
Answer: All higher work is only to be undertaken in an association. The Knights of the Round Table generally numbered twelve.

Question: Are you acquainted with the work of Albert Schaffle? (Note 10)
Answer: Albert Schaffle wrote a work about sociology, and the account he gives is much more masonic than what emanates from the lodges of Freemasonry.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Earth Is Really a Tetrahedron; Volcanoes and Sun Forces

 Diagram 12

The Evolution of the Earth and Man and the Influence of the Stars. Lecture 12.
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, September 18, 1924:

Rudolf Steiner: Good morning, gentlemen! Perhaps someone has a question?
Question: Why does lightning not come in a straight line? — instead of zigzag. Should it not take a straight line?
Dr. Steiner: So — the questioner thinks that when lightning is released from the air, as I described last time, it ought to come in a straight line. But it takes a zigzag form, and can that be explained? Yes, one can indeed explain it.
Let us consider again the explanation I gave of how lightning actually comes about. I told you that lightning comes out of the overheated air, the overheated universe, the overheated cosmic gas. I said that there is no question of lightning arising from some sort of friction of the clouds. Clouds, of course, are wet, and if you want to produce miniature lightning with laboratory apparatus, everything must first be wiped absolutely dry. It must not be supposed, therefore, that lightning is a true electrical phenomenon that comes about from the friction of dry elements. It is known that when one rubs glass or sealing wax one produces electricity, and so people think that if clouds rub together — well, then there'll be electricity there too. But that is not so. What happens is this: As a consequence of the inner overheating of the cosmic gas, the warmth living in the cosmic gas comes out in the way I have described. Through the fact that the air exerts less pressure toward one side or another, the radiation of the overheated force goes toward that side, and lightning flashes.
Now, let us imagine that we have this happening somewhere. In consequence of the greatly overheated cosmic gas — not clouds — the lightning flashes out. And it is quite correct to think that it should stream out in a straight line.
But you see, it is like this. Picture to yourselves: If an accumulation of heat is present somewhere, it is generally not alone; there are similar accumulations in the neighborhood. In fact, if the Earth is here, let us say, and one looks up there and lightning begins where a concentration of heat exists, then in the neighborhood there are other accumulations: they are not all at one single place. You can imagine, of course, that these accumulations of heat are connected with the Sun's radiations to the various places. Now there are these heat accumulations along the entire path of the lightning, and while it is streaming out it snatches up these other accumulations in its course. So it shines here, then over there, and so on. It takes all the other accumulations with it, and so it moves quite irregularly, and gets this seemingly zigzag formation. The lower it descends, the more it does move in a straight line. There are no longer these heat accumulations; they were higher up. The zigzag of the lightning comes about because it does not arise in one single spot, but from where the heat accumulations are strongest and then it carries the others along on its way. That's similar to when you're out walking and you meet an acquaintance and take him along with you, then the two of you pick up another one, and so on. So that's the story of the lightning.
Now perhaps someone has another question?
Question: Could we hear something about the origin of volcanoes?
Dr. Steiner: That's a question that can't be answered quite so quickly. I will lead you to the point where you can find an answer to it. For if you read present-day books you can certainly find all sorts of ideas on the origin of volcanoes, but if you read older books, lying farther back in time, you find other views, and in still earlier books again other views. People have never inquired into the real origin of the Earth, and so views on volcanic phenomena have changed in the course of time. As a matter of fact no one has been able to form a true idea of how these fire-erupting mountains originated.
One must go very far back if one wants to understand this. Otherwise one cannot grasp how it happens that at certain spots on the Earth fiery, molten masses come out. One will be able to form an idea of it only if one first of all rejects the dictum that the Earth was once a balloon of gas, that it became more and more solid, and that there is fire in the interior which for some reason or other comes out here or there. That is a convenient explanation, but it brings us no nearer to an understanding.
I'll tell you a little story. It's a long time ago, more than forty years, that we made a certain experiment in the laboratory of the geologist Hochstetter of Vienna. He is long since dead. We produced a substance that contained — among other things — a little sulphur. We didn't put it all together, but this is what we did: here someone had a bit of the stuff, there someone had a bit, over there a bit, and so on, and we hurled, we shot the substance, all of us, toward a certain point. In this way there arose a little globe with all sorts of hills which was curiously like the Moon seen through a telescope. Thus at that time in Hochstetter's geological laboratory an experiment was actually made by which a small moon was created. The surface of the Moon as it is seen through a telescope had come out quite wonderfully. The whole thing looked just like a little moon. Above all one could realize that a cosmic body need not originate as gas, but can actually be flung together from all corners of the universe. Nor can we explain our Earth in any other way than by its being thrown together out of the universe.
Now in connection with this I want to explain something that is little spoken of today but which is nevertheless true. You hear it said everywhere, don't you, that the Earth is a globe, has formed itself as a globe. Now actually it is not true that the Earth is a globe! I will explain to you what the Earth really Is. It is only fantasy that the Earth is a globe. If we picture the Earth's true form as a regular solid, we come to what in science is called a tetrahedron. I will draw it for you, naturally only in perspective. A tetrahedron looks like this:
Diagram 10

You see there are one, two, three triangles and here in front the fourth triangle. Can you picture it? It stands on a triangle, a triangle is underneath; and on that triangle, the base, are three other triangles; that forms a little pyramid. That is how we picture a tetrahedron. We must be clear that four triangles are joined to one another. We must stand it up on one triangle and the other three range upward like a pyramid. That is a perfectly regular solid.
But now imagine that I round out the surfaces of these triangles a little, then it becomes a little different. Now it stands on what has become rounded but yet is still free. And the sides of the triangles which formerly were straight lines are now rounded too. Can you picture that? So now there  arises a form which is actually a tetrahedron become round! And you see, our  Earth is actually such a rounded tetrahedron.
Diagram 11

This can even be established to the extent of finding the edges, the sides of this  Earth-tetrahedron. It is like this: suppose I draw the Earth as it is often drawn, on a flat plane — then here would be North America, here South America, between them Central America; over here we have Africa; here we have Europe. And there is Asia Minor, the Mediterranean, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, in fact Europe. Up here we have Scandinavia. There is England and over there is Asia. So we have Asia here, Africa here, Europe here, and America here.
Diagram 12

Now the South Pole is here, and around the South Pole in particular there are many volcanic mountains. There is the North Pole. And now it is like this: we can trace a line that goes from Central America, from the Colima volcano, down through the mountains that are called the Andes, down to the South Pole. It is rounded, but actually though rounded it is this edge of the Earth. Then it goes on from the South Pole, goes over here past Africa to the volcanic mountains of the Caucasus. Then the same line comes over here, past Switzerland, over the Rhine and arrives here.
If you follow this line, which looks like a triangle, you can compare it with this triangle here. And so, if you take this portion of the Earth, it is the base of a tetrahedron.
Just think, the base of a tetrahedron! Now: how do we come to that point there? Well, we have to go through to the other side of the Earth. But I cannot draw that, I would have to make everything round. If I were to make it round, I would come to the point just over there in Japan. Thus if I mark the tetrahedron, here we have Central America, here the South Pole, here the Caucasus, and over there, which one cannot see, would be Japan.
Diagram 13

If we picture the Earth in this way, we have it existing in the universe as a rounded-out pyramid that sends its apex over there to Japan and has its base here, containing Africa, South America, and the whole Southern Ocean. So the  Earth stands in the universe, curiously, as such a rounded-out tetrahedron, as a kind of pyramid. That, gentlemen, is actually still the form of the Earth!
And now if you take these lines that I've drawn forming the tetrahedron, you find that most of the volcanic mountains are located along the lines. You have these frightful fire-belching mountains of which you've often heard over in South America, in Chile and other places, then around the South Pole; and then you have the mighty ones in the Caucasus. And when you come over here, we don't have so many in our part of the continent, and yet it can be shown that the fiery mountains were once here, but are now extinct. For instance, when you drive along the stretch of road from northern Silesia to Breslau, you see a mountain standing conspicuously alone which is still feared by the people of today. If you examine its rocks, you find this dreaded mountain standing there is simply an extinct volcano. Similarly we have extinct volcanoes in many parts of Germany.
And now let us go further. We have only marked out the base. Then we have lines everywhere that go over toward Japan. Yes, and you see, along all these lines one would always be able to find volcanoes on the Earth's surface! You can see that if someone would sit down and draw the most important volcanoes, not on a flat surface, but so that they formed a solid, he would get this shape of the Earth. Strangely, the volcanic mountains give us the lines that make the Earth into a tetrahedron.
Diagram 14

So now, if you do not picture the Earth as originally a ball of gas which then became condensed — that's the convenient opinion which people hold — if you explain it as having been formed by substance flung from all sides, then you must admit something else. If the Earth is a tetrahedron, a regular solid, you'll have to explain it by imagining that a great master geometrician with plenty of knowledge had actually pushed the Earth together from outside, along the lines which we still see today. Now imagine that I draw this tetrahedron, that I first fling this triangle in here from the periphery, then this triangle, then this, and then the one up above. I make it as small boys do: they cut out four triangles, tilt them together from outside and then glue them together to form a tetrahedron. And the Earth too has originated like that, it has been flung together as triangles from outside.
Now watch the boys when they paste the triangles together: where they join the sides they must be careful to apply the paste or the glue evenly. As to the Earth, at the places I've shown you — South America, then here toward the Caucasus, and over here through the Alps, and so on — there the Earth was originally “cemented” together! But one finds when one examines the mountains that there it has, so to say, been joined rather badly; the sides don't quite fit together. If in particular we trace the mountains that go over here from the Caucasus through our Carpathians and Alps, we can show from the form of the mountains that they have not yet quite grown together. The Earth actually consists of four pieces flung out of cosmic space and joined together, four pieces which then form a tetrahedron, and along the edges there are still, as it were, places not tightly closed. At these leaky places it is possible for the cosmic heat from the Sun to get into the Earth more than at other places.
Now, when the Sun's power enters into these places beneath the surface of the Earth, they become hotter and get soft — as is always the case when things, even metals, are consumed by fire — and they make an outlet for themselves in the direction of those places which are not properly fastened together. Then through the combined cosmic action of the Sun and the “cemented” places of the Earth there arise these regular volcanoes, the fire-belching mountains.
However, volcanoes are found at other places too. Etna, for instance, and Vesuvius do not, it is true, lie along these edges; where they are, no such line passes through. In fact, the very volcanoes that are not located along the principal lines are especially instructive, for one can learn from them what causes the eruptions to occur.
You see, it can always be shown that when things like fiery eruptions happen on the Earth, they are connected with the constellations, the relation of the stars to the Sun. An eruption can never occur unless at some particular place the Sun is able to shine more strongly than usual because it is not covered by other stars. If it is covered by other stars, as is generally the case, then the sunshine is normal. Starlight is everywhere; one must not think that the stars are not up there during the day, it is just that we don't see them. In the old city of Jena where people had time to do such things, where so many German philosophers taught, where Haeckel lived too, there is a deep cellar with a tower above it, open at the top. If you go down into this cellar in the daytime and look up through the tower it is all dark inside, but you see up above the most beautiful starry sky. When it is daytime, and clear and bright outside, you can see the most beautiful starlit heavens, with stars everywhere.
But when the stars are in such a position that the Sun can develop its heat to full strength, when they do not obstruct the Sun, then the Sun's forces of warmth shine down upon some special places. These are the places where, after the Earth had been fastened together, later volcanoes arose. They came about later. On the other hand, those that lie along the edges of the tetrahedron are the original volcanoes.
Now, sometimes a man who has no place in the ordinary life of science discovers quite useful things in this direction. Perhaps you've heard, or at least the older ones among you, of a certain Falb? He was neither an astronomer nor a geologist nor geographer nor natural scientist, but a former priest who had given up his calling — run away from it! He devoted himself especially to a study of star constellations and whether they really have an influence on the Earth. He came to the opinion that constellations are connected with volcanoes, that when the influence of the Sun is supported by the stars in a certain way, a volcano erupts. He maintained further that floods also come about for the same reason, because the situation attracts water: beneath, the heated mass; above, the water.
And he contended still more: that in the mines the miners suffer most of all from so-called firedamp, that is, when the air in the mines catches fire of itself. He asked himself how this could happen. He decided that for this to happen the stars must aid the Sun activity by giving it full play. Then the  Sun shines too strongly into the mine, and the air in the mine ignites. Therefore, said Falb, if one knows about mining conditions, one ought to be able to say when firedamp may be expected in the course of the year. So he made a calendar and indicated when according to the constellations firedamp must occur somewhere. Those were the so-called critical days which he marked in his calendar.
This calendar has been printed many times and Falb's critical days are still there. Now what was to be expected when these days were reached? Either the eruption of a volcano, or an earthquake (an earthquake is a subterranean wave, subterranean overheating), or a flood, or firedamp. Now, gentlemen, I was present once at an amusing little incident. You see, this Falb was very clever, he had been able to light upon these facts, but he was also very conceited, frightfully conceited. As you know, to be learned is no protection from vanity. And the following happened. About forty years ago I was at a lecture given by Falb. He went with great pompousness and a well-pleased expression up to the podium and began his address. He said: Yes, this very day the stars are in a position from which one can expect the occurrence of considerable firedamp. At that moment the door opened and a messenger from the “New Free Press” entered and handed him a telegram. Falb stood up there with his long patriarchal beard and said: “It must be something important if they send it to me straight to the lecture room!” He took out his knife and cut the telegram open and read: “A terrible firedamp has occurred!” Now you can imagine the publicity he got! Falb had just said, “Firedamp could happen today” and the messenger brings the telegram! “You see,” he said, “one gets proofs laid on the table!” Those were his words. But the whole thing smelled of show business. Falb knew quite well that firedamp was due: that was correct. But he went early in the day to the office of the “New Free Press” and left word that if such a telegram came, they should send it immediately to the lecture hall.
That is one of the tricks to which bad speakers gladly resort — though usually in a milder form! I am quite pleased to relate the story so that audiences may be warned to be a little cautious and not simply to accept everything. The clientele that Falb had at that time rustled with silk dresses and tuxedos: it was a very distinguished one. But you should have seen how impressed they were by his performance! However strongly he might have voiced his opinion in words, the audience would never have been so convinced as they were by the entry at exactly the right moment of the messenger with the telegram. People would much rather be convinced through external events than by what can be put into words.
So one can say that at certain places, namely, at the edges of this tetrahedron, the Earth is actually not quite joined together. It is exposed therefore to the cosmic warmth of Sun and stars, and the consequence is that those lines showing active volcanoes can be drawn. Outbursts of volcanic fire can, of course, occur at other spots too.
But now does this imply that the interior of the Earth must necessarily be molten fire? That is what is constantly maintained. Actually there is no other proof of it than the fact that it becomes warmer and warmer the deeper one sinks a shaft into the Earth. Still, one cannot go very deep. Moreover, with this increase of warmth as one descends into the Earth there is likewise an increase of pressure. Whatever might be dissolved by the heat and become fluid is pressed together again by the pressure in the interior. If the Earth were really molten inside then something else would not be in accord. One can consider, for instance, the weight of the Earth. It is naturally hypothetical, since the Earth floats freely in the universe and cannot be weighed. In order to weigh it, one would have to have it on top of another, gigantic Earth, for if there is to be weight there must be something that attracts, that develops gravity. One could calculate how much it would weigh from how it attracts other bodies; in fact, such a calculation has been made. But if it were possible to weigh the Earth one would find that it is far, far heavier than it would be if it were fluid inside. Goethe for this reason vigorously attacked the idea that the earth was molten fire inside.
Now when one knows how the Earth has been created, when one sees that it is really an incompletely fastened tetrahedron, there is then no need to picture it as molten inside and to suppose that at certain times, one wouldn't know why or wherefore, it must suddenly erupt fire — like a moody, hysterical person! If the Earth were molten inside, one would have to fancy that it is actually a little crazy — like a man who is insane and at any sudden moment begins to rage; one doesn't know when the moments will occur. But this is not true of the Earth. You can always show where the warmth comes from: that it comes from outside, that at this moment such powerful heating occurs, not at all very deep in the Earth, that it forces an outlet for itself.
So the fire when Vesuvius or any other volcano erupts originates only when the cosmic temperature has become fiery. It always takes a little time before the effect is seen. The particular constellation of stars, for instance, must first work upon the Earth for a time.
But that also follows from certain facts which I have already related here in quite a different connection. Suppose here is a part of the Earth: the Sun's rays strike upon it powerfully, and underneath, something develops that later seeks an outlet through an eruption or an earthquake.
You see, what I drew first, the powerful warmth going down into the Earth: people don't feel that, because they don't pay attention. At most, a few people go about the place where as yet there is no hint of volcanic activity though the effects of the Sun's activity are already present in the air, and these few have violent stomachaches, others have headaches, migraine, others find that their heart is disturbed. But people put up with all that in a vague fashion and take no notice. But the animals, as I have said in another connection, which have more delicate noses, finer organs in this respect, perceive what is happening and break away. The people, in spite of their stomachaches and headaches, don't know why the animals have become so restless and are running away. But after a few days the earthquake comes, or the volcanic eruption. The animals have fled because they already scented what was coming; human beings are so coarsely organized in this respect that they are not aware of the event until the whole business is on top of them.
You can see from this that something is already happening a long time in advance before the final event takes place. What is happening is the streaming in of a bit of cosmic heat. But you can still put a question. You can say: This cosmic heat only heats the ground, and where the Earth contains substances that are easily inflammable there could of course be ignition ... but why should it all flare up instantly? Here I'll tell you something else. When one goes to Italy, to the places between Rome and Naples, particularly to the neighborhood of Naples, and to the islands and peninsulas on the coast, the guides always delight in showing one the following experiment. They take a piece of paper and light it and hold it so — in a moment smoke begins to come out of the Earth! The Earth smokes — why? Because the air becomes warm from the burning paper and so becomes lighter and expands. The warmth caused by the Sun's heat streams out of the Earth as smoke. This is very interesting to see. One lights a piece of paper and instantly the Earth smokes at that spot.
Now think of that enlarged to giant proportions: the Sun heating not only the ground below, but also the air above — and you have Vesuvius. And when the latter has once established itself — well, then the beginning has been made, and the process continues in places that are especially favorable to it. It is interesting to realize that those very things that take place on Earth irregularly are caused by the whole of cosmic space.
Now I told you that when we flung out that sulphur substance during those days in the geological laboratory, we produced something that really looked like a little moon. And so when one observes the real Moon, whom our little moon actually resembled, one gets the idea that it too has been flung together out of the universe. That is one idea one gets.
The other idea is established through spiritual scientific investigation, namely, that the Moon has actually been thrown together in the cosmos, mainly from the Earth. What does that imply? Well, we did that too in the laboratory. First we threw together such a cosmic body out of substances. Then we attacked it from all sides, flinging material against it from outside, and lo and behold — it became more and more like a moon. And what has one got then? Well, one has the whole process. The main mass of the Moon was cast out from the Earth, and once it was there, fine matter from every part of space was flung against it. Fine matter is always present in the universe — it falls down in the meteors — it is always being flung out. And so one has the origin of the  Moon. These things are all connected.
The development of science, you know, is sometimes remarkable. A monument stands today in Heilbronn — certainly it is rather dreadful as a work of art, but still it stands there and represents Julius Robert Mayer. If you hear about him in science today, you learn that he was a pioneering genius through his researches in the 40's of the last century into the nature of the action of heat. Julius Robert Mayer was born in Heilbronn, practiced there as a doctor, and went about without being particularly noticed. The scientists of the time paid no special attention to him. And although today he is described everywhere as a highly gifted pioneer in physics, at that time when he sat for his medical examination at Tubingen he failed it. If you made investigations, you would come on the remarkable fact that the majority of men who later became geniuses failed earlier in their examinations. And this was also the fate of Julius Robert Mayer. By the skin of his teeth, he managed to get through and become a doctor. But no one considered him remarkable during his lifetime — in fact, quite the contrary. He became so enthusiastic about his discovery that he talked of it everywhere. Then people said that his mind was wandering and put him in an asylum. His own generation put him in a madhouse, while posterity looks upon him as a great genius and puts up a monument to him in his native town.
It was Julius Robert Mayer who as a result of thought and investigation asked how it was that the Sun, which gives us so much heat, does not become cold. He said to himself that it does not become as cold as it ought to become after always giving out warmth. He thought therefore that comets, an immense number of comets, must continually rush into the Sun, hurled toward it from the universe. They are very fine, tenuous bodies, but they rush into it. It is true that they rush into the Sun. The Sun is very different from what the physicists of today imagine. They would be very astonished if they were to approach it: they would not find fiery gas but they would find something that causes any earthly substance to be sucked in and disappear. The Sun is an empty space that exerts suction. It is not a globe of gas. It resembles a pearl in the universe, a suction globe with nothing in it that one looks for, but which continuously absorbs this mass of comets. The fine etheric structures of the universe, which are almost spiritual, are continuously being sucked in by the Sun as nourishment. We still see today, therefore, this dashing against the Sun. This should draw our attention, gentlemen, to something important.
You see, when one arrives at the fact that the Earth is really a tetrahedron — well, if one has been obliged to study such forms and to note the number of sides and corners, one realizes that a certain knowledge of geometry is necessary to understand how to construct them. They don't come about so simply. Boys enjoy doing it, making these tetrahedrons, cubes, octahedrons, icosahedrons, dodecahedrons, the five regular solids. The boys like to put them together from sheets of cardboard, gluing the pieces together, but one needs geometry for it. Now the Earth is formed in this very way out of the universe — formed from knowledge of geometry, in this sense, not formed through calculation, but with knowledge — for it is regular! You can infer from this that there is really geometry in the world, that everything is in accord with geometry. That is true. Real science shows us something that I have always stated, namely, that thoughts are spread out in the world, thoughts are everywhere, and only those people don't find them who have none themselves!
It is very praiseworthy, is it not, to be a free and independently thinking person? And yet it is slightly ridiculous to find the expression “freethinker,” which has appeared in modern times, in the 19th century. Thinking independently: that is very good, but many in their freedom have misused this expression “freethinker.” And the men who have felt themselves to be the freest thinkers were just those who had the fewest thoughts, who simply repeated what other people had said. An Englishman made a delightful remark: he said, “Free thought does not mean that people have thoughts, but that they are free from thought” — a remark that has been much quoted. What is a freethinker? A freethinker is one who is free from thinking! Well, in science one must endeavor not to develop such freedom from thought, or else nothing will be achieved. The actual form of the Earth could long ago have been discovered — the fact that it is not a completely spherical cabbage-head, but that it has something of the shape of a tetrahedron!
Knowledge of the Earth is related to knowledge of man. Man imitates the universe in his own form. He copies the universe in his head, and so the head is round up above like the round universe. Below, where the jaws begin, there are quite remarkable structures: they come from the triangular earth. In the jaw formation you find triangles everywhere, they come from below, from the triangular Earth. With both, men copy the universe: they have more or less rounded heads above, and the Earth-forces reach up from below.
Look for it sometime. You will find in most varied ways man's tendency (and animals) to triangular formation in the jaws; this comes from the Earth. Forces work upward from the Earth and imprint the triangle into him. And the universe works downward from above and molds the rounded form. It is very interesting!
That is knowledge that may be gained if one penetrates genuine science correctly. If one is free from thought, then one talks all sorts of nonsense. And in our time all sorts of nonsense is talked; that cannot lead to an understanding of what things are in their reality.
So, gentlemen, let us speak further about this next Saturday.

We have to learn from anthroposophy to be fully human so that we do not experience the disgrace of being less than the animals.


Rudolf Steiner:  "We have to learn from anthroposophy to be fully human so that we do not experience the disgrace of being less than the animals."

Source: February 2, 1923. GA 221. Earthly Knowledge and Heavenly Wisdom, p. 14

A different translation: