The Etheric Formative Forces In Cosmos, Earth and Man by Dr. Guenther Wachsmuth

Etheric Formative Forces by Dr. Guenther Wachsmuth

Introduction

THE modem scientific conception of the world seeks to reduce the endless diversity of all natural phenomena to two fundamental ideas, two concepts lying at the foundation of all things : matter and ether. But the conceptions held by the most advanced investigators in regard to these two ultimate basic units are so wide apart that the time is certainly already at hand when the whole structure of theory reared upon these two debatable basic concepts is trembling to its fall. The time has come, therefore, when the knowledge which spiritual science has attained of ether and its activities in Nature may be intro-duced into discussion without the expectation that one must encounter insurmountable obstacles due to a certain dogmatism which has, unfortunately, arisen to some extent among scientists during the last half-century.

The distinguished investigator of ether, V. Eenard, says in his well-known lecture “ Uber Ather und Materie,” delivered before the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences,1 that, if a scientist of our age is asked how the world appears according to his conception, he must answer thus : “In expressing himself on this subject, he must first make it clear that what he has to say deals only with that part of the world which is accessible to quantitative research through the help of our physical senses.f It is just here, in this quantitative characteristic, the possibility of comparing all results quantitatively with the reality and thus testing them, that physical science differs from the mental sciences, which deal primarily with the other part of the world. That part of the world which lends itself to quantitative research by means of the physical senses we may call also the material world. It is only with this that the scientist has to do ; it is of this that he has formed an idea ” (p. 5). One must certainly examine critically this tendency in the scientific mode of conception of the past century if one would reach a fruitful view regarding the nature of ether and matter, and if one wishes to know why, under the self-imposed limitations of this tendency in scientific research—that is, the

of the evolution of the cosmic system,—left them behind in order that they, encircling the sun, might follow it—so also the instinct beings and their creations in the phenomenal world, the animals, are thrown out and remain behind in the evolutionary course of the human being, surrounding him at lower stages.

Whoever maintains that man is a product of the higher evolution of the animal, is uttering a contradiction similar to that of the man who would say that the sun is a product of the evolution of the planets and their satellites.

Whoever, on the other hand, says that the human being in the course of his evolution cast out from himself those lower instinct beings* and formative forces which could not share in his evolutionary course, which remained behind him, just as the sun threw the planets out from itself and let them grow cold, such a man speaks not only intelligently but also speaks the truth, in accordance with the spirit of Genesis.

But not only is there a great distinction in world-conceptions but also a decisive turning point in human evolution, a boundary line according as we say that man is a more highly evolved animal, or that the instinct beings and their organic creations the animals are, as it were, a hardened residue of lower portions of being which the self-evolving human being cast out from himself and left behind in his environment.

Such an origin of humanity is taught by Anthroposophy, in contrast with the conception other schools of thought hold in regard to the human being striving for the truth. Research into the living, into the organic • will at this point reach its line of demarcation.

Before we pass on to the consideration of the human being and his living organism, we will endeavour to grasp comprehensively what distinguishes the kingdoms of Nature.

What chiefly distinguishes man from the animals ? This question carries its own answer. We men differentiate ourselves from our outer world and inner world by means of thought, in that we distinguish between true and false, understanding and error, knowledge and belief, upward evolution and decadence : in that we seek to place our ego in conscious relationship with the realities of the phenomenal world on the one hand and the world of pure spirit on the other; in that we endeavour so to extend knowledge by means of thought that at the end of our way the all as reality becomes one with the all embraced by our ego through thought, becomes identical with it. This ego evolving itself in a striving of thought and action toward its goal is the sole true designation of man, that which distinguishes him from the animal.

* For details, see Dr. H. Poppelbaum : ” Mensch und Tier.” Basel, 1928, English Edition, ” Man and Animal.” London, 1931.

The animal also certainly has a soul, but no ego reflecting concerning itself and its action in striving toward a goal. The soul of the animal is clearly determined in its content through the sum total of all the instincts which, as has been described, through a common working together, through a group-will, create for themselves the organism without which they could not live in the phenomenal world. But this group-will is differently constituted in the case of the different sorts of animals. If, for instance, the group-will has the configuration which we have previously described, then there arises the siphonophoral animal. It will naturally be of a different sort when, for instance, the species ” lion ” comes into existence ; different when the “ eagle ” kind arises ; still other when the species “ cow ” arises ; it will contain in one instance the instinct beings which desire to live as “ lions,” in another case those which will live as “ eagles,” or such as will live as ” cows.” But for all animals of the ” lion ” kind this group-soul is the same ; for all of the ” eagle ” kind the same ; for all of the ” cow ” kind the same. It begets in that special configuration which creates for it the organism of the lion, and naturally never that of the eagle ; but’it is always the same for the lion species, the lion kind.

Here lies the distinction :■—The animal soul is a group-soul, which is the same for all animals of the same species, created by it; it distinguishes itself only from the group-souls of the other species of animals or animal kinds. The single animal has no ego, which, reflecting about itself, separates itself from the outer world, in order to set itself over against this world through thinking and knowing, as a separate entity, in order through knowing to master all the rest of. the world instead of being mastered by it. This conscious separation of the self is possible to man alone, the individual human soul, the human ego. That in man which still resembles a group-soul is for that reason a residue in him, and belongs to the animal kingdom ! We shall not here discuss the question how great this residue often is even now. But what distinguishes man as such, separates him fundamentally from the animal, is the fact that he is endowed with that ego through which the individual soul, conscious and striving toward its goal, will in the course of evolution gradually be freed from the residue pertaining to the group-souls and animal nature. It is for this reason that only the human being, and he also only when his conduct is determined entirely b,y the ego, is free ; for this reason he alone is as an individual immortal, imperishable.

. Bor this ego creates for itself an incarnation as a transitional stage in its passage through the phenomenal world. It is not the task of this book to enter further into these realities. The ‘‘ Philosophic der Freiheit”*

* Translated under the title “ The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity.*’ London, 1922.

and other writings of Dr. Rudolf Steiner teach these things profoundly, as they are.

Here we shall only indicate what integral parts of the living organism appear in the several kingdoms of Nature, The group-soul of the animal is descended, as we have seen in the case of the siphonophoran from a desire-world, a world of instinct-beings, which create in the living organism of the animal, or in the species of animals, their work-tools, in order to be able to incarnate themselves in the phenomenal world. This group-soul can be the object of research in the phenomenal world only in its working-tools-—the single animals, and, since it is a closed complex, it can be given its designation ; just as we give the designation “ physical body ” to the physical and substantial phenomena, or as we give the designation “ ether body ” to the totality of etheric formative forces working and shaping in these individual organisms. It has now become customary to apply the designation “ astral body ” to these closed soul-units formed out of the instinct-world in specific living beings. Whoever, by reason of a mechanical and materialistic habit of thought conceives of some sort of substantial unity in the case of this designation “ body ” as applied to these non-physical members of being has himself to blame for the error. The term ” body ” here signifies only a combination of all the principles present—that is, active—in a specific organism :—•

“ Physical body ” means the sum of all the substances belonging at

any moment to this organism (and these of course also change).

“ Ether body ” means the etheric formative forces working in this

living organism in its shaping and its life manifestations.

“ Astral body ” means the combination of the instincts, desires,

passions working and shaping in this specific organism—that is, the sum of soul-impulses.

The designation f< astral body ” has been chosen for the reason that an earlier intuitive knowledge, which passed beyond research in the lifeless, in the physically perceptible and the substantial, placed -this member of the animal’s being in relationship with the “ astral” with the stars, and therefore spoke of an “ animal circle ”* in the heavens, as of a sphere of the archetypes of the creation and designated this with different animal symbols ; a thing which we have now taken over automatically and without understanding, as in another instance to which we have referred, we have taken over from Kepler only the dead skeleton of his three laws, and not the spiritual knowledge to which these three laws belong inseparably and out of which they sprang. Kepler says in his “ Harmonices Mundi “ ^hus shines in the sold of the earth also a copy of the " animal circle ” as indeed of the whole visible starry firmament, a bond of sympathy between the heavens and the earth.” Whoever still prefers to see in the earth only a mass of substance moving itself unintelligibly through the dead cosmos, after the manner of a dynamo-machine, can at least accept the term astral body for the soul-element in the animal as a permissible designation for this member of the animal-being for the sake of a mutual understanding; but that he must soon mark the end of his knowledge with the word “ ignorabimus ” we have already shown. If we now consider the kingdoms of Nature with reference to the question how the several members of being appear in these kingdoms, then we shall find the following: Of the members of being, Man possesses : Ego, astral body, ether body, physical body. The animal possesses : only astral body, ether body, physical body. The plant possesses ; only ether body, physical body. The mineral possesses : only physical body. We have at the beginning of this chapter traced the manner in which substance as such undergoes a process of individualization in that it progresses from the denial of the laws of the earth in the case of gas to a one-sided assumption of form through the effect of the earth-organism in the liquid, and finally in the solid body enters into a state which, taking fully into itself the laws of the earth organism, has become individualized in itself. There is inside of the earth organism, moreover, an ascent in this course of evolution in substance ; scientifically it is called the polarization figures. In speaking of this Dr. Steiner has warned us that the co-operation of light in connection with this phenomenon is not the most essential element, for light only mediates to us the possibility to perceive this phenomenon as such. For an exact observation of the fact, the essential thing is the truth that here two individual substance-figures, two substance-individualities, merge into a new unity, in that two hitherto individual forms now penetrate each other and through the mediation of the same light common to both give a new closed picture which shows the two blended individualities as a single unity. Let us now recall how we can follow the' etheric formative forces in their work in the different fields, how they weave and create this picture which we experience as our phenomenal world, as the shaped and coloured substance-world. We can, then, look comprehensively upon the activity of the etheric formative forces, as it were, as a “ picture- weaving activity ” and recognize the result of their activity, perceptible to our senses, the phenomenal world, the shaped and coloured substance world, as the “woven picture.” In the third place we experience an ascent in this world content when two created picture-forms on their part become perceptible to us as a new unity through their unification, their blending. The world, then, given partly to the thinking understanding and in part to the sense perception of man, closes itself for him as a living spiritual being in the following circle: Pure being. Weaving, picture-making activity (etheric formative forces). The woven picture (the content of perception, the phenomenal world of colour and form). The blending of several individual pictures to a new unity. Pure being. The ego of the understanding human being, however, strives without ■ rest toward that far goal where the all which the thinking understanding of the human being embraces will be identical, will be one, with the all as reality. Chapter XII MAN AND MAN’S ORGANISM The statue of the goddess at Sais in Egypt: " I am she who was, who am, and who shall be ; my veil no mortal has lifted." Nov alts, Paralypotnena: " To one it chanced ; he raised the veil of the goddess at Sais. But what did he see ? He saw—wonder of wonders— himself! " Novalis, The Disciples at Sais: “ And if no mortal, according to that inscription there, lifts the veil, then we must seek to become immortal; whoever does not will to lift it is no true disciple of Sais." Leonardo da Vinci, in his Anatomy: “ And man is the model of the whole world.” Man is a microcosm, his organism a copy of that great world organism, the macrocosm. Whoever will know the realities which distinguish living men from corpses of men, must look upon the living organism, not only as a closed unity, but most of all from this point of view : how in it also the same etheric formative forces live which bring forth the organic processes and vital phenomena in the rest of the cosmos external to man ; most of all he must learn to understand the reciprocal relationship which exists between the great rhythms of the etheric environing world and the human inner world ; and he must also discover how the living cosmic architecture through which these fomotive forces have produced the evolution of the macrocosm, the genesis and maintenance of the earth organism, finally reaches in the architecture of the human Organism a degree of completion which not only places and maintains man in a state of harmony with the macrocosmic process, but in him strives for a higher ascent beyond that already reached in the preceding evolution. The human body is also to be understood as an organism, and not abstractly or by mere mechanical computations. Only, because natural science has undertaken to carry over into the investigation of organic processes the thoughts and methods tested on dead matter, it has been forced hitherto to pause at the threshold of an understanding of the phenomena of life in regard to which, as Eenard says out of such bitter experience : " the investigator of Nature, with his conceptions, which elsewhere have guided him so remarkably, has nothing to say." A turning point in this resignation in regard to understanding is marked by that teaching concerning the three-fold system of the human organism, as this was initiated by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in his work " Von . Seelenratseln,"* and as it has since been further developed by him in the most concrete details as the method for research into organisms. Since here we are to consider the world process chiefly from the point of view of the etheric, this teaching concerning the three-fold system of the human organism can be introduced only so far as is practicable within these limits; but the investigator is referred for its more thorough discussion, especially to the remarkably comprehensive dissertation of E. Kolisko, M.D., in the monthly review " Die Drei " (August, 1921), and elsewhere. In considering the earth-organism, we have seen that the etheric formative forces in this are systematized in a polarity in such a way that at one pole the warmth ether is chiefly active and at the other pole the life ether, while between the two poles the chemical ether and light ether act in rhythmical processes. A similar polarity now shows itself in the activities of the etheric formative forces in the architecture and vital phenomena of the human organism. Indeed, we have been able to show—going beyond the demand of the investigators in radioactivity, Professors St. Meyer and E. von Schweidler—that the totality of vital phenomena in the human body will be understood in accordance with reality only when we perceive the etheric forces at work within the * - “ physical body"—which includes only inanimate substances—and'* when we conceive the sum total of the etheric formative forces belonging at any time to a certain human organism as the "ether body." It may now easily be shown that, both phylogenetically and also ontogenetic-1 ally, the genesis of the human organism rests upon a polaric grouping ofJ the etheric formative forces, which lie at the basis of the structure of the " ether body " of the present-day man, and also have as their inevitable, natural result the present structure of the human physical body. The " ether body " of man, which shapes and maintains his physical organism, has therefore the following ground-structure :— * Berlin, 1921. Physical Body and Basic Structure of the Ether Body of Man Metabolic pole, centre of the processes of combustion. Light ether and Chemical ether in rhythmical alternation. * Life ether, Pole of the " cold flame.’* Warmth ether, Pole of the " warm flame.” Consciousness pole, mineralizing tendency. Rhythm-producing tendency. Thus we see chiefly the formative forces of life ether at the upper pole and at the lower pole chiefly that of warmth ether; between the two, light ether and chemical ether in rhythmical alternation. Now we shall consider in detail the physical body as a result of this etheric structure. If one investigates the physical body in its organic systematization, we shall be convinced of the presence of three systems embraced within .this organism: the nerve-sense system, the rhythmic system, and the metabolic-limb system. The nerve-sense system, of course, extends throughout the whole body, but it has its chief starting point and organ in the human head ; there in the brain is the focus of the waking, conscious soul-life ; there are centralized the leading sense organs which characterize “ man.” This pole—which may, therefore, be called also the consciousness-pole of the human organism—is characterized, however, also by the fact that at this pole has occurred the greatest accumulation of mineral substance within the organism. In the bony mass of the head the organism has assembled together a maximum of solid substance and a minimum of soft substance—that is, of movable, changeable substance—■ in a fashioli to be found in no other part of the organism. ' The human head, the consciousness-pole of the organism, is therefore at the same time the pole of the highest concentration of solid mineral’substance. Let us now recall how we have been able to follow the formative forces of the life ether within the earth-organism, how it brought about the formation and centralization of solid substance in the mineral spheres of the earth, and therefore produced the highest state of substance yet reached phylogenetically, and how, on the other hand, it worked as a free force or current, not bound up with substance within the earth organism in alternate relationship with the phenomena of consciousness. In an analogous manner the life ether now manifests itself in the human organism in a similar activity. That is, in the upper pole, the human head, where it has its focus, it reveals its mineralizing tendency in the heightened accumulation of bony substance, and on the other hand in the fact that at this pole there is also centralized the most important organ for the activity of human consciousness. (Diagram, p. 197.) The opposite pole within the human organism is the metabolic pole, which—although this again naturally works through the whole organism—has its focal point in the lower parts of the organism in that the stomach and the associated digestive and eliminatory organs are the chief agents of the metabolic process. Now the fact that these metabolic processes are chiefly processes of combustion, shows us that at this lower pole the etheric force of warmth ether is predominantly active. (Diagram, p. 197.) Between the two poles-—the upper pole, where the life ether shows its mineralizing tendency in the building of the hard bony structure of the head, and the lower pole, where the combustion processes of warmth ether have their most important point of focus—there lies in the middle the rhythmical system of the human organism, as manifested in the breathing and the circulatory process, which has created its central organs in the lungs and the heart, whose rhythms we shall find to be caused by the chemical ether and light ether. The inner systematization of the human organization reveals a still further parallel with the phenomena within the earth organism : the polarity between the “ cold flame ” and the “ warm flame.” In considering the theory of light (Chap. VII) we have learned to recognize two sorts of light: ” pure light ” of which the radiation into the earth organism from the cosmos and a few phenomena within the earth organism are characteristic examples (phosphorus, for instance) ; and “ heat light,” which is bound up with the process of combustion—that is, with the activity of warmth ether—and which through its relationship to the substance-world (Oa instead of 03) stands in polaric opposition to cosmic and terrestrial pure light. This polarity between pure light and heat light is characteristic of the human organism even as of the earth organism : at the metabolic pole, which mediates our relationship with the substances of the earth organism, we find the warm flame ; at the consciousness pole, the cold flame. By the terms cold and warm flame is indicated primarily that at the upper pole of man the ether body develops a force-activity of the kind which meets us elsewhere in pure light; and at the lower pole, on the contrary, predominantly such a force-activity as meets us in heat light in the case of other phenomena in the earth-organism. Moreover, at the basis of this polarity lie still other realities whose explanation here would lead us too far afield. (Meister Eckhart says : “ Man has the image of God in his upper branch, which there shines without intermission .”) We have seen in the preceding chapter that the evolution of the germ begins with a polarity of functions : that is, a separation into two germ-layers, wherefrom the sense^ instruments are developed out of the outer germ-layer and the metabolic organs out of the inner layer. We have seen further, when considering the process of heredity, and in explaining the primal predisposition, the “ species cell ” or “ germ cell,” that it is the ether body which determines the plan and brings it to accomplishment in the evolving organism. Just as the functions of the germ-layers are polarically systematized in the embryonic process, so also the functions in the growing organism are centralized at two poles : the consciousness pole in the head, which constitutes the centre of the nerve-sense processes and also the chief field of action of life ether (“ cold flame ”) ; and on the other hand the metabolic pole in the lower part cf man, the chief field of action of warmth ether (“warm flame”). If one thus follows the metamorphosis of the evolving organism through the organ-building forces of the ether body consistently from the embryonic state to the completely formed organism, one will understand the living d3Tiamics of the formative forces. One then understands the reality of the phenomena of life. Since this polarity between warm and cold flames in the human organism is of decisive importance for an essential understanding of the phenomena of life and the phenomena of consciousness in this organism, it must in future be placed at the very basis of biological research, even though a complete explanation of all the depths of its nature is not possible in our day. If we now follow in detail the activities of the etheric formative forces within the human organism, we get the following picture, which will-be completely confirmed by the findings of modem anatomy. When we find the life ether active in the solidifying and mineralizing tendency in the head, the light ether and the chemical ether in their rhythmic action in the element of air (breathing) and of the liquid (circulation of the blood) in the rhythmic system, and the warmth ether in the processes of combustion in the metabolic system, we are dealing— as we have said—with the focal points of their intensified activity within the three-fold system of the human organism, the structure of which , we have already seen sketched in the polaric functions of the germ-layers. Naturally, however, the several etheric formative forces appear in lesser concentration also in the other parts of the human organism. The structure of the bony system of man, for example, gives weighty evidence of this fact. If we consider the bony framework, as it has come into existence through solidifying out of organic states, this will be seen to be at its maximum distribution in the head, appearing in lesser degree in the middle system of spine and ribs, while finally in the lower system where there is the greatest proportion of soft substance, it is much reduced and withdrawn inwards. It is interesting for one who observes vitally and organically to determine how in the bony framework the figure of the lemniscate, the figure 8, appears in the greatest number of variations. This is most conspicuous in the middle system, where the bony framework at the back very narrowly surrounds the spinal cord while in the forward part it embraces the breast and the lungs in wider arcs in the form of the ribs, so that the bony structure as a whole describes the figure 8, the lemniscate. Spinal cord. Upper ribs closed. Lower ribs open in front. If we follow the metamorphosis of this form—in the sense of Goethe— toward the upper and the lower pole, we shall discover a new picture. Dr. Eugen Kolisko describes this vividly as follows : “ If we imagine the casing of the spinal nervous system, the rear arc of the lemniscate, or figure 8, to be widened when its content, the spinal cord, is puffed up and becomes the brain, there then appears the spheric-globular form of the skull. In the head, the bony framework is shaped according to such a spherical principle. It is the casing of the nervous system. In this way also, it comes out to the external layer, pressing away the muscle and touching the skin. It becomes an external bony coat of mail instead of a supporting system (the facial system is really only appended to the skull). On the other hand the forward part of the figure 8 is eliminated. The rear portion presses toward the front in building itself out. The lemniscate becomes spherical.” Seen from above: Head i i / ✓ Stunted, no longer present. Seen from the front. (In the antlers and horns of many animals we still see residues of the forward open arc of the 8 which is fully formed in the case of man only in the middle system in the ribs, and on the contrary is not present in the head.) “ If we descend lower, the ribs curve more and more ; the arc formed by them becomes wider and wider, till it can no longer close on itself ; what it embraces in breadth it loses in length, so that the ribs no longer reach the breast-bone ; they spread apart and point more downwards. The rear part of the arc, instead of expanding as happened above, diminishes, together with its content the spinal cord, which becomes thinner and thinner. The continuation of the spinal cord goes into v the lower extremities in whose radial direction—perpendicular to the earth—the whole skeleton is now turned. Here the rear bow has disappeared ,* the forward bow has turned down about 90 degrees and placed itself in the direction of gravitation. This static-dynamic principle may be called the radial principal. The bony framework has withdrawn itself inward; it serves altogether the function of support; the muscles surround it and it is imbedded in the innermost part of the life-permeated fabric ; in brief it is in a polaric relationship to the manner in which it manifested itself in the dome of the skull. Thus the bony system is in the one case the polaric opposite of what it is in the other. Thus m such an organic system we see the three-fold systematization of man confirmed in its three sorts of shape.” The Leirmiscate\ in the ., The 8 J head system, middle system. in the lower system. In order that we may never forget that man, as a being living within the general laws of the macrocosm, is shaped in his organism by the same etheric formative forces which are also active in the organic structure of the cosmos, let us recall here that the forms of the motions of the various planets actually shape lemniscates. Dr. Rudolf Steiner has pointed out these relationships in detail in one of his courses of scientific lectures. Here again—as in the placement of the leaves on the main axis of the plant (p. 165)—the understanding of the human organism will be enriched by drawing upon the planetary etheric spheres (Chap. Ill) through an understanding and comparison of the cosmic processes, and vice versa. The forms which are described by the planetary motions in the ether ocean of the macrocosm are obvious lemniscates or variations of this basic form. Professor J. Plassmann gives in his " Himmelskunde ”* the following geometrical representation of the planetary orbits, wherein, as he says (p. 153) : " The heliocentric system of Copernicus represents the apparent courses of the planets just as well as does the geocentric system named after Ptolemy.” All planetary orbits describe variations of the basic form of the lemniscate. In the etheric spheres in which these macrocosmic, planetary motions have taken place has occurred likewise the genesis of the human organism and this has, therefore, maintained its basic form stamped by the laws of that ether ocean in which it has evolved. het us now proceed from the mineral bony system, which has reached its strongest development in the human head, to the rhythmic system of breathing, blood circulation, etc. Here we enter upon territory entirely new to scientific research, since an explanation of the true causes of the rhythms of breathing and of blood circulation has hitherto been admittedly impossible, as these processes can be explained thoroughly only by means of the nature of the etheric—that is, through the activity of the ” ether body ” of the earth organism and the human organism. The exact observation of the most important phenomena within the earth organism has given us as an aid toward a view of this matter the following material. The great rhythms of the earth organism—as these come to expression in the most diverse spheres in the ” double wave of* the barometric pressure ” and in the rising and falling of water in the vegetable world, in a rhythmic alternation of potential gradient, induction, emanation, etc.—we have been able to explain as the results of a rhythmic breathing process of the earth organism (Chap. Ill), whereby, chiefly in the lower strata of the atmosphere, chemical ether and light ether act reciprocally with one another. We were able to show, further, that * Berlin, 1924. Geometric representation of the Planetary Orbits SATURN ■ r 1159 VlO lUP'TER mi ■ft i inj V‘* X, n& / A C -----f ' T'*' \ '\ V/ "''0 ytv \y~*i f\J L t T / "f / jt / in* f 7 \ \ K 1 \ % \ v Jr \ 1 t f \ 1 t 1 {.f erdeY- \ j|4, \ r | ■ C S1!^ © 15 o\ 1 J 1 1 rtV1' 'mo nn ,i«i\ nioi W"* Un» Epicyclical motion of Mars (after Plassmann). the normal breathing of the human organism stands in a certain time-ratio to the breathing of the earth-organism and to the macrocosmic rhythms ; that is, that 25,920 normal breaths of a man equal one breath of the earth-organism, and a corresponding number of years is required for the passage of the sun at the spring solstice through the signs of the zodiac. If we consider more closely these two forces which stand in rhythmic mutual interaction, we discover that the light ether is an expanding force, the chemical ether a contracting force, as we have been able to confirm by various phenomena (Chap. II). Through this fact, the process of human breathing is easily explained : The expansion and the contraction of the human lungs, and so also the rhythmic inhaling and exhaling of air, are a result of the rhythmic alternate action of an expanding and a contracting etheric formative force of the human ether body : the light ether and the chemical ether. (Diagram, p. 197.) Let us here introduce into the explanation two further phenomena to which we have already referred : the triangular (light ether) and beside it the hemispherical (chemical ether) form of the condensation from the human breath (Diagram, p. 159), and the analogous form-shaping in the light-ether sphere and chemical-ether sphere of the earth organism (hail, cloud condensation, etc.: diagram, p. 158). And let us recall what has been said in regard to the genesis of the phenomenon of tone (Chap. IX) : that is, that audible tone arises from a conflict between light ether and chemical ether for' a condensing and rarefication of substance, the air. The world of tone which the living human organism produces in singing and speaking requires the organs of the larynx and the lungs for its production, and belongs therefore to the rhythmical system of man, and thus to the same part of his ether body in which light ether and chemical ether, which produce tone phenomena, are active. One of the distinctions in the kingdom of Nature which relates to the deepest being of things in the cosmos is that between living creatures which can produce tone from their inner being and those which cannot produce any such tone. Thus the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, and most of the cold-blooded animals are alike in the incapacity to give forth any tone from the inner being ; while, on the contrary, the warm-blooded animals and man can give forth such tones from within. It is speech, however, more than anything else which places man at the apex of the visible kingdoms of Nature, for speech has become for him of the mcst decisive import for the formation of his concepts and thus for the evolution of consciousness. Our words, which resound from within ourselves, which we speak, lie at the basis of our thoughts, and they are the form of expression for our thoughts. These expressive forms for our thoughts fill space, in that they propagate their waves by means of the sound ether in the space surrounding us. Now only one who cannot think courageously to a conclusion will refuse to acknowledge that it is a matter of importance for the evolution of the cosmos that the etheric structure of the space surrounding us is set in vibration by our words expressing our thoughts, in which process an inner real forms an outer—that it is a fact of far-reaching import that in the spatial sphere, which we know to be filled with world ether, living beings are present capable of sending forth individual sound vibrations from within themselves into this spacefilling world ether, modifying it thereby. A vastly different condition would exist if there were no such living being. The horizon of our understanding in reference to these things is, unfortunately, at present very restricted. Yet ancient schools of mystery in the Orient and the Occident knew what tremendous force and action dwelt in certain words and combinations of words and they made use of this knowledge. In our time of abstract intellectualism the knowledge of the action of these sounds upon the associated and surrounding worlds has been lost, because we have lost inner contact with the true being of speech, of the “ word ” itself, as this still dwelt in primal speech. This fact rests upon the deepest necessities of human evolution, but epochs which shall follow this materialistic age will be able, nay compelled, to find again the understanding of the being of the “ word ” and its action if they shall desire to press through in their research to the beginning of the world, on the one hand, and to its goal and the end of the world on the other. Out of an understanding of these relationships filled with wisdom, the Gospel of St. John begins with the expression : “In the beginning was the word. . . Something real vibrates mutually in the ether body of a fellow man when we speak to him, and this acts upon him throughout his ether body and therefore also in his physical organism ! It is not always merely the abstract “ content ” of words spoken to us which injures us or vitalizes us. A word—that is, a certain combination of vowels, consonants, and tones—which streams out from our organs of speech does not merely impress our ear as a sensation of sound, or our thought-world according to its content; but, since in the organism of the one speaking it owes its genesis to a certain combination of etheric formative forces which shape the sounding air to certain air-forms, therefore it calls forth in the ether body of the hearer a real effect, which may be, according to the nature of the spoken word, either transient or lasting, sound or unsound, warming or chilling, injuring or vitalizing, upbuilding or destroying. Since the word-sound through the air is made up of spiritual-soul element (sense-content), etheric element (formative force), and physical element (air), therefore its effect upon a fellow man is also threefold, and it reaches not merely the sense organ, the ear, but by means of the ether body also the whole organism of the man. In the spoken word the united action of the spiritual-real, the etheric formative forces, and substance is complete. In music this very delicately modulated but very strong action upon our etheric organism, our inner tone world, and the harmony of our soul life is already to a certain extent becoming clear. The influence of music reveals to us the soul-life of man in this close contact with the etheric and through this medium with the world of substance and, therefore, with the physical human body. Thus the deep-reaching influence of music may extend even into the 'substance of the physical body. Music created on the basis of a true knowledge of the ether may exert healing or disease-producing effects upon human bodies. In this matter there are weighty problems for psychology, therapy, and art. We have already referred to the mutual relationship between tone and the altering of substance in discussing Chladni’s sound-figures (Chap. IX). Many progressive investigators might soon penetrate to the true nature of tone, or speech, of the “ word/’ through an understanding of the etheric. (In regard to the “ breaking of the voice ” see also p. 220.) But the breath, and speech, which is intimately connected with breath, are only one part of the rhythmic system in the human organism. For the motion-process in the blood circulation also, the causes are to be found chiefly in the etheric processes of this rhythmic system. Views hitherto maintained concerning these things have sought for the initiation of the motion of the blood in the idea that the heart, after the manner of a mechanical pump, performs motions and thereby squirts the blood, as it were, into the arteries, though by such a conception we have not been able to discover concretely what then induces the heart in turn to perform such motions. The same thing is happening to research in this matter as in the case of the views concerning the pressure of osmosis in plants (Chap. III). For a certain time it was believed that this phenomenon could be explained on the basis of merely physical processes, but it was soon observed that in reality these physical processes were not the causes of these vital phenomena and did not correspond with the work done either in strength or in character. In the case of the blood circulation also, as in that of the rising and falling of water in the trees, etc., it is the ether body of the earth organism and of the human organism respectively which induces these phenomena of motion and of life; in the case of the blood circulation also it is the etheric formative forces of the rhythmic system, light ether and chemical ether, which bring about this rhythmic circulation of the blood. To what extent the blood circulation is induced and determined by the etheric " vital current ” streaming during the course of each day through the human organism we shall later indicate. The organ of the heart—which is no mechanical pump, but a quite different and far more important organ—cannot possibly be understood without a consideration of the genesis, the coming into existence, of this organ. We are then brought to the understanding that the heart did not induce the circulation of the blood, but on the contrary the blood circulation gave the impulse to the formation of its central organ, the heart ; lor we find that both phylogenetically and ontogenetically there is proof that the blood circulation existed before the organ of the heart was formed. The organ of the heart is, as it were, a highly metamorphosed blood vessel which was broadened and shaped into a complicated structure and in this way made the agent of certain new functions for the motion of the blood in man and what is therewith connected ; just as the head— in the sense used by Goethe—is a metamorphosed vertebra which has been shaped to more complicated form by the impulses lying at the basis of these processes. By means of such a metamorphosis, which in the blood system led from the circulation of the blood to the formation of the organ of the heart, and in the nervous system led from the formation of the spinal cord to the formation of the brain—by such a metamorphosis in the course of evolution is a new organ created from time to time, which then becomes the physical agent for the realization of new spiritual possibilities in the substance-world, the world of phenomena. The organ of the heart, then, is an instrument of the blood circulation, created by it; and the blood circulation is in turn a result of the action of the etheric formative forces. Such it has been both phylogenetically and ontogenetically. We have already mentioned, in speaking of certain occurrences in the earth organism, the parallel between man and the earth, that man has a more intimate relation through his will, and therefore through the life of his soul, with the process of breathing than with that of blood circulation. Although we usually surrender ourselves to the customary breathing rhythm, which is in relationship with the breathing of the earth organism, yet we can, if we will, alter our breathing rhythm in either direction—accelerate it or retard it, render it regular or irregular, or control it arbitrarily. Thus there exists a direct relation between the life of the soul, the will, and our breathing. The book of Genesis refers to profound realities when it describes how God created “ man " : “ And He breathed into him the breath of life. And man became a living soul." The mystery of the Biblical story of creation can often reveal to us more of reality, if we only consider this account rightly, than is revealed in many scientific hypotheses of our time concerning these things. This relationship between will and motion is not the same in the ■ case of the blood circulation as in that of breathing. We have already shown that, while the breathing of the earth organism is based upon its own life, the circulation of warmth, on the contrary, is induced by external cosmic influences, especially those of the sun. So also the individual life of man has almost no arbitrary influence upon the blood circulation ; we cannot by action of the will immediately direct the circulation of the blood, as is possible in the case of breathing. There are, certainly, delicate beginnings of such an intimate mutual relationship between the individual soul life and the blood circulation, as this is experienced in human fear and shame. When we are frightened or horrified, we grow pale ; when we feel shame, we blush. This, however, signifies only that, when the soul performs the act of fear, we draw the blood away from the periphery, the skin, to the centre into the organ of the heart; when the soul performs the act of shame, then we spread the blood out from the centre, the organ of the heart, all the way to the periphery: that is, we " blush.” In this externalizing of our soul life, we begin in an individual manner to intervene in the activity of the etheric formative forces ; and thus to act by means of the soul life through the medium of these etheric formative forces upon the physical organism. Thus we have here premonitions of a coming more intimate relationship between the human soul life and new spheres of his organization. But, when the will of a being—in this case of man—grasps such possibilities, then the action of this will leads, in course of time, to the formation of new organs, to new experience-contents and perception-contents and therewith to a new consciousness-content. The representatives of the dying, abstract post-Kantianism will explain the possibilities of consciousness of the living human being, forever evolving, without considering this evolution forever altering organs or forming new ones, through the impulse of the being’s will, and without considering the complete change in the limits and the nature of the content of consciousness, which is brought about through the formation of new organs, whether physical or etheric. Instead of considering these realities in concrete fashion, men satisfy themselves with that juggling, foreign to life itself, with the concepts of " intellect ” and "reason” {Verstand und Vernunft), which, viewed in this manner, are merely the splitting of hairs, the still-born thoughts cf the human brain. If men wish to understand the realities of an objective spiritual world vitally sharing in the evolution of our cosmic system, they will never arrive at such a goal by means of these games of concepts derived from the followers of Kant. To this we shall return later. The etheric in the human organism not only induces the phenomena of motion, but works also as moulder of form, as we have already seen, wherever it appears in Nature. The forms of the cells and of the blood corpuscles—those most important bearers of the phenomena of life—■ are extremely varied and characteristic for the various kinds of living beings. _ We have shown that the etheric formative forces thus work as moulders of form : that in the substance world the warmth ether tends to form spherical shapes, the light ether triangular shapes, the chemical ether half-moon shapes, and the life ether square shapes ; and that these restriction of research to (1) the merely quantitative, and (2) the merely sensually perceptible—we can never arrive at a satisfactory understanding of ether. The obvious reason for this lies in the facts that (1) ether has not only quantitative but also qualitative characteristics, the latter of which can by no means be separated from the former— that is, supersensible, spiritual characteristics in reference to which the cognition of the merely quantitative inter-relation of the assemblage of facts is wholly inadequate ; (2) that ether is not perceptible to our physical senses. Clearly, then, one who limits himself to the quantitative and the sensually perceptible can never arrive at a true view of the nature and the action of ether. Eenard says that the ideas held by natural scientists in our time are • of two kinds :■—" Quantitative they are always. But they may be restricted—and this gives us the first kind—wholly to quantitative relations among observable magnitudes. In this case they can be expressed completely in mathematical formulae, chiefly in differential equations. This is the form preferred by Kirchhoff and Helmholtz, and called by Kirchhoff the mathematical description of Nature. Examples of such conceptions are Newton's law of gravitation and Maxwell’s equations in electro-dynamics. The logically inevitable conclusions based upon these ideas—and in the development of these conclusions lie both the use and also the test of the ideas—are, therefore, simply the mathematical inferences from these equations and nothing more. But one may proceed further—and this gives us the second kind of ideas—in that one may permit oneself to be guided from the first by a conviction-— without which, indeed, the investigation of Nature would never have come to any issue-—that is, the conviction that all phenomena in Nature— at least, in inanimate Nature-—are simply phenomena of motion : that is, they consist merely in changes of position on the part of substance given once for all. Then we should have in each case a question of mechanisms, and the equations which we reached as our first sort of ideas must be equations in mechanics, must correspond to certain quite definite mechanisms, so that we may actually consider these mechanisms as the ideas which we have formed of the phenomena of Nature. Then the ideas of things that we hold in our minds are modelled upon mechanics and dynamicsBy way of resume, Lenard adds : “ All that occurs in the world is motion, change in position on the part of substance given once for all. There is not the slightest sign of a first appearance or of a disappearance of substance. Therefore, what remains to be done in the matter is only to state of what kind the substance is, how it is distributed in space, and the nature of its motions ; and here we must first make * loc. cit. p. 5. the fundamental assertion that the substance which is in motion, out of which we see the entire world come into existence, is of two kinds, matter and ether.”* Later, when he has introduced into this conception of the world the most recent investigations in radio-activity, he defines the world as consisting, not of matter and ether, but of ether and electricity. And yet even Lenard is forced to say: “ The question is simply this : whether it is possible for us in this way to form a correct image of reality ; or whether the human mind is at all capable of forming within itself an image of the whole of Nature—or even of inanimate Nature. As to this, there is nowadays the most serious doubt. . . .”f He concludes with these words : “I do not believe that the difficulties can hinder us from cultivating and developing still further our present conception ; for, in that event, we should have abandoned entirely any such conception, and therewith the possibility of conceiving of Nature at all in terms of mechanics. I believe that this will not occur, even though, in order to clarify our conception of the mechanics of ether, we should have to posit beside or behind this ether and its parts still another ether.In these words the openly confessed ignorabimus of a Du Bois Reymond is evaded only by means of the hope that some way out will be discovered. But such a hope can never be realized through a process whereby one seeks to save a purely mechanical interpretation of the world by inventing more and more theoretical new kinds of ether. In his conflict with the theory cf Einstein, which would deprive the ether of every mechanical property, Lenard has now already introduced, beside the ether, a still prior ether in order to rescue his conception of the world. But these are steps upon a road which will in future prove more and more a mere blind alley. The comprehensive thinker and investigator Karl Christian Planck took in his day a bold stand against the merely mechanical explanation of such entities as heat, light, weight. He sought to combat the distinction between quantitative and qualitative attributes of the material world, which arose in the scientific thought of the last century, and to show that, because of this arbitrary distinction, a scientific conception of the world has been built up in which the action of something spiritual within the so-called material world can no longer be explained, and the origin, the genesis, of the world of substance out of that which existed before the “ primal nebula ” becomes quite unintelligible. In his “ Testament eines Deutschen ” § Planck says : “And just as Ppens in the relationships of gravity, so also the relationship of bodies heat and light is completely reversed by that mechanical theory. . . . * be. cit. p. 7. floe. cit. p. 7. J toe. cit. p. 51. § Jena, 1881. 2nd Edition, 1912. four etheric formative forces have evolved phylogenetically one out of another. Now in organisms also we can find these different form-creations, corresponding to the contemporaneous stage of evolution of the organism, and especially in the following variations Warmth ether: Such spherical forms are often found in Nature, especially in the first primal organs, the cells. (Taken from Gegenbauer-Hertwig.) Warmth ether and light ether working together: Spherical and triangular forms are combined. Especially in the cells of animals is this class of forms one of the most common. Triangle and square are combined. Light ether and life ether are combined. Chemical Ether: f) We have already recognized the half- / moon forms of chemical ether in the plant kingdom. This ether shows its form-shaping activity conspicuously in the half-moon shaped heart-valves at the outlets of the .. human heart and in the blood vessels. Here the chemical ether works, not only as a contracting force, which—in conjunction with the expanding light ether—causes the circulation of the blood, but it shows itself also in the fact that it gives to the substance in these places of constant rhythmic action the half-moon form. Larger examples of these primal forms appear in the suprarenal glands lying within for example, in the fact that the right suprarenal gland is more triangular (light ether) and the left more half-moon shaped (chemical ether), etc. Professor O. Schultze says in his " Lehrbuch der topographischen und angewandten Anatomie ’** (edited by Professor W. Lubosch, p. 203) : “ The more triangular right suprarenal gland borders on the liver and ...; the half-moon shaped left suprarenal gland borders on the stomach and the aorta abdominalis/' From the point of view of the etheric formative forces, which build the organs and induce the life processes, this organ on the right side of the body is more subjected to the light ether and its triangle-forming tendency; that on the left side of the body more subjected to the chemical ether and its tendency to form half-moon shapes. We shall generally find in the human organism in relation to its internal organs that the right half of the body is more adapted to the forces of1 light and warmth ether and the left half to those of life and chemical ether. Indeed, it is one of the most important facts for research in organisms that certain organs, even from the earliest foetal stage, incline more to the right half of the body (liver, gall bladder, etc.) and others more to the left half (heart two-thirds left one-third right; stomach two-thirds left, one-third right from median line; intestines, oesophagus, pancreas tending toward left; spleen altogether left, etc., see also p. 219). This relationship—naturally highly differentiated—especially the distinction between the male and the female organism, we shall discuss more thoroughly in Vol. 2. Very remarkable is the structure and form-shaping in the blood. If we illuminate a human blood corpuscle in the right way, we shall perceive four different spheres, proceeding from without inward as follows : first a bright sphere ; then a dark sphere especially permeated and swollen with liquid substance ; thirdly again a bright sphere, and again fourthly a dark sphere. These four distinct spheres in the substance of the corpuscle are the result of the etheric structure of the human corpuscle. The outer bright sphere is controlled by life ether; the inner bright sphere by light ether ; the outer dark sphere especially filled and swollen with fluid is controlled by chemical ether. The chemical ether acts especially upon the liquid state of aggregation of substance, and this formative force has, therefore, collected the fluids in this particular sphere of the blood corpuscle. The qualities mentioned in connection with the several formative forces reveal themselves in all these details. The inner dark sphere of the human corpuscle is controlled by warmth ether. It is the foundation for the warmth of human blood. * Miinchen, 1922. Human blood corpuscles, then, have this etheric systematization : Outermost sphere : Life ether Chemical ether Light ether Innermost sphere : Warmth ether a Let us now recall that we have already found such a systematization in considering the etheric structure of the earth's interior (pp. 99-101), As we have followed the evolution of the Saturn body to the Earth body and the outer earth by reversal to the inner earth, we have recognized this etheric w structure as the highest yet reached in the genesis of the macrocosm. We face here one of the most sublime primal phenomena in our cosmic system : The etheric systematization of the blood corpuscle of a man is a copy of the etheric systematization of the interior of the earth. The same formative forces, in modelling the body of the earth and the blood -corpuscle of a man, have created the same image. The fate of the earth and the fate of man are thereby closely bound together. That which arises in the etheric earth will always be reflected in the blood corpuscle of man. Through the mediation of the etheric formative forces there exists an eternal mutual relationship between the earth and man, between the macrocosm and microcosm a common harmonious evolution. Moreover, still another primal phenomenon is herein revealed : the distinction between inorganic and organic substances, the living and the lifeless. We have shown that the outer earth reveals the following etheric systematization, and that this is also true of the smallest entities of substance (p. 150), as these reveal themselves in the dissolution of dead mineral substance in radio-activity. The etheric systematization of the outer earth and similarly of inorganic lifeless units of substance is, therefore, as follows: Outermost sphere : Warmth ether, Tight ether, Chemical ether, Innermost sphere : Life ether. The etheric systematization of the inner earth and at the same time of the organic, minute living units, the human blood corpuscles, is as follows : Outermost sphere : Life ether, Chemical ether, Light ether, Innermost sphere : Warmth ether. Just as the interior of the earth in its etheric systematization is a reversal of the exterior of the earth, so also the minute living unit of substance is a reversal in its etheric systematization of the lifeless unit of substance. In the case of the body of the earth, the exterior is related to the interior as in the case of units of substance the lifeless is related to the living. Herein is revealed the most significant law of evolution of our cosmos. The genesis of the red and the white corpuscles in man we shall describe separately after introducing first further phenomena belonging to this chapter. The different kinds of intervention of the formative forces in the genesis of man and in the genesis of the vertebrates become especially clear to us when we examine blood crystals under the microscope, since in these the primal forms and their variations are very sharply manifest. Professor R. Tigerstedt gives in his “ Textbook of Human Physiology ”* pictures of blood crystals which are very typical for our description of the etheric. (Diagram, p. 214.) The primal forms, which we have already observed in considering the plant archetype—the leaf, in the shaping of the periphery of the leaf, appear likewise in the blood crystals of man and the animals. Very decisive now is the fact that in the case of one of the lower animals * (the “Guinea pig) a formative force phylogenetically less evolved (light ether ; see diagram) is active, whereas in the case of a more highly evolved animal (the squirrel) a formative force phylogenetically more highly ♦ New York and London, 1906. Fig. 46. evolved begins to intervene in the formation of blood (light ether and life ether combined) ; whereas in the case of man we find the primal forms of the formative force most highly evolved (life ether). Crystals from blood of a Guinea pig. Crystals from blood of a squirrel. Here are revealed the following etheric formative forces : Pure triangles (Light ether). Crystals from human blood. Combined triangular (Light ether) and rectangular (Life ether) Transitional forms. Pure rectangle (Life ether). In this matter the horizontal and vertical currents of the earth-organism, whose relationship to the position of the spine and to states of consciousness we have already described (p. 71 if.), play also a weighty part. Thus we find "the least evolved formative force in the blood of that animal whose spine is still entirely horizontal. More highly evolved forces begin to express themselves in the blood shapes of an animal which is passing over to the habit cf holding himself erect (the squirrel). Finally the highest formative force shapes the blood crystals of man, who is in his waking life completely vertical in position. The more highly evolved an organism is, the more highly evolved is the formative force which intervenes in the shaping of its blood. Thus in the kingdoms of Nature we find variations of these primal forms in the condensation forms of the earth's atmosphere (hail, etc.) and in the human breath (p. 159) as well as in the shapes of the leaf peripheries, the skin tissue, the cells and the blood corpuscles, and finally also in the forms of the nerve ganglia which are the basis of our nerve-sense activities. Just as the form-building tendency of the etheric formative force predominant at the time shows itself in the leaf periphery of plants—as if solidified there in its form of activity—so also in the substantial forms of the cells, tissue, blood corpuscles, and nerve ganglia there appear also the forms of those etheric formative forces which have either brought into existence these particular substance-shapes or else have their constant centre of activity in these organs. Thus those nerve ganglia which are centres for the action of chemical ether are also in their external form half-moon shaped, those of light ether generally triangular, those of warmth ether spherical, those of life ether a combination of rectangular forms. Those ganglia in which several ethers are concentrated have corresponding composite forms. In this manner, if one does not wish to proceed only from the point of view of the etheric in investigating the genesis of the physical-corporeal, both organic and inorganic, he has a starting point in the above mentioned forms in the earth organism and in the human and other organisms, and may in reverse order, on the basis of the physical form, determine the corresponding etheric element. This must be done obviously—since we are dealing here with living organisms and not with lifeless substance-—less with measurements in centimetres than with the eye of a researcher who views things organically and is familiar with the principles of metamorphosis. Then, however, we shall find the most far-reaching points of connection for the mutual relationship between the substantial and the etheric. In future it will be possible systematically to trace the phylogenetic and ontogenetic relations of the various cells, blood corpuscles, nerve ganglia, etc., to the activities of the etheric formative forces ; it will furthermore be possible to trace the manner in which the architecture of the ether body leads to the evolution of the inner organization from the germ-layers even to the complete organism; for, as Hertwig says of the inner organization (p. 395), “ so far as it can now be followed in its ontogenetic development/' it has “ come into being from the frequently repeated infolding and unfolding (invagination) of the primary inner germ-layers.” That such infoldings and unfoldings are the work, both in the macrocosm of* the planetary organisms and also in the microcosm of man in his embryonal development, of those “ active builders ” the etheric formative forces—this we have already discussed in Chapter XI and illustrated by impressive examples. In this way we shall come to a concrete basis for embryology, and no longer resign ourselves and come to a standstill before the understanding of this first stage in man's development. That we cannot reach such a basis without drawing upon a knowledge of cosmic activities—since the human organism is during the first stages of its evolution more than at other periods subject to the activities and formative forces of the macrocosmic world organism and receptive to their influence—we have already shown in considering the planetary etheric spheres in Chapter III. It is extraordinarily interesting to trace the way in which the evolving human being as an embryo, as a child, and then during the change of teeth about the seventh year, and at puberty about the 14th year'— that is, in the upper and the lower pole—is seized upon and influenced by the etheric formative forces in ever new forms and with higher functions in the growing organism. Whoever views the world and man in their unity will not perceive some sort of unintelligible mysticism in the fact that these organic processes complete themselves in seven-year rhythms (about the seventh year, change of teeth ; fourteenth year, puberty ; twenty-first year, maturity of understanding, the " majority ”). The same investigator who thinks organically and livingly sees therein a sign, wonderfully harmonious and absolutely self-evident, that the etheric ' formative forces which bring about in great rhythms the formation of our macrocosmic system with its seven analagous planets, its seven-toned musical scale, its seven-coloured light spectrum, its seven-staged arrangements of the chemical elements, etc., also maintain similar and identical rhythms when they create the architecture and evolution of the microcosm of the human organism, woven in these rhythms of the universe and the earth. Anatomy will never come to an understanding of these vital phenomena so long as it undertakes to investigate the human body apart from these great rhythms and processes of the cosmic organisms and earth organism, into which, indeed, man is involved as a being living in the world of substance. Concerning the evolution of the embryo, the child, and the human life-stages with their reciprocal action of spiritual, soul, and bodily metamorphoses, a thorough knowledge of which is of decisive importance especially for a pedagogy which shall enter into the being of the child, Dr. Rudolf Steiner has given comprehensive and convincing material. The interdependence between the etheric in the earth organism and in the human organism becomes especially clear to us in considering the action of the so-called “ gravitation,” terrestrial magnetism, in the formation of the human organization. In discussing the subject of gravitation and magnetic phenomena (Chap. Ill) we have seen that it is the action of life ether which draws bodies toward the life-ether centre 9 of the solid earth. If we investigate the substances of the human physical body with respect to their susceptibility to the several etheric formative forces, we discover that lymph, for example, stands in close relationship with the forces of life ether. Since this ether works outward from the earth as a free force, therefore the lymph system has been grouped in the living organism in its most important organs about the lower pole, the metabolic pole, which is also the centre of gravity of the erect man with his lower pole directed toward the centre of the earth. Especial attention should be given to this in order to show how the static and dynamic distribution of the several substances in the living organism and their relation to the structure of the earth organism may be understood through a concrete consideration of the etheric. The direct relationship between the lymph system—so extraordinarily important for the phenomena of life—and the life ether becomes clear through the fact, among others, that the so-called white or colourless blood corpuscles proceed out of the lymph system, while the so-called red corpuscles do not appear there. Professor Tigerstedt says* : “ The white corpuscles are formed in extra-uterine life chiefly in the spleen and lymphatic glands ; from these issue mononuclear cells, lymphocytes, which are transformed into polynuclear cells in the blood stream/' And Nagel i, who opposes the opinion of Ehrlich that the white corpuscles are formed in part in the spinal cord but chiefly in the lymphatic apparatus, writes thus (p. 127) : " The lymphatic system is most intimately connected with the lymph-vessel system. To this belong the lymph glands, the lymphatic apparatus of the digestive tract, the follicle of the spleen, and lastly the small and very small lymph follicles present in the whole organism.... The building of this lymphatic system is everywhere the same. Follicles appear consisting only of smaller lymphocytes ; and only with the stronger functioning appear brighter centre zones, the germ centres, which then arise out of the greater lymphocytes. Vessels leading inward and outward . . . mediate the circulation. . . . The pedigree of the lymphocytes is, accordingly, always simple and invariable. The little blood-lymphocytes come from the greater lymphocytes of the germ-centres, and these greater lymphocytes are the daughter cells cf the small lymphocytes of the stable tissue of the follicles." It is interesting that man forms, on the one hand, the colourless blood corpuscles in his lymph system grouped round the centre of gravity by means of the formative force of life ether proceeding from the centre of the earth; whereas, on the other hand, when man ascends to great ^altitudes, mountains, etc., so that he takes himself out of the life-ether sphere and the chemical-ether sphere into the light-ether sphere of the earth organism, then, as has been proven, predominantly red corpuscles are formed. Tigerstedt discusses in his “ Anatomie ” the * loc. cit., p. 153. fact of this increased formation of red corpuscles upon high mountains—■ that is, in the higher regions of the atmosphere (p. 191) : " As Viault first remarked and as has later been confirmed by many authors, the number of red corpuscles increases generally in the peripheric circulation very notably and that even on the very first day. In the heart blood, however, one finds no increase in corpuscles, but on the contrary a diminution. After a few days, however, there appears a real formation of new red corpuscles. Even in the heart blood they now appear in greater numbers. The total mass of red blood colouring matter has increased, and in the red marrow, the place where red blood-corpuscles are formed, there appear undeniable signs of increased activity, while also nucleated red corpuscles appear in the blood stream.” Thus, if it is principally the life ether working upon a certain part of the organism (the lymph system, the centre of gravity, the life-ether sphere), then the so-called colourless blood corpuscles appear ; if, however, as in the higher layers of the earth atmosphere (light-ether sphere of the earth organism) the light ether is chiefly active, then there appear red corpuscles ! Moreover, it is characteristic that in the ontogenesis of the embryo, the etheric formative forces so work in the sense shown above that the ether forces phylogenetically earlier (for example light ether) also begin to affect the evolution of the embryo earlier than the formative forces later evolved (life ether). Nageli in his work “ Blutkrankheiten und ■ Blutdiagnostik ” says (p. 75) in regard to the succession in time of the formation of white and red corpuscles : “ The chief basis for the distinction in principle between the erythrocytes and the leucocytes is the repeatedly established and generally accepted fact that during a long period in the embryonic process only red blood cells exist and no white ones.” Thus ontogenetically there appear first in the embryo the red blood corpuscles, formed under the influence of light ether (consider' also their increase in the light ether sphere of the earth) ; and only later the white corpuscles, formed under the influence of the life ether, which was also evolved phylogenetically later. Nageli gives furthermore the following representation (p. 132) : ” Embryologic studies in the formation of leucocytes in the mammals, as is shown especially by the work of van der Stricht, give results identical with those obtained in researches with human embryos. Ontogenesis is always an abbreviated phylogenesis. ... If one goes back in the series of the vertebrates, then from the amphibians on we fail to find the lymph glands ; there is only the thymus which has a lymphatic tissue ; the marrow, however, corresponds with the myeloid formation. . . . From this point of view of organ-formation, therefore, the lymphatic tissue is later in appearance, whereas myeloid formations come earlier and are therefore phylogenetically older.” From the point of view of the ether theory already developed, we can now indicate the general laws which lie at the basis of all the phenomena, as follows :— In the phylogenesis of the macrocosm, light ether was formed earlier than life ether (Chap. II). In the phylogenesis of organisms, the system of organs serving for the formation of red corpuscles appears earlier than the system of organs serving for the formation of white corpuscles (lymphatic system, etc.). In the ontogenetic evolution of embryos there appear earlier also, according to these general laws, the red corpuscles, formed by the earlier evolved light ether, and later the white corpuscles, formed by the later evolved life ether. Yet, if man, as a fully developed organism, puts himself in the light-ether sphere of the earth organism (on high mountains, in the upper atmosphere), there arises as a result an increased number of red corpuscles. If, on the other hand, there work in his system the forces of the life-ether sphere of the earth organism (in the lower atmosphere), there arise increased numbers of white corpuscles. All this is throughout in harmonious agreement with what has been said concerning the structure of the " ether body ” of the earth organism. Very characteristic also, for example, is the relation between the spleen and the red and white corpuscles respectively. It is said to be on the one hand a very important breeding place for white corpuscles (see Rauber, Kopsch) and on the other hand a place of destruction for red corpuscles (Schaffer). The spleen is one of the organs adapted to the left side of the body. As regards the relation of the right and left sides to the several etheric forces see p. 236. The fact that, when the spleen is removed from the body, its functions continue to be performed shows that the " ether body” of the organism carries on its activity even when the physical organ disappears, that the formative forces2 then build for themselves new auxiliary organs.2 Very significant, furthermore, is the fact that one of the most important organs for the formation of the lymphocytes, the thymus gland, which, in the case of the embryo and also of the child before puberty, is the chief producer of white corpuscles—therefore, of the most important of life elements—begins to diminish at puberty, at the end of the second seven-year period, or about the fourteenth year, and no longer continues to serve for this vital function. (Artificial removal of the thymus in young animals has been followed, according to Tiger stedt, by a notable diminution of the leucocytes. Early use of the sexual function results in an accelerated atrophy of the thymus. Here we have a striking example of the way in which the action of the etheric formative forces—in this case life ether—takes up a new work in the organism'and leaves off an earlier task; for the period of twice-seven years intense formation of the body-building colourless blood corpuscles by a certain organ, and then, with the beginning of puberty, the disappearance of this organ, while the formative forces seek a new field of activity. Moreover, the parallelism between puberty and the change of voice in boys is connected with the fact that the formative forces change their field of activity in the organism at a certain stage of evolution. Here we can only allude to the relationship between warmth ether and light ether on the one side and chemical ether and life ether on the other and low and high tone-pitch respectively. (See pp. 205 ff. 216.) An important distinction between the circulation of lymph and that of blood consists in the fact that the first contains almost no oxygen, whereas for the blood oxygen is one of the most essential elements. But the manner in which oxygen, so decisively important for the life phenomena, appears and acts in different variations in the living organism, —this has hitherto not been understood in accord with reality for the reason that in these things a merely quantitative, formula-determining view results in a caricature. Hertwig describes the mutual relationship of blocd and oxygen as follows (p. 398) : " The blood circulating through the bodies of animals (or the hsemolymph in the case of invertebrates) mediates the exchange of gases ; on the one hand it takes up in the inner organs and tissues the carbonic gas arising from dissolution, and through the respiratory surface it gives this to the external world as useless final product of the process of metabolism. On the other hand it takes in exchange for this oxygen, which is then delivered through the circulation in the interior to the cells which require oxygen. Most completely does the blood thus carry out its role of intermediary if chemical combinations have arisen in it which through their labile affinity for oxygen can take this up readily and as readily release it.” But Hertz has already most emphatic--ally pointed out, and Hertwig agrees with him, that the term affinity merely gives a name to a phenomenon which it has been entirely impossible to understand, but that it does not explain this phenomenon. Eor what in the final analysis induces a substance through “ labile affinity ” first to seize greedily upon oxygen and a second later to thrust it away— this cannot be in the least explained on the basis of mere processes of substances. We must here also reach back to take hold of the forces active within substances in order to understand this labile process. The problem, then, runs thus : What forces are active in one part of the organism, to form the substance-structure of the so-called oxyhaemoglobin ; and what other forces are active in other parts of the organism to cause this process of forming oxyhaemoglobin to reverse itself ? We shall understand this process concretely if we recall in what different ways the different etheric formative forces are related to oxygen. A distinction of great importance for an understanding of the phenomena of life is to determine in which systems, organs, and parts of the body the threefold oxygen (03, ozone) is formed, and in which others the twofold (02). (See also Chap. VII.) If, now—as we have already shown—we merely distinguish in a calculating mechanical fashion between a threefold union of oxygen and a twofold union of this substance, our understanding remains outside the real nature of the phenomena. It is not merely a question as to the quantity in which something substantial is there united, but by means of what formative forces one thing and another thing are held together and with what qualitative characteristics these formative forces are associated ! Only this touches the nature of the thing. If, now, we examine the matter from this point of view, we discover, as has already been said in connection with* the light phenomena in the earth organism, that the threefold oxygen is associated chiefly with the formative forces of life ether, but also those of light ether, and the twofold with the two remaining formative forces, chemical ether and warmth ether. (See Chap. IV., The Ontogenetic Genesis of Substance.) The chemical formula 03—O2+70 Cal. of heat says nothing to us except that heat manifests its presence along with twofold oxygen, whereas with threefold there is no heat; this can convey nothing further to our understanding. The question " Why ? " sends us unescapably to the etheric. When the substance 03, formed in the light-ether sphere of the earth organism with the life ether, descends into the lower layers of the earth atmosphere, heat appears in the phenomenal world (O3=O2+70 Cal. of heat). Heat results, as it were, from the “ sacrifice/' the descent into denser matter. More recent research has brought to light the fact that in reality in the breathing, blood circulation, etc., of living beings, not only do twofold oxygen and water appear, which we encounter and inhale in the lower strata of the atmosphere, but that the living organism in many parts „ causes within itself a re-formation of 03 from 02 on the one hand and H202 from H20. Thus we see that the living organism reverses within itself processes which the earth organism first produced, a truth in which are concealed many mysteries of the cosmic evolution. Ozone and hydrogen peroxide have in recent times been proven to exist in the vital fluids of most animals and plants, chiefly, however, as a phenomenon always accompanying assimilation and as an intermediate product of respiration. Now, it is exceedingly interesting to trace the manner in which the living being, by means of the forces working within him, brings about that labile transformation from twofold to threefold oxygen, and back from threefold to twofold. It has already been amply demonstrated through experiments that the blood is a very powerful catalyzer for this sort of process. What the blood does here is only the following : it causes the so-called “ slow combustion/' It is a basic phenomenon that this slow combustion is an attribute cf all living beings ; should the combustion proceed here as rapidly as it does elsewhere in Nature—as, for example, in a burning candle (p. 133)—the whole life-process of a man, for instance, would move at a tempo far too rapid; and man could then in his spiritual evolution not keep pace with the tremendously accelerated physical evolution. Then he would naturally have a much briefer duration of life than he has at present, because the using up, or “ ageing," of the organism would begin much earlier. We may state the matter thus : Through this transformation, the blood causes a transitional metamorphosis from the laws of the “ warm flame " to those of the " cold flame " ; it thus checks the rapid combustion within the organism and renders possible the slower process of combustion in the • living being, the slowing down of the life processes, so necessary for the spiritual evolution. Already in considering the phenomena of radio-activity, which exert so great an influence upon life phenomena (Chap. X), we have seen that in this way ozone and hydrogen peroxide are on the one hand formed and on the other hand destroyed. The same thing happens also by action of the blood—that is, the etheric formative forces active in the -process of the circulation of the blood. The organism receives the air, the twofold oxygen, brought in through the lungs and the breathing tissues ; changes this into threefold (" cold flame," retardation of life process, oxyhaemoglobin) and only after a part of the organism has been coursed through in this way does the re-formation take place from Oz to 02 (+ 70 cal. of heat) ; and hereby comes into manifestation that heat which is characteristic for the heat-processes in organisms ('* warm flame "). The conflict between the two etheric formative forces, light ether and chemical ether, which lies at the basis of the life phenomena of the rhythmic system, leads, as we have seen in the course of this chapter, to many and varied goals. It manifests itself not only in the rhythm of breathing in the corresponding organs, but also in the inner tone- world of man, which leads to speech. It manifests itself not only in the rhythm of the blood circulation, but also in the substance-structure of this blood in motion—the most vital of all body-building elements. Here this conflict is the basis of life in the following manner:—While the light ether, together with life ether, forms the threefold oxygen, it is working according to the laws of the cold flame, of the upper pole, the consciousness pole; but, when the chemical ether, on the contrary, forms the twofold oxygen, it is then engendering the life element of the “ warm flame," the lower pole, the metabolic pole ! Arterial blood or venous blood, slow combustion or rapid combustion, retardation or acceleration of the course of the life-processes, protraction of life in the substance world or hastening of the arrival of death—these alternations work themselves out through this eternal conflict. It may be said, therefore, that in the human rhythmic system (breathing, blood circulation, etc.), the light ether works for the upper, consciousness pole ; chemical ether for the lower, metabolic pole, the substance pole ; the one formative force works for the physical basis of the spiritual life ; the other for the physical basis of the corporeal life. As long as man lives in the substance world, neither of the two conflicting formative forces is victorious, for the living man establishes and maintains an equipoise until the moment of death. The “ life " of man thus manifests itself as the maintenance of an equipoise between conflicting polarities. Therein lies its nature. Since all these processes are extremely labile, and in constant alternation gradually pass one into the other, they can never be completely understood by means of chemical formulae. Distinguished investigators admit that the formulae established for oxyhaemoglobin, haemoglobin, etc., do not fit the essence of the reality. By means of chemical formulae it is possible really to signify merely with what substances, approximately, the formative-force complexes here present are working, but the substance-structure is in continuous change. This, indeed, is the distinction between living beings and inanimate things, as we have already seen in connection with the earth organism : the inanimate hardens according to its general laws, according to its structure (rigor mortis, coagulated blood, etc.) ; but substance permeated by life, on the contrary, is constantly being disorganized, or reduced to chaos, in its combinations and connections, modified, prevented from hardening into fixed dead laws. In that the etheric formative forces prevent this fixing of substance, they maintain the organism in life, they set up the great eternal principle of life : without the ether body, the physical body of man, of the earth, and of the cosmos would change into corpses. If the organism loses its ether body with its inner mobility, paralysis comes to the living, and stiffening to the dead body, the blood and muscular fluids coagulate, etc. If for a moment a part of the ether body withdraws from the limb of a living body-—a leg or an arm, for instance—■ we say the limb " has gone to sleep ” ; for the moment we lose our control over this limb while this is in itself immovable, is stopped in its processes of circulation, etc. But the basis for this lies in the fact that, in the case of a hand " gone to sleep,” the corresponding member of the ether body has shifted itself and withdrawn from the physical member. As soon as the etheric member again enters into the so-called " sleeping ” physical member, that member at once recovers its previous vital mobility and sensitiveness to stimuli. (Concerning the essence of " stimulation,” see Chap. XI.) When a corpse loses its rigidity, about the third day after death, the etheric body has completely withdrawn from the physical body of the man; the corpse is now no longer subject to inner, but only to outer laws, which thenceforth destroy it and dissolve it according to the general unindividualized laws of Nature : the corpse decays. An anatomy which draws only upon the physical body of the organism, and not also the ether body, describes thus only the corpse, not the living organism ; to the latter belong also those other vital " members ” of the human being, if he is to be understood in every detail according to the laws of reality. It is interesting to follow the phylogenetic and ontogenetic process in the course of which the etheric formative forces shape and group the different substances of the organism. Just as the genesis of the etheric formative forces proceeds and ascends from warmth ether to light ether, to chemical ether, and to life ether, thus so the process of condensation of the organic substances manifests the most varied stages in blood, in soft parts of the body, in nerves, and finally in the bony system. So also the skin, the albumen, the brain substance, the starch and sugar substances manifest a metamorphosis in evolution which would not be possible without the etheric formative forces. Bor the influence of chemical ether upon the genesis and maintenance of nerve substance, for instance, it is very characteristic to observe that the artificial abstraction of water from a nerve causes the strongest excitations, whereas the introduction of large quantities of pure water generally has an immediate deadening effect upon the nerves (Professor A. Waller)—a fact which shows the significance of the ” dose,” but shows also the intimate connection between the nerve substance and the chemical ether which controls Watery substances (Chap. II, etc.). On the other hand rays of visible light (light ether) have a marked effect upon albumen, and practically none upon muscle, etc. The metamorphosis of one substance into another, and the alternation of functions on the part of cell complexes through the passing of the various etheric formative forces from the active to the latent state and vice versa we have already set forth in detail in Chapter XX. Finally, a future study of the senses will be able to discover elements for an understanding of this subject from the reciprocal relationships between The sense of heat and warmth ether, The sense of sight and light ether, The sense of taste and chemical ether, The sense of hearing and chemical ether, The sense of smell and life ether, etc., as well as the remaining senses and their intimate relationships to etheric processes. In this connection what has been said in Chapter XI in regard to " stimuli ” will apply to the human organism also. Indeed, in regard to a theory of the senses Dr. Rudolf Steiner has already provided extensive material which the sciences of physiology, psychology, etc., when these draw upon the etheric, will be able to develop to a comprehensive realm of knowledge. The branch of the discussion to which we are here limited does not render possible, unfortunately, a detailed discussion of this far-reaching material. We have already mentioned the relationship between the forces of speech, so important for the development of consciousness, and the rhythmic system ; but still other associated processes may now be explained if we trace the manner in which the rhythmical variations in the pressure of the cerebral fluid, due to the ether body of the rhythmic system, stand in intimate relationship—through the intermediary of the etheric—with nerve-sense impressions on the one hand, and with the processes of breathing, blood-circulation, and blood-formation on the other. Here is one of the most essential meeting points, where that which enters into our head as a sense impression—that is, enters through the organs of sensation into the living organism—-meets with that which lives in our breathing and blood circulation: that is, where the content of sense-perceptions and influences meets with the physical bases of our speech, on the one hand, and of our body-building elements (blood, etc.) on the other. The etheric formative forces work in both entities. The activity of consciousness in man, living in the phenomenal world, is—so far as this requires a physical basis—dependent in the most far-reaching ways upon the existence of these rhythmic processes in the cerebral fluid. It is significant that the human brain is not subject like the rest of the organism to the force of gravity directed toward the centre of the earth; but, since it is subjected to the upward pressure of the cerebral fluid, with its variations, it is freed to the utmost extent from the attraction of the earth. The laws, therefore, of the upper pole of man stand in opposition to the laws of the earth organism, as these hold sway at the lower pole in man, where the nutritional material taken from the terrestrial environment is worked up, and where no organ necessary to our waking consciousness is formed. > In the head (upward pressure by the cerebral fluid means release from gravitation) there hold sway, therefore, according to this point of view, laws which are anti-terrestrial; in the lower man (digestive system), on the contrary, we find predominantly terrestrial laws. Here also we find a polarity between terrestrial laws, on the one hand, and extra-terrestrial or cosmic laws, on the other ; and as a result we see in the human organism also a polarity of a spiritual kind (waking consciousness centralized above, not below), as also a polarity in the etheric formative forces, which in turn leads to a polarity in the physical organism.

The phylogenetic and ontogenetic genesis of the human physical organism must, therefore, for a real understanding, be traced back to the laws of the cosmos, of the cosmic organism and the earth organism. If we consider the ether body of man and its action upon the physical body, we have already been able to point out the distribution of the etheric formative forces in general in the following manner.

Consciousness pole mineralizing tendency.

Rhythmical tendency.

Metabolic pole, combustion.

Life ether (pole of the “cold flame”).

Light ether and chemical ether.

Warmth ether (pole of the ” warm flame ”).

If, now, we consider the appearance of the different etheric forces in detail within the organism, and seek for their many

smaller centres, we discover that many etheric centres coincide with the nerve ganglia in the human nerve-sense system, but there are more etheric centres than physical centres. It is now of decisive value to trace the manner in which the correspondence between the etheric forces of the nervous system and those of the blood system leads also to a most far reaching analogy between the shaping of these two most important systems. Since the same forces—only under different conditions’—have formed both the nerve system and the blood system, the second is, therefore, in its formation almost a copy of the first. Let us consider first the two most important organs, the brain and the heart.

As the brain divides itself into an upper and a lower part (cerebrum and cerebellum), so also does the heart. Obviously, moreover, the right and left halves of the brain are distinct, so that there are in all four parts just as the heart is divided into four chambers. If we now trace this organic differentiation further, it becomes evident that the brain runs out into twelve pairs of nerves. Only the illogical abstractionist will consider this a mere “ chance ” ; to the investigator in the world of the organic it will be a matter of obvious necessity that the same etheric formative forces which brought into existence macrocosmically and phylogenetically twelve signs of the zodiac, caused also microcosmically, in the human organism at the focus of the nerve-sense system, just twelve pairs of primary nerves.

The structure of the heart, which is, in its development, at present still behind that of the organ of consciousness, shows in the physical organ, the four parts corresponding to the major parts of the brain, but not jryet, on the contrary, the twelve-fold division corresponding to the further process of differentiation ; but the etheric heart possesses this twelve-fold structure—-as Dr. Rudolf Steiner indicates in his book” Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der hoheren Welteri’*—and tends by nature in the course of its evolution to bring about this twelve-fold differentiation in the physical organ also as this has already been accomplished in the organ of the brain. That such a gradual development of the organ of the heart, like that of the brain, is associated with decisive modifications of the activities of consciousness and of the several members of the human being—-this will occur to logical thought, in the light of phylogenetic events already visible to us in other branches of knowledge, as a necessity of Nature.

If we now trace the form of the nervous system in the rest of the organism—for example, in the spinal cord—we discover an entirely different structure ; and these differences are to be understood only

* Translated under the title ” Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment.” London, 1928.

if we apply to their understanding what has been said in Chapter III regarding the etheric currents of the earth.

We there considered the position of the spine in the several kingdoms of living beings in its relation to the etheric currents within the earth organism, and discovered that man, when erect and in his waking consciousness, is subject in maximum degree to the influence of the currents induced by the sun ; but, when asleep and in a horizontal posture, to the currents induced by the moon ; and finally that animals, because of the horizontal posture of the vertebral column, are subject in maximum degree, even when they are awake, to the action of the moon. Whoever, for instance, observes a dog or other animal at the time of full moon and new moon, can collect a wealth of material bearing upon this.

Man, therefore, practises those highest activities of consciousness which belong to him alone of all the kingdoms cf Nature by means cf a brain which is strongly susceptible to the sun influence—as an entity— „ and we have seen that this brain in its twelve-fold structure corresponds to the twelve-fold division of the macrocosmic system into the twelve signs of the zodiac, through which the sun moves in the course of the year.

The activity of consciousness which man practises by means of the nerve system centralized in the spinal cord is far more subdued than the waking conscious activity of the brain ; the former resembles that cf the animal, a more dreamlike consciousness. This nerve system, adapted rather to the animal-like consciousness, we have found in the animal to be subject essentially to the influence of the moon. If, now, we consider the origin of this spinal-cord system, we shall find an explanation in the fact that its structure must be rather a copy of macrocosmic events of the moon, whose formative forces were here specially active. Just as the month, a twelfth of the year, consists of 28-31 days, and in this rhythm the revolving moon shows to the earth its various phases— waxing and waning within one month—so also the spinal-cord nerve system of man is divided into 31 pairs of nerves. This nerve system mediates our reflex—that is, involuntary—movements ; its consciousness is dreamlike, does not resemble the daylight waking consciousness of the brain, but resembles rather the subdued consciousness of the animal and the sleeping man. Indeed, it is, in the animal when awake and man asleep, coursed through in maximum degree by the terrestrial current induced by the moon. (See Chap. III.)

The human organism possesses a third nerve system in the so-called ” sympathetic nerve system,” which has its most important organ in the solar plexus and develops its chief activity in the organs of digestion. This is the nerve system of the lower pole, of the metabolic system, and

therefore of that part of the organism which is related chiefly to the earth organism in the assimilation of the nutritional body-building matter ‘ taken from the earth. This process at the lower pole proceeds normally in such a way that it does not enter at all into our consciousness : that is, our state of consciousness in relation to this real process is like that of deep sleep, wherein we know nothing of all that is going on in and around us.

By co-ordinating each of the three parts of the nerve system to one of the three systems of the human organism, so to speak, as its organ of consciousness, the threefold human organism reveals itself in the following manner:

Head system, sun influence.

Brain, 12 pairs of nerves (12 signs of the zodiac),

Voluntary movements,

Waking consciousness.

Middle system, spinal-cord nerve system, moon influence.

Vertebral column, 31 pairs of nerves (phases of the moon, month),

Involuntary movements,

Dream consciousness.

Metabolic system, sympathetic nerve system, earth influence. Assimilation of the substances of the earth,

Deep-sleep consciousness.

Thus the states of consciousness, the etheric formative forces, and the processes connected with substance are all linked up in man both phylo-genetically and ontogenetically in harmonious relationship with processes in the cosmos and in the earth organism.

Through this human organism there courses during the day still another etheric current, the ” life current.” Just as watery substances, ascend in vegetation during the course of the year and of the day, thus rendering possible the phenomena of plant life—which we have been able to explain on the basis of the breathing process of the earth organism, which exhales into the atmosphere and again inhales an etheric current (Chap. Ill)—so also do etheric currents from the earth organism stream through the human organism, alternately in and out during the course of the day and the night.

The relation of human consciousness to these realities is a unique thing. Just as the discoveries in the radio-active decay of substance, which have so profoundly modified our previous world-conception,

According to this theory, the atoms of matter have in themselves nothing whatever to do either with heat or with light ; they are conceived as being, in their own nature, parts “existing wholly for themselves, which only in their mechanical relations of motion to other atoms give rise to light and heat. Thus is the true-and basic relationship of Nature and her general law of evolution completely reversed, in that those forms which, according to the actual appearance, are the undifferentiated and universal—concentration, or gravity, and its exact counterparts, heat and light—are not to be considered as the original elements, but on the contrary the independently individual and differentiated atoms of matter are thought of as the pre-supposition pre-requisite to gravity, heat, and light. In spite of the fact that the present view of Nature is forced to admit that the state of the heavenly bodies evolved first out of the condition of uniform and undifferentiated heat and light into a state of the variously separated and individual, yet in the last analysis the first place is none the less assigned, not to the simple and undifferentiated unity with the whole (heat, etc.), but to the separate and individual parts (atoms). That law of evolution which is supposed to hold good for all of Nature and especially for all development of organisms, is turned upside down, and thereby, as we shall see, all explanation of the organic, of the physical, and of the spiritually universal, is rendered impossible, since from the start the mechanical separateness of the separate atoms, the independence of partial existences, is made the primal thing.”

Planck therefore warns against the error of making the world of atoms genetically prior to the world of the entities heat, light, etc., and against adopting at the outset a view as to the investigation of Nature which must restrict the knowledge of Nature within limits ever more and more narrow.

In the midst of all the doubts which now beset the greatest natural-scientists as to the manner of viewing the world which they have hitherto maintained, it is impossible to understand why the orientation of research which Dr. Rudolf Steiner initiated in his scientific writings, and which furnishes a means whereby we may be guided out of this dilemma, has not yet been adopted. As early as 1888, Dr. Steiner pointed out in those writings of his the false path taken in such a manner of viewing the world as that of Du Bois Reymond, which resolves the processes of Nature into mere ” mechanics of atoms,” or that of Ostwald, who reduced them all to the mere “ manifestation of energy.” Steiner then wrote* :

* Dr. R. Steiner, ” Einleitung zu Goethes Naturwissenschaftlichen Schriften,’* Deutsche Nationalliteratur, Stuttgart. Reprinted as “ Goethes Naturwissen-schaftliche Schriften,” Domach, 1926. This work will be indicated in subsequent references by the initials E.G.N.S.

tt is what Du Bois Reymond finds : ‘ It is a psychological fact of experience that, when such a solution (the resolution of the processes of Nature into the mechanics of atoms) cemes to us, our inner need for a causal explanation is provisionally satisfied/ This may be a fact of experience for Du Bois Reymond, but it is necessary to say to the gentleman that there are other men who have no sense of satisfaction whatever in a crass explanation of the corporeal world—such as he conceives it. *

It is the epoch-making achievement of Steiner to have pointed out— in contrast with all preceding views of Nature—that the previous division of the conception of the world into an objective part, which can be grasped only in a mathematical-mechanical fashion, and a subjective part, as this division has been made, has led to a complete distortion and falsification of this conception of the world. The reflections of the more recent philosophers and scientists, he declares, ” have led to the belief that the external phenomena which produce sound in the ear, light in the eye, and heat in the organ of heat-perception have nothing in common with the experience of sound, light, heat, etc. On the contrary, these external phenomena are supposed to be certain motions of matter. So, then, the scientist seeks to discover what sorts of external motion-phenomena cause sound, light, heat, etc. to arise in the human soul. He comes to the conclusion that, outside of the human organism, there exists nowhere in all space such a thing as red, yellow, or blue, but that there is only a vibratory motion of a fine elastic medium, the ether, which, when experienced by the eye, manifests itself as red, yellow, or blue. The modem natural-scientist thinks that, were there no experiencing eye, neither would there be any colour, but only ether in motion. The ether, he thinks, is something objective; the colour, merely something subjective produced in the human body/’f

In opposition to this, Dr. Steiner maintains the following: “ Any one whose capacity to think has not been entirely destroyed by Descartes, Docke, Kant and the modem physiology will never be able to conceive how one can consider light, colour, tone, heat as merely subjective states of the human organism and yet continue to maintain the existence °f an objective world of phenomena outside the organism. Whoever mahes the human organism the creator of the occurrences known as lone, heat, colour, etc., must also consider the organism as the producer °f extension, mass, position, motion, forces, etc. For these mathematical ^d mechanical qualities are inseparably united with the other contents the world of experience. The separation of the relationships of sPace, number, motion, as well as the manifestations of energy, from

* E.G.N.S., p. -236. t E.G.N.S., p. 243.

were wholly unknown to modem science up to thirty years ago, and yet were realities during all the thousands of years preceding, so the human organism has for a long time been under the influence of these currents of etheric forces flowing through us from the interior of the earth, and yet human consciousness has never brought these realities within its reach. A research into the phenomena of life, which is in conformity with the reality, will require in future, however, to give attention to the profoundly significant nature of these things.

When the earth breathes out at sunrise the etheric formative forces which produce the phenomena of life in the plant world (Chap. Ill), then also does the life current begin to course through the human organism. Beginning at the feet—that is, since we are here dealing with etheric processes, beginning at the lower end of the ether body of man—the current of etheric formative forces enters the human organism, flows through the human rhythmic system, there vitalizing many lesser rhythms, and ascends to the brain. In the evening, about sunset, it flows back, and finally reaches again the lower end of the ether body, the feet, in the morning before sunrise, to begin once more from there at sunrise its course through the organism.

Diagram of the direction of the flow of the etheric life current through the human organism in the course of a day:

Head system: Consciousness pole.

Rhythmic system, left

Metabolic system.

Diagram of the direction of the circulation of the blood in the human organism:

Lesser blood circulation. Lung circulation.

left

Greater blood circulation.

Organ of the heart.

(a) Right auricle.

(b) Right ventricle.

(c) Left auricle.

(d) Left ventricle.

As the etheric current of breathing of the earth organism, rising in the course of the day from the interior of the earth and returning there, gives a fresh impulse daily through its rhythms and its formative forces to the phenomena of life in all the kingdoms of Nature, so does it course also through man, giving an impulse to the vitalizing circulation of his blood and keeping this in continuous flow.

And, indeed, the life current courses through the human organism upward chiefly on the right side and downward chiefly on the left. Through this fact and only so can the development of the circulation of the blood be explained. (Diagram above.)

The fact of the upward flow of the etheric life current on the right side and downward flow on the left explains to us, furthermore, why many organs in the human body are not placed symmetrically, but asymmetrically, that some belong more to the right sphere and some more to the left, and moreover why the movements of the fluids in the two regions tend for the most part in different directions. Further, the life current during the day—that is, when ascending—affects principally the nerve system, and during the night—that is, when descending—■ principally the blood system; and this fact is related to the states of human consciousness : the heightened waking consciousness of the day

and the suppressed dream and deep-sleep consciousness of the night, and their transitions one into another.

But each man’s own ether body also modifies in turn the general nature of the etheric life current of the earth and individualizes this within the human organism of each individual human being in such a way that it is individually distinct in each man from the current in every other man and from the rest of the terrestrial and cosmic currents.

We have already seen, in connection with breathing and the circulation of the blood, that these rhythms are partly subject to the human will and partly not so subject, and therefore enter into more or less intimate mutual relationship with the life of the human soul. Here, therefore, the human and cosmic wills are often in contact either supplementing or disturbing one another. Human will, human destiny, human health or sickness, and most of all human knowledge or ignorance of cosmic laws, may here upbuild or destroy very much. Great and essential mysteries of the opposed or united evolution of cosmos, earth, and man are here either open to view or concealed,

A new theory in regard to all these entities and organisms will lead also to a new physchology, physiology, and anatomy of the human being with widely extended spiritual horizons. Dr. Eugen Kolisko gives one an overwhelming impression of what is required in this change of view. He says that this new direction in research brings one to an “ entirely new conception of the relation between that which belongs to the soul and that which belongs to the body. Anthroposophy can neither think of the bodily as the cause of phenomena of the soul, as is the case in the more or less materialistic mode of thought, nor can it speak of a parallelism of the psychic and the physical, as is done to a great extent to-day, simply recording these elements side by side, but it must investigate adequately what region of the life of the soul is related 1 to a specific region of the life of the body. Previously men believed in a * seat * of the soul, which was conceived as being somewhere and in some way separated from what is bodily, in order to avoid bringing it into relation with gross matter. In this way the soul was conceived, not exactly as a ‘ gaseous vertebrate ’ but at least in a very materialistic way. Then came a time when everything of the nature of soul was attributed to causes lying in the nervous system, and all soul functions were indiscriminately attributed to this nervous system. This is clearly a relic of the old theory of the ‘ seat’ of the soul, which is now supposed to be something proceeding from the nervous system and there localized. Anthroposophy will show how the soul is united with the whole man. In reference to the functions of the soul it must be possible to explain which physical organ is the basis for each of them.

“ In this manner we part on the one hand with that psychology which leads to utter abstractions, and speaks of a soul element which has no relation to the physical—an inheritance from the old theory of the soul; and on the other hand we part with the theory which thinks of the greater part of the human organism as having no relation to the sold and so considers this as it has been customary to think of the external world as being the product of physical and chemical action. A view of the body void of the soul element and of the soul void of the spiritual— such is this way of thinking, where one does not use the spiritual in order to comprehend the soul in its extraordinarily manifold relations with the body. These are the two extremes which Anthroposophy will refute. It perceives the element of soul in its polaric character and sees that this can be understood only as it is related to the polarically organized processes of the body. In addition one will be forced to see that thinking, for instance (not conceiving, which, as it were, projects further the external perceiving) comes about not only by means of the brain, but by means of the whole man, for in pure thinking there is present a factor of will in that one concept is consciously linked to another. But if thinking is real in*its nature and if it leads to knowledge, then there is united with this will-permeated thinking also feeling. A thinking which, through the activity of will, leads into the spiritual and then bears fruit in knowledge is also warmed by a content of feeling. To this, however, correspond the appropriate processes in the body, so that we understand how such thinking brings man to a unity of soul and body, to a harmonious interplay of his organizing system of forces/’

If one views these realities, not abstractly, but in the living man in their world relationships, one then arrives at new forms of knowledge in pathology and therapy, in the art of healing.

The theory of the human organism, with its etheric formative forces and the other members of its being, demands for the art of healing also a thorough-going knowledge of the vegetable and mineral substances, of the remedies to be applied to the diseased human organism; but not only of plants and minerals in relation to their physical structure but primarily in relation to their etheric structure-—that is, to a knowledge of the etheric formative forces in these, either upbuilding or destroying, influencing the phenomena of life. Only a methodical knowledge of the etheric forces in plants, minerals, metals, springs, natural and artificial remedies can lead to a methodical application of these healing forces to the etheric organism of man, likewise accessible to knowledge, to a methodical therapy and to a comprehensive employment of all the healing forces of Nature. In future the art of healing will rest upon a knowledge of the etheric in Nature and in man.

When the human being recognizes that which belongs to soul and to spirit, how these express themselves vitally and harmoniously in the human organism, he recognizes also the element of soul and spirit and the physical in external Nature. For cosmos, earth, and man are built up according to the same will, through the same etheric forces, and of the same substances. Since the genesis of the element of soul and of spirit and of the physical in Nature became the genesis of man, so the human being who knows himself perceives at the end of his road the being of Nature.

After Nature has builded him, he builds and masters Nature, until human knowledge will embrace cosmos, earth, and man. Thus knowledge of the world becomes knowledge of man, and knowledge of man becomes knowledge of the world.

Only the fulfilment of the great command which since the Greek period has hovered before humanity throughout the centuries :

“ Know thyself ! ”

leads to the goal of the evolution of man and of the world.
A World Reflection

THE natural-scientific view of the world belonging to our time places at the beginning of our cosmic system the “ primal nebula/’ at its end the “ heat death.” The cosmic system, evolved from the primal nebula—with its sun, zodiacal circle, planets, its human, animal, and mineral kingdoms—will merely be merged at the end of this evolution, according to this view, in the general heat death, the general dissolution and destruction. This world-conception was supposed to fulfil the task of describing the evolution of ” Nature,” but one quickly observes that the methods of research employed do not render possible a knowledge of living ” Nature ” ; so that, during recent centuries, this research has become, more and more, for those who were honest and who wer£ unwilling to delude themselves, a one-sided knowledge of the inanimate, of dead Nature. For one had to halt before the phenomena of life, in regard to which a great and upright man of learning previously quoted has said, ” the investigator of to-day, with his conceptions which have thus far so wonderfully served him, has nothing to say.” /

In the knowledge of Nature, however, everything depends upon questions that we put to Nature. Nature answers rightly only where she is rightly questioned. But was not the entire questioning as done by the natural science of the past century false from the beginning ? Was not the question so stated that the answer could never have led to a lifting of the veil which hides the living ? Can the cosmic system, even if its evolution leads only from primal nebula to heat death, be comprehended even in fragments of its being through methods of thought attained and schooled in research in dead matter ? In Chapter I we have shown, in reference to the theory of motion, that in this cosmic system there can be no motion-event from the simplest to the most complex whose ultimate cause does not lie in the will-impulse of a being who wills. The phenomenal world of our sense organs, the world of matter^ is not a fixed, dead thing, but—viewed in the large-—is at every moment of its existence in eternal motion, transformation, evolution, metamorphosis. Nothing stands still in this cosmic system ; the face of the solid earth changes in relatively brief periods, just as essentially

as the smallest units of substance, with their mutually whirling forces and substance nuclei, are in continuous inner motion. But this is Nature \ In her there is no substance that is not in inner and outer motion, no motion that is not ultimately will-impelled, nothing dead that is not a part of something living, nothing living and organic-—however great it may be—that is not the bearer of that which possesses being and will. The second of the seven riddles of the great natural philosopher, Du Bois Reymond, regarding the origin of motion in the cosmos, signifies, indeed, for modem research the ” limit of the knowledge of Nature ” if this research wishes to know the evolution of substance from primal nebula to heat death without finding such means and methods as will include in this wo rid-conception a knowledge of that which was before the primal nebula, is during the evolution of substance, and will be after this evolution-—of that, namely, which maintains the moving, living, and ensouled world of substance constantly in motion and alive. But the bridge to this must be formed by the knowledge of the etheric, the etheric formative forces in cosmos, earth, and man.

In our day science begins to enter a stage of the process of knowledge where the arbitrary separation between the scientific and the religious, artificially set up by quantitative scientific research, cannot longer be permitted, because it will become a peril to humanity and to the world.

How, in the course of human evolution, did this separation between science and religion originate ? If one wishes to understand this in its ultimate depths, one must not consider human ” knowledge ” only according to its content, must not contrast knowledge and faith merely abstractly, but must really, from a very different point of view, put the far more essential question : In what way was knowledge “ acquired ” ? The evolution of human consciousness shows us two polarically contrasting methods by which men on earth have acquired “ knowledge.”

Novalis says in his “ Fragments ” : “ Science in the large consists of the product of the memory sciences, the kinds of knowledge that are given, and rational sciences, or the kinds of knowledge that are made. These last are the work of man.”

Let us supplement this course of thought.

Human capacity for knowledge also once fell into the ” original sin ” : that of sundering original unity. The first ” knowledge ” was given to man as revelation. Man received this knowledge from a spiritual world, which gave it to him. Whoever denies this deceives himself, or does not think through to the end. This knowledge which was given to man we would call—only to make it intelligible—” revealed science ” ;

* for, when this knowledge came to man, he was passive, ” feminine ” ; he merely ” received ” ; the spiritual world ” gave.” What was thus

given man set down in symbols, in rites, in cults and ceremonies, and in the great folk-myths. The first sort of knowledge became the content of religion.

But there came a time when it did not suffice for man to be merely passive in the act of knowing; merely the object of the activity of a spiritual outside of himself. He would subject to his will the acquisition of knowledge ; would actively, as “ masculine/’ share in creation and in performance, in the act of knowledge ; he would lead himself in this, master himself, freely and self-sufficiently unite to his knowledge that which he desired and when he desired it. He strove to be free from “ grace ” and independent in the content and in the time of his knowing. We shall not here probe into the question whether he craved the possible or the impossible. That he did so crave sufficed, for thus originated the second great stream. This passed over from the feminine—receiving of knowledge to the masculine—cognitional act by mankind. It set up the human will as postulate in place of grace; it replaced revelation with observation and experiment; it laid down its knowledge, no.longer in cult and symbols, but in books and scrolls. To-day this stream calls itself natural science. But in the zeal of his action man forgot that he had at first received his knowledge before his own will to knowledge was active ; he forgot that his knowledge acquired by activity would never have been possible had not knowledge been given him beforehand without his own doing! Indeed, he disavowed this first “ knowledge ” as such although it was the daily and hourly instrument of his labour, and called it “ faith ” even where it had formerly been “ knowledge.” Thus the separation became intensified. The ” revealed science ” was preserved by religion ; actively acquired natural science by the scientist.

The received knowledge man preserved at first at the seats of the ‘ ancient mysteries in India, Persia, Egypt, Greece and elsewhere. There was a three-fold meaning at the basis of the primeval cult ceremonies, rites, and symbols. A first significance, accessible immediately to any one who received this wisdom ; a second significance intelligible only to the initiates ; a third significance which was given by the ultimate, profoundest, true experience of wisdom. During the epoch of Greek culture, the practice began of disclosing to the folk—for example, in the mystery plays, and the great tragedies of the poets—a part of this .wisdom. This was likewise the time when the event of the Mystery of Golgotha occurred, in which was performed the deed of the Christ ; the time in which occurred the last great “ revelations ” to humanity. Since that time the religious tradition has, indeed, preserved the received knowledge ; but later on, and especially after the fifteenth century, no

essential content of revelation has been added to this. The physical element of man and the physical world in which this lives came over into the realm of natural science and its research ; the soul and its faith belonged to religion. But this separation was an arbitrary human act which fundamentally contradicted the realities of the cosmic evolution, and in time would have to be duly expiated.

While the one stream which had received its knowledge only in passivity, in surrender, remained behind in the thinking evolution of man, the other stream, which desired to have its knowledge through activity in research and experimentation has forced its way beyond its own goal. Penetrating in research and mastering in constantly ascending measure the content of the physical world, the world of so-called “matter/’ this stream did not remain in the mere phenomena attainable to sense observation and experimentation, but thrust its thought beyond mere phenomena and constructed at the back of these phenomena a complicated hypothetical world of atomic and mechanistic theories, which are by no means given to man as a real content of experience. Mastery of man over “ matter ” .is the tremendous service wrought by this stream of knowledge. But the exclusion of the so-called “ subjective ” and “ qualitative ” elements of the soul and the spirit of man—not to be severed by any violent act of thought—this was its great guilt. Those who live in our calamitous time begin—-if they are not blind to reality— to feel and expiate this guilt.

The natural scientist and the atheist of this materialistic epoch have forgotten that man once received his knowledge without any act of his own as a gift from the spiritual worlds. If they would only take the trouble to trace human history back in logical fashion and to find out how knowledge came to man before he began to acquire it for himself by active observation and experimentation, they could in this way arrive at a “ proof of God ” and a real perception of a spiritual world, before which even the most sceptical brain must capitulate. The natural scientist of the present would often like to have, not only the content of his knowledge, but also the methods of thought used in his work, recognized as fixed in objective correctness ; and he is not generally pleased, therefore, to hear what is none the less true, that— sub specie aeternitatis—not only much of the present-day content, but also the methods of present-day occidental science are a mere episode, which is moving toward its abrupt close, in order that, after having achieved a vast amount, this epoch may be redeemed by a method of research that will include a knowledge and a world which those who concentrate their knowledge on inanimate Nature and the world of dead substance would rule out of the limits of knowledge or by arbitrary

boundaries would wholly deny. And yet just there lie the eternal frontiers beyond which is knowledge of the phenomena of life.

Thus not only has the previous knowledge of a spiritual world been reduced during the past century to faith—that is, to an hypothesis’—but also knowledge of the physical world, of matter, has been reduced by science to hypotheses. For the world of the ” atom,” of ” vibrations,” of ” waves,” etc., has never been perceived as such in its greatest and most essential part by any human eye or other sense organ. Hypothesis here and hypothesis there ! Only a knowledge whose range of experience includes the supersensible world can bring us a solution.

But a research and a knowledge which passes over to the understanding of the phenomena of life and actual being in things-—and thereby for the first time to a knowledge of things in themselves—is closely bound up with religion ; indeed, for this a religious attitude is the primary requisite whether at the dissecting table or only in the pure act of cognition. It is a truth which must be uttered in our time that such a knowledge of the being of man, * which includes the supersensible—and just here lies the future task of our evolution—would not have been possible -but for the real event of the Mystery of Golgotha, without that which happened to the earth through the act of Christ. Only a Christ-permeated knowledge will find the means and the way to extend the knowledge of the being of man from the knowledge of dead substances to that of the living, of the spiritual. Natural science and revealed science join hands in the Christ-permeated knowledge of supersensible reality. Only by this road will man be able to pass over from hypothetical knowledge of substance and hypothetical faith in the reality of a spiritual world to an encompassing of the sensible and the supersensible in knowledge, for neither can ever really be understood apart from the other.

* To an objective observer, both the previous evolution and the future task of humanity present themselves in the following diagram:

Uncertainty of the Spiritual:

Faith.

Cosmic ‘v earthly v human )

Man

evolution up to the age of materialism

Christ-permeated knowledge of the spiritual, the animate and inanimate.

Hypothetical knowledge of the dead-mechanistic.

Ignorance of the phenomena of life.

Even on the earth human cognition and knowledge have been metamorphosed in three different ways. The intellectual stream which has brought on the age of materialism is chiefly the work of the Occidental peoples. Their eyes were turned more and more away from the realities of the spirit—until they finally denied these—and were fixed upon those contents of experience which are associated with substance. Mechanistic thinking, with its mechanistic world conception, brought on the culture of the machine ; it has achieved a vast deal in this sphere, but in the most fundamental questions of the living, of the social, this intellectual current fails, and shows its complete bankruptcy in everything which is to be solved, not mechanically, but by the spirit, according to the facts of spiritual evolution.

At the other pole, in the Orient, there is dominant an intellectual current which has gone to the opposite extreme. Since it wishes still in the present to experience a spiritual teaching which was right for long past ages but is no longer suited to live in our day and is therefore false, it directs its thought-life too exclusively upon the spiritual worlds and too little upon the things of this earth, upon the problems of natural science and the mastery of matter. The Orient lives in a thought-world so utterly opposed to that of the Occident that a great conflict between these two mighty human groups in the near future is scarcely to be prevented. Every day we feel the first waves of a great struggle in which the Oriental and Occidental people will battle against one another, not only physically, but most of all mentally.

The men in the centre are hemmed in between these two currents flowing in from opposite extremes. This is a tragic fate only in case it does not lead us to activity, to action most of all in spiritual perception, for there lie the strategic points and the decisive factors even in physical affairs.

We must reconcile East and West—and we can do so—if we are not to be crushed by both, but we can achieve this only by uniting the mind of the East, directed toward the spirit, with that of the West, directed toward the physical, and lead the way to a new and higher spiritual knowledge, doing justice to the future task of united humanity on earth. Only the Christ-permeated knowledge, which embraces as a harmonious whole both religious and scientific truth, the physical and the spiritual, as these are not separated in reality, can solve this problem and ward off the threatening catastrophe from both West and East.

Such a knowledge will give to man again a different picture of the realities of the spiritual world from that seen by a materialistic age. There have been two currents in this epoch which have brought about a veiling of the spiritual and have cast a fog over man’s knowledge of the supersensible. These have been, on the one side, the banal theology of ” concessions,” which makes before the time spirit of the materialistic

age the bow imposed upon it by its own agnosticism where this surrender was not at all justified, and, on the other hand, a dying philosophy which has argued itself, through the jugglery of concepts alien to life, from a world of reality into a dead world of concepts.

Most unworthy of all for the proper placing of man within the world evolution has been the way in which this theology of concession, bowing to the time spirit, has sought to interpret the being of Jesus Christ. All its effort has been directed, as expressed in most so-called liberal theological treatises, to denude Christ, by its banal interpretations of the Gospels, of his cosmic and earthly mission, and to lower his dignity to that of ” a good man from Nazareth,” in order thus to render him as similar as possible to its own dear philistine personality of the twentieth century. This sort of theology even abandoned, as a concession to materialistic thinking, the belief in any being higher than that of man in the present age, who ” has carried things so gloriously far ” ; at most there is allowed to remain in this theology beside “ the good man from Nazareth ” an abstract conception of God, of whom men form either a fantastic anthropomorphic mental image or one nebulous and vague, or none at all.

By the side of this theology of concessions, the materialistic age produced a philosophy, especially as this appears in decadent post-Kantianism, which represents the spiritual world as consisting only of ” ideal factual relationships ” or moral ” value concepts.” But such a spiritual world is a truly lamentable combination of the still-born abstractions of an unproductive human understanding, bloodless shells of concepts, the only sort which can arise in the minds of men who are willing to believe their souls dependent upon the physical organism even in their highest activities. In order to leave to man a view of something superhuman, there is set up beside the “ understanding ” ascribed to man also an abstract “ reason ” which is supposed to be something existing purely spiritually, objectively, and a priori. In reality the spiritual world of the reason-concepts is distinguished from that of the understanding, as this is conceived by the post-Kantians, only as human yearning distinguishes an uncovered from a covered grave. Both are the result of the realm of thought void of the spirit, such as characterizes the age of materialism. Men write in text-books of many hundred pages systematic schemata of an abstract ” ethics ” which shall preach the ” ideal fact relations ” and moral ” value concepts ”

* for a humanity which in future will have neither time nor understanding nor need for admitting these collective works of a decadent realm of thought into their heads, menaced by the realities of the spiritual and the physical world. The coming generations will no longer be satisfied

with these abstract systems of ethics and concepts Gf value and will no longer live with them. They need, in place of this decadent, unreal philosophy, a religiousness which does not enter into shells of concepts and a priori postulates ; a religiousness which leads again to a knowledge of the full reality of that spiritual world sharing throughout in the evolution of our cosmic system from primal nebula beyond heat death, which reveals to us the true meaning and deep significance of the evolution of Nature. Christ-permeated knowledge is the way to a conscious experience worthy of man of the physical and the supersensible world. The spiritual world of which we are here speaking is indeed supersensible but not supernatural; that is, we can establish no union with it by means of our organs of sense as we can enter into a union with our physical environment, but it is a part of ” Nature ” in which we participate by means of our psychic and spiritual selves and also, in the most comprehensive sense, our bodily selves. Anthroposophy gives to the men of our time and to coming generations the possibility of extending their waking-conscious knowledge from the body of Nature, which the age of materialism would investigate, to the spiritual-soul part of Nature in its full reality.

Our age is cowardly in its view of spirit ; it sets up for itself, partly consciously and partly unconsciously, limits of knowledge, in order to be able to remain hidden behind these from what lies beyond. The chivalry of our age ought to be, not of the body, but cf the spirit, of thought. A true chivalry cf coming times will set itself to pass across the boundaries cf habit and cowardice, will boldly mount up to supersensible knowledge.

Earlier great epochs held the ideal of being able to lead man to divine humanity ; but the age of materialism has wished to reduce the significance of the divine man Christ to the philistinism of the twentieth century, and to replace the realities of the divine spiritual worlds by a philosophical system cf concepts. The rising new generations will abandon this road.

The great philosopher Vladimir Solovieff, who kept himself entirely free from this dying decadent philosophy of our age and thus remained a most significant philosophical messenger of a true Christianity, says in explaining the essential difference between God the Father and God the Son, in his “ Vorlesungen fiber das Gottesmenschentum ”* :—“ If we investigate the whole content of the teaching of Christ which we find in the Gospels, then the new, the specifically differentiating, element in this teaching as compared with all other religious teachings will be the teaching of Christ about himself, the reference to himself as the

* ** Lectures concerning the Divine Humanity.”

living Truth become flesh : ‘ I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Whosoever believeth on me shall have eternal life.’

“ If we thus seek for the characteristic content of Christianity in what Christ himself taught, we must admit that this content refers to Christ himself.

s “ What shall we think, what comes to our mind, in the names cf Christ, which are said to be Life and Truth ?

“ God, who is from eternity, eternally realizes himself in realizing his own content—that is, in realizing the All. This All, in contrast to the God who essentially exists as an absolute oneness, is the multiplicity, but a multiplicity as content of the unity, a multiplicity controlled by the oneness and brought to a unity.

“ A multiplicity reduced to unity is a whole. The real whole is a living organism. God, as the one who is, who realizes his content as unity and holds the multiplicity enclosed within Himself, is a living organism.

” From what has been said above we see the All, as content of the absolute principle, cannot be simply a sum of individual undifferentiated beings, but that each of these beings represents its own special idea, which comes to expression through a harmonious relation to all the rest, and that each individual is thus in itself a necessary organ for the whole.

“ On this ground we may say also that the All as content of the Absolute—or that Gcd, who realizes his content—is an organism.

” There is no reason for limiting the concept organism to material organisms. We can speak of a spiritual organism, of a folk-organism, pf an organism of all humanity and therefore also cf a divine organism. The concept organism itself does not exclude such an extension of use, since we call everything an organism which consists of a multiplicity of elements that are not related indifferently to the whole and to each other, but are necessary to the whole and to one another, and to the extent, indeed, that each represents its own content and therefore has its own significance for the others.”

“ The elements of the God-organism themselves exhaust the fullness of its existence and in this sense this organism is universal. This fact, however, not only does not prevent this universal organism from being absolutely individual but by logical necessity requires such an individuality. . .

1* In every organism we necessarily have two unities : on the one hand, the unity of the working principle which comprises the multiplicity of the elements within itself, and on the other hand this multiplicity reduced to unity as the determinate copy of this principle. We thus

have a creative unity and a created unity, or a unity as principle in itself and a unity as a manifestation/’

” In the divine organism of Christ is manifested the working and unifying principle which in itself brings the unity of the absolute being to expression, the Word, or the Logos ”

To these words of the great Christian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner adds the following:

“ In Solovieff’s soul there are clearly two experiences side by side : the experience of God the Father in the existence of Nature and man and that of God the Son, Christ, as the Power which removes the human soul from the bondage of Nature’s existence and incorporates it for the first time in the true spiritual existence.

“ Middle European present-day theologians are no longer in the position to distinguish these two experiences. Their souls reach only the experience of the Father. From the Gospels they gain only the conviction that Jesus the Christ was the human herald of God the Father. For Solo vie ff the Son in his Godhead stands beside the Father. Man, like all beings, belongs to Nature. Nature in all her beings is the product of the divine. One can permeate oneself with this thought. Then one looks to God the Father. But one can also feel that man must not remain a part of Nature. Man must raise himself above Nature. Nature becomes sinful in him if he does not rise above her. When we follow the way of the soul in this direction, we arrive at the regions where we find in the Gospels the revelation of God the .Son/’

The Evangelist John expresses this : “ And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten • Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The descent of Christ upon the earth signifies, therefore, in truth a cosmic event, sets the evolution of the world-organism comprised within God the Father upon an entirely new course ; gives a new sense to it; a deed which for the world of involution represents the releasing, the central point from which the true ascent can first begin. Modem knowledge of the world speaks of ” primal nebula ” and ” heat death ” of the world organism, of the beginning and the end of the world. It forgets the middle of the world, which was fixed by the event of the Mystery of Golgotha, through the appearance of Christ in the terrestrial world. Only the Christ-permeated knowledge of coming ages will be able to understand the world, because it will be able to understand, beside the world-beginning and the world-end, also the realities which were begun by the middle of the world.

Just as the knowledge of the etheric will enable us to understand and to copy the living world organism, instead of the cosmic corpse set

forth by our present world-conception, so also only a union of religion with science in man will lead us to a mastery of the living, after we have till now been able to master only the dead. Only so will man be able to lay hold with shaping power upon the cosmic evolution and impress his stamp, not only on the dead, on substance, but also on the spiritual, unite his being with this, give worth to his co-operation. Only so will he creatively produce realities which will last beyond the ” heat death ” of substance, beyond the end of the world. Christ-permeated knowledge will enable man to embrace in knowledge both the sensible and the supersensible, so that the Christ-permeated knowing man shall become “ the living garment of the Godhead,” and the words which Christ spoke at the middle point of world history shall be true : ” Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away.”
RUDOLF STEINER, PhD.

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Studium von Formkraften an Kristallisationen. Mit besonderer Beriicksichtigung landwirtschaftlicher Gesichtspunkte. 16 Seiten. Mit 55 Abbildungen.

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heat, tone, light, and other sensible qualities is purely a function cf abstract thought.”3 ” Therein lies the one-sidedness. A line is drawn through the midst of what is perceptible to the senses, and one part is explained as objective and the other as subjective. There is but one logical conclusion :■—If there are atoms, these are simply parts of matter with the characteristics of matter, and imperceptible to our senses only because of their smallness. But, then, there ceases to be any possibility that we should find in the motion of the atoms something objective to set over against the subjective qualities of colour, tone, etc. And there ceases also to be the possibility of finding in the relationship between the motion and the sensation of red, for example, anything more than between two processes which belong wholly to the sense-world. It is, therefore, obvious that motion of ether, position of atoms, etc., belong on the same plane with sensations themselves. To explain the latter as subjective is only the result of faulty reflection. If we explain the sensible quality as subjective, we must do the same with the movement of the ether. We fail to perceive the latter, not by reason of any principle, but only because our organs of perception are not organised delicately enough. But this is a mere chance circumstance. Humanity might conceivably

arrive, through the refining of its sensibilities, at a point where movements of ether would be directly perceptible. If, then, a man of that remote future should hold our subjective theory of sensation, he would have to explain movements of ether as also subjective, as we to-day do with colour, tone, etc” f Steiner now proves this in convincing fashion. Since the scientists, he says, “ cannot conceive motion apart from something that moves, they assume, as the bearer of the motion, matter void of qualities perceptible to the senses. Whoever is not caught by this prejudice of the physicists must perceive that the motion-phenomena are states bound up with the sense-perceived qualities. The content of the undulatory motions which correspond to the tone-occurrences consists of the very tone-qualities themselves. This is likewise true of the other sense-qualities. We know the content of the oscillating motion in the phenomenal world through its becoming an immediate inner content, and not through any process of thinking from inner experiences to abstract matter. ” When I direct my eye toward a red surface, then the experience of red enters my consciousness. In this experience, we must now distinguish between beginning, duration, and end. Corresponding to the passing experience, there is supposed to be a continuing objective occurrence which, as such, is likewise limited objectively in time : that is, which has beginning, duration, and end. This occurrence, howrever,

is supposed to take place in matter that is without beginning or end, indestructible, in other words, eternal. This is supposed to be the only lasting element in the process of change, according to modem scientists. ”* Whereas Wundt says of matter that it is a substratum ” which we can never perceive in itself but only in its effects/’ but that ** we first arrive at an explanation free from contradictions when we postulate such a substratum,” Steiner, on the contrary, reaches the conclusion that: ” the world perceived by the senses is the summation of self “metamorphosing perceptions/’! ” On the other hand, there is something nonsensical in the concept of the characteristics which the hypothetical matter of the physicists and their philosophical defenders is supposed to possess. These qualities are borrowed from the sense-world and yet they fall to the share of a substratum which does not belong to the sense-world.”! The severing of our world of perception into one part quantitative and alone objective, which can be grasped only in a mathematical-mechanical fashion, on the one hand, and another part qualitative and only subjective, in the manner in which is done to-day, Steiner rejects as purely arbitrary, and he proves this by such an analysis of the process of perception as deprives of every appearance of justification the method of consideration characteristic of this materialistic age. To follow him in detail at this point would take us too far afield.