Re: Steiner's mistake about colored shadows???
- Mathew Morrell wrote:
>>From our perspective here on Earth, the Moonturns dark and eerily red during a total lunar
eclipse. But the Moon itself is not actually
reddening. Light from the sun is bending
through the Earth's atmosphere as it "curls"
around the Earth and throws the Moon into a
darkened shadow. The redness, so to speak,
comes from the Earth.<<
Carol brought this from Yahoo Answers:
>>The coppery glow of the totally eclipsed moonis due to refraction of sunlight by the earth
which, during a total lunar eclipse, is causing
a total solar eclipse. Sunlight is bent
(refracted) by the thick atmosphere of the
earth, and it is only the red light that gets
through (like red sunsets).<<
We might have a tendency go down on our knees
before the "explanations" of Science (with the
capital *S*). After all, Science builds
computers and rockets and nukes, and Scientists
have PhDs from prestigious universities and get
Nobel Prizes . . . so how could we, mere
uneducated peasants and proles that we are,
dare to contradict the "explanations" of
Science? To do so would show us not only to be
uneducated but stupid, and arrogantly stupid at
But despite the amazing inventions of Science
and the authoritative prestige of Scientists,
Science is sometimes astonishingly stupid. To
recount an example often mentioned by Steiner,
the conventional "explanation" of lightning as
an enormous spark discharging "static
electricity" in the storm clouds disregards the
simplest, most basic facts about static
electricity. Common experience shows that
static electricity on a small scale cannot
exist in the presence of moisture; we get those
sparks only when the air is dry. Yet Science
somehow decided that static electricity is
generated on a large scale in the rain clouds,
and students must bow before the authority of
the Scientific "explanation", no matter how
grossly it violates common sense. And most do
mentally bow; such is the hypnotic power and
crushing authority of Science.
Most of us (myself included all too often)
simply do not have the audacity to exercise
simple common sense if it contradicts the
"explanations" of Science. Somehow, simple
common sense alone is not enough; we need an
alternative, better scientific explanation. In
the case of lightning, we do have a more
plausible explanation from the unorthodox, un-
authoritative neo-Goethean science as
exemplified in Ernst Lehrs' *Man or Matter*.
Lehrs explains that lightning is an electrical,
polaric counter-manifestation to the sudden
conversion of water from the imponderable, non-
material state to the ponderable, material
state in the process of the production of rain
during thunderstorms. -- Given this better
scientific explanation derived through a long,
arduous mental process, one might feel
embarrassed that one failed to use one's simple
common sense in the first place, in the face of
the orthodox Scientific "explanation".
So, having had a brushing acquaintance with
Goethean color science, I will venture to try
to apply a little common sense to this orthodox
"refraction explanation" of the reddish-orange
color of the moon during lunar eclipses. -- We
can see this orthodox "explanation" depicted
here by Wikipedia:
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We can see that here the earth's atmosphere is
envisioned as a kind of "refracting" prism that
"breaks up" the sunlight into a spectrum, just
as a prism in a high school physics book
supposedly "breaks up" so-called "white light"
into the seven colors of the "spectrum": red,
orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
The red ends of these supposed spectra from
opposite sides of the earth's atmosphere are
bent toward the center of the earth's "umbra"
shadow, where the moon is situated during a
lunar eclipse. Thus, during the eclipse the
moon is bathed in this "refracted" red light
and therefore appears reddish. -- Such is the
But something is wrong with this picture. If
one imagines the moon moving toward its
position in the red light at the point of
eclipse, one realizes that the moon would have
to pass through the spectrum on one side going
into "totality" and then pass through the
spectrum on the other side coming out of
"totality". So the moon would have to appear
to change colors in sequence during the whole
process of the eclipse; it would have to go
through the blues to green, yellow, orange, and
then red -- and again through orange, yellow,
green, blue, indigo, and violet. But I have
seen a lunar eclipse, and I have never seen any
such sequence of coloration of the moon. And I
would guess that neither has anyone else here
seen any such colors on the moon. The
"empirical" facts don't fit the "refraction
explanation", so that hypothesis (and it was
*only* an hypothesis), no matter how "orthodox"
and "authoritative", must go into the round
Something else also is wrong, in a theoretical
way, with that picture. The basic "empirical"
facts of the prism show that at the border of
darkness and light only one "end" of the full
spectrum is ever produced by a "refracting",
prism. To get the standard, seven-colored
spectrum, one needs to bring two borders of
darkness close together so that only a narrow
beam of light passes through the prism. Only
then the red-orange-yellow and the blue-indigo-
violet overlap in the middle and produce the
green. (Conversely, when a narrow band of
darkness is bordered on both sides by lightness
the prism produces the "dark spectrum": blue-
indigo-violet-"peach blossom" (or "purpur")-
red-orange-yellow.) -- So, in the planetary
set-up pictured in the Wikipedia "explanation"
at most only three colors, not seven, could be
produced by a "refracting" atmosphere on
opposite sides of the earth.
But what about the red of the sunset? -- The
basic insights of Goethe provide a far more
satisfactory explanation than the "refraction"
hypothesis. Orthodox Science may "explain" the
blue of the sky by "Rayleigh scattering" or
whatever, but Goethe grasped the simple
"archetypal phenomenon" that applies. When
darkness is viewed through a light-filled
"turbid" (*trübes*) medium, the blue end of
the spectrum appears. Thus the "turbid",
light-filled atmosphere during daytime appears
blue; as one goes higher and the air becomes
thinner, less "turbid", the color passes
through indigo to violet and finally to black.
And when lightness, such as that of the sun, is
viewed through a "turbid" medium, the red side
of the spectrum appears. As the medium becomes
more "turbid" the light appears as yellow, then
orange, then red, and finally darkens. (These
"archetypal phenomena" can readily be
demonstrated in the laboratory, as Steiner did
in the *Light Course*.) -- So the sky appears
blue and the sun yellowish at noon (on a clear
day), and the sun appears reddish at sunrise
and sunset. Why reddish? Because we are
looking at the sun obliquely through more
atmosphere than we are at noon, and thus
through more "turbidity". This is a simple,
large-scale manifestation of the "archetypal
phenomenon", and we don't need "refraction" as
an "explanation" of the red sunset any more
than we need "Rayleigh scattering" as an
"explanation" of the blue sky.
Lehrs puts the matter this way:
"It is also possible to produce the ur-
phenomenon experimentally by placing a glass
jug filled with water before a black ackground,
illuminating the jug from the side, and
gradually clouding the water by the admixture
of suitable substances. Whilst the brightness
appearing in the direction of the light goes
over from yellow and orange to an increasingly
red shade, the darkness of the black background
brightens to blue, which increases and passes
over to a milky white.
"It had already become clear to Goethe in Italy
that all colour-experience is based on a
polarity, which he found expressed by painters
as the contrast between 'cold' and 'warm'
colours. Now that the coming-into-being of the
blue of the sky and of the yellow of the sun
had shown themselves to him as two processes of
opposite character, he recognized in them the
objective reason why both colours are
subjectively experienced by us as opposites.
Blue is illumined darkness - yellow is darkened
light' - thus could he assert the urphenomenon,
while he expressed the relation to Light of
colours in their totality by saying: 'Colours
are Deeds and Sufferings of Light.' . . .
". . . . Goethe . . . . had learnt from the
macro-telluric realm that with decreasing
density of the corporeal medium, the blue sky
takes on ever deeper tones, while with
increasing density of the medium, the yellow of
the sunlight passes over into orange and
Steve Hale wrote:
>>In looking at the lunar eclipse of lastAugust 28th, I observed that the moon at no
time goes dark at all. It simply drifts into
this rather reddish coloring over a period of
two hours and then comes back out of the shadow
with its original brilliant glow. Thus, it
confirmed for me that it is actually the moon
that illuminates the umbra with its own light
source . . . .
>>. . . . the moon is self-shining . . . .<<And:
>>. . . . a shroud of sorts that passes acrossthe face of the moon, which always bears its
own light. . . .
>>. . . . the phases of the moon have nothingto do with the sun, but everything to do with a
shadow-sphere that surrounds the moon as a
shroud, and actually rotates around it. . . .
>>The Full Moon is when the shroud has turnedto move across the opposite side, and is not
visible. The moon shines in its true Jahve
brilliance, which it always bears in itself. .
>>. . . . this shroud of the moon is in factthe Eighth Sphere . . . .
I think I'm starting to get your picture now,
but I'm far from ready to buy into it. What a
strange coincidence that this rotating "shroud"
of the 8th sphere is always placed where the
dark shadow would be if the moon were
illuminated only (or mainly) by the sun, and
what a coincidence that the moon is always
itself shining exactly where its surface would
be shining if it were so illuminated by the
sun! I don't see any easy way to test your
hypothesis most of the time, but during the
lunar eclipse the hypothesis breaks down. If
the usual, (relatively) bright moonlight (that
most of us take to be reflected from the sun)
were generated by the moon itself, then it
shouldn't make any difference when the moon is
eclipsed. If, as you say, the "shroud" during
the full moon is turned away from the earth,
then when the (full) moon is in the sun-shadow
of the earth (i.e. during a lunar eclipse) the
lack of direct sunlight on the moon should make
no difference in the moon's apparent
brightness; the eclipsed moon should be as
bright as any full moon, not a dull reddish.
So it seems to me . . . .
-- But, given the implausibility of the
orthodox "explanation" of the color of the
eclipsed moon, I'm more inclined to suspect
that Steve's (implied?) hint might be true:
that the same principle is at work as in the
phenomenon of "colored shadows". Or at least
we will need in the end some kind of quasi-
Goethean explanation. Despite all its
technological wizardry, orthodox Science is
far from understanding even the simplest
principles of light and color.
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- Steve you are such a Leo!
NCAR = Atmospheric Research Centre thought it meant Centre Astronomy
Research er where are we going again?!
I think it would be good to look at the earth's compass points again.
We know the pole's shifted after the Atlantis catastrophe, everything
went topsy turvy and Venus became Mercury and Mercury become Venus
does this mean the compass points also became topsy turvy? Also seeing
that the world is Tetrahedron shaped.