Re: The Life of the Earth in Past & Future Dornach, 17.2.23
- If you picture the earth thus (he draws it), and the stalks there, they
will all be drawn out into cosmic space, because the latter is
completely filled with a fine substance called ether, a substance which
also lives in the plants. But this life does not come from the earth; it
comes from cosmic space. So we can say:
Life comes simply out of cosmic space.
And that is how it is that when the ovum develops in the body of the
mother, the mother's body gives only the substance. What works upon the
ovum is the whole cosmic space. It is that which gives life to it. So,
you see, cosmic space works into all that lives.
Now look at plants; they grow, first of all, under the earth. If this
is the earth (he draws it), the plants grow within it. But this earth
is not an indifferent mass; it is actually something quite wonderful.
In this earth there are all sorts of substances; but in ancient days
three substances were quite specially important in it.
One was a substance called mica. Very little of it is found in plants
today, but though there is so little of it; it is extraordinarily
important. You may perhaps remember having seen flakes of mica - mica is
in the form of flakes or scales, little flakes which are often
transparent. The earth was at one time interspersed with these flakes of
mica. They lay in this direction (he draws). Then the earth was still
soft, there were forces of this kind. And there were other forces
opposite to them, running in this direction (again he draws), so that
there was an actual network in the earth. These other forces are
contained today in silica, in quartz.
And between them there is still another main substance: that is clay.
And this clay unites the other two, filling as it were in the network.
As a rock it is called felspar.
Thus at one time the earth was composed mainly of three kinds of rock.
But it was all soft and pulpy. There was the mica, which was
endeavouring to make the earth scaly, so that the earth would have
become scaly in a horizontal direction. Then there was the quartz, which
radiated in this way; (vertical line) and finally the felspar, which
cemented the two together.
- Hi Elaine
>(Interesting what you say, Bruce, about modern towers and steel. What'sI think what is important is the geometry of the girders- shape replaces
>in steel that would compare to the "silica, quartz, true silic acid"
>Steiner speaks of?)
I've started posting this because Amanda (a geologist) asked for it. So
as I had to scan it I thought I may as well post it and leave Paracelsus
to later- though it does tie up.
- We find these constituents today, if we take the clay found anywhere in
the field. These three materials were at one time mixed in the earth;
and today they are to be found out in the mountains. If we take a piece
of granite, we find that it is quite granular, there are splinters in
it. These splinters are split up mica-flakes. Then there are quite hard
grains; those are quartz. Then there is the uniting grit, which is
feldspar. These three substances have been softened and granulated; and
they are to be found today out in the mountains. They form the
foundation of the hardest mountain~ranges.
Thus, ever since the Earth was soft, they have been pounded, ground down
and mixed by all the various forces which are at work in the earth; and
today they are disintegrated in the mountains. But the remains of these
ancient substances, and especially the forces of these ancient
substances, are still found everywhere in the earth. And out of these
remains the plants are built up from the Cosmos.
So we may say: Well, if these cosmic forces do still work out there in
the mountains, they can do no more. These rocks are crumbled,
disintegrated, granulated; and they are too hard to become plants. But
with that which is within the earth, they can still be used to build up
the plants in cosmic space, especially because a plant always gives its
most important substances and forces to the germ.
You see, gentlemen, a study of this kind which takes into consideration
how the whole Cosmos collaborates with all that is alive, has no place
in modern Science. Lately, as you have perhaps read, a lecture was given
in Basle, in which the speaker explained how life must have originated
on earth. He said: One can hardly imagine that through a mere mingling,
or chemical compounding, of substances on earth, life can have arisen.
Then it must have cone out of cosmic space. But how? -
Now it is interesting to see how a modern scientist imagines that life
can come out of cosmic space. He says to himself: Well now, if it is not
on the earth, it must come from other stars. Now, the nearest star,
which might perhaps at one time have shot forth material which then flew
to the Earth - the nearest star is so far from the Earth that the
material which was thus split off, would have needed forty thousand
years to fly to the Earth.
- So one must imagine - people say - that the Earth was once a fiery
fluid body, a fiery body. Then there can have been no life on it,
otherwise it would, of course, have been burnt up. But the Earth
gradually cooled. When it had cooled off, it was in a condition to
receive life, if it had flown to it from the nearest star, as it was
thought to have done, (taking 40,000 years to do it).
Now, said the lecturer, one cannot imagine that a germ of life, a tiny
life-germ, wandered for 40,000 years through cosmic space, which,
besides, had a temperature of -220 degrees of cold, not heat! And that
then, when it reached the Earth, life would arise. Before, however
sufficient germs had flown to the Earth, they would have been burnt up.
It is further supposed that when the Earth had cooled enough, they would
thrive, said the speaker but that simply could not be. So we do not know
whence life comes.
But we do see that it comes out of cosmic space. We clearly see that, in
all that lives, it is not merely the forces of the Earth that are at
work. For we only make use of the forces of the Earth for the Eiffel
Tower, for instance. And in such a tower as the grass-stalk, it is not
merely the forces of the Earth, but the forces of the whole cosmos,
which are at work. And when the Earth was still soft, gentlemen, when
mica, felspar and silica were liquefied together, then the whole Earth
was under the influence of the cosmos, and was a gigantic plant.
Therefore if you go out into the mountains today, and find granite
there, or gneiss, which is distinct from granite because the mica is
more plentiful in it , more apparent - if you go out today into the
mountains, and look at the granite or the gneiss, you are looking at the
remains of those old plant-formations. The whole Earth was a plant. And
precisely as, when a plant withers today, it gives up its mineral
constituents to the earth, so, when it was still a plant, the whole
terrestrial globe gave up, later, its mineral constituents to the Earth.
And so we have today the mountain-ranges.
Thus we may say: The hardest mountain-ranges that exist, had their
origin in plant-beings, and the whole Earth was a kind of plant.
- The head is mostly outside in cosmic space, so it can most easily be
cured with silica; the stomach is more closely connected with the earth,
hence it can most easily be cured with mica. And that which lies more in
the centre, the lungs, etc. can well be cured with feldspar, it is
prepared in an appropriate way.
Now you see, if we understand Nature, we actually understand also what
are the healing forces for human nature. But one must have a sense for
the way in which the cosmos collaborates with our Earth.
You see, one can always explain definite matters only for definite
occasions. Thus, now that we are further advanced, I can give you a more
definite explanation of the migration of birds. Our modern Science is
very abstract concerning bird-migration in autumn and spring. In spring
the birds forsake their warmer haunts; and in autumn when it grows
colder, the more northerly regions. But there are birds which fly over
the ocean in a south-easterly direction - and, it is very strange, these
birds fly extremely fast and do not rest on the way. That can be proved,
because it can be proved that there are no islands at all on the paths
which these birds often follow. And they fly very high, so that ordinary
Science cannot answer the question: What, actually do they breathe up
there? For one would expect them to be suffocated at that height. And
the scientists have not hit upon an explanation of how these birds find
their way. Some have said: Well, it is an inherited faculty; the young
ones have always inherited it from the old. And then the old birds teach
the young ones, and so it is quite easy for the young ones to do it.
Thus, when the autumn comes, the old swallows set up a school, the young
are taught, the old ones fly in front, the young, behind, imitating
That is how men have pictured it.
But, gentlemen, not all migratory birds do this; this is quite a
peculiar case. It often happens with migrants - for instance, in
Africa - that when spring comes to us, the old migrants fly away first,
returning to us. The young ones hold out longer, because they are still
strong; the old ones make their escape earlier, and leave the young ones
behind. They neither teach them, nor act as guides; the young ones have
to find their way alone.