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Steiner's mistake about colored shadows???

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  • Robert Mason
    To All: In Lecture 7 of the *Light Course RS discusses Goethe s treatment of colored shadows and says that Goethe was wrong in saying that the colored
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 15, 2007
      To All:

      In Lecture 7 of the *Light Course" RS discusses
      Goethe's treatment of "colored shadows" and
      says that Goethe was wrong in saying that the
      colored shawdows are subjective; RS says they
      are objective, really "there". In the eLib
      version there is this note:

      "† After some careful experiments on a later occasion. Dr.
      Steiner admitted that there is an error here. (See the
      Translator's Note on this passage) He also recommended chemical
      and photographic researches to shew the real nature of coloured

      I didn't find this translator's note.

      In the Steinerbooks version there is this note:

      "1. 'If you take a small tube and look through it . . . then you
      will also see it as green':
      This experiment was repeatedly attempted, always with negative
      results, by V. C. Bennie, lecturer in physics at that time at
      Kings College
      of the University of London, after he had read the transcription
      of the course by Rudolf Steiner in 1921. Because of this, there
      two evenings of experiments in Dornach at the end of September
      1922. Rudolf Steiner had wished to be present. The other
      were Dr. Ernst Blümel, mathematician, Bennie, and Dr. Oskar
      Schmiedel, pharmacist and director of courses on Goethe’s theory
      color. On the first evening, Dr. W. J. Stein also participated.
      The two
      evenings did not lead to a confirmation of the experiment with
      tube. Incidentally the result was reported differently by the
      What is important here, however, does not seem to have been
      discussed at all on the two evenings, namely Rudolf Steiner’s
      as reported by Dr. Blümel, to prove the objectivity of the color
      in the shadow by photographic or chemical means in the Stuttgart
      research institute. However, nothing is known of such
      and certainly not with positive results—of the research
      institute at
      that time. Later, when the first edition of the course was to
      appear in
      the Complete Works, there were photographic experiments
      with negative results: despite the advances in color photography
      the time of Rudolf Steiner, the color in the photographs of the
      shadows was not stable. The whole picture did indeed show the
      shadow in the required color, but when cut out, it appeared
      Today that is different. Stable colors result even without
      special procedures.
      The starting point of new experiments was a photograph
      that the professional photographer and elaborator of Goethe’s
      theory Hans-Georg Hetzel was able to make of an experiment with
      colored shadow in the Goethe-Color-Studio in Dornach. Besides
      usual trinity of demanding color, colored shadow, and brightened
      color of the surrounding field, the photograph also showed a
      technical gray scale. Despite the intense color of the shadow
      the latter
      appeared gray, on the same photograph!
      Today there are series of photographs available of different
      of colored shadows, which can be reproduced by Hans-Georg
      each series being photographed on the same film and supplemented
      for control purposes by interposed photographs of gray shadow.
      These are slide films. Each film is developed professionally by
      machine as one among many customer orders. Thus the different
      colors of a series are produced in one and the same developing
      Even the photographs were taken in a uniform way: in every
      case the lens was fitted with a transparency of the same
      color that the color temperature meter indicated for
      gray so that the gray really turns out gray. If this condition
      is not fulfilled,
      then a decision still must made: either all the colored shadows
      appear as gray, so the colors of the shadows could be
      subjective, or
      the shadows appear different from the gray, so a special effect
      taking place in that space.
      That the latter is the case is shown by the
      special color process of the Polaroid camera, which gives the
      a strongly green cast, unlike the gray. There cannot be any
      of the colored shadows coming out like the gray ones. If it were
      a matter of subjective and objective, it could be left at that.
      if we want to come as close as possible to the true colors, it
      is necessary,
      of course, for gray to turn out gray. If we describe the best of
      resulting series,
      the gray is a beautiful mouse gray. The blue shadow
      appears gray with at most a hint of blue. The other shadows are
      decidedly colored, all of them with a brownish cast, in
      with which the color called for is revealed only as a nuance.
      green turns out decidedly different from gray, but in a shade
      that is
      difficult to evaluate and that is usually described as brownish.
      enlarged in an automatic process and copied onto paper, the
      shows blue and green the same, and in the rest the brown shade
      to the extent that the other nuances disappear. It has already
      been indicated that the film type plays an important role. It is
      to note, however, that the quality of lighting is also
      Diffuse light (e.g., stage lights) provide better colors than
      focused light. Individual photographs of colored shadows have
      gotten with very beautiful, stable color. Their beauty is
      however, by means of special treatment of the individual
      so that they do not have the same value as evidence. Any
      however, that results from procedures that are also routinely
      employed for photographing ordinary colors can be regarded as
      since it shows that the photographic process that was developed
      for ordinary colors also reacts to colored shadows. Nothing
      more than this is being asserted here. For the whole question of
      shadows, cf. G. Ott and H. O. Proskauer, “Das Rätsel des
      Schattens” (Basel: 1979). A series of the photographs
      mentioned above is located in the archives of the
      Nachlassverwaltung (Rudolf Steiner Estate Administration),
      More details about the experiments are set out in Beiträgen zur
      Rudolf Steiner Gesamtausgabe, issue number 97, Michaelmas 1987."

      -- So apparently, since "the result was reported
      differently by the participants", maybe RS did
      not really admit to having made a mistake and/or
      did not make that "recommendation"?

      Were there really any "positive results" in later
      experiments? I find the rest of this Steinerbooks
      note to be almost unintelligible. Aside from the
      obscurity of phrases such as *technical gray scale*
      etc., there is the apparent absurdity of trying
      to prove or disprove the "objectivity" of
      the colors by photography. It would seem to me
      that the reliability of color photography must
      depend upon its conformity to the colors seen
      by the healthy eye, not the other way around.

      It would seem that in the 80+ years since this
      lecture this relatively simple, straightforward
      question could have been answered by now. Does
      anyone know of a clear treatment of this
      question in English? Is the book and/or the
      article mentioned in the Steinerbooks note
      available in English?

      Any help on this?

      Robert Mason

      Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
    • Robert Mason
      To Sheila, Charlie & All: I have skimmed through Heinrich Proskauer s *Rediscovery of Color*. The only mention I see of the problem of colored shadows is near
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 12, 2007
        To Sheila, Charlie & All:

        I have skimmed through Heinrich Proskauer's
        *Rediscovery of Color*. The only mention
        I see of the problem of colored shadows is
        near the end of the book; he says:

        "Rudolf Steiner indicated . . . 'it would
        now be necessary to derive from Goethe's
        principles the color phenomena unknown in
        his time.'

        "In this direction, meanwhile, some things
        have already been achieved. . . . Also the
        book *Das Rätsel des Farbigen Schattens*
        ('The Riddle of Colored Shadows'), intended
        as a sequel to the present volume, contains
        expostions on the basis of Goethe's principles
        concerning relationships of phenomena not yet
        observed by him {see Bibliography}."

        -- This is puzzling to me, since colored
        shadows were known to Goethe; RS was disputing
        Goethe's explanation of them. Maybe Proskauer
        was saying that the solution to this "riddle"
        entails some phenomenon not known to Goethe?

        I guess the thing to do now is to read that
        other book, but, as far as I know, it has not
        been published in English.

        I just now sent a query to JL Benson; maybe
        he'll make it easy for me.

        Robert Mason

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        know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now. http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ
      • Robert Mason
        ... view, I see no problem in using photography to determine the objectivity of colored shadows; as this could be a way of determining whether the colour
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 13, 2007
          To Charlie M, who wrote:

          >>Going back to a previous post of yours, from my own point of
          view, I see no problem in using photography to determine the
          "objectivity" of colored shadows; as this could be a way of
          determining whether the colour occurs on the surface on which
          the shadow falls or if it originates in the eye of the

          Robert writes:

          It still seems to me that the primary question
          is: what does the healthy eye see? The
          accuracy of color photography is determined by
          its conformity or non-conformity with the
          colors seen by healthy human eyesight, not the
          other way around. Experiments with photography
          might raise questions that would be interesting
          for photographers, but these questions seem
          secondary at best. The objectivity of the
          colors could be determined by very simple
          experiments with eyesight, as Steiner suggests.
          It's really puzzling that those footnotes had
          conflicting and/or unintelligible info about
          results of the experiments. It would seem
          that such experiments must have been done in
          the last 80-odd years, and that the results
          should be common knowledge for physicists.
          Why is this not the case? -- Very puzzling.

          Charlie wrote:

          >>This problem is very similar to the so called "rotating top
          illusion" or the "Benham disc(k)" which can be seen (among other
          places) at:


          Robert writes:

          I couldn't play that applet on the public
          compters that I use. I could play the graphics
          but I didn't see any colors. Maybe something
          to do with the flicker on the display screen?
          Anyway ... I'll take it for granted that most
          people do see colors under the right conditions.

          Charlie wrote:

          >I would say that both coloured shadows and the colours produced
          by "Benham's disc are due to the interplay of darkness and light
          and are objectively real phenomena, just as a rainbow is
          objectively real or the coloured edges seen through a prism are
          objectively real.<<

          Robert writes:

          That would be about my guess too. There's
          likely an interaction of the "visual beam" and
          the "deeds" of light AT the surfaces in objective
          space. Have you read Lehrs' *Man or Matter*?
          -- He makes a very brief, enigmatic comment
          about colored shadows; as I read it, he seems
          to assume implicitly the objectivity of the
          colors. It's a must-read book anyway, and
          the text is online at Project Gutenberg:

          Gotta run,

          Robert M

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          know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now. http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ
        • Robert Mason
          ... eclipse in less than a year, which is quite extraordinary for its occurrence. . . . ... its occurrence that the moon, brightly lit in its own respect,
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 30, 2008
            Steve Hale wrote:

            >>. . . . we are approaching the third lunar
            eclipse in less than a year, which is quite
            extraordinary for its occurrence. . . .

            >>Anyway, it is possible to show by means of
            its occurrence that the moon, brightly lit in
            its own respect, actually lights up the umbra,
            or dark shadow-light of the earth, with a form
            of brilliance occurring on the opposite side;
            the reflective side. And this makes the moon
            take on the orange-brown color of the
            reflective side.<<

            Robert writes:

            I don't get your picture. I don't know what
            you mean by *the moon, brightly lit in its own
            respect*. It seems that the moon during a
            lunar eclipse is not "brightly lit" at all; it
            is in the earth's shadow and receives no direct
            sunlight. And I'm not sure what you mean by
            *the reflective side*. If you mean the earth-
            side that is facing the sun, I don't think that
            is orange-brown. The photos that I've seen
            taken from space show the earth colors as
            dominated by blue and white; only the desert
            areas might be close to orange-brown.

            But, as I think about it, it seems possible
            that the eclipse colors *might* bear some
            similarity to the colored shadows that Steiner
            was talking about in this experimental set-up:
            <img width="600" height="310"
            (It might not be quite clear from this picture,
            but only the light from the "left light" passes
            through the red glass before shining on the

            If the orangey color of the moon during a lunar
            eclipse were to be a "colored shadow" in this
            sense, then it seems there would have to be a
            second light source other than the sun.
            (Assuming the same principle at work, in the
            case of the eclipse the earth would be the
            "pole" and the visible side of the moon would
            be the portion of the screen in the "right
            shadow".) Since the moon does not appear
            completely dark during the eclipse, it would
            seem reasonable to assume that some light is
            shining on it from somewhere. So, besides the
            direct sunlight, perhaps there is some other,
            ambient light, perhaps a combination of
            starlight and the light from the extended solar

            But to make the analogy fit, this second light
            in outer space would have to be "white" (i.e.
            pure light, as is the "right light" in the
            diagram), and the sunlight would have to be
            "colored" (as is the "left light" filtered
            through the "red glass" in the diagram). To
            complete the analogy, the sunlight would have
            to be the "complementary color" to the orange-
            ish of the eclipsed moon; i.e. it would have to
            be blue-ish. But where in "outer space" is the
            blue "filter" for the sunlight? -- I don't know
            of any.

            So, at first glance the analogy doesn't work.
            But, at this point, I wouldn't be too quick to
            conclude that somehow the same principle is not
            at work in Steiner's experiment and in the
            lunar eclipse. After all, I still haven't
            figured out exactly what this "principle" is.
            I'm still kinda assuming that the colored
            shadows are "objective" as Steiner said, but I
            still haven't proven this for myself. I'm
            somewhat wishing that I had an orderly garage
            workshop so I could do the experiment for
            myself, with the narrow tube for viewing as
            Steiner suggested. Maybe I'll have to break
            into a high-school physics lab?

            I'm still very much puzzled by contradictory
            reports mentioned in the footnotes that I
            quoted in my first post. This experiment is
            literally so simple that a child could do it;
            why hasn't the question of the colored shadows'
            "objectivity" been settled long ago? -- BTW, I
            haven't receive a word of reply from JL Benson
            about this.

            But maybe some bright, young Goethean physicist
            will explain the principle at work in colored
            shadows and go on to apply it to lunar
            eclipses? Maybe he is reading this thread
            right now?

            Robert M

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          • Robert Mason
            ... turns 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
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 2, 2008
              Mathew Morrell wrote:

              >>From our perspective here on Earth, the Moon
              turns 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 moon
              is 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).<<

              Robert writes:

              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:
              <html> <br> <img
              <br> </html>

              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
              Scientific "explanation".

              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
              finally red."

              Steve Hale wrote:

              >>In looking at the lunar eclipse of last
              August 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 . . . .<<


              >>. . . . a shroud of sorts that passes across
              the face of the moon, which always bears its
              own light. . . .

              >>. . . . the phases of the moon have nothing
              to 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 turned
              to 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 fact
              the Eighth Sphere . . . .

              Robert writes:

              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.

              Robert Mason

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            • Robert Mason
              ... entirety, and the so-called phases need a new explanation.
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 5, 2008
                Steve wrote:

                >>. . . . the moon is self-shining in its
                entirety, and the so-called "phases" need a new

                Robert writes:

                It seems to me that Carol was onto something
                with the first sentence she wrote:

                >>Notice, the nuances: 'spiritual sense',
                'physically it appears' and 'in reality'.<<

                Robert writes:

                Here are the crucial sentences from the
                Steiner-said that Steve brought:

                ". . . . in the spiritual sense, light streams
                out from Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and
                the Moon.

                "Physically it appears as though the sun gives
                the planets light . . . ."

                Robert continues:

                It seems to me that Steve is, at the least,
                confusing these "physical appearances" with
                light in the "spiritual sense". I started this
                thread with Steiner's discussion of an aspect
                of the *physical appearances* of light and
                color, namely the observable facts of "colored
                shadows". Colored shadows are physical
                appearances, and the question I raised was
                about the physical appearances, nothing more.
                And when Steve brought the phenomenon of the
                lunar eclipse into this thread, I thought that
                he was talking about the physical appearances
                of lunar eclipses and trying to relate them to
                the principle at work in the physical
                appearances of colored shadows. And in my
                discussion of the scientific theories of
                eclipses and sunsets I was dealing with the
                physical phenomena of light and color, not with
                light in the "spiritual sense".

                Steve quotes that passage from Steiner as
                supporting the view that "the moon is self-
                shining in its entirety", but it is obvious
                that Steiner was not talking about the moon in
                its *physical appearance* being "self-shining";
                RS was talking about light in the *spiritual
                sense* coming from the moon. He explicitly
                confirmed the common-sense "physical
                appearance" that the sun gives light to the
                planets including the moon. Plainly, Steiner's
                discussion here does not support the view that
                ”the moon is self-shining in its entirety" if
                this "entirety" includes the physical
                appearances. And apparently to Steve it does
                include them, an incomprehensible confusion of
                light in its physical and spiritual aspects.

                Steve wrote:

                >>In reading what you offered above, Robert, I
                am thinking about natural effects vs.
                artificial effects created in a lab environment
                using such devices as a "turbid" in this case .
                . . Common sense tells me that there is a
                difference between the results of natural
                viewing and the views of the lab experiments.<<

                Robert writes:

                But no laboratory can violate the "laws of
                Nature"; nothing "unnatural" in the literal
                sense can be produced in laboratory
                experiments, especially such simple ones
                involved here. What the experiments do, in the
                Goethean sense, if done properly, is to make
                the "archetypal phenomena" clear to the mind.

                Steve wrote:

                >>For example, when sunlight and the moisture
                contained in clouds affect the atmosphere, then
                we naturally see all seven rays of light of the
                spectrum in the form of the rainbow. Thus, rain
                is important in achieving this prismatic effect
                . . . .<<

                Carol wrote:

                >>Perhaps the question to be asked is, what is
                the living nature of the Sun as a mass, as it
                stands in the sky nowadays?<<

                Robert writes:

                In Chapter XVIII of *Man or Matter* Lehrs
                discusses the rainbow and relates it to
                "prismatic effects" and to the "nature of the
                Sun". I can't go through his whole explanation
                here; one needs to read the whole chapter, but
                really the whole book. To make a long story
                short: the Sun, even in its physical nature,
                is not a "mass" at all; it is a region of
                "negative density" or "counter-space".
                (Steiner discusses this principle often, as do,
                following him, George Adams [Kaufmann] and
                Olive Whicher; you could do some Googling.)
                The rainbow appears when atmospheric conditions
                display an image of the sun; the colors appear
                as "boundary effect" at the interface of space
                and the "negative space" of the sun. (Usually
                the sun-image is incomplete; thus the rainbow
                is usually only a more-or-less short arc. But
                sometimes the whole image of the sun-disc is
                displayeded, and then the rainbow appears as a
                complete circle, as I have seen.)

                A few words from Lehrs:

                "From what we have learnt already we can say at
                once that the rainbow must represent some sort
                of border-phenomenon, thus pointing to the
                existence of a boundary between two space-
                regions of differing illumination. Our question
                therefore must be: what is the light-image
                whose boundary comes to coloured manifestation
                in the phenomenon of the rainbow? There can be
                no doubt that the image is that of the sun-
                disk, shining in the sky. When we see a
                rainbow, what we are really looking at is the
                edge of an image of the sun-disk, caught and
                reflected, owing to favourable conditions, in
                the atmosphere. (Observe in this respect that
                the whole area inside the rainbow is always
                considerably brighter than the space outside.)

                "Once we realize this to be the true nature of
                the rainbow, the peculiar order of its colours
                begins to speak a significant language. The
                essential point to observe is that the blue-
                violet part of the spectrum lies on the inner
                side of the rainbow-arch - the side immediately
                adjoining the outer rim of the sun-image -
                while the yellow-red part lies on the outer
                side of the arch - the side turned away from
                the sun-image. What can we learn from this
                about the distribution of positive and negative
                density inside and outside the realm occupied
                by the sun-disk itself in the cosmos?

                "We remember {from Lehrs' discussion of
                'prismatic effects' -- RM} that along the
                gradient from blue to violet, negative density
                (Light) increases and positive density (Dark)
                decreases, while from yellow to red it is just
                the reverse-positive density increases and
                negative density decreases. The rainbow
                therefore indicates a steady increase of Dark
                towards the outer rim, and of Light towards the
                inner. Evidently, what the optical image of the
                sun in the atmosphere thus reveals concerning
                the gradation of the ratio between Light and
                Dark in the radial direction, is an attribute
                of the entire light-realm which stretches from
                the sun to that image. And again, the attribute
                of this realm is but an effect of the dynamic
                relation between the sun itself and the
                surrounding cosmic space.

                "The rainbow thus becomes a script to us in
                which we read the remarkable fact that the
                region occupied by the sun in the cosmos is a
                region of negative density, in relation to
                which the region surrounding the sun is one of
                positive density. Far from being an
                accumulation of ponderable matter in a state of
                extremely high temperature, as science
                supposes, the sun represents the very opposite
                of ponderability."

                Steve wrote:

                >>. . . . just as lack of moisture combined
                with extraordinary static friction of the
                atmosphere creates lightning.<<

                Robert writes:

                But obviously, lightning (usually) occurs where
                there is a pronounced *lack* of a "lack of

                Steve wrote:

                >>In the case of an observable lunar eclipse
                our vision, of course, is undisturbed by
                clouds, so the three aspects of the red band
                are displayed over the duration of the eclipse.
                The refracted (deflected) light would have to
                be enlightened by the self-shining moon as its
                passes through the umbra for the simple reason
                that the atmosphere on the darkened side of the
                earth is too weak to bear the light of the sun
                itself to the naked eye. But, what the naked
                eye is able to view standing in the shadow zone
                during a lunar eclipse, is the moon taking on
                the color of the deflected light on its face as
                it passes through, making deflected sunlight
                visible to the eye. After passing through the
                shadow, the atmosphere returns to darkness, and
                the moon's original light is restored.<<

                Robert writes:

                This paragraph is unintelligible to me. I've
                already talked about the alleged "refraction"
                and the allegedly "self-shining moon"; rather
                than repeat what I've already said, I'll leave
                it at that.

                Steve wrote:

                >>The shroud of the moon, which has been given
                a very clever and logical explanation as the
                phases of the moon, described in the second url
                above, is actually the Eighth Sphere. If you
                remember from the discourse on the ES from last
                summer . . . .<<

                Robert writes:

                Steve, I do remember enough of your "discourse"
                of last summer to recall that I couldn't make
                any sense of what you were saying and that I
                bailed out of the discussion. I'm going to
                bail out again; just a remark on the way out:
                I think that once again you are confusing the
                physical and the non-physical. Your theory
                requires a physical shroud, but the 8th Sphere
                is non-physical.

                Robert M

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