Guidelines-What is the Earth in reality within the Cosmos
What is the Earth in reality within the Macrocosm?
In these contemplations we have viewed the evolution of the cosmos and of the earth from the most varied viewpoints. We have shown how the forces of man's being come from the outer-earthly cosmos, except for those which give him his self-consciousness. These come to him from the earth.
This indicates the meaning of the earth for humanity. But it brings up another question: What is the meaning of the earth for the macrocosm?
In order to approach the answer to this question it is necessary to review what has already been said.
The seer's consciousness finds the macrocosm increasingly alive as it penetrates further into the past. In the distant past all calculability of its nature ceases. Man was separated from this nature. The macrocosm entered ever further into the sphere of the calculable.
In the process, however, it gradually died. In the measure in which man the microcosm emerged from the macrocosm as an independent being, the former gradually died.
In the cosmic present a dead macrocosm exists. But in this evolutionary process not only man arose. The earth also arose from the macrocosm.
Man, who derives the forces for his self-consciousness from the earth, is much too close to it to clearly understand its nature. In the full enfolding of self-consciousness during the Consciousness Soul age, man has become accustomed to direct his attention to the spatial magnitude of the universe and to consider the earth as being a kind of dust-particle, inconsequential when compared to the physical space of the universe.
It will therefore seem strange at first when spiritual observation reveals the true cosmic meaning of this so-called "dust-particle".
The vegetable and animal kingdoms are embedded in the earth's mineral foundation. In all of them live the forces which appear in their various forms during the seasons. Look at the plant world. In autumn and winter it displays dying forces. The seer's consciousness perceives in these forms the essence of the forces which have brought about the macrocosm's process of dying. In spring and summer the forces of growth and sprouting are evident in plant life. The seer's consciousness does not only see in this growth and sprouting what is blessed by plant life during the year, but a surplus a surplus of germinating forces. The plants receive more germination force than they expend for the growth of leaves, flowers and fruit. This surplus of germinating forces streams out into the outer-earthly cosmos before the seer's vision.
In the same way, surplus force from the mineral kingdom streams out into the outer-earthly cosmos. This force has the task of bringing the forces that come from the plants to the correct regions of the cosmos. Under the influence of the mineral forces a newly formed image of a cosmos is created by the plant forces.
There are also forces that come from the animals. These do not act as the mineral and plant forces do, streaming out from the earth, but they gather what the mineral and plant forces have carried to the universe and combine them into a sphere (globe) and create therewith the image of an enclosed macrocosm.
This is how the spiritually cognitional consciousness perceives the essence of the earthly domain. It exists within the dead macrocosm giving new life.
Just as from a seed, which is so insignificantly small, a very large plant emerges when the old one dies and disintegrates, a new macrocosm will come into being from the "dust particle" earth when the old one disintegrates.
That is a true vision of the earth's essence, that in all its parts a universe is germinating. One obtains an understanding of the kingdoms of nature only by sensing this germinating element in it.
Within this germinating life man undertakes his earthly existence. He participates in the germinating as well as in the dying processes. He derives his thinking forces from the dying element. As long as these thinking forces came in the past from the still living macrocosm, they were not the foundation of the self-conscious human being. The acted as growth forces in human beings who still had no self-consciousness. The thinking forces, in themselves, may not have a life of their own if they are to form the foundation for free human self-consciousness. Together with the dead macrocosm, they must, in themselves, be the dead shadows of the cosmic past.
On the other hand, man participates in the earth's germinating processes. His will forces come from them. They are life itself, but man does not participate in their essence with his self-consciousness. They radiate into the shadows of thought within the human being. The shadows of thought stream through them and in this streaming of free thought in the germinating earth full, free human self-consciousness enters humanity in the Consciousness Soul age.
The past casting shadows and the future containing the seeds of reality meet each other in the human being. And this meeting is human life in the present.
That this is so is immediately evident to the seer's consciousness when it finds itself in the spirit-region which borders directly on the physical one, and in which one also finds Michael's field of activity.
All earthly life becomes transparent when one senses the seed of the universe in its foundation. Every plant form, every stone - they appear to the human soul in a new light when it realizes that every one of these things contributes by its life, by its form, to the earth being the embryonic seed of a new revivifying macrocosm.
If one only tries to bring to life his thinking about these facts, he will realize what it can mean for humanity's sensibility.Goetheanum, January 1925