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RE: [steiner] The Fourth Dimension

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  • LilOleMissy
    Dear Rick, Dr. Starman and All, Thanks zillions, Dr. Starman, for giving us all the dates, and Rick, thank you for asking. It s a good question, too, since so
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 4, 2003
      Dear Rick, Dr. Starman and All,
       
      Thanks zillions, Dr. Starman, for giving us all the dates, and Rick, thank you for asking. It's a good question, too, since so many titles have changed. Dr. Starman, one of my 1956 listings has the Oct. 22. 1908 lecture as the first of 2 in Goethe's Secret Revelation, but since Steiner so often gave more than one lecture in a day, this may or may not be the same as included in The Fourth Dimension. :) The more I research these types of things, the more admiration I have for those who *do* know. ACK! Rick, I always find out the "return policy" of where I buy books just in case I already have a "new" acquisition under a different name - I can either return it or give it to someone else.
       
      Cheers!
       
      Sheila
       
      --Those who cannot hear the music think that the dancer is mad.
       
       island.bobbs@... writes:
      You wouldn't happen to know the dates of the eight lectures recently
      published as "The Fourth Dimension"? All I can find out is that they
      are from 1905-1908, and I can't afford to buy any more 'repeats' that
      I already have, just published under different titles.
       
      ******* The complete lectures in the volume are those Steiner gave on Mar. 24, 1905, Mar. 31, 1905, May 17, 1905, May 24, 1905, May 31, 1905, June 7, 1905, Nov. 7, 1905, and Oct. 22, 1908----all in Berlin.
       
      Then there are extracts dealing with higher dimensions taken from various other lectures given from 1906 to 1922.
      -Starman
      http://www.DrStarman.net


    • rickbobbs
      Dear Folks; Here is are a couple of quotes where Steiner clearly states his aversion to the concept of a fourth dimension . I ll post more as I can:
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 6, 2003
        Dear Folks;
        Here is are a couple of quotes where Steiner clearly
        states his aversion to the concept of a 'fourth dimension'. I'll post
        more as I can:


        "...Anyone entering the spiritual world by the methods described
        above, having attained the power of touch, will know how to
        distinguish whether he merely imagined his experiences while
        exercising active thought, or whether he actually perceived by means
        of it. Even in ordinary life we can distinguish the difference
        between awkwardly burning our fingers in a flame, and picturing the
        event afterwards. There is a lively difference; the one experience
        really hurts while the other does not. In a higher domain the same
        difference exists between what we may imagine concerning the higher
        worlds, and what is really experienced therein.
        "Now the first thing a man experiences in this way is true
        knowledge.... Our past experiences, which can usually only be called
        into our consciousness in picture form, then present themselves as a
        tableau in which what is long since past, lives in the present. Just
        as persons who have had a shock through being in danger of death by
        drowning sometimes see - as admitted even by materialistically minded
        men - a psychic picture of their life on earth; such a picture
        appears to the soul of one who has rendered his thinking active. It
        begins from the time in his earth-life when he first began to think
        and continues to the present time. Time becomes space. That which was
        the past, becomes the present. A picture is before him; the
        characteristic of which is - I shall speak of this again in
        tomorrow's lecture, - that because it resembles a picture, he still
        has a sort of sensation of space; but this is only a feeling, for the
        space thus experienced lacks the third dimension. He no longer
        experiences a third dimension, only space in two dimensions; so that
        he perceives pictorially. That is the reason I call this cognition
        imaginative cognition for it works as does painting, in two
        dimensions only; it is a pictorial cognition, working in two
        dimensions.
        "You may wonder, if I stand there and experience two dimensions,
        what happens if I go on and once more experience in three dimensions?
        "There is no difference between them. The experience of the third
        dimension falls away altogether. I shall later on have occasion to
        speak of the fact that in our age, because we are no longer conscious
        of these things, people try to find the fourth dimension, thinking
        thereby to enter the realm of the spiritual. The truth is that when
        we advance from the physical into the spiritual, instead of
        discovering a fourth dimension, the third falls away.... -so it will
        represent an advance in the inner comprehension of the world when it
        becomes known that on entering the spiritual world we do not go from
        the first, second, and third dimension into the fourth, but turn back
        to the second and, indeed, as we shall see, even return to the first.
        That is a truth. According to the external conception of the world
        prevalent in our time, which reckons numerically in a quite external
        way, as there is a first, second and third dimension, there must
        necessarily be a fourth; but this is not the case here. One turns
        back to the second dimension and the third disappears; the student
        then gains a true imaginative cognition which at first appears in his
        own self as a life-tableau, so that he surveys, at the present moment
        as it were, in mighty pictures, all that he went through inwardly
        during his earth-life." (19 Aug. 1923,in: The Evolution of the World
        and of Humanity, 1989, pp.16-18)

        "To the Imaginative and Inspirational consciousness things come to
        light here which can perfectly well be understood by the normal
        healthy human reason, but which, in our present civilisation, are
        regarded with a very great deal of prejudice. Indeed it requires a
        certain freedom from prejudice to grasp the fact that everything in
        the physical world is three dimensional, and is fundamentally
        experienced in three dimensions, and that whatever is to be impressed
        in the etheric body must pass from the plastic into the pictorial
        form, from the three dimensional into the two dimensional. For as
        soon as we enter the imaginative world we have nothing more to do
        with three dimensions, and still less with four dimensions as is
        believed to-day by certain scientists who have deviated from the main
        track; we are there concerned with two dimensions only. The reason
        why it is so difficult to conceive of what is thus experienced lies
        in the fact that in our earthly experiences we are accustomed to deal
        only with three dimensions. We picture everything in three
        dimensions, and therefore when we are required to find a transition
        into two dimensions, we say: Well; but the two dimensions are
        included in the three; the two dimensions of a surface may be such
        that the third dimension is also there.
        "This cannot be the case when we enter the Imaginative world; for
        no matter what a surface may be, there can be no third dimension
        there, it is no longer taken into account the moment we enter the
        etheric, Imaginative world. Hence mathematicians must transform all
        the equations of ether, so that they do not refer to the three-
        dimensional but to the two-dimensional world. This is merely
        interpolated for mathematicians.
        "Now if we wish to enter the world accessible to Inspiration, that
        world in which we live as egos between going to sleep and waking, we
        find it to be a one dimensional world; we are concerned with a world
        on one dimension only. The transition into that world of a single
        dimension, which presupposes that the student shall have acquired the
        quality of Inspiration, of perceiving the Spiritual world in which we
        live between going to sleep and waking, the understanding of that
        world was in all ages possessed by the so-called science of
        Initiation." (26 Aug. 1923, in: The Evolution of the World and of
        Humanity, 1989, pp.188-189)
      • rickbobbs
        Dear Dr. Starman; From the dates you kindly posted, I take it that the book doesn t contain the 1923 quote I last posted, but I was wondering if the 1922
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 9, 2003
          Dear Dr. Starman;
          From the dates you kindly posted, I take it that
          the book doesn't contain the 1923 quote I last posted, but I was
          wondering if the 1922 extract was from the "Astronomy" course and if
          so, did it include the stated disinclination to use the concept
          fourth dimension, with the preference stated as to think in terms of
          a negative third dimension, because... well, if the book doesn't
          include this view, I'll post the text (it's at elib forum). Also,
          Steiner said some really crucial things about the qualities of the
          three dimensions, that in fact there is no 'abstract, equal' three
          dimensions except in mathematical fantasy, etc. I'm sure you know the
          point, and there's no doubt this has more real importance than
          saddling Steiner with a concept that he clearly disagreed with... at
          least, I'm waiting for as clear evidence of his support as I have for
          his disagreement!

          Take care and give care, Rick
        • DRStarman2001@aol.com
          Dear Dr. Starman;                     From the dates you kindly posted, I take it that the book doesn t contain the 1923 quote I last posted, but I
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 13, 2003

            Dear Dr. Starman;
                                From the dates you kindly posted, I take it that
            the book doesn't contain the 1923 quote I last posted, but I was
            wondering if the 1922 extract was from the "Astronomy" course and if
            so, did it include the stated disinclination to use the concept
            fourth dimension, with the preference stated as to think in terms of
            a negative third dimension, because... well, if the book doesn't
            include this view, I'll post the text (it's at elib forum). Also,
            Steiner said some really crucial things about the qualities of the
            three dimensions, that in fact there is no 'abstract, equal' three
            dimensions except in mathematical fantasy, etc. I'm sure you know the
            point, and there's no doubt this has more real importance than
            saddling Steiner with a concept that he clearly disagreed with... at
            least, I'm waiting for as clear evidence of his support as I have for
            his disagreement!

            ******* Forgive me for taking so long to respond, but first, I've been rather busy, and second, the subject is a large one. In the last part of his life, Steiner's creations such as Eurythmy and the first Goetheanum show his practical usage of space in a new way. Besides the astronomy course, his lectures in the 1920s are filled with references to this new way of experiencing space. Eurythmy, of course, gives every individual the possibility of this experience. It's quite true that the three dimensions normal human beings experience in the present are qualitatively different from each other; in fact, even movement to the right is qualitatively different than movement to the left, although that is in the same dimension. Above and below, left and right, and backward and forward can all be experienced in a much more intense way than the abstract thinking of the mathematician, as many dancers know.

                But the early lectures Steiner gave were seeking to build upon the work that had been done by mathematicians and theosophists around the turn-of-the-century, for instance, Hinton and Claude Bragdon. There was very important work done about 1900 in non-Euclidean geometry, groundbreaking efforts to go beyond the "box" of three dimensions. The "Flatland" analogy made famous in the late 1800s was extended, for instance by Hinton in his "A New Era of Thought" which was later given a still fuller treatment by P.D. Ouspensky in his "Tertium Organum" (the book the Edgar Cayce readings recommended to understand higher dimensions, written before poor Ouspensky unfortunately came under the deleterious influence of Gurdjieff). A good treatment of the entire genre is "The Fourth Dimension And Non Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art" by Linda Henderson. These ideas generated the movement of Cubism, influenced men as widely diverse as Marcel Duchamp and Kandinsky, and even had much to do with how Einstein came up with his theory of relativity.

                What is the real tragedy is that all of this has been forgotten and/or distorted. The insight was not that there was a fourth dimension and that this dimension was time: that is a complete misinterpretation. What was worked out was that there was no reason to suppose that the number of dimensions did not go on infinitely; and, and as beings learned to sense each new dimension, all that had been perceived before  would change its character. What a being was unable to sense as a dimension of space was perceived as changes in the dimensions of space it was able to perceive, or in other words as change in time. Ouspensky, the building upon Hinton, gives thinking exercises by which this can be directly experienced.

               In reading Steiner's lectures about the fourth dimension, it would be helpful to know this background. I recommend the book mentioned above, along with Ouspensky's Tertium Organum. It's quite true that the fourth dimension as we are usually taught about it is not at all anything Steiner agreed with. Instead he said from his own experience that the fourth dimension was more like the second dimension again, in a sense. But this, as expected since the topic is geometry, is just a part of a very large study, and quoting one line from a lecture would be of little use.

            -Starman
            http://www.DrStarman.net
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