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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

From Limestone to Lucifer
GA 349

The truly remarkable lectures — or, more accurately, question and answer sessions — contained in this book, form part of a series (published in eight volumes in the original German) dating from August 1922 to September 1924. This series features talks given to men involved in various kinds of building work on Rudolf Steiner's architectural masterpieces, the first and second Goetheanums. (The destruction by fire of the first Goetheanum necessitated the building of a replacement.) A vivid description of the different types of workers present, as well as the context and atmosphere of these talks, is given by a witness in the Appendix to this volume.

The sessions arose out of explanatory tours of the Goetheanum which one of Steiner's pupils, Dr Roman Boos, had offered. When this came to an end, and the workers still wished to know more about the 'temple' they were involved with and the philosophy behind it, Dr Steiner agreed to take part in question and answer sessions himself. These took place during the working day, after the mid-morning break. Apart from the workmen, only a few other people were present: those working in the building office, and some of Steiner's closest co-workers. The subject-matter of the talks was chosen by the workers at the encouragement of Rudolf Steiner, who took their questions and usually gave immediate answers.

Translated by A.R. Meuss FIL, MTA

I. The living earth — past and future. Natural healing powers February 17, 1923
Technology and nature, Eiffel Tower and wheat stalk. Mica, silica and feldspar. The hardest rocks in the mountains are residues of early plants. The whole of our earth was once alive. It was first a plant, then an animal. All the rocks we have today are residues of life. Life comes from cosmic space. Silica, mica and feldspar as medicines. Migration of birds. Coral limestone. Progression of spring equinox through the Platonic year. Earth will wake up again and be a living entity. Limestone used medicinally for malnutrition. Homoeopathic and allopathic treatment. About vegetable pigments.
II. The two basic principles of colour theory in red sky at dawn and dusk and blue of the sky. Sickness and health in relation to the theory of colours February 21, 1923
Influence of colours on the human organism. How blood, the organ of life, and nerve, the organ of conscious awareness, work together in the human eye. Reason for red sky at dawn and dusk (light seen through darkness — red) and the blue of the sky (darkness seen through light — blue). Producing pigments for artists' colours — red from carbon, blue from oxygen; yellow from flowers, blue from roots. Goethe's theory of colour in defence of the truth, in opposition to Newton's theory of colour. Understanding sickness and health in terms of the theory of colour. How early pastoral tribes gained their knowledge of the stars.
III. Dante's view of the world and the dawning of the modern scientific age. Copernicus, Lavoisier March 14, 1923
Dante wrote of the invisible world —the etheric world or world of spheres with the earth at the centre. Copernicus wrote of the physical world. Up to the end of the eighteenth century people still knew something of the etheric world. Phlogiston or 'fire stuff' theory, and Lavoisier's idea of oxygen. How materialism came about. First event after death is experience of complete recall. Dante's idea of hell.
IV. The essential nature of man — life and death March 17, 1923
Comparing human and animal development. Walking, talking and thinking and the activities of ether body, astral body and I. People do not care much about the way they talk today. Most of them do not think at all; they are not able to take in ideas about higher worlds. Du Bois-Reymond's Ignorabimus speech. To die is to withdraw the ether body from the physical body. The ether body rapidly expands over the whole world after death. Pre-existence and post-existence. The Church taking responsibility for our dying. Life before birth and after death. We cannot know about life after death unless we also know about life before birth, that is, before conception.
V. Human life in sleep and death March 21, 1923
Importance of sleep and so-called sleeplessness. People sleep when they have gone out of sympathy with their bodies; they wake up when they have developed sympathy for the body again. After death we must rid ourselves of sympathy for the body; this takes a third of our life span. After death, human beings live a third of their earthly life span in the astral body, only a few days in the ether body. Ether body: second teeth. Astral body: sexual maturity. Once the astral body is laid aside, the human being lives only in the I. The rational mind, thoughts, are part of the universe; rationality is present everywhere. The wisdom that exists in the human body. How the human being comes into existence. Theory of evolution. Chaos when the ovum is fertilized. Man must create his own form. Everything that exists in the outside world is recreated in the human being. What the I must do in the time before the individual descends to earth again.
VI. Essential human nature — physical body, ether body, astral body and I April 4, 1923
Example of scientific thinking in 1923. Philosophy lacking in logic. The I governs the body during life on earth. Fertilization. The soul, coming from the world of the spirit, creates the human body from protein that has been shattered and thrown into chaos. Similarities between children and parents. Walking, talking, thinking. Development of the brain in the first seven years. Ether body ensures that child's brain is perfected so that he becomes a thinking human being. Ether body active in thinking. We have the astral body for learning to talk; it acts mainly in the chest, in our breathing, which then becomes speech. The I has to come to the physical body and give it equilibrium in the physical world. This then learns to move its limbs and adapt its metabolism to the movements. A future science must get people to wake up now.
VII. Dream, death and reincarnation April 9, 1923
Awakening to true knowledge. Dreams on going to sleep and on waking up. Nightmares. Why we dream. We owe it to our body that we see things as they are. The first three years of human life. How dreams change in the course of life. Dreams of young children. Loss of ability to develop the body the right way. How dreams take us further and further away from the world of the spirit. About the things mediums say. Between death and rebirth we must get to know the inner human body. During life on earth human beings move further and further away from the world of the spirit. A human being lives approximately 12 earth lives in a Platonic year. Dissolution of the earth and man being free of the earth.
VIII. A symptomatic view of the astral body April 14, 1923
Why humans and higher animals need heads. Life is in the head in higher animals, in individual parts of the body in lower animals. Whooping cough —headless astral body. Asthma caused by cats or buckwheat. Curing whooping cough. The astral body is left to itself if there is an injury; it comes out of the physical body. The astral body easily unites with heat but not with cold; it is attracted by warmth. We are not yet human in our astral body on earth. Rabindranath Tagore's memoirs; everyone would beat him. Education by the rod. Slave natures and free natures. We take a moral impression of our life through death and into the world where we create our next life on earth. Every organ is supplied with nerves from two directions; it is, however, the astral body which intervenes. Everything that happens by way of movement in the human being is controlled by the astral body. Laying aside the inner astral configuration that has been gained in life. How we bring things we had in the previous life into our new human life. People differ because they bring different abilities and destinies with them from their previous life.
IX. Why do we not remember earlier lives on earth? April 18, 1923
About Mehring's book on Lessing. Lessing's Educating the Human Race. Crookes and Newton. Primitive peoples all believed in repeated lives on earth. Effects of opium. Small amounts influence the ether body, the vitalizing principle, large amounts the astral body; habitual use of opium destroys the I. About learning to write and read. Conscious thinking and remembering. If one has taken up the right thoughts in the present life, one will remember the present life rightly in a later life on earth. Spectres. Spiritualist seances.
X. Sleeping and waking —life after death —the Christ spirit—the two Jesus children April 21, 1923
Venus's fly-trap. The concept of desire or appetite. The soul condition underlying the waking-up process; we wake up because we desire our physical body. After death the soul wants to get back into the body again and again; it is a habit it must get out of. Desire for the physical body and life altogether remains after death, and above all one has the desire to go on seeing all the things one has seen in life. The human being must lose the desire for the physical world before he can grow into the world of the spirit where he can perceive things in the spirit. England rising above and sinking below the sea. The relative position of the stars in the heavens sends out forces to hold a land mass in a particular place. Plato about Solon. Julian's three suns. Baptism of John in the Jordan. Genealogies in Luke's and Matthew's Gospels do not agree. Details of two Jesus boys. Mr Hauer's views. World history took a different turn with the Christ event.
XI. On the Christ, Ahriman and Lucifer and their relationship to man May 7, 1923
Man is not the same all the way through; he is always dying and coming alive again. Nervous system and blood system as opposite principles. Sclerosis. Growing old and growing young. Pleurisy or pneumonia —growing young is getting too powerful in us. If there were only ahrimanic powers we would harden all the time, turning into a corpse; we would grow pedantic, be philistines, waking up all the time. The luciferic powers soften us and make us young, make us dream and fantasize, going to sleep all the time. The human being needs both of these opposing powers but they must be in balance. Present-day education is wholly ahrimanic. Luciferic age from about 8000 BC to the turning-point of time, followed by an ahrimanic age. Pleurisy and birch charcoal. Stroke prevention with flower juices. Luciferic and ahrimanic diseases. The sculpture at the Goetheanum. About contradictory statements in the Gospels.
XII. The death, resurrection and ascension of the Christ May 9, 1923
Early news of the Christians. The two Jesus children. Twelve-yearold Jesus in the temple. Kekule's enlightenment. Thirty-year-old Jesus of Nazareth and his enlightenment through the Christ. Most important teaching in the ancient mysteries was knowledge of the sun. Death, entombment and resurrection of the Christ. Appearances of the risen Christ. Paul at Damascus. Ascension. The Pentecost idea —tongues of fire, a common religion for all. Earthly religions and sun Christianity.