Published twice a year by the Anthroposophical Society in America for its members and friends H enry Barnes, Editor All communications should be addressed to the editor, 211 Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10016. Copyrights and all other rights are reserved by the Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America. Responsibility for the contents of the articles contained herein attaches only to the writers. A utumn, 1965 Number 2 CONTENTS WHAT IS THIS “ANTHROPOSOPHY” ABOUT? .... Frederick C. Heckel A NEW APPROACH TO THE PROBLEMS OF SOCIETY ................ Ralph Courtney MICHAELMAS REFLECTIONS ...............Danilla Rettig LITTLE MYTHS ............................... Albert Steffen THE DIGNITY OF THE EARTH .... Hermann Poppelbaum CHRISTMAS IN HOSPITAL ...................... Rex Raab TRACE ELEMENTS...................... Anna Koffler, Ph.D. THE BIO-DYNAMIC MOVEMENT IN OUR TIME .............................. Herbert Koepf MORALITY AND THE EXPERIENCE OF KNOWLEDGE ............................John Gardner BEWARE OF LSD .................... Franz E. Winkler, M.D. A VOICE OF ANTHROPOSOPHY............ George O’Neil ABOUT THE AUTHORS WHAT ISTHIS “ANTHROPOSOPHY” ABOUT? Frederick C. Heckel “Just what is this ‘Anthroposophy’ for which your Journal exists?” Such a question, whether definitely formulated or not, must certainly arise at times in the minds of a number of our readers. To give a complete answer would, as many other readers know, take volumes. For that, one can only point to the numerous books and lectures of Rudolf Steiner who presented us with this world view. Yet the person with a genuine interest in finding out more about it would seem, in all fairness, to be entitled to some characterizations of that wide and deep subject, however much one hoped that he would look into it on his own account. Looking at it from the point of view of the single, questioning individual new to the matter, one might perhaps then say: It certainly is a fact that most people know inwardly, even though they could never prove it to anybody else, that there is a Spiritual World, a world of objective realities in the realm of thought, feeling and will. They “sense” the inter weaving between this creative world and the world of outer, tangible phenomena. They may well have wondered why it should not be possible to study this “inner” world just as carefully, without inner bias and prejudgment, as the true and dedicated natural scientist studies the sense world around him. Speaking from experience, experience that anybody can duplicate, one could add: You can find in what is presented by Anthroposophy (taken to begin with, by all means, as no more than a work ing hypothesis), reasonable, entirely non-subjective explana tions of those “inner” aspects of existence we referred to above. They reduce to a scientific order not only the phe nomena of inner experience but also the interrelationships of the material kingdoms and that all-pervading realm which the Greeks referred to as the Archetypal World. We can gather the subject matter into two larger cate gories. There is, first, the method, the techniques of re search used in such investigation. These are referred to in many places in Rudolf Steiner’s work, although the basic book here is his Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Its Attainment. To characterize this book, even crudely, would be a bigger piece of work than there is room for in these pages. It would not be unfair to it, though, to point out that an essential factor in the self-training outlined there is a great strengthening of the forces of the will — along with a sharpened discernment. So, obviously, personal feelings, likes and dislikes of every shade, are taken out of the field of observation. One might, from the point of view of this brief discussion, include all the rest, the larger body of Dr. Steiner’s work, under a heading something like “Research Data” or “Investi gational Results.” As those who have had contact with Steiner’s voluminous writings know, this was an occultist who did not confine himself to studies of the supersensible worlds. He held that “the test of any occult teaching is whether it meets the practical problems of the time in which it is given.” So we have, among other things, the Waldorf Pedagogy or Rudolf Steiner Methods of Education. This can be in vestigated quite conveniently by first-hand observation of the growing number of Steiner schools in many parts of the world. These tend to be schools whose reputation and standing in their communities is such that more and more parents, who often have no concern with the anthroposophical world view as such, send their children to them simply because they are such good schools. There is also a special ized Curative Pedagogy which has attained notable success and recognition in its ability to help children in need of special care. There is also the Bio-Dynamic Method of Farming and Gardening. In the experience of the undersigned he has encountered no other “organic” approach to the feeding of mankind which compares with it in terms of completely solid scientific foundations and practical workability. Nor can we omit Rudolf Steiner’s analysis (and the guide lines toward a solution) of the “Social Question,” seething ever more furiously and disastrously since the time after World War I when he was most active in this field. That side of his work has been perhaps more neglected not only by the world at large but (always with active exceptions) by his own pupils, than any other of his contributions. In the light of the results in other fields where his practical sug gestions have been taken up, this can be regarded as need lessly tragic. His contributions to the Art of Healing, developed in col laboration with physicians and carried further by physicians, are another aspect of Rudolf Steiner’s research that has borne fruit of measurable, and in another sense immeasurable, value. And the list could be lengthened. But the idea here was simply to give our hypothetical interrogator some pic ture of “what Anthroposophy is about.” We have not even Page 2 touched on the basic matters of Dr. Steiner’s anthropo sophical work in pure philosophy, history, religion or the arts. One thing must still be mentioned: Dr. Steiner never, so to say, “threw ideas at people’s heads.” He held that no knowledge was of benefit unless it was actively desired, “asked for.” Thus, for instance, Waldorf Education, the farming and gardening methods, etc., were all formulated and presented because specific people, somewhere, had asked for this information. Rudolf Steiner believed in, and abided by, principles em bodying the fullest spiritual freedom. A NEW APPROACH TO THE PROBLEMS OF SOCIETY Ralph Courtney Differences of opinion and conflicts of interest are bound to arise in the life of society. The problems they present are usually approached from the side of law-making government which has only one set of tools to work with. Either things have to be left as they are, or a law must be passed about them. The result is that in order to meet the alleged needs of society, thousands of laws are passed at every session of Congress and these are supplemented by innumerable administrative rules and regulations. The same legal network is to be found in every country of the globe. No matter whether a nation has a socialist, a communist, or a democratic regime, or is ruled by a personal dictator, the laws and regulations of a centralist political government tell citizens what they may or may not do. The aim of this law-making activity is to solve what has become known as the social problem, that is, the problem of establishing the right social relationships between the in dividual human units of society. Yet, in spite of all the laws that have been passed since the founding of this and other countries, the social problem still remains unsolved. If laws alone could solve it, one would expect the people of the United States, living in freedom under a liberal Constitu tion, by this time to be enjoying ideal social conditions. One thing that is conspicuously lacking in the law-making process of today is a set of rules by which to determine what social issues should be decided by laws and what other social issues should be left to the individual citizens to make their own free choices. Under the political centralism of the day, almost any law can be passed that is supported by a sufficient number of power-groups, regardless of its cultural, political, or economic consequences. But when the passing of law after law over a period of years, fails to create social satisfaction, the conclusion is inescapable that something is wrong with citizens’ expectations of what the law-making process, alone, can do. And there must be a reason why the law-making machinery designated by the word “government,” has come to be synonymous in popular imagination with corruption, waste, futility and almost all the derogatory words that are to be found in the dictionary. The task of the law-making bodies in the United States is also complicated by the existence of two mutually con tradictory ideals, both of which have received universal recog nition. One is the ideal of Liberty and the other that of Equality. Thus the same government of the same social order is expected to uphold freedom of choice on the one hand and, on the other, to be the guarantor of a compelled equality. Any new approach to the social problem must deal with this contradiction. Only one answer to this aspect of the social problem has been put forward by a modern writer. In the early decades of this century Rudolf Steiner called attention to the exis tence of three functional aspects of social life. Every society, he pointed out, comprises a cultural sphere, a life of rights and an economy. In a social order thus functionally de centralised, there is a natural division of labor. The cultural side of society supplies the culture, the economy looks after production, consumption and distribution and the political sphere lays down the laws governing rights. By decentralising society according to its functional aspects, instead of placing all its functions under the domination of politics, Steiner points to a new approach to the social prob lem. For the principles of freedom and equality no longer contradict each other when they are applied in separate social spheres. In the spheres of cultural matters and in business, men could be allowed to exercise freedom of choice, so long as their actions do not violate common rights. At the same time, their common rights would be upheld by a separate sphere which is outside the cultural and economic life, namely, the sphere of rights. In the United States, the common rights that belong to all citizens equally, are, of course, the rights to Life, to Liberty and to the Pursuit of Happiness. In a functionally decentralised society, the most important right in the cultural sphere is the right to cultural liberty. In the sphere of business, the right that is most essential is the right of association to further mutual economic interests, while in the political sphere it is the right of all citizens to be treated as equals in any and all acts of government. Since the power of government in a decentralised society would be limited to equalitarian rights legislation, it could not be used to create special privileges for power-groups. Steiner points out that the political sphere in which all citizens are equal as voters, should only rightly concern itself with matters such as common rights in which this status of equality con tinues. Equality in the social sense, according to Steiner, does not mean equality of persons, but only equality in the possession of the same common rights. Dr. Steiner outlined his social views in a book called in English translation, “The Threefold Commonwealth; the Social Question in Its True Shape.” At the time of its ap pearance, Steiner’s book was hailed as a significant departure from the growing socialistic and centralist trends of his time. Today, nearly a half century later, the world has tried poli tical centralismin all its forms. In none of its metamorphoses has this centralism shown itself to be a happy solution of the social problem, or even a working hypothesis that has pro duced anything but increasing social chaos. A remarkable phenomenon in the social fabric of the United States is an area from which all laws have been excluded. This is in the cultural field of religion. As far as this example goes, it confirms Steiner’s point of view that only individual liberty can deal satisfactorily with the cultural aspect of the social question. In his “threefold” social order, Steiner suggests that this freedom from political regulation, save for the maintenance of common rights, should be ex tended to all cultural fields. It goes without saying that the cultural opinions of private citizens are not regulated in the United States. By the same token, it would be logical to hold that the habits arising from these opinions should also be free from regulatory laws. The State might set up gen eral cultural standards, or subsidise the individual’s educa tion, but its acts in the cultural field should not be such as to interfere with the citizen’s freedom of choice, even in the matter of selecting his schools. As for the social ills that are usually ascribed to business, it could also be pointed out from the decentralist point of view, that these ills are due, not so much to lack of laws protecting rights, as to the multiplication of special-privilegecreating laws that either violate common rights or stand in the way of their vindication. In Steiner’s “threefold” social order, the spheres of culture and business would operate on their own, but would belong to the social order as a whole by becoming the instrument through which the life of common rights is maintained. During the past half century, political centralism has in creasingly taken over the cultural and economic sides of social life in all countries. It has attempted to manage them in the national interest. Apart from the fact that this manage ment has been bungling and inefficient, it has created cultural-politico-economic national units throughout the world. These centralised units have, in turn, become the carriers of the imperialisms of both the East and the West. Far fromspreading brotherhood, as the advocates of socialistic centralism would have us believe, these increasingly cen tralised bourgeois and communist states have spread fear and antagonisms. For as soon as the political element of power puts itself behind the national culture or the national economy, these otherwise harmless spheres take on the aspect of political enemies in the eyes of their neighbors. When they are invaded by forces not natural to them, these spheres also become the instruments of imperialism. A culture that is strong in its own right is often welcomed and even imitated by those around it. Similarly, private business, conducted without government help, normally gives both buyer and seller a profit. A relaxation of international tensions would follow national decentralism without waiting for disarmament. It would begin as soon as politico-economic imperialism ceased to be a threat. If governments would stop spending money for cultural propaganda outside their own borders and would no longer give financial and diplomatic aid to their national Page 3 business, a re-orientation of international relations would be bound to follow. When private trading replaces imperialism, foreign credits would have to be arranged through private banking institutions, instead of governments. Tariffs would have to be adjusted to meet the needs of a private economy managed by the business sphere itself. The result would doubtless be an economy of exchange, instead of an economy of competing imperialisms. Yet, neither the value of the home markets in the eyes of foreigners, nor the fact that foreigners would have to buy in these markets in order to sell, would be changed. Although the gradual transformation of society into the decentralist pattern would require a larger and more flexible judicial system, for the maintenance of common rights, a compensating advantage would be that the present regulating bureaucracy of society would no longer be needed. If governments did not intervene in business affairs, foreign exchange rates would be self-adjusting on the basis of balances of payments. The efficiency and success of a country that abandoned imperialism for private trading might induce other nations to reconsider their positions. It is not impossible that even communist states, with the removal of the threat of politicoeconomic imperialism on the part of others, might see the wisdom of abandoning some of their dreams of worldconquest, in order to settle for the prospect of general worldprosperity all round. The down-grading of imperialism, to which even its socialistic centralist promoters pay lip-service, is a new phe nomenon in history. In all previous ages, imperialism was the normal social pattern. The imperialism of very early times, bore a cultural character. Political power was used to spread the worship of local tribal deities. Among the centralists of today, it has transformed itself into an im perialism of the politico-economic type. Political power is now chiefly used to help the national economy. This help may have been useful in former times, but it now awakens equally powerful counter-forces and in modern times the wars, as well as the preparations for them, are seen to be as expensive and almost as devastating to the homeland as to its enemies. The law-making process that goes on in every human society cannot meet the needs of those living together in the body social because of its own limitations. It can make laws about rights in which all men are alike, but society needs the free expression of human talents in the two creative fields of culture and business. At the same time, the rights and liberties and the interests of others must be safeguarded by common rights. Whenever the making of laws in domestic society falls into the hands of power-groups, the social illness that this pro duces is similar to the effects of imperialism in the affairs of nations. It means the use of political power to promote special cultural or economic interests. The nature of im perialism is to use military and diplomatic pressures to im pose its culture or business on other peoples. Similarly, in domestic society, cultural and economic groups are able to Page 4 use political power to impose their special interests on other members of the social order. When political centralism is discarded as a system that will only produce antagonisms and wars, the alternative will be functional decentralism. MICHAELMAS REFLECTIONS Danilla Rettig During the Michaelmas season the most beautiful forma tions appear in the sky. At evening the colors are deep violets and reds. The clouds take on the appearance of great ships. A lavender sky with pink-tinged clouds, numer ous and in separate puffs, greets one at dawn. The clouds shine the way trout shine when coming to the surface in a clear mountain pool. Dawn and dusk bring a message to Man from outer Nature. Is there some element of Truth in us, or do we struggle to find it in vain? The waxing and waning of darkness and light with the resulting colors remain an impression long afterward. He who would, can perceive his deeds, and the deeds of others, wax and wane before the imagination as colors. But the colors shine and form themselves as did the trout-like clouds, into a moral architecture. Dornach, Switzerland, 1964 LI TTLE MYTHS Albert Steffen SCHOOL VISIT While, at a teaparty, they were telling about the deeds of a truly good and wise man, a little girl with delighted eyes said suddenly that she had dreamed about him. He had come into her school and had spit in all directions — where upon every kind of toy had appeared: jumping-jacks, lead soldiers, puppets that put on plays, little horses, tiny see-saws, and trains that could take you everywhere; flowers and bushes that grouped themselves into gardens, balls and little barrels that resounded, little rockets that went off and left stars hanging on the heavens. . . . “And what did your teacher say to this magician that came into your classroom?” someone asked the child. “Oh, he didn’t even notice him,” she declared. WALK THROUGH A LIBRARY I was walking with my favorite teacher through the stacks of a library and saw, in place of the familiar books, prepara tions in alchohol, skulls in fur caps, helmets and hoods, trousers hanging from hooks, and historical puppets out of which sawdust was running. Most of the things were hung with black and with good reason. I had no desire to uncover them. Suddenly — in the middle of the room upon a starembroidered carpet — I saw a child. He laughed and stretched out his arms to me. I held him up high in the air and showed him to my teacher. “I know him already,” he laughed gaily. “He is my own poem.” IN THE DISTRICT OF CHILDREN’S SOULS A child who had died found that his cradle, that is to say his coffin, (such mistakes are understandable) was too small to lie in. His hands and feet hit against the sides, and so he wanted to get up and look for a more comfortable bed. Raising himself up in his little shirt, he discovered that he was standing in a garden landscape. Flowerbed ranged upon flowerbed. Many boys and girls wandered about through various districts, each according to his liking, now among bluebell blossoms, now purple violets, now through golden lilies. A larger child stepped up to the smaller one and taught him how to take apart the shrine in which he had lain into many little sticks and put them together crosswise into a fence. It was astonishing that so tiny a coffin could provide the countless number of little pickets with which an endless region could be encompassed. Translated by Christy Barnes SPIRITS OF THE SPHERES Two lovers flew from earth toward heaven and, borne on the wings of faith, began a-journeying from star to star. On every star they visited they were given a mantle which wrapped itself about themwith ever new harmony and luster. They only noticed that the tone and color, and with these their feelings, had changed as they sat in the presence of the golden angel at a crescent-shaped table in a bright spheric room and heard the angel say: “You have found that blue leads to death, yellow to birth, green to dwelling on the earth and red to heavenward journeying. Therefore you seek the light from which every color sprang, never resting till you found yourselves in this my home.” Then looking into the spheric mirrors all about them, the pair saw two spirits enter, a taller one, “I!” cried the lover, and a smaller one, “I!” cried his beloved. They knelt before the golden angel. He laid his hands upon their heads, and the pair awakened. THE CROSS-SHAPED TORCH Christian sat in prison reading his mother’s message: “Peter was buried alive when a bomb burst, James was drowned at sea, John was shot down in his airplane. And you? Do you still have food and drink?” “O my brothers,” he thought and saw the first to his right, the second to his left, the third above him. There they dwelt. And suddenly he saw that their dwelling places were the beams of the cross. And the cross was borne by Christ. “Christ,” he spoke, “Thou art my bread and my wine.” And lo! the cross became a torch that filled all the Occident with light. Translated by Marjorie Spock THE DIGNITY OF THE EARTH Hermann Poppelbaum The rise of modemscience has been linked with a degrada tion of the earth. No apology is needed to make this sound less shocking. Yet nothing can mitigate the fact. The place of habitation which — according to medieval ideas — was given to mankind as a sign of its exalted position in the cosmos, has been deprived of its prominence and relegated to the class of a satellite. Much has been written about the admirable refinement of observation, measurement and calculation which succeeded in bringing about this triumph of objective knowledge over prejudice. Although the average student cannot fully realize the amount of scholarly work which resulted in the dethrone ment of the earth, he can still clearly conjure up the pro found disappointment which medieval man must have felt. He can understand the secret resentment which has lingered for centuries under the surface of an external acknowledge ment. Here is a form of truth which was bound to shatter human pride as perhaps none before. For what did it mean for man that he could no longer believe in the eminent position of the earth as a centre around which the universe revolved? It meant that with the recognition of the inferior order of his assigned dwellingplace man had to feel how little the Creator seemed to care whether he was offended by his humiliation or not. This humiliation of man has been intensified in our age by the disclosure of further infinite stellar spaces around the solar system, the discovery — not only of the enormous size of the galaxy to which “we” belong — but of numerous further galaxies which in their extension have made the earth fade from insignificance to downright nothingness. The earth’s rank was lowered in a few decades from an “only medium-sized” planet to the utterly negligeable position of a speck of dust caught in the whirling dance of incom parably larger masses circling around, with breath-taking distances of empty space between. The earth was hopelessly outrun, outdistanced and outsized, leading a tragi-comic comer-existence of obsolete pretensions, with all that existed on it. Page 5 Rudolf Steiner, who has probed more deeply than any one prior to him into the human meaning of historical changes, pointed out that this very humiliation in the status of man and of the earth was actually an exalting of man’s power to understand the physical universe. This did not come as a cheap consolation but as a noticeable gain in self-consciousness. And thus modern man, when he acknowledges the findings of science, lives by virtue of a strange paradox: deprived of his prominence in the cosmic order he can still glory, and this more than ever, in the possession of those very powers of cognition which disillusioned him about his stature. However crushing the defeat of his ambition he can still show greatness by the way in which he has “taken” the blow. This was the test to which the spirit of the new age sub mitted modern man. He had to show which was dearer to him, — the hidden pride of being an entity for which the heavens cared, or the love for truth of the searcher who faces his dethronement and, with it, the dethronement of the earth. Only an attitude of soul which is ready to give up bias and to accept unwelcome facts can pass such a test. Humanity at large has passed the test; but every indivi dual, educated or not, has in his own way to face it again. He has to show individually whether he can be loyal to the verdicts of his own reason or prefers to acquiesce only out wardly and to foster secret reservations. Nor must we over look more far-reaching consequences. Every progress in knowledge is fraught with them. They are not realized at once but dawn upon mankind only later to the degree that the new discovery sinks in and becomes, at last, a common place. The same faculty of reason which infers from the earth’s minor size its negligeability has taught man to ques tion the rank of his moral judgments. But this took time. The Copernican revolution occurred in the 16th century; the consequences for man’s moral stature were not fully felt until the end of the 19th. It then became time to build a system of Copernican ethics, to round out a world view in keeping with astronomical enlightenment. This time-lapse makes us understand why Rudolf Steiner’s deed of restoration of man’s moral status could not have been achieved before the time in which the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity was actually written and appeared. Its publication was in 1894, the same “end of the century” period when the most ruthless analysis of man’s soul seemed to expose the biological and animal roots of his ethical strivings. It was the period when meanness and wickedness became better understandable than goodness; when the small town scandal and the personal-catastrophe became textbook examples of human ethical problems. Now it was time to trace the true roots of man’s creative virtues to a healthier ground. This is what Rudolf Steiner undertook. He found these roots in man’s striving after knowledge, — the same type of fact-facing knowledge which in science has pro duced such marvelous results. He recognized thinking to be a self-sustained spiritual activity through which man pene trates to the being of the world. On the title page of the book in which he undertook the re-discovery of thinking and Page 6 of the freedom and dignity of man there stand the words: Supersensible observations according to the methods of natural scientific inquiry. It was the “redemption of thinking” in the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity which opened the door to a science of non-material worlds. It was as if an in justice done to man’s image had been set right and redressed by continuous and ardent inquiry. Thus, from a persistent application of modem methods, arose the beginning of a fuller knowledge of that twinsecret which the two words “Man” and “Earth” encompass. No fashionable half-truths and no returns to past allegiances were here allowed. But a rigorous training begun by natural science was continued in an extended field. The full image of Man thus arrived at could not fail to include a restored picture of the Earth. Anthroposophy is an extension of knowledge which has found its strength in humbleness towards the Earth. The danger of gliding back into a pre-scientific spirituality is avoided, and the earthly faculties of man are resolutely put to use. It is fascinating to look back on the road traveled in three centuries. Three milestones mark the course we have come. First came the dethronement of the earth, but it did not at once reveal how deeply it affected the dignity of man. Bio logical evolutionism then uprooted the older conceptions of man’s spiritual origin and undermined his central position in the universe. Psychoanalytic interpretations at last attacked man’s self-respect to the point where the human race seemed discredited. Who ever could hope that at the end of it all, the “obscure” earth and the “negligeable” being of man would one day shine forth in an unexpected radiance all of their own? It is not a question of doubting scientific findings about sizes and motions and letting secret resentment overwhelm the soberness of fact. There is no escape into a superstition, no going backwards, no sudden introduction of a revelation from outside which cancels man’s effort as an independent knower. It is merely a challenge to realize what the astro nomical picture means, and what it cannot possibly mean. It may be good, in the first place, to recognize that the rele gation of the earth to a body of minor size need not in itself have deprived the earth of its special role and rank for the sole reason that sizes are not indicative of rank and im portance. The mere existence of plant seeds ought to tell us that. In the second place, the transfer of the gravita tional center from the earth to the sun does not make the earth less important for the solar system. It was Giordano Bruno who had the presence of mind to grasp the fact that in a certain sense the Copernican change could be regarded also as a new elevation of the earth. For him the new picture of the sun-centered system meant that the earth, removed from the center though it appeared, was made to join the ranks of heavenly bodies, as a brother-being in their midst. This strange planet, though whirled along by ubiquitous gravitation, was indeed also relieved of its dreary subservience to the heavens above and placed back among the lofty host, as a small member, it is true, but an indis pensable one, with a rank and task of its own. It was odd that a fact which the great Bruno so clearly recognized should, soon after him, have fallen into oblivion, and given way to the “speck-of-dust” conception. This latter poses as modesty, but in reality falls victim to the customary fallacy of a materialistic age, which takes undersize for unimportance and allegiance for subservience. The question, then, which modem consciousness will have to face, is to inquire into the rank and role of a planet which is admittedly not of first magnitude. The position of the earth may well indicate something of that humbleness which foreshadows a future higher state, comparable to the servant in the oriental story who is a king in disguise. And why should it not be a sign of greater dignity to hold a minor outward position which prepares for greatness, than to impose upon the spectator with nothing but great bulk? There is more dignity in taking the risk that one may pass unrecognized. This is exactly the way in which the earth, according to Rudolf Steiner’s deepened insight, leads its life amidst its larger fellow-beings. The peculiar position of the earth among other planets comes from a gradual dissociation from the more exalted cosmic ancestry from which it sprang. The earth had to separate from the sun because she could not keep pace with the development of this great star with which she had been previously linked. Again at a later phase, the earth had to throw off the moon because the hardening substances had to be shed in order not to be a hindrance for her development. Thus the earth is kept at a moderate “earthly” pace of progress while the sun goes far ahead and the moon becomes a hardened shell dragged along behind.* In the light of such a description, the fallacy of a conception emphasizing mere size vanishes, and the individuality of the earth emerges. Yet the most remarkable feature in the spiritual scientific picture of the earth’s story is that each of its chapters is at the same time a step in the development of man. Here, at length, the co-relationship of earth and man is fully brought to light. The earth travels the path of her destiny by gradually individualizing herself as she loosens her ties with her cosmic companions. Man, in following each step in his still cosmic embryology, becomes more and more an exclusive child of the maturing planet. Each phase in his development endows him with a riper organization. Finally, he can recognize himself as a separate individual while the earth under his feet crystallizes into a mineral, shell-covered globe. Indissolubly linked with man’s self-discovery, in his rela tion with the new-found planet earth, is the penetration of *Rudolf Steiner, Occult Science: an Outline, Anthroposophic Press, New York. the true meaning of his connection with the animal kingdom. The recognition of the continuity which links up man’s development with that of the animals need not be taken as an offence to man’s dignity. The relationship needs only to be rightly understood. Animal forms have a general tend ency to develop an ever more complicated and elaborate equipment. In a sense the higher animals surpass man in the intricacy of their bodily tools; the extremities are the most striking example. Compared with the perfection of the paw, the horse’s forefoot, the bird’s wing and the fish’s fin, the human hand is undeveloped and infantile. Even the head preserves more of its embryonic character than that of any mammal. Man has been, as it were, “held back” in his bodily development while the animals have “shot forward” at each corresponding evolutionary stage. Following up this point of view, it appears how right Goethe was when he called man the universal prototype of the higher animals. Potentially man has had the animal forms within him but his evolution has never been fully arrested at any one point along the way. Less specialized and perfect than the animals around him, he has not been limited in the possi bilities for spiritual and moral growth. The development which leads toward man is not a continuation of the laws of animal evolution, but a transformation of them. It is an entirely new direction of evolution. It is strange to find that modem comparative anatomists and even paleontologists came to give man this kind of central position among his lower brethren, just after astronomy had to deprive the earth, man’s place of action, of her dominating place among her sister spheres. It seems that the placing of man in the midst of the circle of animal forms tells that part of the story of the earth which astronomy must of necessity overlook. Even the third humiliation which is felt when we contem plate the hard battle which man’s higher strivings wage with his lower propensities resolves itself in the light of the new insight. What seems a depressing fact contains the germ of man’s greatness. It is the pledge of man’s continual growth. The incorporation of lower strivings within him may become a spur for his transformation. That he can fall into greater depravity than any animal is only the inevitable shadow which accompanies him on the path towards light. Thus, in spite of the three humiliations man’s pride has suffered, it can now be said that man’s eminent and unique position is re-established. At the same time he recognizes the sense in a development which puts the major burden upon that being who is expected to achieve most. With this we can approach a point where the unique place of the earth among celestial bodies can be clearly discerned. It is that place which grants to those who dwell on earth the recognition of their deeper nature and task. But it is a recog nition which has to battle continually against the error of confusing the earth’s size and position with its significance, of confounding man and animal, and of misunderstanding the role of evil. This threefold error tries to veil the subtle manifestation of the earth’s rank and replace it by a cheaper conception into which the laziness of our mind tends to slide Page 7 back. To see the earth as a speck of dust means to fall victim to mere magnitudes and to leave out of account the individuality of a heavenly body. In the unregenerate Newtonian conception of the solar system, the individual bodies are whirled off by gravity which does not care about the objects in its grip. On the stellar scale we have become accustomed to hear about the creation of new star systems by collisions which give retarding stars a physical impulse to new enkindlement. There is no individuality in all these bodies. Even a so-called Nova is nothing new. The cosmos at large is disinterested in the destiny of an earth which is commonplace and unimportant. This is the picture upon which our imagination falls back when we fail to make an effort to grasp the role of individual differences among suns, planets and moons. It is the impulse of the earth which can awaken us from the dream of an endless and faceless change. It is the earth, too, which provides the possibility for human kind to develop in a direction which is contrary to that of its animal brethren. Man inserts himself into the field of gravity as the only being who resists deformation. His shape manifests the potentialities of the earth just because he is the only being who makes full use of it. If we recognize this we cease to misunderstand the continuity which links man’s anatomy with that of the higher vertebrates. For continuity need not involve the abiding by the same laws. Nature opened up a new possibility when she em barked upon a new direction to be followed by man. It can be regarded as a special gift of the earth that man in this sense can read his own story and recognize what he is. Commonplace evolutionary theories fail to recognize the clear contours of man which separate him from his animal back ground. These theories are indeed comparable to those stages midway between sleeping and waking where the objects around us merge their outlines with fallacious jigsaw con tours running across the real ones, a “figure and background fallacy” as a fashionable trend in psychology would say, but in any case a phenomenon of sleepiness. The earth also protects man, by its subtle inspiration, from a misunderstanding of the role of the evil which is embodied in every member of mankind. It is not the com position of the soul and its being made of “low stuff” which matters, but the challenge to mold this stuff into a higher form of manifestation. To the secrets of the earth belongs this insight which is fraught with risk: that without the in clusion of evil strivings there is no human existence. This does not recommend, of couse, that such knowledge be taken with a tone of resignation as if in shrugging the shoulders at something inevitable which we nevertheless regret. Rather, such knowledge provides a description of the full being of man as he is on earth with a recognition of those elements which keep him here, not as a transient guest, but as an in habitant who works at the transformation of his abode. The earth is set off from its cosmic surroundings by this very inclusion of a seemingly hostile ingredient which refuses to give itself up unless it is allowed to take part itself in the transfiguration. How much more realistic is such a picture of man than the bloodless generalities of a cheap idealism Page 8 which speaks of the virtues of man without reference to the destructive potencies which are there as a counterpoint! Here again is a new definition of the earth. It is the place where such deepened cognition of man can germinate and where the student can recognize that the way to call things by their true names steers right between the Scylla and Charybdis of sentiment and blasphemy on either side. It is the earth herself which gives man the strength to steer such a course and to recognize his way for what it is: one neither of flattering praise which weakens him nor of cynical admis sion which stirs him to revolt. In a spiritual cosmology which is acceptable for a modem, which means an earth-conscious mentality, the earth itself is restored in a sense, but with a vaster meaning, to its central role. In fact, we can find, in Rudolf Steiner’s description, that all cosmic evolution has a center of spiritual gravitation which is the preparation of the earth for its rank. Man feels this dimly in the secret revolt which the three humiliations of science have touched off within his soul. The penetration into the spirit background of the earth’s cosmic ancestry reveals the previous phases of the solar cosmos as aiming at and working for the gradual growth of the earth into a new center. Expressed in imagery the truth would appear as follows: the faces of all the superhuman beings directed toward the earth and mankind, look down from all sides upon the “chosen star” and bless it. It is a Christmas picture. The gravitational center, in its spiritual meaning, finds its location on the earth. The same truth is expressed more directly and fully by Rudolf Steiner where he describes how the exalted Being who previously dwelt on the sun took it upon Himself to choose His abode on earth. It is the world-changing transfer of the cosmic focus from higher mansions to a humble one which also acts as the secret impulse of deepened self-recognition in man. To see how the ages of the world have spent their best forces in building man means to get an inkling, however poor, of the keystone nature of Christ’s appearance in the flesh. That man should be allowed to meet Christ on earth, — whether physically in Palestine or spiritually at a later time, does not make an essential difference — this event, nonetheless, gives the final touch to the dignity of the earth as the stage of action where the incomparable is to happen. It also shows how and why the dignity of man is inevitably bound up with the dignity of his place of habitation. The implantation of the Christ impulse into the spirit nature of the earth acts as a seed which guarantees the regeneration of this unique place in the cosmos. No entanglement in the fallacy of the theories of physical magnitudes can blur the recognition of this truth once it is grasped. The ascent of man toward humanity, ever more deeply understood, meets with the un limited confidence of Christ as he descends toward him. The Copernican shift of the physical center of gravitation to the sun is counter-balanced by the equally realistic descrip tion of another “shift” which gives back to the earth the pristine and indispensable role which the creators of man intended for it. CHRISTMAS IN HOSPITAL The sister and physician end their round. New treatment, medicine or needle prick the nurse administers with softened sound. The night has fallen on the sleeping sick. One patient only cannot close his eyes but suffers silently his agonies. His gaze descries within the lamp-lit room a ceiling hung with sprigs of misteltoe, bright holly berries gleaming through the gloom that hugs the walls, and past the long bed-row a fir-tree decked with candles and with apples, its branches casting silken shadow-dapples. He pictures through his pain: “While Asgard plays, sly Loki in his giantess disguise gives Hodur blind a mistle-dart which slays his brother Baldur, radiant and wise. The gods are plunged in gloom. ‘Baldur is dead:’ I feel the darkened forces of my head. With plucking of the Tree of Good and Ill the Serpent paralyses Paradise: I feel the deadened power of my will. The priest, preceptor, knight who nail the Christ are cruel like the holly-prickle dart: I feel the weakened healing of my heart. Creation groans from deeds of gods and men,” the patient ponders in his suffering; “Should I desire to be exempted, then? And yet I die in want of comforting.” — The ward begins to fill with pulsing tones that warm the sick man’s body to the bones, and angel-nurses come in company, their movement-melodies themselves a balm, to light the candles on the Christ-mass tree suffusing stern solemnity and calm. One plucks a star resplendent in her brow and hovers it above the topmost bough. Now the physician and his famulus appear, advancing to the tree; the last of these two carries a caduceus, a wand entwined with serpents self-enclasped. One touch of this caduceus, and all the apples hanging on the fir-tree fall. But when the head physician superposes his cross of black above the staff of snakes the barren branches blossom into roses. Then the aspirant from his mantle takes the Patients’ Record Book of Destiny. The doctor reads; prescribes accordingly. He bids the nurses pick the apples up, compound a potion from their juice and pips with thigh-bone pestle in skull mortar-cup, divines it with the serpent-rod, then sips, instructing his apprentice first to take it to the patient who remains awake. The ministrant extends the skull to drink: “This medicine irradiates the pain of darkness in your head if you will think: the forces of the star create my brain.” The sick man sips a compound sorrow-sour, discerns the sunlight at the midnight hour. The other strikes the cup-skull with his rod, transforms it to a crystal chalice-well, cries: “This medicament draws down from God the purifying fire of Michael which burns the wisdom of the serpent’s eyes, empowering the will by sacrifice.” The patient quaffs a liquid igneous and feels his illness veer towards the good. The doctor comes and cures him with his cross: “The strength of spirit courses through the blood that knows the nails of Golgotha forever join matter to the spirit, do not sever.” The elixir in the crystal skull-bone-grail he then invites his ministrants to share among the other human beings that ail, with movements moulding singingly the air; each single drop is like a balm applied to pricks of conscience and to wounds of pride: “In life or death, in waking or in sleep, in health or sickness, thinking or in will, the lightest height preludes the darkest deep, the greatest good translates to foulest ill without the Christus, lifter of the curse, the great physician of the Universe.” Rex Raab Page 9 TRACE ELEMENTS: A HELP TOWARD UNDERSTANDING RUDOLF STEINER’S CONCEPTS OF AGRICULTURE AND MEDICINE Anna H. Koffler, Ph.D. In the last issue of Journal for Anthroposophy there was abeautiful article by the late physician, Dr. Christoph Linder, on “Rudolf Steiner and the Art of Healing.” He pointed to the fact that the recognition of the existence of an objective knowledge of the spiritual world opens the greatest vista for medical science, “namely a knowledge of body, soul and spirit, and how they interpenetrate each other, that goes far beyond the attempts of modern science and psy chology.” And he continues: “The student will find that nothing in this knowledge of the supersensible is in contra diction to medical science today. . . . Anthroposophy deals, among other things, with the study of creative, dynamic forces as they are related to physiological processes.” At the close of his article, Dr. Linder asks, “Why is it that this great impulse (Rudolf Steiner’s contribution to medical knowledge) is still so little known by the medical profession as a whole?” He answers by saying that many reasons can be brought forward, one of which is that “the achievements of synthetic chemistry are miraculous within their own field and over shadow the discoveries of spiritual science that are far more significant but less conspicuous.” In the last few years, however, there has been a break through in the realm of chemistry, a breakthrough to the recognition of the importance of the dynamic effects of very small amounts of metals found everywhere in nature: in the soil, in plants, animals and man. They are the so-called trace elements. What are trace elements? Trace elements, or minor ele ments as they are sometimes called, are such elements as iron, copper, zinc, tin, nickel, cobalt, chromium, boron, silicon and others which are constantly present in the fluids and tissues of higher animals, plants and man in very small and varying amounts. They are often present in traces only, hence the name trace elements. Often they are so minutely distri buted that even the best of our instruments can not measure them, yet they exert physiological effects. Those elements which occur in comparatively large quantities are called major elements, as, for example, carbon, calcium, potassium and others. The presence of trace elements in plants, animals and man has been known for a long time. Reference is here made not to ancient wisdom but to modem scientific knowledge. Copper in plants was already described in 1816 and the presence of manganese was recorded even earlier. Zinc was first described in plants in 1877 and boron ranks as one of the oldest known among the trace elements, mentioned as early as 1857, around which time nickel and cobalt were also discovered to exist in plants. Relatively early it became Page 10 known that trace elements were present also in animals and man.1 These findings were recorded, as so many scientific data are, without realisation of their physiological importance. Interestingly, the first impetus to study trace elements came from the fertilizer industry. As this industry expanded in the United States on an unprecedented scale, it became clear that the most common inorganic fertilizers, such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (N-P-K) came from the factory loaded with impurities due to traces of metals stemming from the equipment, the air, water, etc. Once applied to the soil they, of course, mingle with a variety of other materials. One began to realize that some of the physiological effects upon crops might be due to them. Interest in this aspect of soil fertility grew to such an extent in the years after World War II that, as early as 1948, the Chilean Nitrate Education Bureau had already published the 4th edition of its Bibliography of the Literature on the Minor Elements and Their Relation to Plant and Animal Nutrition.2 But even so, the interest remained primarily academic; articles published by agriculturalists and plant physiologists were read by a relatively small group of special ized scientists. But the fire smoldered below ground. Starting about 1962 many articles dealing with the role of trace elements in the metabolism of plants, animals and man began to appear. Suddenly there were many publications about the importance of trace elements in agriculture; about their relationship to health. Dr. Steiner had, however, already spoken on many occa sions about trace elements. In his Agricultural Course, 1924, he points, for example, to the significance of silicon in a way which opens a completely newvista. In his medical lectures, Spiritual Science and Medicine (Geisteswissenschaft und Medizin), he explains the role of iron in such an encompassing manner that one feels his indications to have far surpassed the total results of modern scientific endeavors. Nevertheless, a door has been opened in contemporary scientific knowledge; the first steps have been taken. At the end of December, 1964, the first Interdisciplinary Symposium in the Earth and Medical Sciences — Medical Geology and Geography — was held during the 131st con vention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (A.A.A.S.) under the very capable leadership of Professor Harry V. Warren, Professor of Geology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. This convention took place in Montreal. Beside Professor Warren, the participants were Mrs. Helen Cannon of the U.S. Geological Survey, the discoverer of the uranium mines in the United States on the basis of “plant indicators” provided by the character of plant life; Dr. Arthur Furst, Institute of Chemical Biology, University of San Francisco; Dr. R. F. J. H. Pinsent, M.D., Chairman of the Research Com mittee of Council, The College of General Practitioners, Birmingham, England, and the writer of this article in her capacity as Professor of Pharmacognosy at Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio. It was a very gratifying fact thus to see representatives of several branches of science on this panel. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first interdisciplinary symposium in the 131 years since the beginning of the A.A.A.S. conven tions: perhaps a first step toward jumping the barriers of specialization. There are interdisciplinary symposia already announced for the 132nd convention! Spiritual scientific in vestigation, it is true, goes much farther than the partici pants in the 1964 conference were able to carry the subject. Rudolf Steiner points to many terrestrial interrelationships and beyond this to our relation to the cosmos as a whole. None of the 1964 participants reached out to the stars; none brought out the relationship of lead to Saturn, iron to Mars, or copper to Venus as L. Kolisko has done in many experi ments following suggestions by Dr. Steiner,4, 5 but one must, nevertheless, be grateful for the points which were developed. with their roots and accumulate trace elements not found in the shallower layers of the earth. When these plants die, the upper layers of the soil become enriched with these elements. Bio-Dynamic compost utilizes weeds. A recent report in “Chemical Abstracts” about work done on Tashkent soils in Russia bore out the fact that the total and available content of manganese increased with depth in correlation with the humus content of the soil, which increased from 2.99% in the upper part of the soil to 4.84% at 78 cm. depth.8 Our own work9brought out the fact that some plants such as Yellow Chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) or Rue (Ruta graveolens) growing side by side accumulated dif ferent amounts of copper irrespective of the copper con tent in the upper layers of the soil in which they grew. Some of the “worst weeds” such asCanadian Thistle (Cirsium arvense) had the highest trace element content. All the participants agreed on the great physiological effects of trace elements. Scientific literature today is full of work done along this line. Many reports testify to the effect on crops due to the addition of trace minerals to soil or to foliar spray application. The yields of certain crops increase, in others more seeds are formed. A rise of a special enzyme, cytochrome oxidase, was observed in cabbage, increased starch formation in potatoes, more grape sugar in grapes, and so on and on. An infinite variety of physiological and morpho logical changes have been cited. These reports bear out that a slight change in trace mineral concentration may mean the difference between a beneficial and a toxic effect. The danger involved in using such trace element solutions or sprays without great understanding and utmost care is obvious. The danger is potentially even greater than the haphazard use of pesticides and most readers are probably familiar with Silent Spring, the stirring book by Rachel Carson on the latter theme.6 Many of the so-called weeds have enjoyed an age old reputation as medicinal plants. Modem medicine and pharmacy have concentrated on extracting the so-called chief constituents from plants, and, if at all possible, imi tating them in synthetic preparations. But here again the trace elements can serve as guiding-lights. All plants con tain trace elements. Is it so absurd to think that the healing effect of a plant is due not only to the chief constituents, but to the syndrome of their constituents: to the plant as a whole? Modern science is discovering that the trace element content in plants differs in root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit and seed. It is also discovering that the accumulation of trace elements even in the same organs of plants of the same age differs at different periods of the day. Investigations of vari ous human and animal organs show a varying affinity of certain organs for certain trace elements. But do not these findings concerning trace elements — if consequently thought through — point to the great miracle of life in all its implications and interrelationships? Does one not come to the conclusion that the balance of nature is so wonderful that man can not improve it by one-sided applica tion of even the finest fertilizer mixtures? Surely, soil condi tions today in many instances, due to misuses and abuses, are such that emergency measures are necessary, but do not all these findings point to the soundness of those methods which work with the earth as a living organism with which plants, animals and man are intimately connected? And is this not the starting point for Bio-Dynamic agriculture? Let us take a further example. Manganese plays an im portant role as an activator of enzymes catalyzing various stages of plant respiration. In his book, Trace Elements in Plants,7 Stiles points out that the oxidation of carbohydrates to carbon dioxide and water, which is the most usual type of respiration in plants, involves a long series of reactions. These reactions require manganese in many of their steps. Modern agriculture tries to get rid of weeds in order to raise crops which can be harvested more easily and more eco nomically. But weeds often reach into deeper layers of soil Viewed in this light one stands in greatest awe before the many indications Dr. Steiner gave for specific uses of certain medicinal plants and certain minerals to cure specific illnesses. The reader is referred to the medical lectures by Dr. Steiner and to such books as Heilpflanzenkunde (Lore of Medicinal Plants) and Sieben Metalle (Seven Metals) by Wilhelm Pelikan.10, 11 Unfortunately, these books are in German and, to my knowledge, have not yet been translated. In the introduction to the first volume of his Heilpflanzen kunde Pelikan writes that when Rudolf Steiner inaugurated the anthroposophically oriented art of healing in 1920, he made it clear that we must gain an understanding of the mutual relationship of man and nature from which we draw our remedies. He threw light upon these relationships in the most encompassing manner. But, as is the case with the whole of Anthroposophy, these relations are not presented on a silver platter. One must work and study very hard; one must re-orient one’s thinking. It is possible that the study of the marvelous effects of trace elements will spur on some investigators to probe deeper. Modem usage of medicinal plants in the sense of spiritual science is not simply going back to the instinctive usage of healing plants by the ancients. It must, as Pelikan points out, be based on the understanding of the threefold plant Page 11 and the threefold human being. The leaf processes and the rhythmical processes in man, the root process and the human sense-nerve system, the flower-fruit process and the metabolic systemmust be considered as corresponding polari ties, according to Dr. Steiner. Coming back to the Symposium on Medical Geology and Geography: it was possible to raise the question, “In the light of modem trace element investigations, does it not make sense to accept as sound a tenet of homeopathic medicine, namely the working with exceedingly small, no longer meas urable amounts of medicines for optimal health effect?” Dr. Steiner spoke on several occasions of homeopathy and homeopathising processes. For example, in lecture three of Spiritual Science and Medicine he calls attention to the ex ceedingly small mineral content of beneficial spas. He says that one is confronted in these spas with a homeopathising process which shows that the dynamic mineral is separated from the forces which we can observe quantitatively, in cluding measurements by means of various instruments. In this process new forces become available as the mineral is freed from its original connection by homeopathising. Still greater insights are given in the subsequent lectures. Spiritual Science and Medicine, like many of Dr. Steiner’s works, is truly interdisciplinary. New light is shed on the realms of botany, geology and other subject fields. The participants in the Symposium pointed to the many dangers to our health stemming from the imbalance in our food supply. Geological and geographical conditions can combine to produce soils and vegetable matter with widely differing amounts of trace elements. Water lines put in without knowledge of structural and sedimentary geology, can introduce an excess of trace elements into the water supply. Pollution, due to various insecticidal and herbicidal sprays and exhaust from automobiles can change the trace element content of foods. The latter is particularly true of lead. — For years the German anthroposophical physician Dr. Wilhelm zur Linden has pointed to the role of lead from automobile exhaust in polio — Dr. Pinsent reported on studies undertaken by the British College of General Practi tioners. Its members are being recruited to do field research in epidemiology in their home communities. A study of the valley of the Tamar River, which divides Devon from Cornwall and in which mining has been carried out for centuries, has suggested that high mineralization was a pos sible factor behind an unusually high cancer mortality rate in this area. An extensive report on the Symposiumby Professor Warren was published in “Science,” of April 23rd, 1965. The Sym posium was highly publicised and many press reports about it have appeared. Professor Warren has for many years pioneered for a better understanding of the relationship of geology and health. He has untiringly pointed to the changes in trace element contents of different plants due to the composition of soil and the surroundings in which they grew.12 Students of Anthroposophy will find in the scientific in Page 12 vestigation of the role of the trace elements many con necting links to anthroposophical concepts in agriculture and medicine. These connections will need patient elaboration. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Underwood, E. J. Trace Elements in Human and Animal Nutrition. 2nd Ed. Academic Press, Inc., New York, 1962. 2. Bibliography of the Literature on the Minor Elements and their Relation to Plant and Animal Nutrition, Fourth Ed. Chilean Nitrate Educational Bureau, Inc., New York, 1948. 3. Rudolf Steiner, Geisteswissenschaft und Medizin. Verlag Zbinden & Huegin, Basel, Switzerland, 1937. 4. Kolisko, L. Physiologischer and physikalischer Nachweis der Wirksamk eit kleinster Entitaeten. (1923-1959). Arbeitsgemeinschaft anthro posophischer Aerzte. Stuttgart, Germany. 5. Kolisko, L. Sternenwirken in Erdenstoffen. Der Jupiter und das Zinn. Mathematisch-astronomische Sektion am Goetheanum, Dornach, Schweiz, Stuttgart, 1932. 6. Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. 5th Printing. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1962. 7. Stiles, V. Trace Elements in Plants. 3rd Ed. At the University Press, Cambridge, 1961. 8. Yakubov, K. Z. and Al. The Distribution of Ca, Mn and Mo in Soils and the Plants Polygonum corarium and Rumex Transchanicus. Chem. Abstracts, 60:1060, 1964. 9. Koffler, Anna H. Trace Element Investigations of Medicinal Plants. Jnl. Am. Inst. Homeopathy 56:279-82, 1963; 57:48-54, 193-96, 262-64, 331-34, 1964. 10. Pelikan, Wilhelm. Heilpflanzenkunde. Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach, Schweiz. Vol. I. 1958, Vol. II. 1962. 11. Pelikan, Wilhelm. Sieben Metalle. Hybernia Verlag, Dornach/Stuttgart, 1952. 12. Warren, Harry V. Health and Geology. Western Miner and Oil Review, August 1960. THE BIO-DYNAMIC MOVEMENT IN OUR TIME Herbert Koepf It is now almost forty-two years since the Bio-Dynamic work in farming and gardening began to unfold. It started with a series of eight lectures given by Dr. Rudolf Steiner at Koberwitz in Silesia at the request of practical farmers and gardeners. In March, 1965, we commemorated the day when, forty years earlier, the founder of modem Spiritual Science left the physical plane. The agricultural movement, which received the name “Bio-Dynamics” soon after it was started, is one of the last of the many cultural impulses origi nated by Dr. Steiner to come into existence. Having the task of developing and fostering improved methods in farm ing and gardening, the Bio-Dynamic movement finds its job in a very practical field of human life. Its value in our economic and cultural system is therefore to be measured by the practical answers it can give to concrete questions. But to be truly practical, these answers must, in the long run, be based on genuine biological concepts called forth by the ideas of Spiritual Science. Farming, which has already suffered much under the impact of one-sided, non-biological concepts, needs a change of approach. At the time, when the Bio-Dynamic method was started many more farms than there are today were still fairly com plete biological unities raising a variety of crops and animal stock and providing self-contained feed-fertilizer circuits of living substances. Fertilizer programs and also pest and weed control were still, to a great extent, based on tradi tional techniques. Only a relatively fewof the many processes and chemicals now employed in refining, fortifying, condi tioning, processing and preserving food were known. Help was provided at a time when the powerful impact of modem chemistry and technology on food production was not yet fully effective. The engine which drove things to become what they are today gained great strength during the past thirty to fifty years. This is what we intend to discuss briefly here. If we ask a farmer what his grievances are, he is likely to speak about economic problems rather than biological ones. It is economic factors which largely control farm management. In this country, about 1/5 of the farmer’s net income is government support. When compared with the figure of 100 in 1949, the price index for farm products in 1962 was 79. That part of the population which will find its livelihood in farm work is expected to be reduced to half of its present number by 1980. One man using machines plows more acres than ever before, feeds more animals and transports an increased amount of tonnage of products and supply materials. This trend will continue. Too little time is left to the farmer for patiently watching the living beings he works with. He does not have enough time to let his decisions gradually ripen. It is largely economic pressures which make farmers change into managers of chicken, corn, tobacco or cattle industries. Anticipating, as it were, a situation which was only then beginning to arise, Rudolf Steiner, in the very first lecture of the Agricultural Course, spoke briefly about the fact that the true economic principles of agriculture need to be discovered if farming is to thrive. “No one can judge agriculture who does not derive his judgment from field and forest and the breeding of cattle. All talk of economics which is not derived from the job itself should really cease.” This calls for organizing farm work according to the inherent laws of the farm organism itself. In our modern agriculture, economic factors are increas ingly put ahead of biological ones. In the thirties it was soil erosion resulting from over-cropping for quick cash returns, which called for a change in the common malprac tices. After the second World War, farmers and gardeners in this country were flooded with an increasing stream of chemicals for fertilizing and for weed and pest control. This trend, which will continue, was described in detail by C. J. Pratt in the June 1965 issue of “Scientific American.” This is what he has to say about the economic aspects of ferti lizers: “Of all the short-range factors capable of increasing agricultural production readily — factors including pesticides, improved plant varieties and mechanization — the largest yields and the most substantial returns on invested capital come from chemical fertilizers.” We do not analyze this statement as to what is true or false. But we envision here one of the basic forces which fashion farming in our days and will continue doing so for some time in the future. The Bio-Dynamic farmer wants to organize his farm ac cording to the need for conservation and what the life condi tions of plants and animals are. In this endeavor, many in novations, for instance new machines, building designs, and plant varieties of modern farming prove to be helpful to him. But there are also conditions which work against what he actually wants to do. How can he cope with the economic pressure we spoke about? There is an answer, based on the history of the Bio-Dynamic movement. Bio-Dynamic farms and commercial and home gardens are concentrated mainly in Western and Northwestern Europe and the North American continent. There the movement spread from its beginning. In some countries, a remarkable line of biodynamically grown products are now offered to those in terested in getting them. This Bio-Dynamic movement, although only recently beginning to gain the respect of of ficial science, also stimulated research in organic farm man agement, the search for biological disease and pest control and interest in real quality of food production. Although Bio-Dynamic farms and gardens are scattered in other parts of the world too, most of them are located in those areas where food production has undergone the most drastic changes as a result of modern technical and chemical prac tices. In other words, B.D. farms are to be found where the negative side-effects of modern farming systems are strongest. However, this should not be considered the main factor which influenced the occurrence of B.D. farms. It is rather the fact that both of the modem systems (technological and Bio-Dynamic) call for skilled people with good vocational training. It is true that many turned to Bio-Dynamics because they still had some traditional feeling for the value of the method. But this only helped them to get interested. To continue, requires professionalism. Now, after 40 years’ work done by Bio-Dynamic farmers in countries with highly developed farm systems, it can be stated that well-operated farms have done and still do well with this method. But its success thus far has been based on the skill and idealism of the individual gardener or farmer. If the movement is to spread to any great degree, more is required. One will have to find new approaches to organizing the relation between producer and consumer in a way that suits them both. Little has been achieved thus far in this respect. Much more is needed in such a basic application of the economic principles of agriculture. Let us turn now to a few examples of Bio-Dynamic con cepts and see how they compare with those commonly accepted. In the fourth of his agricultural lectures, Rudolf Steiner speaks about fertilizing the soil. “For many plants there is absolutely no hard and fast line between the life within the plant and the life of the surrounding soil in which it is living. . . . To manure the earth is to make it alive, so that the plant may not be brought into a dead earth and find it difficult, out of its own vitality, to achieve all that is necessary up to the fruiting process. The plant will achieve more easily what is necessary for the fruiting process if it is immersed from the outset in an element of life. Funda mentally, all plant growth has this slightly parasitic quality. Page 13 It grows like a parasite out of the living earth. And it must be so.” When the plant builds its body, using solid, liquid and gaseous substances given by earth, water and air, these sub stances are brought to a higher level of organization than they held while outside the plant. They become part of a living system. This systemhowever, is open to the influence of its environment. Fertilizing the soil must be more than just adding a few inorganic elements. It actually means that the substance which surrounds the roots must be en livened. A well-ripened compost is organized substance. It does not contain elements in excess; rather, they are pres ent in almost optimum proportions, it contains food for the soil life and growth regulating factors, it has a crumbly and sponge-like consistency from having been chewed and di gested by myriads of primitive animals. Gardeners appreci ate a compost with this structure. It contains the BioDynamic preparations as organizing factors, etc. When it is added to the ground, it will not only furnish nutrients but also stimulate a multitude of bio-chemical, chemical and even physical processes needed to create optimum conditions for the roots of the growing plant. One may ask: “What is wrong with chemical fertilizers? After all, they increase the yields.” The answer is that, using these materials is, in too many cases, a one-sided measure. It may be worth while discussing this matter briefly. Thanks to the progress of chemistry, one has learned about the elements of which plants consist. It soon became clear that some of them, like phosphorus, potash, etc. are furnished by the soil. Why not add such elements to the ground instead of depleting it? Applications of some of these chemical substances in creased the yields considerably. A new concept, that of arbitrarily manipulating organisms was born: one determines what their building bricks are and uses one or more of these bricks to manipulate the living whole. Even today relatively few people realize that this is a double-edged concept. How ever successful it may appear in the beginning, it is nonbiological in its essence. It was still a primitive approach when only a few so-called major nutrients were used as fertilizers. As time went on, the list of those needed grew longer. What one did in the beginning was successful because Nature herself took care of the remainder which had not been taken care of by man. But side-effects showed up. Such side-effects are impaired growth and nutritional value of plants, a declining capacity of the soil to properly transfer these fertilizers to the plant, increased susceptibility of plants to pests, diseases, etc. To avoid bad side-effects, fertilizing, above all, must en hance and strengthen the life-functions of the soil, which will then regulate and balance the nutrient supply. During the last few years, the Biochemical Research Laboratory, together with others, has worked mainly on improved methods of soil fertilizing. Thanks to the work done for a number of years by Mr. Michael Scully in the Page 14 Mid-West, a working and economically feasible system of farm composting has been worked out which meets the special requirements in that area. At another place, an im proved compost mixture is now in production which is good with respect to the quality of the compost, the nutrient formula and its fitness for modern farm machinery. Current research deals with the physiological effect on plants of herbs used for the Bio-Dynamic Preparations and of organic fertilizers and substances which occur in the stubble and roots left in the field after harvesting. It should be emphasized, however, that this country is badly in need of many more large-scale research programs to check on the present gigantic waste of organic fertilizers and the mining of natural soil productivity than our small group can dream of accomplish ing at this time. There is a definite need to rebuild the circuits of living substances in Nature which have been destroyed in many places by so-called modern systems of growing food. The questionable scheme of manipulating living organisms, to which we have referred, can be found in many meta morphoses. Here are a few examples. The present com rootworm calamity in the Mid-West could be adequately checked if one would quit growing com continuously. Con fining large numbers of animals in mechanized feeding outfits entails sanitation and disposal problems. The Winter 1965 issue of “Bio-Dynamics” gives detailed examples of bad sideeffects of one particular compound, nitrate. Many other effects of life-manipulation could be cited. Again and again one finds Goethe’s words confirmed: “Nothing happens in living Nature that is not in relation to the whole.” These words find practical application in Bio-Dynamic farming and gardening, which is based on an insight into the mutual relations of soil, plants and animals. It is one of the tasks of our Bio-Dynamic work to correct one-sided approaches. What we mentioned about soil fertilization, is one example only in this respect. But the significance of the impulse in augurated over forty years ago can be clearly recognized today. MORALITY AND THE EXPERIENCE OF KNOWLEDGE* John Gardner I tried in The Experience of Knowledge** to demonstrate that real knowing, the knowing of reality, can be bom only of a slowly maturing experience that involves the whole man. What I should like to suggest now is that a purely cerebral form of knowledge which fails to elicit the student’s whole power of response not only fails to lay hold on the reality of events but also has important consequences for the student’s moral development. The more clearly we visualize all that should enter into full-fledged cognition, the more readily can we trace out these consequences. *From The Waldorf School News, by kind permission. **Proceedings, Number 14, Spring 1962, The Myrin Institute, Inc. Let us imagine that a junior high school student has been brought along ever since kindergarten with the idea of looking at the here and now in a quite factual way. He is trained to be logical and ‘critical’, as the saying goes, in the thoughts he forms about facts. The natural inclination towards in living and in-feeling have been ignored by the pursuit of what contemporary Western adults call knowledge. Can we not see what will be the result? We shall have before us a young person trained in a super ficial alertness and a deeper unresponsiveness, a person who takes an impersonal attitude towards both facts and thoughts. He will not be personally involved. He will not be self active. The world of appearances will pass before his outer eye. The ‘stream of consciousness’, in the form of miscel laneously associated ideas, will pass before his inner eye. He will attach himself intimately with neither. He will develop an amoral attitude towards all that comes to him as knowledge, which is to say, towards himself aswell as towards people and things. The amoral attitude that develops from the superficial experience of knowledge is the feeling of irresponsibility. Moral irresponsibility is the consequence of psychological unresponsiveness. The words themselves showthe connection. For one who views the world externally, it may seem con cretely real; yet it is on the way to becoming unreal. Nothing is quite real which does not produce inner conviction. Inner conviction is a summarizing experience of feeling and will. But a purely external world is unexperienceable. An un experienced world does not “signify’, is therefore insignificant; and a world without significance is essentially unreal, for all its gross materiality. The knower of such a world shares in its unrealness. He is more mirror than man, in his knowing. Here we have the original breach of contract, the original deception. We have young persons trained to say ‘I know’ when they do not know, and who do not even suspect the existence of a difference between what they call knowing and real knowing. Such persons deceive themselves when they assume that they know; and from self-deception they have not far to go before they can, with scarcely a twinge of con science, deceive others. For an unreal student in an unreal world, plagiarism and cheating do not seemparticularly im portant. The way is short from this kind of untrustworthiness in student days to misrepresentation and fraud as an adult. “To thine own self be true”, Shakespeare said, “And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Acquiring knowledge is the main business of education, and in our time education is the business in which young people are mainly engaged. How true to himself is the elementary and secondary student in his pursuit of knowledge? He is scarcely true at all, since he is educated to observe without feeling, and to arrive at externally suggested or compelled conclusions without the intuitive confirmation that should result from complete experience. He is wthout conscience in his knowing. “In the uttermost meaning of the words,” Emerson said, “thought is devout, and devotion is thought. Deep calls unto deep.” But of the modem student, who follows his modem teacher, it were truer to say: Surface calls to surface; the world-process externally viewed calls to superficial powers of cognition. The inner man remains inactive and asleep, unrealized and therefore unreal. Between a somewhat unreal self and a somewhat unreal world what is more natural than an unreal relationship, one that shifts and dissolves in an ephemeral sort of way? Such a relationship is the basis for untrustworthiness, fraud, and deception of every kind. Does not ephemerality of rela tionship go far to explain why some house-builders, some TV repairmen, some auto mechanics will say they have done the job, when in fact they have only gone through certain routines. These ‘good people’ do not mean to do evil! They are simply somewhat numb and uncaring towards reality. And because they have a vague bond with the real world, either outside or inside themselves, fairly minor desires or impulses can steer them to wrong-doing. When full responsiveness lapses, the sense of moral responsibility grows anemic. In this weakened condition the least factor of laziness or selfish desire will suffice to lull it to sleep or abrogate it entirely. We have suggested that when the act of cognition leaves the deeper self untouched, both that self and the world which that self knows become ephemera. Integrity of self and reality of world are lost at the same time. It is therefore no wonder that the bonds uniting such a self with such a world will loosen. Superficiality of contact means loss of firm adherence, the beginning of slipperiness, shiftiness, untrust worthiness. But there are also other moral consequences of the aborted act of cognition. Observe, for instance, that the desire of the self to ex perience full self-activity in knowledge is part of an equally fundamental desire: for the self to transcend itself in experi ence of the Other. As it ordinarily lives in the world today, the self feels confined by its own narrowness, vulnerable because of its own weakness, lonely because of its isolation. And it is bored. The self seeks release. It seeks a larger strength. It seeks surprise, entertainment, adventure. It seeks love. Release, recreation, and reinforcement for the self should properly come from contact with the Other; and this contact is properly made through the act of knowledge. But when knowledge is on-looking rather than in-working, there is no flowing of the self into the Other, or of the Other into the self. The self must therefore look for another way out of its prison. And this is the beginning of a whole new category of immoral tendencies and deeds. The thrill-seeking that ends in drug addiction, eroticism, violence, and so on, may be traced back to the central fact that knowledge has lost its savor. The savor of knowledge depends upon the degree to which the self shares in the actual life of what surrounds it: becomes as strong as granite, as subtle as water, as joyful as air, in knowing these objects. Page 15 The self will out. Drugs, sex, speed, violence seemto offer ways out; but the trouble with all of them is that their ways are illusory. At the end of each adventure lies not freedom but chains. Every purely sensual thrill leaves sensibility deadened. Every escape builds a tighter prison. True knowing, deeper knowing, intuitive-participatory knowing is the proper thrill for the spirit of man. When it is realized, sensual experience is lifted to spiritual experience. But when it is not realized, other joys fall into disorder. They are on the way to becoming immoral appetites. Rudolf Steiner said that “Love is the experience of another being in one’s own self.” If this be true, love requires two things. It calls for a genuinely active self, and it requires that this self reach beyond itself to adopt other beings into its experience. But we have just shown that education usually tends to leave the self inactive and that it does not help the individual to transcend himself in experience of the other. Thus education does not generally encourage the unfolding of love. The moral consequences of this failure to develop a loving relationship between self and world include the loss of mean ing in life, loss of the aptitude for freedom, and loss of creativeness. In tracing these consequences, we shall en counter other characteristic results which are becoming the very signature of our time. A man is replenished through love. As Emerson said, “What a man loves, that he has . . .” When one loves the world he lives in, the people he meets, the work he does, he is filled with positive content which makes him generous and charitable. And since “to him that hath shall be given,” his overflowing plenitude is a blessing gladly received and returned in kind by others. But the man who does not love has not this same fullness. He is like a well in which the water not only does not over flow as a spring, but in which the water level is progressively dropping. This man looks upon the world around him ex ternally, and so finds nothing in it to touch his heart; for while externalities can be important if they manifest or betray some secret, if there be no inwardness behind their out wardness, they prove insignificant. The truly insignificant cannot be loved. When love fails, the well-spring of the affirmative self dries up. The receding waters create a kind of suction which we may call negative selfhood, or selfishness. The self does not flow outwards into life, but seeks to draw life towards itself. It tries to fill its lack of being by much having. And this is a characteristic of modem, Western man. He is addicted to possessions. He seeks happiness through acquisition: of money, power, prestige. The difficulty is, a drying spring cannot be replenished by the pouring in of water, but only by renewed upwelling. No amount of desire to possess things can make up for the failure to love things. “What a man loves, that he has; but by desire he robs himself of that love.” Page 16 Selfishness is one of the tendencies most often seen in modem youth, and most to be deplored. This selfishness develops, I believe, in persons who are not full enough of love to overflow into generous thought and action. Such persons are unawakened by the world around them because they view this world as an externality, as a Thing and things. This way of viewing is acquired through education. A selfish person is moved by the pang of inner emptiness. This emptiness is a state of non-being inside him. Non-being is a hunger that asks to be fed. The only food that would genuinely still the hunger of non-being is being. But our cul ture, which in general is very hungry, instead of recognizing what is wrong and learning how to remedy it, hastens still further along the road which brought it in the first place to hunger instead of satisfaction. It turns even more avidly to external things. It develops an insatiable appetite for ma terial goods and services. But though the entire earth be exploited and devastated in pursuit, satisfaction cannot be reached in this way, for externality is itself non-being, and the destroyer of value. Who does not love, cannot create. And the man who can neither love nor create is no real man. To become creative one must know how to pass beyond one’s personal limits and take inspiration from the Other. And then one must know how to find the way back, allowing inspiration to flow through oneself into deeds of execution. To bring power from beyond the self into the self for the enhancement of self-activity, this is to become creative. This is the gain of right cognition, and the loss to be expected from wrong cognition. “The man who can enter and leave at will is at home,” said George Macdonald. Through right cognition man finds the way out of himself lovingly and back into himself creatively, and thus makes himself at home, as a free man, in the universe. BEWARE OF LSD* Franz E. Winkler, M.D. Editor’s Note: This is the full text of an article which ap peared in a somewhat more condensed form in THIS WEEK magazine several years ago. Its theme and message are more urgent today than ever. So overwhelming are the political and technological events of our day that by comparison the most vital issues of the mind seem all too insignificant. Thus the rank and file of our citizens have remained almost entirely unaware that a small but highly influential group of people rely increasingly on drug-induced inspiration. This development is of nationwide importance for two reasons: 1) a nation’s mind is shaped and guided by sentiments of its cultural and intellectual leaders, sentiments which today •Reprinted from THIS WEEK Magazine. Copyright 1960 by the United Newspaper Magazine Corporation. are not too seldom born of a drug-induced consciousness. 2) Some enthusiasts conduct a person-to-person campaign in the conviction that mind-changing drugs, if used at all, would bring about a better world. This conviction was clearly stated by Aldous Huxley in an article published in the Saturday Evening Post of October 18, 1958 under the title “Drugs That Shape Men’s Minds”. “My own belief is that . . . this new mind-changer will tend in the long run to deepen the spiritual life in the communities in which they are available. That famous revival of religion . . . will not come about as the result of evangelic mass meetings . . . it will come about as the result of bio-chemical dis coveries that will make it possible for large numbers of men and women to achieve a radical self-transcendence and a deeper understanding of the nature of things. And this revival of religion will be at the same time a revolution . . If a prominent man like Huxley uses such glowing words, it seems that the time is ripe for ordinary citizens to take note at last, and ask the question: Are these mind-changers friends or foes? Among the mind-changing drugs used in groups or “churches,” the best known are Mescalin and Lysergic acid Diathylamide (LSD), derived from poisonous mushrooms, diseased grain or their synthetic equivalents. These and similar chemicals are under investigation by scientists, some of whom consider a public debate at this time premature. From a traditional point of view they are correct; but the absolute power that mind-changing drugs can give to a few experts — no less human than the rest of us — ought to make us pause to think. Is not the very existence of such drugs — undoubtedly to be followed by even more powerful ones — a warning that we can no longer consider science a goddess and her servants infallible priests? Ours is a scientific era, an era in which the majority looks with a touching child-like trust to the few endowed with specialized skills. And indeed, most of these specialists are brilliant, devoted scholars who cannot be blamed for the doubtful course on which modern science has embarked during the last decades. The blame rests on those of us who have burdened our specialists with a respon sibility so heavy that it can only be borne by all. Today science is the greatest power on earth; its future course can be truly beneficial for the human race, but only if guided by public conscience; if left to a few specialists it is bound to become a merciless tyrant. What, after all, is a specialist? A man who knows his job. He need not be a chemist or physicist, he may be a business man, laborer or lawyer. Thus we can all be experts in one sphere or other. Why, then, do we look up with such awe to the few whose specialties are beyond our immediate scope? Not that we should begrudge them the respect and grati tude which they so fully deserve, but we should also consider the natural limitations of the too highly gifted. Usually the more deeply a person penetrates into one of life’s aspects, the greater will be his difficulties in seeing life as a whole, and the more imperative his need for constructive criticism on the part of ordinary people. Science is not a domain of specialized intellect alone — its course affects civilization as a whole, and its is therefore the responsibility of all who are willing to think. Just as the ordinary citizen, although excluded from classified informa tion is nevertheless duty-bound to influence world events by virtue of his constitutional rights, he must also usehis common sense to participate, at least in thought, in the no less vital affairs of scientific developments. Unless he does this, he may one day find himself confronted with irreversible facts such as drugs capable of changing his consciousness added to his drinking water or essential foods. We cannot help but wonder how far off the time may be, when some well-meaning scientists with the help of equally well-meaning politicians will introduce a drug that may reduce juvenile delinquency to a mere whisper of rebellion and — incidentally — normal consciousness to the state of a contented cow. True, such a step may require public approval but who in our day can withstand authority allied with the persuasive power of promotion unless he has conscientiously followed the course of events long before they reach their critical state! Unless we stop acting as a mass and learn to think as individuals, we shall lose our freedom as certainly as if we were to make Mr. Kosygin our next Secretary of Defense. The time is later than we think, but not too late, provided the average American learns to exert his thinking to limits of his possibilities, and starts to do so with the problem of mind-changing drugs. Let us first look at the medical application of LSD and Mescalin, and see if common sense can contribute anything to specialized information. In an article published November 8, 1959 in “This Week,” Joe Hyams writes that encouraging results have been obtained in a number of alcoholic cases who have proved inaccessible to the more traditional forms of therapy. Our own experience obtained from interviews with patients, psychiatrists and lay-therapists confirms Mr. Hyams’ claims. This is information for which we depend on psychiatric sources but need not be specialists to form our opinion on the nature of such success. Anyone closely acquainted with an alcoholic — and who, today, is not — will be able to make the following observation: the typical alcoholic is in capable of communicating fully with his fellow men except when in a state of intoxication. Whenever his loneliness becomes intolerable, he will resort to drink. Since, however, alcohol destroys not only his inhibitions but also his conscious ness, his communications with other people — usually also drunks — are distorted and end in embarrassment and further withdrawal. Eventually, thoroughly discouraged, he will resort to lonely drinking, which is no less than the abondonment of his selfhood to living death. What the layman cannot find out by himself, and for which he must rely on such information as given in this Page 17 magazine for example, is the effects LSD and similar drugs have on the patient’s mind. From our own experience we would say the effects are two-fold: 1) LSD lowers as Mr. Hyams points out, “the barrier between the conscious and unconscious, permitting the patient to look more deeply into himself.” 2) It reduces his inhibitions and thus, temporarily breaks down the invisible walls he has built to protect himself against the world which he fears and yet seeks. In this, LSD differs from alcohol in one important aspect only: it leaves the patient’s personality intact, so that he can — possibly for the first time in his life — communicate with another person as a rational human being. There can be no doubt that increased self-knowledge coupled with the tremendous joy of breaking through the walls of loneliness may affect a long respite from the urge of drink. Yet, again, we need not be physicians or psychologists to realize that a person who, without the help of an intoxi cant is incapable of living with himself and his fellow-men, must have been sick before he ever tasted his first drink. Mr. Hyams, knowing this well, writes that LSD without effective psychotherapy “would be useless, possibly danger ous.” But the question must arise: do we possess an effective form of psychotherapy for the alcoholics? Let us disregard here the AA and some other groups of devoted lay-therapists. They have one thing in common: the memory of grace re ceived and the hope of becoming a vehicle to the same grace for others. No one, not even the most down to earth scien tist can dispute their amazing feats of healing. But professional psychotherapy is another matter. Its ideas, though refined, are basically not different from those seen in our television plays, movies and fiction. Modern psychology sees in a neurotic patient primarily a person whose balance between conscious (social) and subconscious (desire) life is disturbed, whose healing depends on the fulfillment of his repressed wishes. Yet, this philosophy which rules our thinking, far from giving rise to a sane generation, has re sulted in a frightening increase in alcoholism, narcotic addic tion and juvenile delinquency. No, the alchoholic at least, has a quite different problem: his conscious and subconscious ambitions in life are greater than the strength of his spiritual nature. Dimly aware of the true cause of his illness, he craves for help which strengthens these spiritual resources. Unscientific? Maybe. But ask any truly cured alcoholic for the cause of his recovery, and you will find in his reply little mention of science. But why speak of all this when our topic is LSD and Mescalin? Because the real purpose of this article is to pre vent more disappointment and heartbreak. For, nothwith-st anding such cautioning remarks as conclude Mr. Hyams article, an almost fierce hope is spreading among alcoholics and their friends. A physician interested in such a problem is confronted almost daily with the question: Do you know of that new drug which will cure alcoholism? For such is Page 18 man’s nature that he will see what he longs to see, and over look what he does not want to know, especially when the former is the message of a whole article and the latter con tained in a few words of caution. But to an alcoholic another shattered hope may be the last. Thus, if we want to avoid countless tragedies, we all, lay men as well as physicians, must face this fact: alcoholism is not only a disease of the body, it is also an illness of the soul. LSD and Mescalin compel the patient to lower his guards against his own subconscious mind and the world around him. The doors to his heart are open at last, and this may well be a step in the right direction. But his fate will be determined by what will enter through those open doors. If it is no more than hypnotic suggestions or the usual trivi alities of some of today’s psychotherapy, his respite of hope — and soberness — may well end in an irreversible relapse. Summarizing I would like to say: every medical develop ment has its inevitable hazards. Whenever such development aims at artificially changing the human mind, these hazards are especially serious, and become the concern of all thinking people. I feel, however, that whenever a new venture is motivated by a sincere wish to help the sick, it will, if pursued with a measure of humility on the part of the physician and the greatest possible understanding on the part of the public, eventually work for the good. However, we are confronted with an entirely different situation where attempts are made to change human con sciousness artificially for the attainment of religious or artistic aims. What actually happens in an LSD or Mescalin induced state of mind? I shall give you a picture condensed from a considerable number of similar experiences related to me by sane and reliable people. Some time after the intake of the drug, physical objects begin to lose their rigidity and seem to become animated. In the words of a noted author: “All things, even the very stones were vividly alive. Everything communicated with everything else, wordlessly but eloquently and intimately and with perfect balance and cadence washed in . . . the great tides and swells of the pervading living harmony.” Gradually the drug seems to separate its user from his body and make him one with the universal whole. All other creatures become his brothers and sisters and the kinship he feels fills him with compassion, happiness and hope. Yet this is not all, for on the climax of the experience the ecstatic becomes aware of the existence of God. Small wonder that our idealists want everyone to join in the drug induced ecstacy. “What wrong can there be,” so they argue, “in an experience which brings about awareness of God, brotherly love and creativity.” And, indeed, if God had planned to populate the earth with angels rather than with men, but had failed to achieve this goal for lack of LSD, our dreamers would be right. Yet, provided we are at all willing to seek for the meaning in the course of history, our interpretation of God’s master- plan must differ from theirs. Apparently it is the struggle to find God, to develop the capacity for love and creativity which is the purpose of human existence. It is this struggle which alone can make man grow; take it away and you will warp his soul. At the risk of sounding sanctimonious I must, at this point, refer to the Bible. Why? Because whenever a religious problem is raised, the logical point of reference in a JudeoChristian civilization is the Bible. One of its most impressive stories is the tale of Christ’s temptation. In it Jesus is offered rulership over the earth. Keeping in mind the biblical concept of Christ as one with the Omnipotent Divinity, such an offer must seem absurd except for the following consideration: His physical rulership would auto matically do away with spiritual blindness, hate and lack of creativity. To a compassionate being — maybe even to a god —such an offer could be tempting indeed. But it would interfere with the meaning of man’s mission on earth which, according to all major creeds, is to reach his lofty goal through moral efforts. A state of consciousness in which vision of God, a feeling of brotherhood and increased creativity is brought about effortlessly by a drug, may well have dire consequences for the human soul. In earlier eras such attempts would have been called a sin against the Spirit of Creation, also called the Holy Ghost. But let us leave the last word on religion to the theologian, and turn once more to psychology. Allegedly cautious use of LSD (and Mescalin) is harmless for healthy individuals. Little as one person’s opinion may count, I emphatically dis agree with this view. To me, at least, definite changes were noticeable, even in people who had taken the drug only once or twice. If these changes can be described at all, they could be compared with the increased heat and radiance of a lamp which bums its fuel too fast. The drug adds nothing to the personality; it simply whips it into higher gear, and this can and probably must cause eventual dis integration. Not all which is new is progress, least of all when it con cerns the human soul. Maybe Browning had an inkling of conditions to come when he said, “It is an awkward thing to play with souls and matter enough to save one’s own.” A VOICE OF ANTHROPOSOPHY A BOOK REVIEW George O'Neil Unancestral Voice by Owen Barfield, Wesleyan University Press, 1965. $5.00. There is a new book out to enjoy and to pass on to friends. A fascinating yam, ruggedly honest, and as tough going in spots as any lawyer, physicist, theologian, or better-world liberal would want. Owen Barfield brings an extraordinary assortment of gifts: a steel-trap legal mind, a poet’s link with the spirit of speech, and an uncanny eye for people. And he is able to weave it together in a haunting story pat tern. One can understand Wesleyan Press being willing to risk the off-beat substance, the Anthroposophy. More writers of this caliber and artistry, and what a different, what an other world it would be! For those, that is, who belong to the future, and search out the seed-points of things to come. Barfield has done a half a dozen volumes on language, history, and the evolution of consciousness as reflected in men’sways of using thought. Worlds Apart, the most recent, was a study of water-tight mental compartments among pro fessionals. A delightful weekend dialogue-war, one that can be read aloud for the sheer joy of the characterizations, the babel of separate tongues in current disciplines. Unancestral Voice carries on. Burgeon, the lawyer-linguist host, again tells the story. The dialogue continues, but stepped up. The problem: the creative mind’s relation to his own source of illumination. And isn’t this the gist of Rudolf Steiner’s con tribution? Must not the productive man today find his own individual intuitive voice of ideas. Isn’t this the survival question? The topics and themes we must leave to the reader’s adventure. But one point deserves mention. The composi tion of ideas treated is beautifully organic, living. The book grows. It roots in raw social facts, such as the swamp of sexuality seeping into culture, the delinquency of kids with out tradition and authority during the time they need to respect it, and crime and the virulence of the pro and con among those who would meet it. After the facts come the riddles of time and evolution and the actual meaning of history — changes in human beings from age to age. The book culminates then on the blossoming of the human spirit, the crisis today in science, in thinking. The outlook is dim or radiant depending how we choose. And the choice — there’s no question there — is prejudice or insight. Open ness to new ideas. The result of such an unfolding develop ment of thoughts is the after-effect on the reader. Because of the viable form, they can live on and work. The book digests well. As a story-telling device we are introduced to 16th cen tury Maggidism. A little known biography of Joseph Karo is quoted. A lawyer-mystic in whom the voice of the angel spoke. Burgeon’ssource of intuitive ideas progressively grows objective, becomes a dialogue within the mind. He person ifies it. In this way Anthroposophy, the knowledge that the spirit of man generates to lead him into the spirit of the world, can be introduced in novel form. And it has charm. The Meggid, as he names the entity, is lovable. And he or she (one is not sure which) is often provoked by Burgeon’s thick-headedness. One thing this sort of device permits is to show in picture form the stages by which the intuitive process develops. — First in the quiet of the morning hours the Voice speaks. Speaks in pure thought, which must be translated into awkward earth words. After various courtings and encounters, it sinks deeper. During the history dis course on shipboard (taking off from Toynbee) Burgeon really “gets going.” He is surprised at his own eloquence and learning, begins to realize he’s been helped in the debate on theology and Timelessness. A third phase comes in the crisis among the scientists in the lecture hall. Burgeon’s young friend has been worked into a corner during his lecture on the Crisis in Micro-Physics. Can inspiration work at a distance . . . as a field-effect. It is a dramatic moment, especially for the future of science. So runs the illumination of the man Burgeon. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Frederick Heckel: former staff reporter of the NewYork Times; editor Proteus magazine; currently associated with Alice Heckel in editing Bio-Dynamics, quarterly published by the BioDynamic Farming & Gardening Association, Inc., R.D. 1, Stroudsburg, Pa. 18360. Ralph Courtney: former Chief European Correspondent of the New York Tribune; author and lecturer on social questions; leader of the Threefold Farm community, Spring Valley, N. Y. until his death, July 1, 1965. Danilla Rettig: poet, eurythmist, teacher in the Waldorf school movement. Albert Steffen: poet, dramatist, novelist, essayist. Author over 70 published volumes. Editor, 1921-63, of weekly periodical Das Goetheanum. President, General Anthroposophical Society, 1926 until his death, July 13, 1963. There will be difficulties for some. The language is pure English. The provenance of the substance is Steiner’s German. Much seems strange at first until one remembers that for good translation the writer must return to the same sources from which the original stemmed: the idea. But this more or less is the theme of the book. Perhaps the science of things of the spirit will first flourish here on the wings of the Western word. The Meggid as angel of the logos would care for that. Hermann Poppelbaum, Ph.D.: author of Man and Animal, Anthroposophical Publishing Co., London, 1960; A New Zoology, Philosophical-Anthroposophical Publishing Co., Dor nach, 1960; Man’s Eternal Biography, Adonis Press, re-issued by Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1965, and other works. Member of the Vorstand, General Anthroposophical Society; leader National Science Section, School for Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland. Another difficulty may be raised for others. That of acknowledgement of source. In Worlds Apart Sanderson does acknowledge at length and sharply his Steinerian source, and wrestles with the question of how long an idea or per ception must live in you before it becomes indigenous. Here Steiner goes unmentioned, although the Meggid on the final page reveals itself as the voice of Anthroposophia. Does this separate the teachings from the name? But the writer stands by his life-work. A novel emerges from the man. What one has experienced in one’s fibers is one’s own. And the source stands written in broad script for all with the sense to see. Anna Koffler, Ph.D.: Professor of Pharmacognosy, Ohio North ern University, Ada, Ohio. For members and friends the book has special value. The language of Anthroposophy was re-formed every decade during Steiner’s life. It was part of his genius to achieve this. Today too, to live and work, spirit must find new formulations. For study-circles and talk-sessions we’ve been provided with a fine challenge to learn how Anthroposophy can sound in the 60’s and 70’s. And how it can be spoken to and be received by ears atuned to the patois of the day. Page 20 Rex Raab: poet, architect, designer. Author of Not to Imagine is to Die, Adonis Press, New York. Herbert Koepf, Ph.D.: Director Bio-Chemical Laboratory, Spring Valley, N. Y.; Professor of Soils, on leave from Hohenheim College, Germany. John Gardner: Faculty Chairman, Waldorf School of Adelphi University; Director, Waldorf Institute for Liberal Education, Adelphi University. Franz Winkler, M.D.: practicing physician; author Man, The Bridge Between Two Worlds, Harper & Row, New York, 1960 (paperback, 1965); President, The Myrin Institute for Adult Education, Adelphi University. George O’Neil: essayist, lecturer, teacher. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $1.00 for members of the Anthroposophical Society. $1.50 for non-members. Additional copies 50 cents each.
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