Bees – Lectures by Rudolf Steiner - The whole is always greater than the sum of the parts
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Bees – Lectures by Rudolf Steiner
December 1st 1923
A student, .. of the famous professor of physiology, Bunge [note 1], whom you all know by name at least, was in Basel and conducted experiments that involved feeding mice milk.
These mice had a good Iife; their physical condition improved tremendously because they were being fed milk. Then he introduced another element into this experiment. He told himself that milk consists of casein, which is the basis of cheese , fat, sugar, and various salts. He said to himself that mice thrive when they are given milk, and milk consists of casein, fat, sugar, and salts; hence he decided to give a similar group of mice these constituents of milk, which are the same as those found in milk.
But the mice to whom he gave casein, fat, sugar, and salts died only a few days later! This group of mice had received exactly the same substances, scientifically analyzed, as the first group, but they died. You see, it doesn't make any difference if you know all the parts of a compound. Something else must be involved here - that’s what these gentlemen should have told themselves.
Note 1. Gustav von Bunge, 1844-1920, a German physiologist of Russian origin, was a professor in Basel after 1885 and supported the modern notion of neovitalism, a renewal of the theory or doctrine that life processes arise from or contain a nonmaterial, vital principle and cannot be explained entirely as physical and chemical phenomena. His main works are A Handbook of physiological and Pathological chemistry, 1887, and A Handbook of Human physiology, 1901, 2 vols.