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Steiner, Rudolf - Redemption and the Elementals [1909] - Fire



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Rudolf Steiner – Redemption and the Elementals [1909]

In these ancient times, all that surrounded people materially in the world was referred back to the four elements.  The four elements – earth, water, air and fire are no longer acknowledged by modern materialistic science.

Fire was the fourth element. 

Those of you familiar with elementary physics will remember that modern science does not regard fire as comparable with earth, water or air.  ‘Fire’, according to modern physics, is merely looked upon as a condition of movement.  For spiritual science, however, warmth or ‘fire’ is something endowed with an ever finer substantiality than ‘air’.  Just as ‘earth’ or solidity can be transformed into the liquid state ‘water’, so according to spiritual science, all airy or gaseous forms gradually change into the condition of ‘fire’. 

Fire is so rarefied that it permeates all other elements.  It permeates ‘air’ and thereby warms it; the same applies to ‘water’ and ‘earth’.  Whereas the three other elements are separate, the element fire possesses an all pervading quality.

The ancient knowledge of the Hindus stressed that we only become aware of earth, water and air in the outer world.  Warmth is the first element that can be apprehended inwardly.  Warmth, or fire, has a two fold nature- an external aspect, which we get to know outwardly and an inner aspect which we feel in our condition of warmth.  Ancient and modern spiritual science both proclaim fire or warmth to be the first stage at which matter becomes soul.

The source of the experience

Steiner, Rudolf

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps