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Steiner, Rudolf - Nature spirits - How flowers grow

Identifier

013749

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Steiner called spirit ‘spirit’.  Everything in his view was animated by spirit, the ‘form’ that we perceive is actually just a sort of useful veneer over what was actually happening – the functions were the driving force of the entire universe.

At a lecture in 1923 in Dornach, Rudolf Steiner described the way plants are fertilised.   Steiner was absolutely accurate in his physical description.  But Steiner could ‘see’ the system and he knew that the form based description was accurate in its own way, but hid a wealth of ‘processing’ that was taking place behind the scenes.  Using the analogy Steiner was able to ‘see’ the software too.  He could see ‘spirit’ and although he was totally unable to see the instructions, he was able to discern functions which controlled how the plant took root, how it developed leaves, how it developed a flower, how it produced stamens and a carpel and how fertilisation worked. 

Of course biologists laughed at him, because it is a big step in understanding to go from a world in which you are figuratively ‘looking at a computer screen’ to one in which you accept the existence of a system – software -  but Steiner was right.  Furthermore, he was able to ‘see’ using mystic ability that ‘behind the plants’ in the realm of function not form ‘this is not how it happens at all’.  So the form action is a veneer and hides a wealth of functional detail we do not normally perceive.

A description of the experience

Rudolf Steiner – Nature Spirits

 In materialistic science, the plant takes root in the ground, above the ground it develops leaves and finally its flowers and within the flower the stamens and then the carpel.  The pollen from the anthers – usually from  another plant – is taken over to the stigma, the carpel is fertilised and through this the seed of the new plant is produced.  That is the usual way of describing it.  The carpel is regarded as the female element and what comes from the stamen as the male … this process really does look like fertilisation …..

…. No root could develop if it were not for what is mediated between the earth realm bring the mineral element of the earth into flux in order to conduct it to the roots of plants.  I am of course referring to the underlying spiritual processes.

The source of the experience

Steiner, Rudolf

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References