Modern man knows quite well that when a magnetic needle lies with one end pointing towards the North and the other towards the South, this is not caused by the needle itself, but that the Earth as a whole is a cosmic magnet of which one end points towards the North and the other towards the South. It would be considered pure nonsense to assert that the direction is brought about merely by forces contained in the magnetic needle.In the case of a seed or germ which develops in an animal or in a human being, all science and all schools of thought deny the factor of cosmic influence.
What would be described as nonsense in the case of the magnetic needle is accepted without further thought in the case of an egg forming within the hen. But when the egg is forming within the hen the whole Cosmos is, in fact, participating; what happens on Earth is merely the stimulus to the play of cosmic forces. Everything that takes shape in the egg is an imprint of cosmic forces and the hen herself is only a place, an abode, in which the Cosmos, the whole World-System, is developing this work. And it is the same in the case of the human being. This is a thought with which we must become familiar.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Dead Are With Us – Nüremberg, February 10, 1918