Man’s head is an image of the whole cosmos

It would not occur to anyone who takes a compass, a magnetic needle in hand, to seek in the needle itself the cause of its pointing with one end to the North and with the other to the South; the physicist feels himself compelled to regard the magnetic force proceeding from the needle, and the directing magnetic force coming from the North Pole of the earth, as a whole. The cause of what takes place in the small space of the needle is sought in the great universe.

Yet this is not done in other cases where it should be done, and where it is of importance. If anyone — especially a scientist — observes that one living being is formed within another living being, as, for instance, the egg is formed in the body of the hen, he sees there how something forms in the smallest space; but what does not usually strike him is to apply what he knows of the magnetic needle and say, that the reason why the germ of the egg develops in the body of the hen lies in the entire cosmos, not in the hen. Exactly as the great universe has a part in the magnetic needle, so too the whole cosmos has a share in the hen’s body, — no matter what other processes also take part in it — the whole cosmos in its spherical form co-operate. […]

That of course is heresy in the eyes of official science, but it is a truth. The forces of the cosmos co-operate in the most varied ways. Just as it is true that in the case of man (empirical embryology proves this) the head, in its germinal rudiments is formed from the whole universe, — the human head forms first in the maternal organism — so too is it true that, on the other hand, the original causative forces for this formation work from the whole cosmos, and man’s head is an image of it.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Earthly Death and Cosmic Life: Lecture 2: A Contribution to our Knowledge of the Human Being – Berlin, 29th January, 1918

Translated by Harry Collison

Previously posted on September 9, 2016

Improvement through repeated earthly lives

Consider for a moment all that human beings think! Would it not be terrible if every human thought were objectively engraved in cosmic substance and remained there for ever and ever? That, however, is what would happen if man were not able, through repeated earthly lives, either to correct thoughts that are not worthy of permanence or entirely reject and substitute others for them. This is provided for in evolution by the repetition of earthly lives, for man is thus enabled to better what is impressed upon the etheric substance of the cosmos every time he passes through death and he can strive to the end that after his final incarnation on Earth only that will have been given over to the etheric substance of the cosmos which is worthy of permanence.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 170 – Memory and Habit – Dornach, 27th August 1916

The greatest, the most significant piece of work

Just as we work with nature’s forces here on earth, just as we use external objects of nature as tools, so in the same way does work take place between us and the Beings of the higher spiritual Hierarchies.

And what manner of work is this? This work consists in the fact that the spirit-soul human being, conjointly with an enormous number of sublime spiritual Beings of the cosmos, is weaving the cosmic spirit-germ of his physical human body in the spiritual realm. However peculiar this may seem to you — to weave the physical human body as spiritual germ out of the whole cosmos — it is the greatest, the most significant piece of work conceivable in the cosmos.

And not only does the human soul in the state described work at this, but the human soul works at it conjointly with whole hosts of divine-spiritual Beings. For, if you visualize the most complicated thing that can be formed here on earth, you find it primitive and simple in contrast with that mighty fabric of cosmic vastness and grandeur which is woven there and which, compressed and condensed through conception and through birth, becomes permeated with physical earth matter and then becomes the human physical body.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – The Concealed Aspects of Human Existence and the Christ Impulse – The Hague, November 5, 1922

Translated by Katharine L. Federschmidt

Man’s head is an image of the whole cosmos

It would not occur to anyone who takes a compass, a magnetic needle in hand, to seek in the needle itself the cause of its pointing with one end to the North and with the other to the South; the physicist feels himself compelled to regard the magnetic force proceeding from the needle, and the directing magnetic force coming from the North Pole of the earth, as a whole. The cause of what takes place in the small space of the needle is sought in the great universe.

Yet this is not done in other cases where it should be done, and where it is of importance. If anyone — especially a scientist — observes that one living being is formed within another living being, as, for instance, the egg is formed in the body of the hen, he sees there how something forms in the smallest space; but what does not usually strike him is to apply what he knows of the magnetic needle and say, that the reason why the germ of the egg develops in the body of the hen lies in the entire cosmos, not in the hen. Exactly as the great universe has a part in the magnetic needle, so too the whole cosmos has a share in the hen’s body, — no matter what other processes also take part in it — the whole cosmos in its spherical form co-operate. […]

That of course is heresy in the eyes of official science, but it is a truth. The forces of the cosmos co-operate in the most varied ways. Just as it is true that in the case of man (empirical embryology proves this) the head, in its germinal rudiments is formed from the whole universe, — the human head forms first in the maternal organism — so too is it true that, on the other hand, the original causative forces for this formation work from the whole cosmos, and man’s head is an image of it.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Earthly Death and Cosmic Life: Lecture 2: A Contribution to our Knowledge of the Human Being – Berlin, 29th January, 1918

Translated by Harry Collison

Previously posted on October 4, 2014

Man’s head is an image of the whole cosmos

It would not occur to anyone who takes a compass, a magnetic needle in hand, to seek in the needle itself the cause of its pointing with one end to the North and with the other to the South; the physicist feels himself compelled to regard the magnetic force proceeding from the needle, and the directing magnetic force coming from the North Pole of the earth, as a whole. The cause of what takes place in the small space of the needle is sought in the great universe.

Yet this is not done in other cases where it should be done, and where it is of importance. If anyone — especially a scientist — observes that one living being is formed within another living being, as, for instance, the egg is formed in the body of the hen, he sees there how something forms in the smallest space; but what does not usually strike him is to apply what he knows of the magnetic needle and say, that the reason why the germ of the egg develops in the body of the hen lies in the entire cosmos, not in the hen. Exactly as the great universe has a part in the magnetic needle, so too the whole cosmos has a share in the hen’s body, — no matter what other processes also take part in it — the whole cosmos in its spherical form co-operate. […]

That of course is heresy in the eyes of official science, but it is a truth. The forces of the cosmos co-operate in the most varied ways. Just as it is true that in the case of man (empirical embryology proves this) the head, in its germinal rudiments is formed from the whole universe, — the human head forms first in the maternal organism — so too is it true that, on the other hand, the original causative forces for this formation work from the whole cosmos, and man’s head is an image of it.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Earthly Death and Cosmic Life: Lecture 2: A Contribution to our Knowledge of the Human Being – Berlin, 29th January, 1918

Translated by Harry Collison

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