What can in some way be counted is accepted in science. Natural science loves to weigh, to compute, and social science loves statistics — again a matter of computation and reckoning. It will be difficult indeed for men to bring themselves to admit that all knowledge of the external world acquired through measure and number is so much delusion.
To measure — what does it mean, in reality? It means to compare something with a given dimension, be it length or volume. I can measure a line if I compare it with a line twice, three times, four times, etc. smaller.
In such measurements, no matter whether of lengths or surfaces or weights, the qualitative element is entirely lacking. The number 3 always remains the same, whether one is counting sheep, human beings or politicians ! It is not a matter of the qualitative, but only of the quantum, the quantitative. The essential principle of volume and number is that the qualitative is left out of account.
But for that very reason, all knowledge derived from the principles of volume and measure is illusion; and the fact which must be taken in all seriousness is that the moment we enter the world that can be weighed and measured, the world of space and time, we enter a world of illusion, a world that is nothing but a Fata Morgana as long as we take it to be reality.
It is the ideal of present-day thinking to experience in connection with all the things of the external world of space and time, their spatial and temporal significance; whereas, in truth, what things signify in space and time is their external aspect only, and we must transcend space and time, penetrating to much deeper levels, if we are to reach the innermost truth, the innermost being of things.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 191 – LUCIFER AND AHRIMAN – Lecture II – Dornach, 2 November 1919
Translated by D. S. Osmond
Chakra Goddess-Heart – Art of Carol Herzer