No engineering skill in the world could imitate this

What enormous wisdom is needed to build up the simplest physical body of any living being; not to mention the most wonderful structure all living beings on earth; the human body!

Observe, for instance, man’s upper thigh bone; how wonderfully and in accordance with every rule of architecture the single little osseous joists and beams are put together! In its upper part, the upper thigh bone is far more complicated than it appears to us externally; for it is composed of a trestle of beams whose angles are arranged so skillfully that the weight of the whole body is borne by the least quantity of matter; truly a far greater work of art than the most complicated bridge construction; no engineering skill in the world could imitate it!

Or contemplate the structure of the heart: it is built so wisely that man with all his wisdom is but a child in comparison to that wisdom which reveals itself in the structure of the heart. How many things does the human heart withstand, though man’s foolish attempts to ruin it every day, for instance, through our so-called stimulants — coffee, alcohol, nicotine.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture II: Introductory Explanations Concerning the Nature of Man – Kassel, 17th June 1907

Previously posted on September 21, 2016 

The wisdom in the human body

If we thoughtfully observe the human body we discover this wisdom in each organ, in each part. For instance, if we study the upper portion of the human thigh bone we find in it a network of cells beautifully constructed with a view to their purpose. No engineer of the present day would be able to produce these two columns, which bear the upper part of the human body with the smallest expenditure of matter and force. 

Wisdom was implanted in the human body as long as the divine Spirits worked upon it. As a rule the physical body is looked upon as the lowest part of man, unjustly so, for the very greatest wisdom can be seen just in the physical body. Only through this wisdom is it possible for the physical body to withstand the attacks continually made upon it by the astral body, and so not break up before the time. 

The pleasures and desires which hold sway in the physical body when tea and coffee, alcohol and so on are taken, all these are attacks of the astral body on the physical body, and especially on the heart. It has therefore to be so wisely constructed that these attacks can be withstood for decades. Of course the suitable form of the heart could only be discovered by subjecting it to many transformations.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture IV – Basle, 19th November 1907

It would be sheer boundless arrogance for man to suppose that he has attained in the slightest degree to the wisdom inherent in the formation of the external physical body

Consider our physical body; we look on it as having been formed out of the spiritual world in the primordial past as a dwelling for the human soul. Only a materialistic mind could believe that this human body had not been born originally from the spirit. Seen merely from an external point of view, the physical body must appear a miracle of perfection. What do all our intellectual ability and technical skill amount to, compared with the wisdom manifest in the structure of the human heart? Or take the engineering technique that goes into the building of bridges, and so forth — what is it compared with the construction of the human thigh-bone, with its wonderful crisscross of support members, as seen through the microscope.

It would be sheer boundless arrogance for man to suppose that he has attained in the slightest degree to the wisdom inherent in the formation of the external physical body. And consider our soul-life, taking into account only our instincts, desires and passions — how do they function? Are we not doing all we can to undermine inwardly the wisdom-filled organisation of our body? Indeed, if we consider without prejudice the marvel of our physical organisation, we have to admit that our bodily structure is far wiser than anything we can show in our inner life, although we may hope that our inner life will advance from its present imperfection towards increasing perfection. We can hardly come to any other conclusion, even without clairvoyance, if we simply look impartially at the observable facts.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 59 – Metamorphoses of the Soul – Vol. 2: Lecture 8: Human Conscience – Berlin, 5th May 1910

Translated by Charles Davy and Christian von Arnim

Previously posted March 4, 2015