As water is related to ice so is Spirit to matter

For spiritual research matter has sprung from Spirit, is nothing but densified Spirit.

As a comparison, picture a vessel with water in it. Think of one part of the water being cooled down until it turns to ice. Now what is the ice? It is water, water in another form, in a solid condition. This is the way that spiritual research looks at matter. As water is related to ice so is Spirit to matter. As ice is no more than a result of water, so is matter nothing else than a result of Spirit, and as ice can become water again, so can Spirit originate again out of matter, can proceed from matter, or, reversed, matter can again dissolve into Spirit.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 55 – Origin of Suffering, Origin of Evil, Illness and Death: THE ORIGIN OF SUFFERING – Berlin, 8th November, 1906

Translated by M. Cotterell and V. E. Watkin

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Like the passing of a fish from water into air

We might compare the entrance of man into another world with the passing of a fish from the water into the air; the fish has first to be prepared for this by changing its air bladders into lungs. This resembles the transition from sense perception to spiritual perception, whereby a man’s soul is made capable of employing certain forces in a different element. Many things are then revealed to him. […] 

Man must not remain in the water.  If he did, his later life would be “airless” as regards spiritual ideas — he would gasp for air.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 124 – Excursus on the Gospel According to St. Mark: Lecture VII – Berlin, 13th March 1911

Previously posted on December 15, 2016

Everything that is poisonous in one way, can be applied medicinally in another way

All poisonous substances, when applied in an alternative way, can be medicinal. One could say that all substances are both toxic and therapeutic. Of course, if you drink a few buckets of water in succession, it works like poison; If you drink it in the proper quantity, it is nutritious, and if one drinks it in minimal amounts, it can be medicinal. 

In general, by employing various methods, water has a potent healing ability. One can, therefore, say of most ordinary substances, that a poisonous substance can also become a medicine. Consequently, one must recognize how such an element works, including the effect it has on the human constitution. 

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Über Gesundheit und Krankheit – Dornach, January 13, 1923 (page 250)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 25, 2018 

Earth, water, air, and fire (or warmth)

Spiritual Science knows of four states of matter: earth, water, air, and fire or warmth. 

By “earth” we mean all that is solid; thus frozen water or ice is included in “earth”. 

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“Water” is all that is fluid; thus molten iron or metal is also “water.” 

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Air is all that is gaseous; thus steam would come under the heading of “air.” 

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Warmth

According to the view of the Physicist of the present day, fire or warmth is only a state of matter, an extremely rapid vibration of its smallest particles. 

But to Spiritual Science warmth is also a substance, one much finer than air. According to Spiritual Science, when a body is heated it absorbs the substance of warmth; when it cools it parts with warmth, the substance of warmth can condense to air, this in its turn can condense to water, and this to earth.

All substances were once present merely as warmth. When the Earth was in the Saturn condition, only warmth existed.

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Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture III – Basle, 18 November, 1907

Translator unknown

Everything that is poisonous in one way, can be applied medicinally in another way

Everything that is poisonous when used in one way, can be medicinal if applied in a different way. One could say, that all substances are both poisonous and medicinal. Of course, if you drink a few buckets of water in succession, it works like poison; If you drink it in the proper quantity, it is nutritious and if one drinks it in exceptionally small amounts, it can be used in a medicinal way. In general, through employing various methods, water has a potent healing ability. One can therefore say of most ordinary substances, that what is poison can also be medicine. Consequently, one must recognize how such a substance works, including the effect it has on the human constitution.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Über Gesundheit und Krankheit – Dornach, January 13, 1923 (page 250)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger