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Etheric Formative Forces in Cosmos Man and Nature Wachsmuth Geunther

Etheric Formative Forces in Cosmos Man and Nature Wachsmuth Geunther

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THE
ETHERIC
FORMATIVE FORCES
IN
COSMOS,
EARTH
AND
MAN
A Path
of
Investigation into theWorld.
of
the Living
by
Dr.
GUENTHER
WACHSMUTH
'"
,.
TranslatedfromthesecondGerman Edition
by
OLIN
D. WANNAMAKER,NEw
YORK
VoL.
I
1932
ANTHROPOSOPHICAL
PUBLISHING
Co.
LONDON
.
ANTHROPOSOPHIC
PRES
S
NEW
YORK
 
given me
most
helpfulsuggestions.
Manyother
helpers also I
rememberwith heartfeltthanks.
In
this
second
edition
the
theory
of
ether has
not
been
altered
at
all
in
principle,
after
mature
testing,
but
much has
been modified
inthe
endeavour
to
elaborate
the
illustrative
material
more clearly in
its
manner
of expression
or through
amplification.
Here
also I wouldoncemore
caution
the
reader
that
I
am
deeply
aware
of
the
incompletenessof
this
undertaking.
Yet
my
experiences since
the
appearance
of
the
first edition
have
only
confirmed
my
courage
to
go
aheadon
the
same
road.We feel
that
we
have
been called
by
a wordofGoethe's
to
a
beautiful
and
sacred
task,
and
that
we
are
obliged
to
undertake
it:-
MANIFESTOYou'd
s
tudyNature?
Then
rememberOne
and
All
must
gotogether.
Naught
ts
inandnaught
without,
For
what's within
is
st
ill
without.
Ha
sten
man,
look
upl
behold
H
er
open mysteriesunfold
!
True
her
seem
ing,
real herpia
y ;
Rejoi
ce
in
themand
her.
No
living
thing
isone,I
say
,
Its
many,
everywhere
.
(FromGoethe's
"
Spriiche
.
")Translated
by
Miss
F.
M.
Staw
ell.
GuENTHER
WACHSMUTH.
The
Goetheanum,
Domach, near
Basel, Switzerland.1926.
10
I
Introduction
T
HE
modern
scientificconception of
the
worldseeks
to
reduce
the
endless
diversity
ofall
natural
phenomena
to
two fundamental
ideas,
two
concepts
lying
at
the
foundation
of all
things:
matter
and
e
ther.
But
the
conceptions
held
by
the
mostadvancedinvestigators
in
regard
to
these two ultimate
basic
unitsare
so wide
apart
that
the
titne is
certainly already
at
hand
when
the
whole
structure
of
theory
reared
upon these two debatable
basic concepts is
trembling
to
its
fall.
The time has
come,therefore,
when
the
knowledge which
spiritual
science
has
attained
of
etherand
its
activities
in
Nature
maybe
introducedinto
discussion \Vithout
the
expectation
that
one
must
encounter
insurmountable obstacles due
to
a
certain
dogmatism which has,
unfortu
nately
,arisen
to
some
extent
among
scientists
during
the last
half
century.The
distinguished
investigator
of ether, P.
Lenard,
s
ays
in
his well-
..
.
known
lecture"
UberAther
und
Materie,"delivered before
the
HeidelbergAcademy
of
Sciences,*
that,
ifa
scientist
of
our
ageisaskedhow
the
·world
appears
according
to
his conception,
he
must
answer
thus:
"In
expressinghimself
onthissubject,he
must
first
make
it
clear
that
what
he
has
to
say
deals
onlywith
that
part
of
the
worldwhich
is
accessible
to
quantitativeresearch throughthe help
of
ourphysicalsenses.
t
It
is
just
here,
in this
quantitative characteristic
,
the
possibility of
comparing
allresults
quantitatively
with
the
reality
andthus
testing them,
that
physiQal science differs
from
the mental
sciences,which deal
primarilywith
the
·
other
part
of
the
world.
That part
of
the
world whichlendsitself
to
quantitative
research
by
means
of
the
physicalsenseswe
may
call also
the
material
world.
It
is
only
with this
that
the
scientist
has
to
do ;
it
is of
this
that
he has
formed
an
idea
"(p. 5). One
must certainly
examinecritically
this
tendency
in
the
scientificmode
of
conception
ofthe
past
century
if
one would
reach
a
fruitful
view regarding
the nature?f
ether
andmatter,and
if
one wishes
to
know why,
under
the
self
unp
osed limitations
ofthis tendency
inscientific
research-that
is,
the
~
*
Heidelberg,
1911.
tAll
italic
s
throughoutareDr. Wachsmuth's
.
11
 
of
the
evolution of
the
cosmic
system,-left
them
behind
in order
that
the?',
enci:clin~
the
sun,might follow
it-so
also the
instinctbeings and·
the~r
_creat~~ns
~n
the
phenomenal
world,
theanimals,
are
thrown outand
rema~n
beh~nd
in
the
evolutionary
course
of
the
human being surroundinghimat
lowerstages.
·'
Who~ver
'?ainta~s
that
man
is a product of
the
higher evolutionof
the
a~Imal,
IS
uttenng
a contradictionsimilar
to
that
of
the
man
whowould
say
that
the
sun
is a
product
of
the
evolution of
the
planets
and
their
satellites.
Whoe~er,
on
~he
otherhand,
says
that
the
human
being
in
the
course of
hi~
evolution
c~st
out
from himself those lower instinct beings*
an~
format~ve
force~
which could
not
sharein his evolutionary course,which remamed behind him,
just
as
the
sunthrew
the
planets
out
fro~
itself
and
let them
grow cold,sucha
man
speaks
not
only
intelligently
but
alsospeaks
thetruth,
in
accordancewith
the
spirit
of Genesis.
But
n~t.
only
is
:here
a
great
distinction
in
world-conceptions
but
alsoa.decisive
tummg
point
inhuman
evolution,a
boundary
line
acco_rd~g
as
~e
saythat
manisa
more
highly
evolved
animal,
_
or
that
the
~nsttnct
betngs andtheir organic creations the animals
are
as
it
were
a
~ardened
residueo!
lower
portions
of
being whichthe self-evoiving
huma~
be~ng
castoutfrom
h~mself
and left behind
in
his environment.
. Such
an
ori~
of
humanity
is
taughtby
Anthroposophy,
in contrast
WI~h
the
~o.nceptton
other
schools of
thought
hold in regard
to the
human
~mg
stn~mg
~or
thetruth.
Research
into
the
living,
into
the
organic.
will
at
this
pomt
reach its line of demarcation..
~~fore
we
?ass
on
to
the
consideration of
the
human
being
and
~s
~vm.g
organism, we willendeavour
to
grasp comprehensively
what
distmgwshes
the
kingdoms of Nature.
.~at
chiefly distinguishes
man
from
the
animals?
This
quest~on
cames
Its ownanswer.We men differentiate ourselves from
ourouter
world
and
inner world
by
meansof
thought, in
that
we
distinguish
~
between
true
~nd
false, understanding
and
error, knowledge
and
belief,
upwa~d
evolutt~n
a~d
d~cadence:
in
that
weseek
to
place
our
ego
in
conscious relationship With
the
realities of
the
phenomenal world
on
the
one
hand
andthe
worldof
pure
spiriton
the
other
;
in
that
weendeavour so
to
extend
knowledge
by
means of
thought
that at
the
end
.of
ourway
the
all asreality becomes one
with
the
all embraced
by
our
~go
t~ough.
t~ought,
becomes identical
withit.
This ego evolvingttse!f In
~
stnvtng
of
thoughtand
action toward
its
goal is
the
sole
true
designationofman,
that
which distinguishes
him
fron1
the
animal.
;
For
~~tails;.
see
Dr. H. Poppelbaum:"MenschundTier."
Basel, 1928.
EnghshEdition,
l\1an
an~
Animal." London,
1931.
190
The
animalalso certainly
has
a soul,
but
no ego reflecting concerningitself
and
its
action in striving
toward
a goal.
The
soul of
the
animalis clearly determined in itscontent
through
the
sum
total
of all
the
instinctswhich, as
has
been described,
through
a common working together,
through
a group-will, create for themselves
the
organism without which
they
could
not
live in
~he
phenomenal world.
But
this
group-willisdifferently constituted
in
the
case of
the
differentsortsofanimals.If, for instance,
the
group-will
has
the
configuration which we
have
previously described,
then
there
arises
the
siphonophoralanimal.
It
will
naturally
be ofadifferent
sort
when, for instance,
thespecies"
lion"comesinto existence; different when
the
"eagle"
kind arises ;
~till
other
when
the
species
u
cow"
arises;
it
willcontain
in
one instance
the
instinct
beingswhichdesire
to
live as
"lions,"
in
anothercase
tho~e
which will liveas
u
eagles,"
or such
aswill live as
"cows."But
forallanimals of
the
"lion"
kind this
group-soul is
thesame;
forall of
the
''
eagle
''
kind
the
same; forall of
the
''
cow
''
kind
the
same.
It
begetsin
that
specialconfiguration whichcreatesfor
it
the
organism of
the
lion,
andnaturally
never
that
of
the
eagle ;
but•it
isalways
the
samefor
the
lionspecies,
the
lion
kind
.Here lies
the
distinction
:-The
animal soul isagroup-soul, whichis
the
same for all animals of
the
same species, created
by
it;
it
distinguishes itselfonlyfrom
the
group-souls of
the
other
speciesofanimals
or
animal kinds.
The
singleanimal
has no
ego, which, reflecting
about
itself,separatesitself from
the
outer
world,
in
order
to
s~t
itself overagainst
this
world
through thinking
and
knowing,asaseparate
entity,in
order
through
knowing
to
master
all
the
rest
of.
the
world instead ofbeing mastered
by
it. This consciousseparation of
the
selfis possible
to man
alone,
the
individual
human
soul,
the
human
ego.
That
in
manwhich stillresembles a group-soul is for
that
reasonaresidue
in
him,andbelongs
to the
animal kingdom! Weshall
not
here discuss
the
question how great
this
residueoftenis even now.
But
what
distinguishes
man
as such,separates
him
fundamentally from
the
animal,is
the
fact
that
he
is endowed
with
that
ego
through
which
the
individualsoul, conscious
and
striving
toward its
goal, will
in
the
courseof evolutiongradually
b~
freed from
the
residue pertaining
tothe
group-souls
and
animal
nature.
It
is for
this
reason
that
only
the
human
being,
and
he
alsoonly when his conduct is determinedentirely
b.Y
the
ego,is
free;
for
this
reason
he
alone is as
an
individual immortal, imperishable..
For
this
ego creates for itself
an
incarnation
as
atransitionalstage
in
its passage
through
the
phenomenal world.
It
is
notthe task
of
this
book
to
enterfurther
into these realities.
The''
Philosophie der Freiheit''*
*
Translated under
the
title
"The
Philosophy of Spiritual
Activity."
London,
1922.
191

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