10 June 1924, Koberwitz
My dear friends,
We shall spend the first lectures gathering various items of knowledge, so as to recognise the conditions on which the prosperity of Agriculture depends. Thereafter we shall draw the practical conclusions, which can only be realised in the immediate application and are only significant when put into practice. In these first lectures you must observe how all agricultural products arise; how Agriculture lives in the totality of the Universe.
A farm is true to its essential nature, in the best sense of the word, if it is conceived as a kind of individual entity in itself — a self-contained individuality. Every farm should approximate to this condition. This ideal cannot be absolutely attained, but it should be observed as far as possible. Whatever you need for agricultural production, you should try to posses it within the farm itself (including in the “farm,” needless to say, the due amount of cattle). Properly speaking, any manures or the like which you bring into the farm from outside should be regarded rather as a remedy for a sick farm. That is the ideal. A thoroughly healthy farm should be able to produce within itself all that it needs.
We shall see presently why this is the natural thing. So long as one does not regard things in their true essence but only in their outer material aspect, the question may justifiably arise: Is it not a matter of indifference whether we get our cow-dung from the neighbourhood or from our own farm? But it is not so. Although these things may not be able to be strictly carried out, nevertheless, if we wish to do things in a proper and natural way, we need to have this ideal concept of the necessary self-containedness of any farm.
You will recognise the justice of this statement if you consider the Earth on the one hand, from which our farm springs forth, and on the other hand, that which works down into our Earth from the Universe beyond. Nowadays, people are wont to speak very abstractly of the influences which work on to the Earth from the surrounding Universe. They are aware, no doubt, that the Sun's light and warmth, and all the meteorological processes connected with it, are in a way related to the form and development of the vegetation that covers the soil. But present-day ideas can give no real information as to the exact relationships, because they do not penetrate to the realities involved. We shall have to consider the matter from various standpoints. Let us to-day choose this one: let us consider, to begin with, the soil of the Earth which is the foundation of all Agriculture.
I will indicate the surface of the Earth diagramatically by this line (Diagram 2). The surface of the Earth is generally regarded as mere mineral matter — including some organic elements, at most, inasmuch as there is formation of humus, or manure is added. In reality, however, the earthly soil as such not only contains a certain life — a vegetative nature of its own — but an effective astral principle as well; a fact which is not only not taken into account to-day but is not even admitted nowadays. But we can go still further. We must observe that this inner life of the earthly soil (I am speaking of fine and intimate effects) is different in summer and in winter. Here we are coming to a realm of knowledge, immensely significant for practical life, which is not even thought of in our time.
Taking our start from a study of the earthly soil, we must indeed observe that the surface of the Earth is a kind of organ in that organism which reveals itself throughout the growth of Nature. The Earth's surface is a real organ, which — if you will — you may compare to the human diaphragm. (Though it is not quite exact, it will suffice us for purposes of illustration). We gain a right idea of these facts if we say to ourselves: Above the human diaphragm there are certain organs — notably the head and the processes of breathing and circulation which work up into the head. Beneath it there are other organs.
If from this point of view we now compare the Earth's surface with the human diaphragm, then we must say: In the individuality with which we are here concerned, the head is beneath the surface of the Earth, while we, with all the animals, are living in the creature's belly! Whatever is above the Earth, belongs in truth to the intestines of the “agricultural individuality,” if we may coin the phrase. We, in our farm, are going about in the belly of the farm, and the plants themselves grow upward in the belly of the farm. Indeed, we have to do with an individuality standing on its head. We only regard it rightly if we imagine it, compared to man, as standing on its head. With respect to the animal, as we shall presently see, it is a little different.
Why do I say that the agricultural individuality is standing on its head? For the following reason. Take everything there is in the immediate neighbourhood of the Earth by way of air and water vapours and even warmth. Consider, once more, all that element in the neighbourhood of the Earth in which we ourselves are living and breathing and from which the plants, along with us, receive their outer warmth and air, and even water. All this actually corresponds to that which would represent, in man, the abdominal organs. On the other hand, that which takes place in the interior of the Earth beneath the Earth's surface — works upon plant-growth in the same way in which our head works upon the rest of our organism, notably in childhood, but also throughout our life. There is a constant and living mutual interplay of the above-the-Earth and the below-the-Earth.
And now, to localise these influences, I beg you to observe the following. The activities above the Earth are immediately dependent on Moon, Mercury and Venus supplementing and modifying the influences of the Sun. The so-called “planets near the Earth” extend their influences to all that is above the Earth's surface. On the other hand, the distant planets — those that revolve outside the circuit of the Sun — work upon all that is beneath the Earth's surface, assisting those influences which the Sun exercises from below the Earth. Thus, so far as plant-growth is concerned, we must look for the influences of the distant Heavens beneath, and of the Earth's immediate cosmic environment above the Earth's surface.
Once more: all that works inward from the far spaces of the Cosmos to influence the growth of plants, works not directly — not by direct radiation — but in this way: It is first received by the Earth, and the Earth then rays it upward again. Thus, the influences that rise upward from the earthly soil — beneficial or harmful for the growth of plants — are in reality cosmic influences rayed back again and working directly in the air and water over the Earth. The direct radiation from the Cosmos is stored up beneath the Earth's surface and works back from thence. Now these relationships determine how the earthly soil, according to its constitution, works upon the growth of plants. (We shall take plant-growth to begin with, and afterwards extend it to the animals).
Consider the earthly soil. To begin with, we have those influences that depend on the farthest distances of the Cosmos — the farthest that come into account for earthly processes. These effects are found in what is commonly called sand and rock and stone. Sand and rock — substances impermeable to water, which, in the common phrase, “contain no foodstuffs” — are in reality no less important than any other factors. They are most important for the unfolding of the growth-processes, and they depend throughout on the influences of the most distant cosmic forces. And above all — improbable as it appears at first sight — it is through the sand, with its silicious content, that there comes into the Earth what we may call the life-ethereal and the chemically influential elements of the soil. These influences then take effect as they ray upward again from the Earth.
The way the soil itself grows inwardly alive and develops its own chemical processes, depends above all on the composition of the sandy portion of the soil. What the plant-roots experience in the soil depends in no small measure on the extent to which the cosmic life and cosmic chemistry are seized and held by means of the stones and the rock, which may well be at a considerable depth beneath the surface. Therefore, wherever we are studying plant growth, we should be clear in the first place as to the geological foundation out of which it arises. For those plants in which the root-nature as such is important, we should never forget that a silicious ground — even if it be only present in the depths below — is indispensable. I would say, thanks be to God that silica is very widespread on the Earth — in the form of silicic acid, for instance, and in other compounds. It constitutes 47-48% of the surface of the Earth, and for the quantities we need we can reckon practically everywhere on the presence of the silicic activity.
But that is not all. All that is thus connected, by way of silicon, with the root-nature, must also be able to be led upward through the plant. It must flow upward. There must be constant interaction between what is drawn in from the Cosmos by the silicon, and what takes place — forgive me! —in the “belly” up above; for by the latter process the “head” beneath must be supplied with what it needs. The “head” is supplied out of the Cosmos, but it must also be in mutual interaction with what is going on in the “belly,” above the Earth's surface. In a word, that which pours down from the Cosmos and is caught up beneath the surface must be able to pour upward again. And for this purpose is the clayey substance in the soil. Everything in the nature of clay is in reality a means of transport, for the influences of cosmic entities within the soil, to carry them upward again from below.
When we pass on to practical matters, this knowledge will give us the necessary indications as to how we must deal with a clayey soil, or with a silicious soil, according as we have to plant it with one form of vegetation or another. First we must know what is really happening. However else clay may be described, however, else we may have to treat it so as to make it fertile — all that, no doubt, is most important in the second place, but the fast thing is to know that clay is the carrier of the cosmic upward stream.
But this up-streaming of the cosmic influences is not all. There is also the other process which I may call the terrestrial or earthly — that process which is going on in the “belly” and which depends on a kind of external “digestion.” For plant-growth, in effect, all that goes on through summer and winter in the air above the Earth is essentially a kind of digestion. All that is thus taking place through a kind of digestive process, must in its turn be drawn downward into the soil. Thus a true mutual interaction will arise with all the forces and fine homeopathic substances which are engendered by the water and air above the Earth. All this is drawn down into the soil by the greater or lesser limestone content of the soil. The limestone content of the soil itself, and the distribution of limestone substances in homeopathic dilution immediately above the soil — all this is there to carry into the soil the immediate terrestrial process.
In due time there will be a science of these things — not the mere scientific jargon of to-day — and it will then be possible to give exact indications. It will be known, for instance, that there is a very great difference between the warmth that is above the Earth's surface that is to say, the warmth that is in the domain of Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon — and that warmth which makes itself felt within the Earth; which is under the influence of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. For the plant, we may describe the one kind as leaf-and-flower warmth, and the other as root warmth. These two warmths are essentially different, and in this sense, we may well call the warmth above the Earth dead, and that beneath the Earth's surface living.
The warmth beneath the Earth decidedly contains some inner principle of life. It is alive; moreover in winter it is most of all alive. If we human beings had to experience the warmth which works within the Earth, we should all grow dreadfully stupid, for to be clever we need to have dead warmth brought to our body. But the moment the warmth is drawn into the Earth by the limestone-content of the soil, or by other substantialities within the Earth — the moment any outer warmth passes over into inner warmth — it is changed into a certain condition of vitality, however delicate.
People to-day are well aware that there is a difference between the air above the soil and the air within, but they do not observe that there is also this difference between the warmth above and within. They know that the air beneath the surface contains more carbonic acid, and the air above, more oxygen, but again they do not know the reason. The reason is that the air too is permeated by a delicate vitality the moment it is absorbed and drawn into the Earth.
So it is both with the warmth and with the air; they take on a slightly living quality when they are received into the Earth. The opposite is true of the water and of the solid earthy element itself. They become still more dead inside the Earth than they are outside it. They lose something of their external life. Yet in this very process they become open to receive the most distant cosmic forces.
The mineral substances must emancipate themselves from what is working immediately above the surface of the Earth, if they wish to be exposed to the most distant cosmic forces. And in our cosmic age they can most easily do so — they can most easily emancipate themselves from the Earth's immediate neighbourhood and come under the influence of the most distant cosmic forces down inside the Earth —in the time between the 15th January and the 15th February; in this winter season. The time will come when such things are recognised as exact indications. This is the season when the strongest formative-forces of crystallisation, the strongest forces of form, can be developed for the mineral substances within the Earth. It is in the middle of the winter. The interior of the Earth then has the property of being least dependent on itself — on its own mineral masses; it comes under the influence of the crystal-forming forces that are there in the wide spaces of the Cosmos.
This then is the situation. Towards the end of January the mineral substances of the Earth have the greatest longing to become crystalline, and the deeper we go into the Earth, the more they have this longing to become purely crystalline within the “household of Nature.” In relation to plant growth, what happens in the minerals at this time is most of all indifferent, or neutral. That is to say, the plants at this time are most left to themselves within the Earth; they are least exposed to the mineral substances. On the other hand, for a certain time before and after this period — and notably before it, when the minerals are, so to speak, just on the point of passing over into the crystalline element of form and shape — then they are of the greatest importance; they ray out the forces that are particularly important for plant-growth.
Thus we may say, approximately in the month of November-December, there is a point of time when that which is under the surface of the Earth becomes especially effective for plant-growth. The practical question is: “How can we really make use of this for the growth of plants?” The time will come when it is recognised, how very important it is to make use of these facts, so as to be able to direct the growth of plants. I will observe at once, if we are dealing with a soil which does not readily or of its own accord carry upward the influences which should be working upward in this winter season, then it is well to add a dose of clay to the soil. (I shall indicate the proper dose later on). We thereby prepare the soil to carry upward what, to begin with, is inside the Earth and make it effective for the growth of plants. I mean, the crystalline forces which we observe already when we look out over the crystallising snow. (The force of crystallisation, however, grows stronger and more intense the farther we go into the interior of the Earth). This crystallising force must therefore be carried upward at a time when it has not yet reached its culminating point — which it will only attain in January or February.
Thus we derive the most positive hints from knowledge which at first sight seems remote. We get indications that will really help us, where we should otherwise be experimenting in the dark.
Altogether, we should be clear that the whole domain of Agriculture — including what is beneath the surface of the Earth — represents an individuality, a living organism, living even in time. The life of the Earth is especially strong during the winter season, whereas in summer-time it tends in a certain sense to die.
Now for the tilling of the soil one important thing should above all be understood. I have often mentioned it among anthroposophists. It is this. We must know the conditions under which the cosmic spaces are able to pour their forces down into the earthly realm. To recognise these conditions, let us take our start from the seed-forming process. The seed, out of which the embryo develops, is usually regarded as a very complicated molecular structure, and scientists are especially anxious to understand it in its complex molecular structure. In simple molecules, they imagine, there is a simple structure; then it grows ever more complicated, till at last we get to the infinitely complex structure of the protein molecule.
With wonder and astonishment they stand before what they imagine as the complicated structure of the protein in the seed. For they conceive it as follows. They think the protein molecule must be extremely complicated; for after all, out of its complexity, the whole new organism will grow. The new organism, infinitely complex as it is, was already pre-figured in the embryonic condition of the seed. Therefore this microscopic or ultra-microscopic substance must also be infinitely complex in its structure.
To begin with, to a certain extent this is quite true. When the earthly protein is built up, the molecular structure is indeed raised to the highest complexity. But a new organism could never arise out of this complexity. The organism does not arise out of the seed in that way at all. That which develops as the seed, out of the mother-plant or mother-animal, does not by any means simply continue its existence in that which afterwards arises as the descendant plant or animal. That is not true. The truth is rather this:—
When the complexity of structure has been enhanced to the highest degree, it all disintegrates again, and eventually, where we first had the highest complexity attained within the Earth-domain, we now have a tiny realm of chaos. It all disintegrates, as we might say, into cosmic dust. Then, when the seed — having been raised to the highest complexity — has fallen asunder into cosmic dust and the tiny realm of chaos is there, then the entire surrounding Universe begins to work and stamps itself upon the seed, thus building up out of the tiny chaos that which can only be built in it by forces pouring in from the great Universe from all sides (Diagram No. 4). So in the seed we get an image of the Universe.
In every seed-formation, the earthly process of organisation is carried to the very end — to the point of chaos. Time and again, in the chaos of the seed the new organism is built up again out of the whole Universe. The parent organism has to play this part: through its affinity to a particular cosmic situation, it tends to bring the seed into that situation whereby the forces work from the right cosmic directions, so that a dandelion brings forth, not a barberry, but a dandelion in its turn.
That which is imaged in the single plant, is always the image of some cosmic constellation. Ever and again, it is built out of the Cosmos. Therefore, if ever we want to make the forces of the Cosmos effective in our earthly realm, we must drive the earthly as far as possible into a state of chaos. For plant-growth, Nature herself will see to it to some extent, that this is done. However, since every new organism is built out of the Cosmos, it is also necessary for us to preserve the cosmic process in the organism long enough — that is, until the seed-forming process occurs once more.
Say we plant the seed of some plant in the Earth. Here in this seed we have the stamp or impress of the whole Cosmos — from one cosmic aspect or another. The constellation takes effect in the seed; thereby it receives its special form. Now, the moment it is planted in the Earth-realm, the external forces of the Earth influence it very strongly, and it is permeated every moment with a longing to deny the cosmic process — that is to say, to grow hypertrophied, to grow out in all manner of directions. For that which is working above the Earth does not really want to preserve this form.
The seed must be driven to the state of chaos. On the other hand, when the first beginnings of the plant are unfolding out of the seed, and at the later stages also — over against the cosmic form which is living as the plant-form in the seed we need to bring the earthly element into the plant. We must bring the plant nearer to the Earth in its growth. And this we can only do by bringing into the life of the plant such life as is already present on the Earth. That is to say, we must bring into it life that has not yet reached the utterly chaotic state — life that has not yet gone forward to the stage of seed-formation — life, that is to say, which came to an end in the organisation of some plant before it reached the point of seed-formation.
In effect, we must bring into it such life as is already present on the Earth. In this respect, in districts which are well-favoured by fortune, a rich humus-formation comes very largely to man's assistance in “Nature's household.” For in the last resort man can but sparingly replace by artificial means the fertility the Earth itself is able to achieve by natural humus-formation. To what is this transformation due? It is due to the fact that that which comes from the plant-life is absorbed by the whole Nature-process. To some extent, all life that has not yet reached the state of chaos rejects the cosmic influences. If such life is also made use of in the plant's growth, the effect is to hold fast in the plant what is essentially earthly. The cosmic process works only in the stream which passes upward once more to the seed-formation; while on the other hand the earthly process works in the unfolding of leaf, blossom and so on, and the cosmic only radiates its influences into all this.
We can trace the process quite exactly. Assume you have a plant growing upward from the root. At the end of the stem the little grain of seed is formed. The leaves and flowers spread themselves out. Now the earthly element in leaf and flower is the shape and form and the filling of earthly matter. The reason why a leaf or grain develops thick and strong — absorbs inner substantialities, and so on — the reason for this lies in all that which we bring to the plant by way of earthly life that has not yet reached the state of chaos. On the other hand, the seed which evolves its force right up the steam (in a vertical direction, not in the circling round) — the seed irradiates the leaf and blossom of the plant with the force of the Cosmos.
We can see this directly. Look at the green plant-leaves. (Diagram No. 3). The green leaves, in their form and thickness and in their greeness too, carry an earthly element, but they would not be green unless the cosmic force of the Sun were also living in them. And even more so when you come to the coloured flower; therein are living not only the cosmic forces of the Sun, but also the supplementary forces which the Sun-forces receive from the distant planets — Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. In this way we must look at all plant growth. Then, when we contemplate the rose, in its red colour we shall see the forces of Mars. Or when we look at the yellow sunflower — it is not quite rightly so called, it is called so on account of its form; as to its yellowness it should really be named the Jupiter-flower. For the force of Jupiter, supplementing the cosmic force of the Sun, brings forth the white or yellow colour in the flowers. And when we approach the chicory (Cichoriuns Intybus), we shall divine in the bluish colour the influence of Saturn, supplementing that of the Sun. Thus we can recognise Mars in the red flower, Jupiter in the yellow or white, Saturn in the blue, while in the green leaf we see essentially the Sun itself. But that which thus shines out in the colouring of the flower works as a force most strongly in the root. For the forces that live and abound in the distant planets are working, as we have seen, down there below within the earthly soil.
It is so indeed. We must say to ourselves: Suppose we pull a plant out of the Earth. Down below we have the root. In the root there is the cosmic nature, whereas in the flower most of all there is the earthly, the cosmic being only present in the delicate quality of the colouring and shading. If on the other hand the earthly nature is to live strongly in the root, then it must shoot into form. For the plant always has its form from that which can arise within the earthly realm. That which expands the form is earthly. Thus if the root is ramified and much-divided, then, as in the flower's colouring the cosmic nature is working upward, so here the earthly nature is working downward. Therefore the cosmic roots are those that are more or less single in form, whereas in highly ramified roots we have a working of the earthly nature downward into the soil, just as in colour we have a working-upward of the cosmic nature into the flower.
The Sun-quality is in the midst between the two. The Sun-nature lives most of all in the green leaf, in the mutual interplay between the flower and the root and all that is between them. The Sun-quality is really that which is related, as a “diaphragm” (for so we called it in this picture) with the surface of the earth. The cosmic is associated with the interior of the Earth and works upward into the upper parts of the plant. The earthly, which is localised above the surface of the earth, works downward, being carried down into the plant with the help of the limestone element.
Observe those plants in which the limestone strongly draws the earthly nature downward into the roots. These are the plants whose roots shoot out in all directions with many ramifications, such, for instance, as the food fodder plants — I do not mean turnips or the like, but plants like sainfoin. Such things must be recognised in the form of the plant. To understand the plant, we must recognise the form of the plant and from the colour of the flower, the extent to which the cosmic and the earthly are working there.
Assume that by some means we cause the cosmic to be strongly retained — held up within the plant itself. Then it will not reveal itself to any great extent. It will not shoot out into blossom but will express itself in a stalk-like nature. Where, now, according to the indications we have given, does the cosmic nature live in the plant? It lives in the silicious element.
Look at the equisetum plant. It has this peculiarity: it draws the cosmic nature to itself; it permeates itself with the silicious nature. It contains no less than 90% of silicic acid. In equisetum the cosmic is present, so to speak, in very great excess, yet in such a way that it does not go upward and reveal itself in the flower but betrays its presence in the growth of the lower parts.
Or let us take another case. Suppose that we wish to hold back in the root-nature of a plant that which would otherwise tend upward through the stem and leaf. No doubt this is not so important in our present earthly epoch, for through various conditions we have already largely fixed the different species of plants. In former epochs — notably in primeval epochs — it was different. At that time it was still possible quite easily to transform one plant into another; hence it was very important to know these things. To-day too, it is important if we wish to find what conditions are favourable to one plant or another.
What do we then need to consider? How must we look at a plant when we desire the cosmic forces not to shoot upward into the blossoming and fruiting process but to remain below? Suppose we want the stem and leaf-formation to be held back in the root. What must we then do? We must put such a plant into a sandy soil, for in silicious soil the cosmic is held back; it is actually “caught:” Take the potato, for example. With the potato this end must be attained. The blossoming process must be kept below. For the potato is a stem and leaf-formation down in the region of the root. The leaf and stem-forming process is held back, retained in the potato itself. The potato is not a root, it is a stem-formation held back. We must therefore bring it into a sandy soil. Otherwise we shall not succeed in having the cosmic force retained in the potato.
This, therefore, is the ABC for our judgment of plant-growth. We must always be able to say, what in the plant is cosmic, and what is terrestrial or earthly. How can we adapt the soil of the earth, by its special consistency, as it were to densify the cosmic and thereby hold it back more in the root and leaf? Or again, how can we thin it out so that it is drawn upward in a dilute condition, right up into the flowers, giving them colour — or into the fruit-forming process, permeating the fruit with a fine and delicate taste? For if you have apricots or plums with a fine taste — this taste, just like the colour of the flowers, is the cosmic quality which has been carried upward, right into the fruit. In the apple you are eating Jupiter, in the plum you are actually eating Saturn.
If mankind with their present state of knowledge were suddenly obliged to create, from the comparatively few plants of the primeval epoch of the Earth, the manifold variety of our present fruits and fruit-trees, they would not get very far. We should not get far if it were not for the fact that the forms of our different fruits are inherited. They were produced at a time when humanity had knowledge, out of primeval and instinctive wisdom, how to create the different kinds of fruits from the primitive varieties that then existed. If we did not already possess the different kinds of fruit, handing them down by heredity —if we had to do it all over again with our present cleverness — we should not be very successful in creating the different kinds of fruit. Nowadays it is all done by blind experiment, there is no rational penetration into the process.
This must be re-discovered if we wish to go on working on the Earth at all. Extremely apt was the remark of our friend Stegemann to the effect that a decrease in the value of the products is observable. This decrease is indeed connected —like the transformation in the human soul itself — with the ending of Kali Yuga in the Universe during the last decades and in the decades that are now about to come. You may take my remark amiss or not, as you will. We stand face to face with a great change, even in the inner being of Nature. What has come down to us from ancient times — whatever it may be that we have handed down: natural talents, knowledge derived from Nature, and the like, even the traditional medicaments we still possess — all this is losing its value.
We must gain new knowledge in order to enter again into the whole Nature-relationship of these things. Mankind has no other choice. Either we must learn once more, in all domains of life learn — from the whole nexus of Nature and the Universe — or else we must see Nature and withal the life of Man himself degenerate and die. As in ancient times it was necessary for men to have knowledge entering into the inwardness of Nature, so do we now stand in need of such knowledge once again.
As I said just now, the man of to-day may know — though this knowledge too is very scanty — he may know how the air behaves in the interior of the Earth. But he knows practically nothing of how the light behaves in the interior of the Earth. He does not know that the silicious — that is, the cosmic — stone or rock or sand receives the light into the Earth and makes it effective there. Whereas that which stands nearer to the earthly-living nature, namely the humus, does not receive it; it does not make the light effective in the Earth. It therefore gives rise to a “light-less” working. Such things must be penetrated once more with clear understanding.
Now the plant-growth of the Earth is not all. To any given district of the Earth a specific animal life also belongs. For reasons which will presently be evident, we may for the moment leave man out, but we cannot neglect animal life. For this is the peculiar fact; the best — if I may call it so — cosmic qualitative analysis takes place of its own accord, in the life of a certain district of the Earth, overgrown as it is with plants, along with the animals in the same region. This is the peculiar fact — and I should be glad if my statements were tested, for if you subsequently test them you will certainly find them confirmed. This is the peculiar relation. If in any farm you have the right amount of horses, cows and other animals, these animals taken together will give just the amount of manure which you need for the farm itself, in order, as I said, to add something more to what has already turned into chaos.
Nay more, if you have the right number of cows, horses, pigs, etc., severally, the proportion of admixture in the manure will also be correct. This is due to the fact that the animals will eat the right measure of what is provided for them by the growth of plants. They eat the right quantity of what the Earth is able to provide. Hence in the course of their organic processes they bring forth just the amount of manure which needs to be given back again to the Earth.
This therefore is the case. We cannot carry it out absolutely, but in the ideal sense it is correct. If we are obliged to import any manure from outside the farm, properly speaking we should only use it as a remedy — as a medicament for a farm that has already grown ill. The farm is only healthy inasmuch as it provides its own manure from its own stock. Naturally, this will necessitate our developing a proper science of the number of animals of a given sort which we need for a given kind of farm. This need not cause any alarm. Such a science will arise in good time, as soon as we begin to have any knowledge again of the inner forces concerned.
In effect, what was said at the beginning of this lecture — describing that which is above the Earth's surface as a kind of belly, and that which is beneath as a kind of head-existence — is not complete unless we also understand the animal organism in this way. The animal organism lives in the whole complex of Nature's household. In form and colour and configuration, and in the structure and consistency of its substance from the front to the hinder parts, it is related to these influences. From the snout towards the heart, the Saturn, Jupiter and Mars influences are at work; in the heart itself the Sun, and behind the heart, towards the tail, the Venus, Mercury and Moon influences (Diagram No. 5). In this respect, those who are interested in these matters should develop their knowledge above all by learning to read the form. To be able to do this is of very great importance.
Go to a museum and look at the skeleton of any mammal, and go there with the consciousness that in the form and configuration of the head there is working above all the radiation of the Sun, the direct radiant influence of the Sun as it pours into the mouth. For reasons we shall yet discuss, the animal exposes itself to the Sun in a specific way. A lion exposes itself to the Sun differently from a horse. The forming of the head and that which immediately follows the head, depends on the way the animal is exposed to the Sun. Thus in the fore part of the animal we have the direct Sun-radiation, and as a consequence the forming and development of the head.
Now you will remember, the sunlight enters the sphere of the Earth in another way also. It is thrown back by the Moon. We have not only to do with the direct sunlight; we have also to do with the sunlight thrown back by the Moon. This sunlight thrown back by the Moon is quite ineffective when it shines on to the head of an animal. There it has no influence. (What I am now saying applies especially, however, to the embryo life). The light that is rayed back from the Moon develops its highest influence when it falls on the hinder parts of the animal. Look at the skeleton-formation of the hinder parts; observe its peculiar relation to the head-formation. Cultivate a sense of form to perceive this contrast — the attachment of the thighs, the forming of the outgoing parts of the digestive tract, in contrast to that which is formed as the opposite pole, from the head inward. There, in the fore and hinder parts of the animal, you have the true contrast of Sun and Moon.
Moreover you will find that the Sun-influence goes as far as the heart and stops short just before the heart. For the head and the blood-forming process, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are at work. Then, from the heart backward, the Moon influence is supported by the Mercury and Venus forces. If therefore you turn the animal in this way and stand it on its head, with the head stuck into the Earth and the hinder parts upward — you have the position which the “agricultural individuality” has invisibly.
This will enable you to discover, from the form and figure of the animal, a definite relation between the manure, for example, which this animal provides, and the needs of the particular portion of the Earth, the plants of which the animal is eating. For you must know these things. You must know, for instance, that the cosmic influences which are effective in a plant rise upward from the interior of the Earth. They are led upward. Suppose a plant is especially rich in such cosmic influences. The animal which eats the plant will in its turn provide manure, out of its whole organism, on the basis of this fodder. Thereby it will provide the very manure which is most suited for the soil on which the plant is growing. Thus if you can read Nature's language of forms, you will perceive all that is needed by the “self-contained individuality” which a true farm or agricultural unit should be. Only the animal stock must also be included in it.