Donate books to help fund our work. Learn more→

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

From Limestone to Lucifer
GA 349

I. The living earth—past and future. Natural healing powers

17 February 1923, Dornach

Questions were asked about colours and rocks.

Rudolf Steiner: Let me first of all deal with the question about rocks, for this fits in nicely with what we have been considering until now.

As you know, when you build something on this earth you must take proper account of the laws of gravity, of weight and many other things, and for instance something—we'll come to this in a minute—called the laws of elasticity. Imagine you are building a tower, let us say a tower like that of Cologne Cathedral, or you build something like the Eiffel Tower. You must of course always understand that you have to build in such a way that the thing does not topple over. Even the highest towers on earth are built in such a way that you have a base area, and if you take it up to about ten times this base area here, which would be one to ten, you can build the tallest towers. One to ten is therefore the ratio for building the tallest towers [Fig. 1]; otherwise they would fall over with the tremors which always occur because of the earth's movements, wind impact, and so on.

Care must also be taken to see that such towers have some degree of elasticity. The top always sways a little. Elasticity must be taken into account. The whole thing always sways a little, but not too much; if it started swaying too much it would break up. The Eiffel Tower sways quite a lot at the top. But care must always be taken not to go beyond the base area.

wheat stalk and tower
Figure 1

You'll find, however, that these laws are completely disregarded when you look at a stalk of wheat, let us say. A stalk of wheat has a small base area. Yet it is also very much a tower. And such a stalk of wheat has a small base area and goes up a long way. If you calculate the ratio it is certainly not the 1:10 or so we have to stick to when building mechanical towers. It is 1:400, for example, and in some stalks 1:500 [Fig. 1], Such a tower simply would have to fall down according to the laws engineers have to use on earth. When the wind sways it, its elasticity is certainly not of a kind that would allow you to understand this, using the laws engineers have to use. And if you wanted to put something especially heavy up on top of the Eiffel Tower, you'd find you simply cannot do it. But this tower, which is a stalk, has its ear at the top, rocking in the wind. You see, this goes against all building laws.

Now if you investigate the materials of which it is made, you have first of all wood. The material you find in your investigation is the lignin of which wood is made. Something else you'd find is bast, which you also know. You see it in trees. And then there is also silica, quartz in there, silicic acid which is a proper building material. It is hard quartz, as you find it in the Alps, for instance in granite or gneiss. This quartz creates a whole supporting structure. And the fourth material in there is water. And it is the mortar made of wood, bast, water and silica—this mortar makes the thing go against all earthly laws. A stalk of grass is therefore also a tower, built from such materials. It can be rocked by the wind and does not break in two, but calmly comes upright again when the wind has stopped or the weather is favourable. This is something you know.

But there are no forces on earth that would allow us to build such a thing using the materials of the earth. And if you ask where they come from, the answer has to be: 'The Eiffel Tower is dead, the stalk of wheat lives.' But its life does not come from the earth, its life comes from the whole cosmic environment. Gravity only exerts a downward pull on the Eiffel Tower, whereas a stalk does not grow by resting on what is below. Building the Eiffel Tower we must put one piece of material on top of the other, and this means that the lower part does indeed always support the upper part. This is not the case with a stalk. The stalk is drawn out into cosmic space. So if you visualize the earth [Fig. 2], and these are the stalks, they are pulled in all directions into cosmic space, for there everything is filled with a more subtle form of matter which is called the 'ether' and which lives in the plant. But this life does not come from the earth; it comes from cosmic space. And so we are able to say: 'Life comes from cosmic space.' And it is also because of this that—as I have told you once before—when an egg develops in the mother's body, the mother's body only provides the substance. The power that acts on the egg comes from the whole of cosmic space. This gives the egg life. The whole of cosmic space is the principle that acts on the egg. You see, that is how the whole of cosmic space acts in all that lives.

Earth in the ether
Figure 2

If you look at a plant, it first of all grows below ground. This would be the soil. The plant grows in there. But this soil is not indifferent matter; it is really something quite marvellous. In this soil are all kinds of substances. In earlier times three substances were particularly important in the soil. One is a substance called 'mica'. Today you find only little of it in a plant, but although only so little is found in the plant, it is extraordinarily important. You may perhaps recall, if you have ever seen flakes of mica, that it takes the form of small platelets, little platelets or flakes that are sometimes almost transparent. And at one time the soil was full of such mica flakes. They lay in this direction. When the earth was still soft, there were simply such forces. And other forces went across them; they went like this [Fig. 3], so that you had a real lattice structure in the soil. And these other forces are today found in quartz, in silica. And in between them is another substance, in the main, and that is clay. This clay connects the other two, filling in the lattice, as it were. As a mineral it is called feldspar. At one time the earth thus consisted mainly of these three minerals. But it was all soft, like porridge. There was mica, which really wanted to make the earth flaky, so that the soil would have been in horizontal flakes. There was silica in it, and that radiated like this [Fig. 3]. And the feldspar cemented them together.

silica and feldspar
Figure 3

Today we find these three main constituents of the soil if we take the clay that may be found in the fields everywhere. They were once mixed together in the soil. Today we find them out there in the mountains. If we take a piece of granite, it is quite granular. Lots of fragments are in it; these are split-up mica flakes. Then there are hard granules; that is the silica. And other granules link the two; that is the feldspar. These three substances have become worn down, made granular, and we find them out in the mountains today. They make up the ground mass of the hardest mountain ranges. Since the days when the earth was soft, therefore, they have crumbled, been broken down by all kinds of forces that are active in the earth; they have been mixed up, and today they are out there in the mountains, having worn down. But remnants of those old substances, above all remnants of the forces of those old substances may still be found everywhere in the soil. And plants are built from these remnants by the agency of cosmic space.

Figure 4

So we are able to say: 'Yes, these cosmic forces can no longer do anything today when they are active out there in the mountains. There the rocks have broken down, crumbled, become granular, and they are too hard to be made into plants. But when it comes to what is present in the soil, this can still be used to build up the plant out of cosmic space—above all because the soil still gives the seed its most important substances and forces.'

You see, gentlemen, looking at things like this, taking into account that the whole of cosmic space plays a role in making things live—such an approach does not exist in modern science. The other day—you may have read about it—a talk was given in Basel1Details of this lecture have not yet been traced. about how life is supposed to have come to the earth, and the speaker said: 'Yes, it is hard to imagine that life comes into existence merely by the mixing or chemical interaction of substances on this earth; and so it must after all come from cosmic space. But how?' Well, it is interesting to hear that a modern scientist thinks life may come from cosmic space. He said to himself: 'Well, if it is not on earth it must come from other stars.' Now, the nearest star that may perhaps at some time have shed some substances which would then have flown down to the earth is so far away from the earth that those substances which have been shaken off there would have needed 40,000 years to fly all the way to the earth. One would therefore have to think, people say to themselves, that the earth once was fiery and liquid, a fiery body. Life would not have been able to exist on it, for it would, of course, have burned to death. But the earth has cooled down. Once it had cooled down it would have been in a condition where it could have received any life that might have flown to it from the nearest star from which people think it might have come, taking about 40,000 years to fly all the way.

It is impossible to imagine, the speaker said, that a seed of life, a small seed of life, moved through cosmic space for 40,000 years, a space, what is more, that is cold, not warm, the temperature being minus 273 degrees centigrade. The seed would then arrive on earth and life would arise on earth. Before, all seeds, however many might have arrived, would have been burned. But once the earth had cooled down sufficiently, they would have developed. But, the speaker said, that simply could not be. And so people do not know where life comes from.

But we can see that it comes from cosmic space. We can really see that anything that lives has more than earthly forces active in it. For we use the forces of the earth to build the Eiffel Tower, for instance. And in a tower like this [Fig. 1, wheat stalk] it is not only the forces of the earth that are active, but forces from the whole of cosmic space. And when the earth was still soft, when mica, feldspar and silica were still mingling in it as fluids, the whole earth was under the influence of cosmic space. It was then one vast plant. So if you walk in the mountains today and find granite there or gneiss—which only differs from granite in that it has more mica, which is more in evidence—these rocks are residues of ancient plant material. The whole earth was a plant. And just as when a plant dies today its mineral constituents become part of the earth, so the whole earth body later gave its mineral constituents—from when it was still a plant—to the earth. And so you have the mountains today. We are therefore able to say that the hardest mountains that have developed, these hardest mountains have arisen from plant nature, and the whole earth was a kind of plant.

I did tell you2See The Human Being in Body, Soul and Spirit; Early Conditions of the Earth (GA 347), talks of 20,23,27 & 30 September 1922, tr. J. Reuter, New York: Anthroposophic Press 1989. what things were like on earth when this rock material had just stopped being plant but everything was still soft. Our present-day animals and human beings did not exist then, but the megatheria3A large sloth, now extinct, from the Megatheriidae family. Existed from the Miocene to the Pleistocene periods of earth history. and all the kinds of animals about which I told you before. But before all that happened, the earth was a giant plant in cosmic space. And if you take a plant today and enlarge it in your mind you will still find that parts of it look very similar to the mountain ranges outside. This is because the life that comes from cosmic space acts on the whole plant. Small parts of it are already rock masses. But the earth did once live, and we find a remnant of what once was living earth in the hardest mountain rocks.

But the hard material, the earth's rock material also arises in another way. When you go out to the ocean you find islands. So that would be the sea [drawing]. Some distance below the surface small creatures live in real colonies—coral. The special thing about corals is that they continually secrete chalky matter. This chalky material remains where it is, so that the island is covered with limestone deposits that come from corals. And sometimes a depression will form here, with the ground going down, and a lake develops. You then have a ring of limestone left behind by the corals. It is altogether the case that the ground is continually sinking in the regions where corals secrete chalky material, so that the chalky material produced by them—and they can only live in the sea itself—goes down lower and lower. We may say, therefore, that we still find lime deposits in the sea today that come from creatures, from the corals. In the past, animals existed in the places where the Jura limestone is now.4Domach lies in the Jura mountain range in Switzerland, and these are limestone. They deposited the limestone.

If you go to the middle part of the Alps where the hard rocks are, you have material deposited by plants. If you go into the Jura mountains here, you have material deposited by animals. The whole earth has once been alive. Originally it was a plant, then an animal. The rock materials we have today are leftovers of life.

It is simply nonsense to say that life develops from chemical compounds made of dead matter. Life comes from cosmic space, and this is filled with ether. It is nonsense to say that dead matter can get mixed together and come alive in a process called 'spontaneous generation'. No, dead matter always comes from something that was alive; it has been secreted by life forms. Just as our bones have been secreted—we do not have them in the womb to start with—so everything by way of bone development and so on arises from the sphere of life. Life is there first, and dead matter only comes later. It is such that the ether is all around us, and the ether pulls everything upwards just as earth's gravity pulls everything down. But it does not make things dead in pulling them upwards, which is what gravity does. The more you breathe in gravity the more you will be gouty, diabetic or the like; the more we come to be dead. And the more the powers that move in an upward direction come into play in us, the more alive shall we be.

You see, I now come to a part of the question put by Mr Burle. Imagine therefore I have a person before me who is sick in some way and I can say to myself: 'The problem with him is that he has too few forces that act out into cosmic space. He has too much of the forces of gravity. All kinds of things are getting deposited in him.' Then I remember: 'Wow, silica has once been something that made forces radiate out into cosmic space. If I prepare silica in such a way that the old powers come alive again in it, that is, if I make a medicine of silica, adding other substances, so that the silica regains its old ether powers—if I give that to the person, I can make him well.' And one can get very good results with this silica medicine. We are thus able to use the forces which silica once had when it was in the sphere of life, and we can altogether get very good results in medicine if we think a little about how things were with the earth when it was still wholly alive, when the silica was still under the influence of cosmic space. So if there is not enough life in a person and he needs to be connected with cosmic space, we give him substances that lie out there, having hardened, substances that make very good medicines.

The head goes out furthest towards cosmic space. It can therefore be healed most easily with silica. The belly comes closest to the earth, and we therefore can most easily heal it with mica. And the parts that are more in the middle, the lung and so on, can be treated to good effect with feldspar, if we prepare it in a suitable way.

So you see that if we understand nature we do indeed also understand the principles that are powers of healing in human nature. But we have to have a feeling for it that cosmic space is actively involved in our earth.

You see, it is always only possible to explain particular things at particular points. Thus I can now explain the migration of birds to you from a different point of view than I did some time ago, when we had not yet got so far. Modern scientists take a highly abstract view of the migration of birds in autumn and spring. In spring the birds leave the warmer climates where they then are, and in the autumn, when it gets colder, they leave the regions that are more to the north. But there are also birds that cross the ocean. And it is quite strange; these birds fly very fast and do not stop to rest. It is possible to prove this for there are no islands along some of the routes such birds will take. People do not discover how these birds get their sense of direction. People have said: 'Ah well, it's an inherited characteristic; the young birds have always inherited it from the old, and the old birds will instruct the young ones, and then it works quite well and the young birds can also do it.' When autumn comes, therefore, the old swallows set up a school; the young are instructed. The old birds then fly off, with the young ones following, doing the same. That is how people thought it went. But not all migratory birds do this. This is very strange. It is often the case among migratory birds, in Africa, for instance, that the old birds fly off first to return to us. The young birds manage to stay longer in Africa, for they are still strong. The old ones depart earlier, leaving the young ones behind. They do not instruct them, nor do they act as guides. The young birds have to find their way entirely by themselves.

Some people have said: 'Ah well, birds are able to see a long way.' They would therefore need to be able to see what's going on over there in Africa, and perhaps even see through the earth! We don't get very far in this way. But let me give you an example from which you can see how things really are. There is something else where we may marvel at the way things go—and that is a ship. How does a ship find its way when it is supposed to go from Europe to America? It takes its orientation from a compass. When people did not yet have compasses ships had a difficult time. They had to follow the stars. They now follow the compass, that is, invisible forces that exist in the ether. These are also the forces from which birds take their direction. Birds have a sense for this; they have an internal compass. We ourselves have to make some effort and first learn how to use a compass, a magnetic needle, to see the ether forces. A bird has this by nature. It follows the ether, something that is active in cosmic space.

And so we are able to say: 'The earth is surrounded by ether. The ether contains the powers of life. These come from cosmic space, take the physical matter of the earth and make living things out of them.'

But something always remains in there as a residue of life. If you take coral limestone, for example, there is always still something in it at the beginning that reminds us a little bit of life, something that has been taken from life. Because of this you can still discover all kinds of things in there which if added to life can be good medicines. And if, as I said, you take silica, which has by now become extremely hard, and add it to human life, you can above all treat illnesses in the head very nicely with it.

So the life principle is still in there. The whole was once alive. We cannot say that the rocks are still alive today, but they did once live. They were parts of life once. And a residue has remained in them which we can draw out from them by all kinds of means, and because of this residue they serve well as medicines.

So that is the answer to the question as to whether there's still life in stones. Someone who reckons only with the forces that are active on earth today will be able to say: 'Things looked different on earth millions of years ago.' But he's not taking account of heavenly space. As I told you the other day, if we take account of the things that come from heavenly space, we do not arrive at such vast numbers of years, but we discover that here in our parts everything was still frozen ice at a time when over there in Asia people already had a very great civilization—much wisdom then lived among human beings. But we altogether come to realize that our earthly life is in a way dependent on the life out there in cosmic space. And we may say that we need only go back six, seven or eight thousand years and the earth was completely different in its rocks than it is today, not so much on the outside, but inside. And we then move further and further back until we come to the earth in its soft state.

If we want to take note of cosmic space, we must also observe cosmic space in the right way. Now one way of observing cosmic space is to observe the sunrise in spring. Today the sun rises on the morning of 21 March at a point where it has the constellation of the Fishes behind it. But if we go further back through history, for instance to the time before Christ was born, then the sun did not rise in the constellation of the Fishes but in the constellation of the Ram. If we make a drawing [Fig. 5] it is like this. If the sun rises in the Fishes in spring, on 21 March, nowadays, it rose in the Ram about 2160 years ago, and earlier than that in the Bull, and even earlier in the Twins. There are twelve such constellations. The point where the sun rises is always moving on, going all the way round the circle. The spring equinox thus goes right around the cosmos. It keeps moving from west to east.

Figure 5

You see, there we discover that at an earlier time the sun rose in the Ram, before that in the Bull, before that in the Twins; then in the Crab, the Lion, the Virgin, the Scales, Scorpion, Archer, Goat, Water Carrier and today in the Fishes. So if we go back 2160 years, it rose in the Ram, another 2160 years earlier it rose in the Bull, yet another 2160 years earlier in the Twins, another 2160 years earlier in Cancer. Then we come all the way round, and at one time it rose in the Fishes. We get all the way round [drawing]. The sun moves in a circle. In 25,920 years it goes right round the whole world.

This is very interesting. And from this movement of the heavenly bodies we can see how everything on earth changes. You see, gentlemen, under the conditions under which the sun rises today we have high mountain ranges with dead masses of granite, containing feldspar, quartz and mica. There everything has dried up, turned to arid waste. That's also how it was 25,920 years ago. At that time things were similar on earth. But not in between. In between the sun will have been in the Scales in spring, for instance, at one time, between the Virgin and the Scorpion. Then everything was full of life, the whole was soft and the earth was a kind of plant. We need not go back more than 15,000 years at most, and then the whole earth was in plant form, because the sun's position was very different, and later on in animal form. And from this influence that comes from cosmic space, and which we can follow by observing the sun, we can see how the earth has changed.

Going back, therefore, you have to think of the rocks, which are utterly solid in the original Alps, beginning to flow, more or less the way iron flows in foundries. That is, it is not entirely that way, but if we go back the flowing is the other way round at first, a process of solidification. But if we now go forward into the future, we'll have the sun in the Scales again some time. Now it rises in the Fishes, 2160 years later it will be in the Water Carrier, then in the Goat, the Archer, the Scorpion and once again the Scales. And when the sun will be rising in the Scales again at a future time, then all the original Alps will have dissolved. The dense quartzes will have become watery again, and the earth will be a plant again, with human beings and animals returning to the states in which they have been at an earlier time. In the meantime, however, they will have taken up into themselves everything they have been able to take into themselves on this earth.

And so everything really goes in cycles. We look back, therefore, to an earlier time where the earth was fluid in what are now its hardest forms. Then the matter that was on top was such that it produced the animals which I have described to you before, animals that came into being under the influence of the heavenly forces and then died. Then everything cooled down. Solid forms arose, and gradually life came to be as we know it today. But this will change back again. The granular quartz and granite and so on will dissolve, and a state of life will exist again, only at a higher level of evolution.

If you pick up a piece of granite today, which has quartz in it, you can say to yourself: Tn this piece of granite, which has quartz in it, I can also see something that will live again in future. It has lived before. Today it is dead. It has created solid ground for us to walk on. When we did not yet need to walk, the solid ground did not exist. But it will live again.'

We may really say that the earth merely sleeps in relation to the cosmos; only it is a long sleep, 15,000 years at the least. Once it lived. Then it was awake, was connected with the whole of cosmic space. The cosmos then used its powers of life to put those large animals on it. Later, when solid matter developed, it put human beings on it. Now human beings have it good on earth—this is with reference to the cosmos, of course, not to the earth itself. You are able to walk on the solid ground. But this solid ground will wake up again—it is really only sleeping—it will wake up again and be living life. When we take a piece of limestone today, just an ordinary piece of limestone from the Jura, we have to say it is the residue of a piece of life. It has been secreted out from life, but will live again; it is between life and life, really only sleeping.

Now we can use limestone very well if we make it into a medicine,5Reference to Calcium Supplement, produced according to suggestions made by Rudolf Steiner by the Weleda company. See also Steiner, R., Conferences with Rudolf Steiner (GA 300c), conference of 14 February 1923, AWSNA Publications. for instance if we find that children, let us say, cannot take nourishment properly. That can be seen especially in Germany at present. It is quite terrible in Germany at present. The other day, when I got to Stuttgart and inspected the Waldorf School again, I was in class 1, for example. It has 27 children but only nine were there; the others were all sick. Fifteen were sick in another class. And if you follow this up you discover terrible things. They brought a small boy to me in the conference room, for instance, and said: 'What are we to do with him? The doctor has already given him up. He can't eat any more.' Of course, with malnutrition the digestive organs gradually get in the habit of not digesting anything at all any more, they reject everything. People are no longer able to eat, however much you give them. You can have food donated by the Quakers and do all kinds of things—they will not help this child at this time, because his organs are no longer working. He looked rather bloated. What should one do in such a case? One must first make the organs fit again to be able to take in food.

This is where the little bit of life in the limestone serves us well. If the limestone, or calcium carbonate, is used as a medicine in the right way, we can wake those sleeping digestive powers up again and the child will live. And the child should then be given such a quantity of this calcium carbonate, but together with other substances, for it does not act on its own. It needs to be such that it can really enter into the organism—just as we have to cook foods together with other substances. The calcium carbonate will still be taken up if it is given to the child in a 5% concentration, let us say.

But what are we using when we give that 5% of calcium carbonate? We are using powers that in earlier times were powers of life in the limestone. These are still in there. We use them to vitalize the matter. But if one reduces the calcium carbonate and makes it very fine, a 'homoeopathic dose', as people say, so that it is not 5% but 5:10,000, not even just 1,000 but 10,000, and one is adding the calcium carbonate to other substances in this 'homoeopathic dose', which is very small, then the limestone acts on the head; it suddenly becomes a medicine for the head. Given in allopathic doses,6mark the opposite of homoeopathy. It means ‘different pathology’, i.e. treating a medical problem by introducing one of a different kind, whereas homoeopathy means treating it with a substance that will produce the same kind of symptoms. The matter of dosage is secondary to both, and both material and dilute doses may be used in either, but in popular language 'homoeopathic' has come to mean 'in small doses'. (Translator) it acts on the digestive organs; given in very high dilution it acts on the head. And we can arrange things accordingly. But we can also know what we are using when we give calcium carbonate in very high dilution. We are using powers of the future. These are still in there and will be active again in the future.

You see, that is how one must know the natural world. Then it is possible to make medicines of it, for there has been life everywhere and there will be life again, with death only an interval between two lives. The right way can be found to use the powers of life from the past in the rock, and the powers of the future.

You also see the following from this. Looking out into the world today, you have allopaths and homoeopaths. The allopaths use allopathy to treat diseases, the homoeopaths homoeopathy. Well, gentlemen, it is not possible to cure all illnesses homoeopathically. Some have to be treated allopathically. For this, the medicines must be made up in a different way. It means we should not be fanatics, swearing by words, but prescribe medicines on the basis of real and complete knowledge, sometimes one way, sometimes the other. This is so in the case of anthroposophy, for here we do not go by slogans but consider the matter at hand, saying 'The allopath addresses himself above all to the stomach, intestines, kidneys; there he gets his results. The homoeopath gives effective treatment if the sicknesses have their point of origin in the head, as in the case of influenza. Many sicknesses have their origin in the head.' So we need to know how things really work in nature. Today people no longer know anything and therefore produce slogans. These are always produced when people no longer understand things. The truth is, of course, difficult to find in that case, for the allopath will say, 'I have cured people so and so many times,' and the homoeopath will say, 'I have cured people so and so many times.' They do of course always omit those they have failed to cure.

But you see, even a physician and professor who can in no way be accused of not knowing everything about modern medicine—that was professor Virchow in Berlin,7Virchow, Rudolf (1821-1902), German pathologist, a founder of cellular pathology. even the freethinkers said he was a true liberal—but with regard to curing diseases he had to admit the following: When a physician in modern medicine is able to say he has cured 100 people, it really has to be said that 50 of those 100 would also have got well without him, and 20% would have got well even if he had given them completely different medicines; 70% are thus not cured by modern medicine but only 30% at the most.' Those are the calculations made by Virchow, who knew all about modern medicine.

Well, gentlemen, we simply have to say that the right medicine, used in the right way, does have an effect. Everyone can find out for himself the truth about syphilis as I presented it to you.8Health and Illness (GA 348), vols 1 and 2 (esp. vol. 2), tr. M. St Goar, New York: Anthroposophic Press 1981 and 1983. Treatment with mercury is effective, though it does have side-effects, harmful side-effects. And so one must find the right thing to do. Sometimes it is terribly complicated. Sometimes the organism has grown so fragile that it cannot cope with the cure. But in a certain sense one can see, if one has genuine knowledge of what exists in nature, how individual substances act on human beings, for being dead matter they are half-way between two lives. But one must, of course, know the life of those substances.

Well, gentlemen, the strange thing is that to understand something you must always start from life. And so we must also start from life to understand colours.

You see, when you look at paintings today, they are painted on. But you sometimes have the feeling that there is no flesh behind the image, only wood that has been given a coat of paint. Modern painters do not manage to produce a flesh tint, or incarnation, because it also does not live in their feelings. The flesh tint is produced out of the human being. It does not appear in any other form of matter. But you have to understand the flesh tint, and then you can understand the other colours. I'll therefore speak about this the next time.

The child who was brought to me and who is being treated with a calcium carbonate preparation—I hope we'll manage to save him and that the situation does not arise where people may say: 'They did not use a proper medicine [gap in text].' He had completely lost his flesh tint, had turned yellow from inside. The living reality is part and parcel of the colour. And because of this we have also made the attempt to use less dead material for our colours. We have been using vegetable colours to paint the walls and ceilings in the Goetheanum, for they come more from the sphere of life. So you see, with colours, too, we must go for the sphere of life.

I'll tell you more about this next Wednesday.

You see, the question if stones have life was not that stupid. It is perfectly sensible, for it has given us the opportunity to discuss how stones live during a period when the earth is alive, and then die again, and so on, and how life relates to this.