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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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GA 243. True and False Paths in Spiritual Investigation — The Secret of Investigation into Other Realms through the Metamorphosis of Consciousness
A man of the Chaldean epoch, we will suppose, has been prescribed highly potentized doses of copper. Before taking it — this was the general practice of the time — he was directed to perform certain specific spiritual exercises. In such cases, years rather than days of training were demanded of him before the highly potentized copper could be administered.
At the present time the only valid method is for man to have an inner perception of the nature, the essential being of copper as I indicated yesterday and thus develop a sensitive response to the colour of burnished copper, to the behaviour of copper in copper sulphate solution. By concentrating and meditating upon this response, he will ensure that he reacts in the right way.
Such exercises, in effect, are already covered by what I have just said about the nature of copper. There is no specific statement to the effect that one should meditate upon the nature of copper. It is suggested that some simple subject or theme should be selected for purposes of meditation morning and evening.
GA 232. Mystery Centres — Lecture XII
In these ancient times a man could not say, when he looked at that reddish-brown material which has the shining appearance of copper, at that substance which we today call copper, he could not say as one does today: “That is copper; that is a constituent of the earth.” At that time such a thing would have been inconceivable. Copper was no constituent of the earth for these ancient peoples, but the deed of Venus in the earth which revealed itself as copper.
Just as little as we today are able to say that the seed simply grows out of the earth, so little at that time could one say, in regard to the surface of the earth, and copper ore in the earth, “This copper ore is a constituent of the earth.” What one had to say then was: “The earth here with its sandstone or other soil is simply the basis, the soil; and what exists by way of metal inside it has been placed in the earth by the planets.”
Mercury is every metal in so far as it stands under the influence of the entire cosmos; for how would copper come into being if the cosmos from its periphery alone worked on this metal? In that case copper would be of a drop-form quicksilver. How would lead appear if the cosmos alone worked? Lead would also appear in drop-formation, as quicksilver also.
GA 351. Cosmic Workings In Earth and Man — On the Growth of Plants
We take metals or metallic compounds highly diluted in the manner previously described, for example, a copper compound solution, and put it into a flowerpot with some earth in it: we put it in as a kind of manure. In another similar flowerpot we put only earth, the same earth without the manure. Now we take two plants, as similar as possible, put one in the pot with the copper manured earth, and the other in the pot without the copper manure. And the remarkable thing is: if the copper is highly diluted, the leaves develop wrinkles on the edges — the others get no wrinkles, if they are smooth and had previously none. One must take the same earth, because many specimens previously contain copper. One dilutes it with copper; the same kind of plants must be taken so that comparisons can be made. Now we take a third plant, put it into a third pot with earth, but instead of copper, we add lead. The leaves do not wrinkle but they become hard at the top and wither when lead is added.
GA 213. The Migrations of the Races — The Relation of the Planets to the Human Organism
When a man was not properly interpolated into the Venus-forces — when, therefore, the fluids in his organism were not under sufficient control — the initiates realised that copper must be administered as a medicament. In finding that copper has the effect of enabling the soul-and-spirit to take hold of the body; that its effect is similar to that of the Venus-forces, they discovered that the nature of the forces in the metal copper is the same as the nature of those of the Venus-sphere. Hence they connected the metal copper with Venus. Or when illness was caused by a man's incapacity to take proper hold of the solid constituents of his organism, the ancient initiates found that mercury or quicksilver must be administered.
The parallelisms are given in extant literature today; but it never occurs to anybody to ask: Why is copper related to Venus? — and so on. Nevertheless these things were the outcome of genuine investigation. If, therefore, a man speaks out of real knowledge of copper as a means of healing, it is knowledge of the connection of the human being with the cosmos.
GA 230. Man as Symphony of the Creative Word — Lecture X
We have also quite small circulatory processes within us. Take any mineral substance, gold, let us say, or copper. Every such substance when induced into man — by the mouth, by injection, or in any other way — is endowed with the power of causing something to be formed or altered in the circulation, so as to work in a curative way, and so on.
From the very way one handles a lethargic child one gains the faculty to perceive the whole working of the head-processes, and their relation to the processes of the abdomen. And further, when in mineralogy one studies the processes which take place in copper when it gives rise to this or that formation in the earth, then what copper does in becoming one or another kind of copper ore makes one say to oneself: The copper-force in the earth actually does what you as teacher do with a boy or a girl!
There he may see, for example, how, wherever harmful results might ensue from some lime-process, a copper-process is introduced into it. Yes, in these copper-processes, in these ore-forming processes, which have their place within the other processes of the earth, remedial effects are continually present.
GA 243. True and False Paths in Spiritual Investigation — Form and Substantiality of the Mineral Kingdom in Relation to the Levels of Consciousness in Man
When we meditate on other kinds of metals our spiritual approach is different. We can follow the same procedure with copper as we have done with iron, tin and lead. When we meditate on the metallic nature of copper, we become, as it were, merged with, one with copper; our whole soul is permeated with copper, with its colour and consistency, its curiously ribbed surface. In brief, we become wholly identified with our psychic response to the metallity of copper. Then we do not experience a gradual transition towards insensibility, but rather the reverse. We have the sensation that something floods our whole inner being; our response grows more sensitive. We have a definite impression that when we meditate on copper it pervades our whole being. It radiates from the centre below the heart and is diffused over the whole body. It is as though we had a second body, a second man within us. We have a sensation of inner pressure.
GA 312. Spiritual Science and Medicine — Lecture VI
Moreover, the conception I have given leaves, as you will perceive, ample room for other substances than the six most distinctive metals (lead, tin, iron, copper, quicksilver and silver) to come into being through the combination of planetary forces. This joint action of planetary forces means that various other planetary influences combine with the typical ones which we indicated.
The ancients believed that lead was formed in the manner described above, but lead — like gold or copper — contains all three principles, salt, mercury and phosphorus. So, in order that we may be able to treat man with one or all of these, we must be able to extract or separate it in some way, from the substances with which it is united.
In the opinion of these physicians, the specific action of the remedies they obtained depended on the matrix from which they had been extracted. What was obtained from lead acted differently from what was obtained from copper, for example. They laid most stress on origin: salt derived from lead was essentially different from salt derived from copper. So that when they spoke of salt, they knew that in it they had something common to all salts.
GA 56. Knowledge of Soul and Spirit — Natural Science Facing a Crucial Decision
There are already scientists who have done interesting considerations about certain processes. Once one said, there are copper salts that are joined, for example, of copper and chlorine. If one separates them, one has copper and chlorine again. One sees in it that the atoms lie together, and if one separates them again, it is chlorine and copper. Indeed, something essential occurred to some persons who have started thinking and what the spiritual scientist stresses repeatedly: if you combine the materials that you have separated as copper and chlorine again, then heat must originate. If these two substances combine, heat is spread. The fact that heat appears there is something real and it is as real as copper and chlorine are combined.
Nobody has ever perceived atoms and molecules. However, do we not recognise what is in the phenomenon? If you bring together copper and chlorine, this is, as if you squeezed out the heat, as it were, like flour from the flour bags. If one wants to have the flour bags full again, one must just put flour again into them. Thus, the heat would be the filling. — With it, we have attributed reality to the heat and have made clear that one has to count not only on molecular effects, but that these materials themselves are possible only because of this heat.
GA 243. True and False Paths in Spiritual Investigation — The Inner Vitalization of the Soul through the Qualities of the Metallic Nature
Let me illustrate my point. A man is born at a certain point in time. If, at the age of forty, he develops the copper condition of consciousness — I have already explained this in my lecture of the day before yesterday — his perception is no longer related to the immediate present, nor to his perception at the age of thirty or thirty-five; he can only look back to his experiences immediately before birth.
Furthermore, many organs — I have already spoken of the sense organs — have been built up out of the world which I described as the world of the second level of consciousness. Copper and iron raise man to this second level of consciousness. Mercury has a different effect. It must of necessity be present in the universe; and, in effect, it exists universally in a subtle state of diffusion.
When man intensifies and enhances his relationship to silver by the same process he adopted towards the metallic natures of copper and mercury, he comes into touch with a still deeper organization within him. Mercury relates him to the vascular system which, in turn, relates him to a cosmic circulation, to the spirituality of the Cosmos.
GA 200. The New Spirituality and the Christ Experience of the Twentieth Century — Lecture IV
And what Schiller characterizes abstractly as the middle condition, Goethe portrays in the building of the temple in which rule the King of Wisdom (the Golden King), the King of Semblance (the Silver King), the King of Power (the Copper King) and in which the Mixed King falls to pieces. Goethe wanted to deal with this in a pictorial way. And we have, in a certain sense, an indication — but in the Goethean way — of the fact that the outer structure of human society must not be monolithic but must be a threefoldness if the human being is to thrive in it.
Of course, the threefold social order does not yet exist but Goethe gives the form he would like to ascribe to it in these three kings; in the Golden, the Silver, and the Copper King. And what cannot hold together he gives in the Mixed King. But it is no longer possible to give things in this way. I have shown this in my first Mystery Drama which, in essence, deals with the same theme but in the way required by the beginning of the twentieth century, whereas Goethe wrote his Fairy-tale at the end of the eighteenth century.
But, fundamentally, the whole of Central European civilization wavers in the whirlpool in which East and West swirl and interpenetrate one another. From the East the sphere of the Golden King; from the West the sphere of the Copper King. From the East, Wisdom; from the West, Power. And in the middle is what Goethe represented in the Silver King, in Semblance; that which imbues itself with reality only with great difficulty. It was this semblance-nature of Central European civilization which lay as the tragic mood at the bottom of Goethe's soul.

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