Silica – Reading 2


“Let us suppose that someone possessing Imaginative consciousness — which I have often described — takes a journey through the primeval Alps, among those rocks and stones which consist chiefly in quartz, i.e. in rocks containing silicates and other similar minerals. When we come into this primeval mountainous region we walk upon the hardest rocks on earth, which, when they appear in their own characteristic form have something virgin in them, one might say, something which is untouched by the ordinary everyday life of earth. We can indeed understand Goethe quite well when, in one of the beautiful utterances we have often quoted here, he speaks of his experience among these primeval mountains. He speaks of the solitude he felt when sitting among these granite mountains receiving impressions from those hard and stern rocks towering up from the earth. Goethe addresses the granite as “the everlasting son of the earth,” the granite which consists in quartz, i.e. in silicates, in mica and in feldspar.

Now when a man approaches these primeval rocks with his ordinary consciousness he may of course admire them from outside. He is struck by their forms, by the perfectly wonderful primitive plastic art which is, however, extraordinarily eloquent. When however, with Imaginative consciousness he approaches these rocks, the hardest on the earth, he penetrates by their means directly into the depths of the mineral kingdom. He is then able to grow together as it were in thought with the rock. One might say that his soul-being extends everywhere down into the depths of the rock, and he actually enters in spirit as into a holy palace of the gods. The inner nature of these rocks reveals itself as permeable to Imaginative cognition, while the outer surfaces appear as the walls of this palace of the gods. But at the same time he has the knowledge that within this rock there lives an inner reflection of all that is in the cosmos. Once more the world of the stars stands before the man’s soul reflected in this hard rock. Finally he receives the impression that in everyone of these quartz rocks something is present like an eye of the earth itself for the whole cosmos.

One is reminded of the eyes of insects, those many-faceted eyes which divide all that approaches them from outside into very many separate parts. One would like to imagine, and indeed one cannot help doing so, that there are countless quartz and similar formations on the surface of the earth that are just so many eyes of the earth, in order that the cosmic environment may be reflected and the earth can inwardly perceive it. Gradually one acquires the knowledge that each crystal form existing within the earth is a cosmic sense-organ of the earth.

This is the marvelous, the majestic fact about the covering of snow, and even more about the falling snow-flakes, that in each single one of these snow-flakes there is a reflection of a great part of the cosmos, that with this crystallized water everywhere reflections fall to the earth of parts of the starry heavens.

I need not mention that the stars are also there during the day only that the sunlight is of course too strong for us to perceive them. The stars do not appear by day, but if you have at any time the opportunity of going down into a deep cellar over which there is a tower open at the top, then, because you are looking out of the darkness and the sunlight does not confuse you, you can see the stars even by day. There is a certain tower in Jena, for instance, from which one can see the stars during the day. I only mention this by the way to make clear to you that this reflection of the stars in the snowflakes and generally in all crystals is of course present also during the day. And it is not a physical but a spiritual reflection. The impression one receives of this must be communicated inwardly.”

R. Steiner, Mystery Centers, Lecture 4, 30 November 1923, CW232