Sun and Moon – Reading 2


“Out in the cosmos we have the crumbling away of matter in the moon, and in the sun we have a perpetual coming into being, forever new and fresh. Seen spiritually, seen through spiritual vision — when we get beyond ordinary sense perception and reach the point where Imagination is active — we can see in the moon a continuous process: it is continuously splintering and scattering itself abroad. There, where the moon is situated, its matter splinters and disperses like dust into the world. The matter of the moon is perpetually being gathered from its environment and then splintered and scattered. If one looks at the moon in the consciousness of Imagination, one sees a continuous convergence of matter in the place where the moon is; it gathers there, and then it splinters and is scattered like dust into the world. The moon is actually seen like-this: first a circle, then a smaller, narrower circle, becoming ever narrower until the circle becomes the moon itself. Then it dissolves, splinters; it is strewn out over the entire world. In the moon, matter cannot tolerate a center. Matter concentrates toward the center of the moon but cannot tolerate it; it stops short there and disperses like cosmic dust. It is only to ordinary, sensory vision that the moon appears peaceful. It is not peaceful. It is continuously gathering matter together and scattering it.

When we come to the sun, we find it is all quite different. Already in Imagination we are able to see how matter does not splinter in this way at all; true, it does approach the center, but then it begins to receive life in the rays of the sun that stream out from the center. It does not splinter and disperse; it becomes living and spreads out life from the center in every direction. Together with this life it develops astrality. In the moon there is no astrality; there the astrality is destroyed. In the sun, astrality unites itself with all that streams forth. The sun is in truth something that is permeated with inner life, where the center is not only tolerated but has a fructifying influence. In the center of the sun lives the cosmic fructifying activity. In the contrast between sun and moon we thus see a cosmic manifestation of two opposite processes: in the moon matter is thrown back into chaos, while in the sun it is perpetually unfolding, springing and welling up with renewed life.

When we dive down into our inner being, we look into our inner chaos, into our own moon nature. That is the inner moon. Matter is destroyed there, as in the outer world it is destroyed only where the moon is. Then, however, the radiance of the sun penetrates our senses; the sun’s radiance enters our inner moon nature. The matter inwardly dissolving there into dust is renewed by the sun’s radiance. Here, in the inner being of man, matter is continuously falling under the moon influence, and just as continuously man absorbs through his senses the radiance of the sun. Such is the relationship in which we stand to the cosmos, and so one must have the capacity to perceive these two opposite activities in the cosmos: the moon nature directed toward splintering and scattering, and the quickening, life-giving radiance of the sun.”

R. Steiner, Cosmosophy, Volume 1, Lecture 2, 24 September 1921, CW207