Warmth – Reading 3


“When you look at a corpse you are forced into time concepts. The corpse is there, but everything that makes possible the presence of the corpse, that gives its appearance, all this you must consider as the soul-spiritual element,  since the corpse has in itself no possibilities of existence. The form of the human body would never arise without the soul-spiritual element. What the corpse presents to you forces you to say that what is there has been abandoned by something. This is no different from saying: the earthly solid has been abandoned by life, the earthly fluid by the emanations of the chemical effects, and the earthly gaseous by the emanations of light effects. And just as we look back from the corpse to life, to the time when matter that is now the corpse was bound together with the soul-spiritual element, so we look from the solid bodies of the earth back to a former physical condition, when the solid was bound up with the living.

At that time the entire earth was not solid as we now understand the solid condition, just as little as was the corpse of today a corpse five days ago. Solids were not found in an independent state anywhere on the earth and only occurred bound to the living; fluid existed only bound to chemical effects and gases only bound to light effects. In other words, all gas had an inner glittering, or inner illumination, an illumination that showed a wave-like phosphorescence and darkening as the gas was rarefied or condensed. Fluids were not as they are today but were permeated by a continuous living chemical activity. And at the foundation of all was life, solidifying itself (as it solidifies now in the horn formation in cattle, for instance) and then passing back again into fluid or gas, etc. In brief, we are forced by physics itself to admit a previous period of time when realms now torn apart existed together. The realms of the gaseous, the fluid and the solid are now found on one side, and on the other side realms of light, chemical effects and life. At that time they were within each other, not merely side by side, but actually within each other.

Heat had an intermediate position. It did not appear to share this kinship of the material and the more etheric natures. But since it occupied an intermediate position, it is clearly conceivable that it participates in both the material and the etheric. If now we call the upper realm the etheric and the lower realm that of ponderable matter, we obviously have to consider the heat realm as the equilibrium condition between them. Thus in heat we have found the condition of equilibrium between the etheric body and the ponderable material realm. It is ether and matter at the same time and indicates by its dual nature what we actually find everywhere in heat, namely, a difference in level, an observation without which we cannot understand or arrive at anything in the realm of heat phenomena.

If you take up this line of thinking, you will come to something much more fundamental and important than the so-called second law of thermodynamics, that a perpetuum mobile of the second type is possible. For this second law really tears a certain realm of phenomena out of its proper connection; this realm is bound up with other phenomena and is essentially and profoundly modified by them.

If you make it clear to yourselves that the gaseous realm and the light realm were once one, that the fluid realm and chemical activity were once one, etc., then you will also be led to think of the two polarically opposed portions of the heat realm – namely ether and ponderable matter – as originally united. That is to say, you must conceive of heat in former ages as completely different from the heat you think of it now.”

R. Steiner, Second Scientific Lecture Course: The Warmth Course, Lecture 13, 13 March 1920, CW321