Warmth – Reading 4


“Now there comes about a great distinction between what I will call Night-warmth and Day-warmth. (I use these terms in order to lead us nearer to an understanding of the problem.) What is Night-warmth? Night-warmth and Day-warmth are simply what happens to our earth under the influence of the heat being of the cosmos. And what does happen? Let us take up these phenomena of the earth so that we can grasp what can be easily understood by our thinking. Under the influence of the Night-warmth, that is during the time when the earth is not exposed to the sun, while the earth is left to herself and is emancipated from the influence of the cosmic sun being, she strives for form as the droplet takes on form when it can withdraw itself from the general force of gravitation. We have therefore, when we consider the general striving of the earth for form, the characteristic of the Night-warmth as compared to ordinary night. It is quite justifiable for me to say in this connection that the earth strives toward the drop form. Many other tendencies are operative during the Night-warmth, such as a tendency toward crystallization. And what we experience every night is a continuous emergence of forces tending toward crystallization. During the day under the influence of the being of the sun, a continual dissolving of this tendency toward crystallization is present, a continual will to overcome form.

And we may speak of the “dawn” and “twilight” of this heat condition. By dawn we mean that after the earth has sought to crystallize during the Night-warmth, this crystallization process dissolves again and the earth goes through the sphere state in her atmosphere and seeks to scatter herself again. Following the Day-warmth comes a twilight condition where the earth again starts seeking to form a sphere and crystallize during the night. We have thus to think of the earth as caught up in a cosmic process consisting in a drawing together in the Night-warmth when the motion of the earth turns it away from the sun, a tendency to become a crystal. At the proper time this is checked when the earth is led through the dawn condition, through the sphere. Then the earth seeks to dissipate her forces through the cosmos until the twilight condition re-establishes the opposite forces. In the case of the earth we do not have to do with something fixed in the cosmos, but with something that vibrates between two conditions, Day-warmth and Night-warmth. You see it is with such things as this that our research institute should deal. To our ordinary thermometer, hygrometers, etc., we should add other instruments through which we could show that certain processes of the earth, especially of the fluid and gaseous portions, take place at night otherwise than during the day. You can see further that we have here a rational leading to a physical view by which we can finally demonstrate with appropriate instruments the delicate differences in all the processes in liquids and gases during the day and during the night. In the future we must be able to make a given experiment during the day and at a corresponding hour of the night and have measuring instruments that will show us the difference in the way the process goes by day and by night. For by day those forces tending toward crystallization in the earth do not play through the process, but by night, they do. Forces arise that come from the cosmos in the night. And these cosmic forces that seek to crystallize the earth necessarily have their effect on the process. Here is opened a way of experimentation which will show the relation of the earth to the cosmos. You can realize that the research institute that must in the future be established according to our anthroposophically oriented views of the world will have weighty problems. They must reckon with the things which today are taken into account only rarely. Naturally we do take them into account today, with light phenomena at least in certain cases when we have to darken the room artificially, etc. But in other phenomena that take place within a certain null sphere, we do not. Then, when we have made these facts obvious and have demonstrated them, we will replace by them all kinds of theoretical forces in atoms and molecules.

The whole matter as it is understood now rests on the belief that we can investigate everything during the day. In this new sort of investigation, we will, for instance, first find in crystallization differences depending on whether we carry out the same experiment during the day or during the night. This is the sort of thing our attention must be turned to especially. And on such a path will we first come to true physics. For today, physical facts really stand in a chaotic relation to each other. We speak for instance of mechanical energy, of acoustical energy. But it is not to be understood that when we think about these things in the correct way mechanical energy can only operate where there are solids. The fluid realm lies between the purely mechanical and the acoustical energies. Indeed, when we leave the region in which we observe most readily the acoustical energy, the gaseous region, then we come to the region of the next state of aggregation, as it is called, to heat. This lies above the gaseous, just as the fluid lies above the solid.”

R. Steiner, Second Scientific Lecture Course: The Warmth Course, Lecture 7, 7 March 1920, CW321