Two Streams of Nutrition


In Rudolf Steiner’s Spiritual Science, the human body receives nutrition from two directions, eating and perceiving. The following readings touch on this complex mystery.

“In those times, however, something else was known, namely, that which man receives by way of physical nourishment is only a part, perhaps not even the most important part, of all that serves to maintain his physical organism, or rather his whole human organism throughout.

Now, to go beyond physical nourishment and include also breathing presents no difficulty to the man of the present day; for breathing too is a form of assimilation. But it would not occur to him to go any farther. The earlier student of Nature went farther. It was clear to him that when man uses his eye to perceive things, he does not merely see with the eye, but during the process of perception he receives through the eye in infinitely minute quantities something of the substance of the World-All. And not through the eye alone, but through the ear and through other portions of the organism.”

R. Steiner, World History in the Light of Anthroposophy, Lecture 7, 30 December 1923, CW233