Clairsentience – Smell and Taste – Reading 2


“Before we can penetrate still more into these matters, let us realise that every one of the senses in man has fine shades of differentiation; and that the best material for tests to ascertain the reactions here, is the human being. Of course it is difficult to ascertain reactions to substances with no perceptible taste or smell. But may I draw your attention here to the possibilities of self education — a form of self-education of great value for medical smell especially — which consists in developing possible capacities of sensation which may give a sensory response even to — for instance — the process of silicon formation in external nature. Consider that there must be a meaning in the fact that quartz exhibits very regular crystal formations, and at the same time that this mineral and its allies so regular in their formations, tend nevertheless to the widest possible variety of crystallisation, for there is immense diversity in the crystals of all the silicates. He who can grasp these things can also perceive the action of a dispersing element in the possibility of all these different formations. There must of course be a fundamental dispersive force if there is the potentiality of such structural diversity as external nature reveals in the silicates. This is an indication for the therapeutic use of silicates in a “scattered” form. It is desirable to develop a capacity of sensation in these matters, such a sense will lead to a certain valuation concerning remedies. On the other hand, man must educate himself to become a suitable reactive instrument, and acquire sensory capacities for the fact for example — that the odours have a sevenfold classification just as the colour sensations. We have only to acquire the sense of difference between the sweet smell, the pungent smell and so forth to discover seven main nuances of smells, and the same is equally true of flavours. Moreover, if we acquire the power to differentiate all the odours in this olfactory scale — or olfactory spectrum if it may be so termed — we educate ourselves in the perception, e.g., of all the manifestations of burning and combustible substances. We penetrate into their essential nature. We shall see tomorrow how this can be done. If we also cultivate our capacity of taste and can perceive the difference between the faintest degrees of sweetness and of saltiness in flavours — and all the five shades between — we grow akin to the salt forming forces in external nature. And if we acquire this inner kinship, we also get a direct sensation from the natural sensory impression, as to which sphere or portion of the human organism this or that substance will benefit. Although the base must be careful and exact scientific investigations, it is most important that those scientific results should be accompanied by subjective perceptual experience; so as to develop a certain intimate feeling of kinship to the world of nature.”

R. Steiner, Spiritual Science and Medicine, Lecture 9, 29 March 1920, CW312