12th June, 1924.
now seen what is essential in the discovery of spiritual-scientific
methods for Agriculture, as it is for other spheres of life. Nature
and the working of the Spirit throughout Nature must be recognised on
a large scale, in an all-embracing sphere. Materialistic science has
tended more and more to the investigation of minute, restricted spheres.
True, this is not quite so bad in Agriculture; here they do not always
go on at once to the very minute — the microscopically small,
with which they are wont to deal in other sciences. Nevertheless, here
too they deal with narrow spheres of activity, or rather, with conclusions
which they feel able to draw from the investigation of narrow and restricted
spheres. But the world in which man and the other earthly creatures
live cannot possibly be judged from such restricted aspects.
with the realities of Agriculture as the customary science of to-day
would do, is as though one would try to recognise the full being of
man, starting from the little finger or from the lobe of the ear and
trying to construct from thence the total human being. Here again we
must first establish a genuine science — a science that looks
to the great cosmic relationships. This is most necessary nowadays.
Think how the customary science of to-day, or yesterday, has to correct
itself. You need only remember the absurdities that prevailed not long
ago in the science of human nutrition, for example. The Statements were
“absolutely scientific” — “scientifically proven”
— and indeed, if one concentrated on the limited aspects which
were brought forward, one could not make objection to the proofs. It
was scientifically proven that a human being of average weight (eleven
to twelve stone) requires about four-and-one-quarter of protein a day
for adequate nourishment. It was, so to speak, an established fact of
science. And yet, to-day no man of science believes in this proposition.
Science has corrected itself in the meantime. To-day as everybody knows,
four-and-one-quarter oz. of albuminous food are not only unnecessary
but positively harmful, and a man will remain most healthy if he only
eats one-and-three-quarter oz. a day.
instance, science has corrected itself, and it is well-known that if
superfluous protein is consumed, it will create by-products in the intestines
— by-products which have a toxic effect. Examine not only the
period of life in which the protein is taken, but the whole life of
the human being, and you recognise that the arterial sclerosis of old
age is largely due to the toxic effect of superfluous protein. In this
way scientific investigation are often erroneous — in relation
to man, for instance — inasmuch as they only deal with the given
moment. A normal human life lasts longer than ten years, and the harmful
effects of the seemingly good causes which they mistakenly strive to
produce, often do not emerge for a long time. Spiritual Science will
not fall so easily into such errors.
I do not
wish to join in the facile criticisms which are so frequently made against
orthodox science because it has to correct itself as in this instance.
One can understand that it cannot be otherwise. No less facile, on the
other hand, are the attacks that are made on Spiritual Science when
it begins to enter into practical life, recognising as it does the wider
connections. For in these larger relationships of life, Spiritual Science
is impressed by those substances and forces which go out eventually
into the spiritual realm. It does not merely recognise the coarse material
forces and substantialities.
This applies also to
Agriculture, and notably when we come to the question of manuring.
The very way the words are often put by scientists when they come to
the manuring question, shows how little idea they really have of what
manuring signifies in the economy of Nature. How often do we hear the
phrase: “Manure contains the necessary foodstuffs for the plants.”
I spoke these introductory sentences just now — referring to the
nourishment of man — not without reason. I wanted to show you
how science has had to correct itself in this instance, notably in the
most recent period. Why has it to correct itself? Because it takes its
start from an altogether false idea of nutrition — whether of
man or of any other living creature.
be angry with me for saying these things so openly and clearly. The
idea used to be that the essential thing in human nutrition is what
a man daily consumes. Undoubtedly, our daily food is important. But
the greater part of what we daily eat is not there to be received as
substance into the body — to be deposited in the body
substantially. By far the greater part is there to give the body the
forces which it contains, and so to call forth in the body
inner mobility, activity. The greater part of what man thus receives
into himself is cast out again.
the important question in the metabolic process is not the proportion
of weights, but it is this: Are the foodstuffs providing us with the
proper living quality of forces? We need these living forces, for example,
when we walk or when we work — nay, when we only move our arms
about. What the body needs, on the other hand, so as to deposit substances
in itself — to provide itself with substances (which are expelled
again every seven or eight years as the substance of the body is renewed)
— this, for the most part, is received through the sense-organs,
the skin and the breathing. Whatever the body has to receive and deposit
in itself as actual substance — this it is constantly
receiving in exceedingly minute doses, in a highly diluted state. It
is only in the body that it becomes condensed. The body receives
it from the air and thereupon hardens and condenses it, till in the
nails and pair for instance it has to be cut off.
It is completely
wrong to set up the formula: “Food received — Passage through
the body — Wearing-away of nails and skin, and the like.”
The true formula is thus: “Breathing, or reception of substances
in an even finer state through the sense-organs (even the eyes) —
Passage through the organism — Excretion in the widest sense.”
On the other hand, what we receive through our stomach is important
by virtue of its inherent life and mobility — as of a fuel. It
is important inasmuch as it introduces the necessary forces for the
will which is at work in the body. This is the truth —
the simple result of spiritual research.
this truth, it is heart-rending to see the ideas of modern science proclaiming
the exact opposite. I say heart-rending, because we must admit, it is
very difficult to come to terms at all with this science of to-day,
even in the most essential questions. Yet somehow we must come to terms
with it. For in practical life, the science of to-day would very soon
lead into an absolute blind alley. While it pursues its present path
it is simply incapable of understanding certain matters even when they
force themselves on its attention.
I am not
speaking of the experiments. What science says of the experiments is
generally true. The experiments are very useful. It is the theorising
about them which is so bad. Unfortunately, the practical instructions
which science claims to give for various branches of life generally
come from the theorising. You see how difficult it is to come to any
understanding with this science, and yet — sooner or later we
must do so. This understanding must be found, precisely for the most
practical domains of life — and notably for Agriculture.
the different spheres of farming life we must gain insight into the
working of the substances and forces, and of the Spiritual too. Such
insight is necessary, so as to treat things in the right way. After
all, a baby — so long as it does not know what a comb is for will
merely bite into it, treating it in an impossible and style-less fashion.
We too shall treat things in an impossible and style-less fashion, so
long as we do not know what their true essence is ...
a tree for example. A tree is different from an ordinary annual, which
remains at the merely herbaccous stage. A tree surrounds itself with
rind and bark, etc. What is the essence of the tree, by contrast to
the annual? Let us compare such a free with a little mound of earth
which has been cast up, and which — we will assume — is
very rich in humus, containing an unusual amount of vegetable matter
more or less in process of decomposition, and perhaps of animal decomposition-products
assume: this is the hillock of earth, rich in humus. And I will now
make a hollow in it, like a crater. And let this (in the second drawing)
be the tree: outside, the more or less solid parts, while inside is
growing what leads eventually to the formation of the tree as a whole.
It may seem strange to you that I put these two things side by side.
But they are more nearly related than you would think.
earthly matter — permeated, as I have now described it, by humus-substances
in process of decomposition — such earthly matter contains etherically
living substance. Now this is the important point: Earthly matter, which
by its special constitution reveals the presence in it of etherically
living substance, is always on the way to become plant-integument. It
only does not go far enough in the process to become such plant-integument
as is drawn up, for instance, into the rind or bark of a tree.
conceive it thus (although in Nature it does not go so far): Imagine
this hillock of earth being formed, with a hollow in the middle —
a mound of earth, with humus entering into it, working in the earthly
soil with the characteristic properties which proceed from the ethereal
and living element. It does not happen so in Nature, but instead of
it, the “mound of earth” — transmuted into a higher
form of evolution — is gathered up around the plant so as to enclose
whenever in any given locality you have a general level or niveau,
separating what is above the earth from the interior, all that is raised
above this normal level of the district will show a special
tendency to life — a tendency to permeate itself with
ethereal vitality. Hence you will find it easier to permeate ordinary
inorganic mineral earth with fruitful humus-substance, or with any waste
product in process of decomposition — you will find it easier
to do this efficiently if you erect mounds of earth, and permeate these
with the said substance. For then the earthly material itself will tend
to become inwardly alive — akin to the plant-nature. Now the same
process takes place in the forming of the tree. The earth itself is
“hollowed upward” to surround the plant with its ethereal
and living properties. Why so?
I am telling
you all this to awaken in you an idea of the really intimate kinship
between that which is contained within the contours of the plant and
that which constitutes the soil around it. It is simply untrue that
the life ceases with the contours — with the outer periphery of
the plant. The actual life is continued, especially from the roots of
the plant, into the surrounding soil. For many plants there is absolutely
no hard and fast line between the life within the plant and the life
of the surrounding soil in which it is living.
be thoroughly permeated with this idea, above all if we would understand
the nature of manured earth, or of earth treated in some similar way.
To manure the earth is to make it alive, so that the plant may not be
brought into a dead earth and find it difficult, out of its own vitality,
to achieve all that is necessary up to the fruiting process. The plant
will more easily achieve what is necessary for the fruiting process,
if it is immersed from the outset in an element of life. Fundamentally,
all plant-growth has this slightly parasitic quality. It grows like
a parasite out of the living earth. And it must be so.
districts, we cannot reckon upon Nature herself letting fall into the
earth enough organic residues, and decomposing them sufficiently, to
permeate the earth with the requisite degree of life. We must come to
the assistance of plant-growth by manuring the earth. We need to do
so least of all in those districts where “black earth,”
as it is called, prevails. For in “black earth” —
at any rate in certain districts — Nature herself sees to it that
the soil is sufficiently alive.
need to understand what is the essential point. But we must understand
something else as well. We must know how to gain a kind of personal
relationship to all things that concern our farming work, and above
all — though it may be a hard saying — a personal relationship
to the manure, especially to the task of working with the manure. It
may seem an unpleasant task, but without this personal relation it is
impossible. Why so? You will see it at once if you can go into the question:
What is the essence of any living thing? A living thing always has an
outer and an inner side. The “inner” is inside some kind
of skin, the “outer” is outside the skin.
now the inner side. It not only has streams of forces going outward
in the direction of these arrows (Diagram 8);
the inner life of an organic entity also includes currents of forces
going inward from the skin — currents of forces that
are pressed back. Moreover, outside it the organic entity is surrounded
by manifold streams of forces.
is something that expresses quite exactly — yet in a kind of personal
way — how the organic entity establishes the right relationship
between its inner and its outer side. All that goes on by way of forces
and activities within it, stimulating and maintaining life within the
organism — all that is inside the contours of the skin —
all this (I beg you once more to forgive the hard saying) must smell
inwardly, nay we might even say it must inwardly stink.
itself essentially consists in this, that what would otherwise
scatter its scent abroad is held together, so that the aromatic elements
do not ray outward too strongly, but are retained within. Towards the
outer world, the organism must live in this way: through the contours
of its skin it must let out as little as possible of that which engenders
the scent-kindling life within it. So we might say: an organic body
is the healthier, the more it smells inwardly and the less
outwardly. Towards the outer world, the organism — notably the
plant-organism — is predestined not to give off smell,
but on the contrary to absorb it.
the helpful effect of a fragrant aromatic meadow, full of plants with
aromatic scent! Then you become aware of the marvelous mutual aid prevailing
in all life. The aromatic property which here expands and which is different
from the mere aroma of life — it spreads its scent abroad for
reasons which we may yet be able to describe, and it is this which works
from without upon the plants.
we must have in a living and personal relationship; only then are we
really in the life of Nature. The point is now to recognise the following.
Manuring and everything of the kind consists essentially in
this, that a certain degree of livingness must be communicated
to the soil, and yet not only livingness. For the possibility must also
be given to bring about in the soil what I indicated yesterday, namely
to enable the nitrogen to spread out in the soil in such a
way that with its help the life is carried along certain fines of forces,
as I showed you. That is to say: in manuring we must bring to the earth-kingdom
enough nitrogen to carry the living property to those structures in
the earth-kingdom to which it must be carried — under the plant,
where the plant-soil has to be. This is our task, and we must fulfil
it in a scientific way.
one fact which can already give you a strong indication of what is needed.
If you use mineral, purely mineral substances as manure, you will never
get at the real earthy element; you will penetrate at most to the watery
element of the earth. With mineral manures you can influence
the watery content of the earth, but you do not penetrate sufficiently
to bring to life the earth-element itself. Plants, therefore, which
stand under the influence of mineral manures will have a kind of growth
which betrays the fact that it is supported only by a quickened watery
substance, not by a quickened earthy substance.
best approach these matters by turning, to begin with, to the most unassuming
kind of manure. I mean the compost, which is sometimes even
despised. In compost we have a means of kindling the life within the
earth itself. We include in compost any kind of refuse to which little
value is attached; refuse of farm and garden, from grass that we have
let decay, to that which comes from fallen leaves or the like, nay,
even from dead animals ... These things should not by any means be
despised, for they preserve something not only of the ethereal
but even of the astral. And that is most important. From all
that has been added to it, the compost heap really contains ethereal
and living elements and also astral. Living ethereal and astral elements
are contained in it — though not so intensely as in manure or
in liquid manure, yet in a more stable form. The ethereal and astral
settle down more firmly in the compost; especially the astral.
is now to make use of this property in the right way. Thc influence
of the astral on the nitrogen is marred in the presence of an all-too
thriving ethereal element. Hypertrophy of the ethereal in the heap of
compost does not give the astral a chance, so to speak. Now there is
something in Nature, the excellence of which for Nature herself I have
already described to you from several standpoints, and that is the chalky
or limestone element. Bring some of this perhaps in the form
of quicklime — into the heap of compost, and you will
get this result: Without inducing the evaporation of the astral over-strongly,
the ethereal is absorbed by the quicklime, and therewith oxygen too
is drawn in, and the astral is made splendidly effective.
obtain quite a definite result. When you manure the soil with this compost,
you communicate to it something which tends very strongly to permeate
the earthy element with the astral, without going by the roundabout
way of the ethereal. Think, therefore: the astral, without first passing
via the ethereal, penetrates strongly into the earthy element. Thereby
the earthy element is strongly astralised, if I may put it so, and through
this astralising process is permeated by the nitrogen-content, in such
a way that something arises very similar to a certain process in the
in the human organism to which I now refer is plant-like; plant-like,
however, in the sense that it does not care to go on as far as the fruiting
process, but is content to stop, as it were, at the stage of leaf- and
stalk-formation. The process we here communicate to the Earth —
we need it within us in order especially to bring into the foodstuffs
that inner quickness and a mobility which, as I told you, is so necessary.
And we shall kindle in the soil itself the same inner quickness and
mobility if we treat it as I have now described. We then prepare the
soil so that it brings forth something especially good for animals to
consume; for in its further course it works in such a way that they
develop inner mobility; their body becomes inwardly quick and alive.
words, we shall do well to manure our meadows and pastures
with such compost. And if we do this properly — especially if
we observe the other procedures which are necessary — we shall
get very good pasture-food, good even as hay when it has been mown down.
However, in order to proceed rightly in such matters we must always
be able to see the whole. Our detailed measures must still depend on
our inner feeling, to a Large extent. This inner feeling will develop
rightly, once we perceive the whole nature of the process.
if we just leave the pile of compost as I described it hitherto, it
may easily come about that it will scatter its astral content on all
sides. The point will be for us to develop the necessary personal relationship
to these things. We must try to bring the compost-heap into such a condition
that it smells as little as possible. This we can easily attain, to
begin with, by piling it up in thin layers, covering it layer by layer
with something else, for instance granulated peat, and then another
layer and so on. That which would otherwise evaporate and scatter its
scent abroad, is thereby held together. The nitrogen, in fast, is that
which strongly tends to seek the wide expanse — in manifold forms
and compounds. Now it is held together.
chiefly wish to indicate is that we must treat the whole agricultural
life with the conviction that we need to pour vitality, nay even astrality,
in all directions, so as to make it work as a totality.
our start from this, another thing will result. Have you ever thought
why cows have horns, or why certain animals have antlers?
It is a most important question, and what ordinary science tells us
of it, is as a rule one-sided and superficial. Let us then try to answer
the question, why do cows have horns? I said just now that an organic
or living entity need not only have streams of forces pouring outward:
it can also have streams of forces pouring inward. Now imagine such
an organic entity — of a lumpy and massive shape. It would have
streams of forces going outward and streams of forces going inward.
It would be very irregular; a lumpy organism — an ungainly creature.
We should have strange-looking cows if this were all. They would be
lumpy, with tiny appendages for feet, as indeed they are in the early
embryonic stages. They would remain so; they would look quite grotesque.
cow is not like that. The cow has proper horns and hoofs.
What happens at the places where the horns grow and the hoofs? A locality
is formed which sends the currents inward with more than usual intensity.
In this locality the outer is strongly shut off; there is no communication
through a permeable skin or hair. The openings which otherwise allow
the currents to pass outward are completely closed. For this reason
the horn-formation is connected with the entire shaping of the animal.
The forming of horns and hoofs is connected with the whole shape and
form of the creature.
forming of antlers it is altogether different. Here the point
is, not that the streams are carried back into the organism, but on
the contrary, that certain streams are carried a certain way outward.
There are valves, so to speak, whereby certain streams and currents
are discharged outwardly. Such streams need not always be liquid or
aeriform; they may also be currents of forces, localised in
the antlers. The stag is beautiful because it has an intense communication
with the surrounding world, inasmuch as it sends certain of its currents
outward, and lives with its environment, thereby receiving
all that works organically in the nerves and senses. So it becomes a
quick and nervous animal. In a certain respect, all animals possessing
antlers are filled with a gentle nervousness and quickness. We see it
in their eyes.
has horns in order to send into itself the astral-ethereal formative
powers, which, pressing inward, are meant to penetrate right into the
digestive organism. Precisely through the radiation that proceeds from
horns and hoofs, much work arises in the digestive organism itself.
Anyone who wishes to understand foot-and-mouth disease — that
is, the reaction of the periphery on the digestive tract — must
clearly perceive this relationship. Our remedy for foot-and-mouth disease
is founded on this perception.
the horn you have something well adapted by its inherent nature, to
ray back the living and astral properties into the inner life. In the
horn you have something radiating life — nay, even radiating astrality.
It is so indeed: if you could crawl about inside the living body of
a cow — if you were there inside the belly of the cow you —
would smell how the astral life and the living vitality pours
inward from the horns. And so it is also with the hoofs.
an indication, pointing to such measures as we on our part may recommend
for the purpose of still further enhancing the effectiveness of what
is used as ordinary farm-yard-manure. What is farm-yard-manure?
It is what entered as outer food into the animal, and was received and
assimilated by the organism up to a certain point. It gave occasion
for the development of dynamic forces and influences in the
organism, but it was not primarily used to enrich the organism with
material substance. On the contrary, it was excreted. Nevertheless,
it has been inside the organism and has thus been permeated with an
astral and ethereal content. In the astral it has been permeated with
the nitrogen-carrying forces, and in the ethereal with oxygen-carrying
forces. The mass that emerges as dung is permeated with all this.
now: we take this mass and give it over to the earth, in one form or
another (we shall go into the details presently). What we are actually
doing is to give the earth something ethereal and astral which has its
existence by rights, inside the belly of the animal and there engenders
forces of a plant-like nature. For the forces we engender in
our digestive tract are of a plant-like nature. We ought to be very
thankful that the dung remains over at all; for it carries astral and
ethereal contents from the interior of the organs, out into the open.
The astral and ethereal adheres to it. We only have to preserve it and
use it in the proper way.
dung, therefore, we have before us something ethereal and astral. For
this reason it has a life-giving and also astralising influence upon
the soil, and, what is more, in the earth-element itself; not only in
the watery; but notably in the earthy element. It has the force to overcome
what is inorganic in the earthy element.
thus give over to the earth must of course have lost its original form,
i.e., the form it had before it was consumed as food. For it has
passed through an organic process in the animal's digestive, metabolic
system. In some sense it will be in process of dissolution and disintegration.
But it is best of all if it is just at the point of dissolution by virtue
of its own inherent ethereal and astral forces. Then come the little
parasites — the minutest of living creatures — and find
in it a good nutritive soil. These parasitic creatures are therefore
generally supposed to have something to do with the goodness of the
manure. In reality they are only indicators of the fact that
the manure itself is in such and such a condition. As indicators of
this they may well be of great importance; but we are under an illusion
if we suppose that the manure can be fundamentally improved by inoculation
with bacteria or the like. It may be so to outer appearance, but it
is not so in reality. (I shall go into the matter at a later stage.
Meanwhile, let us proceed).
manure, such as we have available. We stuff it into the horn of a cow,
and bury the horn a certain depth into the earth — say about 18
in. to 2 ft. 6 in., provided the soil below is not too clayey or too
sandy. (We can choose a good soil for the purpose. It should not be
too sandy). You see, by burying the horn with its filling of manure,
we preserve in the horn the forces it was accustomed to exert within
the cow itself, namely the property of raying back whatever is life-giving
and astral. Through the fact that it is outwardly surrounded by the
earth, all the radiations that tend to etherealise and astralise are
poured into the inner hollow of the horn. And the manure inside the
horn is inwardly quickened with these forces, which thus gather up and
attract from the surrounding earth all that is ethereal and life-giving.
throughout the winter — in the season when the Earth is most alive
— the entire content of the horn becomes inwardly alive. For the
Earth is most inwardly alive in winter-time. All that is living is stored
up in this manure. Thus in the content of the horn we get a highly concentrated,
life-giving manuring force. Thereafter we can dig out the horn. We take
out the manure it contains.
our recent tests (in Dornach), as our friends discovered for themselves,
when we took out the manure it no longer smelt at all. This was a very
striking fast. It had no longer any smell, though naturally it began
to smell a little when treated once more with water. This shows that
all the odoriferous principles are concentrated and assimilated in it.
Indeed it contains an immense ethereal and astral force; and of this
you can now make use. When it has spent the winter in the earth, you
take the stuff out of the horn and dilute it with ordinary water —
only the water should perhaps be slightly warmed.
an impression of the quantitative aspect: I always found, having first
looked at the area to be manured, that a surface, say, about as big
as the patch from the third window here to the first foot-path, about
1,200 square metres (between a quarter- and third-acre) is adequately
provided for if we use one hornful of this manure, diluted with about
half a pailful of water. You must, however, thoroughly combine the entire
content of the horn with the water. That is to say, you must set to
work and stir. Stir quickly, at the very edge of the pail, so that a
crater is formed reaching very nearly to the bottom of the pail, and
the entire contents are rapidly rotating. Then quickly reverse the direction,
so that it now seethes round in the opposite direction.
for an hour and you will get a thorough penetration. Think, how little
work it involves. The burden of work will really not be very great.
Moreover, I can well image that — at any rate in the early stages
— the otherwise idle members of a farming household will take
pleasure in stirring the manure in this way. Get the sons and daughters
of the house to do it and it will no doubt be wonderfully done.
It is a
very pleasant feeling to discover how there arises after all, from what
was altogether scentless to begin with, a rather delicately sustained
aroma. This personal relationship to the matter (and you can well develop
it) is extraordinarily beneficial — at any rate for one who likes
to see Nature as a whole and not only as in the Baedeker guide-books.
task will be to spray it over the tilled land so as to unite it with
the earthly realm. For small surfaces you can do it with an ordinary
syringe; it goes without saying, for larger surfaces you will have to
devise special machines. But if you once resolve to combine your ordinary
manuring with this kind of “spiritual manure,” if I may
call it so, you will soon see how great a fertility can result from
such measures. Above all, you will see how well they lend themselves
to further development. For the method I have just described can be
followed up at once by another, namely the following.
you take the horns of cows. This time, however, you fill them not with
manure but with quartz or silica or even orthorclase or feldspar, ground
to a fine mealy powder, of which you make a mush, say of the consistency
of a very thin dough. With this you fill the horn. And now, instead
of letting it “hibernate,” you let the horn spend the summer
in the earth and in the late autumn dig it out and keep its contents
till the following spring.
dig out what has been exposed to the summery life within the earth,
and now you treat it in a similar way. Only in this case you need far
smaller quantities. You can take a fragment the size of a pea, or maybe
only the size of a pin's head, and distribute it by stirring it
up well in a bucket of water. Here again, you will have to stir it for
an hour, and you can now use it to sprinkle the plants externally. It
will prove most beneficial with vegetables and the like.
I do not
mean that you should water them with it in a crude way; you spray the
plants with it, and you will presently see how well this supplements
the influence which is coming from the other side, out of the earth
itself, by virtue of the cow-horn manure. And now, suppose you extend
this treatment to the fields on a large scale. After all, there is no
great difficulty in doing so. Why should it not be possible to make
machines, able to extend over whole fields the slight sprinkling that
is required? If you do this, you will soon see how the dung from the
cow-horn drives from below upward, while the other draws from above
— neither too feebly, nor too intensely. It will have a wonderful
effect, notably in the case of cereals.
are derived from a larger sphere — not from what you do just at
the moment with the single Thing in hand, as though you would build
up the entire human being theoretically from a single finger. No doubt,
by such methods too, something is attained, which I by no means wish
to under-estimate. Yet with all their investigations nowadays, people
are trying to discover, as they put it, what is likely to be most productive
for the farmer, and in the last resort it only amounts to this: they
try to find how the production may be made financially most profitable.
It really amounts to little more than that. The farmer may not always
think of it; but unconsciously this is the underlying thought. He is
astonished when by some measure he gets great results for the moment
— say he gets big potatoes; or anything else that swells and has
a comely size. But he does not pursue the investigation far enough beyond
this is not at all the most important point. The important thing is,
when these products get to man, that they should be beneficial for his
life. You may cultivate some fruit of field or orchard in its appearance
absolutely splendid, and yet, when it comes to man it may only fill
his stomach without organically furthering his inner life. But the science
of to-day is incapable of following the matter up to the point of finding
how man shall get the best kind of nourishment for his own organism.
It simply does not find the way to this.
it is in all that is here said out of Spiritual Science Underlying it,
as you have seen, is the entire household of Nature. It is always conceived
out of the whole. Therefore each individual measure is truly applicable
to the whole, and so it should be. If you pursue agriculture in this
way, the result can be no other than to provide the very best for man
and beast. Nay more, as everywhere in Spiritual Science, here too we
take our start above all from man himself. Man is the foundation of
all these researches, and the practical hints we give will all result
from this. The end in view is the best possible sustenance of human
nature. This form of study and research is very different from what
is customary nowadays.
(The two Preparations mentioned in this lecture are now known as Preparations
500 and 501. The Preparations described in Lecture 5 are referred
to in current literature as Preparations 502-507. During the past
thirty-four years, the methods of making and applying the Preparations
have been worked out, but quite intentionally, precise details have
not been added to the present text because the Course of Lectures
was intended to give principles, not technicalities, of their
application. Further details of the method can be obtained by writing
to the Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Association, Rudolf Steiner House,
35 Park Road, London, N.W.1.)