is the Earth, in reality, in the Macrocosm?
The successive stages in the growth of the Cosmos and Mankind
have been regarded in these studies from the most various
aspects. It has been seen that the forces of his being come to
Man from the extra-terrestrial Cosmos, all except those which
give him his consciousness of Self; these he has from the
This gives at once the significance of the Earth-world for Man.
To this now comes the question: what significance has the
Earth-world for the Macrocosm?
arrive at any answer to this question, we must look back at the
The Macrocosm is seen by the clairvoyant consciousness of the
seer in every greater fullness of life, the farther back his
vision penetrates into the past. Its life in a remote past is
such that at a certain point all calculability of its
life-manifestations ceases. From this fullness of life Man is
gradually separated out. The Macrocosm passes over more and
more into the sphere of the Calculable.
Therewith however, it slowly dies out. In the same measure as
Man, the Microcosm, emerges as an independent being out of the
Macrocosm, the Macrocosm died.
The cosmic Present shows an extinct Macrocosm. But in the
process not only Man has arisen; out of the Macrocosm has
arisen also the Earth.
Man, who draws from the Earth the forces for his own
Self-consciousness, is inwardly much too close to the Earth to
have a clear perception of its essential character and being.
In all their active development of Self-consciousness during
the age of the Spiritual Soul, men have accustomed themselves
to turn their attention to the size of the Universe
in space, and to look upon the Earth as a grain of dust,
of no significance in comparison with the physical spatial
may therefore at first seem strange, when spiritual observation
of the facts discloses the true cosmic significance of this
supposed ‘grain of dust.’
The substructure of the Earth is the mineral world, in which
the other kingdoms of Nature, the vegetable and animal worlds,
are as it were embedded.
Through the whole, run those living forces which manifest
themselves during the course of the year in its successive
phenomena. If we look at the Vegetable world: in autumn and
winter it manifests forces of physical decay and death. The
consciousness of the seer recognizes in this form of
manifestation the inner being of those forces which have
brought about the decay of the macrocosm. In spring and summer,
the life of the plant-world is a manifestation of growing,
sprouting forces. Clairvoyant consciousness recognizes in this
growing, sprouting life, not only the green bounty of the
revolving year, but a surplus. The surplus is one of
young seed-force. The plants bear within them more young
seed-force than they can use for the growth of leaves and
flowers and fruit. This excess of young seed-force can be
perceived with spiritual sight, streaming forth beyond the
earth-world into the macrocosm outside it.
too an excess of force streams from the Mineral kingdom into
the Cosmos beyond the Earth. It is the task of this excess of
mineral force to carry the forces from the plants to their
allotted places in the macrocosm. Under the influence of the
mineral forces, the plant-forces shape themselves into the new
image of an ordered macrocosm.
Again, there are forces which go forth from the Animal world.
These forces do not however act like the mineral and vegetable
ones, radiating outward form the Earth, but in such a way that
all that is carried out from the plant-world by the mineral
forces into the Universe, to take shape there is held together
in a sphere (a globe) so as to present the aspect of a
macrocosm rounded in on all sides and self-contained.
Such is the true character and being of Earth, as seen to
spiritually perceptive consciousness. It stands as a source
of new life in the midst of the dead and dying Macrocosm.
out of the little plant-seed — in space so small and
insignificant — the large and perfect plant grows up again
when the old one is dead and fallen, so out of that ‘grain of
dust,’ the Earth, a new Macrocosm will grow up, while the old
one dies and falls to pieces.
true view of the Earth, in its real character and being, sees
everywhere in it's the springing life-seed of a forth-coming
World. Thereby alone can one arrive at an understanding of the
natural world and its kingdoms, by learning to recognize in
them all this seedling life.
Man's earthly existence is carried on in the midst of this
new-upspringing life. He has his part in the up-springing of
the new, as well as in the life that is extinct and dead. From
the dead, he has his Thinking forces. So long as, in the past,
these Thinking forces came from the still living macrocosm,
they gave no basis for Self-conscious Man. They lived as forces
of Growth, in Man who had as yet no consciousness of Self. The
forces of Thought must have no inherent life of their own, if
they are to afford a basis for Man's free Self-Consciousness.
They, with the dead and dying macrocosm, must remain dead
shadows of what was living in an earlier cosmic age.
the other hand Man has his part in the Earth's new, upspringing
life. From this he has his Will-forces. These are very life;
but just because of this, Man cannot partake in their real
being with his Self-consciousness. They send forth their beams
in the interior of the human being, radiating into the
Thought-shadows. With them mingles the stream of shadows; and
in this mingled stream, where free human Thought unfolds amid
the new, upspringing life of Earth, during the Age of the
Spiritual Soul there grows to full free life in Man the
consciousness of his human Self.
The Past casting Shadows, the Future holding Seeds of new
reality, meet in the being of Man. And their meeting is the
human life of the Present.
That this is the case, becomes clear at once to the
consciousness of the seer when turning to that region of the
spirit-world which directly adjoins the physical, and which is
also the scene of Michael's labours.
The life of the whole earthly world grows plain when,
underlying it all, one recognizes the life-seed of a new
universe. Every plant in its variety, every stone, appears in a
new light to the human soul which learns to perceive how every
one of these forms of being — through its special life,
though its special shape — contributes to make the entire
Earth the embryo-seed of a new, reviving Macrocosm.
Let anyone but once try to make the thought of these facts
alive within himself, and he will feel what such a thought can
signify for the human heart and mind.
In the beginning of the age of the
Spiritual Soul, men have accustomed themselves to direct
their observation to the physical proportions of the
Universe in Space, and to regard primarily its bigness in
this respect. Accordingly, they speak of the Earth as a
grain of dust in the midst of this, to physical appearance,
so gigantic Universe.
To the consciousness of the seer,
this ‘grain of dust’ reveals itself as the first life-seed
of a newly arising Macrocosm; whilst the old Macrocosm can
be seen to have died out. It was necessary for it to die
and become extinct, in order that Man might separate
himself out from it in full Self-consciousness.
In the present cosmic age, Man takes
part in the dead and dying Macrocosm with his Thinking
forces, which give him freedom; whilst with his
Will-forces, whose real being is hid from him, he takes
part in the young Macrocosm that is springing up as
Earth-born seed into new life.