16th June, 1924.
our last lecture, though we may still be able to supplement it a little
in the discussions, according to your needs. As far as possible in the
short time, I want to add a few more explanations to complete what I
have said, and to give a few more practical hints. These practical matters
are, however, extremely difficult to clothe in general formulae or the
like. They, most of all, are subject to individualisation — to
a kind of personal treatment. To-day especially, we shall therefore
have to acquire the necessary spiritual-scientific insight to begin
with, for this alone will enable you to act with individual intelligence
in the several measures you have to take.
little insight there is nowadays in this most important question: the
feeding of farm animals. Such a state of affairs cannot be much improved
by however many detailed instructions for feeding. But I am convinced
it will be much improved when our agricultural training tends more to
the development of true insight on the fundamental question: What is
the essence of the feeding process? To-day I would like to contribute
a little to this end.
As I have
already told you, the significance of nutrition for the animal, and
for man too, is to this day thoroughly misunderstood. The coarse idea
that the foodstuffs are received from outside and then deposited in
the organism, is altogether wrong. That is what they imagine nowadays,
more or less. True, they conceive all kinds of transformations in the
process, and yet, fundamentally speaking, that is how they think. In
a crude way they imagine, somewhere inside there are the foodstuffs.
The animal absorbs the food — deposits inside it whatever it can
use, and excretes what it has no use for. Accordingly, they argue, we
provide for such and such essential constituents. We must see to it
that the creature is not over-burdened with stuff. We must see to it
that the food it gets is as nutritive as possible, so that it can use
a relatively large proportion of what is contained therein.
also distinguish between substances nutritive in the narrower sense
of the term, and those which — as they say — assist the
combustion-process in the Body. (The materialists are fond of making
such distinctions also). On this distinction they found all manner of
theories which they then apply in practice, though as you know, the
upshot always is that some of it works and some of it decidedly does
not — or it only seems to work for a limited time, and is then
modified by this or that ...
should we expect it to be otherwise? They talk of combustion-processes
inside the body. In reality there is not a single combustion-process
in the body. The combination of any substance with oxygen inside
the body has quite another significance than that of a combustion-process.
Combustion is a process in mineral or lifeless Nature. Quite apart from
the fact that a living organism is essentially different from a crystal
of quartz, what is commonly called combustion in the body is not the
dead combustion-process which takes place in the outer world, but is
something altogether living, nay, sentient.
by expressing themselves in this way, and thus leading people's
thought in a fixed direction, scientists bring about widespread confusion
in practical life. The man who first speaks of “combustion inside
the body” is only speaking loosely — in a slipshod way,
if you will. If he has the true facts in mind, his speaking loosely
will do no harm, provided he still acts correctly, out of true instincts
or tradition. After a time, however, the same loosely worded phrase
gets taken hold of by the disease of “Psychopathia professoralis,”
as I have often called it. They — the professors — transform,
what at first was only a slight slipshod way of talking into a brilliant
theory — I really mean it, brilliant. And when people begin to
act according to these theories, they no longer hit off the reality
in the very least. The things they then talk of are altogether different
from what actually occurs when you have animals to look after. It is
a characteristic phenomenon of to-day. They set to work and do something
utterly different — something that does not fit in at all with
what is actually taking place in Nature. In this domain especially,
we should take pains to observe what the point is.
remember the outcome of our last lecture. The plant, as we saw, has
a physical body and an ether-body, while up above it is hovered-around,
more or less, by a kind of astral cloud. The plant itself does not reach
up to the astral, but the astral — so to speak — hovers
around it. Wherever it enters into definite connection with the astral
(as happens in the fruit-formation), something available as foodstuff
is produced — that is to say, something which will support the
astral in the animal and human body.
see into the process, you will readily observe in any plant or other
entity, whether or no it is fit to support some process in the animal
organism. But we should also understand the opposite pole. This is a
most important point; I have already touched upon it, but now that we
wish to create the foundations for an understanding of the feeding-process,
we must bring it out once more with special emphasis. As we are now
concerned with the feeding problem, let us begin with the animal.
animal there is no such sharply outlined three-folding of the organism
as there is in man. True, in the animal also, the nerves-and-senses
organism and the organism of metabolism, and the limbs are well marked
— sharply divided one from the other; but the middle, rhythmic
organism more or less melts away — at least, in many animals it
does so. Something that still comes from the sense-organism passes into
the rhythmic; likewise, something that comes from the metabolic organism.
describe the animal rather differently from man. For man, we speak quite
exactly when we describe this threefold nature of the body; for the
animal, however, we should rather speak as follows: There is the nerves-and-senses
organisation, mainly localised in the head. There is the organisation
of metabolism and the limbs — organised in the posterior parts
and in the limbs generally, yet also permeating the whole Body. And
in the middle of the creature the metabolism becomes rhythmic —
more rhythmic than in man; while on the other hand the nerves-and-senses
system also becomes more rhythmic, and the two melt into one another.
In other words, the rhythmic pars of the animal does not come into being
so independently as in man; it is a more indistinct sounding-into-one-another
of the two outermost poles (Diagram 18). Hence, for the animal we should
really speak of a two-foldness of the organism — such, however,
that the two members meet and mingle in the middle. That is how the
animal organisation arises.
that is present as substances in the head-organisation, is composed
of earthly matter. (So it is in man, too, but let us confine ourselves
to the animal for the moment). Whatever matter there is in the head
is earthly matter. Already in the embryo-life, earthly matter is guided
into the head-organisation. The whole embryonic organisation is so arranged
that the head receives its materials from the Earth. There, then, we
have earthly substance.
other hand, all that we have as substantiality in the organisation of
metabolism and the limbs — permeating our intestines, limbs, muscles,
bones, etc. — comes not from the Earth at all. It is cosmic substantiality.
It comes from that which is absorbed out of the air and warmth above
the Earth. This is important. You must not regard a claw or a hoof as
though it were formed by the physical matter which the animal eats somehow
finding its way into the hoof and being there deposited. That is not
true at all. In actual fact, cosmic matter is absorbed through the senses
and the breathing. What the animal eats is merely for the purpose of
developing its inner forces of movement, so that the cosmic principles
may be driven right down into the metabolic and limb system— into
the claw or hoof, for instance. Throughout these parts, it is cosmic
the opposite is true of the forces. In the head — inasmuch
as the senses are chiefly stationed there, and the senses perceive out
of the Cosmos — in the head we have cosmic forces; while in the
system of metabolism and limbs we have to do with earthly forces —
cosmic substances and earthly forces. (As to the latter, you need only
remember how we walk; we are constantly placing ourselves into the field
of earthly gravity, and in like manner, all that we do with our limbs
is bound up with the earthly).
by no means a matter of indifference, in practice. Suppose you are using
the cow as a beast of labour. It needs its limbs for the work. Or if
you use an ox as a labouring beast — it is important to feed the
animal so that it gets as much as possible of cosmic substantiality.
Moreover, the food which will pass through the stomach must be suitably
chosen and arranged, so as to develop copious forces — forces
sufficient to guide the cosmic substantiality into the limbs and bones
and muscles, everywhere.
we need to be aware: whatever substances are required for the head itself
— these must be got from the actual fodder. The foodstuffs —
assimilated, passed through the stomach — must be guided into
the head. It is the head, not the big toe, which depends on the stomach
in this respect! Moreover, the head can only assimilate this nourishment
which it received from the body, if it is able at the same time to get
the necessary forces from the Cosmos. Therefore we should not merely
shut our animals in dark stables, where the cosmic forces cannot flow
towards them. We should lead them out over the pastures. Altogether,
we should give them the opportunity to come into relation with the surrounding
world by sense-perception too.
an animal standing in the dark, dull stable, and receiving — measured
out into its manger — what the wisdom of man provides. Such an
animal, getting no change in this respect, and it can only
get the proper change in the open air — how different it will
be from one that is able to make use of its senses, its organ of smell,
for instance, seeking its food for itself in the open air; following
its sense of smell, following the cosmic forces through its sense of
smell, going after the food, choosing for itself, unfolding all its
activity in this finding and taking of the food.
are inherited. The animal you merely place at the manger will not reveal
at once that it has no cosmic forces; for it still inherits them. But
it will presently beget descendants which have the cosmic forces in
them no longer. In such a case, it is from the head that the animal
first becomes weak. It can no longer feed the body because it is unable
to absorb the cosmic substances, which, once again, are needed in the
body as a whole.
will show you how futile it is merely to give general instructions:
“Feed thus and thus, in this case and in that” We must first
gain an idea: what is the value of such and such methods of feeding
for the whole essence of the anima's organisation?
can go further. What is contained in the head? Earthly substantiality.
Cut out this noblest organ of the animal — the brain — there
you have so much earthly substance. In man, too, in the brain you have
earthly substance. Only the forces are cosmic; the substance is earthly.
What then is the function of the brain? It serves as an underlying basis
for the Ego. The animal has not yet the Ego. Let us hold fast to this
idea: The brain serves as an underlying basis for the Ego, but the animal
has not yet an Ego. Therefore the animal's brain is only on the
way to Ego-formation. In man it goes on and on — to the full forming
of the Ego.
has the brain of the animal come into being? Take the whole organic
process — all that is going on in there. That which eventually
emerges as earthly matter in the brain has actually been excreted; it
is excretion — excretion from the organic process. Earthly matter
is here excreted to nerve as a basis for the Ego. Now on the basis of
this process in the metabolic and limbs system — beginning with
the consumption of the food and going on through the whole distributive
activity of the digestion — a certain quantity of earthly matter
is capable of being led into the head and brain. A certain quantity
of earthly substance goes through the whole path, and is at last literally
deposited — excreted, separated out — in the brain. But
it is not only in the brain that the substance of the foodstuffs is
deposited. Whatever is no longer capable of assimilation is deposited
already on the way, in the intestines.
encounter a relationship which you will think most paradoxical, even
absurd at first sight, and yet you cannot overlook it if you wish to
understand the animal organisation — and the human too, for that
matter. What is this brainy mass? It is simply an intestinal mass, carried
to the very end. The premature brain deposit passes out through the
intestines. As to its processes, the content of the intestines is decidedly
akin to the brain-content. To speak grotesquely, I would say: That which
spreads out through the brain is a highly advanced heap of manure! Grotesque
as it may be, objectively speaking this is the truth. It is none other
than the dung, which is transmuted — through its peculiar organic
process into the noble matter of the brain, there to become the basis
as much as possible of the belly-manure is transformed into brain-manure,
for man as you know carries his Ego down on to the Earth; in the animal,
less. Therefore, in the animal, more remains behind in the belly-manure
— and this is what we use for manuring. In animal manure, more
Ego potentially remains. Just because the animal itself does
not reach up to the Ego, more Ego remains there potentially. Hence,
animal and human manure are altogether different things. Animal manure
still contains the Ego-potentiality.
to yourselves how we manure the plant. We bring the manure from outside
to the plant root. That is to say, we bring Ego to the root
of the plant. Let us draw the plant in its entirety (Diagram 19). Down
here you have the root; up there, the unfolding leaves and blossoms.
There, through the intercourse with air, astrality unfolds —the
astral principle is added — whereas down here, through intercourse
with the manure, the Ego-potentiality of the plant develops.
the farm is a living organism. Above, in the air, it evolves its astrality.
Fruit-tree and forest by their very presence develop this astrality.
And now when the animals feed on what is there above the Earth, they
in their turn develop the real Ego-forces. These they give off in the
dung, and the Same Ego-forces will cause the plant in its turn to grow
forth from the root in the direction of the force of gravity. Truly
a wonderful interplay, but we must understand it stage by stage, progressively,
as these things are so, your farm is in truth a kind of individuality,
and you will gain the insight that you ought to keep your animals as
much as possible within this mutual interplay and your plants
too. Thus, in a Sense, you mar the working of Nature when you take your
manure not from your own farm animals, but get rid of the animals and
order the manure-content from Chile. Then you are playing fast and loose
with things — neglecting the fact that this is a perfect and self-contained
cycle, which ought to be maintained, complete in itself. Needless to
say, we must arrange things so; we must have enough and the
right kind of animals, so as to get enough manure and the right kind
for our farm. Or again, we must take care to plant what the animals
which we desire to have will like to eat instinctively — what
they will seek out for themselves. Naturally, here our experiments grow
complicated — they become individual, in fact.
as I said, we must first indicate general guiding lines for individual
treatment. Much will remain to be tried out. Then useful rules of conduct
will emerge; but all of these will proceed from the one guiding live:
to make the farm, as far as possible, so self-contained that it is able
to sustain itself. As far as possible — not quite! Why not? The
concrete study of Spiritual Science will never make you a fanatic. In
outer life, within our present economic order, it cannot be fully attained.
Nevertheless, you should try to attain it as far as possible.
now find the concrete, specific relations of the animal organism to
the plant — that is, to the organism of the fodder. Let us first
see it as a whole. Observe the root, which develops as a rule inside
the earth. There the manure permeates it, as we have Seen, with a nascent
Ego-force — an Ego-force in process of becoming. Through the whole
way it lives in the Earth, the root absorbs this nascent Ego-force.
The root is assisted in absorbing this Ego-force if it can find the
proper quantity of salt in the Earth. Here then we have the root. Simply
on the basis of the thoughts we have already placed before us, we can
now recognise it as that foodstuff which, if it comes into the human
organism, will most easily find its way, in the digestive process, to
therefore provide root-nourishment if we must assume that substance
— material substance — is needed for the head, so that the
cosmic forces working plastically through the head may find the proper
stuff to work upon. What will it remind you of when this is said: “I
must give roots as fodder to an animal which needs to carry material
substance into its head, so that it may have a live and mobile sense-relationship,
i.e. a cosmic relationship, to its cosmic environment.” Will you
not immediately think of the calf and the carrot? When the calf eats
the carrot, this process is fulfilled.
the moment you express such a piece of knowledge — if you are
actually aware what a farm looks like, what it is like in practice,
your thoughts will turn at once to what is actually done. You need only
know that this is the real mutual process.
proceed. Now that the material substance has been conveyed into the
head — now that we have served the calf with the carrot —
the reverse process must be able to take place. The head must be able
to work with will-activity, creating forces in the organism, so that
these forces in their turn can work right down into the body. The carrot-dung
must not be merely deposited in the head. From what is there
deposited — from what is there in process of disintegration —
Force-radiations must pass into the body. Therefore you need a second
foodstuff. Having now served this member of the body, you need a second
foodstuff which in its turn will enable the head to fulfil its proper
function by the remainder of the body.
then, I have given carrot-fodder. Now I want the body to be properly
permeated by the forces that are able to evolve out of the head. Now
I need something in Nature that has a ray-like, radiating form, or that
gathers up the ray-like nature in a concentrated “tabloid”
form, so to speak. What shall I use, then, as a second foodstuff? Once
more, I shall add to the carrot something that tends to ray out in the
plant, and afterwards gathers-in its ray-like force in concentration.
So my attention is directed to linseed or the like. Such is the fodder
you should give young cattle. Carrots and linseed, or something that
will go together on the same principle say, for instance, carrots and
fresh hay. These will work through and through the animal — mastering
its inner processes — setting it well on the way of its development.
young cattle, we shall always try to provide fodder such as will stimulate
the Ego-forces on the one hand, and on the other hand assist what passes
downward from above — the astral radiations which are needed to
fill the body through. Assistance of the latter kind is rendered especially
by long and thin-stalked plants, left simply to their own development
— that is to say, long grass, etc., that has grown into hay —
whatever is long and thin-stalked and goes to hay (Diagram 20). In agriculture
we must always learn to look at the things themselves, and of each thing
we must learn what happens to it when it passes, either from the animal
into the soil, or from the plant into the animal.
pursue the matter further. Suppose you wish the animal to become strong
precisely in the middle region, where the head organisation —
that of nerves-and-senses — develops more towards the breathing,
and on the other hand the metabolic organisation also tends towards
the rhythmic life, and the two poles interpenetrate. What animals do
you wish to become strong in this region? The milk-giving creatures
— they must grow strong in this middle part. For in the production
of milk precisely this requirement is fulfilled.
you care for in this case? You must see that the right co-operation
is there between the stream that passes backwards from the head —
which is mainly a streaming of forces — and the stream
that passes forward from behind, which is mainly a streaming of substance.
If this co-operation is taking place, so that the streaming from behind
is thoroughly worked through by the forces that flow from the fore-parts
backward, good and copious milk will be the outcome. For the good milk
contains what has been specially developed in the metabolic process.
It is a metabolic preparation, which, though it has not yet passed through
the sexual System, has become as nearly as possible akin — in
the digestive process itself — to the sexual digestive process.
Milk is a transformed sexual gland secretion. A substance which is on
the way to become sexual secretion is met by the head-forces working
into it and so transforming it. You can see right into this process.
we wish the processes to form themselves in this way, we must look around
for foodstuffs working less towards the head than the roots, which latter
have absorbed the Ego-force. At the Same time, since it has to remain
akin to the sexual force, we must not have too much of the astral in
it — not too much of what tends towards blossom and fruit. For
a good milk-production we must therefore look to what is there between
the flower and the root that is, to the green foliage: all that unfolds
in leaf and vegetable foliage (Diagram 21).
If we want
to stimulate the development of milk, in an animal whose milk-production
we have reason to believe could be increased, we shall certainly attain
the desired end if we proceed as follows. Assume I am feeding a milk
cow — according to the prevailing conditions — with vegetable
leaves or foliage or the like. Now I want to increase the milk production.
I say to myself, it surely can be increased. What shall I do? I shall
use plants which draw the fruiting process — the process that
takes place in flower and fertilisation — down into the foliage,
into the leafing process. This applies for instance to the pod-bearing
or leguminous plants notably the various kinds of clover. In the clover-substance,
manifold elements of a fruit-like quality develop just life leaf and
cow in this way and you will not see much result in the cow herself,
but when she calves (for the fodder-reforms you introduce along these
lines generally take a generation to work themselves out), when the
cow calves, the calf will become a good milk-cow.
especially you must observe in all these matters. As a rule, when the
traditions of old instinctive wisdom vanished from this sphere, a few
things were maintained just as our doctors have maintained a few of
the old remedies. Though they no longer know why, they have kept them
on, simply because they always find them helpful. Likewise in farming,
certain things are known out of old tradition. People do not know why,
but they continue to use them, and for the rest, they make experiments
and tests. Thus they try to indicate the quantities that should be given
for fattening cattle, milk cattle and the like. But the whole thing
turns out as it usually does when men begin to experiment at random
— especially when their experimenting is left to mere chance.
happens, for example, if ever you have a sore throat at a place where
you are among many people. Everyone who is fond of you will offer you
some remedy. Within half an hour you have a whole chemist's shop! If
you really took all these remedies the one would cancel the other out,
and the only sure thing is that you would suffer indigestion, while
your sore throat would be no better. The simple measures that ought
to be taken are thus transformed into great complication.
So it is
when you begin experimenting with all kinds of fodder. You begin to
use something. In a certain direction it goes well, in another it does
not. Now you add a second fodder to it, and so you go on, and the result
is a whole number of standard fodders, each of which has its significance
for young cattle or fattening cattle as the case may be, but it all
he comes very complicated, and to-day no one can see the wood for the
trees. They have no longer any comprehensive vision of the relationships
of forces which are involved. Or again, the effect of the one thing
is such as to cancel the other out.
happening very widely, especially among those who have acquired a little
learning by their academic studies, and thereupon go out and try to
farm. Then they look up their text-books, or they remember what they
learned: “Young cattle should be fed so and so, cattle you wish
to fatten should be fed in that way,” and so on. So they will
look it all up. But the results will not be very great, for it may easily
happen that what you look up in the text-book will clash with what you
are already giving of your own accord.
only proceed rationally by taking your start from a way of thought such
as I have now indicated, for this will very largely simplify the animal's
food, and you will gain a comprehensive view of what you are doing.
For instance, you can see quite clearly and straightforwardly that carrots
and linseed together will work in this way. You do not make a general
confusion. You have a clear and comprehensive view of the effects of
what you give. Think how you will stand in your farming work if you
do things in this way quite consciously and deliberately. Thus you will
gain a knowledge, not for the complication but for the simplification
of the fodder problem.
indeed, very much — of what has gradually been discovered by experiment
is quite correct. It is only unsystematic, lacking in precision. Precisely
this kind of “exact science” is not exact at all in reality,
for many things get muddled up together and no one can see through them
clearly; whereas the things I have here exemplified can be traced right
down into the animal organism in their comparative simplicity, in their
comparatively simple mutual effects.
another case. Let us look more towards the flowering nature and the
fruiting process that arises in the flower. But we must not stop short
at this. We must also observe the fruiting process in the remainder
of the plant. Plants have a property which endeared them especially
to Goethe. The plant always has throughout its body the inherent potentiality
of its specialised parts. For most plants, we put into the earth that
which appears as potential fruit in the flower. We plant it in the earth
so as to get new plants. With the potato, however, we do not do so.
We use the “eyes” of the potato. And so it is in many plants:
the fruiting tendency is not only there in the flower. Nature does not
carry all her processes to the final stage.
process, where Nature has not yet carried it to the final stage, can
always be enhanced in its effect by processes which are outwardly similar,
in one way or another, to the external process of combustion. For instance,
if you chop up and dry the plant for fodder, the stuff you get will
be more effective if you let it steam a little — spread it out
in the sunlight. The process that is there as an inner tendency is thus
led a little farther towards fructification.
a wonderful instinct in these matters. Look at the world with intelligence
and you will ask: Why,did it ever occur to human beings to cook their
food? It is a very real question, only as a rule we are not prone to
question the everyday things with which we are so familiar. Why did
men come to cook their food at all? Because they by and by discovered
that a considerable part is played, in all that tends towards the fruiting
process, by all such processes as cooking, burning, heating, drying,
will all of them incline the flower and the seed (yet not only these;
indirectly the other parts of the plant also, notably those that lie
towards the upper region) to develop more strongly the forces that have
to be developed in the metabolic and limb-system of the animal. Even
if you take the simple flower or seed — the flower and seed of
the plant work on the metabolic or digestive system of the animal. And
they work there chiefly by virtue of the forces they unfold, not by
their substance. For the metabolic and limb-system requires earthly
forces, and in the measure in which it needs them it must receive them.
the animals that pasture on the alpine meadows, for example. They are
not like the animals of the plains, for they must walk about under difficult
conditions. The conditions are different, simply through the fact that
the earth's surface is not level. It is a different thing for animals
to walk about on level ground or on a slope. Such animals, therefore,
must receive what will develop the forces in the region of their limbs,
i.e. the forces that have to be exerted by the will. Otherwise they
will not become good labouring animals, nor milk-, nor fattening animals.
see to it that they get sufficient nourishment from the aromatic alpine
herbs, where through the cooking process of the Sun, working towards
the flowers, Nature herself has enhanced the fruiting, flowering activity
by further treatment. But the necessary force can also be brought into
the limbs by artificial treatment, notably if it is anything like cooking,
boiling, simmering or the like. Here it is best to take what comes from
the fruiting, flowering parts of the plant, and in this way it is especially
good to treat such plants as tend from the outset to the fruiting and
the flowering — plants, that is to say, which develop little leaf
and foliage but tend at once to develop flower and fruit. All that in
the plant-world, which does not care to become leaf and foliage, but
rather grows rampant in the flowering and fruit-bearing process—
that is what we ought to cook.
too, men would do well to observe these things. If they did so, we should
have less of those movements which take their start from people who
find themselves — all unawares — upon the downward slope,
the inclined plane of laziness. They say to themselves, no doubt, “If
I spend the whole day with petty manipulations, I can never become a
true mystic. I can only become a true mystic if I am restful and quiet.
I must not always be compelled — by my own needs or by the needs
of those around me — to be up and doing. I must be able to say
to my surrounding world: I have not the energy to spare for all this
outer work. Then I shall be able to become a true mystic. Therefore
I will endeavour to arrange my food so that I may become a thorough-going
mystic.” Well, if you say that to yourself, you will become a
raw-food crank. You will have no more cooking. You go in for raw food
are easily masked; they do not always emerge in this way. If someone
who is well on the inclined plane to mysticism of this kind becomes
an uncooked-food crank — and if from the outset he has a weak
physical constitution — he will make good progress, he will become
more and more indolent, i.e. mystical.
to man in this respect, we can also apply to the animal. Thus we shall
know how to make our animals quick and active. For the human being,
however, other things too can occur. He may be physically strong and
only afterwards become so “cranky” as to want to be a mystic.
He may have strong physical forces in him. Then the processes he has
within him — and, moreover, the forces which the raw food itself
calls forth in him — will develop strongly, and it cannot do him
much harm. For as he eats the raw food he will summon the forces which
would otherwise remain latent and create rheumatism and gout. He will
summon them to activity, he will develop them and work them and thus
grow all the stronger.
are two sides to every question, and we must realise how all these things
are individualised. We cannot give hard and fast principles. This is
the real advantage of the vegetarian mode of life. It makes us stronger
because we draw forth from the organism forces which would otherwise
be lying fallow there. These are, in fact, the very forces that create
gout and rheumatism, diabetes and the like.
If we only
eat plant food, these forces are called into activity to lift the plant
up to human nature. If, on the other hand, we eat animal food from the
outset, these forces are left latent in the organism. They remain unused
and as a result they will begin to use themselves, depositing metabolic
products in various parts of the organism, or driving out of the organs
and claiming for themselves things that the human being himself should
possess, as in the case of diabetes, etc. We only understand these matters
when we look more deeply.
us come to the question, how should we fatten animals? Here we must
say to ourselves: As much as possible of cosmic substance must be carried,
as it were, into a sack. Oh, the pigs, the fat pigs and sows —
what heavenly creatures they are! In their fat body — insofar
as it is not nerves-and-senses system — they have nothing but
cosmic substance. It is not earthly, it is cosmic substance. The pigs
only need the material food they eat, to distribute throughout their
body this infinite fulness of cosmic substance which they must absorb
from all quarters. The pig must feed, so as to be able to distribute
the substance which it draws in from the Cosmos. It must have the necessary
forces for the distribution of this cosmic substance.
it is with other fattened animals. So you will see: Your fatstock will
thrive if you give them fruiting substance (further treated, if possible,
by cooking, steaming or the like) and if you give them food which already
has the fruiting process in it in a rather enhanced and intensive degree
— for instance, turnips or beet, enlarged already in Nature by
a process going beyond what they had in them originally — turnips
or beet, that is to say, which by enhanced cultivation have grown bigger
than they were in the wild.
then, we can ask ourselves: What must we give to the animal we wish
to fatten? Something which will help, at least, to distribute the cosmic
substance. It must therefore be something that tends already of its
own accord towards the fruiting nature, and that has received the proper
treatment in addition. This condition is on the whole fulfilled in certain
oil-cakes and the like. But we must not leave the head of such an animal
quite unprovided for. Some earthly substance must still be able to pass
upward through this “fattening cure” into the head. We therefore
need something else in addition — albeit in smaller quantities,
for the head in this instance will not need so much. But in small quantities
we do need it. For our fattening animals we should therefore add something
of a rooty-nature to the food, however small a dose.
is a kind of substance — indeed, it is pure substance which has
no special function. Generally speaking, we can say, the root-nature
has its special functions in relation to the head; the flower in relation
to the metabolic and limb-system, and leaf or foliage in relation to
the rhythmic system with the substantial nature that belongs to it in
the human organism. But there is one more thing whose help we need because
it is related to all the members of the animal organisation, and that
is the salt-nature. Very little of the food — whether of man or
beast — consists of salt!. From this salt-condiment you
can tell that it is not always quantity that matters, but quality. This
is important. Even the smallest quantities fulfil their purpose if the
quality is right.
is one thing of importance I should like to paint out, and I beg you
to make exact experiments on this — experiments which could well
be extended to an observation of human beings, at any rate of those
who incline towards the food question. You know that in modern time
(relatively speaking, it is only a short time since) the tomato
has been introduced as a kind of staple food. Many people are fond of
it. Now the tomato is one of the most interesting subjects of study.
Much can be learned from the production and consumption of tomatoes.
Those who concern themselves a little with these things — and
there are such men to-day — rightly consider that the consumption
of the tomato by man is of great significance. (And it can well be extended
to the animal; it would be quite possible to accustom animals to tomatoes).
It is, in fact, of great significance for all that in the body,
which — while within the organism — tends to fall out of
the organism, i.e. for that which assumes — once more,
within the organism — an organisation of its own.
follow from this. First, it confirms the statement of an American to
the effect that a diet of tomatoes will, under given conditions, have
a most beneficial effect on a morbid inclination of the liver. In effect,
the liver of all Organs works with the greatest relative independence
in the human body. Therefore, quite generally speaking, liver diseases
— those that are rather diseases of the animal liver — can
be combated by means of the tomato.
point we can begin to look right into the connection between plant and
animal. I may say, in parenthesis, suppose a person is suffering from
carcinoma. Carcinoma, from the very outset, makes a certain region independent
within the human or animal organism. Hence a carcinoma patient should
at once be forbidden to eat tomatoes. Now let us ask ourselves: What
is it due to? Why does the tomato work especially on that which is independent
within the organism — that which specialises itself out of the
organic totality? This is connected with what the tomato needs for its
own origin and growth.
feels happiest if it receives manure as far as possible in the original
form in which it was excreted or otherwise separated out of the animal
or other organism — manure which has not had much time to get
assimilated in Nature — wild manure, so to speak. Take any kind
of refuse and throw it together as a disorderly manure- or compost-heap,
containing as much as possible in the form in which it just arose —
nohow prepared or worked upon. Plant them there, and you will soon see
that you get the finest tomatoes. Nay, more, if you use a heap of compost
made of the tomato-plant itself — stem, foliage and all —
if you let the tomato grow on its own dung, so to speak, it will develop
does not want to go out of itself; it does not want to depart from the
realm of strong vitality. It wants to remain therein. It is the most
uncompanionable creature in the whole plant-kingdom. It does not want
to get anything from outside. Above all, it rejects any manure that
has already undergone an inner process. It will not have it. The tomato's
power to influence any independent organisation within the human or
animal organism is connected with this, its property.
extent, in this respect, the potato is akin to the tomato.
The potato, too, works in a highly independent way, and in this sense:
it passes easily right through the digestive process, penetrates into
the brain, and makes the brain independent — independent even
of the influence of the remaining Organs of the body. Indeed, the exaggerated
use of potatoes is one of the factors that have made men and animals
materialistic since the introduction of potato cultivation into Europe.
We should only eat just enough potatoes to stimulate our brain and head-nature.
The eating of potatoes, above all, should not be overdone.
of such things will relate agriculture in a most intimate way —
and in a thoroughly objective way — to the social life as a whole.
It is infinitely important that agriculture should be so related to
the social life.
go on, giving many individual guiding lines. These guiding lines are
only the foundation for manifold experiments, which will extend, no
doubt, over a long period of time. Splendid results will emerge if you
work out in thorough-going tests and experiments what I have given here.
I say this also as a guiding line for your treatment of what has been
given in this lecture course.
I am in
entire agreement with the strict resolve which has been made by our
farmer friends here present, namely, that what has been given here to
all those partaking in the Course shall remain for the present within
the farmers' circle. They will enhance it and develop it by actual
experiments and tests. The farmers' society — the “Experimental
Circle” that has been formed — will fix the point of time
when in its judgment the tests and experiments are far enough advanced
to allow these things to be published.
is due to the tolerance which has been shown, which has allowed a number
of interested persons, not actually farmers, to share in this Course.
They must now recall the well-known opera and fix a padlock on their
mouths. Do not fall into the prevalent anthroposophical mistake and
straightway proclaim it all from the housetops. We have often been harmed
in this way. Person who have nothing to say out of a real or well-founded
impulse, but only repeat what they have heard, go passing things an
from mouth to mouth. It has done us much harm. It makes a great difference,
for example, whether a farmer speaks of these things, or one who stands
remote from farming life. It makes a difference, which you will quickly
result if our non-farmer friends now began to pass these things on,
as a fresh and interesting chapter of anthroposophical teaching? The
result would be what has occurred with many of our lecture-cycles. Others
— including farmers — would begin to hear of these things
from this and that quarter. As to the farmers — well, if they
hear of these things from a fellow-farmer, they will say, “What
a pity he has suddenly gone crazy!” Yes, they may say it the first
time and the second time. But eventually — when the farmer sees
a really good result, he will not feel a very easy conscience in rejecting
the other hand, the farmers hear of these things from unauthorised persons
— from persons who are merely interested — then indeed “the
game is up.” If that were to happen, the whole thing would be
discredited, its influence would be undermined. Therefore it is most
necessary: those of our friends who have only been allowed to take part
owing to their general interest and who are not in the Agricultural
Circle, must exercise the necessary self-restraint. They must keep it
to themselves and not go carrying it in all directions as people are
so fond of doing with anthroposophical things.
as our honoured friend, Count Keyserlingk, to-day announced, has been
resolved upon by the Agricultural Circle, and I can only say that I
approve it in the very fullest sense. For the rest — except for
our final discussion hour — we are now at the end of these lectures.
Therefore perhaps I may first express my own satisfaction that you were
ready to come here, to take your share in what has been able to be said
and in what is now to become of it by further work. On the other hand,
I am sure you will all agree with me in this:
here taken place is intended as real, useful work, and as such it has
the deepest inner value. But you will bear in mind two things. Let us
now think of all the energy and work that was needed on the part of
Count and Countess Keyserlingk and all the members of their House to
bring to pass all that has come about in this Course. Energy, clear,
conscious purpose, anthroposophical good sense, purity and singleness
of heart in the cause of Spiritual Science, self-sacrifice and many
another thing was necessary to this end. And so it has also come about
— I imagine it is so for you all: what we have here been doing
as a piece of real hard work, work which is tending to great and fruitful
results for all humanity, has been given a truly festive setting by
our presence here. We owe it to the way our host and hostess have arranged
it all. In five minutes' time you will have another example of
their festive hospitality.
All that has been done
in this way — last but not least, the cordial kindness of all
the people, working in the house — has placed our work in the
warm and welcome setting of a truly beautiful festival. Thus, with our
Agriculture Conference we have also enjoyed a real farm festival. Therefore
we offer Countess and Count Keyserlingk and all their House our heartiest
and inmost thanks for all that they have done for us in these ten days
— for all that they have done in the service of our cause, and
for their kind and loving welcome to us all, which has made our sojourn
here so pleasant.
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