QUESTION: Has liquid manure the same force of ego-organisation
ANSWER: Of course, liquid manure and dung should be used in
union with each other and both should contribute to the
same force of organisation of the soil. The connection with the
Ego to which I referred holds good particularly for the dung,
but does not hold good xn general for the liquid manure. For
every Ego, even in the rudimentary form in which it appears in
manure, must work in conjunction with some astral element, and
the dung would have no astrality unless the liquid manure were
there. The liquid is strong is astrality, the dung in
ego-force. The manure may be regarded as “grey
matter,” while the liquid is the cerebral fluid.
QUESTION: Could we be given the correct astronomical data
for those preparations which must be burnt?
ANSWER: (by Dr. Vreede): The exact data cannot be supplied at
present. There are calculations still required which
cannot be made at the moment. In general, the period for
burning the insects is from the beginning of February on into
August. With regard to the destruction of field-mice, the
period this year (1924) — it shifts from year to year
— would be from the second half of November to the first
half of December.
STEINER: The principles laid down (in 1912) for the
Anthroposophical Calendar ought to be worked out more
precisely. Then one could go by it exactly.
QUESTION: In speaking of Full Moon and New Moon do you mean the
one day on which the moon is full or new, or does it include
the period shortly before and after it?
ANSWER: One reckons the new moon from the moment when the thin
of the old moon is still there and disappears.
Full moon is reckoned from the moment when this other picture
(again Diagram 22).
Both phases cover from twelve to
ANSWER: We shall give the times for making the
preparations, but the insects can be kept until then.
QUESTION: Has the burning of the weed seeds to take place in
summer, or at any time?
ANSWER: Not too long after they have been gathered
QUESTION: How can this insect-pepper which has “been
scattered over the soil' affect the living insects which never
come into contact with the soil?
ANSWER: What matters here is not the physical contact but
a certain quality coming from this homoeopathic dose. The
insect has its own kind of sensitiveness, and it will flee from
what has been scattered over the ground without having to come
in contact with it. That the insect does not come into
direct contact with the earth makes no difference at all.
QUESTION: What is the nature of the harm done by frost in
agriculture and in the case of tomatoes in particular? In
what sense is frost connected with cosmic forces?
ANSWER: To have fine and large tomatoes you must keep them
warm. They suffer from frost. With regard to frost in general,
you must realise what it is t-hat is active in the effects of
frost. Frost means that the cosmic influence which is active in
the earth has been essentially strengthened. Now this cosmic
influence has a normal mean between certain degrees of
temperature. When the temperature is at a certain point, this
cosmic influence is exactly what the plant requires. If,
however, the frost is intense, lasts too long and strikes
too deeply, the influence of the heavens upon the earth is too
strong and the plant tends to become stalkified and thin
throughout and in this attenuated state it falls an easy prey
to the frost and is destroyed. Frost which is too intense is
therefore extremely harmful to the growth of plants because it
is a sign that too much of the heavens has entered into the
QUESTION: Should the burnt remains of Horse-fly be used to
treat the bodies of animals, or be scattered over the meadows
ANSWER: Scatter it where the animals feed. It is to be regarded
as additional to the manure.
QUESTION: What is the best way of combating couch-grass? Is it
not very difficult to obtain the seeds?
ANSWER: This difficulty really solves itself. When it grows
underground and rampant one can fight it. You need very little
seed and you will be able to get this. Why, one can even find
QUESTION: Is it permissible to preserve bales of fodder by
means of an electric current?
ANSWER: What would be your object in doing this? It is
necessary at this point to consider the part played by
electricity in Nature. Now it is comforting to note that in
America, where people are more observant than they are over
here, voices are heard to say that man cannot go on
developing in the same way in an atmosphere which is
continuously “being pierced “by electrical
currents and waves; it has an influence on the whole
development of man. Man's inner life will become
different if these things are carried further and further. It
makes a difference to a district whether it is provided with
steam trains or electric trains. The action of steam is more
conscious: the action of electricity is extremely unconscious,
so that people simply do not know how certain things
doubt there is a development going on which must be reckoned
with because electricity is being used above the surface of the
soil as radiant electricity (wireless) and also as conducted
electricity (cables) for transmitting news as quickly as
possible from one place to another. The result of this
will be that men and women living in the field especially of
the radiant electricity can no longer “take in” the
news they obtain. The electric radiations used to ensure
quick transmissions tend to blot out the capacity for
understanding. This can already be observed. People have
far more difficulty in taking in what comes to them than they
had several decades ago. It is a comfort to find that a
glimpse of the truth of this matter is beginning to dawn at
least from America.
Whenever anything new appears, it is usually regarded at
first as “a remedy.” Then the prophets come in and
use the thing. It is strange how, when something new appears,
clairvoyant perception is so often brought down to the human
level. For instance, a man who had never before thought about
it, begins to prophesy wildly regarding the healing power
of electricity, and the idea is taken up not merely because
electricity is there, but because it is in the fashion.
Electricity in the form of radiations is no more a remedy than
pricking with small thin needles can be a remedy. It is not the
electricity which heals but the shock it produces.
must not be forgotten, however, that, electricity has a
particularly powerful effect upon the higher organisation
in living beings, i.e. upon the head in men and animals and
upon the root in plants. An animal that eats food that has been
preserved through electrification will therefore gradually tend
to grow sclerotic. The process will be slow and will not
be noticed at first. All that will be noticed, is that in one
way or another these animals die too soon. No one will
attribute this to the electricity: all sorts of other reasons
will be found. I cannot help it, but electricity is the last
thing in the world which ought to be introduced into a living
being to promote its life! It cannot promote life. Electricity
is at one level lower than life, and the higher the level
reached “by life, the more it tends to rid itself of
electricity; and if you induce the living organism to take
repulsive measures when there is nothing to be repelled, the
organism becomes nervous and fidgety and gradually
QUESTION: What does Spiritual Science say on the subject of
preserving food-stuffs by acidification in general?
ANSWER: If we use salt-like materials at all in this process it
does not make much difference whether the salt is added at the
moment of eating, or whether it is used in the preparation of
the fodder. In the case of fodder that contains too little salt
to carry the food stuffs to those parts of the organism where
they should work, souring is the right procedure to adopt. Take
the case of turnips. These, as we saw, are particularly fitted
to work upon the head-organisation. They are, therefore, an
excellent food for certain animals, especially for young
cattle. If, however, it be noticed that the young animals shed
their hair too soon and too much, their fodder should be salted
because this means that the food is not being deposited in
sufficient quantities in those parts of the organism where it
is needed. Salt is tremendously effective in carrying food to
the part of the organism where it is needed and will work.
QUESTION: What view does Spiritual Science take on the subject
of souring of the leaves of sugar-beet and other green
ANSWER: The great thing here is to find a certain optimum and
not go beyond it by adding too much salt, because salt is the
part of food which more than any other remains what it is once
it is inside the organism. The organism in general, in the case
of animals- and even more so of human beings, is so constructed
as to submit everything it absorbs to the most varied changes.
It is an error to think that the albumen which goes into our
stomachs remains the same as it was before we ate it. It must
first be changed into a completely lifeless substance and
then changed back again by means of the etheric body into
specifically human (or in the case of animals specifically
Everything that enters into an organism must be changed. This
applies even to warmth. Suppose that this
(see Diagram 23, Part I)
is a living organism and this the warmth in the environment.
Now assume you have a piece of dead wood
(Diagram 23, Part II)
which, it is true, comes from a living organism but is already
dead. It is likewise surrounded by warmth. Now when the warmth
enters into the living organism, it does not simply go a little
way in and remain what it is; the organism immediately
transforms it into a warmth of its own, and it could not do
otherwise. Whereas when the warmth penetrates into the dead
wood it remains exactly the same kind of warmth as exists
outside in the mineral earth. The moment warmth penetrates into
us unchanged as it does into the piece of wood, we catch cold.
Nothing that comes into the living organism from outside
may remain what it is; it must immediately he changed into
something else. This process takes place to the least extent m
salt. No great harm, therefore, will he done by using salt for
the preserving of food-stuffs so long as you do it carefully
and do not put in too much. The mere sense of taste will reject
it. If it is necessary for the preservation of
food-stuffs this shows that up to a point it is the right
process to adopt.
QUESTION: Do you recommend souring fodder without salt?
ANSWER: That is too advanced a process. It is a super-organic
process (self-fermentation) and can in certain
circumstances be extremely harmful.
QUESTION: Is Spanish Chalk, sometimes used to mitigate the
effects of souring, bad for the animals?
ANSWER: Some animals cannot stand it at all; they become ill.
Some can. I cannot say at the moment which are those that can
stand it. On the whole, it does not do the animals much good
and is apt to make them ill.
QUESTION: I suppose that the gastric juice will be dulled by
the Spanish chalk?
ANSWER: Yes. The gastric juice becomes useless.
QUESTION: I would like to ask whether the inner attitude with
which one sets to work is not of great importance in these
matters? There is surely a great difference between sowing seed
and scattering what is destined to work destruction. The
attitude of mind must count. Does it not have an immensely
greater karmic effect to work against insects in this way than
to kill them in single instances by mechanical means?
ANSWER: The main thing about an inner attitude is whether it is
a good or a bad attitude. What do you mean by
“destruction?” Now consider how one must think
about these things. In my lecture to-day I pointed out that we
can know something and then actually see it before us. We can
look at a linseed plant or a carrot and actually see (because
we know) the course it takes and the process it undergoes when
it enters the body of an animal. If we can really attain to
this objective vision and make it a reality, then it is
that we should not at the same time be penetrated by certain
feelings of piety. And we shall gain the impulse to do this in
the service of mankind, in the service of the Universe. The
only way in which our state of mind could bring harm would be
if we did our work from bad motives. I do not see, therefore,
since these methods work on the whole for good, that they
can in any way do harm. You seem to think that it would not be
so bad just to run after the animal and kill it?
QUESTION: I wanted to know if there was a difference
between the two ways of destruction — mechanical and
ANSWER: This question raises very complicated issues which can
only be understood if we have gained insight -into the wider
connections that exist between things. Suppose you draw a fish
out of the sea and kill it. Then you have killed something. You
have carried out a process on a definite level. But suppose
that for some reason or other you take a whole pail full of
water containing quantities of fish-spawn, thus destroying a
vast amount of life. This is something quite different from
killing one fish. The process has been carried out on quite a
different level. If something in Nature passes on towards a
full-grown fish, it has travelled along a certain path. If you
cut the fish off at this point, you cause a certain disorder in
Nature. But it is quite a different matter to arrest a process
which has not been completed or which has not ended in the
blind alley of a fully-grown organism. Your question,
therefore, boils down to this: What wrong am I doing in
making this pepper? What I destroy with the pepper does not
really come into consideration as it moves on another level of
existence. All we need ask is: What must I have in order to
make this pepper? And in most cases, it turns out that in
making it I shall destroy far fewer animals than if I have to
collect them in some other way and then kill them. I think that
if you look at the question in a practical way and less from an
abstract point of view you will find that it is not so very
QUESTION: Can human faeces be used for manuring, and how should
they be treated before use?
ANSWER: They should be used as little as possible. For they
achieve very little in the way of manuring and they can do more
harm than any other kind of manure. If, however, you want to
use them the normal amount that is to be had on a farm or
estate will be amply sufficient. If one knows that a given
number of human beings are working on an estate, then if the
human manure be added to what already comes from the animals on
the estate and from other sources, clearly this will make up
the maximum that can he used without doing harm. It is
the greatest mistake to use human manure in the
neighbourhood of large towns, because the amount supplied
by a large town would suffice for an estate of gigantic size.
No one would have such a crazy notion as to use on a small
piece of land the human manure supplied, say by the whole of
Berlin. You need only try eating some of the plants that grow
in the neighbourhood of big cities. Take asparagus or any other
plant which still manages to grow fairly true to its nature and
upright, and you will see what happens.
Again, if you use human manure for plants that are eaten by
animals, you will have the most harmful results., For then much
of what is eaten and goes through the animal's organism remains
at the same stage as that at which the asparagus is arrested
when it goes through the human organism. In this connection, it
is the grossest ignorance which has caused the greatest
mischief in this field.
QUESTION: Is there any remedy for red murrain (Erysipelas) in
ANSWER: This is really a veterinary question. I have never gone
into the matter, as I have never been asked for advice about
.it, but I rather think the best thing to do is to rub in a
certain dose of antimony. This is a therapeutic question as it
deals with a real disease.
QUESTION: Can one combat Wild Radish, which is a bastard
species, with these peppers?
ANSWER: The peppers of which I have told you only affect the
plants from which they were made. Plants which arise from
symbiosis or the crossing of one plant with another cannot
therefore be affected by pepper made from one of them.
QUESTION: What are your views on green manuring?
ANSWER: It has its uses, especially in connection with
fruit-growing. One cannot generalise on such matters. It should
be used if a powerful development of the leafy part of the
plant is required. For such a purpose, it can well supplement
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