Agriculture Course – Lecture 6

As we look to go on, I would again suggest that we consider some aspects of the previous lecture. I would like to do this in the form of looking at the integuments, the sheathes and the content of the sheathes in the preparations. I have often asked what is the human counterpart. We can say that form and content is an idea expression of integument and content or sheathes and plant substance. In looking for a human counterpart, I have often looked at the human skin. The skin can be looked at as a synthesis of the whole human being; the whole human being as an organism. The skin itself therefore, has to have the qualitatively, the makeup that speaks to the intuguement or sheaths and a kind of inner organ content as well. I believe that this can be found in the human skin. We can speak to seven layers of the human layers of the skin, we can also speak to seven organs or seven contentual aspects of the skin. How each one of the layers of the skin and each organ of the skin is related to a particular sheath and content of a preparation. I would not like to surmise at this point, I want to make a general correspondence. I would like to keep the correspondence of the skin and the preparations in a fluid relationship at this point.

We can see the skin made out of the two general tendencies. We can see that it is layered and we can also see that it has its organs. If we start with the surface and the layers, we can enumerate seven layers. The layers also can be threefold, but here I will use a seven-folded division. The outer layer is called the disjunctum. Next, comes the layer of the corneum, then the lucidem layer. There follows the granulosom and the germinatum layers. These outer five layers sit on top of what is called the dermis and finally there is the hypodermis which is often largely fat.

So we now can also enumerate seven essential organ structures that belong to the skin. The first one is the hair, which as it were, projects into the skin. In hair something of the outer world is projected in. We see that (1) hair grows into the skin like the herbaceous plant which grows into the trunk of a tree or into the earth. Next, we have (2) nails which are a surfacing on the skin, a flattening and thickening of the upper layer of the skin. The third organ, is (3) muscle. Muscle is found in the layers of the skin. Next comes the (4) vascular tissue as organ. (5) Sebacceous glands play a significant role in the skin, as do (6) nerves. And finally, we have the (7) sweat glands.

We have enumerated seven skin organs. Something of the essential makeup of man is synthesized, is summarized in the skin with its seven layers and its seven organs. (In a way man in his skin organs has a reflection of his inner organs). Thus we can think of seven skin layers as seven sheaths for preparations,and seven organs as seven contents. There are seven skin organs and seven contents for preparations. As we have already seen, every organ has a layer of skin or a sheath and an inner content. Every organ has a form and a function. In the case of the entire human organism there is the outer skin and inner organs. Therefore the two—fold makeup of such a structure as the preparation tends to point to the domain of an organism, where a specific life process takes place.

Man in his soul life through his upper senses, moves out into the cosmos. Likewise, the skin layers can be imaginatively expanded into the seven ether spheres of the cosmos. Within these ether spheres exist seven activities, seven functions, seven planetary bodies. Again, I do not think that the exact correspondence is significant, but the fact that one has a sphere and a planetary body points to a possible variant of sheath and content or organ.

The more compacted form of this skin can be drawn outward into seven spheres. The layers can be enlarged into the cosmos into seven spheres. The compacted physical skin is layered – can be spread into the spherical etheric. The physical is transformed into the etheric. This is what we are trying to do in making the preparations, to further raise the etheric into the astral. We are adding substances to the soil so that the soil can serve as a birthplace for the plant. The earth needs etheric workings so it can be raised into the etheric and astral tending of the plant. It is the physical-ethereal (astral—tending) plant that is consumed by man and animal to maintain physical life as well as soul life. In the case of the animal the soul life is lived out in impulses and reactions. In the case of man of course, the soul life can reach to much loftier realms. This reaching of man into loftier realms requires proper nutrition as we have already indicated. It is for this reason that we tend the earth, which in turn tends the plant, which in turn tends the animal and man. Man thereby gains the possibility for new directions for the future.

With this summary overview, we can say that we have considered the transformation of earth substances so that we have a kind of medicament, a substance-medicament — the preparation. We apply this substance-medicament to the earth, or plant or the compost pile so that a proper nutrition can unfold in animal and man, a proper reproductory process, a proper soul life. Though one can not quite say that the earth, the plant and the animal are ill like man, none the less, one can speak of a kind of a healing medicament that is needed by the earth, because the earth suffers the illness of the “fall”. It is this redemption of earth substance that we have to undertake in conjunction with the spiritual world. If we use the term medicament or therapy in this general sense then we can speak of the farmer who carries the staff of Mercury who works as a therapeutician. We have also hinted that the farmer can work as a.therapeutician into the sphere of economics – to bring healing.

With this said, we are then prepared to look not to the activity of the farmer as healer, as the carrier of the Staff of Mercury, but as one who can also carry on priestly-like activities. The priestly-like activities is not tending to the healing and the furthering of life, but is looking and working with the fire of the sacrament. It is in the fire-sacramental process that the priest finds a very essential activity. Here the priest is not just working with the earthly to raise it into the living, but he is trying to bring that which is spiritual in the cosmos in relation to life. To bring the cosmic spiritual to life does not require the process of reproduction, the furthering the activities of life, but requires the process of fire and ash formation so that the spirit can indwell and take hold of the physical. The priest is not manipulating the physical for production, for growth or for physical nourishment. The priest prepares that which he has to enact in the fire, in the flame of the sacrament, so that that which is living and life-reproducing is transformed, given over to the spiritual so that the spiritual can indwell and take hold of it. This I would say is a needed concern to approach what is to be given in this lecture, the sixth lecture.

By this reasoning we can look at the preparations as a kind of a healing agent, as a medicament. As we move on to discuss the problem of weed and pest, the making of pepper, we have to come into another realm of activity, I would call it the realm of the priestly. This requires that the farmer as a human being, serve the earth as a vocation. He, as therapeutician and as priest, the farmer, comes to his vocation.

The approach to the peppers is by no means easy. I have never heard a thorough discussion of the peppers. I suspect the peppers have been discussed but this discussion has never arrived at my door step. The approach I take here may seem strange to some, however, I will venture on this journey with some trepidation.

I would take up the consideration of the peppers by beginning to take up three areas of existence, which are not often spoken to. Again, in my experience, in Anthroposophical circles, I have never heard a discussion of these three entities, except in passing. What I am about to discuss can, in fact, be found in Rudolf Steiner’s discussions of the gospels. In the gospel cycles you will find what I wish to take up here – the phantom, the specter, and the demon. These are three existences, three being-existences, which Rudolf Steiner has presented, has discussed. They are easy to overlook or miss. Their import would seem not to be very great. However, it seems to me that we have to consider these three existences to comprehend a cultic process. What is enacted in the use of peppers, I see as a cultic ceremony. The fire of sacramentalisn is underlayed by consideration of these three existences.

Let me begin with the realm of the demon, the demonic. Rudolf Steiner tells that the demon or demonic was perceived in the third cultural epoch. It was something that human beings came to through their natural clairvoyance. He tells that the demon actually came into existence in the Lemurian period and became a form in which the supersensible world was perceived in evolution. The demon nature of the spiritual world, the demonic nature of the spiritual world was carried over from the time of Lemuria, through the post-Atlantenan periods and into the time of the third cultural epoch. Therefore the demon was a very common type of existence and was perceived. At first, higher spiritual beings manifested themselves in the demonic existence. As time went on, the higher spiritual beings left this sphere of existence. Lower and lower forms of spirit beingness entered into the demonic forms. The eastern paths, the eastern clairvoyant tendencies, took account of these demonic forms and pointed man to them. In the first post-Atlantean period these forms were Luciferically inclined in the East. As culture flowed westward, the forms have become Ahrimanic. In the West, demonic distortions and deformedness have became greater and greater. This is an aspect of spiritual life, this is an aspect of cultic life that was well-comprehended and taken into consideration by the mysteries in the ancient times by those who had some perception and knowledge through clairvoyant consciousness. Beings investing these forms in the earliest of evolution were the Thrones, Kyriotetes and Dynameis. With the Fall, with substance life and soulness becoming subject to lower forces, Ahrimanic forces, the demonic form took on less and less Luciferic configuration of higher beings. As evolution progressed the higher spiritual beings deserted these astral forms. There unfolded the forms that are the expression of the elemental existence. Sub-earthly forces worked into these forms. These forms today, if I understand correctly, are particularly important in the plant existence where salamandric and sylphic elemental beings are active. In this domain there exist even healthy demon forms, but demonic forms, none-the-less. With the occurrence of the Mystery of Golgotha, these forms have been redeemed.

However, before taking up the Mystery of Golgotha I would like to take up the fact that the demonic gives rise to the daimon. The higher form of the human soul in the time of the Greek was spoken of as the Daimon. Rudolf Steiner indicates that it was the Daimon who spoke to Socrates in his dialogues. The Socratian dialogue (dialectic), gave rise to the potential to raise the demon to the daimon. That is a higher spiritual being could speak through the human being, could incorporate into the human being. (I suspect it was an Archangel). It is possible at this time in history for the Elohim to begin to express themselves in the astral configuration of man.

Rudolf Steiner tells that the demon is an astral form. It is the astral which gives the basis for the incarnation of spiritual beingness. In the case of the demon, lower and lower spiritual beings invest themselves in this form. With the daimon, I gather, there begins a re—ascent of the demon form to lay the basis for Elohim incarnation. At times it became possible for the archangel-demon or daimon to enter man. It is at this time we find the Mystery of Golgotha taking place. Rudolf Steiner has not said this directly but much points in this direction. It now is possible for elohim bengs to enter man’s soul.

In relationship to the demon that can be evolved to a higher form in the daimon, we find the basis laid for what occurred in the Mystery of Golgotha. As the dialectic soul-spiritual activity of Socrates, can permit the demonic to become daimon, this lays a basis for the Christ to take hold of this form in order to evolve it for further cultural evolution, for a higher form of man. In the Christology lectures by Rudolf Steiner, he not infrequently refers to the demonic which is dispelled by the Christ. We are told that it is a law of the spiritual world, that when a demon being is recognized, the demon has to leave the human soul. This permits the evolution of the human soul to higher realms. My impression is that these demon beings begin redemption with recognition. Recognition lays the basis for their redemption. The human soul in a way, is purified with the recognition of demonic beingness. This can lead to the daimon and then the enchristening of the soul. The demonic is released from the soul, the soul is then ‘ purified, we can say, healed. This is the healing of the soul who is possessed.

The means by which such a healing is spoken to on a much larger scale, can be pointed to when events are described occultly as happening on a mountain. On the mountain is where we have the Transfiguration of Jesus the Christ. Here the astral-physical of the being of Jesus is transformed into a light form. This was seen clairvoyantly and described. We can also consider that it is what occurs in seizure states. With this Transfiguration the astral becomes so pure that the physical becomes a light formed organization. Events that occur on the mountain refer to such a transformation. The purifying process is a healing process, and when a human being is ready the physical is astralized – a new form of existence in the astral world can arise. If man is not ready for the transfiguration, a seizure will occur. The fire of transformation — the sacramental fire can bring about such a form in the astral world. Something of the physical world accompanies this. Thus we have described the transformation on the mountain top. This is an event that occurred before the Mystery of Golgotha. I would like to suggest that the Transfiguration redeems the marked distortion of the demonic form that had come to invest man. However, there is still another form that has to be created in order that a future form, a similar future form can be given to man. I would suggest that this future form of the demon is the revelation of the spirit fire form in the events of Pentecost. It seems to me that the tongues of fire are actually a post Mystery of Golgotha event that has to be seen in the light of the transfiguration. In the transfiguration the demonic form became daimon. In the Pentecostal event, the daimon becomes creative in the word of fire, the flaming word of fire that transforms all creation into a new form of existence, existence in the spirit.

Now let us move on to the specter. The specter-ghost form came into existence in the time of Atlantis. It points to an etheric-form. It expresses an etheric makeup. Here it is not so much the animal astral that is involved but more the plant-ether – its form and some substance. Rudolf Steiner tells that this specter-form of spiritual beingness, in the etheric is a semi-luciferic condition that was early on perceived in the mysteries. Again, this form became distorted, transformed through the evolution of man, through cultural evolution to be more and more taken hold of by ahrimanic beings. The luciferic then is given over to the ahrimanic and the distortion of form is ahrimanic. An example of this process, I believe, we can consider in the plant world. The spur formation on the rye grain, the formation of fungal myceleum is an example. This disfiguration, this transformation of the grain of rye began about the time of the first millennia before Christ. The spurred rye gave rise to St. Anthony’s Fire, ergotism, about a century after the Mystery of Golgotha.

This disfigured ether form had to be healed. The deformed ether had to be brought back into a healthy form again. The specter-ghost form in existence is where lower spiritual beings can come to dwell and have to be healed. The distorted ether form, ghost form, is healed and is described by events in the Gospels which occur at the seaside. Here, that which is in the etheric, is then taken hold of by Jesus. The walking on water is a perception of the Christ in the region of the waters. There a specter-ghost form becomes changed so that it takes on a truly human form. Rudolf Steiner speaks to these events, to the transformation of the etheric by the Christ, particularly in the cycle on St. Mark.

Again, as in the case with the demonic, here the ghost-form has to be evolved through the Mystery of Golgotha. The ghost form is altered before the Mystery of Golgotha – but becomes the ascension form after. The complete incarnation of the Christ into the ether body of Jesus is needed first to heal the older ghost form — but (“and” editor) to give rise to a new ether form in the ether world. This form in the ether is chronicled in the events of Ascension. The Ascension-etheric form is essentially a form which was closed to the Apostles. They did not see this ascendant form. My view is that it is this form that we need to cognize now in our time. However, there is a state in which he was perceived as such and that was when he was described in the events of Emmaus. There at the meal, I suspect He was then perceived in the ascendant etheric form. The consuming of substance was necessary for the ether form, the healed ether-form to be perceived and cognized by the apostles. It is this ascendant ether-form that has today to be found on a conscious path. This is an ether-form, a Christian ether-form, it is the etheric form, one can say of the Christ in the ether world. This now has to be and should be apprehended in order to find the way into the future. It is not the specter ghost form that is crucial, this will lead only to lower and lower forms of materialism. Rudolf Steiner speaks about this and particularly in relationship to science. He tells that the sciences are actually increasingly creating ghost forms in their intellectual—materialistic ideas. The holding of oneself in pure spiritual activity, in the world of the living, to perceive in the living world, is to begin to cognize in the world where the true form of man exists, not as ghost specter, but as a truly Christian configuration. This is the goal towards which we have to march. This is a goal which we have to take into consideration when we have to try to work with the earth for the sake of the earth and the kingdoms including the human.

In review then we can consider that the demon-astral form came into existence in Lemuria. The ghost-specter-like form came into being in earlier Atlantis. Both forms became increasingly decadent. Needed is the transformation of these forms. To find a new form, a healing has to occur. But also, there has to be a transformation of the physical form into a higher form. This we have described here as the task of the Christ as the being whose lowest vehicle is of the Spirits of Form.

Now, let us go on to this third configuration. It is a physical configuration, or a misconfiguration, known as the phantom. As best as I can tell the first expression of this form as physical came about in the time of Polaria. However, this is actually densified and brought more into a material form by the Fall. The phantom comes much more into existence at the end of Atlantis and more so in the post-Atlantean period. The phantom form is a form that can carry the highest, but also the very lowest. The disfigurment of this physical configuration is a result of the taking hold of an original configuration by the deeds of Ahrimanic beings. Gnome, undinic-like beings, and other elemental beings that have fallen out of evolution, serve Ahriman and work into this configuration. Fallen spirits of will, wisdom and motion are active. Fallen offspring, the spirits of the rotation of time, of elemental beings all are at work in this phantom configuration.

If we look into the Christian evolution we can consider events that occur within the “house” as it were, within the physical, are events that are enacted before the Mystery of Golgotha, in order to bring about a transformation of the phantom form of man. Here, we have to consider the events that occur within the house particularly the Last Supper. The Passover process can be considered. This I would suggest is the enactment, by the Being of the Christ, to take hold of the human form so that it is in a way, healed, so that a true phantom can exist within the human being.

This takes us to the Mystery of Golgotha. Through the Mystery of Golgotha human phantom is completely penetrated, and thereafter the earth. This transformation of the human configuration and the earth so that the phantom appears in another form, I would see as described when Jesus is described as a Gardener. Here the phantom form of man is taken into nature. Nature beingness of man, the Gardener, is perceived as the resurrected form of the phantom. We can consider the scene at the tomb when Martha turns to address the resurrected phantom being of the Christ as Raboni, as the Rabbi. He is indistinguishable from the Rabbi-teacher, and the gardener. He can not yet be touched because he is not risen. None-the-less, I would like to suggest that this points to the direction of the phantom-form, which is necessary for man to assume as he excarnates, dies and enters into the cosmos. The Last Supper points to the transformation of the phantom form so that in fact, man can live in his physical body. As the resurrected form is brought into life, man can within his body, also develop the higher states of consciousness which are given by the deeds of the Christ through the Mystery of Golgotha and the Resurrection.

What I have shared here, is that at first, higher spiritual beings gave rise to form within the astral, etheric and the physical. These are well described by Rudolf Steiner. Gradually these forms were taken up by lower human beings, by lower spiritual beings. Man, as he becomes an ego, has to then transform these configurations, has to in a way, exclude the lower spiritual beings and has to invest these forms by his own ego-ness by his own evolving as ego to higher states of existence.

We can in a way, consider that the transformation of the demonic, specter, and phantom configurations is actually a healing process. We can perhaps connect our preparations with these three processes. However, the creation of the higher forms of the phantom, the ghost, specter and the demon so that they become Christianized, become higher egoized. Here we require not healing, but the fire of sacrament.

This leads us over now to consider the fire or sacramental fire. I would say, sacramental fire is needed to bring about the transformation that is spoken to in this lecture. With the preparations of the pepper, the use of the fire, we approach the domains of existence which we have been just discussing.

To make the peppers, Rudolf Steiner tells us that we have to have fire (burn), the animal and the plant substances. He tells how this firing is an opposite process to that of watering. The latter supports the reproductive process, the life processes. Water is that which brings forth life. Without water there would be no life. The solid-physical is in a way, the substrata of life, the water brings life, growth and reproduction in its course. The fire process is just the opposite. It takes life, it raises life to a higher plane, it brings substance into such a configuration where substance is lightened and fired – is brought back to the spirit. We can say that our preparations belong to the domain of water. The furthering and the regulating of the water process. The making of the peppers is a fire priestly-cultic sacramental burning process. This brings about the transformation of life – life ceases. We can easily think of the early religions. There we also encounter the sacramental process, the sacrament of burnt offerings, to the gods. I would like to suggest that we can see these preparations of the ash, as well as the sprays as part and parcel of the sacramental fire process, the fire of the sacraments. This can now be used in a new agriculture.

If we turn to the entities involved in making peppers, we can start with the grub. This is an earthly being related to the root. This is an invertebrate that lives and moves within the solid earth. This is an animal that when it begins to get out of hand, creates a condition where the plant can no longer be sustained by the earth. I would suggest that the proliferation of the grub and the grub itself points to a phantom-like element that belongs to the physical earth, affecting the plant.

If we now look to the specter-ghost form, we can consider the weeds. This is an etheric entity that comes to dwell in a sphere where it does not belong. The weed is a living entity that does not belong on earth. It disturbs the agricultural individuality. As such it is an expression of specter-like activity in the midst of the farm—individual. The weed is that which grows, and in growing is not penetrated by the will of man. The weed is a plant being that comes into existence. It is not planned and does not have a rightful existence within the agricultural entity,  agricultural individuality of the farm. The same thing can be said about the grub. The grub also does not belong to the agricultural individuality. We have to however, consider that the grub and the weed, the grub that infests the earth and the weed that troubles the crop, both should have a rightful place of existence – but not within the existent individuality of the farm.

Let us go on to the demonic form, to demon activity. This enters our agricultural individuality when the mice or other animals take over. The mouse is a nerve-sense vertebrate mammal. When rodents or kindred animals take over, the farm individuality, again has foreign living forms within it. I would liken these animals to the demonic forms that took over the human being in earlier times.

If we turn to the world of the insect, we can notice that the insect can belong to all three forms – phantom, ghost and demon. The egg and caterpillar stage of the insect is related to the grub. The chrysalis stage of the insect is related to the plant-spectre. The image stage of the insect – the butterfly stage corresponds to the demonic. The three displaced forms in grub, weed and rodent – can occur in the insect in egg, caterpillar, chrysalis or image. While the grub, weed and rodent point more to distorted forms of the past — insect distortions point more to the future.

Thus, we can say that the grub, the weed and the mouse bring deformities that can exist within the agricultural individuality. They come out of the past. In the case of the insect problems, we can gain a view of future forms of phantom, spectre and demon.

If we want to prepare a pepper, what is our effort? I would like to suggest that our effort is to create a domain in which the beings that should not be incarnated into the farm individuality can in fact, incarnate. We are then dealing with a sacrificial fire priestly activity that creates a domain that hovers above the sphere of the earth. This airy—moist—dust (pepper) permits the beings, that should not incarnate on the farm, to incarnate and have existence in a proper domain. They need to be permitted to find their rightful domain, not out of the past, but into the future. The fire of sacrament, in preparing the peppers and spreading them over the fields, creates a realm of existence that looks back to Hyperborea, Polaria, Lemuria, Atlantis, but also anticipates the forms that need to be transformed for the future. Future states and forms need to come into existence. Beings that have been dragged into the Fall need to find their proper place of incarnation, either as past forms or as anticipated future ones. The domain of existence for this to unfold is the etheric-astral – the astral plane of existence.

A last preparation has to be considered. This is the equisetum spray. I would like to think that our line of contemplation about the peppers applies to this spray. Here, a tea, is made, and is cast into the air. With equisetum we are not dealing with animals, insect – higher plant, but more to the mineral. Equisetum is largely silica. We are, with the equisetum spray, trying to work with very low realms of life. Bacteria, fungi, and I would also think, the viruses are to be taken care of. These forms are very old forms that point back to Polaria and Hyperborea. The preparation of the tea provides the proper incarnation circumstance for these beings of such a long history — fungi, bacteria and viruses. They are displaced when they incarnate into the farm-individuality, producing bacteria, fungal or viral‘’ infestations. The teas and sprinkling them into the atmosphere over the farm individuality permits these very.early lofty, but later low forms of existence – phantom forms – to find their proper domain.

With these considerations we have a raison d’être for preparing peppers and teas. We are dealing with a realm of existence which is generally not considered or tended to. We are actually creating other domains of existence so that spiritual beings of other realms can find their proper place of incarnation, can find their redemption. The use of peppers is a priestly activity just as with the preparations we can consider that the farmer carries out an activity as a healer.