Bob Brockie considers the enduring influence of the founder of Anthroposophy

Down on the farm, Rudolf Steiner taught that our forbears lived on the continents of Atlantis (which sank beneath the Atlantic) and Lemuria (which we shared with lemurs until it sank beneath the Indian Ocean).

Men were supersensible and god-like in those days, their thoughts soaring among the stars. Unfortunately, Lucifer and pernicious scientists like Sir Isaac Newton took away our innocence and filled our heads with poisonous nonsense. We are now the degenerate descendants of those far-off happy people but, if we follow Steiner’s precepts, we can regain our innocence, learn again how to soar among the stars, and speak to the dead in the forthcoming Age of Aquarius.

Steiner had something profound to say about most things — coffee, architecture, the banking system, dancing, and agriculture. In 1923 Steiner explained to some Silesian farmers: “If you want to know how beetroot grows you must understand not only what happens in the Earth but in the whole cosmos, for the sun the moon and the planets contain an inner principle of life which controls chemicals on Earth.”

Steiner had a poor view of scientists “who deal with only the corpse of chemistry and not the living substance.” He said, “Only spiritually prepared people understand the living spirit of chemistry.” In the soil, Steiner told his farmers, carbon bore creative and cosmic pictures and sublime imaginations; nitrogen sensed whether there is enough water in a district, and limestone was under the power of the moon, Mercury and Venus.

The planets beam astral energies down on the Earth where these forces can be harnessed by cows’ horns buried in the soil. The horns must be filled with quartz crystals to absorb the astro-ethereal energies, which are then rayed out into the living mystical soil.

To get rid of mice, Steiner recommended that farmers catch one when Venus was in Scorpio, burn its skin and sprinkle its ashes over the fields. This will “negate the reproductive power of the mice…”

He explained that farms were like living organisms, where water played the same role as blood in our bodies. If farmers wanted to potentise their water with cosmic energy, they had to pump, pulse and purify it, as did the heart.

You’d think that this claptrap would have died with Steiner, but No! Emigr√© continentals brought his ideas and practices to New Zealand where they provide the mainspring and scientific underpinning for biodynamic farming!

Originally published in the Dominion, 6 August, 2001

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