Mineral kingdom

From Anthroposophy

The mineral kingdom consists of physical matter made up of the four elements incl the element earth. It is called 'dead' matter because elementals of nature are 'frozen' into this matter, and there is no life left such as can be found in the plant kingdom.

For the nature of physical matter, see The nature of atoms

The group soul of the mineral kingdom is in the higher spirit world, and this kingdom was created as a spin-off of the Old Saturn evolutionary stage, it is the remainder of what could not develop an etheric life body on the next evolutionary stage Old Sun, and was thus 'pushed down'.

On Earth, we can see the results of the recapitulation in rocks that contain deposits of previous life stages of Earth (see reference Walther Cloos)


  • difference between physical and mineral
  • group soul in higher spirit world
  • chrystal forms:
    • their geometries as a reflection of the higher spirit world
    • their growth
  • slate/silica and lime/calcium (see Schema FMC00.423; 1922-07-02-GA213 and 1924-06-11-GA327)
    • lime and slate formation in Man: lime <-> thinking and slate <-> willing
    • health treatment of illnesses
  • metals
    • the seven main metals have a correspondence with the seven planets of our solar system, see also Schema FMC00.138
    • high impact of metals in low concentrations: The word metals calls up the heavy physical materials we know from our daily life. However a substance has various forms in which it appears, and from a spiritual scientific perspective it is especially the potencies (see Potentization) of low concentrations of metals in air and water, but also the human blood and body, that are of interest and importance.
    • Healing with metals


Schema FMC00.142B lifts out one aspect from Schema FMC00.142, graphically depicting the origin of nature's kingdoms as offsprings of the spiritual hierarchies in previous evolutionary stages.


Schema FMC00.005 shows how the various planetary forces or spiritual influences work in Man, and the correspondence with the Spectrum of elements and ethers as well as metals. Compare with Schema FMC00.297 to overlay Ahrimanic and Luciferic influences.

The chart is shown here to 'feel' how the thinly concentrated metals (see Potentization) live in Man and maintain his constitution. See also Healing with metals.


Schema FMC00.423 summarizes the polarity between silica/quartz and calcium oxides (or slate <-> lime) on Earth, they provide a sandwich substrate for the alchemy of the four elements that carry the spiritual influences.


Schema FMC00.423A is a variant providing summary descriptions as per lecture by Karl König. Relate this polarity to The two etheric streams.


Lecture coverage and references


explains how the spiritual beings from first elementary kingdom contains the forces that shape and give form to the minerals.

In like manner, there is a first Elementary Kingdom, which gives the minerals their form.

  • The animals received their shape, or form — a form determined by instincts and desires — from the Beings belonging to the third Elementary Kingdom.
  • The leaves, etc., of the plants are formed by the second Elementary Kingdom; this work consists chiefly of repetitions.
  • But performing, shaping forces of the minerals, which workout of the formless element, are to be found in the higher spirit world [arupa-devachan].

... the mineral kingdom contains, besides this mineral kingdom itself, also the first Elementary Kingdom; for this reason, it takes on a clearly defined shape.


talks about silica and carbon and nitrogen and lime

full lecture, SWCC

.. when we reflect upon our immediate earthly environment, we find, to begin with, various kinds of soil on the surface .. I will confine myself first to these two main kinds:

  • the limy kind, the lime-formation which, especially as Jura-limestone, you can observe here in our immediate surroundings,
  • and the slaty kind of soil .. slate-formation, where the rock, the mineral, is not in such a compact form as in the limestone-formation, but where it is schistous. Just think of shale, even of gneiss, of mica-schist and the like, which you find in the central Alps. Here are two great and important opposites: slate-formation and lime-formation.

[Contemporary mineral scientific geology - reductionism, see also Top five problems with current science]

Judged by present-day conceptions, these mineral deposits represent something that can be explained only in terms of mineral-physical laws. No account is taken of the fact that the Earth is one whole. Let us consider the science of geology as it is today.

The different kinds of earth, the deposits of ore, of metals, of minerals in general in the various earth-layers are observed. But the earth is not regarded as if it were also a dwelling-place for the living world of plants and human beings. To have such a conception of the Earth is rather like regarding the human skeleton as having an independent existence. Taking a human skeleton by itself, you must, to be correct, say: that is not a self-contained entity. Nowhere in the world can such a thing as a human skeleton originate by itself. It exists as the remains of a whole human body, but it could never materialize without the supplementary action of muscles, nerves, blood and so on. Therefore we must not look upon the human skeleton as an independent entity or attempt to explain it as such. Nor is it possible for anyone who thinks in actualities, and not in abstractions, to apprehend the earth with its various rock-formations without reflecting that the earth is a totality; that the plant, animal and human kingdoms belong to it, just as muscles, blood and so on belong to the human skeleton.

We must therefore be clear in our mind what it means to study the earth in terms of geology: it means forgoing at once any chance of reaching realities. We cannot arrive at anything real. We arrive at something that can be found within a planetary being only when this contains the plant-world, the animal world and the human world.

[Spiritual scientific view]

If we observe what, as part of the earth-skeleton, pervades the earth as slate-formation, we see that its external appearance differs very considerably from that of the concentrated compactness of the lime-formation. And if we make use of the methods which have been applied to the broad outlines of earth-evolution in the book OES, we have to trace the difference between the slate and lime formations to the relation between one or other of these to Man, to animal existence, to plant-existence. We must see how what belongs to the earth as soul-and-spirit is related to these rock-materials.

We cannot understand a human skeleton if we do not connect it ultimately with man's will-nature; and we cannot understand the slate-formation, or the lime-formation, unless we connect them with the tasks which these formations have to perform for what is also present in earth-existence as spirit-and-soul. And then we find an intimate connection between all that is slate-formation and plant-life; between all that is lime-formation and animal-life.

Certainly, as the earth is today, the mineral element contained in slaty matter can naturally be found also in the plants. The mineral substance to be found in animal matter has its origin in very diverse formations. But that is of less importance just now; the important thing is that to spiritual observation and to spiritual experience the particular way in which plant-life, the whole plant-world, belongs to the earth, reveals itself as having a certain special relationship to the slate-formation.

If I am to sketch it diagrammatically, it will be somewhat like this: here is the earth, with some accumulation of slate-formation on it, and then the plants growing out of the earth towards the outer universe. Spatially, the plants need by no means coincide with the slate-formation, just as, for instance, a thought, which is based on the instrument of the brain, need not coincide with a movement of the big toe. We are not concerned here with spatial coincidence, but with apprehending the nature of the slate-formation when we try to do so not only through chemical and physical examination, but also through penetrating to the essence of this slaty formation by means of spiritual investigation. Then we shall come to the conclusion: If the forces inherent in slaty matter were to act upon the earth only by themselves, they would have to be connected with a condition of life which develops in precisely the same way as the plant-world.

The plant-world develops in such a way that it represents only physical corporeality, etheric corporeality; that is, in the actual plants themselves. But when we come to the astral element of the plant-world, we must imagine this astral element of the plant-world as an astral atmosphere which encompasses the earth.

The plants themselves have no astral bodies, but the earth is enveloped in an astral atmosphere, and this astrality plays an important part, for instance, in the process of the unfolding of blossom and fruit. The terrestrial plant-world as a whole, therefore, has one uniform, common astral body which nowhere interpenetrates the plant itself, except at most in a very slight degree when fructification begins in the blossom. Generally speaking, it floats cloud-like over the vegetation and stimulates blossom and fruit formation.

[Slate formation as integrating catalyst]

What unfolds here would fall into decay but for the astral forces which emanate from the rock-material of the slate-formation. Thus we have in the slate-formation all that which tends to turn the whole earth into one organism. Indeed, we must see the relation of the plants to the earth as being similar to that of our hair to ourselves, as being of one and the same order. And what holds this whole organisation of the Earth together are the forces that radiate from the rock-material of the slate-formation.

[Healing treatment with plants]

When the human being in health or illness is treated with mineral substances deriving from slate-formations, it will be possible to perceive, even externally, the action of these particular minerals; and it will be of special importance to know which types of disease in the human organism are due, for example, to over-exuberance of the plant-element.

Over-exuberance of the plant-element must always be combated by treating the affected person with schistous mineral substance. For everything that belongs to this slate-substance keeps the plant-element in Man — if I may put it that way — in a normal condition, in the same way as it perpetually normalizes plant-existence on earth.

The plant-life of the earth would tend to spread with over-exuberance into outer cosmic space were it not kept in check by the radiations from the mineral-forces of the slate-formation.

Now the entire plant-world is intimately bound up with the sun-forces, with solar action. The effects produced by the sun are not confined to the emanations of warmth and light radiating from the etheric-physical rays of the sun, for the warmth and light are permeated through and through by spirit-and-soul. These forces of spirit-and-soul are allied with those pertaining to the slate-formation. That in a certain way everything of a slate-nature is spread all over the Earth is connected with the fact that plant-life on Earth exists in manifold forms. The spatial aspect is of no immediate importance; it must not be imagined, for example, that the slate-formation has to be here or there in order that plants may grow out of it.

  • The radiations of the slate-formation stream out; they are carried all over the earth by all kinds of currents, especially magnetic currents, and on these earth-encircling radiations of the slate-formation, the plants live.
  • Where, on the contrary, the slate-formation is in itself developed to the highest degree, plant-life cannot thrive today because there the life-forces of the plants are drawn too forcibly into the earthly element and therefore cannot unfold. There, the forces which fetter the plant to the earthly element are so overpowering that the unfolding of plant-life - in which the cosmic forces must also play their part - is prevented.

[Evolutionary perspective - Old Sun]

To account for the nature of the slaty element in the earth is possible, therefore, only if one can go back, in the sense in which it is described in my book OES, to the time when the Earth itself had an Old Sun-existence. It was then that the slaty element within the earth was being prepared. At that time, when the Earth had a Old Sun-existence, the physical part of the Earth had advanced only to a state of sprouting plant-life. The Old Sun-existence was such that no definite plants or animal beings could develop there. Plants as they are today were non-existent, but the earth itself had a kind of plant-existence, and out of this plant-existence there emerged on one hand the plant-world, while on the other hand a hardening took place of what in the plant-world are also formative forces, a hardening into slate-formation.

[Lime - link with animal existence and independence of Earth in its form/shape]

When we look at the lime-formation, it reveals itself to super-sensible vision as intimately connected with all that permeates animal existence on the Earth with — shall I say — independence. The plant is tied to the ground, is connected with it, as our hair is connected with the skin on which it grows. The animal moves about. But the radiations of the lime-formation are connected less with this movement as such, which is a local movement, than with the independent build of the animal-form.

When you look at a plant you can see that with its root it turns earthwards; it grows into the earth — is, as it were, drawn towards the centre of the earth — and then unfolds outwards. The plant's structure gives a clear indication of its complete adaptation to earth-existence. Naturally, a more complicated plant form calls for a more complicated description, but on the whole it remains essentially the same. The plant is not independent. Where it enters the soil it contracts, unites itself with the earth; where it rises up it spreads out and turns towards the light that radiates in all directions. This structure of the plant is best understood if studied in connection with its intimate relation to the plant's position in respect of the earth.

It is true that in their basic design some features of the animal form — for instance the horizontal position of the spine, the functioning of the limbs in a downward direction — point to an adaptation to earth-existence. All the same, by its natural form the animal has detached itself and has become independent of the earthly. You can discern in every animal-shape not only its adaptation to the earthly element, like that of the plant, but something entirely independent, a form set in itself. The fact is that even in respect of its structure the animal has been released from the grip of the earth.

[Formative forces]

Now super-sensible observation has revealed that

  • everything that radiates from the light of the moon, everything that streams as reflected sunlight from the moon on to the earth, and also streams into our thought-life as formative force — all this works, too, in the shaping of the animal forms. .. all that gives the animal its independent form, which is not adapted to the earthly element, is, in the true sense of the word, woven out of the gleaming moonlight.
  • .. all that is indeterminate, formless will-force in the animal is to be found within the sphere of the direct light from the sun.

All forms on the Earth are shaped by the moon-forces.

That the animals have different forms is due to the fact that the moon passes through the signs of the Zodiac. According to whether the moon stands in the sign of the Ram or the Bull or the Twins, the lunar formative forces act in their different ways on the animal world. This also establishes an interesting connection between the Zodiac and the animal form itself, of which the ancient dream-like wisdom was dimly aware. What draws these forms down on to the earth — forms which would otherwise dissipate into a kind of fog enveloping the earth — are the forces streaming from the lime-formation. The mineral element on Earth does not radiate from radium only.

Thus .. spiritual perception tells us ..

  • on the one side we have in the slate-formation that which binds the plant to the earth .. slate-formation on the earth is connected with the structural nature of the plant-world
  • and in the lime-formation that which draws from the moon-forces all that lives in the specific build of animal-forms .. the lime-formation is connected with the structural nature of the animal-world

[lime and slate formation in Man: lime <-> thinking and slate <-> willing]

We must realise that such attributes as we find, for instance, in the lime-formation are also to be found in every detail of organic life.

  • It can be observed quite exactly, if one is properly equipped for such investigations, that there are, for example, people who show a marked tendency to skeleton-formation. I do not mean that they have a strong skeleton, but that they have many lime deposits in the rest of their organism as well. There are, if I may say so, people who are richer or poorer in lime content. But you must not think of this in a grossly material sense; it should naturally be conceived as being present in a homeopathic form, but it is of great significance. People with a greater lime content are as a rule cleverer, capable of forming a combination of subtle ideas and of resolving them again under the scrutiny of searching analysis. You must not think that by saying this I am giving a materialistic explanation of the human being. I should naturally never dream of doing any such thing; for the fact that one person deposits more lime than another is connected with his karma. So it is that in both past and future everything has its connection with the spiritual. And a truly penetrating knowledge of the world is not based on any vague talk about the “spiritual” and the “material,” but on a mental outlook which recognises how the spiritual works creatively by shaping out of itself the material world. A man who, as the result of his former earthly lives, has acquired a predisposition for becoming a particularly clever person in his next incarnation, for example a particularly good mathematician, develops between death and a new birth those forces of spirit-and-soul which later deposit the lime-substance in him. We have to be dependent on lime deposits within us if we want to become clever. .. the lime-formation carries those radiations and currents which are concerned not only with building up animal life in all its forms on the earth, but also with providing the material foundation we need for the shaping of our thoughts. Outside in space are the manifold animal forms; within us, in our intellect, are the thought-forms. These are, in fact, the animal forms projected into the spiritual. The entire animal kingdom is at the same time intellect. And this whole animal kingdom projected into man's inner life, so that it appears there in mobile thought-forms, is the intellect. But as the animal kingdom needs the lime-formation to build up its forms in the outer world, so we need, as it were, a fine inner lime deposit, a lime formation, in order to become clever. This must, of course, not be carried too far. If a man were to deposit lime in excess, he would forfeit his cleverness; it would not remain his own. He would, as it were, bring about an objective cleverness in which his own personality would have no part. Everything has its limits. And as we follow up these things further, we come to interesting discoveries about the extent to which the mineral element plays its part in the life of man, animal and plant. When we consider all that works in us as lime-forces we are led to what struggles for expression in the formative forces and helps us to develop inner firmness.
  • We have to rely more on deposits of clay-substance — which exists for instance in slate-formations — if it is primarily a matter of developing the will. Man's connection with the forces of clay, of the clay-slaty element, leads him to fight against this inner firmness; to dissolve it, liquefy it and make it plant-like. Man is always in a sense the embodiment of a kind of interaction between the lime element and slate element — by which, of course, I mean the inner forces they contain.


Now we can look more closely at the slate element. In much of it we find flint and silicious substances, especially those to be found in the rock-crystal, in quartz. In their radiations and currents the forces of quartz are also fully active in Man himself; and if he possessed only these quartz-like forces which he takes in with the harder slaty element, he would be in constant danger of his spirit and soul striving to return to what he was in his pre-earthly life. The quartz element always wants to draw man away from himself, to take him back again to his still unembodied being.

To counteract this force, another force is needed, and this is the force of carbon.

Man has carbon working in his organism in manifold ways. Carbon is observed by natural science today only in its outer aspect, merely by physical and chemical means. In reality, carbon is the element which makes us always remain with ourselves.

Carbon, in a sense, is our house; we dwell in it; while silica always wants to take us back in time to where we were before we took possession of our carbon-house.

This means that a constant struggle is waged in us between the forces of carbon and those of silica. Our life is woven into this battle. If we consisted only of carbon — for instance the physical plant-world has its foundation in carbon — we should be completely earth-bound. We could not have the slightest inkling of our extra-terrestrial existence. The fact that we can know about it we owe to the silica element in us.

[Treating illness with silica]

If one has insight into all this, one also discovers the healing forces contained, for instance, in silica, in quartz or flint.

Where an excessive inclination towards carbon causes a man to become ill — this applies, for example, to all cases of illness due to certain deposits of metabolic products — then silicious substances provide the remedy. Especially when the deposits are peripheral or in the head, the healing properties of the silica element are a strong antidote.


A point of special importance is that attention should be paid to what lives as the nitrogen element in Man, to nitrogen as such and to its combinations.

The fact that man has nitrogen in his system enables him, as it were, to remain always open to cosmic influences.

This again I can best illustrate by a diagram. Let us assume that this represents the human organism. The fact that Man has nitrogen, or bodies containing nitrogen, in his organism, ensures that the laws governing the organism keep, as it were, within their confines everywhere; along these lines (in the diagram) indicating the nitrogen in the body, the latter ceases to impose its own laws.

This allows the cosmic laws to enter freely everywhere. Along the nitrogen-line in the human body the cosmic element asserts itself in the body.

You can say: As far as nitrogen is active in me, the cosmos, right to the most distant star, works in me. What there is of nitrogen-forces in me draws the forces of the whole cosmos into me. If my organism had no nitrogen-content, I should be shut off from everything that comes in from the cosmos.

And when it is important that the cosmic forces should unfold in a special way, for example in human propagation when in the body of the mother the embryo develops — the embryo which as you know, is moulded from the cosmos — this is made possible only because the nitrogen-containing substances open the human being to the influences of the cosmos.

But everything in the universe and in human existence is so ordered as not to go to extremes. Indeed, if one-sided action were allowed to prevail, everything would lead to extremes. If nitrogen, which impels man always to expand, spiritually, into cosmic space, could exert its full force on the human organism, it would work together with the silica element — which induces man, I might say, to lose himself in the spiritual past — and the effect would be that man would constantly lapse into unconsciousness.

Now it is always interesting when observing anything in nature or in Man to find that important things play a double role. Thus the lime element, which gives man the physical stamp for cleverness, also counteracts the effect of nitrogen.

On the one hand, silica and carbon form polaric opposites in man; on the other hand, nitrogen and lime do the same:

  • silica -> <-carbon
  • nitrogen -> <- lime

The lime substances in Man so regulate him that he always re-asserts his own organisation in face of the force which, through the medium of nitrogen, seeks to work into him from the cosmos.

Through nitrogen, the cosmic forces enter;

through lime-action, that which issues from the human organism opposes and balances it.

So that in many different places in the human body an influx of cosmic forces and likewise an expulsion of cosmic influences takes place. It is a ceaseless pendulum-movement: nitrogen effect — lime effect, lime effect — nitrogen effect. Thus we can not only relate man to the starry world, but also give him his place in his immediate earthly environment.

What is really known about carbon? That it is to be found in nature as coal, as graphite, as diamond. These bodies are then described according to their physical characteristics. But it is not known that carbon is the element which holds us firmly within ourselves, so that we are a self-contained human organism, and that this is constantly challenged by the silica element, which seeks to draw us away from ourselves.

.. one must know how the different substances are, as it were, embodiments, “substantiations” of spiritual processes .. and be able to see

  • how the lime element acts on the inner organisation of Man;
  • how the nitrogen element always aims at permeating him with cosmic impulses.



Take a specific case. The old Initiates took for granted the presence of lead everywhere in earthly existence — because to the radiation of lead they attributed what works in the human form from the extreme top, from above downwards. In the widely distributed lead on Earth they saw something that is connected with the inner structure of Man, especially also with human self-consciousness. Naturally, the modern materialist would say: But lead has nothing to do with the human organism. In answer to that the old Initiate would have told him: It is certainly not, as you imagine, the gross lead-substance that we have in mind, but the forces emanating from exceedingly fine lead-constituents; and such lead is very widely distributed. That is what the ancient Initiate would have said.

[radioactive elements]

What does the modern student of natural science say? He says: There are minerals which give off radiations, among them the so-called radioactive ones. The radiations of uranium are known; it is known that certain rays - alpha rays they are called - stream out; then, the remaining part, in the course of further radiation, undergoes certain changes, even comes to possess - as the chemists say - a different atomic weight. .. in radioactive matter, transmutations take place. .. But now, those who have investigated such matters say: These radiations give rise to something which appears as a terminal product, no longer radioactive, and this has the properties of lead. Thus you can learn strictly from the investigations of modern science that there are radioactive substances; within the source of these radioactive radiations there is something which, in accordance with its inherent forces, is in course of formation. There is always a lead-content at the bottom.


You know that the air which belongs to the immediate surroundings of our earth consists of oxygen and nitrogen, Nitrogen is, to begin with, of little use for our physical life. Oxygen we inhale; in the body it undergoes a change and carbon dioxide is formed, which we exhale. So the question might arise:

Then what exactly is the main importance of nitrogen, which does not enter into chemical combination with oxygen, but lives out there in a kind of intimate mixture with oxygen?

In nitrogen we cannot live; for that, we need oxygen. But without nitrogen our I and our astral body, when outside the physical body during sleep, could not exist. We should perish between going to sleep and waking if we could not immerse ourselves in nitrogen.

Our physical body and our etheric body need the oxygen from the air; our I and astral body need nitrogen.

The nitrogen is a substance which brings us into intimate connection with the spiritual world. It is the bridge to the spiritual world in the state in which our soul lives during sleep.

Take what I said before, together with what I have now said about nitrogen. Nitrogen draws the cosmic element in from the circumference. From within us, it prepares us for the cosmic element. Outside, it allows those parts of us which are not properly of the earth to live in themselves, so to speak, as forces of spirit-and-soul. Hence it is not for nothing that there is a considerable admixture of nitrogen in the air, for nitrogen carries the physical death-forces and the spiritual life-forces of earthly existence. And when between falling asleep and waking we escape from the physical death-forces to another existence in our soul-life, we immerse ourselves in the nitrogen-element, which forms the bridge between our life of spirit-and-soul and the cosmos.

With our earthly-personal existence we are rooted in carbon; with our life of soul-and-spirit, in nitrogen.

In earthly existence, carbon and nitrogen are related to one another and to man as I have just described.

[Carbon and nitrogen]

  • Look at carbon; it is contained in ordinary coal, in graphite, in the diamond. These are three different forms in which carbon can occur. What you see as carbon in the black, sooty coal and in the diamond and in graphite, we also carry within us in a different form. We are — not to a very great extent, it is true, but to a small extent — a little piece of diamond and this holds us firmly within our earthly house. That is where our spirit-and-soul are at home when within the body.
  • Nitrogen, which occurs in the various nitrogen-compounds, nitric acid, and in saltpeter and so on, is the element which always allows us to emerge from ourselves, as it were. As I said, it forms the bridge to the spirit-and-soul element in the cosmos. This too must be discovered again through the new spiritual science. It was once within the realm of earthly knowledge, but only in a dreamlike way. It was perceived with the old clairvoyance by the ancient Initiates.

And now comes the fourth realm where human beings live, the realm wherein according to our method of cognition we to-day place the mere objects and processes of Nature, but where the ancient Oriental felt the whole of Nature penetrated with the elemental spirits of water and of earth. This was Asia. Asia meant the lowest spirit realm, in which he, as human being, lived. You must remember that the present-day conception of things that we have in our ordinary consciousness was unknown to the man of those times. It would be nonsense to suppose that it were in any way possible for him to imagine such a thing as matter devoid of spirit.

To speak as we do, of oxygen and nitrogen would have been a sheer impossibility for the ancient Oriental.

  • To him oxygen was spirit, it was that spiritual thing which worked as a stimulating and quickening agent on what already possessed life, accelerating the life-processes in a living organism.
  • Nitrogen, which we think of today as contained in the atmosphere together with the oxygen, was also spiritual; it was that which weaves throughout the Cosmos, working upon what is living and organic in such a way as to prepare it to receive a soul-nature.

Such was the knowledge the Oriental of old had, for example, of oxygen and nitrogen. And he knew all the processes of Nature in this way, in their connection with spirit; for the present-day conceptions were unknown to him. There were a few individuals who knew them, and they were the Initiates. The rest of mankind had as their ordinary everyday consciousness a consciousness very similar to a waking dream; it was a dream condition that with us only occurs in abnormal experiences.

Walther Cloos

.. sets out, in 'The Living Earth', to use the world of rocks as a timeline to understand the previous evolutionary stages of the earth which was alive as a living organism, with its layers being produced by the plant and animal kingdoms in the various phases.

Facing the world of rocks we find an ordering. Goethe in his geological studies came to the conclusion that the perfect classification is not made by Man: nature herself has laid it out before his eyes. This classification or order - recognised by modern geology - can be used ... to explain the past from the present. ... in the formation of the world of rock, one can see how the mineral deposits of the Earth are the transformed remains of former life.

Notebook entry

Cloos works from a notebook entry by Rudolf Steiner which appears to be the basis for a lecture cycle that was never given. The book lays out how this densely written 'telegram style' shorthand contains a wealth of clues and connects it to the evolution of the Earth. Although it cannot be understood as it stands here without the book explanations, we still add it here because of its amazing format and contents.

The notebook entry was first published in 1927. See Walther Cloos' 'The living Earth'.

In porphyry the world-plant-animal expires, then in shist the plant-nature, and in limestone the animal-nature.

In salt the human being is extinguished. The opposite pole is sulphur in which the mineral is burnt and consumed.

Mineral is consumed in sulphur, plant spreads warmth in layers of shist, plant-animal in-grains feeling in porphury, animal confirms forms in limestone, Man condenses thoughts in salt

With fiery sulphur Man enters the Earth, in schistose layering he makes himself at home on Earth, by awakening feeling (porphyry-like) he finds his limbs and forms himself as Man in limestone, to found the ground for thought in salt depositing.


Draft work section



.. if you're able to consciously suppress the tableau of these memory pictures .. you reach the stage that you're able to perceive experiences prior to conception (and birth). The realm of soul and spirit that you inhabited before entering this earthly existence remains part of your inner being, even during life on Earth. It works and lives in us in a way similar to the way hydrogen lives with oxygen after they form water. One cannot examine hydrogen separately from oxygen while they form water, and similary one cannot examine the human soul and spirit separately while we live on Earth.

GA312 (p 234) the heart system is realted to hydrogen, hence the importance of the hydrogen life for the higher Man and the relation with the transformation of the lower more animal-like lower Man

Wenn Sie ins Auge fassen, daß das Herzsystem mit den Bildekräften des Wasserstoffes verwandt ist, so werden Sie ohne weiteres auch die Wichtigkeit zugeben, welche das Wasserstoffleben als solches für das ganze Obere des Menschen hat. Denn es wird gewissermaßen mit der Entwickelung des Wasserstoffes nach dem oberen Menschen hin dasjenige, was unten mehr tierisch ist, umgewandelt in das eigentlich Menschliche, in dasjenige, was nach den Vorstellungen und so weiter hingeht.


see I-organization#1922-10-27A-GA314

the kidney system makes that what is taken in as food stuffs (ingestion), is brought into the astral organism in Man

afterwards it is taken into the I-organization by the liver and gall system

GA327 (p74)

In den Lebewesen sieht man, daß da in einem lebendigen Zusammenwirken desjenigen, was aus dem Geiste heraus im Kohlenstofflichen Gerüstgestalt annimmt, mit demjenigen, was aus dem Astralischen heraus im Stickstoffartigen das Gerüst durchsetzt mit Leben und es empfindend macht, daß da Leben drinnen wirksam ist im Sauerstofflichen. Dasjenige, was da der Geist in den Kohlenstoff hineingebaut hat, wofür er sich das Leben aus dem Sauerstoff heranzieht. Alles das muß wieder verschwinden können. Nicht nur so weit, als es auf der Erde verschwindet, sondern es muß in den Kosmos, in das Weltenall hinaus verschwinden können. Das macht ein Stoff, der, so nahe es nur möglich ist, verwandt ist mit dem Physischen, und wiederum, so nahe es nur möglich ist, verwandt ist mit dem Geistigen, das macht der Wasserstoff, in dem eigentlich, wenn wir richtig sprechen – trotzdem er selber das feinste ist, was physisch ist –, das Physische ganz zersplittert, vom Schwefel getragen hineinflutet in das Ununterscheidbare des Weltenalls. Der Wasserstoff trägt alles dasjenige, was irgendwie gestaltetes, belebtes Astralisches ist, wiederum in die Weiten des Weltenalls hinauf, so daß es so wird, daß es aus dem Weltenall wieder aufgenommen werden kann. Der Wasserstoff löst eigentlich alles auf.

GA351 (p67)

So schädlich es an einem Ende beim Lebewesen ist, beim Kopf, wenn man ihm den Sauerstoff entzieht, so schädlich ist es für die Fortpflanzung, wenn man ihr den Wasserstoff entzieht. Und jetzt sehen wir, warum in der Welt Wasserstoff überall wo wir hinschauen – wir können nach jeder Richtung schauen –, Wasserstoff vorhanden ist. In der ganzen Welt ist Wasserstoff vorhanden aus dem Grunde, weil die Welt sofort vernichtet werden müßte, wenn es keinen Wasserstoff gäbe. In allem, wo Fortpflanzung ist, muß auch der Wasserstoff wirken. Nun wird die Welt fortwährend zerstört. Sie sehen, die Welt geht überall fortwährend ins Tote über. Die Gesteine werden abgerieben, alles wird überall zerstäubt. Die lebendigen Wesen verfaulen, alle möglichen Gärungsprozesse, die auch Verfaulungsprozesse sind, entstehen in der Welt. Wir leben ja eigentlich dadurch, daß fortwährend in uns etwas gärt. Und nur dadurch, daß etwas gärt, dadurch kann dann das Höhere entstehen. Dasjenige, was macht, daß sich aus dem Verwesenden dasjenige erhebt, was Leben macht, ja, das ist eben der Wasserstoff. Wenn sich der Wasserstoff in der Finsternis bildet, und das ist beim Grubengas oder Sumpfgas der Fall, da wirkt er schädlich, wenn er vom Licht abgesperrt sich entwickelt. Wenn aber der Wasserstoff am Licht sich entwickelt, so wie er in der ganzen Welt im Licht ausgebreitet ist, da ist er das Belebende; da ruft er aus dem Verwesenden, aus dem Gärenden eben das neue Leben hervor. Denn der Wasserstoff, wie er allüberall ist, der ist im Grunde genommen dasselbe, was wir an unseren Streichhölzern haben, wenn wir sie anzünden: Phosphor. Gewiß, in der Chemie ist der Wasserstoff ein ganz anderer Stoff als der Phosphor; aber nur weil die Chemie nicht so weit gehen kann, den Phosphor umzuwandeln in den Wasserstoff. Aber eben, wenn die Chemie weitergehen sollte, als sie heute ist, würde sie den Phosphor in Wasserstoff umwandeln können. Der Wasserstoff, der im Umkreis der Welt ausgebreitet ist, das ist der Weltphosphor.

GA351 (p72)

Der Wasserstoff ist nur nützlich im Weltenall, wenn zu gleicher Zeit in der Erde Soda vorhanden ist. Denn durch dieses Zusammenwirken wird der Tod von allem verhindert. Wenn man auf die kleine Erzeugung schaut, dann entsteht das neue Leben auf Erden durch das, was im männlichen Samen an Soda und Phosphor drinnen ist.

soda = sodiumoxide or NaO

sodiumcarbonate or bicarbonate


see anthrolexus on nitrogen

[1] GA 98, Seite 189  (Ausgabe 1983, 272 Seiten)
[2] GA 351, Seite 28f  (Ausgabe 1966, 270 Seiten)
[3] GA 351, Seite 31f  (Ausgabe 1966, 270 Seiten)
[4] GA 351, Seite 33f  (Ausgabe 1966, 270 Seiten)
[5] GA 327, Seite 70ff  (Ausgabe 1963, 306 Seiten)
[6] GA 327, Seite 73f  (Ausgabe 1963, 306 Seiten)
[7] GA 327, Seite 76f  (Ausgabe 1963, 306 Seiten)
[8] GA 327, Seite 21  (Ausgabe 1963, 306 Seiten)
[9] GA 213, Seite 89f  (Ausgabe 1969, 251 Seiten)
[10] GA 213, Seite 92  (Ausgabe 1969, 251 Seiten)
[11] GA 213, Seite 94f  (Ausgabe 1969, 251 Seiten)
[12] GA 218, Seite 73ff  (Ausgabe 1976, 336 Seiten)
[13] GA 218, Seite 75f  (Ausgabe 1976, 336 Seiten)
[14] GA 312, Seite 230  (Ausgabe 1976, 392 Seiten)

GA349 (p87)

Stickstoff und Atmen und Sprechen

Beim Atmen nehmen wir fortwährend Sauerstoff auf, verbinden den Sauerstoff mit dem Blut, geben Kohlensäure ab. Den Stickstoff, den können wir nicht in derselben Weise gebrauchen. Wenn wir sprechen, nehmen wir aber immer zu viel Stickstoff auf. Zu viel Stickstoff aufnehmen, heißt nämlich dem Zyan ähnlich werden. Und das muß er auch wiederum ausgleichen. Wenn der Mensch seine Sprachorgane in Bewegung setzt, so tötet er sich auch in gewisser Beziehung, wie er sich durch die Verbrennung bei der Bewegung tötet. Er muß das wiederum ausgleichen. Und das tut der astralische Leib, der lebt im Atmen und im Sprechen.

GA327 (p74) Stickstoff und Empfindungen

Der Stickstoff ist im menschlichen Nerven-Sinnes-System dasjenige, was die Empfindungen vermittelt; er ist in Wahrheit derjenige, der Träger der Empfindung ist.

GA347 (p60) Stickstoff und Gehirnsand

Derjenige, der den Gehirnsand auflösen muß, der braucht gerade zur Auflösung des Gehirnsandes eine Kraft, die ganz besonders im Stickstoff liegt. Deshalb sind wir in der Nacht, wenn wir schlafen, auch mächtiger dem Stickstoff ausgesetzt, als wenn wir wachen. Wir müssen, wenn wir zu stark schläfrig werden, versuchen stickstoffreichere Nahrung in uns aufzunehmen (Eiweiß, Käse).

GA312 (p234) Stickstoff und Lebersystem

Wir müssen identifizieren den Stickstoff mit dem Lebersystem.

GA327 (p76) Stickstoff und Meditieren

Es wird immer, wenn auch nur eben in ganz subtiler Weise, durch das Meditieren der regelmäßige Gang des Atmens etwas abgeändert. Wir stoßen nicht die ganze Wucht der Kohlensäure da hinaus, wo uns überall der Stickstoff umgibt. Wir behalten etwas zurück. Beim Meditieren wachsen Sie allmählich herein in ein Erleben des Stickstoffes rings um Sie herum. Es ist nun nicht schlecht, wenn derjenige, der Landwirtschaft zu besorgen hat, meditieren kann. Er macht sich dadurch empfänglich für die Offenbarungen des Stickstoffs. Da weiß man dann allerlei plötzlich.

GA314 (p112) Stickstoff und Nierensystem

Diese Spur von all den Rollen, die der Stickstoff spielt bei der Durchastralisierung des Organismus, brauchen Sie einfach zu verfolgen bei der Metamorphose von Harnsäure und Harnstoff, die nur in ganz exakten Versuchsreihen durchforscht werden müßten. Das Nierensystem strahlt einfach die astralische Organisation in den menschlichen Organismus hinein. Wir dürfen nicht die physische Organisation ins Auge fassen, sondern dasjenige, was mit ihr verbunden ist als gasförmige Organisation, und der Stickstoff spielt wiederum die Rolle, daß ja das Ganze übersinnlich wäre, so wie wir ätherisch wären, wenn nicht der Sauerstoff eingreifen würde. Der Stickstoff macht das Ganze so, daß der Mensch auf der Erde wandeln kann, daß er ein Erdenmensch ist.

GA302a (p131) Stickstoff und Sauerstoffgehalt der Luft

Der Mensch atmet den Sauerstoff ein, es kommt auch etwas Stickstoff in ihn. Er atmet dann wieder Sauerstoff, an den Kohlenstoff gebunden, aus, er atmet auch wieder etwas Stickstoff aus. Man mißt die Prozente, beschreibt es und glaubt damit den Vorgang im wesentlichen beschrieben zu haben. Aber an das eigentliche Menschliche kommt man im Grunde genommen wenig heran. Denn das eigentliche Menschliche geht einem dann auf, wenn man über folgende Frage nachdenkt: Es gibt einen bestimmten Prozentsatz Stickstoff in der Luft, der gut sein soll für das Atmen, und einen bestimmten Prozentsatz Sauerstoff. Nehmen wir an, der Mensch ist in eine Luft versetzt, die weniger Stickstoff enthält als den normalen Prozentgehalt, eine stickstoffarme Luft. Lassen Sie den Menschen darin atmen, die Luft wird allmählich durch das menschliche Atmen stickstoffreicher. Der Mensch atmet aus seinem Leibe heraus Stickstoff, den er sonst nicht ausatmen würde, um die Luft in seiner Umgebung in ihrem Stickstoffgehalt zu korrigieren. Und so macht er es auch mit dem normalen Sauerstoffgehalt. Der Mensch hat ein so inniges Verhältnis zur Umgebung, daß in dem Moment, wo die Umgebung nicht so ist, wie sie sein soll, er sie korrigiert, er sie verbessert. So daß wir sagen können, der Mensch ist wirklich so geartet, daß er nicht nur für sich etwas in bezug auf Stickstoff und Sauerstoff in seiner Umgebung nicht nur ebenso notwendig, sondern sogar noch viel notwendiger in einem gewissen Prozentsatz haben muß als in sich selber. Dem Menschen ist seine Umgebung für seine unterbewußten Kräfte wichtiger als die Zusammensetzung seines eigenen Leibes.

GA 270/1 (p96) Stickstoff und Schwellenerlebnis

Tritt man hin an den Hüter der Schwelle, so wird einem klar: Stickstoff, das ist ja die äußere Offenbarung von lauter Geistwesen, die dem Menschen den Tod geben, auch den Tod, der in jedem Augenblicke unseres wachen Lebens, in dem wir denken, in dem wir das Seelenleben entwickeln, partiell abtötend, in uns abbauend ist.


[1] GA 270/1, Seite 96f  (Ausgabe 0, 0 Seiten)

GA 270/1: Esoterische Unterweisungen für die erste Klasse der Freien Hochschule für Geisteswissenschaft am Goetheanum. Band I (1924)

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Rudolf Hauschka: 'The nature of substance' (1950 in DE, 1966 in EN)
  • Wilhelm Pelikan: 'The secrets of metals' (1959 in DE, 1973 in EN)
  • Walther Cloos:
    • 'The living earth' (1970 in DE, 1977 in EN)
    • 'Kleine Edelsteinkunde im Hinblick auf die Geschichte der Erde' (1956)
  • Mellie Uyldert: 'Metal magic: the esoteric properties and uses of metals' (1980-82)
  • Leendert F. C. Mees: 'Lebende Metalle: Verwandtschaft zwischen Mensch und Metall' (1983 in DE, original in NL: 'Levende metalen. Weinig gebruikelijke gedachten over de relatie van materie en mens)
  • Alison Davidson: 'Metal power: the soul life of the planets' (1991)
  • Nick Kollerstrom
    • 'Astrochemistry: study of metal-plant affinities' (1984)
    • 'The metal-plant relationship' (1993)
    • 'The secrets of the seven metals' (2015)
  • Friedrich Benesch (1907-1991)
    • The tourmaline: a monograph (2004 in EN, 1991 in DE)
    • Apocalyps - the transformation of Earth (an esoteric mineralogy) (2015)