There's a crack in everything

From Anthroposophy

... and that's where the light gets in ..

Any belief system or Worldview is like a foundation of concrete, or as a computer operating system: it supports our functioning, as a human being and as a complex organism like society. It does away with fear because it offers answers to Man's most important questions and the Meaning of life.

However no belief system or representation of reality is complete and encompassing. This is due to the implicit limitations of human waking consciousness, thinking and language. These are at a much lower degree of capability than the richness and complexity, or 'wisdom' we see in nature and creation.

Therefore belief systems are much linked to a culture (and cultural age), corresponding to a certain state of consciousness and corresponding culture and language.

Typically two opposite dynamics are always at play:

  • on the one hand, a belief system or 'representation of reality' should evolve - in order to grow and get better, learn and adapt itself to new findings. This is also how for example the scientific paradigm developed in the last centuries. See also (wikipedia links): philosophy of science (Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, etc)
  • on the other hand, a belief system becomes institutionalized and becomes closed to protect itself from new findings that endanger its foundation. This is the what lies at the foundation for 'Worldview wars'.


This is the same on an individual basis: it are personal experiences that lift us out of our belief system and may require us to revisit its assumptions. (see Note [1] in the Discussion area).

Because what one knows (from experience), one does not need to believe. Hence certain experiences and/or states of consciousness out-of-the-ordinary can provide the 'crack' that is meant with 'there's a crack in everything', and provide the trigger for a individual path of discovery, exploration and into initiation.

This pathway typically has to encompass considering the worldviews provided by mineral science and spiritual science, and study of the worldview spiritual science.

Inspirational quotes


Facts one cannot prove, one can only live them.

About the title

The song 'Anthem' by Leonard Cohen has this famous sentence

“Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Cohen wasn't the first to use this beautiful metaphor.

Some others that have been mentioned are William Blake (ref: Damrosch 'Eternity's Sunrise: The Imaginative World of William Blake'),

"this is a crack that lets in the light.”’

or 13th-century Sufi mystic Rumi in the poem 'Childhood friends':

Let a teacher wave away the flies and put a plaster on the wound. Don’t turn your head. Keep looking at the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you. And don’t believe for a moment that you’re healing yourself.

Scientists and their imaginative knowing

Below are some examples of renowed famous scientists that are part of the pride of the contemporary scientific paradigm and worldview, who wrote statements of belief that are quite incompatible with what would today be accepted by mainstream mineral science.

  • Isaac Newton is less known for his occult studies, as he explored alchemy and the philosopher stone, the temple of solomon and the apocalyps. He has been called a magician (Keynes 1942).
  • Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), not so know for the pervasive vision and impact of his third law that is more ignored than the other laws, wrote in 'Harmonies of the Spheres' or 'Harmonices Mundi':

    Even though men may scorn me for my frank confession: Yes! I have stolen the sacred vessels of the Egyptians that I might make of them a sanctuary for my God, far from the confines of Egypt. If you forgive me I shall be happy, if you are angry I must bear it. Well here I cast the die and write a book, whether for the present or the future is of no consequence to me. What though it wait a hundred years for its reader - God has awaited his decipherer for thousands of years.

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) studied and published about 'monads. Monads or entelechies are the base entities from which creation is built, they cannot be broken down any further. Space and time are an illustion and substances are not technically real, only monads are in fact real. He ordered monads in a hierarchy (created monads, then monads with perception and memory, then spirits or rational souls), and sawa a correspondence with these hierarchies and the complexity in nature's kingdoms (plants, animals), whereby he referred to the dominant monad as the soul.
  • Max Planck (1858-1947), quote from journal Lebendige Erde (No 3/84):

Gentlemen! As a physicist - that is someone, who has his lifelong serves a sober and objective science - I may surely not be suspected of mre flighty enthusiasm. And so, out of my researches into the atom, I will say the following:

There is no such thing as matter of its own. All matter comes about and persists only through a force, which brings the particles into vibration and holds them together in the tiny sun-system of the atom. But as in the whole universe there is neither an intelligent nor eternal abstract force, we must assume that behind this force there is a conscious, intelligent Spirit. This Spirit is the basis for all matter. It is not the bisible, though perishable matter, which is the reality and truth (for matter would not exist without this spirit), but it is the invisible immortal spirit which is the truth. But as spirit cannot exist for itself alone, and to every spirit there belongs a being, so we are forced to assume spirit-being. But as spirit-being also cannot exist out of itself alone and must have been created somehow, I am not shy in naming this mysterious created by the name all peoples of all ancient cultures have called him - God.

The physicist, in dealing with the subject matter of the will, must travel from the kingdom of substance to the realm of the spirit.


Lecture coverage and references


Note [1] - Constructive developmental framework

Many models exist for the upgrading of one's worldview or 'base of functioning', one example is the 'Constructive developmental framework' by Robert Kegan.

A simple image is that of upgrading one's glasses with which one views the world, if after a while of growing and developing in life one notices the glasses don't quite work anymore as expected. A person growing in life from childhood through puberty and phases of adult life, has to 'upgrade' one's view of the world at various times, as more of the world's is taken into scope of personal life experience (object-subject).

The same happens when life changing events happen, or life hardships such as the loss of a beloved, illness, loss of job and/or belongings.

Also certain spiritual experiences can have this effect, see eg: Q00.006 - spiritual events at various points in life

Similarly society goes through such phases with changing consciousness and states of maturity, this is coupled to the evolutionary development of Man's bodily principles, the Human 'I' and Development of the I.

Related pages

References and further reading