Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything


Books Menu

Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog


- Man or Matter - 40/74 -

to produce a separate new organism. All these are functions in the plant which, as was mentioned in the last chapter, require phosphorus for their healthy performance.

Our examination of phosphorus and sulphur from the functional point of view throws light also on their effect on the alternating conditions of waking and sleeping, necessary for the life of the higher organisms. This rhythmic change, which affects especially the nervous system, is an alternation between the qualities dry and moist. Disturbance of this alternation in one direction or the other makes it difficult for the organism to react in full wakefulness or normal sleep. It follows that treatment with phosphorus or sulphur in suitable preparations, according to the nature of the disturbance, can be beneficial.

If we study the functional properties of such substances we see that they can teach us a rational understanding of therapeutic practices, which otherwise must remain mere results of trial and error. The same applies to phosphorus and sulphur treatment in cases where in the functionally 'dry' bone system or in the functionally 'moist' metabolic system of the organism the wrong quality predominates. If the bones remain too 'moist' there is a tendency to rickets; against this, certain fish-oils are a well-known remedy on account of their highly phosphoric nature. Conversely, the application of sulphur can help where weakness of the metabolic forces produces rheumatic or gouty sediments in parts of the body whose function is to serve by their mobility the activities of the will. In this case the abnormal predominance of the quality 'dry' can be counteracted by the medical application of sulphur.


Having observed the action of sulphur and phosphorus in the laboratory and in living organisms, we will now turn to phenomena of a macrotelluric nature which reveal the participation of sulphur and phosphorus. There, sulphur points unmistakably to the earth's volcanism. It is a fact that, wherever mineral sulphur occurs in the earth, there we find a spot of former or present volcanic activity. Similarly, there is no such spot on the earth without sulphur being present in one form or another. Hence the name Solfatara for the fumarole described in Chapter IX.

Once again it is the Solfatara which offers us a phenomenon, this time in connexion with the special role sulphur plays in its activities, which, regarded with the eye of the spirit, assumes the significance of an instance 'worth a thousand'.

In spite of the very high temperature of the sulphurous fumes emitted from various crevices on the edge of the Solfatara, it is possible, thanks to the complete dryness of the fumes, to crawl a little way into the interior of these crevices. Not far away from the opening of the crevice, where the hot fumes touch the cooler rock surface, one is met by a very beautiful spectacle - namely, the continual forming, out of nothing as it seems, of glittering yellow sulphur crystals, suspended in delicate chains from the ceiling.

In this transformation of sulphurous substance from a higher material state, nearer to levity, to that of the solid crystal, we may behold an image of the generation of matter. For every physical substance and, therefore, every chemical element, exists originally as a pure function in the dynamic processes of the universe. Wherever, as a result of the action of gravity, such a function congeals materially, there we meet it in the form of a physical-material substance. In the same sense, sulphur and phosphorus, in their real being, are pure functions, and where they occur as physical substances, there we meet these functions in their congealed state.

One of the characteristics of the volcanic regions of the earth is the healing effect of substances found there. Fango-mud, for instance, which was mentioned in the last chapter, is a much-used remedy against rheumatism. This is typical of functional sulphur. We may truly characterize the earth's volcanism as being qualitatively sulphurous. It is the sulphur-function coming to expression through a higher degree of 'moistness' in the relationship between gravity and levity which distinguishes volcanic regions from the rest of the otherwise 'dry' earth's crust.


To develop a corresponding picture of the function of phosphorus, we must try to find the macrotelluric sphere where this function operates similarly to that of sulphur in volcanism. From what has been said in the last chapter it will be evident that we must look to the atmosphere, as the site of snow-formation. It is this process which we must now examine more closely.

In the atmosphere, to begin with, we find water in a state of vapour, in which the influence of the terrestrial gravity-field is comparatively weak. Floating in this state, the vapour condenses and crystallization proceeds. Obeying the pull of gravity, more and more crystals unite in their descent and gradually form flakes of varying sizes. The nearer they come to earth, the closer they fall, until at last on the ground they form an unbroken, more or less spherical, cover.

Imagine a snow-covered field glistening in the sun on a clear, quiet winter's day. As far as we can see, there is no sign of life, no movement. Here water, which is normally fluid and, in its liquid state, serves the ever-changing life-processes, covers the earth in the form of millions of separate crystals shaped with mathematical exactitude, each of which breaks and reflects in a million rays the light from the sun (Plate V). A contrast, indeed, between this quiet emergence of forms from levity into gravity, and the form-denying volcanism surging up out of gravity into levity, as shown by the ever-restless activity of the Solfatara. As we found volcanism to be a macrotelluric manifestation of functional sulphur, we find in the process of snow-formation a corresponding manifestation of functional phosphorus.

In the formation of snow, nature shows us in statu agendi a process which we otherwise meet in the earth only in its finished results, crystallization. We may, therefore, rightly look upon snow-formation as an ur-phenomenon in this sphere of nature's activities. As such it allows us to learn something concerning the origin in general of the crystalline realm of the earth; and, vice versa, our insight into the 'becoming' of this realm will enable us to see more clearly the universal function of which phosphorus is the main representative among the physical substances of the earth.

It has puzzled many an observer that crystals occur in the earth with directions of their main axes entirely independent of the direction of the earthly pull of gravity. Plate VI shows the photograph of a cluster of Calcite crystals as an example of this phenomenon. It tells us that gravity can have no effect on the formation of the crystal itself. This riddle is solved by the phenomenon of snow-formation provided we allow it to speak to us as an ur-phenomenon. For it then tells us that matter must be in a state of transition from lightness into heaviness if it is to appear in crystalline form. The crystals in the earth, therefore, must have originated at a time when the relation between levity and gravity on the earth was different from what it is, in this sphere, to-day.

The same language is spoken by the property of transparency which is so predominant among crystals. One of the fundamental characteristics of heavy solid matter is to resist light - in other words, to be opaque. Exposed to heat, however, physical substance loses this feature to the extent that at the border of its ponderability all matter becomes pervious to light. Now, in the transparent crystal matter retains this kinship to light even in its solid state.

A similar message comes from the, often so mysterious, colouring of the crystals. Here again nature offers us an instance which, 'worth a thousand', reveals a secret that would otherwise remain veiled. We refer to the pink crystals of tourmaline, whose colour comes from a small admixture of lithium. This element, which belongs to the group of the alkaline metals, does not form coloured salts (a property only shown by the heavier metals). If exposed to a flame, however, it endows it with a definite colour which is the same as that of the lithium-coloured tourmaline. Read as a letter in nature's script, this fact tells us that precious stones with their flame-like colours are characterized by having kept something of the nature that was theirs before they coalesced into ponderable existence. In fact, they are 'frozen flames'.

It is this fact, known from ancient intuitive experience, which prompted man of old to attribute particular spiritual significance to the various precious stones of the earth and to use them correspondingly in his rituals.

Crystallization, seen thus in its cosmic aspect, shows a dynamic orientation which is polarically opposite to that of the earth's seismic activities. Just as in the latter we observe levity taking hold of ponderable matter and moving it in a direction opposite to the pull of gravity, so in crystallization we see imponderable matter passing over from levity into gravity. And just as we found in volcanism and related processes a field of activity of 'functional sulphur', so we found in snow-formation and related processes a field of activity of 'functional phosphorus'. Both fields are characterized by an interaction between gravity and levity, this interaction being of opposite nature in each of them.

Here, again, sulphur and phosphorus appear as bearers of a polarity of the second order which springs from the two polarically opposite ways of interaction between the poles of the polarity of the first order: levity-gravity.


As in man there is a third system, mediating between the two polar systems of his organism, so between sulphur and phosphorus there is a third element which in all its characteristics holds a middle place between them and is the bearer of a corresponding function. This element is carbon.

To see this we need only take into consideration carbon's relationship to oxidation and reduction respectively. As it is natural for sulphur to be in the reduced state, and for phosphorus to be in the oxidized state, so it is in the nature of carbon to be related to both states and therefore to oscillate between them. By its readiness to change over from the oxidized to the reduced state, it can serve the plant in the assimilation of light, while by its readiness to make the reverse change it serves man and animal in the breathing process. We breathe in oxygen from the air; the oxygen circulates through the blood-stream and passes out again in conjunction with carbon, as carbon dioxide, when we exhale. In the process whereby the plants reduce the carbon dioxide exhaled by man and animal, while the latter again absorb with their food the carbon produced in the form of organic matter by the plant, we see carbon moving to and fro between the oxidized and the reduced conditions.

Within the plant itself, too, carbon acts as functionary of the alternation between oxidation and reduction. During the first half of

Man or Matter - 40/74

Previous Page     Next Page

  1   10   20   30   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   50   60   70   74 

Schulers Books Home

 Games Menu

Dice Poker
Tic Tac Toe


Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything