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Agriculture Lecture from the Rudolf Steiner archives - Metaphysical meaning of the elements  RSS feed

 
Tim Buckner
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http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Agri1958/Ag1958_index.html

I picked a book up from our local garden store "The Agriculture Course" and noticed that it was one person's breakdown of a 1924 lecture by Rudolf Steiner. I had previously read some Steiner stuff and found the original document and put it on my wife's kindle and can't put it down.

Disclaimer: New guy to this forum. This is highly metaphysical read, but it blew me away so I had to share it to this great community. Maybe anyone could take some part of this lecture and find something that creates a spark within themselves. I found lectures 2 and 3 very interesting (lecture one was an overview so don't let it stop you), but that is coming from a hermetic background and even then my eyes glazed over. I just kept reading until my unconscious caught up and found it highly interesting. If it's complete bullshit I'm sorry.

Tim
 
Isaac Hill
gardener
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Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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Thank you for this! Great read!
 
Scott Jackson
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Location: Córdoba, Argentina
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Hey Tim -

I recently bought an anthology of these lectures translated in Spanish and have read most of them. Here in Argentina there's actually a lot of gardeners who associate themselves with Steiner's "Biodynamic Agriculture" more so than they would with Permaculture.

The lectures are a great read and they definitely can be seen as some of the UR-Documents of Permacultural Consciousness. For example, his audience for the lectures contained many farmers who were concerned with the emerging signs of soil fertility loss after the first wave of modern agri-chemical usage in Europe.

Though obviously his reading of the inner content of the elements (silicon, clay, nitrogen, etc...) is way more esoteric than anything in the current literature.

Some of Steiner's MANY theories about nearly everything do read as antiquated pseudo-hermetic-science giberish, but to me a lot of his agricultural terminology if anything provide for wonderful experiential models to apply to our own gardening.

Whereas a more conventional gardener might simply ask,

"Does this soil mixture have enough sand?"

Steiner might re-phrase the question,

"Will this soil mixture allow the Astral forces to work in my garden?"


Whether we wish to believe in this kinds of analyses, it does add all sorts of dimensions to the practice. In general, Steiner is all about total holistic living and so of course it dovetails with permacultural jive.

I haven't made it through all of the lectures, but will keep it on my reading list. Thanks for the reminder.
 
Tim Buckner
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Thanks Scott

Yeah I'm still trying to get through many of his lectures. I have to just keep reading even if I get to a statement that makes my brain melt. If I read over it a few times, eventually it will make sense and bring on an epiphany.

Keep the ideas flowing and nature will reward.

Tim
 
darius Van d'Rhys
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Location: SW Virginia Mountains, USA
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I've been reading the Lectures online. The antiquated language is a big impediment for me, so adjusting takes some finesse... but I;' working through them. Some really great concepts, though.
 
Tim Buckner
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Yeah, it helps if you read some 16th century to present alchemy and hermeticism books. The language becomes a bit easier to read and it gives your brain thermodynamic guards that keep it from overheating. There is a definite language barrier with the metaphysical, but I have to admit I'm still having trouble with all the information about different gardening and permaculture techniques. I am just gonna try different things that seem right and see what works for my area and go from there. Sometimes it feels like I know what to do next until I learn something new and then I realize I don't know 99.99999% of what is out there. Sometimes it's disheartening, but then I just listen to Paul or jack spirko and that just makes me feel better for some reason (so keep doing those podcasts Paul). I think they have some secret voice resonance equipment that sends out vibes of goodness that sets me at ease.

Just keep adding fertility to the soil around you and the Earth will take care of the rest and then you'll look around one day and be surrounded by abundance.

Tim Buckner
 
Scott Jackson
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Location: Córdoba, Argentina
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Here's the Wikipedia entry for Biodynamic Agriculture, which is the application of Steiner's teachings. There's a lot of overlap with Permaculture, but obviously the hermetic/astral angle is what differentiates it...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_agriculture
 
darius Van d'Rhys
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Location: SW Virginia Mountains, USA
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This year I've been using Maria Thun's Biodynamic Planting Calendar, and so far I've had great results. She's worked for more than 50 years developing her calendar based on Steiner's work.
 
Tim Buckner
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I will have to look up her work also. Thank you,

Tim Buckner

Edit - Just looked up her site and wow is she awesome. Thank you for the bridge to something new.
 
darius Van d'Rhys
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Maria Thun died in February of this year (2012) just 2 months shy of her 90th birthday. Her legacy is awesome, and her son and daughter will carry on her work.
 
Chris Dean
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Location: South New Mexico Mountains
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What is Biodynamics? is a good book for people new to Steiner. It has a great lengthy intro by the editor and then introduces the Agriculture Course through a framework of previous lectures not directly related to agriculture.

When he gave the lectures for the Ag Course it was to people who already had some background with him and could put the ag information into context. Jumping right into the Ag Course lectures without any idea about who Steiner was or what he did leads to newcomers thinking he's "woo-woo" or out there. Even with a background knowledge you might still think that, but he had a precise and clear method for absolutely everything that he did.
 
Tim Buckner
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I have been researching alchemy as it is related to hermeticism and I don't think he is "woo-woo" at all. I was so happy to be lead to the archives of his work. Now that doesn't mean that I'm not "woo-woo", but there is much similarity between what he says and what the alchemists of old were performing in their labs and within their own minds / bodies. When I found Steiner's work I felt right at home, but there is still much to learn and understand. I'm just so happy that the archives are there and I've been trying to save offline copies when I can find the time just in case they aren't available in the future for some reason. Einstein seemed fruity to the masses at the time while propelling us to a greater understanding of the micro / macrocosm of the surrounding universe and the universe within each human being.
 
Mark Brown
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Tim Buckner wrote:http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Agri1958/Ag1958_index.html

I picked a book up from our local garden store "The Agriculture Course" and noticed that it was one person's breakdown of a 1924 lecture by Rudolf Steiner. I had previously read some Steiner stuff and found the original document and put it on my wife's kindle and can't put it down.

Disclaimer: New guy to this forum. This is highly metaphysical read, but it blew me away so I had to share it to this great community. Maybe anyone could take some part of this lecture and find something that creates a spark within themselves. I found lectures 2 and 3 very interesting (lecture one was an overview so don't let it stop you), but that is coming from a hermetic background and even then my eyes glazed over. I just kept reading until my unconscious caught up and found it highly interesting. If it's complete bullshit I'm sorry.

Tim

I have found the audio of Stieners works helpful too and often listen to some in the field. http://www.rudolfsteineraudio.com/
 
Paulo Bessa
pollinator
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Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
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Hi Tim,

Thanks for your sharing!

I am open minded to most esoteric material. Steiner still seems somewhat difficult to read and understand. I only read a little bit of his lectures at a time. However I found most of his ideas with a practical application. And extremely novel.

For instance, last summer I began watering my vegetables with teas made of yarrow, dandelion, chamomile, nettles, valerian (his biodynamic herbs that supposedly attract certain astral influences). Well, guess what? The same plant, but different seedlings react differently to these infusions!

I am not using the cow horns or preparing them in any way, so even by just using a tea of dandelion I could see an effect in different crops: different leaf growth, faster running towards flower, etc... this is of course desirable for some crops (e.g. tomatoes) but undesirable for others (e.g. salads)

Planting by the moon also worked for me. I measured the size of roots of seeds sown at new moon and seeds sown 15 days later at full moon. One month later, the leaves of the full moon seedlings were larger than the full moon ones, but their roots were smaller. I have consistently seen this effect on seedlings.

As a biologist I am highly interested to know what is behind these workings. Be nutrients or any sort of other-dimensional influence. I have no problem with esoterics; it is just too cutting edge for most conventional knowledge but to give one example quantum physics would have been certainly be considered "esoteric" and weird to 18th century scientists.
 
andrew curr
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Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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Amazing!!!
Rudis first lecture in Australia was at the home of architect Walter Burley Griffen The designer of Canberra our nations capital
When he designed Canberra he made them plant many usefull species around the sheep paddocks that became a city
eg there are honey locusts outside the old parliment house,forests of cork oak from seeds actually collected by Walter himself,differant oaks in differant streets etc etc
 
Greta Fields
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I stayed up half the night listening to Steiner works read on YouTube. I am absolutely blown away by Steiner. He DID what I thought nobody could do -- he integrated the Aristotelian metaphysics into modern thinking. Aristotle's philosophy is a timeless perception that can be used to integrate what happens during all times into your understanding: Times change, the Aristotelian does not.
I had read Aristotle nonstop for five years and was struggling to put what Steiner/Aristotle says into words.
A simple graph explaining Steiner is Rafael's great painting showing Plato and Aristotle (or is it Peter and Paul) emerging from the forum side by side. Their philosophies continue to walk side by side in our conflicted culture. On one side are the Christian Platonist pointing ever to the divine overhead, like Plato in the painting. On the other side is Aristotle, his hand down, saying, the soul is DOWN, it is in the earth, in our bodies too.
The painting, however, suggests that Plato and Aristotle were opposites. In fact, Aristotle simply added to Plato. Plato said there were two causes of everything, formal design and earth, and Aristotle added two more, human and purpose.
Plato said there were two causes of everything, the formal and the material, or spirit and earth. Aristotle came along saying, well, Teacher, how do you account for the human being? So Aristotle came up with two more causes: The Efficient cause, or man, is analogous to God in being able to move things, to manipulate the formal and material causes. The man manipulates the wood and the design, for example, to make a wofati. The purpose of the wofati is the "final cause": It's purpose is shelter. The purpose determines the "Form" or design of the wofati.
You see, Plato left out the human being when talking about causes. He leads to thinking that God is just mathematics, with no brain behind it? That mathematics and matter run things? What about us? Aristotle truly points "up", not Plato.
Then Steiner comes along and shows that each individual is a mix of both Aristotle and Plato. But these are not yin-yang opposites. Plato EVOLVES into Aristotle.
Our culture is also a mix of Plato and Aristotle, or Greek and Roman, and that this is an eternal conflict. It is found in each man, not just in our sick culture. Our culture is sick and unbalanced, leaning too much towards the Platonist, atheist view that sees no god in nature too.
The only pure Aristotelians left are the Indians, especially the Cherokee, who vocalize Aristotelian philosophy -- which is timeless.
Oh my, I LOVE Steiner.
Steiner takes Aristotle up a notch, just as did Einstein. Einstein's theory comes from reading philosophy, not just math and science, you know?
People who think Steiner is a simple minded mystic are wrong. He is a genius, like Aristotle or Jesus (who is also Aristotle in the flesh), or Hamlet *who is also Aristotle demonstrated in the character of man), or Einstein, Einstein expresses Aristotle's idea of the Efficient cause in his statement:
"God did not place dice with the universe."
Yes, plants have a bit of the divine in them too!!!
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