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Man or Matter   By: (1894-1979)

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MAN OR MATTER

Introduction to a Spiritual Understanding of Nature on the Basis of Goethe's Method of Training Observation and Thought

by

ERNST LEHRS Ph. D.

Part I

SCIENCE AT THE THRESHOLD

I. INTRODUCTORY

The author's search for a way of extending the boundaries of scientific understanding. A meeting with Rudolf Steiner, and with the work arising from his teachings.

II. WHERE DO WE STAND TO DAY?

The self restriction of scientific inquiry to one eyed colourblind observation. Its effect: The lack of a true conception of 'force'.

III. THE ONLOOKER'S PHILOSOPHIC MALADY

Thought the sole reality and yet a pure non entity for the modern spectator. Descartes and Hume. Robert Hooke's 'proof' of the non reality of conceptual thinking. The modern principle of Indeterminacy a sign that science is still dominated by the Humean way of thinking.

IV. THE COUNTRY THAT IS NOT OURS

Electricity, man's competitor in modern civilization. The onlooker in search of the soul of nature. Galvani and Crookes. Paradoxes in the discovery of electricity. 'Something unknown is doing we don't know what.'

Part II GOETHEANISM WHENCE AND WHITHER

V. THE ADVENTURE OF REASON

Kant and Goethe. Goethe's study of the plant a path toward seeing with the eye of the spirit. Nature a script that asks to be read.

VI. EXCEPT WE BECOME ...

Spiritual kinsmen of Goethe in the British sphere of human culture. Thomas Reid's philosophic discovery, its significance for the overcoming of the onlooker standpoint in science. The picture of man inherent in Reid's philosophy. Man's original gift of remembering his pre earthly life. The disappearance of this memory in the past, and its re appearance in modern times. Pelagius versus Augustine. Wordsworth and Traherne. Traherne, a 'Reidean before Reid was born'.

VII. 'ALWAYS STAND BY FORM'

Ruskin and Howard two readers in the book of nature. Goethe's meteorological ideas. His conception of the urphenomenon. Goethe and Howard.

VIII. DYNAMICS VERSUS KINETICS

The onlooker science by necessity a 'pointer reading' science. The onlooker's misjudgment of the cognitive value of the impressions conveyed by the senses. The Parallelogram of Forces its fallacious kinematic and its true dynamic interpretation. The roots in man of his concepts 'mass' and 'force'. The formula F=ma. The origin of man's faculty of mathematical thinking.

IX. PRO LEVITATE

(a) ALERTNESS CONTRA INERTNESS

Limitations of the validity of the concept 'inertia'. Restatement of Newton's first law. Introduction of the term 'magical' as opposed to mechanical. The phenomenon of the rising arm. Introduction of the term 'alertness' as opposed to 'inertness' (inertia). Van Helmont's discovery of the gaseous state of matter. The four Elements. The old concept of 'Chaos'. Young and old matter. The natural facts behind the ancient fire rites. The event on Mount Sinai.

(b) LEVITY CONTRA GRAVITY

The Contra Levitatem maxim of the Florentine Academicians. Ruskin's warning against science as an interpreter of its own observations. How man's inner nature and the outer universe interpret one another. The Solfatara phenomenon. The super physical character of Levity.

X. THE FOURTH STATE OF MATTER

The need of raising scientific inquiry to nature's upper border. The laws of Conservation, their origin and their validity. Joule and Mayer. Extension of the field concept from the central to the peripheral field type. Natural phenomena brought about by the suctional effect of the earth's levity field. The different conditions of matter seen in the light of the levity gravity polarity. Heat, the fourth state of matter. Procreation of physical substance a natural fact. The case of Tillandsia. The problem of the trace elements. Homeopathy, an example of the effect of dematerialized matter. The meteorological circuit of water. The nature of lightning.

XI. MATTER AS PART OF NATURE'S ALPHABET

The origin of the scientific conception of the chemical element... Continue reading book >>




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