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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Cosmology and Human Evolution
Color Theory
GA 91

The Theory of Color and Light III

4 August 1903, Berlin

All subjective regularity of our organs corresponds to the objective one from which it is extracted.

Sea animals, in which the eye is not yet developed, nevertheless sense light and darkness. They have light sensation through a nerve node; only gradually does the optic nerve develop, carrying the light sensation to the brain, whereby it is perceived as color.

Our astral ancestors did not yet have developed organs of sight, they had only an astral organ of perception with which they directly felt the color, they were still one with what they perceived, and lived with the color they felt.

All development is differentiation. At first, the eye and the color red, for example, are in undifferentiated unity. Then life separates itself into perception and being. Man cannot objectively perceive what he cannot subjectively produce again as illusion out of himself. Everything that is outside is also in the human being. He is only a separated part of the outside world, which draws into himself what is outside.

Our astral ancestors of the first rounds were there perceiving. We humans of the fourth round perceive where we are.

All development is differentiation. First, the eye and the color red are in an undivided unity.

Living in the red separates into:

  1. The perception of red (by the optic nerve)
  2. The being of the red itself
The Evolution of the Optic Nerve
Figure 1. Living in the red → Differentiation → Perception of red and the being of red

All subjective regularity of our organs corresponds to the objective laws of nature from which it is extracted.