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Rudolf Steiner Archive 

Calendar of the Soul

Northern Hemisphere
Week 18

Can I expand my soul
That it unites itself
With cosmic Word received as seed?
I sense that I must find the strength
To fashion worthily my soul
As fitting raiment for the spirit.

Southern Hemisphere
Week 44

In reaching for new sense attractions,
Soul-clarity would fill,
Mindful of spirit-birth attained,
The world's bewildering, sprouting growth
With the creative will of my own thinking.

—Translation by Ruth and Hans Pusch

See GA 40 for full calendar and German text.

Part I
GA 291

3. The Phenomenon of Colour in Material Nature

8 May 1921, Dornach

We have differentiated colours in that out of their own nature we have got black, white, green and peach-colour as images, and from this pictorial character of colours we had to differentiate what I called the luminous nature of colours which we meet in blue, yellow and red. And we saw that just these colours, blue, yellow and red, possess what I might call certain properties of will, by reason of their being luminous. As you know, one perceives a colour as a so-called colour of the spectrum, such as we see in the rainbow, and we perceive colour in solid bodies. And we know also that we must make use of bodies as painting-colours, their bodily composition, mixture, etc., if we want to practice the art of colour which is painting. Here we are brought to the important question, the answer to which in the state of present-day knowledge, is nowhere to be found, the question namely: What is the relation of colour as such, which we have got to know as something volatile and fleeting, either as image or luster, to solid body, to matter? What makes matter as such appear to us coloured? Those who have looked into Goethe's Theory of Colour, will perhaps know that there, this question is not touched upon, from a certain intellectual honesty of Goethe, because from the means at his disposal he simply was not capable of getting as far as the problem — how is colour applied to solid matter? Moreover this is a question, in the highest sense, for the Art of Painting. For in painting we practice this phenomenon, at any rate for the purpose of outward appearance. We apply colour and through its application we try to call forth the impression of something painted. So, if we want to raise the study of the nature of colour to the plane of painting, we must be interested in this coloured appearance of material nature. Now since in recent times the physicists of colour have regarded the theory of colour as a part of Optics, we find also explanations of the colour of solids worthy of the new physics. We find, for example, the characteristic explanation of the question, Why is a body red? A body is red because it absorbs all other colours and reflects only red. This is the explanation so characteristic of the new Physics, for it is based approximately on the logical formula: Why is a man stupid? He is stupid because he absorbs all cleverness and radiates only stupidity outwards. If one applies this logical principle so common in colour-theory everywhere to the rest of life, you see what interesting things result. He pursued his problem as far as his means allowed him. Then he stopped in front of the question: How is matter coloured?

Now let us recall how we first got the pictorial character of the first four colours we dealt with. We saw that we there have a property which produces on a medium its shadow or its image. We saw how the living forms its image or shadow in the lifeless and how thereby green results. We saw then how the psychic forms its image in the living and produces thereby peach-colour. We saw how the spiritual forms its image in the psychic, and thereby white is the result, and finally how the lifeless reflects its image or shadow in the spiritual and produces black.

There we have all the colours which have a pictorial or image character. The rest have the luster or luminous character. The pictorial character we meet most visibly in the objective world is green. Black and white are to a certain extent frontier-colours and are for this reason no more regarded as colours. Peach-colour, we have seen, is to be understood really only in movement. So that green is the most typical. And this would be the colour applied to the external world, or, as we say, applied to the Vegetable Kingdom. And so in the Vegetable Kingdom we have expressed the real origin of applied colour as image. Now it is a question perhaps of examining this vegetable green in order to find the character, the essence of green. And here we must enlarge the problem contrary to what is usually recognized today.

We know from our Occult Science that the Vegetable Kingdom was formed during the previous metamorphosis-condition of our earth. But we also know that at that time there was as yet no solid matter. We know it has been transformed during the evolution of our earth, and must have been made, during the evolution of the old moon, in a fluid state, for there existed nothing solid then. We can speak of colour matter floating in this fluid and permeating it. It need not be attached to anything, or at the most, to the surface. Only on the surface does the fluid matter tend to become solid. And so, if we look back at this stage of evolution, we might say: in the formation of vegetation we have to do with a fluid green, or, in act, with fluid colour-matter, and with something that is really a fluid element. And plants — as you can see in my Occult Science — could not have assumed their firm shape, could not have put on their mineral form, till the period of earth-evolution. It is possible that something was formed in vegetation which made it definite, and not fluid. So that what we call plants first appeared during the formation of the earth. It was then that colour must have taken on the character in plants such as we perceive today; it was then that it became a permanent green.

Now a plant does not wear only this green — at least generally, — for you are aware how a plant in the course of its metamorphosis merges into other colours, as a plant has yellow, blue or red flowers, and as a green fruit — take for example, a melon, merges into yellow. A superficial observation shows you what is at work there when a plant takes on a colour other than green. When this happens — you can easily prove it — the sun is essential to the circumstances connected with the growth of these other colours, — direct sunlight. Just consider how plants, if they cannot hold up their flowers to the sunlight, in fact hide themselves, curl up, etc. And we shall find a connection, — superficially a connection, — between the absence of green colour in certain plant parts and the sun. The sun metamorphoses, one might say, the green. It brings the green to another condition. If we bring the manifold colouring of vegetation into relation with a heavenly body — as already said, in a superficial study — we shall not find it difficult to consult the statements of Occult Science, and to ask: What has it, from its observations, to say concerning possible other relationships of coloured plant-life to the stars?

And here we have to ask ourselves the question: What kind of starry phenomenon is of the greatest effect on earth? What heavenly body is there whose influence would be contrary to the sun's, and could produce that in plant-nature which sunlight as it were metamorphoses, destroys, changes to other colours? What is there that can produce the green in the vegetable world?

We arrive at that particular heavenly body which represents the polaric opposite of the sun, namely the moon. And Spiritual Science can establish the connection between the green of plants and this moon-nature (I will only just mention the subject today) as well as one can establish the connection of the rest of plant-life, with the sun. This it does by pointing to the properties of moonlight as opposed to sunlight, and above all, by pointing out how moon-light influences sun-darkness. If we consider vegetation, we get an interplay of lunar and solar influences. But at the same time we get an explanation why green becomes an image, and why green in plants is not luminous like the other colours. The other colours in plants are lustrous. They have a shiny character. Just look with proper understanding at the colour of flowers; they shine at one. Compare it with the green. It is “fixed” to the plant. You see in it nothing else but a copy of what you perceive in the Cosmos. Sunlight shines; moonlight is the pictorial image of sunlight. Thus you find again the image (or shadow, Ed.) of light, colour as the image of light, in the green of plants. And you have in the plant through the sun the colour of the luster. And you have the colour of the “fixation”; the colour of the image in the green. These things cannot be understood with the clumsy ideas of Physics. They have to be brought into the region of feeling and must be realized with spiritual sensibility. Then you automatically get what we have understood in this way, the transition into Art. Physics, with its clumsy methods of approaching the world of colour, has driven all artistic considerations from its study. So that actually the artist has not the least idea what to make of what Physics has to say concerning it.

But if we regard the colour of plants in such a way that we know that cosmic forces play a part, that we have in the colour-formation of plants a conjunction of solar and lunar forces, we then have the first element by which we can understand how colour is attached to an object, at any rate primarily to a vegetable object, how it becomes an embodied colour. It becomes a embodied colour because it is not the luster which works on it cosmically, but already the image as such. In the plant we have to deal with that green which becomes an image because at one time in the evolution of the earth the moon was separated from this earth. In this separation we must see the real origin of the green in the vegetable world. Because of it the plant can no longer be exposed to the equivalent of lunar forces on the earth, but receives its image-character direct from the Cosmos.

Our feeling is well acquainted with this cosmic interchange of relations in respect of vegetation, and if we question our feeling we shall be able to approach this character of green and other colours from this world of feeling by means of an artistic appreciation of the nature of colours. It is, you see, something peculiar. If you go back in the history of painting you will find that the great painters of former ages paint people and human situations, but seldom paint external nature, in so far as it consists of plant-life. You can of course also easily find the explanation for it; that in older times it was not so usual to observe nature and that therefore one did not paint it. But that of course is only a superficial explanation, though people today are easily satisfied with such superficial explanations.

What lies behind it is different. Landscape painting arises really at that time in which materialism and intellectualism grip mankind, in which an abstract nature acquires more and more power over human civilization and culture. You may say that landscape painting is in fact a product of the last three or four centuries. If you take this into consideration you will have to say to yourself: only in the last three or four centuries has man reached a state of soul which enables him to comprehend the element necessary for painting nature in landscape. Why? If you look at the pictures of old times, we shall conclude that all these pictures have a quite definite character. Precisely if we differentiate (we will discuss it more exactly) in colour between the image-character and the luster-character, we find that the old artists did not make this distinction in their painting. And they paid no attention, as we had to do yesterday, to this inner will-nature of colour-luster. The old painters do not always take into consideration that yellow demands a shadowy edge. They take it into consideration when they carry their painting more into the spiritual; but not when they paint the everyday world. Nor did they pay attention to what we demanded of blue; possibly rather more so with red. You can see this in certain pictures by Leonardo, and also in others, for example, by Titian. But in general we can say that the old painters do not make this distinction between image and luster in the nature of colours. Why? They stand in a different relationship to the world of colours; they grasp what is luster in colour-nature. They grasp what is image and give it in painting an image-character. But if you give image-character to what in the world of colours is luster, if you have turned everything in the nature of colours into image, then you cannot paint a landscape of plants.

Why not?

Now suppose you want to paint a landscape of plant-life, and it is to give a real impression of life, you have to paint the plants themselves as well in their green as in their individual colours rather darker than they really are. You must make a green surface, in any case darker than it is. You must also make the red or yellow plant-life darker than reality. But then, after you have got your colour in this way in image-character, rather darker than it really is, you must cover the whole with an atmosphere, and this atmosphere must in a certain way be yellowish-white. You must get the whole in a yellowish-white light, and only then you get in the right manner what a plant really is. You have to paint a glow over the image; and therefore you must cross over to the luster-character of colour; you must have its luster-character.

And I would ask you to look, from this point of view, at the whole effort of modern landscape painting, look how it has tried to get more and more at the secret of painting vegetation. If you paint it as it is out there, you don't get there. The picture does not create the impression of life. It does this only if you paint the trees, etc. darker in their colour than they are, and pour over them the glow, something yellowish-white, that is luminous. Because the old masters did not cultivate the painting of this glow, of this lit-up atmosphere, they could not paint a landscape at all.

You notice particularly in painting towards the end of the nineteenth century, how they sought the means to comprehend landscape. Open air painting, all sorts of things have cropped up in order to comprehend landscape. They do it only if they resolve to paint the Vegetable Kingdom darker in its separate shades and then to cover it with the gleaming yellowish-white. Of course you must do this according to colour-composition, etc. Then you succeed really in painting on the canvas, or any other surface, something that gives you the impression of life. It is a matter of sensibility, and this sensibility leads you to paint in something that floods it as the expression of the shining Cosmos, of that which descends out f the universe on to earth as luster. In no other way can you get behind the secret of plant-life, that is, of nature clothed in vegetation.

If you obey this law, you will also realize that everything painting seeks to achieve must also be sought in the nature of colours itself. What are in fact the media of painting? You have the surface, canvas or paper or what not, and on the surface you have to fix in pictorial form what is there. But if something refuses to be fixed in pictorial form, such as plant-nature, you must at least pour over it the luster-character.

Observe, we have not yet reached the different coloured mineral substances, the lifeless objects. In this case particularly it is necessary to understand the matter with sensibility. The world of colour cannot be captured with the reason; we must apply our sensibility, and now I ask you to reflect if there is anything in the nature of colour itself which raises the question, when you are painting, something inorganic, i.e. walls or some other inanimate objects: is there any need to understand whatever you are painting from the colour itself? There is a strong necessity; for think for a moment what is tolerable and what is intolerable. You agree, don't you, that if I paint a black table on a white ground, that is quite tolerable. If I paint a blue table — just imagine a room full of furniture painted blue — if you have any artistic feeling, you would find it intolerable. Equally impossible is a room with yellow or red furniture, that is a painted room. You can, as I've said, paint a black table on a white ground, it is purely a drawing, but you can do it; in fact, one can put directly upon paper or canvas only something whereby the inorganic, the inanimate is to result, which at first has image-character in its colour. So we have to ask generally: What do the colours black, white, green and peach allow to inanimate objects? You must get from the colour what can be painted. And then it always results that when you paint according to the colour, that is the colour which is also an image, you still have not got the inanimate object. You would have only the image — the colour is already that. You would not evoke the representation of the chair, you would have the image of it, if you had to paint it purely from a colour which is image.

So what must you do? You must try to give the image when you are painting still-life, the character of the luster. That is the point. You have to give the colours that have image-character, black, white, green and peach-colour, inner illumination, that is, luster-character. And then you can combine what you have thus vivified with the other lusters, with blue and yellow and red. So you must strip those colours of the image-character they have, and give them luster-character; which means that the painter, if he paints still-life, must really always bear in mind that a certain source of light, a dull source of light lies in the things themselves. He must so to speak think of his canvas or his paper as in a certain sense luminant. Here he requires on his surface the glow of the light which he has to paint on it. If he paints inanimate objects, he must bear in mind, he must contain in his mental make-up the idea, that a kind of illumination underlies inanimate objects, that in a way his surface is transparent and emits lights from within.

Now you see we arrive at the point in painting where in applying the colour, in conjuring the colour on to the surface, we must give the colour the character of reflecting light; otherwise we are not painters. If we always strive more and more to produce a painting out of the colour itself, as after all later human development demands, we shall have to pursue this attempt further and further; namely to get to the root of the essential nature of colour, so as to compel a colour, if it is an image colour, to return and take on again its luster-character, to make it inwardly luminous. If we paint it otherwise, we get no endurable painting of inanimate nature. A wall which is not covered with paint so as to have this inward light is, as a painting, no wall, but only the image of one. We must bring the colours to glow inwardly, and thereby in a certain sense, they become mineralized. Therefore we shall have more and more to find a way of not painting from the palette, smearing the material colour on to the surface, for then we shall never be able to evoke the inner light in the right way, but of painting form the pot (tiegel); we shall have to paint only with that colour which has got the green of liquid because it is watery, (i.e. with liquid colours, Ed.) And generally speaking an inartistic element has been introduced into painting with the palette. Painting from the palette is materialistic, a failure to understand the inner nature of colour which, as such, is really never absorbed by the material body, but lives in it, and must proceed from it. Therefore, when I put it on the surface, I must make it shine.

You are aware that in our building we have tried to bring out this light by using vegetable colours which can most easily be made to develop this inner glow. Any one who has feeling for these things will see how coloured minerals, in different degrees, it is true, show this inner light which we attempt to conjure up when we want to paint a mineral. When we want to paint a mineral according to its colour, we learn to look at it not as a model, naturalistically, but, as is necessary, as in the act of giving light from inside. Now, how does a mineral proceed to give light inwardly? If we have the coloured mineral, its colour appears to us because it is in sunlight. Sunlight in this case does much less than in the case of plants. In plants sunlight conjures up all the colours which occur besides green. In a coloured mineral, or any inanimate coloured object the effect of sunlight is that in the dark, when all cats are grey or black, we do not see the colours; it simply makes the colours visible. But the reason for the colour is, after all, inside. Why? How does it get there? Here we arrive again at the problem from which we started today.

Now, to lead you to the green of plants, I have had to point out to you the breaking away of the moon, as you find it described in my Occult Science. Now I must point out to you the other similar events, which have taken place in the course of the earth's evolution.

If you follow what I have explained in my Occult Science concerning the earth's development, you will find that those universal bodies which surround the earth and belong to its planetary system, were, as you know, in connection with the whole terrestrial planet; they were torn away just as the moon was. Of course that in itself is connected with the sun. But, generally speaking, if we look simply at the earth, we can regard this as an exodus. Observe that the internal colouring of inanimate objects is connected with this departure of the other planets. Solids become coloured, because the earth is freed from those forces which she had while the planets were tied to her, and they effect her from out of the Cosmos, and thereby evoke the inner force of the Cosmos in the coloured mineral bodies. This is, in fact, exactly what the minerals get from the forces which are no more there, but now shed their influence from out of the Cosmos. We see it is a much more hidden occult matter than with the plants' green. But here we have something which just because it is hidden, goes much deeper into its nature and therefore includes not only living vegetation but also the lifeless mineral. And so we are brought — I am only mentioning it here — if we are to consider the colouring of solids, to something of which modern Physics takes no account. We are brought to the workings of the Cosmos. We cannot explain the colouration of inanimate things in any way if we do not know that this is connected with what the terrestrial bodies have retained as inner forces since the other planets have been removed from the earth.

For instance, we explain the reddish colour in some mineral or other by means of the earth's connection with some planet, for example, with Mars or Mercury; a mineral yellow, by means of the earth's connection with Jupiter or Venus, and so on. For this reason the colouration of mineral swill always remain a riddle until we come to think of the earth in conjunction with the extra-terrestrial bodies in the Cosmos.

If we turn to living things, we must turn to sun and moonlight, and thus come to the one green surface colour, and to the surface colours which later become luster and luminosity emitted by the plant. But if we wish to understand that particular light that confronts us from the inside of substances, that element of the otherwise fluctuating spectrum which is constant inside solid bodies, we must remember that at one time what is now cosmic was in the interior of the earth and is thus the origin of those heavy elements in the earth's composition which are more or less liquid. We have to look outside the earth for the origin of what lies hidden under the surface of minerals. That is the essential thing. The surface of the earth admits of an easier terrestrial explanation than what lies under it, which requires an extra-terrestrial explanation. And thus the mineral component parts of our earth flash out at us in those colours which they have retained from the elements which have left the earth for the planets. And these colours remain under the influence of the corresponding planets of the cosmic environment.

This is the reason why, when we apply the lifeless paint to a surface we must, as it were, get the light behind the surface, we must spiritualize the surface and create a secret inner radiance. I mean, we must try to get the downward-streaming planetary influence behind the surface on which we paint the picture, so that the painting gives us organically the impression of the essential, not merely of the pictorial, and so it will depend on imparting the spiritual to the colours, in order to paint inanimate nature. But how to do it?

Recall the scheme which I have given you, in which I said: black is the image of the lifeless in the spiritual. We create the spiritual according to the luster and paint in it the lifeless. And in so far as we colour it, and convert it completely to a luster, we wake its essence. This is in fact the process which must be adopted for the painting of inanimate things.

And now you will find that we can ascend again to the Animal Kingdom. If you want to paint a landscape in which the Animal Kingdom is especially conspicuous, you have something which works as follows — it can be grasped only with your feeling. If you want to introduce animals into your landscape, you must paint their colour rather lighter than reality, and you must spread over it a soft bluish light. Suppose you were painting red animals — rather a rare occurrence — you would have to have a soft bluish sheen over them, and everywhere where you had the animal and the vegetation together, you would have to blend the yellowish sheen into the bluish one.

You would have to base this blending on the points of conjunction and then you get the possibility of painting the animal nature, otherwise it will always give the impression of inanimate representation. So that we may say that when we paint inanimate nature, it must be all luster, it must gleam from inside. When we paint the living plant-life, it must appear as luster-image. We first paint the image, and in fact paint so dark that we deviate from the natural colour. We present the image-character, in fact, by painting rather darker, and then overspreading it with luster, luster-image.

If we paint creatures with souls and even animals, we must paint the image-luster. We must not go straight to the complete picture. This we achieve by painting lighter, that is, by leading the image over to the luster, and adding on top that which in a certain sense dulls the pure transparency. Thus we get the image-luster.

And if we go to a step up to human beings, we must aspire to paint the pure image.

Inanimate:   Luster
Vegetable:   Luster-image
Soul-animal:   Image-luster
Spiritual, man:   Image

This is what those painters have done who have not yet painted external Nature, they have merely created the pure image. And thus we come to the complete image; that is, we must now include those colours which we have met in pictures as lusters. That happens because we deprive them in a sense of their luster-character when we get to human beings; we treat them as images. This means we paint the surface anyhow and try somehow to find a reason for it. The yellow surface insists on being, as it were, washed out at the edge. In no other way is it permissible to have the yellow, it must be washed out at the edge. In a painting of human beings, one can remove its real colour-nature and convert it into an image. In this way one transforms the luster-colour into colour and thereby reaches the human; when one paints a human being one need worry about nothing except the pure transparency of the medium.

It is true one must develop most particularly the feeling for what colour becomes after its transition into image-character. You see, one penetrates in fact the whole nature of colour — also in so far as this nature is expressed in painting — if one cultivates a sensibility to the difference between the pictorial and that which is to be found in luster. The pictorial really more nearly approaches the quality of thought, and the more so, the further we proceed in the pictorial. When we paint a man, we can really paint only our thoughts of him. But this thought of him must be made evident. It must be expressed in the colour. And one lives in the colour when one is, for example, in a position to introduce somewhere a yellow surface and to say to oneself: this ought really to be shaded off; I transform it into image, and I must therefore modify it where it touches neighboring colours. I must apologize, as it were, in my picture that I do not yield to the will of the yellow.

Thus you see how in fact it is possible to paint from the colour itself; how it is possible to regard the world of colour as such as something which so develops in the procession of our earth's evolution that colour first irradiates the earth as light from the Cosmo; and then, since something in the earth departs from it and returns again as radiation, colour becomes incorporated in the object. And we follow this experience in colour — this cosmic experience, and attain thereby the possibility of ourselves living in the colour. It is living in the colour, when I have it dissolved in the pot, and by dipping the brush in it an applying it to the surface, transform it into something fixed and firm; whereas it is not living in the colour if I stand there with a palette and mix colours together, if, having the colours already solid and material on the palette, I then daub them on the surface. That is not living in the colour, but outside it. I live in the colour only when I must translate it from a fluid to a solid condition. Then I experience in a sense the same that the colour itself has experienced, in developing from the former lunar condition to the terrestrial condition and there becoming solid; for a solid can arise only with the earth. And then again there is this in my relation with colour. My soul must live with colour. I must rejoice with yellow, feel the dignity or seriousness of red; I must share with blue its soft, I might almost say, its tearful mood, I must be able to spiritualize colour, if I want to bring it to inner capabilities. I may not paint without this spiritual understanding for colour, especially not inorganic or lifeless objects This does not mean that one is to paint symbolically, that one must unfold the quite inartistic; this colour means one thing and that means another. The point is not that colours signify something other than themselves; but that one will be able to live with the colour.

Living with the colour ceased when one left the pot colour for the palette colour and because of this change we have all the tailors' dummies which are painted by the portrait-painters from time to time on their respective canvases. They are dolls, dummies and so forth; there is nothing real, nothing with an inner impulse of life, which can be painted only if one understands what living with the colour is.

Such are the few remarks I wanted to make to you in these three addresses. Naturally they could be enlarged endlessly, and this can be done at another opportunity in the future. For the present I wanted only to make these few remarks, and to provide a transition to such studies.

One hears very often, after all, that artists have a proper fear of everything scientific, that they refuse to let knowledge or science interfere in their Art. Goethe already — although he could not get to the inner causes of colouration, still produced the elements of it — rightly said on the subject of this fear in painters: Up till now one has found in painters a fear and a decided antipathy towards all theoretic studies on colour and what belongs to it, with which one cannot reproach them, for till now the so-called theories were groundless, vacillating and tending to empiricism. We should like our efforts to do something to calm this fear and help to stimulate artists to put to practical proof the laws as laid down.

If one proceeds in the right way consciously, one's knowledge becomes raised from the abstract to the concrete in Art, and this is particularly the case with such a fluctuating element as in the world of colour. And it is only the fault of the decadence of our Science that artists rightly have such a fear of theory. This theory is material-intellectual, especially this theory that we come across in modern physical Optics. The element of colour is fluctuating, and the most one can wish is that the painter should not solidify his colour as he does on the palette, but should leave it in a fluid state in the pot. But if the physicist comes along then and draws his lines on the board and says that from his strokes and lines run out here the yellow, there blue — this attitude is enough to drive one mad. That has nothing to do with Physics. Physics must be content with the light that is in the room. You cannot undertake the consideration of colour at all without first lifting it into the region of the soul. For it is sheer nonsense to say: Colour is something subjective which produces an effect on us And if one goes further and says, — and in doing so one conceives an inexact picture of the Ego — that there is some external objective inclination which affects us, our Ego, it is rubbish; the Ego itself is in the colour. The Ego and the human astral body are not to be differentiated from colour, they live in it and are outside the physical human body in proportion as they are bound up with colour out there; they only reproduce the colours in the physical and etheric body. That is the point. So that the whole question of the effect of an objective on a subjective colour is nonsense; for the Ego, the astral body, already exist in the colour, and they enter with it. Colour is the conveyer of the Ego and the astral body into the physical and into the etheric body. So that the whole method of study must come out.

Thus everything which has crept into Physics, and which Physics includes in its diagrammatic lines, must come out. There should first of all be a period in which one abstains altogether from drawing, when one speaks of colour in a discussion on Physics; but one should try to understand colour in its fluctuation, in its life.

That is the important thing. Then you pass of your own accord from the theoretical to the artistic. Then you produce a method of studying colour which the painter can understand; because, if he identifies himself with such a method, and lives wholly in it, it is then no theoretical process of thought, but an element in colour itself. And, since he lives in the colour, he receives from it each time the answer to the question: How am I going to apply it?

Hence the possibility of conducting a dialogue with colours, for they tell you themselves how they want to be applied on the surface. It is this which makes a line of approach aspiring to attain reality enter the sphere of Art. Our Physics had ruined it for us; and therefore it must be emphasized today with all distinctness that such things which above all verge on Psychology and Aesthetics must not be allowed to be further corrupted by the physical view, but that it must be understood that quite another way and method must be employed. We see the spiritual and psychic elements in Goetheanism, which must be carried further. It has not yet, for instance, shown the differentiation of colours into images and lusters. We have to live Goetheanism thoughtfully, in order to proceed further and further. And this we can do only through Spiritual Science.

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