The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

From Crystals to Crocodiles
GA 347

The truly remarkable lectures — or, more accurately, question and answer sessions — contained in this book, form part of a series (published in eight volumes in the original German) dating from August 1922 to September 1924. This series features talks given to people involved in various kinds of building work on Rudolf Steiner's architectural masterpieces, the first and second Goetheanums in Dornach, Switzerland. (The destruction by fire of the first Goetheanum necessitated the building of a replacement.) A vivid description of the different types of workers present, as well as the context and atmosphere of these talks, is given by a witness in the Appendix to the first volume of this English series, From Elephants to Einstein (1998).

The sessions arose out of explanatory tours of the Goetheanum which one of Steiner's pupils, Dr Roman Boos, had offered. When this came to an end, and the workers still wished to know more about the 'temple' they were involved with and the philosophy behind it, Dr Steiner agreed to take part in question and answer sessions himself These took place during the working day, after the mid-morning break. Apart from the workmen, only a few other people were present: those working in the building office, and some of Steiner's closest colleagues. The subject-matter of the talks was chosen by the workers at the encouragement of Rudolf Steiner, who took their questions and usually gave immediate answers.

Translated by A.R. Meuss FIL, MTA

I. On the Origin of Speech and Languages August 2, 1922
Broca's discovery. Language learning in children. Imitation. Left-handedness and the pedagogical response to it. Relationship of languages in various regions of the earth to the cosmos.
II. On the human etheric body. Relationships between brain and thinking August 5, 1922
Nutrition: destruction and revitalization of food. Consciousness and its connection with the ratio of white blood cells to red ones. Thinking activity during sleep. The breathing process and its connection to brain activity. Perception of dreams.
III. The human being in relation to world-formation and dissolution August 9, 1922
Origin of thoughts. Formation of crystals. Sugar and dissolving of sugar. Brain-sand: its formation and dissolution. Illness as excessive formative processes. .The process of dissolution and ego-consciousness
IV. The human being as body, soul, and spirit. Brain and thinking. The liver as organ of perception September 9, 1922
Brain and thinking. The liver as organ of perception. Life in brain cells and in white blood corpuscles. Dying away of the life in brain cells as precondition for thinking. Continuous replacement of matter and tissue in the human organism. Cancer and its origin. Overtaxing the memory in childhood and its relation to illness in later life.
V. The perception of thinking carried out by our inner organs September 13, 1922
Hardening of the brain. Diabetes. Special character of the liver. The liver as our inner eye. The eyes of animals as thinking organs. The Roman Janus-heads.
VI. The processes of digestion in physical as well as soul-spritual terms September 16, 1922
Transformation of substances. On Paracelsus. Alcohol. The causes of migraine. The major difference between human beings and animals. Salts and phosphorus as the most important substances in the human brain. Salts and their connection to thinking, phosphorus and its relationship to willing
VII. On early earth conditions (Lemuria) September 20, 1922
Dragon birds, ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Birds, herbivorous animals and megatheria. The earth: a dead gigantic animal.
VIII. On early earth conditions September 23, 1922
Turtles and crocodiles. Healing instincts of animals. Oxygen and carbon and their relation to plants and forests. The huge oysters living in the muddy earth soup. The moon: imagination and reproductive forces. The moon inside the earth and its expulsion. Preservation of moon substance in the reproductive force of animals and human beings
IX. The earliest times on earth September 27, 1922
The earth before the expulsion of the moon. The sun as fertilizing force. Storing of sun forces inside the earth and the reproductive forces of earth creatures. The influence of the sun on the reproduction of plants and animals. The influence of the moon on the weather. Earth, sun and moon as unified entity. The earth as a living being.
X. Adam Kadmon in Lemuria September 30, 1922
The earth once was like a huge human head. The earth received nourishment from the cosmos in the past and from the sun now. The head of the human embryo as picture of the earth. The human being was at one time the whole earth. Why people are so small. We are all descended from one ancestor. Misinterpretations of the Old Testament.