- warmth course
The following is a summary by Jorge Resines, Argentina
This is a series of lectures given by Rudolf Steiner
at Stuttgart, from March 1st to March 14th, 1920; they were imparted after
his "Light Course" and before the "Astronomy Course"
and to better facilitate the understanding of the subjects treated. I will
discriminate lecture by lecture:
Lecture no. 1 (1.3.1920)
Steiner begins by making the audience notice that the personal bodily sensation
of warmth or cold is fundamentally different from what the usual thermometer
measures, for there are physiological factors not taken into consideration
by this instrument; from here he extends his thinking into the widely known
Zeno's paradox of the race between Achilles and the Turtle, to make the
public notice how bare facts of experimental nature do not correspond to
mental elaborations and how most science of his day (and you can unfailingly
extend this reasoning into today's public science) were no more than a
collection of mental constructs not related to experiments whose origins
were in past centuries when scientific instruments for measurement were
not very accurate.
Lecture No. 2 (2.3.1920)
Steiner subjected a metallic rod to the influence of a flame
and measured its expansion, to later proceed to develop the formula of
heat step by step and compared it (pages 20-21) with what is given in the
Physics textbooks; from there the audience gathered that the formula in
the texts is not the original one for it lacks small fractionary quotients
which vary from material to material, this being totally excluded.
He calls the public's
attention towards the fact that if gases, solids and liquids exist as they
do this is because they are under the influence of earthly forces as the
He continues the analysis
of how the physics of his time was influenced by the ideas of the *Accademia
del Cimento* (Florence, 1657-1667) and how the lack of proper understanding
of old Greek ideas led to a lot of confusion, to terminate this portion
"Whatever was solids was called 'earth' in ancient Greece."
"Whatever was fluid was called 'water' in ancient Greece."
"Whatever was gaseous was called 'air' in ancient Greece."
Making the public also take notice of the forces involved in the phenomenon
that, though heated things tend to increase in volume, frozen water does
the same with the opposite phenomenon.
Lecture No. 3 (3.3.1920)
Steiner begins by making the public notice how the experimental
results produce some strange phenomena not properly accounted for in the
textbooks, namely that whenever one solid body is heated and changes of
state (from solid to liquid and from liquid to solid) occur, there is no
temperature change at the critical point
Thus, a sort of "plateau"
is arrived at when a solid melts and the temperature remains constant until
it becomes a gas, when the temperature again begins to ascend; this is
to make the public infer that other kinds of forces are involved in the
mere dissolution by heat of a body, comparing also how Einstein and Crookes
reached similar conclusion from totally different viewpoints:
For Einstein the Fourth
Dimension was the time factor pertaining to the solid under examination
while for Crookes it was the gaining of more heat.
He ends the lecture by
indicating how pressure can compress a gas into a solid and how the solid
already possesses within the factor a gas needed to change the state.
Lecture No. 4 (4.3.1920)
Steiner begins by making two different gases interpenetrate
each other to demonstrate how this is possible and how when submitting
a given liquid within a closed vessel with room for expansion, the gas
pushes the liquid downwards at one place, thus creating an upwards flow
at the opposite side ("the volume-pressure product is a constant at
From this he continues
what was told in Lecture No. 3 that only by leaving three-dimensional space,
it is possible to gain an insight of how these simple processes actually
occur and that if Physics' teachers were good at their trade they would
make their students first notice this fact, for a purely mechanical approach
cannot see all factors involved even in the simplest phenomenon.
Also, he stands behind
the idea of popularizing "rigorously exact science" in order
to make the people aware of what science is actually about and at the same
time, to do away with "established authorities" that only stay
entrenched in their positions!
He ends by discriminating
how sensations are perceived by our whole organism and how, since all organisms
are different, this may involve different degrees of qualitative perception
for all of us.
Lecture No. 5 (5.3.1920)
He begins his lecture by making the public notice the difference
between what can be accounted for within the two divisions of Mathematics
(Arithmetic and Geometry) and those psycho-physiological factors that pertain
only to the individual and have no symbol whatever in mathematics.
Because of this short
coming in expression, physicists tend to shy away from involving such factors
in their science, thus leaving a huge gap capable of allowing the entrance
of many mistakes (be they involuntary or not), stating that only the proper
occult training can eliminate this deficiency, for it creates the possibility
of a deeper penetration into actual material processes.
Note from the Reviewer:
Before continuing the review, I want to bring before the readership
a personal feeling concerning the whole work: As I read all the lectures,
I could not avoid thinking that many of the things Mr. Steiner referred
to as being of a spiritual nature, but possibly of being proved experimentally,
were already proven by Dr. Gustave Le Bon, about whom I have extensively
talked about in my "The Complex Secret of Dr. T. Henry Moray"
(including all the bibliography I could find in French for independent
As I am not acquainted too deeply with Steinerian bibliography, I
suggest those who actually are to find and read English (or German) translations
of "Evolution of Matter" and "Evolution of Forces"
published in French in 1905 and 1907 by Emile Flammarion Editeur of Paris.
These two works are an excellent resume of Le Bon's important experimental
discoveries and match very accurately the "spiritual viewpoint"
Steiner urged his public to adopt in order to consider as included in common
physical phenomena many factors that mechanical science could not explain
or rudely excluded for not fitting its own pet theories.
It was actually Le Bon who discovered radioactivity and atomic energy
(BEFORE the Curies) and not Henry Becquerel; Mr. Becquerel (and you can
verify this by reading his 1896 and 1897 articles in "Comptes Rendus")
believed radioactivity actually to be a "form of light" which
could undergo all phenomena (polarization, refraction, reflection, etc.)
usually associated with light. This will also show how the Nobel Prize
is award and how only establishment-related people get it!
Lecture No. 6 (6.3.1920)
Mr. Steiner begins by placing mercury within a tube and later
placing the tube within a mercury-filled vessel, in the manner of the "open"
thermometers of antiquity.
He does the same thing
for three other liquids: water, alcohol and ether, and proceeds to heat
the tube's upper portion to show how expanding gases push the liquid downwards
and make the level of the vessel flow upwards. He did so to show how heat
changes the bodies and how cold returns them to their former state.
He proceeded by showing
how ice can be melted and refrozen by means of a wire from which a weight
is hung and which is placed upon the ice; by this method he also shows
how the same effects can by attained through pressure.
He further mentions that
three certain metals, when taken separately, only melt over +250 degrees
C but when fused into an alloy they do so at +94 degrees C, to show how
a synergistic effect happens.
The main idea in this
lecture is to show -- apart from synergistic effects -- how each state
of matter is no more than the degree of packing of the constituting atoms
and he ends by adding:
"In solids we have the images of the fluid state."
"In liquids we have the images of the gaseous state."
"In the gaseous we have the images of the warmth state."
He did this to have an image of the gaseous state that is accessible
to human observation and to eliminate complicated theories that only confuse
the issue, also to indicate that unknown factors are at work to maintain
solids, liquids, gases, etc. as they actually appear to us.
Lecture No. 7 (7.3.1920)
He begins by drawing the public's attention towards the words
by 19th-century physicist Edward von Hartmann - which were a product of
the time they were issued, with all the deficiencies this entails - and
how those OLD thoughts, with plenty of gaps within, had found their way
into the physics of the time (1920).
He indicated also the
need to have research institutes foster the Anthroposophical viewpoint
and how physicists should not strike out everything that cannot be expressed
mathematically (remember Lecture No. 5).
By means of an experiment
he leads the public into the knowledge that solids "take up"
gravity into themselves to appear in such a state, water is a kind of "null
point" for gravity only serves it to make it have a surface.
Mr. Steiner furthers
this example by taking a solid tetrahedron and indicating that if he were
to make it entirely disappear and that its occupied place would remain
as such by any other matter or energy, actually within it we would have
"reversed" physical laws other than those making the solid tetrahedron
The sphere is the intermediate
body between the solid and "empty" tetrahedrons.
His idea in this lecture
is to set up a scale of values, from the greater to the lesser, for densities
of different atomic realms and non-atomic ones and their associated effects,
Gaseous (acoustical effects most pronounced)
Solid (mechanical effects most pronounced)
Lecture No. 8 (8.3.1920)
Continuing with the postulates by Edward von Hartmann, Mr. Steiner
analyzes the so-called "warmth death" our universe is experiencing
because of "unstoppable negative entropy" and draws his public's
attention to the fact that the formulations belong to an age of history
when science was not too developed and physicists considered only mechanical
work and heat as the most basic factors of creation.
What Mr. Steiner asks
his public is if the universe (or, in a lesser stage, the world) actually
is a closed and negatively-entropic system as 19th-century physicists believed
(please notice that this assumption was never proved experimentally).
By analysis he reaches
the conclusion that a "perpetuum mobile" is always trying to
appear in Nature, but Nature itself prevents its formation as soon as this
This is why solids exist,
because Nature prevents the atoms from separating themselves totally from
those of its own kin.
But, also with existing
dissolving forces (to call them this term for the sake of identification),
the form of the solid disappears in the fluid realm, which loses its attribute
of surface when entering into the gaseous realm; and gases "lose themselves"
into the heat zone.
In short, Mr. Steiner
proposes the following stages and conditions for their individual existence
and inter connections:
Becoming Spiritual (Rarefaction)
Gas (Negative Form)
Fluid Becoming Material (Condensation)
In order to advance further, he looks into the "X" realm beyond
rarefaction and condensation, for if these two conditions exist then matter
is also present there, no matter how attenuated its condition of materiality.
Also, he looks into the
opposite way within a realm of greater materiality (if this is not a prophecy
of transuranic elements, I do not know what it is; it is even more impressing
when he speaks about "negative matter" called "anti-matter:
in the experimental Physics of today!), and binds both ways of looking
when viewing the rainbow of the color spectrum; indicating the existence
of vibrational realms beyond the Violet and before the Red, he ends with
Goethe's theory of color that encompasses not only the colors themselves
arranged circularly (thus making it easier to understand color) but also
the invisible vibrational realms that contribute to their existence!
Lecture No. 9 (9.3.1920)
By means of a simple experience, Mr. Steiner draws his public's
attention towards the crudeness of the measuring instruments then existing.
Also indicating how Physics
(then and now) separated the experience from the human being, and how it
all originated in an 1842 paper by Robert Julius Mayer on the theory of
After emphasizing the
nonsensical approach of the formerly-explained position, he proceeds to
continue with the analysis of the different interconnected states, but
with this new subdivision:
X Materialization - Dematerialization
Gaseous Bodies Rarefaction - Condensation
Solid Bodies Form
Mr. Steiner explains again how each realm (from solidity to disintegregation
of atoms and beyond going upwards) foreshadows the features of the upward-existing
one and postulates the existence of another realm called "U"
by him those characteristics make it foreshadow the level of form and solids.
In the end, this "U" region is the one of formative forces for
Continuing with the analysis,
he passes into tone and there he discriminates the tone itself from the
compression and rarefactions of atmospheric gases that accompany tone,
but are NOT in it!
This he did in order
to separate fantasies created by thought generated by the imperfect perception
of an experimental result and by an excessive over-generalization of it.
Mr. Steiner goes back
to Goethe's theory of color and makes his public notice that the usual
rainbow is associated by another one - of smaller size and reversed order
of colors - that is usually passed over in Physics textbooks; the aim of
this explanation is to "bind" into a circle the realms shown
staged above as Goethe bound the colors, and to relate this new arrangement
with cosmic order.
Lecture No. 10 (10.3.1920)
Mr. Steiner begins by making a full-spectrum beam of light fall
upon a goblet where a chemical is place by placing in the beam's path different
chemical solutions he blocks selectively those different portions of the
spectrum (either visible or invisible) that create different physical effects
(chemical effects, heat effects, photoelectrical effects, etc.).
[As I state in the
"note" before, this was explored much more in deep by Dr. Gustave
Le Bon and I urge Steiner's followers to read him by any means!]
He further repeats
the experience of increasing temperature by using an ice magnifying glass
and indicates that "there are more things" in this fact than
those dreamed by science, for the ice magnifies heat but is not affected
He disproves the concept
that heat transmits itself from particle to particle by hypothesizing that
if you place a group of boys upon a metal beam and heat it so that each
boy will yell when heat reaches his own place, you cannot state that the
yell is transmitted because of this!
actually heat is - like electricity - an external effect in metals as long
as it does not penetrate its innermost portions and thus the metallic piece
retains its shape; when heat penetrates into the metallic piece, it becomes
fused. Jorge Resines).
By placing five different
metal rods into boiling water, by means of a dye, he shows his audience
how not all metals transmit heat in the same proportion, backing experimentally
his statements of Lecture No. 2 of how some fractionary quotients are eliminated
in the general formula of heat.
Afterwards, he continues
with the analysis of the different stages analyzed in the former lecture
and how they apply to the human being, emphasizing that to each effect
a counter effect is attached, indicating how they balance each other.
Extending his thought
into the sphere of matter he states: "Modern (1920) physics has not
developed at all this concept of negative matter, related to external matter
as a suction is to a pressure. This is unfortunate for modern physics."
Lecture No. 11 (11.3.1920)
He continues, to a certain extent, the experiments of Lecture
No. 10 and indicates how because of earthly conditions the light spectrum
as arranged by Goethe must be presented as an image.
By extending outwards
this circular spectrum, he makes some colors disappear into the non-visible,
reversing the original process of formation.
Because of earthly conditions,
he explains, colors are made to arise from the invisible realms, and its
circular Goethean arrangements broken into a straight line making some
of them disappear.
By analyzing materialization
and its opposite, he reaches the follow equations:
Rarefaction = Dematerialization = Brightening
Condensation = Materialization = Darkening
and also to the conclusion that some properties of one condition are
present in the other and vice versa.
equated with heat-produced effects and also with the fact that the transmission
of heat produces an increased motion of atoms of intensive character (and
not of extensive character, as I indicated in my note to Lecture No. 10).
Besides, in self-heated
bodies such as mammal organisms, heat is a "borderline" of the
Spaceless Suction / Heat Region / Space Pressure
Because our organism (for example) is kept together by pressure forces
(as do all solids) and suction makes it tend towards dissolution, heat
being the result of both forces in balance.
The remnant of the lecture
was dedicated to examine, from Steiner's spiritual viewpoint, the conceptions
of two famous physicists of his day, Max Planck and Ernest Mach, and the
faults that plagued each in their respective judgements of experimental
findings; adding in the end:
"If you consider how fruitful the one-sided (materialistic) concepts
have been for technology, you can imagine how many technical consequences
might flow from adding to the modern (1920) technology - which takes into
account only pressure forces - the possibility of making these suction
forces fruitful also; and by these I mean not only spatially-active suction,
which is a manifestation of pressure, but suction forces qualitatively
opposite to pressure forces".
And one wonders whether or not this conference and the former were attended
by Austrian Forestmaster called Viktor Schaubeger, who might have been
greatly impressed by these wise words.
Lecture No. 12 (12.3.1920)
Steiner first makes reference to his "Course on Light"
and to the theories that speak about "rays of light" and how
transparency and opaqueness of bodies is referred to the amount of these
theoretical "rays" that they do allow to flow through them, warning
his public against taking too seriously what are only unproved theories.
Mr. Steiner goes on analyzing
temperature difference between one cold and one hot zone and an intermediate
region that serves as conductor, indicating that great care must be taken
in the mathematical expression of this for the heat distribution is not
From this he goes back
to the light spectrum with its zones of warmth and chemical effects indicating
that if formulae are used to relate light and warmth and chemical effects,
then imaginary numbers must enter into the calculations and how super imaginary
numbers (originated by the late Paul A.M. Dirac) must be introduced when
things get more complicated.
But warning his public
that as he did in Lecture No. 5 the limitations of mathematics leave plenty
outside of consideration.
He ends the lecture by
establishing the terms of "warmth ether", "chemical ether",
and "light ether" as helpful in designating those subtle forces
acting within the spectrum that create the forementioned respective effects
and indicates that mathematics are to be reformulated in order to incorporate
a broader range of factors not yet included.
Lecture No. 13 (13.3.1920)
Steiner makes some experiments by using the different portions
of the light spectrum blocking them by the usage of the appropriate chemical
solution, and returns to his old saying see Lectures No. 8 and No. 9 of
how each realm foreshadows the qualities of the following one (when going
He relates gases with
light, fluids with chemical effects and solids with life effects, making
the heat realm act as a "balancer" in this scale of effects:
Y Chemical Effects
To further indicate that, in the dim past when the planet was not totally
solid, atoms and ether flows behaved in a different manner to today:
"At that time the entire Earth was not solid as we now understand
the solid condition just as little as was the corpse of today to a corpse
of five days ago.
Solids were not found
in an independent state anywhere on the Earth and only occurred bound to
the living; fluid existed only bound to chemical effects and gases only
bound to light effects.
In other words, all gas
had an inner glittering, an inner illumination, an illumination that showed
a wave-like phosphorescence and darkening as the gas was rarefied and condensed.
Fluids were not as they are today but were permeated by a continuous living
chemical activity. And at the foundation of all was life, solidifying itself
as it solidifies now in the horn-formation in cattle, for instance and
then passing back again into fluid or gas, etc.
In brief, we are forced
by physics itself to admit a previous period of time when realms now torn
apart on Earth existed together.
The realms of the gaseous,
the fluid, and the solid are now on one side, and on the other side realms
of light, chemical effects and life. At that time they were within each
other, not merely side by side, but actually within each other." (page
Further indicating that in those times heat was the equilibrium condition
between the etheric and the ponderable material realm, for he thinks of
heat as being ether and matter at the same time.
Thinking of heat as a
difference in level leads to a deeper level of analysis that makes one
see how the "Second Law of Thermodynamics" has obviated because
of its fundamental flaws and its mechanistic foundation the interralationships
above indicated, and that all different phenomena should be taken as part
of a circle as was the light spectrum by Goethe, where one process actually
feeds the others and vice versa.
Lecture No. 14 (14.3.1920)
Mr. Steiner recapitulates some points of the former lecture
and indicates to his public how the effects indicated in it actually happen
at all levels of interrelation, but only by rising to a universal viewpoint
is it possible for the not-too-educated man or woman to apprehend this.
This is in entire agreement
with the experimental findings of Dr. Le Bon, I permit myself to add, who
obtained for example chemical effects on solids by making a beam of light
fall up them!
Steiner continues by
indicating to his audience to conceive of the periodic arrangement of elements
in octaves, so that their combination and interrelated assorted phenomena
may be conceived as an outer reflection of an inner cosmic music.
This is done to make
different phenomena appear as the differences in levels of musical composition,
therefore, simplifying the whole spectrum of chemistry and physics; so
sadly confused in today's books.
Briefly, returning to the polar and material opposites of Lecture No.
11, he makes his public consider spaces full of matter and those emptied
of it, with transition zones in between.
This was done to make
them understand that:
"We would be much better off, however, conceiving of these things
as they were thought of by the intuitive knowledge of former times.
Manifestations in matter,
which are always accompanied by the imponderable, were then thought of
as influenced by the whole cosmos instead of being misinterpreted as due
to certain theoretical inner configurations." (page 171)
The idea behind this is to "tear space apart" in order to reveal
what is behind each phenomenon instead of letting ourselves be dazzled
by the event under manifestation.
With this conception
in mind, Mr. Steiner once again reminds his public of how deficient the
quality of thinking is during his time of life:
"Nothing is sadder to contemplate than a future in which the way of
thinking that has devastated the minds of educated people will be transmitted
to people throughout the whole Earth by means of public school systems.
If one wishes to found
schools for the people, we must be sure that there will be something to
teach in them, something whose inner configuration represents an advance.
We first need the science that could be taught in these new schools."
He continues by speaking against the over-specialization in science that
today so deeply pervades our society and that was widespread in his time,
but not as deeply as today, considering it a terrible evil that people
of different branches in science would not bother to listen to what others
had to state, and if they did so, the specialized jargon prevented the
mutual and necessary deep understanding.
He ended his lecture
by asking his public not to surrender before the words "Build schools
for people", but to fight for "First it is necessary to have
something new to teach in these schools for "the people" (page
177); claiming also against "established scientific authorities: and
for the need to cling to "rigorously exact science", which would
lead to a mutual cross-fertilization of all fields in science and the total
benefit of all.
It was a great pleasure for this reviewer to have written this somewhat
lengthy review, but I have been obliged to condense into a few words or
sentences what Mr. Steiner explained in several paragraphs or pages. Because
of space, much detailed explanation was left out, but the way of writing
this review as it was done was in order not leave out reading the most
fundamental concepts involved, so that those who later read the book will
understand what Mr. Steiner said and also have a "travel guide"
uniting all concepts into a comprehensible whole without gaps. One warning,
however; there are notes to the course in pages 181-197 which should have
been indicated through asterisks by the publisher; as this is not done,
the reader must carefully look at the page indicated in search of them.
To the link
This page was put here on June 19,
It has been visited times since June 19, 1998
© Jorge Resines 1997