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  Does the Impulse for Physical Movement Come from the Fourth Dimension?

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By: Michael Schnur
Fourth Dimension.doc

(Original title: Konunt der Impuls fuer unsere Koerperbewegungen aus der vierten Dimension? Der Merkurstab 1996; 49:463-78. English by A. R. Meuss, FIL, MTA.)

A look at 4-dimensional space and the consequences of the motor nerve concept

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and God was the word. This was with God in the beginning.
All has come into being through it
and nothing has come into being
except through this.
In this was life, and life
was the light of humanity.
And the light shone in the darkness, but
the darkness did not comprehend it.(1)
Having perceived the science that lies in the Gospel of John you will gradually come to feel that the first words of that Gospel should be written in every book on physiology and that everything in science should go in the direction of those words(.(2)
- Rudolf Steiner, in connection with a discussion of motor nerves and the error relating to them.

1 Introduction
The role of motor nerves as transmitters of movement impulses from brain to muscle has been questioned by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) from the beginning of this century:

The supposed motor nerves do not exist.(2)

In more detail,

The difference between motor and sensory nerves does not exist, and the 'will nerves,' as they are called, are also sensory nerves,(1) they merely serve the purpose of perceiving our own limbs when movements are to be executed.(3)

Thus the motor nerves are, in truth, sensory nerves that function only inside ourselves, whilst the nerves that are actually called sensory nerves perceive the outside world.(4)

Steiner knew very well that the nerves called "motor" nerves - he no doubt meant the efferent nerves(32) - transmit impulses in the opposite direction:

I'll leave aside the fact that sensory nerves are practically indistinguishable from motor nerves; at most, one kind is slightly thicker than the other... The difference lies merely in the direction in which they function.(5)

Today the concept of movement impulse transmission is much more complex than it was in Steiner's day. Modem neurophysiologists continue to see the brain as center of movement impulsion, with nerves conveying the impulses to the muscles, and Steiner's objections therefore continue to bring in an element that opposes and adds to the view that is taught today. We may ask if there is any real need to look for additional, "complicating" factors in the explanation of muscle movement.

The point is that in the first place the relationship of sensory and motor nerves is a matter of interpretation, and for as long as we limit ourselves to purely physical aspects the only possible answer is really the one that is usually given.
...I do not think it is possible to accept a different interpretation unless we are prepared to consider the facts that arise from supersensible, i.e. real, observation.(6)

Simple experiments such as the severance of efferent nerves, i.e. nerves going away from the central nervous system, appear to confirm nerve function as conduction of will impulses. The muscle concerned can no longer be moved. It is also possible to see the nerve not as the sole cause, but at most only as a necessary condition.

If I do not perceive the metabolic process, no decision follows in the will, for the human being depends on being able to perceive what goes on within him if he... is to be involved.(7)

If we cut the neutral wire of our bedside lamp and the light goes out, we cannot deny that there must still be a second lead that is conducting a current. In the same way it cannot be deduced from such neurophysiological phenomena as are known to me that the nervous system provides the sole explanation for the movement of muscle, even if severance disrupts function.

Steiner insisted that there must be other channels in addition to the nerves that convey movement impulses, yet within our 3-dimensional space we know of no other anatomical structures that might be considered for this.

One obvious next step is to look for the path a will impulse takes from
decision to realization by going via the 4th dimension, an extension in space that goes beyond our 3-dimensional world.

Having discussed Casstni curves, which must be seen as going through the 4th dimension, Steiner put it like this:

And if people were to develop this way of looking at things - mathematicians would certainly be able to do so today if they wished - they would arrive at a different idea of going out of space and coming back into it again.

This is entirely in accord with reality. For every time you intend to do something you think of what you intend; before you use your will you go out of space, and when you move your hand you enter into space again. In between you are out of space, you are on the other side of it.(8)

No one understands the way we use the will who does not see the human being as a cosmic entity, unless they go beyond the limits of the human body, not knowing that in using the will human beings make use of powers that lie outside their bodies.(9)

We can be satisfied to think of an abstract "spiritual" world beyond our 3-dimensional space, or we can try to understand the space beyond it as a 4-dimensional reality that can be reached by using mathematical and geometrical analogies. Steiner saw the world of the spirit in terms of higher dimensions. We can gather this from the following quote:

The astral sphere is the 4th dimension.(10)

Elsewhere he showed that the will impulse comes from this sphere:

... When we do something, the will impulse always originates in the higher aspects of the human being, the combined activities of I and astral body. If we follow the will impulse and the whole way it takes effect in the human being, we definitely do not arrive at the nerves, for the will impulse, as such, intervenes directly in all aspects of human metabolism. The explanation we must give on the basis of anthroposophical research differs from that generally given by scientists for they assume that the will impulse is conveyed by the nerve and transferred to the organs concerned which may then make the movement.(6)

The aim of this paper is to attempt to develop exact ideas of 4-dimensional space so that we may understand better what Rudolf Steiner meant when he said:

When I move an arm, I move it not by means of something that arises within the organism, but using a power that is outside my arm, with the I entering into this power because it is driven out from certain places in my arm. In using the will I go outside the body, and I move by means of powers that lie outside my own.(9)

To my knowledge this aspect has not been considered in conventional scientific literature nor in science extended through Anthroposophy. A first attempt will thus be made to explain the physiological basis for the exertion of the human will, i.e. intentional movement, by considering the 4th dimension.

2 With 3-dimensional thinking, how can we grasp the 4th dimension?
We cannot visualize the 4th dimension and therefore have to feel our way toward it in our thoughts, using analogies. All procedures that take us from one dimension to the next higher one, e.g. 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, will serve the purpose.(11)

We can easily demonstrate the procedure in the first 3 dimensions. If we then apply the process that took us from the 1st to the 2nd dimension and from the 2nd to the 3rd dimension, we know that it takes us into the 4th. The way can be visualized, therefore, even if the result is not immediately accessible. Three examples may serve to demonstrate this:

Example 1: Tetrahedron
We start with a triangle in which all points are at a distance of 1 cm from each other. It is not possible to add a further point that is 1 cm from each of the three. To do this we have to go from the 2nd dimension, the plane, into the 3rd, i.e. into space. The resulting form is a tetrahedron.

Fig. 1. From triangle to tetrahedron

If we try and apply the same procedure to the tetrahedron, we find there is no point in 3-dimensional space that is at a distance of 1 cm from each of the other four. It can only exist in the next higher, i.e. the 4th, dimension.

The resulting structure cannot be visualized, just as a plane-bound individual living and thinking only in the 2nd dimension cannot imagine that there could be a 4th point that is 1 cm distant from all three points in the triangle. This plane dweller - let's call him Mr. Plain-dweller - might, however, draw the projection of a tetrahedron in his 2-dimensional world and add the comment: "The point at the center must be raised up into the 3rd dimension until it is 1 cm distant from the other 3 points."

Fig. 2. Tetrahedron drawn in a plane.

We could do the same with our 4-dimensional tetrahedron in its 3-dimensional projection. We would have to make the structure shown here of wire, and add analogous instructions for the beholder: "The point at the center must be raised up into the 4th dimension until it, too, is 1 cm distant from every other point."

Fig. 3.40 tetrahedron

Example 2: Cube
It is particularly interesting to apply a similar procedure to the cube because its surfaces are always at right angles to each other, like the axes of the different dimensions.
We start with a point (zero dimension), drawing it out into a line 1 cm in length (1st dimension). We then let this line sweep across a plane at right angles and get a square (2nd dimension). We let this sweep through space to a distance of 1 cm and obtain a cube (3rd dimension). The thinness of the paper only allows us to show it in 2 dimensions, however.

Fig. 4, From point to cube

If we use the same procedure again, our cube becomes 4-dimensional; we call it a tessaract. This, too, can only be shown in a 3-dimensional image. We got the 2-dimensional image of the cube by moving the square to a parallel position (Fig. 4), and use the same method to get the image of a tessaract (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5. Tessaract I Aid to visualization

Another way of producing a tessaract is to show a shift of the body into its interior, as in Example 1, drawing in a rough perspective. Again, a label has to be added: "The cube at the center must be enlarged into the 4th dimension until it is the same size as the outer cube. The 6 spaces created between inner and outer cube also become cubes with edges of the same length." (Perspective makes them look like angular funnels here.)


Fig. 6. Tessaract II

The table helps us to check that we are still working in an entirely logical sequence when we seek to get a notion of the cube's big brother in the 4th dimension. It shows the total number of comers, edges, sides, etc. for the bodies we have so far discussed.
Anyone interested can work out the laws governing the number series (vertically, horizontally and diagonally) and then work out the number of faces, etc. for any other dimension. Those found for the tessaract can be worked out from Figures 5 and 6.

Example 3: Sphere
We begin with a circle. This is 2-dimensional and created by all points that are at the same distance (e.g. 1 cm) from a center. If we apply the same law to 3-dimensional space, we get a sphere. All points on the surface of a sphere are at the same distance from its center.

The law is not as easily applied to the 4th dimension as in the case of the cube. Let us use another method therefore. We have already met our friend, Mr. Plain-dweller. A shadow of himself, he lives entirely in the plane and has no notion of our 3-dimensional space. One day, the sphere with its 1-cm radius comes to visit him. It touches down on his plane, and he perceives it to be a point. The sphere is able to pass through his plane, which has no thickness. Mr. Plain-dweller is greatly surprised but only able to perceive the slice of the sphere created by intersection with the plane at any given moment.

Asked what has been going on, he'll say a point gradually expanded into a circle of 1 cm diameter and then grew smaller again, finally to vanish into a point again.(12)
Visible in the plane:

We note that when a body of the next higher dimension moves, it can be perceived as a whole by observing the sequence. Conversely, the change in time tells us that the configuration belongs to the next higher dimension.
What would a 4-dimensional sphere moving through our 3-dimensional space look like? It would appear out of nothing, again beginning as a point but blow up like a balloon into a sphere and then gradually shrink down again into nothingness.

Fig. 9. A 4-dimensional sphere moving through our space

Example 3 has shown that a 4-dimensional configuration becomes perceptible to us as soon as it moves. Time then helps us to see consecutively what we are unable to see simultaneously. Mr. Plain-dweller is also using time as an aid, in his case to see the 3rd dimension. Time therefore does not relate specifically to the 4th dimension but always with the next higher one. In general terms, we may say that for those who are able to perceive only up to the 3rd dimension, "Time is thus as reflection, a projection of the 4th dimension, the quality of organic life, into the 3 dimensions of physical space."(13)

3 Consequences for our concept of physical movement
We find the 4th dimension not only in the time form of life forms. Any movement in space points to a 4th dimension which we resolve in time in order to perceive it. Wherever 3-dimensional bodies move of their own accord, they betray their 4-dimensional nature. Rudolf Steiner used Plato's parable of the cave to explain it:

Let me refer immediately to the most magnificent picture of this that has ever been given, and that is Plato and Schopenhauer and the parable of the cave.

Plato said: Imagine people sitting in a cave, all of them bound so that they cannot move their heads and only look at the opposite wall. Behind them people carrying a wide variety of objects to and fro. These people and the objects are 3-dimensional. So you have all those people staring at the wall and only seeing shadows cast on it. In the same way you might see everything in this room as 2-dimensional shadows on the opposite wall. Plato said: That is how it is in the world. The truth is that people are sitting in a cave. They themselves and everything else are 4-dimensional, but they only see images in 3-dimensional space.

Everything we see presents in this way. According to Plato we are only able to see 3-dimensional shadow images. I only see my hand as a shadow image, it is really 4-dimensional. And everything people see is an image, just like the image of the tessaract I have slown you. Plato sought to show in his day the the bodies we know are really 4-dimensional and that we only see their shadows in 3-dimensional space.(14)

Later, he continued on the subject:

The moment things begin to move, however, I must investigate where the movement comes from. And you say to yourself that the movement can only come from a movement outside the wall, a movement within a 3rd dimension. The change we have seen has told us that there is a 3rd as well as a 2nd dimension.

... The images on the wall remain 2-dimensional. But the change points to a 3rd dimension. The fact that the world is always changing and remains 3-dimensional even when it does not change suggests that we must look for the change in a 4th dimension. The reason, the cause of the change, the activity, must be looked for outside the 3rd dimension and with that you have at least shown that there is a 4th dimension.(14)

Let us ask Mr. Plain-dweller if he knows of similar phenomena in his 2-dimensional world. He recently reported that his "flat gold" was stolen from his safe. The door had not been opened, and all four sides of the safe were intact. The only thing he noticed were slight shaking movements of the safe, though no one had bumped into it from outside.

We can explain the movement and the disappearance of matter to Mr. Plain-dweller with the aid of the 3rd dimension (Fig. 10). In the same way, the movements of 3-dimensional configurations have to be explained with the aid of the 4th dimension. When opportunity arises, we shall ask Mr. Plain-dweller what he imagines to be the cause of his own bodily movements.

Fig. 10. Mr. Plain-dweller's "flat gold" is stolen from the locked safe.

4 Nerve process and the 4th dimension
It may well be that a notion has crept in because of what has been said so far that the 4th dimension is even more spatial than the 3rd. This is a help to visualization, but Rudolf Steiner put it differently when he spoke to painters about color perspective:

With this, painting enters into relationship with the spirit. It is really strange, you see, for today people mainly concentrate on making space appear even more spatial in order to go beyond space. And they use a 4th dimension for this materialistic approach. But this 4th dimension does not exist in that way; its nature is such that it destroys the 3rd, as debts destroy a positive bank balance. When you leave 3-dimensional space you do not enter into 4-dimensional space - well, if you wish, we may say you do enter a 4th space of dimension, but it is 2-dimensional - because the 4th destroys the 3rd and only two remain as real dimensions. When we ascend from the three dimensions of the physical world to the etheric everything takes its orientation in two dimensions. We will only understand the etheric if we think of it as having its orientation in two dimensions.(15)

How can we see that it is a case of the 3rd dimension being overcome in the move to the 4th, and not of pure 2-dimensionality?

... the 3rd dimension always comes to expression in the nuances of red, yellow, blue or violet I apply to the surface. ...(15)

In the same lecture, the aspect of time is also referred to in connection with the 4th dimension, as discussed above.

The moment you see green, red, blue, yellow in precious stones you are looking back into infinitely distant past times. For when we see colors we do not only see what is here and now but look back into vast distances of time.(15)

This brings in another aspect of multi-dimensionality. The 4th dimension is not more spatial than the 3rd but should rather be thought of as being flatter again.

Brief consideration may be given to yet further dimensions referred to by Rudolf Steiner.(13) We reach the 4th dimension by overcoming the 3rd, the 5th by overcoming the 2nd, and the 6th by overcoming the 1st. Thus, a total of 7 dimensions has real significance:

At this point, we'll not go into the paradox that arises with Rudolf Steiner, on one hand, relating the 4th dimension to the sphere of life, i.e. the etheric ("We have 4 dimensions in the etheric realm..."(16)) and, on the other, to the astral or sentient sphere ("The astral sphere is the 4th dimension."(10)) Here, the important point is that, although it is again planar by nature, the 4th dimension differs clearly from the 2nd, having been able to let the 3rd vanish into it.

Back to the nerve now. Similar to the way we hear of the 4th dimension destroying the 3rd, we also hear nerve function described as something that happens where matter (protein) is destroyed.

Protein breaks down in nerve tissue.
... as a result the ether activities radiating in through the senses from the objects and events in our external environment and those that develop as we use our organs of movement, are able to use the nerves as organs along which they convey themselves through the whole body.

This has consequences for our understanding of nerve functions:

Physiologists will never arrive at concepts in neurology that are in accord with reality unless they realize that true nerve function simply cannot be the object of physiology based on sensory observation. Anatomists and physiologists must understand that nerve function can only be found in a process of elimination.

Nerve function is something that cannot be observed using the senses, but the sensory principle shows us that it has to exist and reveals the particular nature of it.

Elsewhere we read:

For soul and spirit, the places where the nerves are located are simply empty spaces. And the principle of soul and spirit is able to enter into those empty spaces.(19)

The eye has sun quality and is therefore able to take in light; muscle has movement quality and is therefore able take in movement; nerves have "nothing quality" and are therefore able to conduct everything.(20)

Can we visualize this in terms of space?

The astral and I structures are such that they are pushed in from outside, arising essentially in a process of inversion, the important aspect being that areas are left clear both in space and time by a process of inversion.(21)

4 Blood and nerve
Another passage gives emphasis to the blood as the actual vehicle for will impulses.

To speak of motor nerves in the way that is now generally accepted is a nonsense, for in that case the blood channels would be the actual motor nerves.
... The blood wants to become more and more spiritual, the nerve more and more material, this is the polar opposition between them.

Let us recall the sphere passing through a plain. We can surmise that the extension into the 4th dimension is all the greater the more rapidly the body changes in the 3rd dimension or the greater the duration of the phenomenon. Looking for the organ that shows greatest mobility in the human organism and therefore greatest expansion into the 4th dimension, we find the blood, for we may consider it as a coherent organ.

The blood has the capacity to conduct will impulses 4-dimensionally, i.e. in a way that need not necessarily be apparent in the 3rd dimension. The nervous system, being at rest, has the capacity to conduct perceptions of this.

In Extending Practical Medicine, we read of "the nervous system of the spinal cord, with its many ramifications,"(23) probably referring to the peripheral nerves, including motor nerves. This part of the nervous system is related to the astral body, whereas the autonomic nervous system provides a field for ether body activity and the central nervous system for I organization activity. This is presented even more clearly in the following passage:

It will not be long before people realize that a muscle is not set in motion by
nerves but by our astral body, by an aspect of the astral body the true nature of which is not immediately apparent. For it is a law that the principle which is to take effect is not open to direct perception.

The relationship between astral sphere and 4-dtmensional space has been mentioned earlier ("The astral sphere is the 4th dimension."(10)) This is described in more detail in the following:

The astral world itself is not a world of 4 dimensions. But together with its reflection in the physical world it is 4-dimensional. Anyone able to see astral and physical world together lives in 4-dimensional space. The relationship our physical world lias to the astral world is 4-dimensional.(13)

5 Consequences for our approach to other fields
We can also approach this the other way and consider what something that has a time form would look like if we were able see them all at once, i.e. in the 4th dimension.

a) 4-dimensional aspect of music
It is said that Mozart had his symphonies and works before him in a panoramic view before he began to the tedious task of writing them down, making his 4-dimensional work suit our 3-dimensional ears by spreading it out in time. After hearing a concerto, if we ask ourselves what its simultaneous nature may be, we get a hint of 4-dimensional forms. Speaking metaphorically, music is also the principle that moves our muscles:

The principle that sets a muscle in motion, evoking any kind of movement in muscles, is connected with the astral body because sound, or tone, evolves in the astral body itself in order that the muscle may move. Something of a musical nature is present throughout the astral body, and this development of sound comes to expression in the movement of muscle.. ..(2)

b) 4-dimensional aspect of the plant world
Goethe took great pleasure in being able to present his idea of the archetypal plant to Schiller and the rest of the world.(24) Did he perceive the plant form from seed to flowering stage and its withering in one complete picture? How else could he have recognized the laws that apply to all plant organs?

If we recall the 4-dimensional sphere, which we can only perceive as such by seeing it change in time, it is easier to see that all life forms, which change in time, have a 4th dimension.

It is not true to say that we fully understand a plant if we know it only in its 3 dimensions. A plant is always changing, and this change is an essential, higher characteristic of it. The cube stays as it is; it only changes its form if you break it. A plant changes its form of its own accord, i.e. something exists

Fig. 11.4-dimensional plant in course of time
that is the cause of this change, something that lies outside the 3rd dimension and reflects the 4th dimension. What is it?

... Everything that lives points to something higher, something wherein its true nature lies, and this higher aspect comes to expression in time. Time is the symptomatic expression, the life principle showing itself in the 3 dimensions of physical space. In other words: all entities for whom time has inner significance are reflections of 4-dimensional entities. This cube will still be the same in 3 or 6 years. The lily seed cl-ianges. Time holds real significance for it. We therefore see only the 3-dimensional reflection of the 4-dimensional lily

c) 4-dimensional aspect of potentized medicines
If we include the 4th dimension, the potentization of medicines may also be seen in a new light. If I lay a rose down, it takes up a fair amount of space in Mr. Plain-dweller's world. I can also make it stand up in it. In that case, Mr. Plain-dweller will only see a cross-section of the stem, whilst the rose extends a long way into the 3rd dimension. When I process a plant to make it into a medicine and potentize it, the idea is to transform it into a time process. It will then be almost at vanishing point in 3-dimensional space, but its activity increases.(25)

Has this not simply been a matter of making the plant stand on end in the 4th dimension, which makes its 3-dimensional cross-section very small, with the powers of life that create it able to unfold vastly into the 4th dimension?

Shortly before he died of pulmonary tuberculosis, Christian Morgenstern said: "The cough is 4-dimensional. Healing can only come from the spirit."(26)

d) 4 dimensions represented through capillary dynamolysis
Access to the principle that lies behind the changes in the plant, the medicinal action of a drug, may be gained by a method that takes 4-dimensional configurations reflected in processes out of the time stream without destroying their vitality. In capillary dynamolysis, plant extracts are taken up into filter paper. Solutions of different salts later rise through them, revealing limiting structures through color changes.

This is not a matter of quantitative analysis as in the case of chromatography but of criteria to gain qualitative, esthetic appreciation of colored planar images that have been lifted out of time.

In painting, we have shown that the nuancing of colors reflects the 4th dimension that has been overcome. Capillary dynamolysis would thus be a suitable method of visualizing the medicinal actions of substances, e.g. the quality of mistletoe preparations.

e) Eurythmy as a 4-dimensional art of movement
It is said that Rudolf Steiner would not countenance modeling eurythmic gestures for sounds in clay, the reason being that eurythmy was not 3- but 4-dimensional in its utilization of movements. Static representation of this would only be possible by overcoming 3-dimensional space. He then designed the planar figures representing the sounds, with colors used to indicate that they are not 2-dimensional bodies but images of structures that were originally 4-dimensional. Color represents movement in perspective foreshortening.

Eurythmy therapy may thus be seen to be a therapy addressing the 4-dimensional movement or astral body directly by means of physical movements.

f) Neurological paralysis and psychiatric blocking of impulses
We said that the movement of muscles required at least two things - the will stream that goes directly to the limb via the 4th dimension, and the "motor" nerve that brings perception of the metabolic processes to conscious awareness. If the nerve is subject to disorder, the muscle concerned is paralyzed. The question is, what kind of pathology develops if the will stream that is the other part of the cycle is directly inhibited, though there is no nerve damage?

This could conceivably be the "pathophysiological" constellation one gets with all disorders relating to impulse, e.g. in cases of depression or schizophrenic psychosis, taking the form of catatonia. What conclusions might be drawn concerning treatment from such a point of view?

6 Social dimension of the issue of the nerves
L. F.C. Mees pointed out that when Rudolf Steiner made that distinction in the view taken of the genesis of movement, this was not a matter of scientific skirmishing but "that unless the error that had persisted so far was corrected, humanity would not be in a position to create genuine social communities."(27) Rudolf Steiner also said that the question as to the nature of work could not be answered without this.

You see, we really would not be very distinct from one another in soul and spirit if we were constituted in such a way in soul and spirit that we really evolved all feeling and will through the nerves inside us, with human being seen as completely closed off by the skin. In that case, the soul principle would be highly isolated. And I would say this is how people feel themselves to be today; and a faithful reflection of this feeling is the state of Europe, which is becoming progressively more antisocial.(28)

To think this through we have to consider three things:
a) Rudolf Steiner considered that a threefold order can be seen both in the human organism and in the social organism.
b) He also showed that social and individual organism reflect one another, so that the three aspects show a relationship:
Human Individual (neurosensory system, rhythmic system, matabolism and limbs)
Social Organism (economic life, life of rights, cultural life).
c) He also assumed that the views people hold concerning one region, e.g. the nervous system, influence their understanding of the other sphere, in this case economic life.(32)

Anyone who thinks that the movement of the limbs originates in the brain, with the impulse conducted to the muscle by nerves, will also tend to see economic life as the drive and regulator of any culture and ideas that should evolve among a group of people.

Rudolf Steiner, on the other hand, considered that at the level of the human organism the movement of the limbs came as an original manifestation in the muscle and that this muscle was connected with the brain through nerves in order to convey perception of this metabolic process to the brain, bringing it to conscious awareness.

What would this mean in terms of the social organism? His recommendation was to link economic and cultural life in a similar way. The economic life of a community should no longer be seen as providing impulses for new ideas and projects. Everyone with money and possessions at his disposal should perform his function as an organ of perception; it is necessary to perceive anything that arises by way of movement in the cultural sphere and can only come to realization by being taken note of, i.e. supported, in financial terms. Work then becomes something we do because it is good. One would be able to live because others perceived one economically, meeting one's needs.

The main law of social life made evident through occultism is the following: the weal of a totality of people working together is the greater the less individuals lay personal claim to the fruits of their labors - that is, the more of it they give to the others and the more their own needs are met not by their own efforts but by the efforts made by the others.(30)

Nerves are essential for physical movement, and in the same way cultural work cannot be set in motion without financial support. On the other hand, money should not decide what is done or not done.

The leaders have gradually and instinctively given themselves to a life - if not belief - that makes culture and rights dependent on the means of economic powers... It clearly emerges from more recent human history that dependence of the life of rights and cultural life on economic life must be overcome.(31)

Any kind of work that gives satisfaction is ultimately cultural work. It should happen because it is needed, not because someone with financial means orders it, just as an arm moves because a will impulse comes to it, not because an order is sent from the brain.

For as long as we believe the muscle human being to be a puppet of the nerve human being, we shall be unable to free cultural life from the leading strings of economics.

Until now, we have believed the telegraph wire model taught at medical school. At the same time we have not, on the whole, been able to find sustainable social conditions for the sphere of work, especially in the medical professions. It remains to show that new models for the physiology of movement, like the one presented here, also prove more fruitful for people living and working together in a community.

Anyone who has the right ideas concerning the 'motor' nerves will no doubt also soon arrive at the right ideas concerning the function of work in the social organism.(33)

Michael Schnur, MD
Schillerstr. 12
D-58313 Herdecke

1 First verses of the Gospel of John as translated into German by Rudolf Steiner. In Steiner R. Notes of eight lectures on St. John's Gospel (GA 100). Lecture of 16 Nov. 1907 in Basel. Tr. not known. MS translation Rudolf Steiner House Library EN50.
2 Steiner R. Background to the Gospel of St. Mark (GA 124). 7 March 1911. Tr. E. Goddard, D. Osmond. New York: Anthroposophic Press 1985.
3 Steiner R. The Mysteries of Light, of Space and of the Earth (in CA 194) 12 Dec. 1919. Tr. F. E. Dawson. New York/London: Anthroposophic Press/Rudolf Steiner Publishing Col. 1945.
4 Steiner R. Spiritual Science and Medicine (GA 312) 23 March 1920. Tr. not known. London:
Rudolf Steiner Press 1975.
5 Steiner R. Soul Economy and Waldorf Education (GA 303) 5 Jan 1922. Tr. R. Everett. New
York/London: Anthroposophic Press/Rudolf Steiner Press 1986.
6 Ibid. Evening discussion on 5 Jan. 1922.
7 Steiner R. The Renewal of Education (GA 301). Tr. R. Everett. Kolisko Archive Publ. 1981.
8 Steiner R. Colour (GA 291) 10 Dec. 1920. Tr. P. Wehrle. Sussex: Rudolf Steiner Press 1992.
9 Steiner R. Imaginative Cognition and Inspired Cognition (in GA 209) 23 Dec. 1921. Tr. V. E. Watkin. MS translation Z 389, RSH Library, London.
10 Steiner R. Die vierte Dimension. Malhematik und Wirklichkeit (GA 324a) 7 June 1905,1. Aufl. S. 89.
11 Rucker R. The Fourth Dimension. 1. Aufl. S. 227. London: Penguin Books 1988.
12 Fuchs WR. Knaurs Buch der modemen Mathematik 1. Aufl. S. 227. Munich: Droemer/Knaur 1976.
13 Steiner R. Die vierte Dimension. Mathematik und Wirklichkeit (GA 324a) 7 June 1905,1. Aufl. S. 82 ff.
14 Steiner R. Die vierte Dimension. Mathematik und Wirklichkeit (GA 324a) 7 June 1905,1. Aufl. S. 82 ff.
15 Steiner R. Colour (GA 291) 2 June 1923. Tr. P. Wehrle. Sussex: Rudolf Steiner Press 1992.
16 Steiner R. Die vierte Dimension. Mathematik und Wirklichkeit (GA 324a) 7 June 1905, 1. Aufl. S. 99.
17 Steiner R, Wegman I. Extending Practical Medicine (GA 27) Ch. 7. Tr. A. Meuss. London: Rudolf Steiner Press 1996.
18 Steiner R. Van Seelenrxtsein (GA 21). 6. Anhang; 1917. 5. Aufl. S. 157.
19 Steiner R. The Study of Man (GA 293) 28 Aug. 1919. Tr. D. & A. C. Harwood, H. Fox. London:
Rudolf Steiner Press 1981.
20 Wolff 0. Nerv und Muskel - Biochemische Grundlagen zum Verstaendnis ihrer Funktion. Schad W. (Hersg.) Die menschliche Nen'enorganisation und die soziale Frage S. 182 ff. Stuttgart:
Freies Geistesleben 1992.
21 Steiner R. Eight Lectures to Doctors (in GA 316) 6 Jan. 1924. Tr. not known. MS translation R 96 at Rudolf Steiner House Library, London.
22 Steiner R. The Study of Man (GA 293) 22 Aug. 1919. Tr. D. & A. C. Harwood, H. Fox. London:
Rudolf Steiner Press 1981.
23 Steiner R, Wegman I. Extending Practical Medicine (GA 27) Ch. 6. Tr. A. Meuss. London: Rudolf Steiner Press 1996.
24 Goethe JW. Metamorphose der Pflanze 2. Aufl. Stuttgart: Freies Geistesleben 1966.
25 Schwenk Th. Grundlagen der Potenzforschung. Schwaebisch Gmuend: Weleda 1954.
26 Bauer M. Gesammelte Werke Bd 3: Christian Morgenstems Leben und Werk 1. Aufl. S. 376. Stuttgart: Urachhaus 1985.
27 Mees LFC. Wie sich der Mensch bewegt. Das Problem der motorischen Neruen. Basel: Die Pforte 1989.
28 Steiner R. The Renewal of Education (GA 301). Tr. R. Everett. Kolisko Archive Publ. 1981.
29 Steiner R. Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und paedagogischer Fragen (GA 192) 3. Aufl. S. 66.
30 Steiner R. Geisteswissenschaft und soziale Frage. Lucifer-Gnosis - Grundlegende Aufsaetze zur Anthroposophie und Berichte (GA 34) 2. Aufl. 1987 S. 213.
31 Steiner R. Soziale Zukunft (GA 332a). 2. Aufl. 1977 3. Vortrag S. 79f.
32 Steiner R. Soziale Zukunft (GA 332a). 2. Aufl. 1977 Fragenbesprechung zum 4. Vortrag vom 28. 10.1919; 2. Aufl. 1977 S. 126f.
33 Ibid. S. 144 f.

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