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When Healing Becomes Educating, Vol. 2 - Waldorf Research Institute

When Healing Becomes Educating, Vol. 2 - Waldorf Research Institute

section has a special

section has a special connection to chaos. Rudolf Steiner considered the significance of the pentagram in a lecture he gave in Stuttgart on 13 September 1907. The pentagram is based on the principle of the golden section (Fig. 4). According to Steiner, The ether body is characteristically made up of currents going in various directions. It is the architect of the human body. Just as ice forms out of water, so the physical body arises out of the ether body; currents move in all directions through it, as in an ocean. The direction of the five main currents, which are hidden in every human being, can be clearly established. They form a pentagram, move in the directions indicated by the arrows and are the skeleton of the ether body, as it were. These currents move continuously within the ether body, even when the individual is moving. Whatever posture the person assumes, one current goes from the center of the forehead, the point between the eyebrows, down to the right foot, from there to the left hand, then the right hand, the left foot and finally back to the forehead. The “pentagram,” as it is known, is just as mobile inwardly within the ether body as the human physical body is mobile. When occultists refer to the pentagram as the human figure, this is not some brainy invention; they speak of it the same way an anatomist speaks of the skeleton. This figure is truly present in the ether body; it is a fact. 13 If the new science addresses itself to the level of the etheric, the question we have to ask is whether this is an indication that modern science has now entered into the necessary process of development. We must also consider the potential problems and danger of this and of the fascination which chaos theory holds for people. As already stated, the roots of chaos theory go back 100 years. The Koch curve has been known from 1904, and the algorithm Mandelbrot used to produce his famous tree image, the Julia set, was developed during the First World War. At that time, computing capacity was limited, so that the full potential for mathematics did not emerge. Work based on chaos is therefore inseparably bound up with present-day computer technology. Characteristically, computer technology evolved from solid-state physics, that is, research into crystalline structures. In the second half of this century it grew with tremendous rapidity to become a power that encompasses and rules the world. It bases on the silicon crystal, which is also why the present age is called the “silicon” or “crystalline age.” The crystals used in modern 66

computers are synthetically produced, with their atomic structure showing an unbelievable degree of order. Hans Queiser put it like this: If an industrial product can ever be said to be near perfect, it is the silicon crystal, with every atom in its proper place, symmetrically filling space. The highest chemical purity, far beyond anything demanded or achieved with any other product, is the norm for the material used to produce circuits and transistors. The degree of chemical purity seen in these synthetic crystals, produced under sterile laboratory conditions, is quite unthinkable in nature. ... Large silicon crystals for use in microelectronics are routinely produced, with at most one or two foreign atoms among a billion silicon atoms. 14 The study of irregular systems that are continually changing and developing has only become possible since scientists have been able to analyze the regular end-state, representing a high degree of order, and apply these principles in synthesis. In other words, science had to evolve as a study of the end-state, or physical matter, and the laws pertaining to this had to be fully understood before it was possible to advance to the higher order that pertains in the sphere of life. It will no doubt be years before the fundamental significance of chaos theory is fully recognized. Science, as we know it today, based on a reductionist approach involving the linear principle, is not invalidated by this, but it will become apparent that it has its rightful place only in some areas, that is, with reference to physical matter which represents an endstate. However, attempts are already being made to develop the next generation of computers which go beyond the crystalline level, with molecular structures used for data storage. 1,000 times the storage capacity of today’s high-capacity chips is now considered feasible. 15 Reading the papers and books on chaos theory one notes that behind the surface of general enthusiasm are diametrically opposed approaches. On the one hand there are scientists who stay firmly within the realm of matter. In their view, matter, energy and information are the basic principles in living organisms, and the observable capacity for matter to organize itself and the possibility of defining evolution mathematically using Eigen’s catalytic hypercycle offer an adequate basis for the scientific study of phenomena of life and evolution. 16 On the other hand there are scientists who see a connection with the ideas of the natural philosophers of ancient Greece. To them, self- 67

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