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

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

organization indicates

organization indicates that, to use Cramer’s words, every form of matter is pregnant with ideas. The idea of human consciousness and every form this may take is potentially present. From this point of view, spirit and matter are not in opposition. In any case, spirit cannot have evolved from matter as a superstructure, but rather the opposite: There is no idea-less matter without an idea of its self-organization, just as there is no matter that is not subject to gravity. Ideas (in the Platonic sense) can exist without matter; all they need to manifest (which is different from latent existence) is for matter to be present. 17 These statements made by Friedrich Cramer might lead us to assume that chaos theory will indeed be able to bridge the gap between natural and spiritual science, and that it might be a sign that in the sciences humanity is finding its way through the physical world and back to the world of the spirit, i.e., able to develop a science of life. If we take a closer look, however, it will be evident that this approach, too, will not enable us to gain insight into the realm of life. Spiritual science with its new concepts must create the bridge between natural and spiritual science. If this fails to happen, the danger is that instead of scientists rising to the next level, the sphere of life, the laws of that sphere will be dragged down into the physical realm, cutting off access to the realm of the spirit. Chaos theory will make it possible to create a synthetic world that is similar to the natural world. Molecular computers with learning capacity and homoid robots will be developed, and it will become increasingly more difficult to distinguish between semblance and reality, particularly as semblance holds enormous fascination. The diametrically opposed approaches of scientists working with chaos theory reflect a key aspect of the present age. They also indicate the need for a completely new approach. Chaos theory also shows that science is reaching boundaries. Scientists are knocking on the door to the sphere of life. They are, however, unable to enter this sphere with their thoughts. Those who see self-organization of matter as the creative principle are ultimately tied to the modern way of thinking that takes its orientation from the realm of matter. They base themselves on a concept of matter that has no connection with the realm of the spirit. Those who relate to the ideas of the ancient Greek nature philosophers instinctively know and feel that a powerful creative principle is active on the boundaries of modern science and that the modern scientific 68

approach gives no access to this. The feeling that a spiritual principle is active in this realm and that its activity cannot be understood by the intellect is so powerful that these individuals are prepared to acknowledge the existence of the spiritual realm. As present-day thinking appears to have no access to this, these individuals go back to the past. Greek philosophy, above all Plato’s Timaios, presents ideas to which they can relate. This Greek philosophy is based on ideas and does not yet have a clearly defined concept of matter. The situation where renowned modern scientists rediscover religious faith would appear to be similar. In a lecture given on 16 May 1920, Rudolf Steiner put it like this: On the one hand you have the defender of one faith or another who’ll say that knowledge is limited to the world we perceive with the senses, and everything else must be a matter of faith; on the other hand you have the materialist who says knowledge is limited to the world we perceive with the senses, and as to faith, I’ve given it up. 18 Only the new way of thinking that belongs to the future will be able to bridge the gulf between natural and spiritual science. It rests on the concept of matter in which the spirit is present. Training in, and development of, modern scientific thinking has been based on the inorganic world from which the laws of physics and biochemistry are derived. The thinking of the future is trained by working with the organic metamorphoses immanent in life. Repeated exercises consist in recreating in the mind the metamorphoses seen in life forms, e.g., the growth and transformation of a plant form in its vegetative cycle. This shows the essence to be not an individual, ephemeral form, but images of the laws that are behind every individual phenomenon, laws that are of a higher order, acting as a whole and continuing through time. This image in the mind is found by penetrating the metamorphosing material world with our thoughts. When the imagination appears, however, every physical, sense-perceptible element has gone. It is a supersensible image. We gain access to the sphere of life by visualizing metamorphosis. This makes our thinking, which has been dead, come alive, and able to gain intuition of the life of the spirit. 19 The aim of this paper has been to show that chaos theory is beginning to change the paradigm of modern science. The goal of chaos theory is the sphere of life. As anthroposophists we have to take it seriously, for potentially if the concepts of spiritual science are brought to bear it can bridge the gulf between natural and spiritual science. On the other hand chaos theory 69

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