Substances like silica make the plant receptive to the expanses of the universe, they arouse the plant’s senses so that it takes up from the whole universe what is shaped by Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Conversely, what makes a plant capable of the reproduction is taken from the spheres of Moon, Venus and Mercury via the forces of the calcium-like substances.
Silica is everywhere in minute doses, and fungi have been found in outer space. Remember, plants are a direct reflection of the stars, and silica is the communication and intelligence system. When plants become food or fodder, substances like silica (which would include mercury, lead and arsenic) are involved.
Calcium and related substances (potassium, sodium and magnesium) are involved in growth and propagation. Mother’s milk is calcium-rich, and we remember that calcium is what brings nitrogen into the plant.
Water promotes the forces of calcium; it is the ideal substance for the distribution of lunar forces. Plant growth shoots up after a rain and a full moon. A lack of calcium or water limits the capacity for growth and reproduction.
Warmth promotes the forces of silica; on the other hand, plants need warm weather to ripen their nourishing fruits and seeds. A lack of silica means less nutrition.
Steiner goes as far as to claim that the warmth from a fire will not be as healthy from trees that were planted with no considerations to the rhythms of the outer planets. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn affect the life of perrenial plants. People go through life quite thoughtlessly today, glad to not have to think about such things, and conceive of the whole of nature in a materialistic way, functioning like a machine.
Materialism, exemplified in Newtonian physics, allows us to understand the world of motion, time and space. Steiner acknowledges the achievements we’ve accomplished with lifeless machines, and that instinctual peasant wisdom had to step aside for the rise of scientific discoveries. But now it’s time to join the two world views together. Recent biological discoveries reveal some of the insights that Steiner, and Goethe before him, were well aware of.
Life does not work in a materialistic and mechanical way. A living organism is not a simple reductionist system, but a very interdependent interaction of many different things, from stars to microbes. This is the primary lesson in the first lecture. We have come to a starting point with the revelation of how silica and calcium work to bring nitrogen into our crops in the proper way for maximum animal and human nutrition.
This materialistic thinking is directly responsible for the simple fact that Steiner cannot find potatoes as good as the ones he ate as a boy. He has tried them everywhere. “Especially in the last few decades, a lot of things have diminished in their nutritive value simply because people no longer understand the more subtle influences at work in the universe.”