Third Scientific Course (CW 323)
“So you see, the most important thing to me has been to call forth within you an experience of the harmony between the human constitution and the structure of the cosmos. If you’ve really been following thus far, you can’t possibly regard this harmony as a sin against the spirit of science.” (from lecture 16)
What is the relationship between the human being and the world of the stars? Can we comprehend the structure and movement of celestial bodies solely through advanced mathematics, or is there a point beyond which mathematical functions no longer apply in reality? Can we, in fact, transcend the limits of three-dimensional space through our thinking?
In eighteen lively lectures from the first days of 1921, Rudolf Steiner dives deeply, courageously, and carefully into these and other profound questions. His conclusions and indications for further research are fascinating, stimulating, and perhaps revolutionary in their implications.
The subject of these lectures is not astronomy, broadly considered, but the relationship of astronomy to the other fields of natural science. As elsewhere, Steiner here maintains that the rigid specialization so prevalent in scientific endeavours will not bring us closer to reaching an integrated, singularly comprehensible understanding of the reality of our world. In particular, a true grasp of the working of the cosmos will not be possible until its mirror, the study of human embryology, is recognized as such and penetrated with this reflective relationship in mind.
Steiner once again shows himself to be both an utterly unique and masterful commentator on scientific and intellectual history and a living light, shining a possible path forward for human progress and self-knowledge.
Interdisciplinary Astronomy is a translation of Das Verhältnis der verschiedenen naturwissenschaftlichen Gebiete zur Astronomie: Dritter naturwissenschaftlicher Kurs: Himmelskunde in Beziehung zum Menschen und zur Menschenkunde, 2nd edition, Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach, Switzerland, 1983.
March 2020; Trans. by Frederick Amrine; Intro by David Booth; 18 lectures in Stuttgart, January 1–18, 1921 (CW 323); illustrations: sketches and diagrams; SB; 342pp; 23 x 15cm; pb;
£26.95 ISBN 9781621480709