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Quotes From Rudolf Steiner On Geocentricity

BOOK: The Relationship of the Diverse Branches of Natural Science to Astronomy:

PAGE: KEYWORDS: astronomy, Tychonic

(Third Science Course)
Rudolf SteinerTranslator Unknown
English Translation available as study notes only
Lecture Cycle Stuttgart 1921 Lecture XVII, Stuttgart, January 17, 1921
It was not by any means my prime intention to let these lectures culminate in this way. I am not pre-disposed on principle to put forward things out of keeping with the accepted notions. We only want to get at the truth. As it is however, the assumptions of the modern astronomical world-picture involves so many contradictions that in the end, having studied the current astronomy, one comes away dissatisfied. Hypothetically, it begins by assuming the world-picture I have also indicated in this sketch (Figure 4), - the elliptic orbits of the planets, the Sun in one focus, and so on. The planetary orbits are then assumed to be in different planes, inclined to one another. For there is no alternative at this stage; the different inclinations are given by the perspective. The complications of it are complications of perspective. Yet the real calculations are not done to the basis of this simple solar system which people have explained to them at school and then retain for life. In practice, they take their start from the Tychonic system. Then one correction after another has to be applied. From the accepted formulae, one calculates, say, the position of the Sun at given time, and it does not come true. Instead of the real Sun being there, it will be the Dynamical of Astronomical Mean Sun, - something fictitious therefore. So it is time and again: Imagined entities are there, and more corrections must be introduced to get to what is real. In these corrections there lies hidden that which would lead to the truth. Instead of holding fast to the conventional formulae and being led to fictitious entities, one should bring movement into the formulae themselves - make them inherently mobile - and then draw curves accordingly. If one did so, one would soon reach the system here drawn, though I repeat, the drawings are diagrammatic.

BOOK: 126, Reincarnation and Karma

PAGE: 77 KEYWORDS: Copernican, superficial, Copernicanism,

And so I have to say something horrible: The Copernican view of the solar system that people now learn about was able to lodge in human souls because a superficial person could believe in this system. Superficiality is part of what it takes to be quickly convinced of Copernicanism. This is not to deny the great merit of Copernicanism or its significance as a first class cultural phenomenon. The intent is not to downplay the significance of Copernicus for humanity. Not at all, and yet it can be said that it is not necessary to be a very profound person in order to believe in Copernicanism, because it does not require developing oneself more inwardly, but rather outwardly. And it truly takes a high degree of superficiality on the part of the human mind to come up with statements as trivial as those found in modern monistic books, which state with a certain enthusiasm that the Earth we human beings inhabit is but a speck of dust in the cosmos compared to other bodies in the universe. This tirade is trivial for the simple reason that this speck of dust with all its details concerns human beings on Earth, while other things spread out in the cosmos and compared to Earth are of little concern to us. Human evolution had to take a totally outward and superficial direction in order to quickly become capable of accepting Copernicanism, so to speak.

BOOK: 979, Influences of Lucifer and Ahriman

PAGE: 17 KEYWORDS: Copernicus, Galileo, mechanical,

One of the developments in which Ahriman's (a.k.a. Satan) impulse is clearly evident is the spread of the belief that the mechanistic, mathematical conceptions inaugurated by Galileo, Copernicus, and others, explain what is happening in the cosmos. That is why anthroposophical spiritual science lays stress upon the fact that spirit and soul must be discerned in the cosmos, not merely the mathematical, mechanistic laws put forward by Galileo and Copernicus as if the cosmos were some huge machine. It would augur success for Ahriman's temptings if people were to persist in merely calculating the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, in studying astro physics for the sole purpose of ascertaining the material composition of the planets--an achievement of which the modern world is so proud. But woe betide if the Copernicanism is not confronted by the knowledge that the cosmos is permeated by soul and spirit. It is this knowledge that Ahriman, in preparing his earthly incarnation, wants to withhold. He would like to keep people so obtuse that they can grasp only the mathematical aspect of astronomy. Therefore he tempts many people to carry into effect their repugnance to knowledge concerning soul and spirit in the cosmos.

BOOK: 1567, From Jesus to Christ

PAGE: 162 KEYWORDS: stable, modern science

You need only recall how many times in speaking of these questions, in one form or another, we have had to say that for quite clever people, who have all science and learning at their finger tips, the thought of Christ Jesus and the Events of Palestine are truly not compatible with the modern conception of the universe. In an apparently enlightened way they say that when men were not aware that the earth is a quite small heavenly body, they could believe that with the Cross of Golgotha a special new event took place on earth. But since Copernicus taught that the earth is a planet like others, can one still believe that Christ came to us from another planet? Why should we believe that the earth is so exceptionally situated as was formerly thought? A simile is then brought in: 'Since our conception of the universe has been so much enlarged, it seems as though one of the most important artistic presentations had taken place, not on the great stage of a capital city, but on the small stage of some provincial theater.' So that is how is looks to these people: the earth is such an insignificant little cosmic body that the Events of Palestine appear like the performance of a great cosmic drama on the stage of a small provincial theatre. We can no longer imagine such a thing, because the earth is so small in comparison with the great universe!

PAGE: 163 KEYWORDS: stable, modern science

It seems so clever when something like this is said, but after all there is not much cleverness in it, for Christianity never asserted what is here apparently contradicted. Christianity has never placed the beginning of the Christ-Impulse in the magnificent places of the earth. It has always seen a certain deep seriousness in the fact that the bearer of the Christ was born in a stable among poor shepherds. Not only the little earth, but a very obscure place on the earth, was sought out in Christian tradition to place the Christ therein. Christianity from the very first answered the questions of the clever people. But they have not understood the answers which Christianity itself has given, because they could no longer let the living force of the great majestic pictures work upon the soul.

BOOK: 1760, Fall of the Spirits of Darkness

PAGE: 158 KEYWORDS: Copernicus, modern science

People who talk of modern science as an absolute, complete in itself, might as well talk of a plant which is alive only in its up part. Everything connected with modern science has grown from myth; myth is its root. There are elemental spirits which observe these things from the other worlds and they howl with hell's own derision when today's mighty clever professors look down on the mythologies of old, and on all the media of ancient superstition, having not the least idea that they and all their cleverness have grown from those myths and that not a single justifiable idea they hold today would be tenable if it were not for those myths. Something else, too, causes those elemental spirits to howl with hell's own derision--and we can say hell's own, for it suits the ahrimanic powers very well to have occasion for such derision - and this is to see scientists believe that they now have the theories of Copernicus, they have Galileo's ideas, they have this splendiferous law of the conservation of energy and this will never change and will be the same for ever and ever. A short-sighted view! Myth relates to our ideas just as the scientific ideas of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries relate to what will be a few centuries later. They will be overcome just as myth has been overcome. Do you think people will think about the solar system in 2900 in the way people think about it today? It may be the academics' superstition, but it should never be a superstition held among anthroposophists.

BOOK: 1929, Spiritual Hierarchies & The Physical World

PAGE: 34 KEYWORDS: Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, astronomy,

The two streams--the spiritual and the materialistic--drifted further and further apart. In the Mysteries, the words that later come to denote the external heavenly bodies had always referred to supersensitive worlds, to a sequence of spiritual realms. The out world always understands the words to mean the material aspect, and this is true even of contemporary mythology--I use the word deliberately--we call astronomy. Spiritual science recognizes the full value of all mythologies. Thus, it also appreciates the worth of the mythology called modern astronomy which sees only space filled with physical cosmic bodies. This modern mythology is, for one who truly knows, merely a particular phase of all mythologies. A single thread runs through these mythologies from the ancient European sagas of the gods to the myths of the Greeks and Romans, the obscure myths of the Middle Ages, and the fully justified and admirable ones founded by Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo. A time will come when people will say of modern mythology, "In the past, there were human beings who thought it correct to place the material Sun in the center of an ellipse and to rotate the planets in ellipses around it. They constructed a cosmic universal system even as earlier people had done before them. But, today, we know that it is all mere saga and legend." Indeed, a time will come when, no matter how much the old mythologies are now despised by the modern world, it will be considered absurd to speak of a Copernican mythology. To realize this will help us to understand how words have been interpreted so differently over the course of time.


The most intimate pupil of Saint Paul, Dionysius the Areopagite (Acts 17:34), clearly proclaimed in Athens that out in space there was not only matter, but that when the soul arose with inner awareness into the expanses of the universe, it would find spiritual beings who are above humanity in evolutionary development. Dionysius coined different terms from those used previously, for otherwise people would have thought that he referred only to material entities. When the Rishis spoke of spiritual hierarchies, their words expressed what Greek and Roman wisdom expressed in their ascending universe of Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. Dionysius, the pupil of Saint Paul, had in mind the same worlds the Rishis spoke of. Dionysius clearly wished to emphasize that he was referring to spiritual matters. So, he deliberately chose words he knew would be taken spiritually--that is, he spoke of Angels, Archangels, Archai, Powers, Mights, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim (Colossians 1:16). But people had completely forgotten what they once knew. If the connection between the terminology of Dionysius the Areopagite and the Rishis had been understood, one would have known that the "Moon" the Rishis referred to, and the "angelic realm" in other Mysteries, are one and the same thing. One might have heard the word Mercury on the one hand, and the word Archangel on the other, and would have known that they are one and the same. Archai and Venus refer to the same realm, as do Sun and Powers. On hearing the word Mars, one would have had the feeling of rising to the Mights. The word Dominions in the school of Dionysius corresponds to Jupiter, and the term Saturn to the Thrones. Ibid., Page 35

PAGE: 96 KEYWORDS: cosmos, astronomy, Ptolemaic

The Ptolemaic view, on the other hand, is not merely a physical system. It was derived from spiritual observation at a time when it was still known that the planets represented the boundaries of influence of higher beings.

To characterize the realms of influence of these higher beings, our planetary solar system must be drawn very differently. I will now draw this planetary system as it was made clear in the Mystery schools of Zoroaster.

We would then have to draw what served as the boundary of the Thrones' sphere of activity in immediate relation to the zodiac--that is, we must draw what made up the boundary of Saturn. After that, we must delimit the sphere of activity of those spiritual beings known as the Dominions, or Spirits of Wisdom--the outermost boundary of Jupiter. Next, we delimit the sphere of influence of the Mights, or Spirits of Movement. This is delineated by the boundary of Mars. We have seen that the battlefield left by the "War in Heaven" is between those two. (Page 97)

To differentiate correctly between the various realms of power, however, we must also draw the boundary line of the Sun. Just as Mars marks the outer boundary of the influence of the Mights, so the orbit of the Sun represents the frontier of the authority of the Powers or Spirits of Form. Here, then, is the boundary marked out by Venus that represents the sphere of influence of the Archai. Next, we come to the realm marked out by Mercury. This is the sphere of influence of the Archangels, the Fire Spirits. We are now coming quite close to the Earth. We reach the realm of influence bounded by the Moon. Therefore, here we must draw the Earth. (Page 98)

PAGE: 98 KEYWORDS: Mercury, Venus

You must picture the Earth as the starting-point and around it, a sphere of influence reaching to the Moon. This is followed by a realm reaching up to Mercury; then one to Venus; and then one to the Sun. You may be astonished at the sequence of the planets as I have given it here. You might think that, if the Earth is here and here the Sun, you would believe I should draw Mercury here, near the Sun, and here Venus. This is, however, not right, because both planets were, with regard to their names, mixed up by later astronomy. What is called "Mercury" today, was called in ancient teachings, "Venus"; and the planet referred to as "Venus" today was, in all of the old teachings, called "Mercury." Mark this well: One does not understand the old writings and teachings if one applies what is said there about Venus and Mercury to what is meant today by the same names. What is said about Venus has to be applied to present-day Mercury, and what is said about Mercury to Venus, because both of these designations were mixed up later. At the time when one turned the world system around, when the Earth was stripped of her central position, one not only changed the perspective, but allowed Mercury and Venus to roll around each other in relation to the old designations.

PAGE: 100 KEYWORDS: Copernicus, Ptolemaic

When speaking about the Copernican and Ptolemaic systems, we must be clear that the Ptolemaic system has preserved something of the constellation fo the ruling spirits, and from that perspective the Earth must be taken as the starting point. A time will come when this cosmic system will again be correct, because humanity will again know of the existence of the spiritual world. It can be hoped that human beings will then be less fanatical than our contemporaries. The modern view holds that, before Copernicus, people talked nonsense and had a primitive cosmic system, but Copernicus we know what is correct at last. Everything else is false. Today, people more or less think that, for example, because the Copernican system is right, it will be taught into the infinite future, even after millions of years. Human beings have rarely been as superstitious as modern theoretical astronomers, and hardly ever was there such fanaticism as there is in this field. We may hope that future generations will be more tolerant and say that humanity was no longer conscious of the spiritual world after the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; and, further, that a spiritual world does indeed exist and that in the spiritual world one has other perspectives and must arrange heavenly bodies other than from simple physical observation.

PAGE: 101 KEYWORDS: cosmos, astronomy, Ptolemaic

We see, therefore, that the Copernican system became a different one, because mere physical perceptions were considered. Before then, remnants of spiritual perception remained in the Ptolemaic system. But we can gain an idea of the working and weaving of spiritual beings in our cosmic and planetary system only by considering this other (Ptolemaic) system. Thus we are true to the spiritual context when we say that the Angels have authority extending to the Moon; the Archangels, to Mercury; the Spirits of Personality, to Venus; the Powers, to the Sun; and the Mights, to Mars. Then come the beings known as Dominions and finally the Thrones. We merely have to draw other lines in the physical system to delimit the boundaries of the spheres of influence of the various hierarchies. As far as the spiritual influences are concerned, the Earth--not the Sun--is at the center of the cosmic system. The following therefore was maintained by people of all periods who placed emphasis on spiritual evolution: Though the Sun is a nobler heavenly body, and beings who are superior to humankind have developed there, nevertheless, in evolution everything depends on human beings living on Earth. Furthermore, the Sun separated so that human beings could develop further in the right way. Had the Sun remained united with the Earth, humankind could not have advanced at the right pace. That only became possible because the Sun withdrew, together with beings who could bear very different conditions. The Earth was left to itself, so to speak, so that humanity could establish the appropriate tempo for its evolution.

PAGE: 254 KEYWORDS: Copernicus, Ptolemaic

Anyone who asks from the standpoint of occultism what kind of world-view can be derived from the Copernicus tenets will have to acknowledge that, although these ideas can lead to great achievements in the realm of natural science and in external life, they are incapable of promoting any understanding of the spiritual life, they are incapable of promoting any understanding of the spiritual foundations of the world and the things of the world, for there has never been a worse instrument for understanding the spiritual foundations of the world than the ideas of Copernicus--never in the whole of human evolution.... In earlier, pre-Copernican thought, the external world was indeed maya, but much traditional wisdom, much truth concerning the world and the things of the world still survived. Since Copernicus, however, human beings have maya around them, not only in their material perceptions, but their concepts and ideas themselves are maya. People assume nowadays that the Sun is firmly fixed in the middle, and that the planets revolve around it in ellipses. In the near future, however, it will be realized that the view of the stars held by Copernicus is much less correct than the earlier Ptolemaic view. The view of the world held by the school of Copernicus and Kepler is very convenient, but, as an explanation of the macrocosm, it is not the truth. (Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of the Christian Rosenkreutz, lecture of December 18, 1912.)

BOOK: 2085, The Burning Bush

PAGE: 14 KEYWORDS: morning star, Mercury, Venus

The part of the Earth evolution prior to the Incarnation of Christ is represented by Mars, the part since by Mercury, appropriately called "the morning star" in Rev 2:28. Our simple research confirms that Tuesday is Mar's Day and Wednesday is Mercury's Day.

PAGE: 412 KEYWORDS: morning star, Mercury, Venus

The first larger day was that of Ancient Saturn, the second Ancient Sun, and the third Ancient Moon. And so from time immemorial has humanity called the first three days of its seven-day week Saturday or Saturn's Day, Sunday or Sun's Day, and Monday or Moon's Day. Before human understanding of these things faded, the other days of the week were also known to relate to the larger "days" of creation, reflecting the fact that Earth is in the middle, the fourth Condition of Consciousness, and that three more will follow after the Earth ceases to exist. Tuesday (Mar's Day, or "Mardi," as in "Mardi Gras") describes the first half of Earth evolution. Wednesday describes the second, Mercury's (or "Woden's) Day, the period commencing with the Incarnation of Christ, the "morning star" (Rev 2:28) of Mercury. Thursday is Jupiter's Day, "Thor's Day," and Friday is Venus' Day. All the seven visible planets of our Earth evolution, with its "time" measurements, are thus reflected in the days of our week.

PAGE: 558 KEYWORDS: morning star, Mercury, Venus

Mars represents the first half of Earth evolution, up until the time of Christ, and Mercury the last half. Mercury is, as seen, the "morning star" referred to in Rev 2:28, representing the last half of Earth evolution which commenced with the incarnation of Christ.

PAGE: 568 KEYWORDS: Mercury, Venus

Thus, according to Steiner's cosmology, the 7 stages of evolution relating to the development of the human being are:

Saturn (orbit of Saturn)
Sun (orbit of Jupiter)
Moon (orbit of Mars)
Earth (orbit of Earth)
Jupiter (orbit of Venus--ed., actually Mercury*)
Venus (orbit of Mercury--ed., actually Venuso)
Vulcan (sphere of the Sun)

According to Steiner, in ancient times, due to a particular change in the perspective from which the order of the interior planets is observed (i.e., from Earth or from Sun), as Powell says, "the names of Venus and Mercury became interchanged, so that esoterically considered the orbit of the Earth lies between that of Mars and Mercury (ed., now called Venus). In the light of this consideration the validity of the designation of the two halves of Earth evolution as 'Mars' and 'Mercury' can be seen.

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Last Update: March 12, 2001