The Seed Shop & Higher Worlds

Our study of ‘Knowledge of Higher Worlds’ continues on Zoom on Monday nights.  This week Michaël shared a poem, and introduces it thus:

“The poem speaks about the potential that lies in the seed that appears dead, and yet, has, as Steiner put it, the potential of the whole life force of the plant that is still to become. And in “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds” he asked us to consider the difference between a seed and an imitative seed, an imitation that looks like a seed but isn’t. It has no potential but the seed has potential. And encourages us to imagine that potential unfolding, that invisible life force which is contained within the seed. And that is where our thoughts and feelings should focus, on what is not visible to our eyes but which has the potential to become visible if only the right conditions are applied.”

The Seed Shop

by Muriel Stuart (1885-1967)

Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry –
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.

In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams,
A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a century’s streams,
These lilies shall make summer on my dust.

Here in their safe and simple house of death,
Sealed in their shells a million roses leap;
Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
And in my hand a forest lies asleep.

Rudolf Steiner’s Exercise:

“Let the student place before himself the small seed of a plant, and while contemplating this insignificant object, form with intensity the right kind of thoughts, and through these thoughts develop certain feelings.

In the first place let him clearly grasp what he really sees with his eyes. Let him describe to himself the shape, color and all other qualities of the seed.

Then let his mind dwell upon the following train of thought: “Out of the seed, if planted in the soil, a plant of complex structure will grow.”

Let him build up this plant in his imagination, and reflect as follows: “What I am now picturing to myself in my imagination will later on be enticed from the seed by the forces of earth and light. If I had before me an artificial object which imitated the seed to such a deceptive degree that my eyes could not distinguish it from a real seed, no forces of earth or light could avail to produce from it a plant.”

If the student thoroughly grasps this thought so that it becomes an inward experience, he will also be able to form the following thought and couple it with the right feeling: “All that will ultimately grow out of the seed is now secretly enfolded within it as the force of the whole plant. In the artificial imitation of the seed there is no such force present. And yet both appear alike to my eyes.

The real seed, therefore, contains something invisible which is not present in the imitation.” It is on this invisible something that thought and feeling are to be concentrated…

Let the student fully realize that this invisible something will transmute itself later on into a visible plant, which he will have before him in its shape and color. Let him ponder on the thought: “The invisible will become visible. If I could not think, then that which will only become visible later on could not already make its presence felt to me.”

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