The etheric formative forces in cosmos, earth and man

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The etheric formative forces in cosmos, earth ...
Guenther Wachsmuth
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September 8, 2012 | History

The etheric formative forces in cosmos, earth and man

a path of investigation into the world of the living ...

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Review of Etheric Formative Forces In Earth Cosmos and Man
(the book and the topic are both abbreviated here as: EFF)

Why do people read this book?

Etheric forces are the biggest metaphor, with the biggest promise, of connecting spirit and matter in theoretical and hopefully experiential terms. Within the topic of EFF is the biggest metaphor and approximation of Oneness.

Similar to study of the Electrical Universe, studing of EFF provides a window on Oneness, beyond most or maybe all of the windows provided by Cartesian-Newtonian science and beyond conventional gravitational astronomy as well.

Even in its heyday, 1880-1930, EFF was understood to be a likely place to look for clues and secrets to the Oneness within Creation.

Wachsmuth’s book is one of only three books empowering readers to soften and dissolve their own false doctrines of duality, soften and dissolve duality between spirit and matter.

If this is your cup of tea, read on.

For mystics and lovers of Oneness, I wish I could say Gunther Wachsmuth's EFF offers many insights into the poetry, unity and oneness between ether and matter. Written in 1923, at the height of Einstein’s Relativity discussion, alas, this was never the author's intention.

EFF is a heroic, hard science, TECHNICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA of earthly and solar system phenomena; explained in the context of polarities of etheric forces and moving-interpenetrating activity of four character-expressions of ether.

If you desire a deeper understanding of Anthroposophic worldview, you will find only a very science-ized view of Anthroposophy here. The living spiritual Beings and Hierarchies, so much the foundation of life below the physical surface, in Anthroposophy, has all been excised, subtracted

FYI see below:
- Extinct intellectual climate EFF was written in,
- abbreviated EFF Table of Contents.

It’s common to discuss EFF together with Ernst Lehrs' Man and Matter (mistranslated as Man or Matter?).

Where EFF remains a technical encyclopedia, Man or Matter is etheric studies with a Goethean lyrical-poetic heart.

WHY did Wachsmuth emphasize only the hard-science aspects in his presentation of EFF?

Explanations of earthly phenomena, incorporating awareness of EFF virtually always fit the facts of observation than do conventional science explanations unaware of EFF. This is because perspectives incorporating sound EFF principles more comprehensively and elegantly interpret observed Nature phenomena.

Both EFF and Man or Matter offer many examples of more satisfying explanations-interpretations of Nature, available when EFF are properly acknowledged.

When Wachsmuth published EFF in 1923, the red hot cultural discussion, was how much of the invisible world was going to be incorporated into the mainstream worldview of the 20th century? Where Lehrs attempts to incorporate Goethe’s lyrical-poetic approach to science, Wachsmuth wishes only to compete head-to-head with the skeptical-materialistic intellects of his day.

With all respect to Wachsmuth for his heroic technical achievement, the human side is mostly absent in Wachsmuth’s presentation of EFF. Here are just the "bones" of etheric facts present in both Earth, cosmos and humankind. Find the more poetic version in Lehrs.

EFF will interest readers according to how much they know--and how interested they are--in coherent scientific explanations of often determinant contribution of EFF to earthly phenomena, such as cycles of day-night, weather, humidity.

Some readers will know starting in the 1990s, the ‘Quantum discussion’ attempted again to soften the hard dichotomy between physical matter and spirit. However like many earlier such attempts, the quantum discussion generated a lot of smoke but not much fire. Hope was generated again but only the tangential field of Eenrgy Medicine offered practical methods for individual home experiments.

If one reads the entire literature of EFF and related studies, it soon becomes apparent the likely way forward, to a vision of Oneness in Creation, to dissolving the arbitrary duality between physical matter and spirit, is a converging of several streams:

  • older literature from Steiner and his students,
  • Goethean science reframed as Goethean holistic science (
  • higher ethical and moral standards,
  • an intention towards Oneness.

Higher ethical and moral standards are the pre-requisite to a major fruitful re-opening the EFF discussion. Without this, EFF discussion sinks backwards and down into making UFOs and other mere mechanical applications of etheric engineering technology.

Attempts to integrate invisible forces into hard science, characterizes virtually all physics writing, worldwide, between 1880-1935. This includes Einstein’s contributions, of course.

Looking for a stronger connection between the individual and the cosmos? A more heartfelt version of insights afforded by incorporating EFF into your world view can be found in two other books:

  • Man and Matter, the first edition is free online. The preferred third edition is unread by me so far. The most lyrical of any book on EFF, written by a Waldorf high school science teacher with poetry in his heart.

-Gustave Le Dr. Gustave Le Bon, The Evolution of Forces, The International Scientific Series, D. Appleton and Company ~ New York ~ 1908 (

Be warned, these two are also very tough reads; yet, they open doors to connecting with the cosmos and beyond I found lacking in Wachsmuth's EFF.

Q: Do you recommend EFF to upper grade Waldorf science teachers?

A: No, sorry. Man and Matter is far superior.

Suggestion on how to read EFF

Some may be interested in tactics used to review and "attack" such a difficult work. A famously difficult read, I was already familiar with its impenetrable character. To read EFF I copied the entire text of the PDF into a text document. I then manually added additional paragraphing for clarity and manually blocked and deleted any and all passages of commentary-philosophy-gobblydegook not relevant to my reviewing purposes.

This method was so successful, I am encouraged to use it when and if I choose to re-read Man and Matter.

About the Reviewer
Reviewer, Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine and Self-Healing (16 books) available

He supports people with Health Intuitive sessions by phone-Skype, initial gift sessions on request.

Abbreviated EFF Table of Contents
Note ~ Like Man and Matter, the index of topics is an overwhelming encyclopedia, too many topics, overkill for one volume.

The Organic and the Inorganic World.
Aggregation of Substance and the Etheric Formative Forces.

Etheric activity in THE EARTH ORGANISM
Earth a living etheric being.
Relation to the Human Organism.
Sun cycle of Chaos and Order.
Earth’s “Waking” and “Sleeping”
Breathing Process of the Earth Organism
Barometric Pressure.
The Breathing of the Earth Organism and of the Human Organism.
Vertical Current.
Potential Gradient.
Emanation, etc.
Rising and Falling of Sap in Plants.
Three Great Rhythms of the Plant World.
Circulatory Process of the Earth Organism
Reversal of expected Temperature in higher altitudes above Earth
Rotation of the Earth, Heliotropism of the Earth.
Etheric Earth and Solid Earth.

Sun Current, Vertical Current.
Moon Current, Horizontal Current.
Position of the Vertebral Column and its relation to Consciousness.
East-West and West-East Currents.
North-South and South-North Currents.
Migrations of Birds, insects and animals

Gravitation-Terrestrial Magnetism Inter-relationships.
Magnetic Poles.
Polar Light and the Phenomenon of the Northern Lights.
The Sun (sadly, only one page)
Planets and their orbital Spheres
A third movement of the Earth.
Exceptional position of Uranus and Neptune.
Planetary Spheres.
Interior of the Earth
Metamorphosis of the Etheric Formative Forces in the Planetary System
Transversion of the Inner and Outer.
Etheric Organism of the Earth and of Man
True and False Anthropocentric World Conceptions.
Organic Life Processes and their Connection with Consciousness.

Spontaneous Dissolution of Substance.
Earth Organism, Cosmic Forces, and the Genesis of Substance.
Cloud-forming and the Genesis of Water.
Genesis of Space and Earth Organism. %

Etheric Formative Forces and Electricity.
" Animal Electricity."
" Spectrum of Light " and the " Spectrum of Nature."
Polarity and Intensification.

Being and Phenomenon.

Light and Substance.
"Pure Light/' Cosmic Pure Light and the Earth Organism.
Terrestrial Pure Light: Phosphoresence, Radioactivity
"Heat Light "Combustion.
Forces of Light freed through the Dissolution of Substance.

Goethe's Theorv of Colour and Newton's " Preformation " Theory.
Polaric Primary Colours.
Activity of Light and that of Darkness.
Influence of Colour upon Organisms.

Tone and the Structure of Substance.
Control of their Inter-relationships.
Genesis of Tone.
Relation of Tone to Humidity, Pressure, and Darkness.

Spontaneous Dissolution within the Earth Organism.
Macrocosmic Correspondence and Ages of Substance.
A New Substance Unit for the explanation of Phenomena of Radioactivity.
Effects of Radioactivity and their Significance for Human Evolution.

Individualisation of Substance in the Process cf Becoming.
Archetypal Forms and their Genesis in the Earth Organism.
The Archetypal Forms in the Mineral Kingdom.
The Archetypal Forms in the Plant World.
Shaping Forces and Archetypal Forms in Embryonal Development.
Sense Organs and their Formative Forces.
Animal Instincts.
Man and Animal.
Differentiating Characteristics of the Kingdoms of Nature.

Threefold Human Organism.
Polarity of the Etheric Formative Forces.
Polarity of the " Cold and the Warm Flame."
Genesis of the Bony Skeleton.
Nature and Cause of Human Breathing.
Rhythmic System, Speech.
Nature and Cause of the Human Blood Circulation.
Forming of Organs.
Archetypal Forms in the Human Organism (Epidermis, Blood-Crystals, etc.).
Etheric Structure of the Blood Corpuscles and of the Earth.
Etheric Structure cf Dead and Living Substance.
Genesis of the White and the Red Blood Corpuscles and their Formative Forces.
Blood and Oxygen.
Metamorphosis of the other Substances in the Human Organism.
Stages of Consciousness, Etheric Formative Forces, and Substance in Man, and their Relationship to the Macrocosm.
Etheric Life-Current in the Human Organism.
Etheric Formative Forces and the Art of Healing.

Extinct intellectual climate EFF was written in

To understand EFF and Wachsmuth's intent requires knowing the historical context of science writing in the 15 years before and after Einstein's theory of relativity. It was an intellectual Olympics, everyone attempting to define the invisible world of forces with hundreds of "shots in the dark."

Einstein's published papers generated intense interest and a large number of diverse published views. ALL views of invisible forces wee “alternative” in this formative intellectual landscape. EFF was written to compete on this intellectual field.

For better and worse, Wachsmuth's attention to rectifying scientific thinking of the 1920s with more accurate concepts, will seem tedious to many readers in 2014.

In this intellectual fray, Wachsmuth attempts to counter mistaken conventional scientific ideas with more accurate conceptions based on four invisible etheric forces and their interpenetration and rhythmic alternation in Earth, humans, animals, plants, and the planets of our solar system.

To Wachsmuth's credit, familiar topics from Steiner's basic books are virtually absent here.

I also celebrate the absence of "mystical mumbo jumbo" Anthroposophic or otherwise. This is a science textbook, a science encyclopedia, equal to any produced in its day.

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