Storm's Journal

Photograph of the 'Eskimo Nebula', Hubble Telescope, January 11, 2000.
NGC 2392, HST WFPC2, NASA, A. Fruchter and ERO, STScl-PRC00-07.

--| Inside-out Cosmology |----- 

The current issue of Astronomy magazine, declares:

  'Progress in Cosmology and progress in understanding
   elementary particles are now inextricably bound together.'

   (Michael Turner, 'Inside-out Cosmology', p.40, Astronomy Magazine, June 2001)*

Why should current cosmologists advocate that cosmology and particle
physics should be studied together?

The notion stems back to Edinburough in the late 1960's. Where Peter Higg's
postulated the Boson Field. The thought was: 'as particles move through Higg's
Field, their interaction with it produces their mass, similar to the resistance
of your motion walking through a pool of water is a measure of your mass/energy.**

In the early 1980's, cosmologists realised that the theories that might
unify particle physics might relate to the earliest moments of the universe.

Above, we have seen the image of the Eskimo nebula - the sun in the centre,
and steams of gasses floating in vast cosmic spaces.

Tonight, we turn the world upside-down and inside-out, and witness
the mirroring of the nebula and the cells. we bring...

--| EMBRYONIC COSMOLOGY |------------------

Note: This lecture assumes a knowledge of the mathematical inversion
of a circle into a line as discussed in: Skull Morphology.

It would be regarded as quite out of the question to study the movements of
a magnet-needle on the Earth's surface in such a way as to try to explain
these movements solely out of what can be observed within the space occupied
by the needle. The movements of the magnet-needle are, as you know, brought
into connection with the magnetism of the Earth. We connect the momentary
direction of the needle with the direction of the Earth's magnetism, that
is, with the line of direction which can be drawn between the north and
south magnetic poles of the Earth. When it is a question of explaining the
phenomena presented by the magnetic needle, we go out of the region of the
needle itself and try to enter, with the facts that have been collected
towards an explanation, into the totality which alone affords the
opportunity to explain phenomena, the manifestations of which belong to this
totality. This rule of method is certainly observed in regard to some
phenomena, - to those, I should say, the significance of which is fairly
obvious. But it is not observed when it is a question of explaining and
understanding more complicated phenomena.

Just as it is impossible to explain the phenomena of the magnetic needle
from the needle itself, it is equally and fundamentally impossible to
explain the phenomena relating to the organism from out of the organism
itself, or from connections which do not belong to a totality, to a whole.
And just for this reason, because there is so little inclination to reach
the realm of totalities in order to find explanations, we arrive at those
results put forward by the modern scientific method in which the wider
connections are almost entirely left out of the picture. This method
encloses the phenomena, whatever they may be, within the field of vision of
the microscope; while the celestial phenomena are restricted to what is
observable externally, with the help of instruments. In seeking for
explanations, no attempt is made to consider the necessity of reaching out
to the surrounding totality within which a phenomenon is localised...

(Rudolf Steiner, Lecture Lecture X, January 10th, 1921).


On the one hand we have Astronomy, tending more and more to be clothed in
mathematical forms of thought. It has become so great in its present form
just because it is a purely mathematical and mechanical science. But there
is another branch of science which stands, as it were, at the opposite pole
to Astronomy, and which cannot be studied in its real nature without
Astronomy. It is however, impossible, as science is today, to build a bridge
between Astronomy and this other pole of science, namely, Embryology.

He alone is studying reality, who on the one hand studies the starry skies
and on the other hand the development of the human embryo. How is the human
embryo generally studied today? Well, it is stated: The human embryo arises
from the interaction of two cells, the sex-cells or gametes, male and
female. These cells develop in the parent organism in such a way as to
attain a certain state of independence before they are able to interact.
They then present a certain contract, the one cell, the male, calling forth
new and different possibilities of development in the other, the female. The
question is put: What is a cell? As you know, since about the middle of the
19th century, Biology has largely been built upon the cell theory. The cell
is described as a larger or smaller, spherule, consisting of albuminous or
protein-like substances. It has a nucleus within it of a somewhat different
structure and around the whole is an enclosing membrane. As such, it is the
building-stone for all that arising by way of living organisms. The
sex-cells are of a similar nature but are formed differently according to
whether they are male or female, and from such cells every more complicated
organism is built up.

But now, what is actually meant when it is said that an organism builds
itself up from these cells? The idea is that substances which are otherwise
in Nature are taken up into these cells and then no longer work in quite the
same way as before. If oxygen, nitrogen or carbon are contained in the
cells, the carbon, for instance, does not have the effect upon some other
substance outside, that it would have had before; such power of direct
influence s lost to it. It is taken up into the organism of the cell and can
only work there as conditions in the cell allow. That is to say, the
influence is exerted not so much by the carbon, but by the cell, which makes
use of the particular characteristics of carbon, having incorporated a
certain amount of it into itself. For example, what man has within him in
the form of metal -- iron for instance -- only works in a circuitous way,
via the cell. The cell is the building-stone. So in studying the organism,
everything is traced to the cell. Considering at first only the main bulk of
the cell, without the nucleus and membrane, we distinguish two parts: a
transparent part composed of this fluid, and another part forming sort of
framework. Describing it schematically, we may say that there is the
framework of the cell, and this is embedded, as it were, in the other
substance which, unlike the framework, is quite unformed. (Fig. 6.)

Thus we must think of the cell as consisting of a mass which remains fluid
and unformed and a skeleton or framework which takes on a great variety of
forms. This then is studied. The method of studying cells in this way has
been pretty well perfected; certain parts in the cell can be stained with
colour, others do not take the stain. Thus with carmine or saffron, or
whatever colouring matter is used, we are able to distinguish the form of
the cell and can thus acquire certain ideas about its inner structure. We
note, for instance, how the inner structure changes when the female
germ-cell is fructified. We follow the different stages in which the cell's
inner structure alters; how it divides; and how the parts become attached to
one another, cell upon cell, so that the whole becomes a complicated
structure. All this is studied. But it occurs to no-one to ask: With what is
this whole life in the cell connected? What is really happening? It does not
occur to anyone to ask this.

What happens in the cell is to be conceived, my dear friends, in the
following way, -- though to be sure, it is still a rather abstract way.
There is the cell. For the moment let us consider it in its most usual form,
namely the spherical form. This spherical form is partially determined by
the thin fluid substance, and enclosed within it is the delicate framework.
But what is the spherical form? The thin fluid mass is as yet left entirely
to itself and therefore behave according to the impulses it receives from
its surroundings. What does it do? Well, my dear friends, it mirrors the
universe around it! It takes on the form of the sphere because it mirrors in
miniature the whole cosmos, which we indeed also picture to ourselves
ideally as a sphere. Every cell in its spherical form is no less than an
image of the form of the whole universe. And the framework inside, every
line of the form, is conditioned by its relationship to the structure of the
whole cosmos. To express myself abstractly to begin with, think of the
sphere of the universe with its imaginary boundary (Fig 7). In it, you have
here a planet, and there a planet (a,a'). They work in such a way as to
exert an influence upon one another in the direction of the line which joins
them. Here (m) let us say -- diagrammatically, of course, -- a cell is
formed; its outline mirrors the sphere of the whole universe. And the
framework inside, every line of the form, is conditioned by its relationship
to the structure of the whole cosmos. To express myself abstractly to begin
with, think of the sphere of the universe with its imaginary boundary
(Fig 7).

In it, you have here a planet, and there a planet (a,a'). They work in such
a way as to exert an influence upon one another in the direction of the line
which joins them. Here (m) let us say -- diagrammatically, of course, -- a
cell is formed; its outline mirrors the sphere. Here, within the framework
it has a solid part which is due to the working of the one planet on the
other. And suppose that here there were another constellation of planets,
working upon each other along the line joining them (b,b'). And here again
there might be yet another planet (c), this one having no counterpart; -- it
throws the whole construction, which might otherwise have been rectangular,
out of shape, and the structure takes on a somewhat different form. And so
you have in the whole formation of the framework of the cell a reflection of
the relationships existing in the planetary system, -- altogether in the
whole starry system. You can enter quite concretely into the formation of
the cell and you will reach an understanding of this concrete form only if
you see in the cell an image of the entire cosmos.

And now take the female ovum, and picture to yourselves that this ovum has
brought the cosmic forces to a certain inner balance. They have taken on
form in the framework of the cell, and are in a certain way at rest within
it, supported by the female organism as a whole. Then comes the influence of
the male sex-cell. This has not brought the macrocosmic forces to rest, but
works in the sense of a very specialized force. It is as though the male
sex-cell works precisely along this line of force (indicated by Dr. Steiner
on the blackboard) upon the female ovum which has come to a condition of
rest. The cell, which is an image of the whole cosmos, is thereby caused to
relinquish its microcosmic form once more to a changing play of forces. At
first, in the female ovum, the macrocosm comes to rest in a peaceful image.
Then through the male sex-cell the female is torn out of this state of rest,
and is drawn again into a region of specialized activity and brought into
movement. Previously it had drawn itself together in the resting form of the
image of the cosmos, but the form is drawn into movement again by the male
forces which are, so to speak, images of movement. Through them the female
forces, which are images of the form of the cosmos and have come to rest,
are brought out of this state of rest and balance.

Here we may have some idea, from the aspect of Astronomy, of the forming and
shaping of something which is minute and cellular. Embryology cannot be
studied at all without Astronomy, for what Embryology has to show is only
the other pole of what is seen in Astronomy. We must, in a way, follow the
starry heavens on the one hand, seeing how they reveal successive stages,
and we must then follow the process of development of a fructified cell. The
two belong together, for the one is only the image of the other. if you
understand nothing of Astronomy, you will never understand the forces which
are at work in Embryology, and if you understand nothing of Embryology, you
will never understand the meaning of the activities which Astronomy has to
deal. For these activities appear in miniature in the processes of

It is conceivable that a science should be formed, in which, on the one
hand, astronomical events are calculated and described, and on the other
hand all that belongs to them in Embryology, which is only the other aspect
of the same thing.

Now look at the position as it is today: you find that Embryology is studied
on its own. It would be regarded as madness if you were to demand of a
modern embryologist that he should study Astronomy in order to understand
the phenomena in his own sphere of work. And yet it should be so. This is
why a complete regrouping of the sciences is necessary. It will be
impossible to become a real embryologist without studying Astronomy. It will
no longer be possible to educate specialists who merely turn their eyes and
their telescopes to the stars, for to study the stars in that way has no
further meaning unless one knows that it is out of the great universe that
the minute and microscopical is fashioned.

(Ibid, Lecture I, Stuttgart, January 1, 1921)

--| References |--- 

* Michael S. Turner (Ph.D., Cosmologist, U. of Chicago, 2001).
| Bruce V. & Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor,
| Depts. of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute,
| and the College, and Chairman, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics.
| Theoretical astrophysics, cosmology and elementary particle physics.

Light Course - What is MASS?

Cosmological Cell Biology

Hubble Telescope Images

Skull Morphology

(Rudolf Steiner, Astronomy Lectures: The Relationship of the Diverse
Branches of Natural Science to Astronomy, Stuttgart, January 1921).

Back to Storm's Journal

SUBMIT AN ARTICLE posted: april 11, 2001