Carbono em Steiner (2007)

Let us begin with carbon. (The application of these matters to plant-life will presently emerge). Carbon indeed has fallen in our time from a highly aristocratic status to a very plebeian one. Alas, how many other beings of the Universe have followed it along the same sad way! What do we see in carbon nowadays? That which we use, as coal, to heat our ovens! That which we use, as graphite, for our writing. True, we still assign an aristocratic value to one modification of carbon, namely diamond, but we have little opportunity to value even that, for we can no longer afford to buy it! (Steiner 2007:22)

What is known about carbon nowadays is very little when you consider its infinite significance in the Universe. The time is not so very long ago — only a few centuries — when this black fellow, carbon, was so highly esteemed as to be called by a very noble name. They called it the Stone of the Wise — the Philosopher’s Stone. There has been much chatter es to what the “Stone of the Wise” may be. Very little has emerged from it. When the old alchemists and such people spoke of the Stone of the Wise, they meant carbon — in the various modifications in which it occurs. They held the name so secret and occult, only because if they had not done so, anyone and everyone would have possessed it — for it was only carbon. Why then was carbon the “Stone of the Wise?” (Steiner 2007:22)

Here we can answer, with an idea from olden time, a point we need to understand again in our time when speaking about carbon. It is quite true, carbon occurs to-day in Nature in a broken, crumbled form, as coal or even graphite — broken and crumbled, owing to certain processes which it has undergone. How different it appears, however, when we perceive it in its living activity, passing through the human or animal body, or building up the plant-body out of its peculiar conditions. Then the amorphous, formless substance which we see as coal or carbon proves to be only the last excrescence — the corpse of that which coal or carbon truly is in Nature’s household. (Steiner 2007:22)

Carbon, in effect, is the bearer of all the creatively formative processes in Nature. Whatever in Nature is formed and shaped be it the form of the plant persisting for a comparatively short time, or the eternally changing configuration of the animal body — carbon is everywhere the great plastician. It does not only carry in itself its black substantiality. Wherever we find it in full action and inner mobility, it bears within it the creative and formative cosmic pictures — the sublime cosmic Imaginations, out of which all that is formed in Nature must ultimately proceed. (Steiner 2007:23)

In bygone epochs of Earth-evolution carbon alone was deposited or precipitated. Only at a later stage was there added to it, for example, the limestone nature which man makes use of to create something more solid as a basis and support — a solid scaffolding for his existence. Precisely in order to enable what is living in the carbon to remain in perpetual movement, man creates an underlying framework in his limestone-bony skeleton. So does the animal, at any rate the higher animal. Thus, in his ever-mobile carbon-formative process, man lifts himself out of the merely mineral and rigid limestone-formation which the Earth possesses and which he too incorporates in order to have some solid Earth within him. For in the limestone form of the skeleton he has the solid Earth within him. (Steiner 2007:23)

Take, to begin with, carbon. When the carbon, with its inherent activity, comes from the plant into the animal or human kingdom, it must first become mobile — in the transient stage at any rate. If it is then to present the firm and solid figure (man or animal), it must build on a more deepseated scaffolding or framework. This is none other than the very deep-seated framework which is contained, not only in our bony skeleton with its limestone — nature, but also in the silicious element which we continually bear within us. (Steiner 2007:27)

Here once more you see how we encounter Nature’s most wonderfully intimate workings. Carbon is the true form-creator in all plants; carbon it is that forms the framework or scaffolding. But in the course of earthly evolution this was made difficult for carbon. It could indeed form the plants if it only had water beneath it. Then it would be equal to the task. But now the limestone is there beneath it, and the limestone disturbs it. Therefore it allies itself to silica. Silica and carbon together — in union with clay, once more create the forms. They do so in alliance because the resistance, of the limestone-nature must be overcome. (Steiner 2007:27)

STEINER, Rudolf. 2007. The Agriculture Course. (Trans.: George Adams) Shrewsbury: Wilding & Son Ltd.