We turn our eyes of conscience to the fires that are literally burning down Australia, with all its unique flora and fauna. Fires, whether we are the result of natural or human causes, are kept alive by the fact that temperatures have risen above 45 degrees, making the climate extremely dry: this is the link between the spread of fires and global warming.
It is fundamental to meditate on “the rain”, and if we want to do it in an anthroposophical sense, it is necessary to meditate on “the being of the rain”, which is formed by the elementary beings of the waves, which, in turn, are the descendants of the Angels, the Sons of Life, whose lowest body manifests itself in water. When we imagine the rain we must imagine it as a seed of light: the physical rain is light for the spiritual world. Just as men experience tears as an expression of an emotion, so the spiritual world, in being Angels, expresses its participation in earthly life in the precipitation of rain.
The sylphs, the elementary beings of the air, descend from the highest layers of the atmosphere, carrying within themselves the ether of light. When they enter the troposphere, the layer where the meteorological events involving the liquid element take place, the waves cover the Sylphs with a shell of water, which is loaded with sound ether. The Sylphs sleep in the liquid element.
The Undines “sing a lullaby” to the Sylphs, that is, the ether of sound is infused into the ether of light. When light and sound unite, touching the surface of the ground, barely moving it, they awaken the Gnomes, which will begin to dynamize the ether of life. It is from this ether that life rises from the ground again towards the sky, in the form of plants, forming the biosphere, the sphere where it postpones life.
The seed that lies in the ground is opened by the Gnomes that briskly extract the bud: the ether of life begins to form the cosmic chaos contained within the seed. In other words, the ether of life is forming and gives structure to the potential contained in the seed. The bud stretches towards the centre of the Earth with the root and towards the sky in the stem: the waves from inside the tissues pervade the stem and roots with the chemical ether. The sylphs from outside open the leaves according to a spitting movement that depends on the planet to which the plant itself is linked.
Once it reaches maturity, the plant blooms: it is the Salamanders that inflame the vegetable tissues with the ether of heat, animalizing them. The leaves become petals. The astral of the plant touches the ether, the colours appear: as it heats up, the vegetable tissue becomes similar to the flesh, from the petals of the flower the tissues of the fruit develop, within this there is the seed that contains the maximum ether of heat, therefore the maximum chaos, like a small Ancient Saturn.
Life is finally consumed, born, lives and dies, and in this way it dissolves as in a process of combustion: this is the action of the Salamanders with the ether of heat. The fires are to be seen as the wrath of the Salamanders which accelerate the process of consuming life. The burning Salamanders exhort us: “Man! Woe to you if you do not think according to the spirit! If you do not change your way of thinking your reality will be reduced to ashes! Nature is entirely renewed by fire, but thought is renewed only by Michael’s fire!”.
Meditating to imagine the rain, or rather the waves, we are also called to meditate to bring peace in the wrath of the Salamanders, who are only manifesting the feverish state in which the Earth is in today because of man’s materialistic thoughts. Man’s thinking generates Salamanders, but when his thoughts are materialistic, instead of remaining internalized as ether of heat, they manifest themselves as physical heat that comes to consume.
It is, therefore, a process of destruction of matter which is excessively accelerated with respect to the time necessary for the accomplishment of spiritual evolution. In other words, matter is consumed in the physical sense, outwardly, before it can be completely spiritualized from within. Fire reduces everything to ashes, mineralizing the animal and the vegetable; in this sense the exteriorization of fire is a manifestation of Ahriman and of the sixth inner layer of the Earth, the Fiery Earth. Michael’s inner fire, on the contrary, is a creative fire that makes the inner activity alive, renewing human thinking in the ocean of cosmic thinking.
In other words, global warming is man’s work in his relationship with Ahriman, the lord of materialism, which leads to the acceleration of evolutionary processes beyond measure, bringing forward the future into the present, but exchanging what is spiritual essence for what is material effect. Then there is another kind of fire that we must keep to consciousness: sentimentality that sets both those who deny global warming and those who forcefully affirm it on fire. This is the fire of Lucifer, the one who inflames the soul with fanaticism that becomes unreasonable.
Only Michael, the flaming prince of thought, can through his sidereal iron sword, the internalization of Mars, instill courage in man to penetrate the Arymanic Dragon of the ether of life. The dead thinking sets the Earth ablaze, the living thinking ignites the enthusiasm in man!
We are called to be examples for the Kingdoms of Nature. Every animal and plant species that disappears because of man before his cycle of evolution foreseen in the divine plan by the Hierarchies is a part of the human soul and life that are slowed down in evolution, with the risk of being lost, until the next planetary incarnation of the Future Jupiter when plants will be animals, animals will be human, and men will be Guardian Angels of animal-men.
Often we would like to reduce everything to a single cause, saying “this is simply what is happening”. However, we must forget this simplistic way of thinking if we want to go deeper into the reality of the facts. Certainly there are cosmic cycles of heating and cooling, hotter and colder ages: these cycles are linked both to the movement and positioning of the Earth in the cosmos and to the systems of balance and resilience proper to life. The biosphere as a whole will always work to bring the balance favorable to life on Earth as a whole: the biosphere is in fact the harmonious set of animals and plants which are also the manifestation of the astral and etheric Earth. The various catastrophes that have led to great mass extinctions on Earth have always been compensated in time by the Earth’s living processes. This has been established not only by occult science, but also by natural science, both in geology and ecology: this is the meaning of Gaia’s theory, which wants to unite and overcome all the partial aspects of reductionist visions.
However, the problem we face today is the speed and the way this warming is taking place. The Earth, being a living organism, as a whole, is also a semi-closed system from the chemical point of view of substances, and semi-open from the thermodynamic point of view. To make a comparison, we can make an example, which will be very limited in its value: if we are in a room with a small window. Inside this room we keep a fire burning: the quality of the air, even if it has a slight change because of the air that enters through the window, will still be intoxicated by the smoke, and so the temperature will always be warmer than how much fresh air enters. This is clearly a simplification, since in order to truly understand the Earth we must always keep all aspects together in their living reality, addressing it as a living being with its manifest and spiritual constitutive parts.
In the words of Rudolf Steiner
The earth is a real organism, a real living being. When you imagine the human being as a living creature, you can think of his blood with its red and white corpuscles. These can only develop within the human organism and thus be what they are. What these red and white blood corpuscles are for the individual human being is what we humans are for the entire organism of the earth. Of course, we belong to this earthly organism. We are part of the entire living being that is the Earth, and we only consider ourselves correctly when we say, “As individuals we are nothing. We are complete only when we think of entering the “body” of the Earth, of whose body we perceive only the skeleton, the mineral shell, until we also recognize the spiritual members of this earthly organism.
When a process of infection occurs in the human organism, the entire organism is pervaded by fever, by sickness. If we translate this into terms applicable to the entire earthly organism, we can say that what occultism claims is true: when something immoral is done in any part of the Earth, this is equivalent to the same event for the entire earthly organism as an abscess on the human body, which makes the entire organism sick. If something is taken away from the Earth, the result is that the entire Earth develops a kind of fever. This is not understood in a merely metaphorical sense. This is fully justified. The entire organism of the Earth suffers from everything that is immoral, and as individuals we cannot do anything immoral without affecting the entire Earth.
It really is a simple thought, but people have difficulty understanding it. But let those people who don’t want to believe it simply wait. Let us try to impress these thoughts in our culture; let us try with these thoughts to appeal to the human heart, to the human consciousness. Whenever people everywhere act in an immoral sense, their actions are a kind of fever that is infected for the entire Earth and makes the earth’s organism sick, and experience shows that tremendous moral impulses are present in such knowledge.
– Rudolf Steiner, “The meaning of the spiritual quest for moral action”, GA127, Bielefeld, March 6, 1911.
If we want to think spiritually, we can only come to the conclusion that even if the fires are arsonists, that is, the result of arsonists, this is only the result of materialistic thinking which, being in itself diametrically opposed to the laws of the spiritual world, is exteriorized as fire. In particular, it is the exteriorization of the “center of destruction”, the pole in the human being that counterbalances the creative pole of the Ego, just as the Ego reaches the heights, the center of destruction reaches the Abyss, the place from which the Double or Shadow arises and becomes the host of the human being in the incarnation. Those who connect themselves to the Arymanic double through materialistic thinking will tend to want to destroy in one way or another what is the fruit of the creative activity of the Hierarchies, whose main work of art is Nature. But on the other hand, it also applies to the works created by man, as in the case of the karmic impulse of Herostrate and the destruction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
In other words, from the spiritual point of view, pyromania and global warming originate from the same spiritual cause, materialistic thinking, although manifested at two different levels of manifestation: one microcosmic, pyromania, and one more macrocosmic, global warming, both are internal destruction that becomes external.
One may ask: why Australia? It is very important to take into account where events like this happen: Australia is currently one of the countries where people in government have taken power who refuse to accept the reality of climate change, denying it, and promising to continue living exactly the way it has led to this situation. However, no later than last summer, it was Brazil’s turn. Catastrophic events come to awaken consciences numbed by the materialistic sedative, even in the most shocking way. As Christ declares in Matthew 10:34:
Do not believe that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Spirit science does not deny the data of natural science. To deny global warming with all the consequent climatic upheavals in front of everyone’s eyes is to be afraid of reality. To deny man’s responsibility for global warming is to deny the spiritual link between materialistic thinking and the Earth’s fever. Therefore, it is not by denying global warming or its cause that one does a service to science, either natural or spiritual. It is not by denying that one can act courageously in the sense of cosmic thinking indicated by Michael.
Therefore, do We wish to serve the outward fire of Ahriman by means of the luciferic fanaticism of negation or to vivify thought with the fire of Michael?