Surplus Forces

On the 9 nov 1911   Rudolf Steiner said………

“This conception of world-history suggests the thought of “surplus” forces in men who play leading parts in the evolution of humanity. Whether they apply these forces for good or ill is another matter. Such men work upon their environment out of the surplus forces within them. These surplus forces, which need not be drawn upon for the affairs of personal life, may express themselves in deeds or they may find no outlet in deeds; but with others, some kind of hindrance always seems to prevent this. Nostradamus is an interesting example: he was a doctor and in this capacity brought blessing to very many human beings. But the thought that someone is doing good, often goes against the grain! Nostradamus became an object of envy and jealousy and was accused of being a Calvinist. To be a Jew or a Calvinist was looked upon askance and circumstances therefore forced him to withdraw from his work of healing and abandon his profession. But were the forces used in this inspiring work no longer within him when he had retired? Of course they were! Physics believes in the conservation of energy or force. What happened in the case of Nostradamus was that when he threw up his work, the forces in him took a different direction. If his medical activities had continued, these forces would have produced quite other effects in the future. For where can our deeds really be said to end? If, like Nostradamus, we withdraw from some activity, the flow of our deeds is suddenly stemmed — but the forces themselves are still there. The forces in Nostradamus’ soul remained and were transformed, so that what might have expressed itself in deeds at some future time, rose up before him in pictures. In his case, deeds were transformed into the gift of seership. The same may be true of human beings endowed with a faculty for prophecy today; and it was true in the case of the ancient Hebrew prophets. As biblical history indicates, these men had a real connection with forces belonging to the past and to the future of their people; their own soul, their personal life, was nothing to them. They were not war-like by nature but had within them surplus forces which from the very beginning took the same form as those of Nostradamus after their transformation. Forces, which in others poured into deeds, revealed themselves to the Hebrew prophets in the form of mighty pictures and visions. The gift of seership is directly connected with the urge to action in men, with the transformation of surplus forces in the soul.” RS 9 nov 1911

This theme of the role of ‘surplus forces’ is important in Biodynamics, given farmers and gardeners are so ‘possessed’ by physical activity, there are very few ‘etheric forces’ left at the end of the day, for most, for the Spirit to be able to ‘think the thoughts’ necessary to appreciate and understand the depths and intricacies of knowledge, RS provides us with.

I have been ‘cursed or blessed’ by not having land to farm, and so appear to have had the free forces to ‘wander the rabbit hole’, finding the path through the maze. My efforts to tell this story, can be for others, like eating meat rather than raw plants. The raw forces – of the universal story – are ‘pre digested’, thus making further digestion not such a struggle for the ‘meat eaters’, who themselves do not have the free forces to make this journey.

I see this ‘free forces’ issues as a pivotal inhibition in the ‘growth’ of Biodynamics, however BD folk have to see this limitation ‘in themselves’ , if they are to then draw upon those – such as the Apop doctors – who have had the opportunity of having some ‘free forces’, and the inclination to clarify RS pathway for them.

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