The Mineral kingdom has a physical form with the Etheric, Astral and Ego remaining external to the physical form. This means these bodies work directly from the World sphere mediated through the elements of warmth, light and moisture.
The Plant Kingdom has a physical form and an internalised Etheric body, and so it can grow and expand as well as die. However the Astral and Ego remain external in the World spheres. So, while plants will expand and grow it is usually external influences of light, moisture and heat that determine their final form. Flowering and seeding are processes bought about by the astral and ego acting onto the plant externally, through the Light and Warmth ethers of the Etheric body.
The Animal Kingdom embodies the Etheric and Astral, inside their physical bodies, while the Ego stays external. This allows them movement and sensation, but not a high degree of 'consciousness'. So if the food or temperature is not right in one position, then they will move to another. While a degree of freedom is expressed here, it is usually based on sense experience or habit and instinct. The degree the astral is internalised is indicated by the formation of the four organic systems of lung, kidney, bladder and heart. (16)
Humans have the potential to embody all four spheres. The Physical , Etheric, Astral and Ego. In so doing, we become potentially conscious and self determining individuals. The Ego has been the last faculty to fully incarnate and the history of especially the last 5000 years points to its increasing influence in the life of the human. A strong awareness of matter took place in Persia and Egypt. The development of the Mind though Greece, and the subsequent development of science, are all symbols of mans growing awakening to the Ego. A trail to the awakening of the individual, as separate from the tribe or race, parallels this development.
If the bodies are externalised it does not mean they cease to function. They function directly from Fixed Stars ( Ego ) , the Planets ( Astral ) or through the Ethers or Elements ( Etheric ) from the outside onto the individual form.
In plants the Etheric body, which has an outward movement, is contained and balanced by the inward moving Astral and Ego, externally. In the case of animals, the Astral ( still inward moving ) enters the body and can balance the Etheric from within. Nature spirits and Devas are really the collective Astral/ Ego of the particular plant species. The individual plants are spiritually linked to this common Astrality and Ego.
It was Wilhelm Peliken who said manifestation: IS in the mineral kingdom, LIVES in the plant world, EXPERIENCES through the animals, and COMPREHENDS ITSELF through humans. (10 Vol 1)
Putting all the above information together a picture of life's interrelationships as a Microcosm of the Macrocosm develops as follows. This diagram outlines the internalisation of the World spiritual bodies into the personalised kingdoms of nature through their various associations.
Ideally all four bodies work harmoniously according to the makeup of any particular plant, animal or human form. In this state, optimum health will be reached and maintained.
From this point of view pests and disease in plants, and illness in people can be presented in a new light. Biodynamics, like Steiners medicine, holds the view that if there is any imbalance between the bodies then disease or pests of some form will manifest.
The Double Spiral
Just as the Astrological Theorum can be seen in the Macrocosmic environment when we come to manifest life the sme patterns are present. Some examples of this have already been presented. If we now untwist the folded lemniscate from the Diagram 37 we come back to the double sprial. The top half being the Macrocosm and the bottom spiral being the microcosm.
The Double Spiral