The Power of a Seed

How does a sage from a past civilization which hasn’t developed advanced mathematical equations and concepts describe unseen reality? How does one communicate simultaneous truths which on the surface contradict one another but beneath the surface depend each upon the other? Preston Harold asks:

How could the ancient describe the measure of the random element – spreading, increasing? The concept of entropy is enfolded in a mathematical formula, and mathematics may be thought of as the language of size. Descriptions which fit the incomparable size of entropy’s shoe, as well as the nature of it’s measure, and its significance, are found in Jesus’ words pertaining to the reign of God, the realm of heaven, the coming of the kingdom. He likened its “smallness” and its “largeness” to a mustard seed – “less than any seed on earth,” which grows “larger than any plant.” He invoked the working of the reign of God with the shuffling, spreading, and action of energy throughout the whole… He said, it is “like dough…buried in three pecks of flour, till all of it was leavened.” Jesus said this working is begun: the seed is sown, the dough is buried. And the kingdom of God, which involves the concept of the end of the world, will come – just as the physicists envision the heat death of the universe when nature’s supreme law is fulfilled.


One must remember here, though, that in order for there to be increase of the seed or leaven, that death is a necessary factor. “Unless a seed falls into the earth and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit.” –John 12:24 Which leads me to ponder that if the earth and universe are on their way to heat death, what is the mission of the planet earth? Why do we exist at all?

In a letter to the Anthroposophical Society in January 1925, Rudolf Steiner asks just such a question. I will quote the letter at length…

The question must arise: What is the significance of the earthly realm for the macrocosm (universe)?… In the far distant past, the macrocosm so lives that there ceases to be any question of “calculating” the manifestations of its life. Out of this living condition man is then brought forth as a separate being, while the macrocosm enters more and more into the “calculable” sphere. But in this it undergoes a slow process of death… In the present cosmic time, a dead macrocosm is existing…we have grown accustomed to focus our attention on the spacial magnitude of the Universe, and to look on the earth as a speck of dust, insignificant compared to the great universe of physical space. Hence it will seem strange, to begin with, when spiritual vision unfolds the true cosmic significance of this so-called “speck of dust.”

Consider the world of plants… In spring and summer, forces of growth show themselves in plant life. In the growing, sprouting process, the seer’s consciousness perceives not only what brings forth the abundant blessing of the plant life for the given year, but a surplus of germinating force. The plants contain more germinating force than they expend upon the growth of foliage, flower and fruit. This surplus of germinating force flows out into the extra-earthly macrocosm… Now in the same manner a surplus of force streams out from the mineral kingdom… Likewise there are forces proceeding from the animal nature…It is thus the spirit-seeking consciousness beholds the essence of the earthly realm, which stands as a new, life-kindling element within the dead and dying macrocosm


The life of all this earthly realm becomes clear and transparent when we feel at its foundation the germ of a new Universe. Every single plant and stone appears in a new light to the soul of man when he becomes aware that each of these beings is contributing by its life and by its form to this great fact: that the Earth in its unity is an embryo – the seed of a macrocosm newly arising into life.

So according to Steiner, the earth itself is a seed for a whole new universe. That’s a pretty great thought for sure, and makes one deeply contemplate the power contained within a seed.  What thoughts does this kindle in you? Until next time, peace.


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