Planet — Mars
Metal — Iron
Colors — Red and green
Life Process — Nutrition
Counterlife Process — Hardening
The student’s skills are incorporated; external guidance becomes personal skill and ability.
The outer truly becomes the inner. Food substance taken into the body is destroyed before its etheric/cosmic counterpart can be built into the body. Rudolf Steiner describes that through eating, material substance is actually unmade, a process similar to a nuclear reaction. The red Mars window shows a kind of green flame within which there is a red dot. Substance has jumped the gap,
passed from outside to inside. The guidance and skill imparted to the student has become internalized. It is a bit like learning to ride a bicycle or drive a car. At first, these abilities are seen as separate, external, alien. Eventually they become an integral part of self. Even if one has not ridden a bicycle for thirty years, one can do so again with comparatively little effort. The imparted skills become the individualized skills, competence gives empowerment. The relationship that the things of the outer world have to each other becomes meaningful, clay to pottery, sheep to wool, and the transformation of raw material by human effort and skill. The counterlife process to nourishing is hardening. We can see this hardening process in our physical bodies: arthritis, stones, hardening of the arteries and Alzheimer’s are all forms of hardening. In terms of the student’s journey, this hardening could be described as getting stuck. The self identifies itself too strongly, too prematurely with one or other activity, becomes fixated, embeds itself in the security of the known, at the cost of further development.
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