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– methods and results
by Dorian Schmidt - translated from the German by David Heaf
For a number of years biodynamic plant breeders in Germany have been working together with Dorian Schmidt. Their
particular concern was to discover qualitative differences between plant varieties. The approach described here has
proved invaluable to their work. In an imaginative way it has become possible to assess their differences and
demonstrate why modern hybrid varieties should be avoided in biodynamic farms and gardens.
Dorian Schmidt makes use of his clairvoyant faculties to perceive the flow of forces through and around the plant world
and also the elemental beings who direct them. Through working with concentration techniques, meditative exercises
and precise observational skills he can enable others do similar research.
The following is the first of three articles written by Dorian Schmidt about his unique field of research. In it he describes
the pre-conditions and necessary techniques for understanding this method. In the second and third articles to be
published in the next issue of star and Furrow, he goes on to describe some of his observations relating to Wheat, Rye,
Norway Spruce, Celeriac and Silver Fir and offers some fascinating drawings. All three articles are being made
available together as a pamphet from the office (£2.00). A workshop with Dorian Schmidt is being arranged in Britain
during July. More details on this will be available shortly through the Newssheet.
PART I. TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE is observed or what is experienced. There would then
remain only a memory of a beautiful – or not beautiful –
n order to enter into and observe the field of life forces experience, but without any content.
– the etheric formative forces in the natural world
around us – it is necessary to extend the faculties of Chest activity and feelings
observation beyond sense perception. The organs of As regards the chest, we need to become aware of the
observation required are of a living and inward nature. corset of antipathetic and sympathetic tendencies, that
Using them, i.e., creating the necessary inner bodily, living constrain our everyday behaviour. It is true that the vast
and mental conditions; requires a spiritual dimension, a number of the habitual judgements made in daily life help
certain amount of strength of 'I'-being. This must not be us cope with it. For the observations we want however,
confused with strength of personality, which is more none of these tendencies should be present at first, apart
psychological in nature. Rather, the 'I'-being appears as a from those which are consciously willed. Every
force in the background during resolute striving towards a uncontrolled inner stimulus immediately triggers living
goal, or comprises the ability to prevail through seemingly currents, sensations and thought forms, and the result is
insoluble biographical crises. that they rob us of effort and energy while we ponder
questions such as 'What have I observed?' or 'What have
Conditions I imagined?'
The organs of observation are developed through constant Limbs and will activity
exercise. Rudolf Steiner often spoke about the nature of As regards the limbs, it is necessary while observing to rest
these exercises, and in recent years much has been the body to some extent and be in a relaxed position. The
written about the conditions required for them.
The subject bodily functions such as breathing, blood pressure or
is inexhaustible. In the following therefore, the author will muscle tone do not have to be brought to the totally
present only a kind of overview of what strikes him as relaxed state that applies during sleep, but rather to a
essential. condition of balance so that we can forget about them, so
that they 'escape notice'. For this, it is probably necessary
Head and thinking activity at first for the particular position adopted, to remain
As regards the head, thought activity must be able to act unchanged.
as a 'tamer'. On the one hand, the observer must be
capable of retaining meaningfully and vividly beside one Even when the capacity to perceive supersensible forces
another different thought contents that, according to the is beginning to develop, there is yet another obstacle to be
way they are experienced, are very remote from one overcome that stops us seeing in the natural world
another. On the other hand – and more importantly – he anything other than what the senses and our own thoughts
needs to have the capacity completely to silence all he has and feelings tell us. This obstacle is deeply rooted in an
learned, heard or read about hitherto, together with attitude, permeated by traditional natural science,
everything he has thought out for himself and place it firmly expresses itself approximately as follows: 'I have a body. I
in the background. It does not have to disappear am contained in it. I think my thoughts in my head and feel
completely, but should rather remain in the back of the my feelings in my heart. My body, with its sense organs,
mind and be accessible to conscious recall. Otherwise, conveys to me the various impressions of the outside
during observation it would not be possible to grasp what world. If I see for example a bouquet of flowers, my eyes
Journal of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association 15
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