Steiner's two examples: "reason of this similiarity" and "conditions of this experience"

Submitted by Beginner on Fri, 10/02/2009 - 9:44am.

There are two sentences in the second chapter of Steiner's book which I do not understand and ask for help:


Wir sehen aus dem Ei

ein dem Muttertiere ähnliches Wesen


wir fragen nach dem Grunde dieser Aehnlichkeit.


We see a being similar to the mother animal go forth out of the egg

we ask for the reason of this similarity.



Wir beobachten an einem Lebewesen

Wachstum und Entwicklung

bis zu einem bestimmten Grade der Vollkommenheit:

wir suchen nach den Bedingungen dieser Erfahrung.


We observe on a living being

growth and evolution

until a definite degree of perfection:

we seek for the conditions of this experience.


What do "reason of this similarity" and "conditions of this experience"  mean?


Beyond the senses


I was in a hurry when I responded yesterday, Beginner. I am glad you noticed the origin of the donkey.
In Chapter 1, Steiner refers to the difficulty in penetrating with discriminating understanding the invisible process that takes place inside the skull of Paul Ree’s donkey. The human drive to know what is going on in places that we cannot penetrate with our sense organs is considered in Chapter 2. Steiner chooses an example where, once again, there is something to see (the mother animal) and something else to see (the mother’s offspring) and an additional something invisible is evidently going on in between the two that links them. So we ask a question Why are they similar?
Steiner is considering another question throughout Chapter 2. Why do we ask why? This question would make a good title for the Chapter, but Steiner chose another title.
The choice of an egg (or womb) and the choice of a skull to represent the invisible realm both silently illustrate Steiner’s awareness of the formative powers of the cosmos within those 2 sensory manifestations (egg or womb and skull). The same cosmic formative forces are at work in the continuing momentum of conscious thinking processes. The cosmic ether seems to be what Steiner believed Goethe to be referring to as 'Gefilden hoher Ahnen'.
Example Sources:
The cosmic ether, which is common to all, carries within it the thoughts…
If the anthroposophist employs natural science as an aid, he merely does so in order to illustrate what he is saying. He has to show that anthroposophic truths, with respective modifications, are to be found in the domain of natural science, and that natural science cannot be anything but elemental [should the translator have written elementary here?] spiritual science; and he has to employ natural-scientific concepts in order to lead over to his concepts of a higher nature.