Evidently, some gadget — called Curiosity — has landed on Mars and is supposed to discover the planet and send the information collected back to earth. We are to learn more about that red planet in the sky, sometimes visible from my window, a little more orange than the stars. Don’t imagine, however, that Curiosity will find the whole truth. It will not be able to glean any knowledge through clairvoyant means. Somebody else did, hundred years ago. First, one must be clear that Steiner spoke about the planets in two different senses: as physical planets and as stages of earth evolution and in the evolution of consciousness. Only then can one continue. I want to focus on what Steiner said about the planet Mars, the physical planet, what it is like, according to him… and what about the Martians?
Here’s Steiner answering a question from his audience. The question is about Mars, more specifically about what we know about Mars. Apparently, there was a discussion (in society or in science or both, I don’t know) about the planets merging again with the earth. Steiner says there’s no cause for concern, because:
If Mars, for instance, were actually to come down and unite with the earth, it would not be able to lay waste the land but only to inundate it. For as far as investigation is possible — it can never be done with physical instruments but only through spiritual science, spiritual vision — Mars consists primarily of a more or less fluid mass, not as fluid as our water but, shall we say, more like the consistency of jelly, or something of that kind.
He then continues to say that Mars is not solid, so what from earth looks like canals on Mars are in reality something more like trade winds. What about life on Mars then?
… everything on Mars is much more full of life than on the earth. The earth is a dead planet in a far stronger sense than Mars, on which everything is still more or less living.
He later goes on to describe it the situation in a bit more detail:
You must remember that the constitution of Mars is quite different from that of the earth. As I said, Mars is not densely solid in the sense in which today the earth is solid, But I described to you quite recently how the earth too was once in a condition when mineral, solid matter took shape for the first time, how there were then gigantic animals which, however, had as yet no solid bones. Mars today is in a condition similar to that of the earth in that earlier epoch and therefore also has upon it those living beings, those animal beings which the earth had upon it at that time. And “human beings” on Mars are as they were on the earth at that time — still without bones. /…/ These things can be known. They cannot become known by the means employed in modern science for acquiring knowledge; nevertheless it is possible to know these things. If, then, you want to have an idea of what Mars is like today, picture to yourselves what the earth was like in a much earlier age: then you will have a picture of Mars.
Note that none of this is knowable through modern science. What a pity, NASA! Sending all that stuff up there, and yet Curiosity will never satisfy our curiousity for details and photos of Martians! Or will it? How shall we interpret Steiner here? Did it not occur to him that people might one day send a little machine up there? That clairvoyant gazing would, at some point in the future, not be the only means of knowing what takes place on other planets? I’m waiting for Curiosity to send back photos of boneless Martians.