One of the mistakes we all can make when attempting to make sense of our world is to assume that the consciousness of the human being has been the same throughout our history. When I say “consciousness,” I am referring to the way human beings see or understand the world. One of the many lessons imparted by Rudolf Steiner is that just as our physical bodies have evolved throughout the eons, so, too, has our world view. When one takes this evolution of consciousness into account, many things begin to come into a clearer focus. Although this idea sounds abstract to some, real-world choices begin to make sense when we have a basic understanding of the progression of humanity’s consciousness.
Without going into huge detail, suffice to say that, according to Steiner, in former times humans were in a more dream-like state and less precise in their thinking. They lived more in the unconscious, metabolic realm. They were more connected to and in tune with the spiritual world. As time went on, humans evolved a clearer, more head-centered view of the world, where everything was reduced to number and measure. In this, our modern era, the computer stands as the main tool for humanity, a head-centered image if ever there was one. We are no longer the people of the plow, people who work the land with our hands and will.
If one investigates the relationship between the plant and the human being, one can see that the root realm of the plant corresponds to the head realm of the human being. They are both essentially circular in form and serve as the location in which sense impressions are received: In the human through our eyes, ears, nose, etc., and in the plant through the root hairs, which sense and adapt to the environment of the soil. In former times, the sweet food that humans ate came mostly from honey, which is more connected to the blossom realm of the plant and therefore the unconscious, metabolic realm of the human being. That the metabolic realm should function below the realm of consciousness is experienced by anyone who, because of illness, becomes aware of the happenings below their diaphragm; in every case, this is not a healthy development.
In our time, the sugar that feeds our thinking and our current level of consciousness should come from the root sphere of the plant. No purer example exists than the humble beetroot. Beets are essentially sugars mixed with structured water, minerals and phytochemicals. The root sugars, along with other associated nutrients, have a specific nourishing effect on our head, in particular, our thinking. Steiner went so far as to suggest beetroot for children who struggle to come out of the dreamy stage and to help wake up their thinking. Beets are therefore the healthiest form of sugar for modern people to consume, the sweetness giving a gentle stimulation for healthy thinking, the associated phytonutrients helping us overcome diseases of the circulation. Besides that, beets taste great and pair well with anything chocolate for the upcoming Valentine’s Day celebration.
Of course, we think one of the easiest and most fun ways to consume beets is our Three-Beet Powder. Add it to hot chocolate, oatmeal, pancake batter, spaghetti sauce — whatever strikes your fancy! Your body will appreciate this touch of sweetness.
Tom Cowan, M.D.
Happy Spring, everyone! As I type this on an early Sunday morning, we are having a beautiful early spring here in the Northeast. Our new garden fence is up, the garden beds are slowly being made, the greenhouse is nearly finished, and seedlings are in the greenhouse planter boxes. For me, spring represents many things, but on a completely practical level it means the transition from “exercise” to doing actual work with my body. Shoveling, pushing a wheel barrow through mud, pitch forking hay — these are my favorite ways to work up a sweat and start the day.