Goethe’s Science of Living Form

Goethe's science of the living cover

“We gain knowledge of the growth and formation of the flower through analysis of its chemical constituents, through comparative anatomy, through exploring hormonal and genetic processes. But when the process of growth is considered in itself, it is found to be continuous, unbroken, whole, not a composite of cause and effect processes. The roots do not cause the stem, the leaves do not cause the flower, the flower does not cause the fruit. The genetic replication process in the plant cells do not cause the plant any more than does the process of photosynthesis – both are functional aspects of a continuous and whole life process. We accumulate knowledge of mechanisms but only understand a living plant out of the wholeness of its form, its total “melody.”