Modern science does not recognize the four elements of fire, air, water, and earth. The solid, liquid, and gaseous forms of matter are not elements. The Greek concept of nature was based on the recognition of the four elements. Somewhat as a fifth, ether was added. Aristotle said of ether: “It is that which is different from earth, water, air, and fire; it is eternal and eternally revolves in a circle.” The elements have their origin in the center, the ethers in the periphery. The former are central, the latter peripheral; the former are point-like, individual; the latter universal, comprehensive. Mathematically speaking, one could say they relate to each other like plus and minus, positive and negative.
These seemingly magical ethers are the component parts of creation that exist as the foundation of all space and are the eternal mechanisms that create life. The theories concerning the seven ethers are, for the first time, compiled and explained in The Eternal Ethers as a comprehensive Theory of Everything that effects every atom and molecule in the universe. Often, limited scientific theories will only uncover one or a few of the seven ethers, not the complete set of seven and their eternal cycle manifested in everything from the planets to the stages of human growth and development.
After three decades of being a Waldorf teacher and teacher trainer, Douglas Gabriel discovered a comprehensive and practical scheme of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny while drawing the standard charts and diagrams that formerly had been used in attempts to explain this foundational concept of Rudolf Steiner’s pedagogy.
Every complete system of the spirit has seven parts. As students of anthroposophy know, humans are currently in the fourth large stage of evolution. And because we are only in the fourth stage of evolution, it may be challenging to understand how the fifth through seventh stages may be so incredibly different in dimension and consciousness. The subsequent stages are much more that a reorganization of the elements we experience in the fourth stage of evolution.