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Symbol 38
The Human Being, and Animal and Vegetable Food

A Summary Explanation of Symbol No. 38 - The Human Being, and Animal and Vegetable Food

The symbol symbolises people’s evolution from animal nutrition to vegetable nutrition. Living on animal food is absolutely not a condition of human existence. As long as a human being kills animals in order to eat their flesh and blood, it can expect neither a disease-free life nor the cessation of war, a war that devastates mankind. The fact that the individual human being itself does not kill and butcher the animals that form part of its food does not free it from a share in the responsibility. Vegetable food is the most suitable food for human beings at the present step in evolution. As evolution gradually progresses, people will more and more abandon coarse vegetarian food and ultimately, in the real human kingdom, change completely to pure fruit nutrition.

The main details of the symbol:

  • The lowest large orange step symbolises the animal kingdom.
  • Animal food is symbolised by the violet section with the yellow, green and red particles, which are living beings in a micro-form. The organism can absorb only a small number of these so-called “life units” as nourishment, namely, the life units that are coloured red. They are encapsulated in the food we consume, and the digestion of them therefore entails a process of killing, during which the red life units are separated from the rest of the food and freed so as to be absorbed as nutrition. The remaining life units are dissolved in gastric acid and eliminated via the intestines. These animal life units are beings that are sufficiently evolved so as to be able to experience pain and suffering during the process of killing.
  • The orange zigzag line symbolises coarse, animal food.
  • The multicoloured round figure on the right of the zigzag line symbolises a “meat life-unit”.
  • The orange sun figure farther to the right symbolises that even though the meat nutrition of the animal kingdom is based on the killing principle, it is in the last analysis identical to light in the divine plan of creation.
  • The large step second from the bottom symbolises that part of the animal kingdom in which the terrestrial unfinished human being is situated. Vegetable food is the most suitable nutrition for people of today. 
  • The yellow zigzag line symbolises the coarser part of this food, which consists of roots, leaves and stalks. Here the red life units are also encapsulated and have to be freed by the process of digestion. But since the life units in this matter belong to the plant kingdom, they cannot directly experience pain and suffering during digestion.
  • The blue zigzag line symbolises the flesh of ripe fruit. It consists solely of red life units that can incarnate directly as nutrition in the human being’s physical organism.
  • The round figure on the right of the zigzag line symbolises a “plant life unit”, which contains only red life units.
  • The third large step symbolises the real human kingdom. In the physical part of this plane the flesh of ripe fruit is the natural food, which is symbolised by the blue zigzag line. Here nutrition is mixed with air nutrition.
  • The completely light yellow sun furthest to the right symbolises that this area represents the completely perfect dietary principle.
  • The uppermost steps (green and blue) symbolise the kingdom of wisdom and the divine world. There is no physical food on these supercosmic planes of existence.
  • The figure in the top left corner symbolises the unfinished human being’s relationship to the three dietary areas that have been described. The triangle and the violet area symbolise its superconsciousness. The area outside the superconsciousness symbolises the being’s physical body and the digestion in the three dietary areas.

See also Martinus' description of symbol no. 38 in The Eternal World Picture 4 and book no.5: The Ideal Food..