“Moist” science paradigm and “Dry” science paradigm

Bruce Dickson
6 min readNov 3, 2019

“Hard” science is too “dry;” earlier superstition and alchemy were “all wet”

As many readers from the 1950s on have found, Ernst Lehr’s Man and Matter (original title) is virtually the only book to bridge alchemy, Goethe, Steiner, hard science and point the way towards our coming whole-brain science (once more women wake up, possibly as early as the 2030s).

While the 1985 third ed is preferred, the earlier eds — for free online; watch out for credit card capture scams — are still useful as they are more easily searchable.

this collage made by author of this article

Today in response to a friend’s query, I uncovered in Man and Matter something new to me, a useful measure of a healthy science paradigm. A healthy science paradigm is neither too “dry” nor too “moist.”

In Man and Matter, “Dry” characterizes the element Phosphorus. “Moist” characterizes the element Sulfur.

This is simple to apply to science paradigms. Prior to Galileo, Descartes and Newton, superstition and alchemy were unsatisfactory because they were too “moist.” Superstition and completely subjective understandings of the external world were “all wet” relative to healthy, clear-headed, objectivity, which had yet to evolve much among humanity.

The needed corrective for prior science bogged down in primarily subjective Feelings was naturally “hard science,” skeptical science, “dry science.” Galileo, Descartes, Newton and Sherlock Holmes provided this corrective.

What about now? In 2019 we’ve now had several hundreds years of primarily “dry” science. The biggest problems of conventional science now can be characterized by its extreme dry expressions, its lack of interest in and attention to, adequate-sufficient wetness, moistness and healthy subjective Feeling.

Man and Matter stands as a kind of “hinge” between too-wet and to dry science. Lehrs suggests many avenues to create a better balance between “dry” and “moist,” a large middle ground between only Thinking and only Feeling ways of science.

The below is what’s left of an earlier draft, begun by paraphrasing Lehrs from pages 230 and 421.

Ether in our metabolic system