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Force (from Latinfortitudo; Greekδύναμις dýnamis) is, from the spiritual-scientific point of view, the unilaterally spatial, luciferian revelation of the spirit, just as behind the material substance stands Ahriman as an active power.

Force as the spatial revelation of the spirit

„Force is the unilaterally spatial revelation of the spirit. It cannot be said that force acts on matter, since matter consists only in the arrangement of the effects of meeting rays of force. One form of energy never passes over to another; just as little as the action of one man passes over to that of another. What passes over is only the arithmetical expression of measure. "If mechanical energy passes into heat energy," the real process is: a certain quantum of mechanical energy is able to excite a certain quantum of this revelation in a spiritual being that reveals itself as heat. (This is still the case in a healthy way with J. R. Mayer. It was Helmholtz who first confused the matter.)“ (Lit.: Contributions 122, p. 28)

„... where the lines of force are which are drawn today in physics, there is nothing; but all around is - what? The Luciferic element, Lucifer. So if we want to imagine something in accordance with reality, at the points where the physicist places his force, then we must imagine the Luciferic element there. Fine, now we have that which must take the place of another. If, then, a book was written in the nineteenth century, "Force and Substance," in which force and substance are represented as the things constituting the universe, the twentieth century must substitute them: Lucifer and Ahriman. For force and substance coincide completely with Lucifer and Ahriman.“ (Lit.:GA 176, p. 239f)

Ultimately, the thoughts of the Spirits of Form, who are the actual creative powers in earth evolution, reveal themselves in the forces of nature.

„One comes to recognise that only for sensuous perception do the forces of nature appear to be as this sensuous perception believes them to be. That in reality, wherever a force of nature acts, a thought of a spiritual being lives itself out, as in the movement of the hand a human soul lives itself out. - All this is not because man, through some theory, imagines that there are entities behind the natural processes; the one who experiences himself in the astral body enters into such a concept-free, concrete relationship to these entities as man in the senses enters into with other individual human beings. - One can distinguish a series of stages within the entities into whose territory one enters in this way and speak of a world of higher hierarchies. The entities whose thoughts reveal themselves to sensuous perception as forces of nature may be called Spirits of Form.“ (Lit.:GA 16, p. 55f)

Physical forces

Force is, according to physical definition, force is the general cause of a material body being deformed or changing its speed and/or direction, i.e. its state of motion, and in this sense being accelerated. The greater the acceleration, the more force must be applied. However, the force to be applied also depends on the mass of the body. The greater this is, the more force must be applied; a massive iron ball is far more difficult to accelerate than an air-filled rubber ball of the same size. The force F is thus directly proportional to the mass m and the acceleration a, i.e.:

F = m · a


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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