Natural Law
Under the influence of Coleridge's careful reconsideration of the concept, Barfield suggests that we should understand natural law in a quite extraordinary way.

The abstract laws which modern science has sought to investigate, he writes in "Thinking and Thought," "were nothing else than

the memory, so far as it has been retained by European thought since Plato's and Aristotle's day, of those elements, as it were, of nous--of the mind--or spiritual world, which the best Greek thinking could still apprehend in its time as living Beings. They were a faint, shadowy recollection of those Thought Beings [spirit-beings], neither objective nor subjective, which Greek thinking could actually enshrine within itself--Beings, by whom the part of Nature which is perceptible to our senses is continually brought into being and again withdrawn, in the rhythm of the seasons and of life and death."

By the time of Sir Francis Bacon, however "most, if not all, men had already lost the power to think these Forms. They could only think of them . . ." (RCA 57-58).

It is thus mistaken to speak of laws prior to the Scientific Revolution, for what we designate as laws were, rather, "felt, not as intellectual deductions, but rather as real activities of soul--that human soul which . . . the philosopher could not yet feel to be wholly separate from a larger world Soul"1 (HEW 141).

See in particular "Ideas, Methods, Laws" (WCT 115-30), "Experiment" (HEW 139-55).
1"The Zodiacal signs," as Barfield goes on to say, present an interesting example in this regard. Prior to the Renaissance these signs had been "as much, if not more, classifications of this Soul as they had been sections of space. The word came from the Greek 'zodion,' a little animal, and not only was every sign distinguished by a constellation, of which the majority were associated with some beast, but human character and human destiny were believed to be bound up inextricably with the position of the sun and planets among these signs" (HEW 141).