Anthroposophical Medicine - The Healing Process - Rudolf Steiner

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The Healing Process - Anthroposophical Medicine lectures by Rudolf SteinerThe Healing Process
Spirit, Nature & Our Bodies
Foundations of Anthroposophical Medicine

11 lectures by Rudolf Steiner
Introduction by Richard Leviton

The Healing Process - Spirit, Nature and Our Bodies comprises a series of lectures which Rudolf Steiner gave on the nature of health and illness, and the anthroposophical approach to understanding a disease and the treatment of it. These medical lectures, as a collection, are unique in that they are largely addressed to public audiences who were not familiar with anthroposophical concepts including medical students who had been trained in conventional medicine. Steiner is therefore careful to give a summarised introduction to the spiritual elements of the human being - etheric body, astral body and ego - and to bring these as concepts into an understanding of how illness comes about, and then follows this with the route to effective therapy.

Probably more than in any other lectures on anthroposophical medicine, Steiner provides the foundation principles on which this approach to healing is based. He describes the tri-fold aspect of the human organism: the sensory-head system, the rhythmic-circulatory system, and the metabolic-limb system with sufficient background so that over-simplistic misunderstandings don't arise. With this he shows how activity in one sphere can extend itself into another sphere bringing about particular illnesses. He also describes the important nature of the relationship between the ego, astral body, ether body and physical body to particular organs and where excess or deficiency of one or more for a particular organ leads to illness.

He describes how for each illness in the human being there is a process in nature, usually found in a plant or mineral, which is the same process as the illness. Through heightened faculties of spiritual perception, the practitioner is led to the form in which the process is embodied in nature and this provides the basis for the remedy. Understanding what is essential in this process and how best to administer it for a particular illness, determines the formulation of the remedy. During this period, Steiner along with Dr Ita Wegman had been developing anthroposophical remedies for particular illnesses along these lines in responses to patients' needs and these were showing positive results in a wide variety of illnesses. A treatment clinic had been established at Arlesheim in Switzerland under Dr Wegman and a pharmaceutical laboratory had been set up to prepare the remedies.

Although the lectures could only summarise the anthroposophical approach to healing, Steiner gives many specifics regarding processes in nature which mimic illnesses or are found in the healthy human organism. He uses the concept "process" to emphasise that permeating and surrounding every material substance is an active dynamic process and that the material phosphorus or silica, for example, are only "arrested process" and it is this process which needs to be brought into the remedy and ultimately into the patient. Similarly, he cites the basis of many diseases, their corresponding processes in nature, the resulting remedy and appropriate form of administration. So along with general guidelines, we are offered many specific applications of these principles.

This set of lectures is recommended for those who would like to acquire a broad and comprehensive foundation for an understanding of anthroposophical medicine.

Trans: C. E. Creeger (11 lectures, various cities, 1923/24, GA319); 288pp
Anthroposophic Press
ISBN: 978-0-88010-641-2; paperback

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