The human organization does not consist of a self-contained system of interlocking processes. If it were such a system it could not be the bearer of the soul or the spirit. It is only because the human organism is continually decaying or entering the path of lifeless mineral activity in its nerve and bone substance and in the processes with which these substances are incorporated, that the soul and spirit can have the human organism as their basis.
In the nervous tissues the protein disintegrates. But in these tissues, unlike what happens in the egg-cell and other organic forms, it is not built up again by coming into the domain of the influences radiating in toward the earth. It simply disintegrates. Through this the ether-influences radiating in through the sense organs from the objects and processes of the environment, as well as those that are formed when the organs of movement are involved, are thereby enabled to use the nerves as organs along which they are carried throughout the body.
In the nerves there are two kinds of processes: the disintegration of protein, and the permeation of this disintegrating substance with etheric substance, whose flow is started and stimulated by acids, salts, and materials of the character of phosphorus and sulphur. The equilibrium between the two processes is mediated by fats and water.
Seen in their essential nature, these are processes of disease which permeate the organism all the time. They must be balanced by no less continuous processes of healing.
This balance is brought about through the blood, which contains not only those processes that constitute growth and metabolism, but in addition a constant healing action by which the nerve processes inducing illness are opposed.
In the plasma substance and in the fibrinogen the blood contains those forces which serve the growth and metabolism in the narrower sense. In that which appears as an iron content when the red corpuscles are examined, there lies the origins of the blood's healing property. Accordingly, iron also appears in the gastric juice, and as iron-oxide in the chyle. In all of these, sources are created for processes that counterbalance the processes of the nerves.
Iron reveals itself, upon examination of the blood, as the only metal which, within the human organism, retains a certain tendency toward crystallization. It thus asserts, even within the body, forces which are in fact none other than the external, physical, mineral forces of nature. Within the human organism they form a system of forces that is orientated in the sense of outer physical nature. This is, however, perpetually being overcome by the ego-organization.
We have therefore two systems of forces. The one has its origin in the nerve processes; the other in the blood-formation. In the nerve processes, pathogenic processes only develop to the degree that the perpetual counter-influence of the blood processes is able to heal them. These nerve-processes are brought about in the nervous substance, and hence in the organism as a whole, by the astral body. The blood processes, on the other hand, are those in which the ego-organization within the human organism confronts outer physical nature, which is here continued into the body and subjugated by the ego-organization to its own formative process.
In this inter-relationship we can directly grasp the essential processes of becoming ill and healing. If there arises within the body increases of those activities which are present in their normal measure in all that is stimulated by the nervous process then there is illness. And if we can confront such processes by others presenting reinforcement of certain effects of outer nature in the organism, a healing effect can then be brought about if these effects of outer nature can be mastered by the ego-organism and are such as to counterbalance processes directed in opposition.
Milk contains only small quantities of iron. Milk is the substance which as such represents least in its activities, pathogenetic forces; the blood must perpetually expose itself to all that produces illness; it requires therefore the organized iron, that is to say the iron which has been received into the ego-organization — the haematin — as a continually acting remedy.
For a remedy which is to influence a morbid condition appearing in the inner organization, or one that is brought about externally but takes its course within the organism, the first point is to discover how and to what extent the astral organization is working so as to bring about, at some point in the body, a disintegration of protein such as is induced by the nervous organization in the normal way. Let us assume that we are dealing with obstructions in the lower abdomen. We can observe in the presenting pain an excessive activity of the astral body. In which case we are dealing with a characteristic situation for the bowel organism.
The important question now is: how is the intensified astral influence to be counterbalanced? This can be done by introducing substances into the blood which can be taken hold of by just that part of the ego-organization which works in the intestinal system. These are potassium and sodium. If we introduce these into the organism in some preparation — or through the organization of a plant, e.g., Anagallis arvensis — we take away the excessive nerve-effect of the astral body and through the blood, bring about the transition of the astral body's excess action to that activity of the named substances mastered by the ego-organization.
If the substance is given in mineral form, we shall have to take care that the potassium or sodium enters the circulation of the blood in the right way, so as to arrest the metamorphosis of protein before the point of disintegration; this may be done by the use of auxiliary remedies, or better still by combining the potassium or sodium in the preparation with sulphur. Sulphur has the peculiar property of helping to arrest the disintegration of albumen; it holds as it were the organizing forces of proteins together. Brought into the circulation in such a way as to maintain its union with potassium or sodium, it will make its effect felt in the region of those organs to which potassium or sodium have a special affinity. This applies to the intestinal organs.