Rudolf Steiner Archive 

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Curative Education
GA 317


(added by the Editor of the 1952 edition of the original)

Note 1. Rudolf Steiner visited Lauenstein on 18th June, 1924, almost immediately after the Home was opened. The children were brought to him; and having first had a good look at each in turn, talking with the child and enquiring into the history of the case, he explained to us how this or that condition had come about, and gave indications for therapeutical treatment and education.

The explanations and advice given by Rudolf Steiner on the occasion of this visit were noted down, and provide in each case a most valuable addition to the words spoken by him in this course. Wonderful, above all, was the example Rudolf Steiner set us in the whole way in which he met the children, entering with loving and devout interest into every single detail of their condition. For the little group of us who were taking part together in these first beginnings of the work of Curative Education, the whole visit was a deep experience, and the memory of it continues to be cherished in the “Institutions for the Education and Healing of Children in Need of Special Care”. Some of the indications and instructions given by Rudolf Steiner will be added here as Notes to the Course.

As regards this boy, Rudolf Steiner told us that he is lacking in brain sand (the calcareous concretions of the pineal body). The convulsions and the whole general condition must go back to some fright to which the mother had been subjected during pregnancy. (Enquiry afterwards confirmed this.) He added that one must, in such cases, always ask how things were with the mother during pregnancy. The convulsions, he said, were a secondary effect.

For therapy, Rudolf Steiner prescribed injections of thyroid gland secretion. The medicament must enter the body in a centripetal direction, in order to evoke a reaction that works centrifugally. The preparation should still contain epithelial cells. On the day following the injection, the fever curve, also the pulse and the breathing, should be measured, quantitatively and qualitatively.

In addition, the boy should drink a full glass of Levico water in the course of each day, diluted in the proportion 1:8.

Curative Eurythmy: O, I (ee), L.

Note 2. When this poor feeble-minded boy, who was as a rule excessively restless, was brought to Rudolf Steiner, he became for the moment quite peaceful and at rest, and the finer side of his nature, which was generally overlaid and hidden, suddenly revealed itself in a truly beautiful manner. Rudolf Steiner took particular interest in the boy's sense-perceptions, and proved to us that he cannot see far into the distance. When his bad teeth were alluded to, Rudolf Steiner pointed out that his finger nails also were soft and weak. The following notes of the conversation were made at the time: “Did you not notice anything particular about the mother? This is a case where we can see evidence of a remarkable karma. The astral body is over-ripe. Something is working in from the preceding incarnation. The time between death and new birth has been quite short, with the result that the soul has brought into this incarnation something of the astral body of the former incarnation. The boy still has even now strange dreams at night. This fact will reveal itself to you in strange and disconnected remarks that he makes after waking up. Supposing he has at some time or other seen snakes, then it may be that now he will see them coiling and uncoiling themselves. It is a case of a poor astral body, that has its seat mainly in the back of the head.” (Here Dr. Steiner laid his hand, with a gesture of the most intense interest, on the back of the boy's head, which was thickly covered with stubborn black hair. “This condition has to be met by introducing a counter-astrality; and that we can do by the use of algae. For algae draw in the astral forces of the surrounding air. Mushrooms do this still more; but we had better not begin with the strongest influences. All parasitic plants draw in astrality. By means of algae injections, healthy astrality will be attracted — astrality, that is, which is opposite in quality to the astrality already in the body; for there the astrality is bad.

The therapy will therefore be: Algae inoculations D 5; Belladonna D 4, D 10, D 15, D 20, D 30.”

Dr. Steiner was shown the record of the fits. The suggestion having been raised that their occurrence might be running parallel with the rhythms of the Moon, Dr. Steiner said that the influence of the Moon could not in this case be the direct cause of the fits; at the most, it could affect only the consciousness.

Eurythmy should be done, especially with the legs.

Note 3. Dr. Steiner said at Lauenstein: “She has a kink in her astral body; its form has no unity or coherence; above, it is weak, whilst below, it is stronger.”

Note 4. At Lauenstein the following prescription was given: Nicotiana enema, a five per cent decoction, twice a week. If this does not help, then Nicotiana injections D 6. Curative Eurythmy: F, M, UT (oot), TU (too).

Note 5. When the children were brought to Rudolf Steiner at Lauenstein, he particularly enquired whether there had not been some weakness or debility in the mother. The mother declared that she had never been seriously ill, but admitted that she had suffered from chlorosis as a girl and had in general been very anaemic. Rudolf Steiner: “So the mother, you see, was evidently, earlier on, in a delicate state of health.” The father too had in his youth been weak and ailing. Their first child, at whose birth the mother was twenty years old and the father twenty-two, died young of pneumonia. The second was the elder of the girls we are considering. The third, a boy, is entirely normal. Then came, as fourth, the younger of our two albinos.

Rudolf Steiner also made enquiries about the geological conditions of the district in which the children had been born. Information was given of the presence of pyrites and gypsum, to which allusion is made in the lecture. He then asked whether the people of the district were strikingly blond. This was denied; on the contrary, they are inclined to be dark. Lastly, he enquired whether the parents were relatives of one another; the answer was in the negative.

Rudolf Steiner then explained to us the connection of the albinism with the sulphur. “These children”, he said, “are completely sulphurous. In them, sulphur processes are permeating the entire body.” The children are “all eye”; processes which ought to be going on in the eye alone are here taking place throughout the body. The quivering in the eyes and the furtive glancing hither and thither are due to oscillation between ether body and astral body.

Note 6. At Lauenstein, Dr. Steiner said that the pathological symptoms which reveal themselves in this boy are due to some suffering he underwent in his previous incarnation. He had perhaps been alone for a long time — stranded maybe from a shipwreck and forced to spend long and tedious days in solitude. This experience was then transformed and shows itself today as weakness of the ego.

For treatment, the boy should have sugar injections D 6, seven injections in fourteen days. Afterwards he should be sponged with starchy water, this treatment also to be continued for fourteen days. The body will have to change the starch into sugar, and that will provide another means of stimulating the ego.

Dr. Steiner's advice for the education of the boy was as follows: He must keep a diary, recording all that he has done right through the day. That will strengthen his I. He should have stories told him with pedagogical purpose in them, stories in which it turns out that people who steal get the worst of it. The magpie is always thieving, and in consequence the other birds will have nothing to do with it. Then, the boy should be taught some practical job. He should learn how boots are made. “He could make boots for your whole family!” He could also learn gardening. And he should be encouraged to solve all manner of little practical problems. For example, how the door of a train might be so constructed that as soon as someone got on to the step, the door would open (and afterwards close again) automatically — and other things of that kind.

Note 7. In reference to this boy, Dr. Steiner spoke of a “dwarfed or stunted pituitary body.”

Therapy: Injections of hypophysis (pituitary body) and treatment with arsenic, as indicated in the lecture.

Curative Eurythmy: L, M, S, R.

Note 8. The title of this booklet is Lieder zum Commers in Jena am 17 Februar 1894. The verse referred to, from the song 'Zoologischer Jubelgruss' by Edwin Bormann is as follows:

Staunet nicht, O Festkumpane,
Wenn ein Archaeopt'ryx jetzt
Eben an der Rathausfahne
Seinen werthen Schnabel wetzt;
Wer heut' heimwärts sucht die Pfade
Geh' voll Fürsicht Schritt für Schritt,
:, : Dass er auf der Promenade
Nicht'nen Plesiosaurus tritt. :' :

An English equivalent might read:

On your homeward way, good people,
    Should you chance to find a sleek
Pterodactyl, on the steeple
    Whetting of his noble beak,
Do not be surprised or flustered,
    But turn the corner with some care,
For you'll very, very likely
    Find a Dinosauros there.

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