Where and How Does One Find the Spirit?
VIII. Issues of Health in the Light of Spiritual Science
14 January 1909, Berlin
The subject that should occupy us today encloses a number of questions, which rightly interest the human being in particular. The issues of health are connected with everything that makes the human being able to cope with life, with everything that helps him to fulfil his determination in the world without hindrance. Therefore, health is indeed for most people something they aim at, as one aims at external goods. However, health is also to be considered as an internal good that is aimed at like the external goods first not for their own sake by the healthily thinking human being but as the means of his working and creating. Hence, we can probably explain why the urge, the longing for getting enlightenment about the riddles and questions of the healthy and ill life are so far-reaching in particular in our present. Indeed, you find that attitude in the general thinking only a little which is suitable to make the human being receptive just to those answers that one needs if one wants to solve such questions connected so intimately with the whole nature of the human being.
As already once at a similar occasion, I remind of an old saying, which comes to somebody in mind if one speaks about health and illness: there are so many illnesses and only one health! This saying seems to be natural to some, and nevertheless it is a fallacy, a fallacy in the eminent sense of the word, because there is not only one health, but there are as many healths as there are human beings. We must incorporate that in our attitude if we want to see the issues of health and illness in the right light. We must incorporate in our attitude that the human being is an individual being that every human being is different from the other, and that that which is salutary to the one is noxious and disease causing to the other, that it completely depends on his individual state.
Each of us can experience every day that these viewpoints are not so widespread. For example, a mother finds out that her child is not quite healthy; she remembers that this or that has helped her in similar cases once, so she cures straight on in such a way. Then comes the father who remembers that something else has helped him once. Then the aunt comes, then the uncle; they maybe say, fresh air, light, or water help. These prescriptions often contradict each other so that one cannot fulfil them at all. Everybody has his remedy by which he swears, and then this must be unleashed on the poor sick person. Who would not have found out that this good advice coming in a rush from everywhere is, actually, a surely awkward thing if the human being lacks this or that! All these things originate from an unrealistic way of thinking, from an abstract way of thinking, from a dogmatism that does not take into consideration that the human being is an individual being, a single being. Every human being is a being for himself, and it depends on it above all: to contemplate this reality “human being” if one deals with the phenomena of health and illness.
Now arises such a need for help as the ill human being has it indeed from a property of his inner being, which must evoke the sympathy, the compassion of his environment. We can understand that everybody would want to help with pleasure, because this is only an expression of the fact that these questions just cause the deepest interest in the connection with the whole human nature. Indeed, if one contemplates this deep interest on one side, however, looks only a little into that which different views of health and illness prevail in our time, on the other side, then one can be rather saddened possibly. One could say, illness is such an important matter in human life and why it happens that learnt and unlearned people, doctors and laymen, argue not only about the remedies of the single illnesses, not only about the right ways to health, but even about the nature of illness in the most manifold theories. It sometimes seems that in our time of mental and scientific activity the ill human being and maybe the healthy one is exposed more than ever to the biased views asserting from all sides concerning important questions of human development.
Are we allowed to hope that spiritual science, which I have characterised from the most different sides in these talks, can also bring light into the theories and biased views concerning health and illness, which we see today round ourselves?
I have many a time emphasised here that spiritual science aims at a higher viewpoint that makes it possible to bridge that which divides the human beings into parties, because they have certain narrower circles of watching and observing only, and to show how one view resists to the other because it is one-sided. We have shown many a time that spiritual science is there just to search the good in the one-sidedness and to harmonise the different one-sided views. It may be one-sidedness — someone must say to himself, who considers the matter not only cursorily — what faces us if these or those dogmas are preached with demanding authority from the side of this or that pathology. You all have come to know how many biased views are opposing each other concerning these questions. Everybody knows that the academic or allopathic medicine — as it is called already, unfortunately, in the contemptuous sense — is on one side and homeopathy on the other side. Then, however, also wide circles have gained confidence in natural medicine that often has another view about illness and health and recommends not only what concerns the ill human being, but also that which is regarded as right for the healthy human being, so that he keeps himself robust and strong. Everything is coloured from this or that side, from the academic medicine or from natural medicine.
If we realise from which viewpoint such a quarrel about illness and health comes into being between the supporters of the natural medicine and those of the academic medicine, then we hear the supporters of the natural medicine saying, the academic medicine searches its certain remedy of any illness. It takes the view that illness is something that seizes the human being as an external cause, and that there is also this or that external remedy for the illness. We do not want to forget with such characteristic that that which the one or the other side says often overshoots the goal and do not want to forget that in many aspects both parties do wrong by each other.
Nevertheless, we want to stress single reproaches, which can clarify this. The supporter of natural medicine emphasises that the academic doctor relieves an inflammation in certain cases by ice packs and that he tries to help in articular rheumatism with salicylic acid et cetera. Particular supporters of natural medicine make serious allegations. They say, if the stomach secretes too much acid, the academic doctor tries to neutralise this stomachic acid. The naturopath says, this disregards the deep nature of illness and, above all, the deep nature of the human being. All that does not hit the nail on the head. If we assume that the stomach really secretes too much acid, it may be a proof of the fact that anything is wrong in the organism. In the properly functioning organism, the stomach does not secrete too much acid. Hence, if one neutralises the stomach acid, one does not yet suppress the tendency to create too much acid. One must not pay attention to remove the excess of acid in the stomach.
Those who polemicise against the academic medicine say this. One would almost stir up the organism — if one removed the stomach acid — to produce quite a lot of acid. One has to go deeper and look for the real cause. Therefore, in particular the naturopath if he becomes fanatic will rail if one gives anybody who suffers from sleeplessness sleeping pills. Sleeping pills remove sleeplessness for a certain time; but you have not removed the cause. However, you must remove it if you want to help the sick person really.
Among those who prefer the pharmacological point of view are two parties: the allopaths who state and use < specific remedy against certain illnesses, so to speak, a remedy that has the task to remove this illness. They start from the view that the illness is a disturbance in the organism, and a medicine must remove this disturbance. The homeopaths argue against it that this is not at all the real nature of illness, but the real nature of illness is a kind of reaction of the whole organism against an impairment in it. An impairment has appeared in the organism, and now the whole organism defends itself against this impairment.
They say that one has to recognise with the aid of the symptoms, which appear with the ill human being and take into account that that which produces fever et cetera is something like an appeal to the forces in the organism. They can expel the enemy that has crept in. — Hence, the supporters of this method of healing say that one must just take those substances from nature, which cause the illness in the healthy organism. Of course, one must not give the ill organism these substances in heavy doses, which cause certain symptoms in the healthy organism, but just only so much that the relevant substance is sufficient to cause a reaction of the organism against the impairment. This is the principle of homeopathy: what can cause a certain illness in the healthy organism can also make the ill organism healthy again. One applies that remedy, which the organism shows by the symptoms. One imagines that in such a way that the organism shows in the ill state by the symptoms that he tries to overcome the illness
That is why the homeopathic doctor applies just the opposite of that in many cases, which the allopathic doctor would apply. The naturopath stands often — not always — on the point of view that it does not matter whether any specific remedy removes an illness but that it matters to support the organism and its activity, so that it evokes its inner forces of recovery to control the illness process. Thus, the naturopath is anxious above all to advise also the healthy human being to support the activity of his organism. He stresses, for example, that it matters less for the healthy one whether a diet gives the human being special opportunity to stuff himself with this or that, but whether a diet gives the human being opportunity to evoke his inner forces in such a way that they become active. The naturopath stresses the function of the organs above all also with the healthy human being. He says, you do not strengthen your heart if you try to spur it perpetually with stimulants, but you strengthen your weak heart activating it, for example, with mountain walks et cetera. — Thus, someone who aims at the activity of the human organs also recommends to the healthy human being to activate his organs appropriately.
You have may be seen if you have cared about such questions because they occupy, nevertheless, the present so much, with which fierceness and with which dogmatism is often fought by the one or the other side, how the one or the other side emphasises what it has to argue for its view. Thus, the academic medicine can point to the fact that it made big advances in the field of infectious diseases in the course of the last decades, in particular in the course of the last three to four decades. This academic medicine can point to the fact that it investigated the external pathogenic agents that destroy the human health. It improved the living conditions in such a way that, indeed, in the last time an upturn took place. Just that direction of medicine looks preferably at the pathogenic agents — at the today so dreaded realm of bacteria. That is why it has intensely intervened in the field of hygiene and sanitary facilities — not at all in a transparent way for the nonprofessionals — and has improved the health conditions.
It is stressed indeed by some side — again, not completely wrong, but even with one-sided right — that this academic medicine has almost caused a fear of bacteria. However, on the other side the investigations have led to the fact that the health conditions were improved in the course of the last decades. The supporter of this direction proudly points to the fact that the death rate has really decreased by so many percent in the last decades. Those, however, who say that these are not so much the external causes of an illness, but that the causes are in the human being, in his disposition of illness, in his reasonable or unreasonable life, stress again that in the last times, indeed, the death rates have decreased undeniably; however, the numbers of patients have increased in terrifying way. One stresses that certain kinds of illness have increased, for instance, heart diseases, cancer illnesses, kinds of illness, which are not mentioned in the literature of the older time, illnesses of the digestive organs et cetera. Those reasons, which the one or other side alleges, are remarkable.
One cannot object from a superficial point of view that the bacteria are not pathogenic agents of the most dreadful kind. However, one cannot deny on the other side that either the human being is strengthened in certain respects and is protected against the influence of such pathogenic agents or he is not. He is not protected if he has cut himself out of his strength by unreasonable life-style.
In many a respect those things are admirable which have been performed by the academic medicine in the last time. How subtle are the investigations of the yellow fever concerning the way in which certain insects transfer it from person to person. How superior are the investigations of malaria and the like! However, on the other side, we can see that justified demands of this academic medicine can thwart our whole life very easily, what can lead to tyranny in certain respect. With a certain right one asserts that in the case of stiff neck, an illness often appearing in the last time, the pathogenic agent is not transferred from a sick person to another person, but that quite healthy human beings bear the germs in themselves and transfer them to other human beings. So human beings who walk around among us are the carriers of germs from whom then those who have a disposition of the illness can get it, while others who bear germs do not fall ill.
Thus, it could happen that one demanded to isolate the carriers of germs; for if anybody has fallen ill with stiff neck, he is not as dangerous as those are who nurse him and are perhaps the real carriers of illness. To which consequences this must lead if one impeded the contact to these persons, one may recognise from the following: one can assert — and it has already been asserted — that at any school suddenly a bigger number of children fell ill with this or that illness. One did not know where from the illness came. Then it became apparent that the teachers were the real carriers of the illness. They themselves did not catch the illness, but they infected the whole school. The expression bacteria carrier or bacteria catcher is an expression, which a certain side can use even with a certain right. Already after the few explanations I could give, it is almost a matter of course that the nonprofessional knows just a little in these fields, which face him from this or the other side.
We have to say now, just that which we have explained at the beginning of this consideration would have to be a real guide of welfare based on good reasons that are brought forward by the one or the other side. We have to regard, as a principle in the deepest and most significant sense that the individuality of the human being is a single reality, is something that is different from any other human being. We visualise, so to speak, a concrete example best of all. Imagine a human being — I say things which have definitely happened — who had an uncontrollable aversion of meat. He could not bear meat, could not eat it. He could not eat what is connected anyhow with meat, too. He developed quite healthy with his vegetarian diet. This went well as long as benevolent, good friends used all their energy to dissuade him from his paradoxical sensation. They advised him first, urged him, so to speak, to try broth at first. He was driven on and on, up to mutton. Besides, he always felt more and more ill. After some time, a phenomenon appeared with him like a particular abundance of blood. A peculiar hypersomnia appeared, and the good man perished by an encephalitis. If one had not drawn his attention every day once more to what he should eat, actually, if one had left him with his healthy desire, if one had not believed, “every shoe fits every foot,” if one had not adhered to dogmatism but had respected the individual nature of the person, then he would have kept well and fit.
However, from such a case we should only learn to respect the individual nature of the human being. We should not derive a new dogma from it; thereby we would come to one-sidedness. If we consider how the death was caused in this case, we can answer this question in the following way. If you remember what I have said about issues of nutrition last time in the talk, you can infer the following from it: what one calls life processes leads the plant up to a certain point; it processes lifeless material to living organism. This process continues in the human organism. In certain respects is that which the human organism and the animal one do a decomposition of that which the plant has built up. The human and the animal bodies are based in certain respects on the fact that that is destroyed, which the plant has built up.
Now an organism can be arranged in such a way that it requires, so to speak, just the point for itself to begin where the plant has stopped with its activity. Then it can be detrimental to it in the most remarkable sense if he is relieved of that part of the process, which the animal has already performed with the plant products. The animal leads the plant process up to a certain point, and then the human being can only continue it. If he enjoys animal food, he is relieved of it. If his nature just disposes of the forces, which can absorb the plant food freshly and strongly and continue them, then he has forces in himself, which are not used now for any absorption of nutrients and food processing. These forces are there. We do not get rid of these forces by the fact that we give them nothing to do, for then they turn to something else. They work inside of the human organism. The result is that it destroys the organism as an excess activity inside.
You see — if you have a view sharpened by spiritual science — this excess activity occupying the whole human being, turning to his blood and his nervous system. One sees how it has looked in the organism like with a house building where one has used inappropriate material so that one must try to order and to arrange the material. One does not lead the forces for the processing of the nutrients to the inside with impunity. If we realise this, we become tolerant and do not position ourselves against nature. Then we must not stereotype in the opposite direction again and to become fanatics of vegetarianism for every human being.
Just in such a way as with the above-mentioned man the activity was deflected to the inside and came in a rush, it can be on the other side that there are human beings who do not dispose of this force at all who cannot continue the plant process directly where it has stopped. Such persons would experience if one expected from them to become vegetarians just without further ado that they would have to take the forces that they need there poorly from their own organism. They would consume it and thereby make it starve. This can happen absolutely on the other side. What it concerns is that we turn away our view from these or those dogmas if we talk about conditions of health and illness, turn away from the view to eat this or that only. The point is to get to know the single human being and the necessity of his needs. It depends above all on the fact that this single human being has the possibility to feel and to recognise his needs in certain respects.
If a materialistic view looked too very much at the only material, nevertheless, it would be necessary to this materialistic view to move in this direction that I have suggested now. Just to this, it would be actually impossible to stereotype and standardise.
How much does one stereotype in our time! There one says, for example, just like that, this or that foodstuff or this or that medicine is detrimental. It has literally broken out an epidemic of stereotyping, and this has to happen if not any one-sidedness is excluded with the controversy of the different methods of healing. An epidemic has broken out under the headword “force,” so that one says, for example, at meetings of naturopaths, this or that is “force.” With it, one believes to have done enough to denounce this or that and to say that they only started from the material. Those who arrogate to themselves above all to consider the human being as an individuality should also consider it. In addition, if one surveys, for example, the other living beings, the word “force” loses any sense. We must modify our views concerning such matters. Who would not assume a particular force of the human being if he hears that, for example, rabbits eat the hemlock without harm, while Socrates died of it? In addition, goats and horses can eat the hemlock without harm, likewise aconite. With all these matters, we must always visualise the individual organism as a rule. If we visualise the individual organism, we get around to saying to ourselves: in single cases something may be right but “every shoe fits not every foot.”
The question is, how can the human being gain a criterion for his health in himself? The child could be a certain lighthouse to us. Hence, we must absolutely keep in mind that the child expresses its sympathy or antipathy for this or that food in particular way. The careful observation of these things would be of extraordinary importance to each of us. It proves sometimes absolutely mistaken if anyone who has to educate a child wants to expel the instincts, which appear there with the child and express themselves as a certain desire, if one regards it as misbehaviour. Rather it is in such a way: what the child expresses as desire, as instinct, is a sign how the inner being of the child is natured. What the child feels and tastes, what it longs for, there the sensation, the desire is nothing but the expression of the fact that the organism requires just this or that. Yes, a hint, or, if we want to speak more drastically, a lighthouse for knowledge can be to us this leading instinct of the child. We can wander through the whole life and find the necessity everywhere that the human being must just develop this inner assurance concerning the needs of his organism. This is more uncomfortable than to get the direction dictated from this or that party and to listen to anybody what is good for all human beings. The human beings do not have it as easy as those who come with a certain general prescription, which one needs only to put in the pocket to know what can sicken and what can cure the human being. Just if one looks at such a guide of health, one also has to realise concerning illness that for the different human beings the most different conditions of health and healing exist.
Let us assume that anybody has migraine. Somebody who stands dogmatically on the viewpoint — even if the academic medicine does no longer want to admit this — that there are specific remedies for this or that illness will say, one gives certain remedies against migraine to the sick person. The sick person will feel finer, and the migraine disappears. — Who stands on the viewpoint of natural medicine and has become a practitioner says, one can only combat the symptom that way and has damaged more with it than it was useful. It depends on the fact that one comes to the deeper causes; then one gets to all kinds of things which come, however, more to the core of the thing, which maybe do not restore the well-being in the single case so fast, which come, however, really deeper to the core of illness.
One will combat the one or the other or regard it as useful if one positions himself dogmatically on the one or the other viewpoint. However, it concerns, as strange as it may be, the human being again. There could be a person who says to himself, if I have a violent migraine, indeed, it would be nice to wait until the natural medicine has got to the core of the illness to recognise it in its deeper roots and then to do what removes it. Nevertheless, I have no time. It is much more important to me that I get rid of the migraine as soon as possible and that I can resume my activity. — We assume now that this person has a wholesome occupation, so that he would get rid of the evil also without any remedy. There the remedy for migraine would damage him a little, because he would be torn out a little from his activity that is useful to him. Then, indeed, he would be treated after a prescription, which compares the human being to a machine to be overhauled. However, one has to end this comparison. One must not forget that someone must be there who works like the engineer on the locomotive. We assume that a crank of the locomotive moves with difficulty. There anybody could say, I see that the engineer cannot move the crank because he is too weak; I take another engineer who can exercise more strength to turn the crank. Another could say, perhaps one could file off what obstructs the crank, so that the crank has less difficulty to move; then the engineer can remain. — Therefore, one overhauls the engine. Of course, one must not apply this as a general prescription, because if one wanted to say: if the engine lacks something, one has to file off something, this does not always need to be right. It could be that not anything must be filed off at the concerning place, but that one has to add something.
With the person, who had migraine, one simply repaired the harm by the remedy, and if he has the inner strength, the thing will already be in good order if he is not disturbed. Of course, it would be bad eventually if one proceeded in the same way towards anybody who wants to get rid of a migraine, but does not go over to an activity connected with his medical capability. He would have done better to remove the inner causes. Thus, we have to have penetrated this matter completely and have seen that there are specific remedies for illnesses, and that the application of specific remedies is connected in certain respects with the fact that our organism is an independent being and can be mended in many a direction. If one can rely on the fact that after the repair a right efficient strength exists which drives the human being, one does not need to stress that one pursues a cure of symptoms only, for there one thinks again materialistically. The naturopath knows something that would be quite appropriate to remove this or that illness, but it is as true that this or that human being does not have the time and not the strength to carry out it, and that he is concerned above all to compensate for the harm quickly.
You see that here must be spoken not in one-sided, but in a universal way and one must accept the inconvenience to be not only a theorist, but to go into the facts and to look at the whole human being. That is the point. If we speak in such a way, we must take stock of the fact that we must consider the whole human being if we want to consider the human being as reality. For spiritual science, the whole human being is not only the external physical body, in particular if our health is not destroyed only by external, but by inner causes. What one has to consider even more is the health of the etheric body that is a fighter against the illnesses, up to death, is the health of the astral body, which is the bearer of passions, desires, impulses and ideas, and, finally, the health of the ego-bearer that makes the human being a self-conscious being. Who wants to take the whole human being into account must take the four human members into account, and if the issue of health is considered, it concerns not only that we remove disturbances of the physical body, but also look at that which takes place in the higher members, the more mental-spiritual members. There we must note that not only this or that party trespasses against that but also our contemporary attitude. You can learn from this that one puts the question very seldom: how is the issue of health connected with the mental-spiritual matters? — Today, you get a lot of approval if you speak about the caloric values of this or that food and about the effects this or that food has. One will also find full approval if one explains how the air is in this or that region where this or that sanitarium is located, how the air and the light work there and there. However, you do not find an echo if you indicate mental qualities as possible causes of certain illnesses.
We take the instincts of the child as they express themselves in sympathy and antipathy compared with this or that food. If we take the feelings of disgust with which it rejects this or that as a sign which points to the fact that also the astral body must be healthy. It forms the basis of the healthy physical body, and if one notices a divergence from the healthy condition of the human being, one must pay attention to the recovery of the astral body.
Does one still ask today really considering these questions, which experiences the human soul has towards the outside world? The spiritual scientist has to point to the fact that it depends basically a little whether one sends a person who suffers from this or that disease to this or that place, because one believes that the air or the light have a recovering effect on him because of external mechanical or chemical reasons. Another, much bigger question is whether I can bring him in such surroundings that he can experience joy, raise, in certain respects a brightening up of his emotional life.
If we look at this on a large scale, we also understand that it belongs to the human health that the human being likes a diet that he has, so to speak, an indicator in his taste, in the immediate sensation of taste, an indicator of that which he should eat. On the other side, he has an indicator in the emerging sensation of hunger when his organism should eat. These are not only influences coming from the material world, which destroy this inner assurance of the human being, these are in the most cases also influences from the mental life which undermine the assurance of the sensation of hunger. Instead of teaching a healthy sensation of hunger at the right moment, the mental influence on the human nature can work in such a way that he feels no hunger but lack of appetite.
A human being who has developed the needs of his organism in the right way also has the right pleasant feeling to find the right surroundings which serve his health in relation to light and air, so that the sensation of hunger comes to him at the right time afterwards.
These are demands that are connected tightly with the medical life, and lead there to that which the astral body and the ego have to contribute to this health. One easily objects: if anybody has hunger, he cannot live on feelings and sensations. It is true that if one serves anybody with a tasty dish, his mouth is watering, but one cannot sate him with it if the real taste of the dish remains concealed to him. This objection is easy. We cannot sate or bring anybody back to health while we influence his soul to let the sensations and mental pictures proceed in the right way; this is a matter of course. However, one ignores something else. We cannot regulate the food explaining it, however, regulating the taste up to the appearing sensation of hunger. Here leads that which is fragmented today, because it is used only from the external material viewpoint, to the spiritual-mental.
It is relevant whether the human being takes in this or that food with appetite or aversion, whether he lives in these or those surroundings, whether he does his work with joy or listlessness. The inner disposition of health is connected with it in mysterious ways, more than with something else. As we see with the child that it develops right instincts, and have an indicator of its inner needs, it is also necessary that the adult experiences the spiritual-mental, so that the right needs appear before his soul at the right time, that he feels which relation he has to produce between himself and the outside world.
Life is appropriate in the broadest sense to mislead the human being concerning his relation to the outside world repeatedly. Moreover, just our today's attitude is the reason of such mistakes in more than one respect.
In order to understand each other better I would like to point to the small beginning, which we have done with a certain method of healing. In Munich, one of our spiritual-scientific friends tries a kind of cure or method of healing as it results from the views of spiritual science. Someone who believes today that only material, physical-chemical and physiological influences can have recovering effects on the human being will maybe laugh about the fact that the person concerned is led into especially coloured chambers. There one works on the human soul — indeed, not on the surface — by the forces of a certain colour and other things, which I do not discuss. However, you must see the difference between this impact in the chambers, a kind of chromotherapy, a kind of colour therapy, and that which one calls light therapy. If the human being is irradiated with light, the idea forms the basis to let the physical light work immediately, so that one says to himself if one lets this or that beam of light work on the human being, one works on the human being from without. However, that does not apply to the mentioned colour therapy.
With this method of healing taken from spiritual science, which our friend Dr. Peipers has arranged, one does not count on the effect of the beams of light as those, regardless of the human soul. However, one takes that into account, which, for instance, under the effect of the blue colour, not of the light via the mental picture originates in the soul and thereby it reacts on the physical organism.
One has to consider this huge difference between light therapy and colour therapy. It happens that certain sick people are filled with the contents of a particular colour image. One has to know that the colours contain forces in themselves, which appear if they irradiate us not only, but work on our soul. One has to know that one colour works challenging, that another colour is something that releases longing forces, that the third colour is something that raises the soul above itself, and another colour is something that depresses the soul beneath itself. If we look at this physical-spiritual effect, the primal ground of the physical and the etheric becomes apparent to us: the fact that our astral body is the real creator of the physical and etheric. The physical is only a condensation of the spiritual, and the spiritual can react again on the physical, so that it is processed and enlivened in the right way. If we visualise the basic idea of such a thing, we can hope to be able to understand that that which lives in the spiritual-mental expresses itself in health and illness in the physical.
Who realises this can hope for spiritual science concerning the issues of health. One can easily say, with any worldview, you cannot cure a human being — nevertheless, it is also true that the health of the human being depends on the worldview. This is a paradox to the modern humankind; it is a matter of course in future! I want to discuss this still a little more. One can say that the human being must come to the purely objective truth; he must make his concepts precise likenesses of the external physical facts.
One can put up such a demand as a theorist. One can put a human being as an ideal who tries to think only what the eyes see what the ears hear and what the hands can touch. — Now there spiritual science comes and says: you can never understand what is real if you look only at that which is externally discernible, what the eyes see, what the ears hear, what the hands can reach. What is real contains the spiritual as a primal ground. One cannot perceive the spiritual; one must experience it by the cooperation, by the production of the spiritual-mental. One needs productive forces for the spiritual. The spiritual scientist is — if he speaks of the single parts of his science — not always in the position of demonstrating quite plainly what leads to his concepts. He describes what cannot be heard with ears, what cannot be seen with eyes, or cannot be seized with hands because it must be pursued with the eyes of the spirit. It is a portrayal of something that does not exist in the sensory world. We consider that as truth which gives an inner likeness of the outer reality. One may put up such a theory, but today we do not want to speak about its logical or epistemological value, we want to speak about its curative value.
The point is that all those mental pictures which we abstract only from the outer sensuous reality which are not based on the inner co-operation of the soul creating pictures, have no inner formative forces; they leave the soul dead; they do not invoke the soul to activate its forces slumbering within.
The fanatics of the external facts may speak about it ever so much that one should not intersperse reality with pictures of the supersensible world. However, as paradoxical as it may be, these pictures put our mind again in an activity that is commensurate with it. They harmonise it again with the physical organism. Someone who sticks to the purely abstract mental pictures of the merely materialistic science does nothing for his health from his spiritual. Who positively creates abstractions in his concepts only, makes his soul dull and void, and he always is dependent to make the external instrument of the body the carrier of health and illness. Who lives in disordered and wrong mental pictures does not know that he inoculates the causes of destruction of his organism to himself in mysterious way. Hence, spiritual science represents the viewpoint that by its points of view of the supersensible world, of that world which we do not recognise with external senses, but which we have to wake up with strong inner activity, we activate our soul, so that its activity complies with the spiritual world from which our whole organism has been created. Hence, our organism is healed not with petty means, but spiritual science itself is the great remedy.
Somebody who forms his thoughts from the big viewpoints of the world and enlivens these thoughts causes such an inner activity that also his feelings and sensations proceed harmoniously making the soul happy. Who works on his thoughts in such a way works also on his intentions, and these have a recovering effect. However, they do this only because really a healthy worldview, a healthy harmony of thoughts fulfils our soul. Our sensations, and in connection with them also our desire and listlessness, our sympathy and antipathy, our longing and disgust are thereby, so that we face the world in such a way that we know what to do in every single case, like the child whose instinct has not yet been ruined. Thus, we evoke those feelings, sensations, will impulses, and desires in our souls, which are sure guidelines, which instruct us what to do to cause the right relation between the outside world and us.
We say not too much if we say, clear, bright thoughts, comprehensive thoughts, as they are caused only by a comprehensive worldview, considering the whole world and aiming at the supersensible, are a condition of health. Pure feelings and will impulses that correspond to the objective of the spiritual enable the human beings to feel healthy hunger. Even if one cannot feed the human being a worldview, nevertheless, this offers the possibility to find what corresponds to his soul to look for what is suitable to him and to abhor what is not suitable to him. Thoughts that are likenesses of the supersensible world are the best digestive means — even if as a paradox — not because in the thoughts the forces of digestion are, but because the forces are evoked by energetic thoughts which make digestion proceed in a way.
As long as the human beings do not hear this call of spiritual science, as long as they believe over and over again that any form of illness finds its recovery if one has found suitable means for it, as long they will not have recognised the significance of spiritual science. They will also not have recognised to what extent health plays a role in the development. In addition, those do not go far enough who say, one should not cure symptoms. They also do not grasp the spiritual core. Who approaches spiritual science finds out that it is a worldview through which internal bliss flows, a worldview of joy and desire, that it is a condition to promote the big remedy for health. It is easier to use this or that means than to enter the current of spiritual science in order to find what makes the human beings healthier and healthier. Then, however, one understands that it is true what an old proverb says: “Sound mind in a sound body,” but that it is wrong to understand this proverb materialistically. Who believes that he has to understand this proverb materialistically should only also say, here I see a house. This house is nice. Therefore, I conclude from it that a nice owner built it. The nice house makes a nice owner. — Nevertheless, someone is a little cleverer who says: here is a nice house; I conclude from it that in it an owner lives who has artistic taste. I consider the owner of the nice house as a person of good taste, and the house as the external sign of the fact that the owner is a person of good taste.
Perhaps, anybody clever says, because external forces have made the body healthy, the body has formed a healthy soul again. — However, that is not correct, but someone is right who says: here I see the healthy body. This is a sign of the fact that a healthy soul must have built up it. It is healthy because the soul is healthy. — Therefore, one can say, because one sees the external symptom of the healthy body, a healthy soul must form the basis there. A materialistic time may interpret the proverb “sound mind in a sound body” quite materialistically. However, spiritual science shows us that a healthy soul works in a healthy body.