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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Fundamentals of Therapy
GA 27

Preface to the 1st Edition

Rudolf Steiner, the teacher, guide and friend, is no longer among the living on the Earth. A severe illness, beginning in sheer physical exhaustion, tore him away. In the very midst of his work he had to lie down on the bed of sickness. The powers he had devoted so copiously, so unstintingly, to the work of the Anthroposophical Society no longer sufficed to overcome his own illness. With untold grief and pain, all those who loved and honoured him had to stand by and witness how he who was loved by so many, who had been able to help so many others, had to allow fate to take its appointed course when his own illness came, well-knowing that higher powers were guiding these events.

In this small volume the fruits of our united work are recorded.

The teaching of Anthroposophy is for medical science a veritable mine of inspiration. From my knowledge and experience as a doctor, I was able to confirm it without reserve. I found in it a fount of wisdom from which it was possible untiringly to draw, and which was able to solve and illumine many a problem as yet unsolved in Medicine. Thus there arose between Rudolf Steiner and myself a living co-operation in the field of medical discovery. Our co-operation gradually deepened, especially in the last two years, so that the united authorship of a book became a possibility and an achievement. It had always been Rudolf Steiner's endeavour—_and in this I could meet him with fullest sympathy of understanding to renew the life of the ancient Mysteries and cause it to flow once more into the sphere of Medicine. From time immemorial, the Mysteries were most intimately united with the art of healing, and the attainment of spiritual knowledge was brought into connection with the healing of the sick. We had no thought, after the style of quacks and dilettanti, of underrating the scientific Medicine of our time. We recognized it fully. Our aim was to supplement the science already in existence by the illumination that can flow from a true knowledge of the Spirit, towards a living grasp of the processes of illness and of healing. Needless to say, our purpose was to bring into new life, not the instinctive habit of the soul which still existed in the Mysteries of ancient time, but a method of research corresponding to the fully evolved consciousness of modern man, which can be lifted into spiritual regions.

Thus the first beginnings of our work were made. In the Clinical and Therapeutic Institute founded by myself at Arlesheim. in Switzerland, a basis was given in practice for the theories set forth in this book. And we endeavoured to unfold new ways in the art of healing to those who were seeking, in the sense here indicated, for a widening of their medical knowledge.

We had intended to follow up this small volume with further productions of our united work. This, alas, was no longer possible. It is, however, still my purpose, from the many notes and fruitful indications I received, to publish a second volume and possibly a third.* As to this first volume, the manuscript of which was corrected with inner joy and satisfaction by Rudolf Steiner only three days before his death, may it find its way to those for whom it is intended those who are striving to reach out from life's deep riddles to an understanding of life in its true greatness and glory.

Ita Wegman
September 1925