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Manifestations of Karma

Schmidt Number: S-2233

On-line since: 11th October, 2000



THE contents of the last lecture are most important for our next consideration as well as for a comprehension of karmic connection in general. For this reason, because of its extreme importance, allow me to recapitulate the chief points.

We began by saying that views concerning cures and medicines have in the course of a relatively short time, during the last century, undergone a radical change. We pointed to the fact that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that view was developed which was based entirely upon the theory that for every illness which was given a name, and which it was believed could be strictly defined, some remedy must exist upon earth. And it was firmly believed that by the use of the remedy in question the course of the illness must be influenced. We then pointed out that view prevailed more or less until the nineteenth century, and side by side with this we showed the complete reversal of this opinion which found expression chiefly in the nihilism of the Viennese school, founded by the famous medical man Dietel, and carried on by Skoda and his disciples. We characterised the nihilistic current of thought by saying that it not merely harboured doubts as to the existence of any absolute connection between one remedy or another, one manipulation or another in respect to the treatment of illness and the illness itself, but would no longer concern itself with any such connection. The idea of the so-called ‘self-healing’ penetrated the minds of the young doctors influenced by this school. Skoda himself made the following significant statement to this school: ‘We may be able to diagnose an illness, to explain, and perhaps also to describe it, but remedy for it we have none.’ This point of view originated from the proofs furnished by Dietel to the effect that, given the necessary conditions, an illness such as pneumonia will with temporising treatment take such course as to develop self-healing forces at the end of certain period. By means of statistics he was able to prove that a temporising treatment showed neither fewer cures nor more deaths than the remedies ordinarily in use. At that time the term ‘therapeutic nihilism’ was not without justification, for it is quite true that the doctors of this school were powerless against the patient's conviction that there simply must exist a remedy, a prescription. The patient would not yield, nor would his friends. A remedy had to be prescribed, and the disciples of this school got out of the difficulty by prescribing a thin solution of gum arabic, which according to their opinion would have the same effect as the remedies previously in use. From this we have learnt how the modern scientific world is moving in the direction of what we may call the karmic connections of life. For they had now to find an answer to the question: how is that which we may call ‘self-healing’ brought about? Or better, why does it take place? And why in some cases can there be no self-healing or cure of any kind?

If a whole school led by medical authorities resorts to the introduction of the idea of self-healing, we must arrive at the conclusion that something is invoked in the course of an illness which leads to the conquest of the illness. And this would have induced us to pursue the more secret reasons for the course of the i