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Fundamentals of Anthroposophical Medicine

Schmidt Number: S-5062

On-line since: 31st December, 1999

Lecture II

Stuttgart, October 27, 1922, a.m.

If I were asked to map out a course of medical study for people who would want to approach this study immediately and finish it in a certain period of time, I would begin — after the necessary natural scientific background had been acquired — with a discussion of the various functions in the human organism. I would feel bound to begin with a kind of anatomical-physiological study of the foodstuffs as they are worked through from the stage where they are worked upon by the ptyalin to that of being worked on by the pepsin and then taken up into the blood. Then, after considering the general act of digestion in the narrower sense, I would pass on to discussion of the system of heart and lungs and all that is connected with it. I would then discuss everything connected with the human kidney system. The kidney system must then be discussed in relation to the entire nerve-sense apparatus — a relationship not recognized at all today. Then I would lead on to the system of liver, gall, and spleen, and this cycle of study would gradually open up a vista of how things are arranged in the human organism, a vista that would be needed in order to build up the knowledge that it is the task of an anthroposophical spiritual science to develop. Then, with the light that would have been shed upon the results of sense-perceptible empirical research, it would be possible to pass on to therapy.

In the few days at our disposal, it is only possible, of course, for me to give a few hints about this wide and all embracing domain. A great deal of what I have to say, therefore, will be based upon a treatment of empirical evidence that is not customary today, but I think it will be quite accessible to anyone who possesses the requisite physiological and therapeutic knowledge. I shall have to speak differently from the way people are accustomed to, but I will really present nothing that cannot in some way be brought into harmony with the data of modern sense-oriented empirical knowledge, if these data are studied in all their connections.

Everything I say will be aphoristic, merely hinting at ultimate conclusions. Our starting point, however, must be the sense-perceptible empirical investigations of modern times, and the intermediate stages will have to be mastered by the work of doctors everywhere. This intermediate path is exceedingly long, but it is absolutely essential because, as things are today, nothing of what I present to you will be fully acknowledged if these intermediate steps are not taken — at least in relation to the most important phenomena. I do not believe that this will prove as difficult as it appears at present, if people will only submit to bringing the preliminary work that has already been done into line with the general conceptions I am trying to indicate here. This preliminary work is excellent in many respects, but its goal still lies ahead.

In the last lecture I tried to show you how broadening ordinary knowledge can give us insight into the human being. And now, bearing in mind what I have just said, let me add the following. To begin with you may find it offensive to hear it said in anthroposophy that the human being, as he stands before us in the physical world, consists of a physically organized system, an etherically organized system, an astrally organized system, and what characterizes him as an ego organization. You do not need to take offense at these expressions. They are used merely because some kind of terminology is necessary. By virtue of this ego system, the human being is able to develop that inner soul cohesion, the inward soul life, that cannot be found in animals. This cohesion reveals itself on the one hand in the fact that the human being can unify his inner experience in an ego-point, if I may use that expression, from which all his general organic activity rays out in a certain sense, at least in the conscious state. It reveals itself on the other hand in the fact that during his earthly evolution the human being has a different relationship to sexual development from that of the animal organization. Though of course there are exceptions, the animal organization is such that sexual maturity represents a certain point of culmination. After this, deterioration sets in. This organic deterioration may not begin in a very radical sense after the first stage of sexual maturity, but there is a certain organic culmination. On the other hand, the physical development of the human being receives a certain impetus at puberty. Even in the outer empirical sense, then, if we take all the factors into account, there is already a difference between the human being and the animal.

You may say that it is really an abstract method of classification to speak of physical, etheric, astral, and ego organizations. This objection has been made by many people, especially from the side of philosophy. We take the functions of the human organism and differentiate them, and — since differentiations do not necessarily point back to any objective causes — people think that it is all an abstraction. This is not so. In the course of these lectures we will see what really lies behind this classification and division, but I assure you they are not merely the outcome of a desire to divide things into categories.

When we speak of man's physical organization, this encompasses everything in the human organism that can be dealt with by the same methods we adopt when we are doing experiments and investigations in the laboratory. We encompass all this when we speak about the physical organization of the human being.

Regarding the human etheric organization, however, which is incorporated into the physical, our mode of thinking can no longer confine itself to the ideas and laws that apply when we are doing experiments and making observations in the laboratory. Whatever we may think of the etheric organization of the human being as revealed by super-sensible knowledge — without needing to enter into mechanistic or vitalistic methods in any way — it is apparent to direct perception (and this is a question that would be the subject of lengthy study in the curriculum that I sketched earlier) that the etheric organization as a whole is involved in the fluid nature within the human organization. You need only think of this as a structure of functions that can be grasped directly in this fluid nature. The purely physical mode of thinking, therefore, must confine itself to what is solid in the human organization, to the solid state of aggregation. We understand the human organization properly only when we conceive of what is fluid in this organization as being permeated through and through with life, as living fluids — not merely as the fluids we have in outer, inorganic nature. This is the sense in which we say that the human being has an etheric body.

We do not need to enter into hypotheses about the nature of life but merely to understand what is implied, for example, by saying that the cell is permeated with life. Whatever views we may hold — mechanistic, idealistic, spiritualistic, or the like — when we say that the cell is permeated with life, as the crass empiricist also says, then what is revealed to direct perception yielded by the methods I have referred to here shows that the fluid nature in the human being is likewise permeated with life. But this is the same as saying that the human being has an etheric body. We must think of everything solid as being embedded in the fluid, and here we already have a contrast: we apply all the ideas and laws derived in the inorganic world to the solid parts of man's being, whereas we think not only of the cells — the smallest organisms present in the human being — as living but of the fluid nature in its totality as permeated with life.

Furthermore, when we come to the airy nature of the human being, it appears that the gases filling his being are in a state of perpetual interchange with each other. In the course of these lectures we shall have to show that this is neither an inorganic interchange nor merely a process of interchange mediated by the solid organs, but that an individual lawfulness controls the inner interchange of the gases in the human being, the vortex formed with the interworkings of the gases. Just as there is an inner lawfulness in the solid substances, expressing itself, among other things, in the relationship between the kidneys and the heart, so we must postulate the existence of a lawfulness within the airy or gaseous organism — if I may use this expression — a lawfulness that is not confined to the physical, solid organs. Anthroposophy designates this lawfulness that directly underlies the airy or gaseous organism as the astral lawfulness, the astral organization. This lawfulness would not be there in the human being if his airy organization had not permeated the solid and fluid organizations. The astral organization does not penetrate directly into the solid and the fluid. It does, however, directly lay hold of the airy organization. This airy organization directly takes hold of the solid and fluid, so that in the airy human being there is now an organized astral organization by which this airy organization has a definite inner form, which is naturally fluctuating.

By ascending through the aggregate states, we thus arrive at the following conclusions: when we consider the solid substances in the human being we do not need to assume anything other than a physical organization. In the case of the living fluidity that permeates the solid, physical organization, we must assume the existence of something that is not exhausted by the physical lawfulness, and here we come to the etheric organism, which is a self-contained system. In the same sense I give the name astral organization to that which does not directly lay hold of the solid and fluid but first of all penetrates the gaseous organization. I do not call this the astral lawfulness but rather the astral organism, because it is again a self-contained system.

And now we come to the ego organization, which penetrates directly only into the differentiations of warmth in the human organism. We can therefore speak of a warmth organism, a warmth man. The ego organization penetrates directly into this warmth man. The ego organization is, of course, something super-sensible and brings about the various differentiations of the warmth. In these differentiations of warmth the ego organization has its immediate life. It also has an indirect life in the rest of the organism through the warmth working upon the airy, fluid, and solid organizations.

In this way the human organism becomes more and more transparent. Everything that I have been describing expresses itself in the physical human being as he lives on the earth. What in a certain way can be called the most intangible organization of all — the ego-warmth organization — works down indirectly upon the gaseous, fluid, and solid organizations, and the same is true of the others. Thus the way in which this whole configuration penetrates the human organization, and known through sense-oriented empirical observations, will find expression in any solid system of organs verifiable by outer anatomy. Hence, taking the various organ systems, we find that only the physical organ system is directly related to its corresponding lawfulness, the physical-solid lawfulness; the fluid is less directly related, the gaseous still less directly, and the element of warmth most distantly of all, although even here there is still a certain relation through mediation.

All these things — and I can indicate them here only in the form of ultimate conclusions — can be confirmed by an extended empiricism simply from the phenomena themselves. Due to the short time at our disposal I can only give you certain ultimate conclusions.

In the anatomy and physiology of the human organization we can observe, to begin with, the course taken by food up to the point when it reaches the intestines and the other intricate organs in that region and is then absorbed into the lymph and blood. We can follow the process of digestion or nourishment in the widest sense up to this point of absorption into the blood and lymph. If we limit ourselves to this realm, we can get on quite well with the not entirely mechanistic mode of observation that is adopted by natural science today. An entirely mechanistic mode of perception will not lead to the final goal in this domain, because the lawfulness observed externally in the laboratory and characterized by natural science as inorganic lawfulness is always playing into the living organism in the digestive tract. From the outset, the whole process is involved in life, even at the stage of the ptyalin-process.

If we pay heed only to the fact that the outer, inorganic lawfulness is immersed in the life of the digestive tract, we can get on quite well, as far as this limited sphere is concerned, by confining ourselves to what can be observed merely within the physical organization of the human being. But then we must be absolutely clear that a remnant of the digestive activity still remains, that the process of nourishment is still not quite complete when the intestinal tract has been passed, and that the subsequent processes must be studied by a different means of observation. But as far as the limited sphere is concerned, the best we can do to begin with is to study all the transformations of substance by means of analogies, just as we study things in the outer world. Then we find something that modern science cannot readily acknowledge but that is nonetheless a truth, resulting indeed from modern science itself. It will be the task of our doctors to pursue these matters scientifically and then to show from the sense-perceptible empirical facts themselves that as a result of the action of the ptyalin and pepsin on the food the food is divested of every trace of its former condition in the outer world?

We take in food from the mineral kingdom — you may dispute the expression “food,” but I think we understand each other — we take in food from the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms. What we take in as food belongs originally to the mineral, plant, and animal organizations. The substance most nearly akin to the human organization is, of course, the milk that the suckling baby receives from the mother. The child receives it as soon as it has left the human organization. The process enacted within the human organism during the absorption of nourishment is this: through the absorption of the food into the various glandular products, every trace of its origin is eliminated. It is really true to say that the human organization itself makes it possible to engage in the purely natural scientific, inorganic mode of observation. In fact, human chyle comes nearest of all to the outer physical processes in the moment when it is passing from the intestines into the lymph and bloodstream. The human being finally obliterates the external properties that the chyle still possessed until this moment. He wants to have it as similar as possible to the inorganic organization. He needs it thus, and this again distinguishes him from the animal kingdom.

The anatomy and physiology of the animal kingdom reveal that the animal does not eliminate the nature of the substances introduced to its body to the same extent; the excretory products are different for the animal. The substances that pass into the body of the animal retain a greater resemblance to the outer organization, to the vegetable and animal organizations, than is the case with the human being. They proceed on into the bloodstream still in accordance with their external form and with their own inner lawfulness. The human organization has advanced so far that when the chyle passes through the intestinal wall, it has become as close as possible to the inorganic. The purely physical human being actually exists in the region where the chyle passes from the intestines into the heart-lung organization, if I may express myself in this way.

It is at this point that our way of looking at things first becomes heretical to orthodox natural science. The entire heart-lung tract — the vascular system — is the means whereby the foods that have now become entirely inorganic so to speak, are led over into the realm of life. The human organization cannot exist without providing its own life. In a more encompassing sense, what happens here resembles the process occurring when the inorganic particles of protein, let us say, are transformed into organic; into living protein, when dead protein becomes living protein. Here again we do not need to enter into the question of the inner being of man but only into what is continually being said in physiology. Due to the shortness of time we cannot speak of the scientific theories about how the plant produces living protein, but in the human being it is the system of heart and lungs, with all that belongs to it, that is responsible for transformation of the protein into something living after the chyle has become as inorganic as possible.

We can therefore say that the system of heart and lungs is there so that the physical system may be drawn up into the etheric organization. The system of heart and lungs therefore brings about a vitalizing process whereby the inorganic is drawn into the organic, is drawn into the vital sphere through the process that takes place in the heart-lung system. (In the animal it is not quite the same, the process being less definite.) Now it would be absolutely impossible for this process to take place in our physical world if certain conditions were not fulfilled in the human organization. The chyle's being drawn into, transformed into an etheric organization could not take place within the sphere of earthly lawfulness unless other factors were present. Angels would be able to perform this, but if they did then they would fly around having merely a mouth, an esophagus, and then finally a gastrointestinal system, which would then stop and disappear into the etheric. Thus such digestive tracts would float around and would be carried by invisible etheric angel-beings.

What I am describing here could not take place in the physical world at all. That would be impossible. The process is possible in the physical world only because the whole etheric system is drawn down, as it were, into the physical, is incorporated into the physical. This happens as a result of the absorption of oxygen in the breathing. Therefore man is not an angel but can walk around physically on the earth, can walk around because his angelic aspect is physicalized through the absorption of oxygen. The entire etheric organization is projected — but projected as something real — into the physical world; the whole is then fulfilled as a physical system; that which otherwise could be only of a purely super-sensible nature comes to expression as the system of heart and lungs. And so we begin to realize that just as carbon is the basis of the animal, plant, and human organizations (though in the human organization in a less solid way than in the plant) and “fixes” the physical organization as such, so is oxygen related to the etheric organization in so far as this expresses itself in the physical domain.

Here we have the two substances of which the formed, the vitally formed protein is primarily composed. But this mode of observation can be applied equally well to the proteinaceous cell, the cell itself. We simply extend the kind of observation that is usually applied to the cell by substituting a macroscopic study for the microscopic study of the cell in the human being. We observe the processes that form the connection between the digestive tract and the heart-lung tract. We observe then in an inner sense, seeing the connection between them, perceiving how an etheric organization is drawn in and “fixed” into the physical as a result of the absorption of oxygen.

But you see, if this were all, we would have a being that existed in the physical world possessing merely a digestive organization and an organization of heart and lungs. Such a being would not yet be an ensouled being; the element of soul could occur only in the super-sensible, and it is still our task to show how what makes the human being a sentient being incorporates itself into his solid and fluid nature, permeating the solid and fluid organizations and making him a sentient being, a being of soul. Only when we are able to trace the ensouled aspect can we perceive man as an ensouled being. The entire organization in which oxygen plays a role is now within the human being due to the fact that we bind the etheric organization into the physical body by oxygen.

The ensouled organization cannot come into being unless there is a direct point of attack, as it were, for the airy man, with a further possibility of access to the physical organization. Here we have something that lies very far indeed from modern ways of thinking. I have told you that oxygen takes hold of the etheric through the organization of heart and lungs; the astral makes its way into the organization of man through another system of organs. This astral nature, too, needs a physical system of organs. I am referring here to something that does not take its start from the physical organs but from the airy nature (not only the fluid nature) that is connected with these particular organs — that is to say, from the airy organization that is bound up with these solid organs. The astral-organic forces radiate out from this gaseous organization in the human organism. Indeed, the corresponding physical organ itself is first formed by this very radiation, on its backward course. To begin with, the gaseous organization radiates out, makes man into an ensouled organism, permeates all his organs with soul, and then streams back again by an indirect path, so that a physical organ comes into being and plays its part in the physical organization of the human being. This is the kidney system, which is regarded primarily as an organ of excretion. Its excretory functions, however, are secondary. I will return to this later, for I have yet to speak of the relationship between the kidney excretions and the higher function of the kidneys. As physical organs the kidneys are excretory organs (they too, of course, have entered the sphere of vitality), but in addition to this, in their underlying airy nature, they are the radiating-organs for the astral organism which now permeates the airy nature and from there works directly into the fluids and the solids in the human organism.

The kidney system, therefore, is that which from an organic basis permeates us with sentient faculties, with qualities of soul and the like — in short it permeates us with an astral organism. Sense-perceptible, empirical science has a great deal to say about the functions of the kidneys, but if you penetrate what you can see and observe of these functions with a certain instinctive inner perception, you will be able to discover the relations between inner sentient experience and the functions of the kidneys — remembering always that the excretions are only secondary indications of that from which they have been excreted. What the kidneys excrete arises through the function of the kidneys. In so far as the functions of the kidneys underlie the sentient system, this is expressed even in the various kinds of excretions.

If you want to extend scientific knowledge in this field, I recommend that you do experiments with a more sensitive individual and try to find out the essential change that takes place in the renal excretions when he is thinking in a cold or in a hot room. Even purely empirical tests like this, suitably varied in the usual scientific way, will provide results. If you make absolutely systematic investigations, you will discover what a difference there is in the renal excretions of a person thinking either in a cold or a warm room. You can also do the experiment by asking someone to think objectively and putting a warm cloth around his head. (The conditions for the experiment must of course be prepared in an orderly way. ) Then examine the renal excretions, and examine them again when he is thinking about the same thing and cold compresses have been applied to his feet. You can conduct experiments that are entirely sense-perceptible and empirical that will provide you with evidence.

The reason that there is so little concern with such inquiries today is that people have an aversion to entering into these matters. In embryological research into cell division, the allantois and the amnion are not studied carefully. These discarded organs have been investigated, but to understand the whole process of human development the accessory organs in embryonic development must be studied much more exactly than the processes that arise from the division of the germ cell itself. Our underlying task here, therefore, is to establish starting points for rational research. This is of the greatest significance, for only in this way will we reach the point of having insight into the human being so that we have before us not a visible but an invisible giant cell.

Today we do not describe the cell as we describe the human being, because microscopy does not lead so far. The curious thing is that if one studies the realm of the microscopic with the methods I am describing here, wonderful things come to light, for instance the results achieved by the Hertwig school. The cell can be investigated up to a certain point with the microscope, but then there is no possibility of further research into the more complicated life processes. Ordinary, sense-oriented empiricism comes to a standstill here, but with spiritual science you can follow the facts further. You now look at the human being in his totality, and the tiny point represented by the cell grows out, as it were, into the whole being of man.

From this you can proceed to learn how the purely physical organization is in every way connected with the structure of the carbon, just as the transition to the etheric organization is connected with the structure of oxygen. If you now make exact investigations into the kidney system, you will find a similar connection with nitrogen. Thus you have to study carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and in order to trace all the roles played by nitrogen in the astral permeation of the organism, you need only follow, through a series of very precise experiments, the metamorphoses of uric acid and urea. Precise study of the secondary excretions of uric acid and urea will provide definite evidence that the astral permeation of the human being proceeds from the kidney system. This will also be shown by other things connected with the activity of the kidneys, even to the point where pathological conditions play a role, for example if we find blood corpuscles in the urine. The kidney system radiates the astral organization into the human organism. Here we must not think of the physical organization but of the airy organization that is bound up with it. If nitrogen did not play a part, the whole process would remain in the domain of the super-sensible, just as we would be merely etheric beings if oxygen were not to play its part. The outcome of the nitrogen process is that the human being can live on earth as an earthly being. Nitrogen is the third element connected with this.

There is thus a continual need to widen the methods adopted in anatomy and physiology by applying the principles of spiritual science. This is not in any sense a matter of fantasy. You will see that this is so when you receive your first results. If you study the kidney system and do your experiments as accurately as you possibly can, examining the urea and uric acid excretions under different astral conditions, step by step you will find confirmation of what I have said. Only in this way will you be able to penetrate the constitution of the human organism.

We can therefore say that everything entering the human being through the absorption of food is carried into the astral organism by the kidney system. There still remains the ego organization. All this is received into the ego organization primarily as a result of the working of the liver-gall system. The warmth structure and the warmth structure in the system of liver and gall radiate out in such a way that the human being is permeated with the ego organization, and this is bound up with the differentiation of warmth in the organism as a whole.

Now it is quite possible to adapt your methods of investigation as precisely as possible to what I have said. Take certain lower animals where there is no trace at all of an ego organization in the psychological sense. With these you will not find a developed liver, and still less any bile. These things develop in the phylogeny of the animal kingdom only when the ego organization appears. The development of liver and gall runs absolutely parallel with the degree to which the ego organization unfolds in a living being. Here, too, you have an indication for a series of physiological investigations in connection with the human being, only of course they must cover the different periods of human life. You will gradually discover the connection of the ego organization to the functions of the liver in the human being.

You need only observe particular pathological conditions that are lethal — certain childhood illnesses, for example — in order to find out how certain psychological phenomena, tending not toward the life of feeling but toward the ego, are connected with the secretion of bile. This might form the basis of an exceedingly fruitful series of investigations that can be derived to some extent out of what our sense-oriented, empirical science provides. You will see that the ego organization is connected with hydrogen in the same way that the physical organization is connected with carbon, the etheric organization with oxygen, and the astral organization with nitrogen. You will be able to relate all the differentiations of warmth — I can only hint at this — to the specific function carried out in the human organism by hydrogen, in combination with other substances, of course. And so, as we ascend from the sense-perceptible to the super-sensible and make this super-sensible a concrete experience by recognizing its physical expressions, we come to the point of being able to conceive the whole human being as a highly complicated cell, a cell that is permeated with soul and spirit.

It is really only a matter of taking the trouble to examine and develop the marvelous results achieved by natural science and not simply leaving them where they are. My understanding and practical experience of life convince me that if you will set yourselves to an exhaustive study of the results of the most orthodox empirical science, if you will relate the most approachable with the most remote and really study the connections between them, you will constantly be led to what I am telling you here. I am also convinced that the so-called “occultists” of the modern type will not help you in the least. What will be of far more help is a genuine examination of the empirical data offered by orthodox natural science. Natural science itself leads you to recognize truths that can be perceived only supersensibly but that indicate, nevertheless, that the empirical data must be followed up in this or that direction. You yourselves can certainly discover the methods; they will be imposed by the facts before you. There is no need to complain that such guiding principles create prejudice or that they influence by suggestion. The conclusions arise out of the things themselves, but the facts and conditions prove to be highly complicated, and if further progress is to be made, all that has been learned in this way about the human being must now be investigated in connection with the outer world.

I want you now to follow me in a brief train of thought. I am giving it merely by way of example, but it will show you the path that must be followed. Take the annual plant that grows out of the earth in spring and passes through its yearly cycle. Now relate these phenomena that you observe in the annual plant with other things you can observe — above all the custom of peasants who, when they want to keep their potatoes through the winter, dig pits of a certain depth and put the potatoes into them so that they may keep for the following year. If the potatoes were kept in an ordinary open cellar, they would not remain fit to eat. Investigations have proven that what originates from the interplay between the sunshine and the earth is contained within the earth during the subsequent winter months. Warmth conditions and light conditions are at play dynamically under the surface of the earth during the winter, so that in winter the aftereffects of summer are actually contained within the earth. Summer surrounds us outside the earth's surface. In winter, the aftereffects of summer work under the earth's surface. And the consequence is that the plant, growing out of the earth in its yearly cycle, is impelled to grow, first and foremost, by the forces that have been poured into the earth by the sun of the previous year, for the plant derives its dynamic force from the soil. (I have to make rather large leaps, of course, but these things can all be verified easily through empirical observations.) This dynamic force that is drawn out of the soil can be traced up into the ovary and on into the developing seed. So you see, we can arrive at a botany that really corresponds to the whole physiological process only if we do not confine ourselves to the dynamic forces of warmth and light and the light conditions during the year when the plant is growing. We must rather take our start from the root, and so from the dynamic forces of light and warmth of at least the year before. These forces can be traced right up into the ovary, so that in the ovary we have something that really is brought into being by the forces of the previous year.

Now examine the leaves of a plant, and, still more, the petals. You will find that in the leaves there is a compromise between the dynamic forces of the previous year and those of the present year. The leaves contain elements that are thrust out from the earth and those that work in from the environment. It is in the petals that the forces of the present year are represented in their purest form. The coloring and so forth of the petals represents nothing that is old — it all comes from the present year.

You cannot follow the processes in an annual plant if you take only the immediate conditions into consideration. Examine the structural conditions that follow one another in two consecutive years. (What the sun imparts to the earth, however, has a much longer life.) Do a series of experiments concerning the way in which the plants continue to be relished by creatures such as the grub of the cockchafer, and you will see that what you first thought to be an element of the plant belonging to the present year must be related to the sun forces of the previous year. You know what a prolonged larval stage the cockchafer undergoes, devouring the plant the whole time.

These matters must be the subject of exact research; only the guiding principles can be given from the spiritual world. Research will show that the structure of the substances found in the petals and leaves, for instance, is of an essentially different character from the structure of the substances found in the root or even the seed itself. There is a tremendous difference, and this leads to the distinction between a tea prepared from the petals or leaves of plants and an extract of substances found in roots or seeds. You will find that this difference is the basis for the other differences, so that the effect of a tea prepared from petals or leaves upon the human digestive system is quite different from that of an extract prepared from roots or seeds. In this way you relate the organization of the human being to the surrounding world, and everything you discover can be verified through purely physical, sense-perceptible methods. You will find, for instance, that disturbances in the transition of the chyle into the etheric organization, as it is brought about by the system of heart and lungs, will be influenced by the leaves; everything connected with the digestive tract is influenced essentially by a tea derived from petals. An extract of roots and seeds influences the wider activity that works on into the vascular system and even into the nervous system. In this way you will discover rationally the connection between what is going on within the human organism and the substances from which our store of remedies may be derived.

In the next lecture I will have to continue this subject, showing you that there is an inner connection between the different structures of the plants and the human nerve-sense organization and the organization of his digestive tract.

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