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Curative Eurythmy

Curative Eurythmy: Lecture 8

Schmidt Number: S-5066

On-line since: 13th December, 2006


Dornach, October 28, 1921
(held before physicians)

The wish has been expressed for me to expound somewhat further upon curative eurythmy. Basically, the empiric material related to curative eurythmy was developed and presented in the last course for physicians in Dornach, and it is hardly necessary to go beyond what was given at that time. Used in the proper manner, it will be of far-reaching importance. Today I would like to speak to you about the whole purpose and meaning of curative eurythmy.

Curative eurythmy took shape out of something purely artistic, out of what was first developed as an artistic impulse; and in certain connections a basis for the correct understanding of curative eurythmy must be taken from artistic eurythmy. Now perhaps I will be most clearly understood if at first I attempt to indicate the difference between artistic and curative eurythmy. Eurythmy in general is based on the possibility of transforming in a certain direction what takes place in the human organism in speech. For this reason eurythmy is, artistically, really a sort of visible speech. We must recognize that two components work together in human speech. One component originates through a particular use of the formative apparatus — of which I may speak on the basis of the preceding lectures — from a layer of the nervous system which lies further inward. What is related to the mental image plays in here. Esentially the apparatus of mental representation in the speech apparatus extends itself, to be sure in a somewhat complicated way, even into the construction of the nervous system, and it is exactly this which then produces in the further radiation one of the components at work in speech. The other component comes up out of the human being's metabolism. In a way we have a meeting of two dynamic systems, one coming out of the human metabolism and another arising from the nerve-sensory system. The two encounter each other in such a way that the metabolic system is transformed first into the circulatory processes; and that which has to do with mental representation, coming from the nerve-sensory system is metamorphosed into the respiratory system. In the respiratory and circulatory systems these two dynamic systems converge, and, since the whole is carried over into the air by means of the speech-system, it is possible for the human astral organism to stream into what is created there as movement of air. If we consider the outermost periphery of the human organism, we see that speech comes into being through an embodiment on the one hand of what has to do with mental picturing and on the other, of the metabolic nature which, when expressed in terms of the soul, is actually the will-nature. Thus we have what finds its expression in the soul as will, and bodily its expression in the metabolic system, that is, to the extent in which the nervous system has a part in the will (which it in fact has, insofar as metabolism takes place — not as nervesensory activity — in the nervous system). Thus, what is of a volitional nature and finds its bodily expression in the metabolic system, and that which is of the nature of mental representation which finds its expression in what I would like to call a section or stratum of the nerve-sensory system, conjoin to form what results. They then find physical expression in what manifests as ordinary speech or singing. In the case of song it is something different but nonetheless similar. In eurythmy one blocks out what is of the nature of mental representation to the greatest possible degree and brings volition into force. In this way ordinary speech is metamorphosed into movements of the entire human organism: one strengthens one component, the will or the metabolism, one weakens the mental representation or the nerve-sensory, and one has as a result eurythmy. In this way one is really in the position to create correlatives in human movement for the individual sounds, whether they be vowels or consonants. Just as a certain formation and movement of air can correspond to an A or an L, so can an outwardly visible form in movement correspond to an A or an L. Here we have a movement, or movement structure, as I would like to call it, derived from the human organism through sensible-super-sensible vision; which proceeds from the human organism with the same lawfulness as speech in sounds and which, although more volitionally-oriented, is only a metamorphosis of this speech. One can compose the entire alphabet in this speech; one can bring everything linguistic to expression through this eurythmy. When artistic eurythmy is performed, the attention of the human being and all the processes in the human physical, etheric and astral organisms which mediate this alertfulness, are directed to the corresponding sound, to the formation of the word or the artistic formation of the sentence, to the metric form, the poetic form and so on. When active in artistic eurythmy, one is completely absorbed in the possibilities of artistic formation and portrayal of the elements of speech. The human being surrenders to the outer world when he is artistically active in eurythmy, since in eurythmy one naturally follows the structure (“Gestaltung”) that is also common to speech. And since one does not stop at an A or an L in the middle of a word, but carries on further, in artistic eurythmy we have to do with something that may quite possibly take place in the normally functioning human organism. Ordinary artistic eurythmy has no other physiological consequences for the human organism other than that this artistic eurythmy calls forth in an energetic manner an inner harmony in the human functions, insofar as these functions form a totality in the human organism.

Thus one can say that when one refrains in the right manner from exaggeration in eurythmic artistic activity, it is conducive to health. But just as everything conducive to health can also make one sick if exaggerated, the artistic practice of eurythmy can be overdone. Professor Benedikt, the famous criminal psychologist, emphasized repeatedly — because he could not endure the anti-alcohol movement — that more people die from water than from alcohol. Even the statistics must concede this: over-indulgence in water leads to numerous sorts of illness. Eurythmy, in general, as long as it remains within the appropriate limits, can only be conducive to health; a certain artistic feeling of satisfaction or dissatisfaction will arise in any case.

That which lives in the devotion to the sound-, word- and sentence-formation in artistic eurythmy is reflected inwards in curative eurythmy. It is reflected inwards simply through the fact that in curative eurythmy the sound A, for example, must be repeated a number of times in succession. By this means, something entirely different is achieved than when I pass over from the sound A to an I or something else in an artistic presentation. Now it will be a question of gaining insight into the actual therapeutic process which can take place through eurythmy. I cannot avoid expressing concern about something which lies close at hand here: amateurs and dilettants appropriate such things very easily. From the beginning I have emphasized that curative eurythmy should be practised by the doctor himself or herself, or at the very least should only be practised in the most intimate collaboration with a doctor. The attitude which spiritual science takes in relation to such offshoots will be taken as indicative of spiritual science's position in regard to medicine as a whole.

Spiritual science does not operate in the field of medicine in such a manner as I once encountered twenty years ago. People who called themselves nature-therapy doctors were present at an anthroposophical convention and presented me with a treatise in which it was repeatedly stated in a variety of ways: all healing is based upon bringing into harmony what is inharmonious in the organism. This sentence was repeated for six pages in the most manifold variations: one should harmonize the disharmonious. There is nothing at all that one can object to in this sentence, it is only that one must be able to do it in a specific manner in a particular case. That is where it becomes unpleasant for people who hold an opinion such as was expressed in their final sentence: everything which has been said above proves that one can leave the unbelievably complicated medicine behind and restrict oneself to harmonizing the disharmonious. That would be, in their own words, “intoxicatingly simple.” Something so intoxicatingly simple I can't offer you. Medicine cannot be driven into intoxicating simplicity by spiritual science, but rather to greater complexity, as you will have gathered by now from various instances. Through spiritual science you will not have less to learn, but more, but there is a snag attached to learning less anyway, because through learning more everything will become clearer and more ordered and the learning thereby more interesting. Whoever had the idea that healing would be made easier through spiritual science will already have been convinced by the expositions that I have made here that this is not the case.

And so it is with curative eurythmy. It is definitely the case that curative eurythmy should not be applied without a thorough diagnosis and that it should only be practised in agreement with professional medical science, for the reason that one has to do here with the application of an exceedingly intimate knowledge of the human organism.

Because of the fact that in normal speech the metabolic activity and the plastic activity of the nerve-sensory system collide with one another, the result of this collision, is unloaded in the movement of the air (This is something which takes place in relative isolation from the human organism so that as a result speech is released from the organism.) all of what is shaped through curative eurythmy is thrown back into the organism, and one has thus to do with the following. Imagine that you place an A-movement together with an L-movement. First of all you have the movements repeated, so that the whole affair is not discharged outside, but rather that the repetition pours into the inner processes of the human organism. By allowing the vowel and consonantal elements, let us say in the A-movement and the L-movement, to work together, you will always induce a functioning in the human organism that implies a mutual activity of the metabolic-man and the nerve-sensory-man. To be sure, the activity of the nerve-sensory system is in any case weakened in eurythmy, but the two components, the dampened nerve-sensory activity and the heightened metabolic activity brought about by the eurythmic movement, work together in this exceptional proportion nevertheless. One has simply, a driving of the metabolic-man against the nerve-sensory-man, when one does the L-movement repeatedly, and when the L-movement is associated with an A-form. Thus one can say: the entire functioning of the human organism is carried along with the instigation of the forms and movements necessary. When, for example, you let someone carry out a consonantal movement, it works, to begin with, in such a way that it in essence unloads its whole power, its inner dynamic, on the process of inhalation; the whole procedure of inhalation actually lies in your control. According to the consonants you induce, you have the entire process of in-breathing in your hands. You strengthen the process of inhalation through each consonantal activity.

You perhaps know, from what has already been told about curative eurythmy, that movements of artistic eurythmy are somewhat modified for curative eurythmy. One can say that when an A- or an L-movement is carried out, it is always associated with a strengthening or weakening of the thrust initiated by inhalation. You must take inhalation into consideration here in its entirety. In examining the in-breath, we must to begin with follow its path into the middle part of the human organism, and then, however, through the medial canal, vertebral (“Rückenmarkscanal”) canal into the brain. The activity of the brain is in essence the harmonising of the breathing activity, in its refinement within the brain, with the nerve-sensory activity. There is no activity of the brain which may be considered alone; every such activity results from the nerve-sensory activity and the breathing activity. All the activities of the brain must be studied in such a way that respiration is taken into consideration. By inducing certain consonants, various consonants, you can, by way of the breath, influence the plastic activity of man, the sculptural activity, in the most striking manner. In the case of a child who is getting his second teeth, for example, you have only to know from a certain artistic grasp of the human organism how the upper teeth will be built up out of plastic activity which works from above downwards. In the case of the upper teeth, the plastic activity that forms them is active from the front backwards. How will the lower teeth be formed? In the teeth of the lower jaw the plastic activity works from the back to the front. If I were to express schematically the activity going on in teething, it would be as follows: the upper teeth are built up from front to back; thus, the back surfaces are shaped and the front surfaces are deposited. The lower teeth are built up from back to front. This is the manner in which the forces work together.

If you notice that a child is having difficulties in teething, you can assist the process in the maxilla, for example, simply by having the child do the movement for A. You can support the same process in the lower jaw with the O-movement. You can in fact gain control over the fictile powers through specific instigation. In order to give this plastic activity nourishment, so to speak, you must direct your attention principally to supporting the thrust that accompanies the inhalation; you must add to the plastic activity accomplished in this way by the A- and O-movements what you observe resulting from the entire human constitution. Let us say we have a person with weak peristalsis, who is somewhat inclined to constipation. In the period of life in which teething takes place, the intestinal activity is related to the building up of the teeth, and one must focus one's attention there, where irregularities in teething have their origin. If you wish to come to the assistance of the thrust of breath which travels through the vertebral canal into the brain and expedites from there the formative forces, which one has in one's power through the movements for vowels, you will be able to do this, if you have precisely such a case before you by having the child carry out the movmeent for L. If you simply study curative eurythmy, the way in which you should apply it will become clear to you through the diagnosis. Without a diagnosis it should not be practised, because in certain circumstances one can do entirely the wrong thing. However, it is indeed a fact that one must awaken in oneself a feeling for the artistic in the dynamics of the human being as a whole. One must develop an intuitive glance for the artistic. Let us assume that the child is observed to have certain difficulties at the time it begins to teethe; it has certain disorders which shouldn't be present. One discovers that the intestinal movement is irregular and insufficient. With the L-movement one is properly prepared. After one has done the L-movement for a time, one comes to the assistance of what one has conducted to the formative centre with the movement for A or O. The vowel movements affect the exhalation and begin to work already in the brain. The stream of breath works in the brain. Everything associated with inhalation, in its most extensive, inclusive sense, expresses itself in the consonantal element. That can be reinforced and promoted through consonantal eurythmy. Everything having to do with exhalation can be rein-forced by doing the vowels in eurythmy. When you do the vowels in eurythmy, the plastic element works directly together with the radiating element. You must judge, by how much strength must be applied, how many times the sound must be repeated. Let us say, for example, we have to do with a kidney disturbance of one sort or another. You may say to yourself that the kidney disturbance is in one stage or another, let us say in the beginning stage. The moment that I have certain movements performed — S-movements, for example [ 1 ] — I will have a beneficial effect on the kidney disturbance in its early stages. If the kidney distrubance has been present a considerable length of time, and the insufficient function has led already to deformation, I must then first prepare the ground with consonantal eurythmy and follow with the vowels; in order to work on formation through the vowels as opposed to the deformation which has already taken place. In short, one must approach the matter as untheoretically as possible; one must discover, solely out of knowledge of the human organism in its healthy and diseased states, what was given in the rules I set out in Dornach that have been passed on to you.

Now if, for example, it should be a case of suppressed heart-lung function which in turn affects the kidneys, one will make progress in the beginning stages with the movement for B or P. From this you will see that one has the entire functioning within one's grasp here, and that everything depends upon one's understanding that a sort of centrifugal dynamic is present in each separate human organ which is rounded-off plastically by another dynamic working from without inwards — a dynamic which is not exactly centripetal, but which could be designated as a similar-to-centripetal dynamic that works into every human organ. One will only be able to pursue the study of physiology properly when one is able to contemplate each separate human organ in its polarity. These polarities lie within, a centrifugal and a centripetal, in each human organ. For everything that is of a sculptural nature, the distribution and differentiation of the relative warmth and the organization of the air-conditions play a great role. For everything which is centrifugal, radiating, a great role is played by what in the human organism comes from the dynamic of the substances of the world themselves and what is developed in surmounting the vitality proper to external nature (“der äusseren Wesenheit”) in the human organism. These two dynamics must be regulated reciprocally, and one can hope that curative eurythmists come forth who will cultivate a fine feeling for what can be achieved in different instances. Precisely here will extraordinarily much depend upon the artistic disposition of the soul.

Now when you take into consideration that the whole system of curative eurythmy can be reinforced by actual therapeutic methods, you find you have two factors which work together. One can say to oneself, such and such affects the heart in particular in this or that way; one can reinforce that effect with a curative eurythmy exercise: then one thing will promote the other in a complementary manner. That is something which opens up truly great vistas, which can have an extraordinarily great future. Just think of the effect of massage, in some instances. I do not want to say anything against it or to criticise it; I acknowledge its importance. Yet this outward scratching about on the human being is inconsequential in comparison to the massage that you apply when you induce entire systems of organs which work together to move inwardly in a different manner, through the elements of curative eurythmy. That is the most inward kneading of the whole organism, linked with effects in the etheric, the astral, the ego organisms. Thus it is possible to say that what one recognizes as correct in massage is, in an unendingly powerful way, made inward through curative eurythmy. One will in fact first gain an insight into the curative effects of gymnastics as well when one examines the resemblance between gymnastic exercises and eurythmic exercises. What is therapeutic in gymnastics is only of secondary importance to what is of significance in curative eurythmy. As I said at that time in Domach, if one has the E-movement carried out in a rhythmic sequence in the manner that was then demonstrated, one does a great deal to help weak-looking children — children who only feebly carry through their bodily functions — to become healthier and to begin to become stronger, as one would wish to see them. It is, however, necessary that one takes the whole human being into consideration in such matters. Again and again it happens that the entire human being is taken too little into consideration. I know that that is a triviality, for you will say: “We know that, of course.” Indeed, but again and again in practice it is not taken into consideration. How often one hears: this person has an irregularly functioning heart, something must be done for it. Yes, but if one were to take the total human being into consideration one would have to say: thank God that he has such a heart; his organism couldn't tolerate a normal one. Similarly, for example, under certain circumstances one would have to say of a person who had broken his nose, that he had suffered a favourable stroke of fate: if he breathed in air through completely developed channels, he would have too much air for his organism to process. What has its foundations in the organism as a whole must everywhere be taken into consideration.

When the movements for “I” are carried out in a certain manner, they tend to harmonize the association of the right and the left sides of the human organism. With “I” one can be of help in all asymmetries that appear in the human organism.. Through the cautious use of “I”-movements one can have excellent results with curative eurythmy, even in the case of squinting. With squinting I would only advise that one does not proceed as one would with a person who walks asymmetrically, for example, or who can use the right and left arms too asymmetrically. For squinting I would apply the usual I-movements but would carry them out only with the index finger, and in this way I would have them repeated as often as possible during the day. When the person is still growing this can bring good results, especially if the “I” is carried out with the big toe as well. The best results will be achieved, however, when one can bring the patient to do it with the little toe as well. On the asymmetries affecting the sight these eurythmic exercises performed at the periphery will have a most beneficial effect. On the other hand, when it is a question of evening-out an indexterity in the manner in which a person walks, it could even bring good results to have him do the reverse: that is, to carry out the I-movement with the line of vision, as when sighting. Provided, of course, it does him no harm. In fact, one can really establish a sort of law: everything which is abnormal in the lower human being tends to be normalized by what is created as a compensation in the upper man, and vice versa.

When you find insecurities in standing, which may, of course, arise in the most varied manners, the forms of “U” will be of especial importance. However, you must see that the U-form is brought to completion so that the limbs concerned are really contiguous. This being in direct contact with one another, so that one limb feels the other, is of particular importance. Only then is the U-form complete. In artistic eurythmy it is only necessary to indicate that this is so; in curative eurythmy, however, it must be carried out: one limb is brought up against the other so that one stands as when “at attention” — with the legs pressed against one another. That is an extraordinarily curative exercise for people who are affected with a compulsive twitching in the head. When it is fitting to treat corpulent children by means of curative eurythmy, the O-forms serve the purpose well. All these forms, however, if they are intended to bring results as curative eurythmy, must be combined with a distinct perception of the muscle system involved. If you simply make the O-form as many eurythmists do, it will suffice as an outward indication. It will not have a curative effect, however, unless in the process of doing the exercise you feel the muscles throughout the arm. The slack swinging form has no effect; the sensation of the whole muscle system in its details, however, will bring the respective curative eurythmic result. It is particularly important to take heed that the curative eurythmic exercise is strengthened by ex-tending it into the consciousness. When you do the O-movement as I just did it, it is associated with a strong projection into the consciousness. Tell the obese person whom you treat with the O-form: “think of your obesity, of your own girth, when doing the ‘O’!” In this way the consciousness centres on exactly that which is to be remedied. You thereby rein-force in its innermost nature what is intended, namely, that the element of consciousness is not in the least to be underestimated in healing.

In this connection I have reason to believe that when these things become known, a battle with the orthopedists will take place. Despite the fact that they are experiencing a great deal of success in their field at the present time, they are quite intent on treating the human being as a sort of mechanism. In the case of appliances used therapeutically in such a way that the person in question should continually feel them, that they enter his awareness, this consciousness is an excellent curative factor. Let us say, for example, that I find it would be advantageous for someone to straighten his shoulders; and I give him bandages which bring to his awareness that the shoulders should be held hack — in other words, so that the treatment isn't carried out unconsciously. It is exactly the same in curative eurythmy: these matters are brought to consciousness, in order that, as I have already said, this concentration vitally reinforce the curative eurythmic element itself.

Let us go on to something of particular importance which I want to tell you. Everything that is an E-form has a regulatory effect where the astral organism affects the etheric organism either too strongly or too weakly. Thus in all those cases where one determines that either an exaggerated or an insufficient activity of the astral organism is present, one will under circumstances be able to achieve a great deal with the E-forms, with the repetition of the E-forms. E-forms could have a curative effect upon both complexes of symptoms which I described in the previous hour. What I have just said is particularly true when the astral organism is under the influence of the etheric, when it is too weak, when it permits itself to be influenced by the etheric, which itself is too strong as the result of an irregularity in the astral organism of the head. The opposite condition in which the etheric is too strongly affected by the astral may also arise. That would be the case when the astral comes very forcefully to expression in the intestine: when one gets diarrhoea on every occasion when one is a bit afraid. The U-forms will have an especially advantageous effect here.

Yesterday a question arose which I would like to discuss briefly here, in closing: can one allow persons who are pregnant or who have gynaecological complaints to do certain eurythmic movements? Just examine what was given as a rule in Dornach. You should be able to adhere to it even though in the case of pregnant women and gynaecological patients you must make certain that the abdomen is left in peace. It must be left undisturbed. It must not be irritated by curative eurythmic exercises. Although the abdomen itself is left in peace, exercises may nevertheless definitely be done with the arms while sitting, or while lying down, with the head; and while that which must have quiet is in complete repose. You will still find enough in the indications given to be able to take measures through curative eurythmy. Naturally when the person cannot move at all, eurythmy would he quite the most beneficial for him, as in the case of paralytic symptoms; but under the circumstances the person cannot carry them out. They would definitely be the most wholesome. Such paralytic symptoms are of course in essence an abnormal functioning of the astral body, which does not engage itself in the etheric and physical organisation. Here one will be able to achieve a great deal with E-movements. An E-movement that is very beneficial for disturbances of the abdomen is the carefully performed, not exaggerated, artificial crossing of the eyes. It is in fact true that the somewhat decadent yogis who do certain exercises in which they focus their eyes on the tip of the nose, really intend to evoke the most harmonic activity of the abdomen possible, since they know the significance of abdominal activity for what such people call spiritual activity. Thus one can say: matters are such that one can simply replace, with a lighter eurythmy of the arms, the fingers, or even the eyes when it is necessary, certain things that a person with a healthy abdomen would do with jumps. A pregnant woman should never be induced to do curative eurythmy exercises with jumps. That, of course, won't do.

As you see, it was not intended to produce a panacea that could be learnt in half a day. Curative eurythmy too must be acquired through earnest labour, and it is necessary in fact that it is acquired through practice. For practically every time you put the curative eurythmy exercises into practice, with the help of your curative exercises, you will be able to make better use of them. It is indeed so: through practice one will make exceptionally good progress, most particularly in curative eurythmy.

Now it was my intention to present you with this more theoretical discussion of curative eurythmy, because everything else having to do with it, to the extent curative eurythmy exists today, was given earlier in Dornach and will be handed on by our physician friends and thus be available to you; and because I wanted to give you the possibility of understanding the whole physiological and therapeutic meaning of eurythmy. Of course, on the other hand, one must not overestimate something like curative eurythmy. In many cases it will be an extraordinarily important resource, but one should not overestimate it. One must make clear to oneself that really nothing can be achieved with intoxicating simplicity; one can no more heal a broken leg or broken arm through curative exercises alone, than one can heal a carcinoma through the intoxicating simplicity of harmonizing the disharmonious. One must be entirely clear that it is not an increase in dilettantism and medical amateurism which is to be found on the path of spiritual science, but rather a definite enrichment of professional medical ability. Excuse me for emphasizing it so often; in order to prevent misunderstandings, however, I particularly want to stress again that the methods are not brought forward in amateurish opposition to official medicine, as is often the case in fanatical movements. They take into account the state of medical science at present, and desire only to lead it along the path along which it must be led, for the simple reason that it is not true that the human being is only that which the physiology and anatomy of today maintain he is. He is that, to be sure, but he is something more as well: he must be recognized from the aspect of his soul and spirit. Then those peculiar mental pictures that constantly show up nowadays, in which the brain for example is seen as a sort of central telegraphic apparatus to which the so-called sensory nerves run, and from which the motor nerves lead, will disappear. The whole matter has no relation to reality, as will have become clear to you through today's lecture. In the nerve-sensory system one has rather to do with a sort of modelling dynamic, from which something is wrung which then accommodates itself to the activity of the soul. There is a great deal to be done in order to give back to a healthy physiology what has been taken from it through the correlations incorrectly established between the physical organism and the functions of the soul. Something physical is indeed present for every function of the soul during the course of man's life on earth, but, on the other hand, nothing is used for the soul which has not a much greater importance for the bodily organization in its reciprocal action with the other organs. Nothing which is used for the soul is used merely as an organ of the soul. Our entire soul and spiritual make-up is wrested from the bodily nature, is taken out of the bodily. We may not permit ourselves to indicate certain organs as belonging to the soul. We could only say that the soul-functions are such that they are disengaged from the organic functions and are particularly adapted to the activity of the soul. Only when we become earnest about what is at work in the human organism, when we no longer proceed in so outward a fashion, that we picture the whole nervous system as an insertion serving the life of the soul can we hope to perceive the human organization as it is. Only when the human organism is so perceived can it provide the basis for a physiology and therapy which work in the Iight, not grope in the dark. I make this last remark to you, so that you yourselves do not leave here under a misunderstanding, and to enable you to counter misunderstandings which arise again and again.

Our carcinoma medication, for example, has been criticized with the “intoxicating simplicity” that arises from having no idea whatever about the knowledge through which one has arrived at the medication. People have constructed instead some simple analogy or another and believe that in disposing of the analogy, one can have done with the matter itself. A proviso for the development and growth of the spiritual-scientific side of medicine is that one confront the misunderstandings at least to a degree. People will soon notice that when they cannot spread misunderstandings, they will have very little at all to say, for the principal concern of the opponents is the broadcasting of misconceptions about the whole of Anthroposophy. Count how many adversaries have something other than misconceptions to relate. I must say that I often read antagonistic articles or essays and could connect them with something else entirely, were my name not present. It has no relation to what is nurtured here; it deals with something entirely different. Sometimes I am very much surprised and would like to go and search out where that which is being refuted has been expounded; in any case not here. In medicine the same thing is done as in theology; there one encounters it as well. One can, for example, say to a theologian at the pinnacle of science: we have the same to say about the Christ as you, only somewhat more. He is, however, not content when one says what he himself says, and then something in addition. He maintains one should not add anything to it. He does not criticize what is contrary to his assertions, he criticizes what he says nothing at all about. He criticizes what is said, simply because one speaks about something he knows nothing about. He considers it a mistake to know something about what he knows nothing about. Medicine must not fall into this error. We must observe accurately, and, rather than contradicting, we must add a great deal, out of an extremely well-founded knowledge of the healthy and diseased human being.


References to books related to passages in the text

Page 2 “... metamorphic variation ... Goetheanistic contemplation ...” see: Goethes Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften, edited by Rudolf Steiner, Kurschner's “Deutsche National-Literature”, Vol. 1, Troxler-Verlag Bern 1949

Page 65 The lecture which appears here as number seven (April 18, 1921) was given in connection with the so-called second course for physicians and is printed in the book Geisteswissenschaftliche Gesichtspunkte zur Therapie, Dornach 1963, as well. Rudolf Steiner refers to this lecture at the end of the foregoing with the words: “After a short pause we will proceed with greater reference to eurythmy.”

Page 79 The eighth lecture was given in connection with the “Medical Week” held in Stuttgart from the 26th to the 28th of October 1922 (see Physiologisch-Therapeutisches auf Grundlage der Geisteswissenschaft, Dornach 1965.) This lecture is printed only here.

Page 92 “E-forms could have a curative effect upon both complexes of symptoms which I described in the previous hour.” See the fourth lecture in the series: Anthroposophische Grundlagen für die Arzneikunst, in Physiologisch-Therapeutisches auf Grundlage der Geisteswissenschaft. Dornach 1965, page 140



1. In another transcript A appears here rather than S. — German editor.

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