The Therapeutic Process
Our knowledge of the effects of therapeutic substances is based upon
the understanding of the development of forces in the world outside
man. For, in order to bring about a healing process, we must bring
into the organism substances which will distribute themselves in it in
such a way that the disease process gradually transforms itself to a
normal one. It is the essential nature of a disease process that
something is going on within the organism which does not integrate
itself into its total activities. Such a disease process has this in
common with a similar process in outer nature.
We may say: If there arises within the organism a process similar to
one of external nature, illness ensues. Such a process may take hold
of the physical or the etheric organism. Either the astral body or the
ego will then have to complete a task they do not normally fulfil. In
a period of life when they should be unfolding in free activity of
soul, they must revert to an earlier stage even in many cases as
far back as the embryonic period and then have to assist in
creating physical and etheric formations which should already have
passed into the domain of the physical and etheric organism, for in
the earliest periods of human life these formations are in fact
provided for by the astral body and ego-organization; only afterwards
are they taken over by the unaided physical and etheric bodies. The
whole development of the human organism is based upon this principle;
originally the entire form and configuration of the physical and
etheric body proceed from the activity of the astral body and
ego-organization; then, with increasing age, the astral and
ego-activities within the physical and etheric organization go on
their own accord. But if they fail to do so, the astral body and
ego-organization will have to intervene at a later stage of their
development in a way for which they are no longer properly adapted.
Let us assume that we have to do with lower abdominal disorders. The
physical and etheric organizations are failing to carry out, in the
corresponding parts of the human body, the activities which were
transmitted to them at a former age of life. The astral and
ego-activities must intervene. Because of this they are weakened for
other functions in the organism. They are no longer present where they
ought to be for instance, in the formation of the nerves that go
into the muscles. Paralytic symptoms arise as a result, in certain
parts of the body.
It will then be necessary to bring into the body substances which can
relieve the astral and ego-organization of the activity that does not
belong to them. We find that the processes which work in the formation
of powerful etheric oils in the plant organism, notably in the
formation of the flower, are able to fulfil this purpose. The same
applied to certain substances containing phosphorus. But we must see
to it that the phosphorus is so mixed with other substances as to
unfold its action in the intestinal tract and not in the metabolism
that lies beyond.
If it is a case of inflammatory conditions in the skin, here too the
astral body and ego-organization are unfolding an abnormal activity.
They are then withdrawn from the influences which they ought to bring
to bear on organs situated more internally. They reduce the
sensitivity of internal organs. These again, owing to their lessened
sensitivity, will cease to carry out their proper functions. In this
way abnormal conditions may arise, for instance in the action of the
liver, and the digestion may be incorrectly influenced. If we now
introduce silicic acid into the organism, the activities which the
astral and ego-organism have been devoting to the skin are relieved.
The normal inward activity of this organism is set free again and a
healing process is thus initiated.
Again, we may be confronted by disease conditions manifesting
themselves in palpitations; in such a case, an irregular action of the
astral organism is influencing the circulation of the blood. This
astral activity is then weakened for the processes in the brain.
Epileptiform conditions arise, since the weakened astral activity in
the head organism involves an undue tension and exertion of the
etheric activities of that region. We can introduce into the system
the gumlike substance obtainable from Levisticum (lovage) as a
decoction, or preferably in the slightly modified form of a
preparation then the activity of the astral body, wrongly
absorbed by the circulation, is set free, and the strengthening of the
brain organization occurs.
In all these cases the real direction of the disease activities must
be determined by an appropriate diagnosis. Take the last mentioned
case. It may be in fact that the disturbance in the interplay of the
etheric and astral bodies proceeds originally from the circulation.
The brain symptoms are then a consequence. We can proceed with a cure
along the lines described above.
But the opposite may also be the case. The original cause of
irregularity may arise between the astral and etheric activities in
the brain system. Then the irregular circulation and abnormal cardiac
activity will be the consequence. In such a case we shall have to
introduce sulphates, for example, into the metabolic process. These
work on the etheric organization of the brain in such a way as to call
forth in it a strong force of attraction to the astral body. The
effect can be observed as the consequent improvement in initiative of
thought, in the will-sphere, and in the patient's general state of
composure and control. It will then probably be necessary to
supplement this treatment by the use, for instance, of a copper salt,
so as to assist the astral forces in gaining their renewed influence
upon the circulatory system.
We shall observe that the organism as a whole returns to its regular
activity when the excessive action of the astral and ego-organism in
some part of the body, conditioned by the physical and the etheric, is
replaced by an activity which has been externally induced. The
organism has the tendency to balance-out its own deficiencies. Hence
it will restore itself if an existing irregularity can for a time be
regulated artificially by combating the abnormal process, which was
internally induced and must be made to cease, with a similar process
brought about externally.