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Pastoral Medicine

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

Pastoral Medicine

The Collegial Working of Doctors and Priests

On-line since: 27th March, 2008

Pastoral Medicine

The Collegial Working of Doctors and Priests

Rudolf Steiner Archive Document

Lectures Section

The eleven lectures presented here were given in Dornach from September 8 to September 18, 1924. In the collected edition of Rudolf Steiner's works, the volume containing the German texts is entitled Das Zusammenwirken von Ärzten und Seelsorgen: Pastoral-Medizinischer Kurs (vol. 318 in the Bibliographic Survey). The lectures in this volume, were translated from the German by Gladys Hahn.

By Rudolf Steiner

Bn/GA 318

These documents treat the question of illnesses of the spirit that manifest in certain physical problems. Particularly striking is the description of the slow physical degeneration of certain mystics who despite the deterioration of their organism have real spiritual experiences. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the book is the insight it gives into how Steiner laid the foundations for an esoteric path connected with a vocation.

These eleven lectures, translated from the German by Gladys Hahn, were given in Dornach from September 8 to September 18, 1924. In the collected edition of Rudolf Steiner's works, the volume containing the German texts is entitled: Das Zusammenwirken von Ärzten und Seelsorgen: Pastoral-Medizinischer Kurs (vol. 318 in the Bibliographic Survey).

This volume is presented here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland.

Copyright © 1987
This e.Text edition is provided with the cooperation of:
The Anthroposophic Press
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 Cover Sheet  
Publisher's Forward
Lecture 1 September 08, 1924

Clear separation of the priest's profession from the physician's. Historical aspects. The priest: pastoral care of the healthy and the ill; hygienic importance of fasting, etc.; healing effect of the sacraments. Relation of physician and priest to those ill in soul. Therapy working from life to consciousness; the sacraments from consciousness to life. Working together of priest and physician, each out of his own profession.

Lecture 2 September 09, 1924

Pathological changes in the physical body. Understanding of the human organization from sculptural, musical views and through comprehension of the Logos. Different ways that the four members of the human being relate to one another. And the consequences. Stages of spiritual experience; the Pythians; St. Theresa. Transition of such conditions to organic illness.

Lecture 3 September 10, 1924

Four states of spiritual experience; their anthroposophical explanation. Effect of such development on illness. St. Theresa. How karma can become entangled. How free will and responsibility can be judged.

Lecture 4 September 11, 1924

Human development from birth to young adulthood. Heredity and the individuality. A child perceives spirit in his whole natural environment. Formative forces work and are then freed: memory. Intellectual forces develop. Sun forces in first seven years: etheric forces forming the body. Moon forces in second seven years: astral forces of reproduction. Sun in the child's soul-spiritual activity. Planetary forces in third seven years. Change at beginning of 20's; fourth seven years. Finally the human being deserted by cosmic forces; significance of this point of time: freedom and responsibility.

Lecture 5 September 12, 1924

Oddities of consciousness, of memory, speech, will; their causes. Three stages of pathological development. Inability to adjust will to the world. Memory devoid of logic. Mental handicap, idiocy, paranoia. Congenital mental retardation. Premature reception of ego organization = precociousness. Acquired idiocy. Danger of bad pedagogical systems. Froebel.

Lecture 6 September 13, 1924

Illness from the point of view of karma. Belief in earlier ages: illness the result of sin. In present age: sin the result of a sick organism. Ferdinand Raimund. Earlier incarnations cause head formation; life between death and rebirth causes formation of breathing system. The handling of psychopathological cases. Healing as a divine service.

Lecture 7 September 14, 1924

The difference between processes outside man and in man. Inhalation, creating the human being: activity of astral body. Exhalation, activity of etheric body. Cosmic astrality active during sleep. Nerve-sense process a finer breathing, taking place in warmth element. Light, chemism, life breathed in with warmth element, bringing about thinking, feeling, willing. Physical circulatory systems the projection of the various spiritual activities. Karma from the past, karma for the future.

Lecture 8 September 15, 1924

Forces of the universe: working of sun, moon, planets on the plants. Life of the sun in relation to the human being. Instreaming and outstreaming karma. Sun and moon in relation to each other: Administering the sacraments out of this knowledge.

Lecture 9 September 16, 1924

Causes of illness originating in sleep. Search for the medicinal remedy. Somnambulism. Temple sleep. Modern physician must practice wise observation and deal directly with life. Materialism, spiritualism. Cultural pathology and therapy. Priest must speak of illness from knowledge of repeated earth-lives.

Lecture 10 September 17, 1924

Overcoming passive thinking by perceiving man's place in the cosmos. The human ego between a day's breathing and a platonic cosmic year. The cosmic year in relation to the breathing rhythm of a day, of a lifetime. Waking-and-sleeping. Forces of winter and summer creating the nerve-sense system and metabolic system. The world according to measure, number, weight; the irrational world. From “nomy” to “sophy.”

Lecture 11 September 18, 1924

Medicine in the ancient mysteries. Its renewal in this age. Subnature, nature, supernature: Father, Christ, Spirit. Pathology of evolving humanity. The death on Golgotha: the curative process. Path of the physician; path of the priest.


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