Friday, April 15, 2016
As Above, So Below : Some Basic Principles of Healing
Spiritual Science and Medicine. Lecture 4 of 20.
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, March 24, 1920:
The discussion yesterday was certainly of absorbing interest, but I must enter a caveat in connection with a question that has just been handed to me. I must again — as on a previous occasion — emphasize that we shall only reach an adequate method of ascertaining the relationship between individual remedies and individual phenomena of disease, after having answered in these lectures certain preliminary questions.
Only these can enable us to judge the significance of every fact we discover about the connection between man and that external nature from which our remedies are derived. In particular, until we have settled these preliminaries we shall not find it possible to deal with the connection between specific remedies and specific organs, for the simple reason that the connection is a complicated one, and we can only appreciate its real point when we have answered certain preliminary questions. This we shall try to do today and perhaps also in part tomorrow. Then we shall be in a position to point out a definite connection between particular remedies and the disease of particular organs.
I want to make an introductory remark today and at once; and to ask you to accept it provisionally, because it throws light on many things.
Regarding what was said in yesterday's lecture, [Ed: A lecture on the Ritter treatment of disease given by one of those attending the course.] I should like to ask you to face the reverse side of the matter. In that lecture, many very instructive cases were cited of undoubted cures — and certainly we must feel deeply gratified at this result. But I can suggest a very simple means whereby these cures would become more and more infrequent, and of course, I only make this suggestion so that you do not use this means although one might be led to use it. And I can, of course, only mention this among persons who have acquired a certain knowledge of Anthroposophy.
The method referred to would consist in making every possible effort to make the Ritter therapy universally accepted. In face of successes of this treatment, you forget that you work as individual physicians. Possibly individuals among you may be aware of the struggle you have to wage against the majority of other doctors; and you may be aware that the moment you make Ritter's treatment into an accepted university institution, you would cease to be a minority in opposition and that treatment would then be practiced by many others — I will not go so far as to say by all. You would then find the number of your successful cures appreciably diminished.
So strangely do things befall in real life; they are often quite different from what we have imagined.
As individual medical men you have the greatest interest in healing the individual patient, and modern materialistic medicine has even — one might say — sought in this way a legal justification for its aim of healing the individual. But this justification really consists in the claim that there are no diseases; there are only sick, diseased people! Now, this justification would be valid if patients were really so isolated regarding their sickness as appears to be the case today. But in actual fact, individual patients are not so isolated. The fact that certain dispositions of disease spread over a wide region, as was mentioned yesterday by Dr. E., is of great importance. After curing one case, you can never be sure of the number of other individuals to whom you have brought the disease. The single case of disease is not viewed as part of a general process, and therefore, taken one by one, the individual result may be most striking.
But one who aims at the benefit of mankind as a whole must speak — if I may say so — from a different angle. This is the factor which requires not only a one-sided purely therapeutic orientation, but a completely worked out therapy on the basis of pathology. This is precisely what we here attempt to provide, bringing a certain rationale into what is otherwise merely an empirical thinking on a basis of statistics.
We will start our inquiry today from a fact that is common knowledge, and can fundamentally help us to judge the relationship of man to external nature, but has not been given anything like due attention in ordinary medical and biological thinking.
This is that man as a threefold being — in his nerves and senses system, in his circulatory system (as a being living in rhythms), and finally in his metabolic system — has a certain negative relationship to the events of external nature, especially in the plant world. Please give your consideration to this: in external nature (let us consider only plants to begin with) there is in the flora a tendency at work to concentrate carbon, to make this substance the base of all vegetation. Inasmuch as we are surrounded with plants, we are surrounded with organic structures whose essential nature consists of carbon concentration. Do not forget that the same substance is also present in the human organism, but that it is essential to the organism to arrest this formation, to keep it, as it were, in a permanent status nascendi, of dissolution, and to replace it by the opposite substance.
We have the initial stages of this process in what I have recently termed the lower human organism. We deposit the carbon and begin, as it were, out of our own forces, the process of plant formation, and at the same time we are compelled to fight against this process, at the urge of our upper organism. We cancel the plant formation by opposing carbon with oxygen, by changing it into carbon dioxide, and thus we develop in ourselves the process directly opposite to plant formation.
I recommend you to give heed wherever these processes contrary to external nature are found. You will thereby reach a more fundamental comprehension of what man actually is. You do not understand man's nature by weighing him — to take a symbolic example for all investigations by means of the methods proper to physics; but you will understand something about the mechanics of man immediately if you consider that the brain, as is well known, has an average weight of about 1,300 grams, but that this full weight cannot press upon the lower interior surface of the cranium, for if it did, all the delicate network of minute veins in that region would be crushed and obliterated. The pressure of the brain on its base does not exceed twenty grams. The cause is the well-known hydraulic principle enunciated by Archimedes, that the brain becomes buoyant as it floats in the cerebro-spinal fluid, so that its total mass and weight are not effective but are counteracted by the surrounding liquid. And just as the weight of the brain is neutralized and we do not live within the physical weight of our organism, but within the buoyancy which is the force opposed to material weight — so is it with other human processes. In fact we do not live in what physics would make of us, but in that part of the physical that is neutralized or counteracted in us. And similarly we do not live in the processes observable as operative in external nature, which reach their final manifestations in the vegetable world, but we live in the cancellation of the plant-formation process. This fact is of course an essential in building the bridge between the human organism in disease and remedies drawn from the vegetable world.
This theme could be treated — so to speak — in the style of a poetical story. We could say: if we take in all the beauty of the vegetable world that surrounds us in external nature, we are entranced, and rightly so. But it is otherwise if we cut open a sheep's body and forthwith become aware of another kind of flora which certainly originated in a similar way to the flora of the external world.
If we open the body of a freshly killed sheep and encounter the full force of the odor of putrefaction from its entrails, we most certainly feel far less pleasure in the existence of the intestinal flora. We must carefully note and consider this fact; for it is simply self-evident that the same causes which favor the growth of vegetation in external nature must be counteracted in man, and that the intestinal flora ought not to develop in us. Here we have a remarkably extensive field of research, and I would venture to recommend, as a theme for doctoral theses for younger students, to make use of this subject matter, and especially of comparative anatomical research, on the intestinal structures of various animal groups, through mammals up to man. As I say, a remarkably rich source, for much that is most significant here has not yet been investigated. Try particularly to find out why the opened sheep exhales so foul an odor of putrefaction by reason of its intestinal flora, whereas this is far from being the case in birds, even in carrion birds, whose bodies when opened smell comparatively pleasant. There is very much in these matters that has received no scientific study and research up till now. And the same is true of the comparative anatomy of the intestines. Think for a moment of the considerable difference in all birds from both the Mammalia and mankind. (It is just here that materialists, for instance the Paris expert, Metchnikoff, have perpetrated the greatest errors). In birds there is a remarkably poor development of both bladder and large intestine. Only in those groups which form the Ratites (the ostrich and its relatives) does the colon begin to enlarge, and certain approximations to the bladder appear. So that we are led to the important fact that birds are unable to accumulate their excretions, retain them for a while within their bodies, and then evacuate them as occasion offers; but on the contrary, there is a continuous equipoise between what is taken into their bodies and what is evacuated from them.
It is one of the most superficial views to regard the flora of the human intestines — and, as we shall see later, also the microscopic fauna found there and elsewhere in the human organism — as anything to be called the cause of sickness. It is really quite appalling, in the course of examining and collating the pathology literature today, to find in every chapter the refrain: In cases of this disease we have discovered such and such a bacillus, in cases of that disease another bacillus, and so forth. Such facts are of great interest to the study of the botany and zoology of the human organisms, but as regards the condition of disease they have at best only the significance of indicators, indicators enabling one to conclude that if this or that form of disease is present, the human organism thus affected offers appropriate soil for the growth of this or that interesting vegetable or animal micro-organism. They mean this and nothing more.
With the disease as such, this development of microscopic flora and fauna has only very little to do; and that little, only indirectly. I ask you to observe that the logic displayed in contemporary medicine today on these themes is quite remarkable. Suppose for example you discover a landscape in which you find a number of extremely well-fed and healthy-looking cattle. Would it occur to you to say: all that you behold in this countryside is as it is because the cattle have somehow descended from the air and have infected the district? Such an idea would hardly occur to you; rather will you be obliged to inquire why there are industrious people in this district, why the soil is specially propitious for this or that form of pasturage, and so on. You will probably exhaust all the possible reasons for well-fed and cared-for livestock in your mental review; but you would never dream of propounding the theory that the countryside has been infected by an immigration of well-fed cows! This however is exactly the train of reasoning displayed by Medical Science today, in respect of microbes, etc.
These remarkable creatures simply prove, by their presence, that there is a certain type of medium or substratum favorable to them, and attention should accordingly be directed to the study of this substratum. Of this substratum, of course there may be indirect causes and effects. For instance, in the countryside we spoke of, someone might say; “Here are a lot of fine, well-cared for cattle; if we send a few more, perhaps some more people will put their backs into it and join the others.” Thus it is, of course, possible, that a well-prepared substratum is incited by the invasion of bacteria to develop some disease on its own part. But with the study of disease as such this concentration on the nature of bacilli has nothing whatever to do. If only care were taken to build up a sound logical line of thought, nothing of what is perpetrated by official science to the ruin of sound thinking could occur.
The really decisive factor is a certain unbalanced interaction of what I have recently termed the upper and lower spheres in man, which may disturb or destroy their correct and normal relationship. So that a defective counter-activity of the upper sphere may set free in the lower sphere forces which cannot cope with the process of plant formation; a process which is there as an inborn tendency and requires to be checked. Then there is opportunity for the growth of abundant intestinal flora, and such intestinal flora becomes a symptom of defective abdominal functions in man.
Now there is this peculiarity: the activities which normally proceed from the upper sphere to the lower are dammed up, as it were, if they cannot fulfill their downward course. Therefore, if there are obstacles which prevent the performance of the functions for which the lower part of the body is organized, those functions are pushed backward. That may seem to some people an unscientific expression, but it is more scientifically accurate than much that is written in the usual text books on pathology. These processes, normally proper to the lower sphere of man, are pushed back into the upper, and we have to observe and follow this up as a cause of discharges from the lungs and other parts of the upper body, such as the pleura and so on, and inquire into the state of the normal or abnormal secretory processes of the lower sphere of man It is very important to get a clear view of this reversal of organic processes from and through the lower sphere into the upper again, so that much that manifests in the upper parts are simply abdominal processes pushed back. And this reversal of processes does occur if the correct interaction between the two spheres is disturbed.
Here is another circumstance for your consideration. You all know it as a fact, but it has not received adequate attention, although a healthy scientific view would lay great stress on it. At the very moment that you have thoughts about any organ of your body, or to express it better, thoughts that are connected with any organ, there is a certain degree of activity in that part. Here is, I suggest to you, another wide field for future doctoral theses! Just study the association of certain trains of thought with, for example, the flow of saliva, the flow of mucoid substance from the intestines, the flow of milk, of urine, of seminal secretion; all these are the accompaniment of thoughts which arise and proceed concurrently with these organic phenomena.
What is the fact before us? In your soul life, certain thoughts arise; organic phenomena appear concurrently; the two processes run parallel. What does it mean? What arises in your thoughts is entirely within the organs. If you have thoughts synchronizing with a glandular secretion, you have drawn the activity which is the basis of the thought, the thinking, out of the gland itself. You perform the activity apart from the gland, leaving the gland to its own fate, and the gland performs its proper activity: it secretes. The secretion is held up — that is to say, what otherwise is set free from the gland remains within it, because thought unites it with the gland. Here then you have, so to speak, in a tangible form, the passing of plastic activity from out of the organ into the thought. You can say to yourselves: if I had not thought thus, my gland would not have secreted. That is: I have drawn a force out of the gland, transferred it into my soul life, and the gland has given forth its secretion.
The human organism supplies the most obvious proof of my argument, in our previous considerations, that what we experience in soul and spirit is simply the operation of those formative forces, separated in us, but working in the rest of Nature's order. The external natural processes take place by virtue of the same forces that develop the flora of fields and woods, corresponding to our intestinal flora; in the external flora are the same formative forces that we extract in the case of our own flora. If you look at the flora of the mountains and meadows, you must recognize in them the same forces that you evolve in your thoughts when you live in representation and feeling. And the humble vegetation of your intestines differs from the external flora because the latter do not have to be deprived of the thoughts. Thoughts are inherent in the external vegetable world, as much parts of the plants as their stems and leaves and blossoms.
Here you get an idea of the kinship between what holds sway in flowers and foliage and that which works within yourself when you develop an intestinal vegetation, which you deprive of formative powers, taking those powers away for your own use. For indeed, if you did not do this you would not be a thinking being. You take away from your intestinal flora what the flora out in nature still retain.
This is equally true of the fauna. It is impossible to correlate the nature of man with remedies from the vegetable world without understanding what I have just said. Similarly until we realize that mankind has drawn away from his intestinal fauna the formative forces of animal life in external nature, we can get no right concept of the use of sera.
So you can see that a system, a rationale, in these matters is only obtainable when we envisage the relationship of man to his environment. And I would draw your attention to another point that is curiously significant. I do not know how many of you some time ago noticed the most preposterous placards forbidding people to spit. As you know the purpose behind them was to combat tuberculosis. These prohibitory placards are abjured for the reason — which ought to be common knowledge — that the daily diffused light of the Sun destroys the bacilli of tuberculosis in a very short time. If you examine a sputum specimen after a short time, it contains no more such bacilli. So that even if the assumption of current medicine were valid, this prohibition would be extremely absurd. Such prohibitions have significance for the elementary observance of cleanliness, but not for the widest aspects of hygiene.
For the student who is beginning to estimate facts correctly, this is very important, for it indicates the inability of the kinsman of intestinal fauna or flora, the bacillus, to survive in the sunlight. Sunlight does not suit it. Where can the bacillus survive? In the interior of the human body. And why just there? It is not that the bacillus itself is the noxious agent, it is the forces active within the body that we must consider. And here is another fact that is ignored. We are continually surrounded by light; light — as you will of course remember perfectly from your study of science — has supreme importance for the evolution of the extra-human beings, and especially for the development of all extra-human flora. But at the borderline between ourselves and the world outside, something very significant happens to light, that is, to something purely etheric: it becomes transmuted. And it needs must be transmuted. For, consider how the process of plant formation is held up in man, how this process is so to speak broken off and counteracted by the process that manufactures carbon dioxide. In the same way, the process contained in the life of light is interrupted in man. And so, if we seek for light within man, it must be something transformed, it must be a metamorphosis of light.
At the moment of crossing the border of man inwards we have a metamorphosis of light. This means that man does not only transform the common, ponderable processes of external nature within himself, but also the imponderable element — Light itself. He changes it into something different. And if the bacillus of tuberculosis thrives in the human interior and perishes in the full sunlight, it is evident — to a sound judgment of the fact — that the product of the light as transmuted within us must offer a favorable environment to these bacilli, and if they multiply excessively, there must be something wrong with the product of transmutation, and thence we get the insight that among the causes of tuberculosis is involved that of the process of transmutation of light within the patient. Something occurs which should not occur, otherwise he would not harbor too many of the tuberculosis bacilli — for they are always present in all of us, but as a rule in insufficient numbers to provoke active tuberculosis. If they are too prolific, their “host” succumbs to the disease. And the tuberculosis bacillus could not be found everywhere if there were not something abnormal in the development of this transmuted light of the Sun.
It will again be easy to work out an adequate number of doctoral theses and scientific papers on this. Empirical material gleaned from observation will pour on you in floods, in corroboration of views which I can only offer here in mere outline.
What happens if a human being becomes suitable soil for tuberculosis bacilli is that either he is not constitutionally capable of absorbing sunlight, or he does not get enough sunlight owing to his way of life. Thus there is not an adequate balance between the amount of sunlight he receives from outside and the amount he can transmute; and this forces him to draw reserves from the already transmuted light stored up within him.
Please pay particular attention to this: Man, by the very fact of being man, has a continuous supply of stored and transmuted light within. That is necessary to his organization. If the mutual process enacted between man and the external sunlight does not take place properly, his body is deprived of the transmuted light, just as, in cases of emaciation, the body loses fat which it needs. And in such cases, man faces the dilemma of either forcing his upper sphere to become diseased or of depriving his lower sphere of what he needs for the upper: that is, of making his lower sphere sick, by depriving it of transmuted light.
You will gather from this that the organization of man needs not only ponderable substances, derived from the external world and transformed, but that imponderable, etheric substances are also present within him, although in metamorphosis. Further you will conclude that these basic principles afford the possibility of building up a correct view, on the one hand, of the healing effect of the Sun's light: we can expose the human being directly to the sunlight, in order to regulate his disordered interrelation to the environing light. And, on the other hand, we may administer internally those substances that counteract the irregularity in the deprivation of transmuted light. We must counterbalance the deprivation of transmuted light, by means of what can be drawn from the remedial substances. There is the window through which you can observe the human organization at work.
But now — you must excuse my somewhat undiplomatic expression, it is really objective, detached from sympathy or antipathy — everybody who observes the world must after a time acquire a certain anger against every use of the microscope, against every research on the microscopic scale: because microscopical methods are more apt to lead away from a wholesome view of life and its disturbances, than to lead towards it. All the processes actually affecting us, in our health and sickness, can be much better studied on the macroscopic than on the microscopic scale. We must only seek out the opportunities for such a study in the world of the macrocosm.
Let us return to the birds. As a result of the absence of a bladder and large intestine, these creatures possess a continual balance between nutrition and evacuation. Birds can evacuate their waste matter in flight; they do not retain it; they do not store it in themselves. They have no organs for such a purpose. If a bird were to accumulate and retain excretions, this would be a disease which would destroy it. In so far as we are human beings we have gone further than the birds on the evolutionary path, in the phrase that meets contemporary opinion; or — as would be a more correct statement — we have descended below the level of that order. For birds do not need to wage the vigorous war against intestinal flora which does not exist in them; this war is unavoidable in higher animals and mankind.
But let us consider a — shall we say — somewhat more highly placed activity of ours: the metamorphic activity of the etheric element, the metamorphosis of light, as just described. In respect of these functions we are on the same grade as birds. We have a large intestine and a bladder in our physical organism, but in our etheric organism, in these respects, we are birds; these organs are actually absent in the dynamics of the cosmos. Therefore we are obliged to work up light as soon as we receive it, and to give forth the products by excretion. If a disturbance arises here, there is no corresponding organ for its operation. We cannot stand the disturbance without our health suffering accordingly. So when we observe the birds with their miniature brains, it becomes evident that in the macrocosmos they are replicas of our more subtle organization. And if you want to study man with reference to this finer organisation which separates itself from his coarser organization which has descended below the birds — then, my friends, you must study the processes of the world of birds macroscopically.
Here I should like to interpolate a comment. We human creatures would be in a sad state if in our etheric organism we had the same superiority over birds as we have in our physical; for the etheric organism cannot be enclosed and sequestrated, in the same way, from the external world. If we possessed organs of smell receptive to the storage of transmuted light, the social life of mankind would be an appalling experience. We should have the same experience we get when we cut open a sheep and inhale the fumes of its entrails. Whereas, in actual fact, the etheric aroma of mankind, as perceived among ourselves, may be compared to the relatively far from disagreeable smell of a freshly killed carrion bird. Contrast this with what we smell if we open the body of a ruminant animal, and even of such an animal as the horse, which is not a true ruminant although it has the tendency to become a ruminant in its organization.
So what we have to do is to investigate the analogy between what happens in the external animal and vegetable worlds, and what happens in regard to the intestinal flora and fauna in the human organization, which has to be combated and counteracted. And in deciding the relationship between any specific organ and any specific remedy, we must pass from the general definitions just given, to the particular definitions and descriptions of the following lectures.
Now pass from the reasons compelling us to combat the intestinal flora and fauna, inasmuch as within the circulatory function we find something that attacks the process of plant formation. Let us consider man's nervous and senses system. This aspect of our nature is far more significant for its totality than is generally believed. Science has become so remote an abstraction that it has not been realized how this nervous and sensory system, which is interpenetrated with light and the warmth inseparable from light, is linked up with the internal life. This is because the imponderable elements that enter the body with the light must be absorbed and transmuted by our organs, and are forming organs in us, just as do the substances of the ponderable world. The special significance of the nerves and senses system for our human organism has been neglected.
But whereas if we enter more deeply into the lower man we descend out of the formative force of intestinal flora into that of intestinal fauna, we come if we ascend in man out of the region where the intestinal flora is combated into the region where there must be a continual combating of the tendency of man to become mineralized, to become sclerotic. You can observe externally in the greater ossification of the human head how the tendency towards mineralization increases the more man develops upwards.
This tendency towards mineralization is of great importance for our whole organization. We must constantly recall — as I have done already in public lectures — that in dividing the human being into three systems, i.e. the head man, the trunk man, and the limb man, we must be careful not to imagine that these three are external to one another within external spatial boundaries. Man is of course wholly head man, but qualitatively distributed. That which has its chief focus in the head also extends over the whole man. The same is true of the other main systems: circulation system, limb and metabolic system; they too extend throughout man's body. So the tendency to mineralization, localized chiefly in the head, exists and must be counteracted all through the body. Here is a field of knowledge of which the contemporary student can no longer understand anything when he glances through the ancient treatises written in the light of atavistic clairvoyance. For after all, only the smallest minority of those who trouble to read what Paracelsus writes of the salt-process get any worthwhile idea from it today. But the salt-process belongs to the region that I am now outlining, just as the sulphur process belongs to the region previously described.
Man has an inherent tendency to mineralization; just as the forces fundamental to the development of our internal flora and fauna can get “out of hand,” so also can the mineralizing tendency. How is it to be counteracted? Only by shattering it; by, as it were, driving a perpetual succession of minute wedges into it. And here you enter the region where you have to pass from serotherapy through vegetable therapy to mineral therapy. You cannot do without this, as you only reach a starting ground for the support of all that needs support, in man's struggle against mineralization, against general sclerosis, in the interaction between the minerals and those human substances which tend themselves to become minerals. It does not suffice simply to introduce the mineral, in its crude state as found in the external world, into the human organism. The right method would indicate some form of the homeopathic principle. For it is precisely from the mineral kingdom that we must set free the forces opposed to the action of the external forces of that kingdom.
It is a sound comment (and one already made) that we have only to turn our attention to the very slight mineral content of many medicinal springs, which have a remedial effect, in order to observe a conspicuous homeopathic process. This process shows that at the very instant in which we liberate the mineral components from their externally known forces, other forces emerge which can only be fully liberated through homeopathic dosage. This subject shall be given special consideration later on. But I would add the following consideration today, and address my remarks particularly to the younger members of my audience.
Let us assume that you are making comparative investigations into the structural changes of the whole intestinal system, let us say from the fishes, through the Amphibia, to the reptiles — the conditions in the Amphibia and reptiles in this respect, are most interesting — to the birds on the one side, and the mammals, and finally, man, on the other. You will find that remarkable changes of form occur in the organs. For instance, there are the Caeca, the equivalent of what has become the vermiform appendix in man; in the lower mammals — or in bird groups which deviate from the normal type — the rudiments of the vermiform appendix appear. Or study the quite different way in which the great gut, which does not exist in fishes, evolves through the ascent of so-called more perfect classes, into what we can recognize as the larger intestine (colon). Between this and the manner in which caeca become what we recognize as the appendix in mankind (certain species of animals have several appendices) you will find a remarkable complementary relationship.
A comparative study should bring this interrelationship into sharp relief. Of course you can put the question from the outside, as it were, and you know how often it is so put: why is there such a thing as the vermiform appendix in mankind? Yes, that is often asked. And if the question is raised, it is generally forgotten that man exhibits a duality, so that what originates in the lower sphere has always a complementary organ in the upper, and that certain organs of the upper sphere could not evolve without their complementary organs, almost their opposite poles, in the lower. The more the forebrain approximates to the form which it reaches in mankind, the more evolved does the intestine become in the direction of the process of the depositing of waste material. There is a close correspondence between cerebral and intestinal formation; if the great gut and the caecum did not appear in the course of animal evolution, it would not be possible for men capable of thinking to arise on a physical basis; for man possesses the brain, the organ of thinking, at the expense — I repeat, entirely at the expense — of his intestinal organs, and the intestinal organs are the exact reverse side of the brain parts. You are relieved of the need for physical action in order to think; but instead your organism is burdened with the functions of the highly developed larger intestine and bladder. Thus the highest activities of soul and spirit manifested in the physical world through man, so far as they are dependent on a complete brain formation, are also dependent on the equivalent structure of the intestine.
This crucially important interrelationship throws much light on the whole way in which nature works. For, however paradoxical, it is nevertheless permissible to say that man has a vermiform appendix in order that he may think like a human being. That which shapes and reveals itself in the appendix has its polar complement in the human brain. All that is in one sphere has its analogies in the other. These are facts which must be acquired once more through new methods of knowledge. We cannot merely echo the physicians of antiquity, who based their doctrine on atavistic perceptions. That road will not lead us to many results. We must reconquer these truths ourselves. And in that reconquest we shall find the purely materialistic achievements of medicine, which are averse from such associations, a real obstacle.
For medicine and biology today, the brain is simply an internal organ and so are the contents of the abdomen and pelvis; entrails, all of them. And thus they made the same mistake as if they identified positive with negative electricity; just electricity, what is the difference? The mistake here is quite analogous but is overlooked. For, just as between positive and negative electricity there arise tensions which then seek their equilibrium, there is also perpetual tension within man between the upper and lower organic spheres. And the control of this tension really comprises what we must search for in the field of medicine. This tension also manifests itself (I will merely indicate this today, but treat it in detail later) through the forces concentrated in two organs: the pineal gland and the so-called pituitary gland. In the pineal, all those forces are focused and marshaled which are contrary to those of the pituitary, the hypophysis cerebri — that is, to those which are of the nature of the lower organic sphere. It is a mutual relation of opposing tensions. And if we were in the habit of forming an opinion of the state of this balance of tensions from the general health of the individual case, we should have laid a very sound foundation for the remedial treatment to follow.