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When Healing Becomes Educating, Vol. 2 - Waldorf Research Institute

When Healing Becomes Educating, Vol. 2 - Waldorf Research Institute

Doch darf nicht

Doch darf nicht Leuchtekraft ergreifen Schweremacht Und auch nicht Schweremacht durchdringen Leuchtekraft Denn fasset Leuchtekraft die Schweremacht Und dringet Schweremacht in Leuchtekraft, So binden in Welten-Irre Seele und Körper in Verderbnis sich. – Rudolf Steiner The individual spirit of the human being remains untouched; it cannot be ill. It can, however, be prevented from intervening in physical or psychological processes or it can intervene and bring order and form to soul or body and restore health, or help in the mastering of a karmic illness. What can be done, and in what sphere, to take account equally of both the somatic aspect and the psychological aspect in a psychosomatic approach to health, sickness and healing in anthroposophic medicine? For the psychosomatic approach to be extended in the anthroposophic sense the physician must, in my opinion, investigate, know and take account of the following spheres or “organs.” The sphere of the physical body Here the localization of the disease, symptoms or pain have to be considered. The morphology of the diseased organ or organic system must be known and understood. The relationship of the diseased organ to the threefold organization of the body must be taken into account. The importance of the affected organ for the patient and in relation to the other spheres (to be discussed below) must be considered as well as the subjective and individual consequences for the patient. The sphere of life Here the physician must pay attention to the physiology of organs, the vital functions, the changes and pathological limitations, the disorders of vital processes and the way the patient experiences these. The subjective state of health of the patient and how this changes daily and in the course of the seasons of the year must also be taken into account. The sphere of the soul This requires a trained eye for the psychological life of the patient. Account is taken of the patient’s psychological condition, temperament, moods and the way they change, experience and are able to handle sympathy and antipathy. How observant is the patient, what are his thought processes, powers of concentration and memory? What feelings does he have, how 24

does he handle them, how can he react to or answer the feelings of other individuals? How well can the patient control his will and what decisions does he make and how good is he at carrying them out? How does he act in private and in professional and social life? What decisions and actions does he fail to carry out? What obvious psychological characteristics, qualities, capacities, errors, weaknesses, talents or limitations are or were there? Do these relate to any particular organ in the sense of, anthroposophic organ psychology? 3 This is the starting point for many and varied anthroposophic approaches to psychotherapy, art therapy and medical treatment. The sphere of the psyche relates in many ways to the body and the vital processes as well as to the spirit, to individual development, and to the social and also the natural and cultural environment, to the individual’s capacity to communicate and to relate to his destiny. This points to the wider spheres and indicates the central position of the psyche. The sphere of the spirit The first thing to consider are the three states of consciousness—awake, dreaming and sleep/unconsciousness—described by Rudolf Steiner as a threefold spiritual unity relating to the threefold aspects of body and soul. Interactive relationship between body, soul and spirit BODY SOUL SPIRIT system of basis of thinking location of senses & nerves waking consciousness rhythmic system basis of feeling location of dream consciousness (semi-consciousness) system of basis of will location of metabolism sub-consciousness & the limbs (sleep consciousness) Perceptive observation will show that all illnesses, both physical and psychological, go hand in hand with a subtle or not so subtle change of consciousness. This can help to find further aspects that are applicable to diagnosis based on anthroposophy. A subtle change in consciousness usually precedes the visible onset of a psychological or physical illness, so this can be taken into account as an indicator of a person’s state of health. 25

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