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

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

Destiny of Illness and

Destiny of Illness and Inner Human Development* RUDOLF STEINER Let us assume we have had an illness in life which has caused pain. At some point, when we are in the world of the spirit, we will experience the opposite mood or state of mind, feeling ourselves to be in health. This mood of being in health will strengthen us to the same extent to which the illness weakened us before. This may come as a shock to the intellect; it may also enter much more deeply into the emotional life and irritate the soul. We know that certain things which are of the spirit must always be grasped at this level. We need to consider the following: Some kind of shadow lies over the connection between the physical illness and the health which gives us strength in the world of the spirit. The connection is a true one, but somehow we feel in our hearts that we cannot really accept this. This has to be admitted. If we really understand the connection, it has another effect, which may be described as follows. For those who make a serious effort to absorb and study the science of the spirit, not just in theory, by merely taking in thoughts and ideas in the way other sciences are studied but as something like a spiritual life blood, awakening inner responses and feelings, for those who have the right ear for this science of the spirit, there is nothing in it which does not either uplift or allow them to look into the abysses of existence, in order that they may find their bearings. Those who truly understand the science of the spirit will always follow everything it has to say with their feelings. If we absorb this science, acquiring the habit of thought and formation of ideas, we actually transform our souls while still in the physical world. Serious study of anthroposophy is one of the best and most effective exercises. A strange thing happens when people gradually enter into the science of the spirit. If they are doing the exercises—or not even doing the exercises *Original title: Krankheitsschicksal und innerer Entwicklungsweg des Menschen. Der Merkurstab 1996; 49: 339-41. From a lecture given by Rudolf Steiner on 12 April 1914, in: Steiner R. The Inner Nature of Man and Life Between Death and Rebirth. Tr. D. Osmond, C. Davy. Revised A.R. Meuss. Bristol: Rudolf Steiner Press 1994. 7

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