An Occult Physiology
8 lectures, Prague, March 20–28, 1911 (CW 128)
Given the upsurge of interest in complementary therapies and treatments, medical researchers are gradually being pressured to reassess and expand their knowledge of the structure and organization of the whole human body. Despite advances in modern technology, there are vast areas of human physiological activity that remain undetectable to conventional scientific observation. Those processes, according to Rudolf Steiner, are related to spiritual forces and beings.
In these revealing lectures, Steiner concentrates on the relationship between those forces and the human physical organs. In particular, he discusses the organs that make up our digestive and respiratory systems; the significance of “warmth” in the function of the blood and its effects on the I, or Ego; and the evolutionary process implicit in the formation of the spinal column and brain. He deals with all of this in a scientific way that will appeal equally to doctors and therapists, as well as students of Steiner’s spiritual science. These talks—long out of print—are also remarkably accessible to the general reader.
1. The Being of Man
2. Human Duality
3. Co-operation in the Human Duality
4. Man’s Inner Cosmic System
5. The Systems of Supersensible Forces
6. The Blood as Manifestation and Instrument of the Human Ego
7. The Conscious Life of Man
8. The Human Form and it’s Co-ordination of Forces
An Occult Physiology is a translation from German of Eine okkulte Physiologie (GA 128).
About the Author
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.