11 lectures, Aug. 28, 1923–Aug. 29, 1924 (CW 319)
“Rudolf Steiner’s model of a spiritualized medicine could hold the key for the next growth phase in Western medicine, if it is to survive, flourish, and become consistently and deeply therapeutic instead of merely palliative.” —Richard Leviton, author of Imagination of Pentecost: Rudolf Steiner & Contemporary Spirituality
Rudolf Steiner, a scientist by training, lectured and wrote, at different times on medical subjects and advised physicians on their work. His view of medicine was both unconventional and precise. He could describe—based on his highly developed powers of observation and his spiritual research—processes of health and disease that escape conventional methods of medical observation.
In all his lectures to doctors and in his explanations of anthroposophic medicine, Steiner emphasized that his medical concepts are not intended to replace conventional Western medicine, but to extend it; diagnosis and healing methods are expanded to include our soul and spirit.
In these broadly ranging talks, Steiner introduces fundamental principles of anthroposophically extended medicine. Some of the most remarkable insights that anthroposophy brings to medicine are contained in this volume. For example, Steiner points out that the heart is not a pump and that its motion is a consequence, not the cause, of rhythmic movements in human beings.
- Health problems, such as hay fever, migraine, sclerosis, cancer, tuberculosis, typhoid, and childhood diseases
- The polarity between nerve and liver cells
- The functions of the spleen and the gallbladder
- The three basic processes of sensory-nervous system, rhythmic system, and metabolic-limb system
- Regenerative and degenerative processes
- The true nature of the nervous system
- Plus many suggestions for the use of minerals, plants, and artistic therapies in healing.
The Healing Process is a translation of Anthroposophische Menschenerkenntnis und Medizin (GA 319).
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.
Richard Leviton has written eight other books, including The Galaxy on Earth: A Traveler’s Guide to the Planets, Visionary Geography (2002). A professional journalist for 25 years, he has edited a national magazine on alternative medicine. More recently—in his professional capacity as senior editor for Hampton Roads Publishing Company in Virginia—he has developed a line of alternative medicine self-care titles as well as authoritative metaphysical books.
Christopher Bamford is Editor in Chief, Emeritus, for SteinerBooks and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. He is the author of The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity (1990) and An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West(2003). He has also translated and edited numerous books, including Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness (1982);Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science; and The Noble Traveller: The Life and Writings of O. V. de L. Milosz (all published by Lindisfarne Books).