CONTENTS – Clicking on a Part # will take you directly to that Part – continuous scrolling through the complete document works as on other pages!
Introduction Therapeutic Methodology Part I – III
Part I Anthroposophical Orientation
Part II Theory of Knowledge
Part III History of Science
Therapeutic Methodology Part I-IV
Part I Fact or Law
Part II Sign or Type
Part III Symptom or Person
Part IV Creativity or the Human
Introduction Part I – Anthroposophical Orientation
If we are to speak of therapeutic methodology, we would in this case consider that we are dealing with an anthroposophical orientation. In order to do this, I would start by considering the scientific impulse, as we generally know it, in relation to Anthroposophy. To do this I would like to begin with a quote from a lecture of April 9, 1913. Here Rudolf Steiner speaks of Anthroposophy and then gradually approaches its relationship with science. The quote is as follows: “To start with, Anthroposophy claims to be a knowledge of the spiritual world that can fully take its place beside the magnificent natural science of our time. It claims to rank with natural science not only as regards scientific conscientiousness, but it also requires that anyone who wishes not only to receive Anthroposophy into his mind, but build it up, must before all else have gone through all rigid and serious methods used today by natural science.”
To typify the rigorous and serious methodology of natural science, Rudolf Steiner points to mathematics. He says the following:”The form of mathematical concepts is elementary Anthroposophy, if I may speak thus. When anyone has learned to develop this self-creativeness of mathematics in order to apply it to the lifeless things of the world, he gets the impulse to develop further the kinds of knowledge that will lead to the vision I have described to you.” (Same lecture of 1913) This vision is Anthroposophy. This means that there is inherent in he who takes up the scientific impulse of our day, the possibility of creative and devoted work, to unfold not only natural science, but a natural science that steps over into the domain of spiritual science.
With this background, we can say that we will not take the approach to step out of natural science, to disregard science, but will look at aspects of science that are and will become important as we pursue the methodological activities and basics for a therapeutician.
To focus in on a more specific aspect of what a therapeutician should develop and must seek, I would like to quote from the 1920 course, Spiritual Science and Medicine, page 21. Here I believe some indication of an aim and goal is placed before us. This might be helpful to consider and then go on. The quote is as follows: “The aim must be to set before us to make medical diagnosis more and more a practice of intuition, that is, the gift of basing conclusions on the formative phenomena of the individual human organism, which may be healthy or sick and this can show how this training in intuitive observation of form, will play an ever increasing part in the future development of medicine.” This quote suggests that we focus on the development of intuition. It is necessary that we develop the method of intuition to the point of what may be called intuitive observation of form. Only slowly will we be able to approach this goal. What I will try to develop here is an effort at a first germ. The goal of working through the problem of intuition and intuitive form perception can be attained only over a number of years of effort.
With this orientation, that we seek to work out of Anthroposophy, which we can describe as a Spiritual Science, we see we also need a foundation in natural science. The goal is that we need to come to a specific human faculty that we call intuition. The type of intuition is an observational intuition of form. This is a general direction, but a specific one is also involved. We will have to start where we can assume that each has a feeling for natural science. It is on this general fundament that we have to build for intuition. With this basis, we have to progress to the intuition of form and specifically the form of the human being who is well and the human being who is ill.
Without taking up intuition at this point, I would like to consider some aspects of form. To begin with I would like to suggest that shape and form are not the same. For the most part, many may consider a contoured object, a configuration, a given shape, as the outer visible manifestation of form. The form, as such, is an entity that has to be perceived, not only as an abstract image, or hypothetical construct, but as an entity that has a relationship with an observable, a sense perceptible shape or configuration. By this approach, we need to have sensory observational activity occurring in the process of form perception. Shape is not form, but in observational process shape is a gateway to form. At the same time, a certain ideational component is needed so that the element of form can be perceived. Form, then, is not just what is given to perception, but is an element that plays part in the knowledge process. This requires the faculty of a kind of geometrical construction ability of the mind, an ideational element, and finally an associational capacity to unite sense given shape (very much a light revelation) with the psycho-spiritual configurational capacity. All of this may sound obtuse, abstract. However, the ability to take hold of the sense-perceptive and the mind-soul-spiritual element simultaneously will be part and parcel of our pursuit, so that the depiction here does not remain abstract, but can be brought into a living experience in knowledge.
Let us just turn to the element of form, suggesting that it does have a certain mental element, but at the same time a relationship to sense perception. Let us consider a few words so that by ideational activity we can draw towards the element of form. One way to consider form is to compare form. To compare shapes, we would say, is a way in which the sense perceptive is presented to man, but if one wants to deal with form, it is necessary that a given shape be presented in comparison to an idealized representation of the shape. This already asks our mental faculty to construct a idealized shape or an inner form. It is in the comparison of one idealized representation of a given shape with another idealized representation that shape and form take on an abstract differentiation. Let us look at a circle in a book, and then construct an idealized visualization. Let us take a second circle that is smaller and slightly flattened. Again, let us construct an ideal counterpart. We can then juxtapose the idealized image visualization, and in the process we construct an even more idealized configuration so that the first two can find a comparative relationship. This third image of the first two has to be made mobile. The third configuration that is mobile and transformable is a type. It is a circle that is not a specific form, but is a form that can change, is changing, and can find a comparative relationship. This change in form-type configuration needs then to be brought back in relation to the given, the concrete circle that is in a book. This has to be practiced again and again so that the constructed type can be brought in relation to the immediately given circle that stands before the eye.
We can further our progress from comparison of forms to alteration of forms, where forms represent a staging or progressive process. By this method we can watch plant growth, we can watch embryological activities, we can watch decay, and we can watch the disappearance of forms – manifest to the senses or shapes of visible objects. We come to the delineation and judgment of forms that are unfolding and progressing, or are retrogressing. So now we have another aspect of form. We can consider comparison of form, change in form, and, as well, development in form. This step in form consideration would be to visualize a developing form that fits into a range of forms that have been judged to be hierarchical. That is to say, we can look at forms that we judge to be of higher or lower nature. By this means, we can visualize what we call meta-forms or transformations. These forms carry with them the judgment of something that is of a higher nature or a lower nature. The prefixes pro-, mesa-, and meta- in relation to the form suggest a progression in form. At the same time, these prefixes point to progression in form–to a higher state. Therefore, we not only have the judgment of an unfolding form, but also the judgment of a comparison in terms of hierarchical rating.
Let us progress to another aspect of form. We started with consideration of shape and form. Then we took up comparative form considerations. From these considerations, we progressed to a possible judgment of a hierarchy of forms. Now let us consider the possibility of a form that we can call a “personal form”. A personal form suggests something that belongs to an observable outer expression that we associate with a human being. We do not do this with forms from the mineral, plant or animal kingdoms. When we come to so consider personal form, we then are given a being whose form we associate with the singularity that is observable in the manifest world and stands singular in relation to almost any other form. The comparative hierarchical method can now be applied to the domain of the personal form as it can with the living or animal forms. The comparative method as applied to the person permits the perception of the person in a form expression where a makeup can be expressed in a fairly specific way. In the case of the personal, we have to look to the function of the psyche–the soul. Comparison of psychological activities is possible once the forms of psychological function have been delineated, as, for example, in laughing, crying, sensing, thinking, feeling, willing, and the like.
Another aspect of form that pertains to man would be to find his singularity not so much in his person, or psychological function, but in his spiritual activity. Most do not go to sufficient depth to consider the individual aside from the psychological. The singularity of the individual is greater than the singularity of the person. We might say that the individual form, the individual entelechy, is greater than the personal form expressions that can be subjected to the comparative method. In the case of the individual, form comparison is no longer possible. The individual is the highest form in man and not to be subject to a comparison in form. It is the unique that counts. Only the psychological components of the individual can be compared. The individual has, in fact, nothing that is comparable. By this method of reasoning, we come to a form that is even more singular than that of the person. The person does have some comparative relations in form with another person, but in the case of the individual there is such a singularity that we are dealing with a meta-form. We can say that the individual form is a meta-form of the person.
Now we can go to an even higher expression of form. This is the human form. Here we have the possibility of that which is comparative in the human being, that is the personal forms, working out of the individual form to create a unity. The meta-form can become active to create the uniform – the uniform that permits of personal form to become a meta-form. The result is a form called the human form. The absolutely singular, that which is a meta-form, and at the same time that which is person (which can be subjected to comparative process), has to mingle to create that which we call the human form. The human form requires the personal form for its creation, but it is the individual form in action that can bring this about. The human form we associate with the human head-thoracic-limb structure, with the threefoldness of man. When, however, we look at such elements as the physiognomy and the finger print, or the eye ground, we then deal with something that remains with the individual and personal expression in created shapes. At the same time, the finger print , the eye ground and the physiognomy are totally individual. In the human form (the threefold human being), we have a mingling of that which is person in form, individual in form and at the same time is a meta-form of the individual and the person as forms. The human form is singular in creation in relation to other spiritual beings.
1. Static form in shape.
2. Comparative forms, with movement and type.
3. Hierarchical form–in person, permitting of comparison.
4. Individual form as meta-form of person, not permitting comparison.
5. Human form as meta-form of person and individual in comparison withother spiritual beings.
These are five steps in relationship to the contemplation of form. I hope we can follow out these steps in the course of these considerations, relating these steps to the kingdoms of nature and to man. The goal would be to find man through the human component. By this somewhat abstract procedure, I have tried to consider what is shape, in relation to form. Shape is an outer expression of surfaces determined by form. With the evolution of geometrics, comparative configurations and transformation, mobile configurations can be contemplated. New activities are needed. For an appropriate expression of the person, of the individual and then the human, I would like to suggest that the all-encompassing and the highest expression of form would be an assimilation of all the aforementioned forms into the forms associated with the human social organization. The forms appropriate to social organization might be considered to be a synthesis and, at the same time, a metamorphosis of all the other forms that can be spoken of in dealing with the natural kingdom, the personal the individual and the human in terms of form.
Lest someone thinks that dealing with the person in terms of form has no basis in reality, we might for a moment consider what Rudolf Steiner has to say about the personal expression of thinking, feeling and willing in the human organization, in terms of forms. He tries to tell that the activities underlying willing have to do with the sulphury. He often describes sulphury as dispersive, as chaotizing, as the elimination of form altogether. He speaks of the feeling process as connected with mercuriality, with the ever changing element that we find in mercury and the waterdrop. Here we have not so much the elimination of form, the chaotizing of form, but the ever changing element in form. Finally, underlying thinking, Rudolf Steiner points to the processes of salt formation, that is to say crystal formation or definitive form.
Here we have a fixed form. In this way we can say, if we are to speak of the person in terms of the thinking, feeling and willing person, we can consider thinking in relation to the forms inherent in the shape of the crystal, feeling in relation to the changing shape of mercury and willing in relation to the elimination of shapes, contour or form relation. I cite this example as we are often trying to create image and image forms in relation to psychological activities. I believe we can consider that the true alchemists and the Rosicrucians, in speaking of salt, mercury, and sulphur, were, in fact, going through the soul activity while trying to see the imprint of these activities in form elements in nature and the human organism. This is, at least, one very specific attempt. The individual, human and social form expressions become far more complex.
Introduction Part II – Theory of Knowledge
One of the characteristics of Science is that it has a method. The usual scientific methodological process is to establish a theory, elaborate the theory into a working theory, arrange for experimentation, analyze the results of the experiment in the light of the theory and be able to reduce all judgments to mathematical formulation. Concern for what can be weighed, measured and numbered becomes central. This criteria is the result, of a long history. It is a result of an evolution of philosophy to natural philosophy, from early alchemy to experimental science and from simple mechanics to amazing complex technology. We will somewhat detail the development of man’s thought life in relation to mathematics–the senses and science–with indications from Rudolf Steiner. As already noted in our first introduction, the mathematical discipline for developing a science is one that Rudolf Steiner wishes to follow.
Rather than going into the history and development of science at the moment, I would prefer to consider Rudolf Steiner’s first book, The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’s World Conception. In this small book we can come to a methodology that is not usual. This treatise stands as a basis for Rudolf Steiner’s later spiritual scientific investigations. In 1918, Rudolf Steiner wrote a preface to the treatise that was first published in 1886.This 1918 preface indicates that what we have in the Theory, as an investigation of the knowledge process itself, is a foundation for everything he has said later in lectures, in print or in performed deed. This is a far-going statement. It seems to me that we should look very carefully at this treatise if, as Rudolf Steiner has indicated, everything else is based on it. He also indicates that this book is a product of a young individual (he was twenty-six at the time).However, with a few modifications it can remain as a cornerstone for what is to follow in the life and works of the author.
Theory of knowledge, the method and means of acquiring knowledge, has been considered by some to be the science of sciences. The science of knowledge is the methodology and investigation of the knowledge process. It is a unique segment of philosophical development called epistemology. Rudolf Steiner wanted to make this science available to many more in mankind. This effort has not succeeded, even among those who are diligent students of Anthroposophy. My experience is that many dismiss this science without careful consideration as it is not very easy. Through it, I would like to suggest, we might find a methodological approach to therapeutics.
The first half of this treatise deals with the investigation of knowing. First, Rudolf Steiner points us to the domain of pure experience. The possibility of experiencing thinking as an experience can be found in this quest. Next, the activity of thinking is investigated in relationship to the idea. Finally, the experiential and the thinking process is investigated in relation to knowledge. The investigation of experience, thinking and knowledge follows the observational activity of Goethe but turns as well to the thinking method of Schiller (abstract but creative thinker).The observational method of Goethe and the abstract but creative thinking method of Schiller, Rudolf Steiner uses both in investigating the human knowledge process. He combines the Goetheanistic faculty of sense activity and the more philosophically inclined Schiller thinking skill to ask how it is that the human being can get to know something. This is an astonishing treatise where with care, method, exactness and challenge to the reader, Rudolf Steiner investigates the knowledge process as he sees it when the soul-spiritual life of Goethe and Schiller are brought into focus.
I often find it interesting that people speak of a Goetheanistic Science. It does not appear to be correct. The Goetheanistic science that Rudolf Steiner investigates later, in Goethe’s World Conception, takes a careful look at Goethe more in his method and quest of knowledge. Goethe did not develop a science in which the knowledge process itself is the essential and a fulcrum in the whole. Anthroposophists who speak of the Goetheanistic method are often unaware of the fact that the true Goethe methodology, in fact, fails to take cognizance of the human soul activity itself. It is Schiller who had the skill to look at the mind and the activities of the mind. Goethe continually turned away from the observation of mind and turned the mind eye to the natural element. Rudolf Steiner speaks in great clarity of the fact that Goethe could not and did not cast his soul activity onto his own thinking activity. Goethe did not trust his own inner being. From Rudolf Steiner we gain the indication that observation of mind really takes the skill of Schiller, who is quite a careful thinker. Schiller, in fact, follows Kant, but adds an artistic skill to the thinking. This makes it possible to investigate the mind process, while the mind-eye process of Goethe investigates nature. This weaving together of the faculties of two human beings, as Goethe and Schiller, is a revelation presented to us by Rudolf Steiner in this treatise. We might better speak of the Goethean-Schiller science, if we are to be exact. To follow Rudolf Steiner’s thinking activity in this investigation of two minds–in a way, weaving their activity into a cognitive process–is a training process for the dedicated student.
Again if we look at the first half of this book we can follow the investigative activities of Rudolf Steiner in looking at the soul life of the human being who sees while he thinks. This is Goethe who has an intellectual seeing capacity. At the same time, we follow the possibility of turning to the thinking activity of the individual with a creative and artistic skill in the thinking process.
In Schiller we have a Kantian-trained intellect in an artist–a thinking artist. In the thinking artist there lies the capacity to reveal ideas and as well begin to think on and use an observational process to take hold of the act of thinking itself. In the process it becomes possible with the help of Rudolf Steiner to begin to cognize the thinker as an idea being in himself. This all is very carefully developed step by step, thought by thought, idea by idea to imaging possibilities and intuiting idea being in the imagining. Here lies a thinking path that leads to very new experiences.
I would like to say a word or two about this method of investigating nature and the nature of the soul and spirit. I would like to ask and muse why it is that more individuals shy away from taking this investigation, from accompanying Rudolf Steiner through this path. My impression is that those who go this path often pursue this process in a very intellectual fashion and miss the artistry of the thinking seer observing the activity of the soul and spirit. Many who are involved in the searches of epistemology, I have the impression, never quite get out of their usual schooling in philosophy. At the same time, those who are interested in the natural scientific, who have more of a bent to deal with object consciousness in nature, be it the living or the non-living, still retain their usual inclination to deal with the object as any body outside the cognizing individual. It seems to me the challenge here is to develop quite new faculties, quite new skills, so that the ability to observe nature, living or non-living, then progresses to the investigation of thinking in relation to the soul and the spirit.
It seems to me that the first section in this book lays the basis for and challenges the individual on a training path to find new faculties by following what Rudolf Steiner has given. My impression is that this is a deeply penetrating treatise. I wonder if this is not one of the more esoteric and even occult treatises that we have from Rudolf Steiner. It may be for this reason that more do not take it up. I wonder if it is not very easy to miss the point because the general trend of our mind is so determined by education. My impression is that this treatise should remain a major challenge to anybody involved in Anthroposophy, and particularly those who are interested in the scientific basis of what comes out of Anthroposophy, be it the relationship to the mineral, the nature, the soul, social, or pure human spirit. The need for having a school in which spiritual scientific investigation can be undertaken, it seems to me, finds a basis in this treatise. A spiritual science could be justified in so far as individuals take up this treatise and try to forge a methodology for spiritual investigation. This path of pure spiritual investigation is not what is the thrust here. What I am trying to do here is speak to spiritual scientific investigation but also return to the major theme, which is to lay a basis for a therapeutic methodology.
Let us turn to the first half of the Theory of Knowledge. First we encounter the knowledge process connected with the non-living (the inorganic) and the living (the organic) nature elements. The faculties that are necessary to deal with the non-living are possessed by most. The ability to deal with natural laws is essential to modern education. In this treatise the human mind in dealing with causality is brought into focus. New twists in thinking are brought to bear following the progress of mechanical action as, for example, in the case of the movement of non-living bodies. Subtle aspects of dealing with form and number are articulated.
When it comes to the living, to the organic, it is not the law that is important; what becomes important is the revelation of the type through the given living object. Typology becomes the sine qua non in this area of work. In order to perceive the type, a very new mental faculty is needed. A thinking perceiving is required. Again and again in the individual organism in nature, in the unfolding organism in nature, a process is enacted that points to a living entity that exists with the manifest but requires simultaneous activity of the eye and the mind to perceive it. In the case of the inorganic, one is looking for the archetypal phenomena. In the domain of the living, one is looking for the archetype that is revealed in all that is living. This demands a whole new faculty of mobility, and of liveliness, of observational thinking. It demands an ability to leave causality and to find in each natural living entity the revelation of something that is working out of,we can say, the general. Here the general becomes the important factor in the individual expression. The individual specific entity only gains meaning through the general. For example, we can only come to the real appreciation of the gentian plant if we have seen its unfolding and its forms in many environments, so that the mobile constant appears to the mind’s eye in thinking observation. The type can become revealed in the various single organisms. Typology then becomes a full new domain of revelation, particularly when thinking on morphology.
Rudolf Steiner next goes to the spiritual sciences. Here he includes cultural sciences. At the outset of this section of scientific investigation he directs us to cast our eye on the soul. Considering the activities of the soul is the first step into the domain of spiritual scientific research. He indicates in this regard that three new lines of investigation have to be undertaken and three new sciences have to come into existence. First, the being of peoples has to be investigated, secondly, the historical process, and finally, the soul of man. In the investigation of the being of peoples, he indicates that quite new faculties are necessary. We have to come to know how one people fulfills itself and reveals itself. Our quest needs to be what lives in a people and how a people is a revelation of the aspect of existence that stands as a type. That is, the being of a people is as real as the type is for the plant. The typology of a people, the being of a people, has to become a matter of immediate experience, a revelation. Here it is not only the mobile, the ever living, the transformative that is important; the inspirational revelation of beingness is crucial. This is not only another method of cognition; it is raising thinking cognition into another faculty where the being of the single individual is pursued but that which lives in relationship to a whole group of people can also become evident.
In the case of history, another method of investigation becomes important. The recording of the minutiae of history, the assembling of disordered events into meaningful sequence, has to be replaced by a much more exact method. It would go too far in this introduction to pursue this method, but the direction would be to seek time periods in history. The cognition of supra-personal time processes,evidenced in personal activity, needs to become a focus. The existence of time evidenced in specific periods so that the beingness of time can be evidenced becomes a focal concern. Here the individual human being has to be seen not only as subservient to a people or folk being but also to a time being. This time being existence has to be grasped as a suprapersonal entity.
Now if we want to look at human psychology, we come to ask how we can do this. How can this be done in the light of the individual who is subservient to a people and a time being. How can we see the person as subservient not only to what is a people and a time activity but also to an expression of something that may transcend these influences. In order to do this, we have to pursue the absolute validity of the person. How each person contributes something to that which is a folk, to that which is a time, becomes the guiding light. The process of a people and of history flows through the personal. However, one of the highest expressions of the personal psychological is when the person participates in the creation of that which we can call the all-human. This is truly general man, but it is one of the higher expressions of existence. This creativity of the individual spirit in this domain can only come to expression through the person. The individual spirit hallows the beingness of the person. The person is creative, and as a creative person, as a person and then as an individual, can bring a unique quality to what we call the all-human. The all-human then becomes that which lives beyond the folk element. The creative individual participating in the evolving of the all-human then becomes the highest expression of man in relationship to the current state of existence, creating something that is eternal. The person, at work as a soul, with the creative spirit brings forth eternity.
It is with this background now, first looking at the nature of knowledge, then at the inorganic, the organic, the psychological and finally the all-human that we have a bit of an outline. Before going on with the therapeutic methodology, still another introduction would seem to be in order. This introduction will deal with an aspect of the history of science.
Introduction Part III – History of Science
It may be well to approach the problem of methodology by casting a glance over the history and development of science. It is a spiritual science that we seek, therefore some impression out of what natural science has evolved is an important line of consideration.
For this purpose I would use Rudolf Steiner’s indications in the History of Science and Evolution of Natural Science. He begins with the Greek period 700 B. C. This is the time when the Archangel Michael is the Time Spirit. It is in this epoch that mysticism comes to expression, particularly as a beginning in philosophy. Rudolf Steiner’s indication is that souls at that time still had an experience of the spirit, had a sense of their breath process, and also at the same time could live in movement. It is interesting to think that the Greek mysteries were very much involved with dance and the movement process. We have indications that the pedagogical process, the learning process, was very much connected with the art of movement. The activities of the throwing, running, jumping and the like, were all a part of the experience of movement. This is what lies behind the so-called Olympic Games. We here can see the possibility of a learning process, of a kind of initiation process that is connected with the activity of movement. From Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual investigations we can find that this movement could be taken up as an experience of consciousness. This lays the foundation for the outlook and philosophy of Mysticism. Rudolf Steiner indicated that at that time there was a deep experience that the soul and body were very much the derivatives of the human spirit, and the cosmic spirit. In many different lectures Rudolf Steiner has indicated that what man receives in terms of knowledge process, in terms of thought experience, is given by the gods. Personal thinking as such is not yet a real acquisition. The breathing process connected with respiration and the movement process connected with the limb gave the background for soul experience and development.
Aristotle still lived within this time. He lived between 384 and 322 B. C., as the pupil of Plato, the thinking mystic. Aristotle’s gaze was turned outward. The first inkling of the individual enacting a process of thinking can be found in Aristotle. For him the thinking, however, was so developed that what lived as spirit in the world around him as manifest in the objects of nature had to be placed in some form of structured experience, so that his thinking could be brought in relation to the senses. Abstraction and symbolization became a possibility. Aristotle’s thrust was very much to grasp that what lives in the world and the spirit is a unity. The idea content comes from object consciousness, from the objects themselves and not from an inner activity removed from the senses as we can experience thinking today. This places Aristotle very much in the group of thinkers and philosophers who culminate in a Goetheanistic outlook. The mysticism and mystical tendencies of a Plato are much more developed and found in the soul activities of Schiller and Kant. Plato and Aristotle are polaric in their ways of thinking, as are Schiller and Goethe.
Rudolf Steiner indicates that the thinkers of that time, I would say initiates, were just beginning to develop the thinking process. These thinkers no longer lived as strongly in the process of movement. These early philosophers could reflect their temperament in their world view, not so much in their movement. Therefore these first early philosophers were the reflectors of temperament and temperamental disposition. They could sense in their own organization how the life processes work, while the same life processes worked outwardly in the four states of matter creating the four elements. Galen, of course, in his treatises, living between 129 and 199 B. C., gives expression to the humors (life processes) where we can say we have an expression of the etheric. In movement, the predecessors lived more in what we know from spiritual science as the astral.
In time, as we go through the Mystery of Golgatha and into the period following the Mystery of Golgatha, Rudolf Steiner indicates that human movement activities began to imprint themselves into the circulatory process. It is during this time that gradually mathos is developed; we can say mathematics is developed. The mysticism, the direct experience of movement, is lost, and forms of movement are imprinted into the body fluids themselves. This is recovered in the geometrizing and the geometrizing process of souls of that time. We have to, of course, think of Pythagoras in this regard. At the same time, the mathematical processes are evolving, or the sense for the mathematical processes are evolving as the blood process is still experienced. The movement is now imprinted and reflected in the blood.
If we come into the early Middle Ages with Thomas Aquinas, we still have an individual who is justifying the reality and direct revelation of the spirit. This is done through thinking in relation to the senses. The movement process seems to have been put to the side, and the direct experience of the thinking activity itself begins to be taken hold of. This thinking activity is taken hold of so that it might become a faculty for the perception of the spiritual out of itself. The “mathos” tendency of the soul, which results in the soul being experienced as “man” and the body as “nature”, becomes evident in the transition of B. C. to A. D. This tendency passes over into the thinking capacity that goes in the direction of abstraction. The result is to express geometric forms and basic mathematical processes in an abstract way. No longer is movement, no longer is a sense for inner fluidic experience, present for the knowledge in relationship to mathematics. Mathematical activity thereby gradually becomes a faculty unto itself, a basis for security within the soul and a sense for depiction of what lies around us in form and number. Geometry can be transformed into measure and number. In the very activities of mathematics and geometry man comes to lose a direct consciousness of the very ground out of which mathematics and geometry have grown.
If we look to the 15th century, we see Copernicus coming forth. He is a follower of Nicholas Cusanus. Rudolf Steiner places much emphasis on Nicholas of Cusanus, as he is an individual who began to have a direct experience of thinking and its limitations. From Rudolf Steiner, it is possible to realize that Cusanus is the first mathematician who senses that his thinking in mathematical activity cannot really approach the spiritual world. Mathematical thought is grasped with its limitations and becomes a trusted faculty. However, it is claimed as incapable of passing over into spiritual reality. Out of this we have Copernicus, who then translates the cosmos into a mathematical and geometrical system. At about the same time, we have Harvey living between 1578 and 1658, describing the circulatory movement of the blood. The circulation had by this time become an objective process–not one full of spiritual and soul activity. It is no longer known in direct experience, as is the case with the cosmos. It is in this time of history that the whole investigation of the human organism becomes extremely important, since the very basic and direct experience of that organism is laid aside. Piece by piece, movement, the direct experience of movement, is lost. Then the direct experience of circulatory movement is lost, so that gradually the only thing left is the abstraction of number and geometric forms. Finally, weight and mass fall out of a direct experience as the concern for gravity is born. As Rudolf Steiner points out, mysticisms grounded in movement passed over the mathos that was carried by the movement in circulation. Mathematics as we know it is born when the conscious experience of the blood flow is lost. Finally, the cosmos is described by forms and number, and circulation is reduced to the outer expressions of the vasculature and the heart.
It is in the period of 1642-1727, with the life of Newton, that we come to the birth of mechanics. It is Newton who states that what is given is the sensorium of God. He indicates that movement, space, time and extension are actually the given. These exist as a given, as the sensorium of God. Man merely approaches the given, and he tries to deal with the given using mathematics and geometrics embedded in causal thinking.
John Locke, 1632-1707, follows. He begins to speak not only of the world in which mechanics appears. He takes up more than movement, space, extension, mass and the like. He calls these primary qualities or attributes of existence and says there as secondary qualities as well. Primary qualities are objective, and secondary attributes belong to the subjective nature of man. The experiences of taste, color, tone and the like are related to the subjective nature of man. The primary qualities exist independent of the human being. Secondary qualities are a result of man’s subjective makeup.
Out of this then comes the interest in the movement of non-living bodies. The earth becomes but one of the non-living bodies. How does the earth move and how can inert bodies pass over into movement? How does a moving-falling body behave? Galileo, 1564-1642, becomes very concerned with these matters. Kepler, 1571-1630, could still portray something living in the heavens. By the time Copernicus and Galileo had made their contribution to science, and Newtonian impulses were added, the entire world (cosmic) system became an objective mechanical system. This became the system in which the primary qualities were embedded.
If we continue into the 18th century, we have Goethe living between 1749 and 1832. He is a more lonely figure in the unfolding of science, who indicated that the world around us is not dead and that there is a living component to the world. He tried to tell how the plant is an expression of the living. He tells that the earth breathes and the heavens ring with spiritual beings. He stands as a bit of a maverick in this progression of human transformation while science unfolds. Most of the thinkers of the day were transformed from natural philosophers to natural scientists. The above is then generally the trend that Rudolf Steiner has given.
What I would like to speak to is the unfolding of man’s changing relationship with his senses. Let us look to the time when man could truly live in movement and the spaces experienced in movement. We might consider man as being awake to his sense of movement and his sense of space. Man at that time had a close relation to life and the sense of life. As Rudolf Steiner indicated, man could take up the life of the plant consciously. We can gain the picture that in the period of 600-800 B. C., and perhaps earlier than this, man still had the impressions and experiences that are connected with his lower senses, the sense of life, movement and space. Slowly, over a period of hundreds of years, this experience of movement is lost. Piece by piece, what dawns more are the experiences of the sense of smell, taste, warmth and the like. This change in relation to the senses gives rise to the more subjective experiences in the human being. The culmination of these experiences in relation to science is expressed by John Locke, who depicts the secondary qualities of existence as being those of tone, warmth, light, color and the like. Here we see philosophy gradually pass from the experience of the lower senses, expressed in mysticism, to the philosophers who become interested in mathematics. Plato is a transition. Very much a thinking mystic, Plato nonetheless tells that mathematics is a basis for philosophy. What lives in the lower senses in the form of spatiality, movement, extension and the like, is grasped in mathematics. The higher senses are activity in the philosopher, or begin to be active, while the lower senses are reflected in mathematics and geometry. It would appear that the senses of sound, word, idea, and ego, slowly make mathematics and geometrics into a totally abstract system of soul activity. The higher or spiritual senses become the basis and the tendency to abstract everything, to create a systematic development in thinking through mathematics and a systematic delineation of forms through geometry. Finally, an effort to deal with small changes in form or movement appear in calculus. Trajectory analysis can be done by using calculus. The ability to deal with movement in terms of force and direction as in vector analysis is the epitome of abstract mathematics and geometry. Slowly we come into the more modern times of mathematical science, with man’s capacity to reduce number, form and movement to extremely abstract and dead expression. Security is found in the spiritual senses, but the mathematician who is doing this abstraction does not look at his soul, and does not realize that he is actually using the hearing, word, and idea senses as a faculty to grasp what the lower senses give.
Our mechanical, dead, systematic analysis of all that lies around us, then, in fact is anchored in our capacity to abstract and abstractly symbolize. Science is anchored in the gradual loss of a direct experience of the lower senses and a loss of what to do with so-called middle senses or subjective senses–the sense of smell, taste, sight and warmth.
If we look at the history of science in this fashion, we can come to consider that, as we stand in the arena of abstraction, in our higher senses. We will have to learn how to make this alive. We will have to learn how to retrace the steps that have been lost in our middle sense system, and finally in our lower sense system. To be able to give everything in a dry, abstract, mathematical, concrete, dead form is the epitome of our culture. This has given rise to what we call the fact. There is nothing personal, there is nothing living in the fact. The ideal is that a dead picture and a number description can depict all that needs to be understood in life. We stand at this point, and this point has to become a springboard for further development. What we have considered can be seen as a natural derivative and the result of the falling away of certain types of conscious experience of the human being. What is needed now is to know how we have come to this juncture, in order to return and see what we need to regain, what is significant and has been lost. We will need numbers that become alive. We will need forms that are ever-changing and metamorphic. We will need psychological cognitions that are universal and still sustaining of the individual human soul. We will need the possibility of movement and life descriptions where the individual spirit can be active, creative, and recreative.
Therapeutic Methodology Part I – Fact or Law
We have outlined in three introductory discussions that we are looking to the domain of form as a goal. However, we will not pursue this goal to its end at this time. We have discussed that we have a treatise in the Theory of Knowledge that lays the basis for a methodology. The methodology indicated in this exposition will be used for our purposes here. We have cursorily reviewed history to gather a little sense of how we have arrived at our present circumstance. We have considered science, which has led humankind to where they stand today. Today, humankind has come to a new form of religion. Instead of the worship of God, we have the new worship of facts.
One of our problems, as I see it, is that humankind is totally subjected to the scientific trend. This results in the search of facts. Every aspect of existence has to be expressed in the form of factual material. If we look at the “fact” a little more carefully, we find that whatever we wish to convey, a fact is placed outside the human being. Whatever is to be conveyed has to be impersonal. The material usually has to be in a descriptive form, often in the form of graphs or in some other graphic form. Picture-descriptive picture, colorlessness, and geometrical expression are the criteria. Fact requires that there is a degree of mathematical and statistical expression. Biostatistics is the basis for judgment in the biological sciences. Measure, number and weight become a significant basis for the description of facts in the non-biological sciences. Probability determination has also become the basis for impersonal judgment of fact in the social and psychological sciences.
There is little question that nearly every aspect of science is dominated by the orientation towards the mechanical systems. Mechanical relations have to govern the interrelating of facts. Even those who object to this mechanical systematization think and reason mechanically. Since the time of Newton, we are inclined to use physics as the basis for all factual description. Newton began the trend towards having a physics that dealt mathematically and geometrically with velocity, acceleration, gravity, motion, mass, space and extension. What is very interesting from the side of Rudolf Steiner’s indications in physics, is that he tries to deal with physics by using velocity and the substance of warmth as primary. Light is described by Rudolf Steiner as a non-physical entity whose derivatives lead one to subnature forces (electricity, magnetism, as well as gravity), as well as to the four states of matter (solid, liquid, air and warmth). So that light, substantiality and the forces of subnature can be taken up in a new way. New forms of mathematical and geometrical cognition are needed. For example, that movement is not described in terms of gravity, mass, space and time is important. The factor to be sought, according to Rudolf Steiner is that motion is primary. To this day we are not taught that motion is primary. In fact, motion is seen as an activity in space using mass, time and gravity as determinative factors. No primacy is given to motion or velocity. It is difficult in our current state of mind to find motion as a primary entity, when acceleration is the basis for movement comprehension. Here the mass of an object, the space traversed over time by that object which is in free fall and subject to gravity, determines our comprehension of motion. Acceleration is what we use to comprehend motion. My understanding is that, in the domain of physics, where statics (immobility) is to be overcome, we need new insights, thoughts and mathematics. Here the domain of the imaginary number has to be sought.
One reason for considering a brief excursion into physics is that the reasoning of the physicist is so all-pervasive in our day. For the most part, the majority of individuals who enter the therapeutic fields are drilled and trained in this form of comprehension even more than the average human being of our time. A second reason for this excursion is to indicate that Rudolf Steiner, with Spiritual Science, has tried to extend and broaden the scope of the disciplines of mathematics and physics. Rudolf Steiner had hoped that the physician (if not other therapists, as well) would come to a concern for mathematics and physics. Vice versa, he hoped the physicist and mathematician would take an interest in man and the world of nature. It remains a challenge to take up this desire. In the Warmth and Light Courses by Rudolf Steiner, we have a basis for another approach to light, physics and mechanics.
Our inclination to accept the mechanical as basic in our comprehension means that we take on a Newtonian orientation, often without being aware. We use this approach as a basis of interpretation of nearly all events in nature and in the cosmos. This permits us to reduce all phenomena to a reasoning that accepts simple causality as the king and dictating factor in understanding, the world and man. Causality assumes a preceding event that has some form of relationship with the current event. The sequence is that an alteration will follow by the interaction of event number one (a moving ball) with a second set of circumstances (a resting ball), resulting in a third set of events (the resting ball moves and the rate of movement of the first ball is altered). We are totally immersed in this form of causal contemplation. That there might be another relationship to sequences of events and phenomena would be totally new to us. Needed would be new methods of observation and contemplation (thinking). Rudolf Steiner introduced his Theory of Knowledge to this end.
So it is that today we ask for everything to be reduced to facts. We then ask for all interrelationship of facts be placed into a cause and effect context. Our reasoning permits only to be able to make unusual connections. This method of reasoning leads to mechanical constructs no matter where the facts come from. Facts that are related to the inorganic, to the mineral, are treated and subject to causal interpretation. The same can be said of the living, the psychological and even to the spiritual, if the spirit is considered at all. Our inclination is to unknowingly eliminate qualities of life, psychological functioning and spiritual activity because our orientation is so geared to causal interpretation of all phenomena.
What this means in terms of the human being is that we gather basic data, basic facts. We generally look for age, weight, height, pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, etc. We gauge illness in time sequences. We gather evidence from a sign point of view. We also gather symptoms. Everything then has to fit into some kind of mechanical mold. We have developed an extensive armoratorium of laboratory testing, physical testing, radiological testing and now electronic testing. We have developed this methodology to such an extent that the physician today needs to be the specialist in handling these tests. Once everything is gathered, it is felt that the facts can be assembled into mechanical systems so that we can understand the mechanics of an illness. If at all possible, we seek to understand what is at hand as fact in terms of statistical analysis. The inclination is now to think that our computer systems can in fact handle data and factual materials better than the human being who functions as a clinician gathering the “facts.”
Our tendency is to develop mechanics. He who can gather facts, who can undertake the correct tests and who can use highly sophisticated computer systems becomes the prototype of the modern clinician-diagnostician. Slowly the need for the therapeutician has arisen, but the therapeutician works within the confines of an all-world mechanical system. Mechanical-rational activities are the basis for therapeutics. Healing is not a concept in the mechanical view of things.
It is just this process of gathering factual materials, understanding what is gathered in a mechanical system, and finding judgement validation according to measure, number and weight that has made for such success in the physical world. This world that we are here talking about, of course, is the mineral world. For every event we have to seek a law, and it is the law that remains as the abiding factor in the domain of the mechanical interactions. Even though the law is a conceptual expression, it is felt that the law itself is inherent in the process itself. The ideational component in the seeking of laws is actually secondary and, in fact, not too important, since the law would be operative without the mental construct. This is the thought of the materialist who at the same time is a monadologist.
From the point of view of the Theory of Knowledge, it becomes apparent that every cognitional act that includes the “fact” involves mentational capacities. A “fact” has its place in the world and in the world of laws. The law and the fact appear to be so united and so permeating of each other that no duality can be seen or can become evident. We can say that in the inorganic world where the laws are active and apparent, here the phenomena itself and the mind process are so united that it is very difficult to disentangle them. It is for this reason that the physicist, or the mathematician or the scientist of our day can go through continual cognitional processes without recognizing that, in fact, they are dealing with cognition. The mathematical number, the line, the geometric formulation, the various curves, the various statistical expressions appear to be totally independent of the mind that actually brought them forth. The modern scientist senses that this all exists independent of him. The question is not often asked why mental effort has to be made to arrive at the laws, why they are not given like all of sense life. This, of course, is the immense shortcoming of our current science: to be unaware of the mental effort that is required to permit law to appear in a given circumstance and be validated as a determining factor–as, for example, with gravity and a falling object.
From the point of view of the clinician or the therapeutician who deals with the living human being, we can say that he has to eliminate everything from his view that does not fit into the paradigm of the mechanical world system. The true clinician will be exposed to all the aspects of the human makeup and function. Yet this clinician or therapeutician has only one aspect of his being trained. This training forces the clinician-therapeutician to deal with all phenomena with a factual and preferably a mathematical and mechanical orientation. It is just because this orientation has worked so well, that most of the civilization seems sold on this approach. It is only slowly that we are awaking to consider that there are different aspects to the living, the psychological and the spiritual. We owe thanks to Rudolf Steiner for the indication that, in fact, the approach to phenomena through law, the approach to the non-living, is also penetrated by the function of the human soul and spirit. Soul-spiritual life is a part of knowing the non-living world in the form of mathematical and mechanical concepts. It is just in dealing with our soul-spiritual activities in relation to the non-living that we have trained and refined our cognitive capacity so that great trust can be placed in this method. The limitations of this so-called scientific method is only being very slowly perceived, and a step towards this unveiling can be worked through by taking up the Theory of Knowledge.
If we look at the law as the reigning element in the inorganic, or the non-living, we can come to a very important social aspect of this development. Because our education now is so penetrated by this one-sided method, the knowledge content that almost every human being in the care field carries with him is of this nature. The basic scientists, the physicist, the nurse, the physical therapist, the social worker, the psychologist, the so-called ministerial professions, all of them, in fact, espouse this one form of knowledge process. The result is, that in the face of the human being, where other methods may be important, it is only this one method that has been penetrated and taken up in a significant way. The result is that the spiritually inclined ministerial individual is thinking in a lawful, mechanical fashion while trying to deal with the human spirit. The psychologist likewise tries to deal with the mechanical paradigm in order to deal with what lives in the souls of other human beings. The nurse, the physical therapist, others who deal so much with the human organism, likewise have nothing but the methods of inorganic science to apply to their labor. My inclination is to consider that these human beings who are dealing with a living system, with a soul system, or with a spirit system, these human beings will be cast into a very difficult situation, taking in and taking on other aspects of man while being trained to comprehend only one aspect, one side. The result will be tremendous inner dissatisfaction, on the one hand, and on the other, an inability of the specialist concerned about man to have a basis for comprehending the subject with whom he is dealing. The major social unrest in the therapeutic field of our day, I believe, lies in the fact that man has a multifarious makeup, while the therapist is “one eyed and color blind.” I have great concern, and find it understandable, that so many who are in the primary care process, such as doctors and nurses, are finding it intolerable to work and to care for the human being today. Not many today see that the industrial-social circumstances in nursing care result in the unhappiness of the nurse. I would further venture that those who deal in primary care, particularly with the ill person and the prolonged ill person, will be at a tremendous disadvantage by having only one possible means of dealing with the multifarious expression of the human being.
This consideration of the fact establishes a validity and necessity. Facts are related to laws and mechanical systems. Mathematical means of expression are valid. At every turn there is a validity for this approach, but its limitations have to be foreseen. Our considerations would also ask that we look at other aspects of man that are not factual, mechanical or mathematical. An openness becomes so important in trying to judge matters of health and illness in relation to the human being. It is for this reason that our methodology should go on to consider the living, the psyche, and the spirit as other aspects of man. We need further methodological considerations in developing a more comprehensive approach to man. In our time, we have succeeded the most in developing our lawful and our mechanical approach to man, nature and the universe.
Therapeutic Methodology Part II – Sign or Type
In the previous section we dealt with the problem of “facts.” Today facts become the center of attention in therapeutics, particularly in the usual settings. We indicated that behind the world of facts lies the current scientific methodology. In fact, it is important to see that there is a method, that there is a delineated process to gain the information that is to be dealt with. The methodology is described in the usual forms of laboratory or clinical investigation. First a theory is proposed. This delineates the problem with a potential for comprehension. A working hypothesis follows and out of this an experimental procedure is evolved. The experiment is to validate the theoretical proposition. If there is a perfect match between the experiment and the theoretical proposition, the conclusion is stated as proof. This is the way in which theory is validated. We might for a moment focus on the fact that the theory is, by and large, a mental or a thought construct. The experiment is often an overt enactment. Results are expressed in idea, that is, by measure, number, weight, graph or picture. The experiment validates an idea used to comprehend a phenomenon.
The way in which we take hold of the problems at hand in science and interpret them deals very much with elements of weight or mass, extension or space, and number. Time factors are important. Forms are dealt with particularly in forms of graphs and visual demonstrations. Elements of velocity and inertia often play a great role. Much attention is usually focused on trying to interpret the various spheres of science in the form of statics or simplistic movements. Statics, of course, is applicable to a non-moving, non-living entity. When it comes to dealing with the activities of water, that is hydrodynamics, we have to begin to introduce elements of flow movement. When it comes to the domain of air, or aerodynamics, we get into even more difficult problems, particularly when it comes to acoustics. Finally in the state of warmth, which we deny as substance, we enter the sphere of thermodynamics, and the problem becomes even more difficult. In order that we can get out of the area of inertia, and consider non-linear movement, we have to use calculus. When it comes to gaseous states, we begin to consider pressure and the gas laws. Rudolf Steiner has suggested that we get into the domain of suction in order to deal with this problem. Already, water suggests a potential for suctional forces or dispersive phenomena. Surface processes–the play between centripetal and centrifugal, that is, become important in considering fluid states. As we go through the airy and into the dispersive element of warmth, we can see an almost total disappearance of anything we call substantial. Generally we deal with warmth by thinking of particles (solid state) in motion (in our thinking),and then speak about the dynamics of impact and pressure. That suction becomes even more important, and that another dimension is entered in thermodynamics, often is not considered in our trainings, particularly the clinician. What is extremely interesting is that the temperature of the sick person, or the thermometer, has come to play an exceedingly important role in terms of patients’ health and illness. Even the meaning of temperature has begun to change. We talk about therapies with warmth, but again the whole area of warmth is a difficult one to penetrate, and relatively little time is spent in the area of thermodynamics when it comes to the training of the therapeutician.
In the inorganic world, we tend to deal with the solid state and inert bodies. When it comes to movement, we begin to deal with problems of motion, acceleration, resistance, gravity or the like. In ballistics and trajectory movement, we can think of the creation of form in space in the process of movement. Movement in relationship to time and space gives rise to the concepts of velocity. Velocity is usually seen as a derivative of time and space. We have the indication from Rudolf Steiner that we consider movement or velocity as primary, and time and space as a derivative of movement. So we see that we might begin to consider the four states of materiality and try to bring a new direction in contemplating the primacy of movement even in the non-living, the inorganic. It is, then, not only up to the therapeutician, but also to the physicist and the mathematician, who will need to introduce new considerations of the states of materiality and their activity. Rudolf Steiner has laid the foundation for such considerations in his scientific courses–particularly in the Light and Warmth Courses.
We have also indicated historically that it was Newton who began to create a total separation of man and the world, indicating that time, space, motion, place and mass are a given. He states that these primary qualities are the sensorium of God. In our previous considerations, we have indicated that, in fact, we could consider time as connected with the sense of life, motion with the sense of movement, mass with the sense of touch, and space with the sense of equilibrium. Newton then becomes the individual who is totally detached from the lower sense system and who establishes what is given in the lower system in a very abstract way. He reduces everything to mathematical-geometrical forms and introduces differential integral calculus for the understanding of motion. To this day we use these basics–that is, space, time, motion, and mass, as a valid way to describe most of existence, particularly when using arithmetics, mathematics, and geometrics to describe the non-living world.
The English philosopher John Locke introduced the so-called secondary qualities while accepting the primary qualities of Newton. Locke established the secondary qualities, or that which we gain through our sense of smell, sight, touch, taste and warmth. These have been held to be both subjective and totally personally dependent. These senses give us dream-like experiences. A slightly more awake and objective use of these senses we can attribute to Goethe. Rudolf Steiner takes up the secondary qualities, related to the middle senses, as well as the primary qualities, related to the lower senses, and introduces higher senses as well. Rudolf Steiner points out how the higher senses can come to deal with the primary qualities in a very exact way. We need to develop new faculties for dealing with secondary qualities, or the sense life connected with taste, sense, smell or warmth. Through the faculties or senses of hearing, word, idea, and ego, a totally new relationship to the world–a more exact one–can be established, so that the so-called secondary qualities, derivatives of the middle senses of man, can begin to describe areas of existence which are now either misunderstood or not taken up at all–e. g., life.
Goethe, in dealing with the transformation of forms, and in dealing with meta-forms, begins to introduce a very delicate element of movement in the processes of the living. His dealing with color introduces a dynamic play of light and darkness, so that that which is given as color and given to the senses is the resultant of activities, of dynamics, and not something static that stands unto itself. With Goethe’s method, which is elucidated by Rudolf Steiner, another dimension is entered by the human being. Mobile forms, as an expression of life, as for instance in growth, become important. Goethe was not able to take form movement, as in the movement of animals, into the next stage of cognition. This is what Rudolf Steiner has tried to introduce us to. What is important is that Goethe did take another step in relationship to the living world, when he began to discuss something of a mobile creative element or entity in relationship to phenomena. He did make a next step into the animal-astral when he spoke of the moral aspect of colors, but true animal archetypes were not perceived. In the case of color, he indicates that color is a result of two factors working dynamically, but can also be a revelation of a quality which has to be perceived as, for example, when human morality is perceived. In such a situation, color becomes a garment for something of a soul-like quality in the world that lies around us. This is a totally different relationship to the sense of sight and very likely other senses as well. What probably is quite important, it seems to me, is that Goethe consumed wine. This Rudolf Steiner pointed to. Because of this, Goethe not only used his eyes to look out into the world, but was also continually tasting that world in the form of wine. The play between the sight and the sense of taste is continually stimulated and brought into play for this poetic soul. We might then think on Schiller, who did not consume wine but continually smelled rotting apples in his drawer. As a person, he exercised not only the I, but the I of the mind in ideation and the sense of smell at the same time. In these two souls, we thereby have the exercise of the mental faculty and, at the same time, the middle senses. We might conjecture that this practice raised the middle senses into another domain, so that they could come to another relationship with the world. Goethe seems more related to the sight and taste, Schiller more to the nose and the seeing of the mind–to the intellectual seeing process. Schiller was more a Kantian thinking philosopher, and also had the tendency to have a poetic, even musical component to his thinking capacities. For this reason, we can think of the senses of smell and hearing as predominant in Schiller’s mental processes.
It is Rudolf Steiner who uses these two souls and their particular predispositions to deal with the middle senses. He relates them to the higher senses, where one is dealing with what we could call moral elements, creative or spiritual elements. Rudolf Steiner pointed out again and again that Goethe did not want to deal with his soul experiences. Goethe distrusted these. He never wanted to look at his thinking faculty, his soul faculty. He always wanted to turn outward. Schiller tended to look at the soul of Goethe and use his own sense of subjectivity in the interchange. What Rudolf Steiner takes up as a very important aspect is how Goethe’s eye, in fact, did function, and did function in relationship to the mind, which had a seeing capacity, a visualizing capacity. There was a kind of intellectual seeing capacity in Goethe, though he was not aware of it. It was Schiller that was aware of the soul dynamics of Goethe, as Schiller had a sense of subjectivity of the human being. Again, what we are dealing with here is the consideration of another approach to life, which is to begin to use our middle senses in a different way. Goethe becomes the archetype for this, as Newton becomes the archetype for totally abstracting what lives in the lower senses and subjecting them to mathematics and geometrics. Goethe becomes the archetype for dealing with the middle sense so that another dimension can be touched in the world. This dimension is life.
With this background, I believe we can approach the problem of the “sign.” We can say that dealing with the “sign” is the second step in the formulation of an approach to therapeutics. The first step is to deal with “facts.”The second step is to deal with “signs.”I would like to suggest that, as the “fact” can lead us to the domain of the laws and to the science of the inorganic, the “sign” can be used to lead us to the science of the organic and that which is living. The revelation of the living is not the law, but is the type. Here we have to look for a totally different method for what lies around us than when we deal with the inorganic and with what is lawful. It is more than obvious that we become exceedingly uncomfortable when we step away from laws. When we begin to approach the phenomena of the type, the problem of the type, we are entering into a totally different arena than we are trained or used to enter. We are well-grounded in Newtonian-Lockian senseology. We have quite a new step to take when we come to the next step, where we have to deal with life.
Now let us look at this “sign” or life in search of the type. This leads us into the domain of life, which has been dealt with in ancient times when dealing with the four humours. The four humours–that is, the mucous, the gall, the black bile and the blood, were not just sensible expressions of the world. It has taken Rudolf Steiner to untangle for us that, in fact, in the four humours we have an expression of the dynamic forces and the life forces that bring about the four states of matter. He has indicated that it is only the black bile that approaches sensibility. Black bile is connected to the solid state. Gall would relate more to the fluid state of the chemical processes. Mucous is more connected with what is airy, tending to be shed or pressed out. Finally, the blood is an expression of warmth. What we have is not the four states of materiality that are being spoken to, but the dynamic forces which are working in the human organism, working in such a way that we can speak of warmth, airy, watery and solid processes. These four processes in man deal, then, with the forces which from an anthroposophical spiritual scientific point of view are called etheric formative forces. We are well aware that man is constituted of the four elements, that is, of the solid, watery, airy and warmth. The attention of the therapeutician is usually not drawn to these elements unless a therapeutician is inclined to take a temperature, watch the respirations, observe the secretions or take note of the solid eliminations. Little attention is placed on the four states that are expressed here. That we would specifically look to the warmth makeup of the human being, to the airy, the watery, and the solid, is a new approach. Of course, the warmth makeup of the human being can be extended from the taking of the temperature to the sense of the distribution of the warmth or even the sensing of a psychological or soul warmth involved. One of the signs that we could deal with pointing to another stage in the revelation of the human being is to use our senses to take up the element of, you can say, breathing, movement, sweating, elimination, etc. The sense life of the therapeutician could be awakened in a different way here. We can count the pulse; or we can count the breaths, one can count the number of excrements made in a given period of time. All of this can be subjected to number and weight. Developing a sense for the different form states in man or a sense for the form states in nature would be something quite new.
One way to deal with the foregoing is to consider the continual changing form of the human being, other than the one that is given to a simple description of shape. We can see that there is a continual creation of another form in sweat, in breathing, defecating and losing heat. The form of the human being is continually changing in this regard. A sensitivity for such matters can only arise if a continual effort and search is made.
Another way of looking at the signs of the human being is to consider the four temperaments. We often speak of the melancholic, phlegmatic, choleric, and sanguine. Again, from a spiritual point of view, we describe a person in his relationship to the life processes in the form of temperament. It is often said that the melancholy is connected with the solid, the phlegmatic with the watery, the sanguine with the airy and the choleric with the warmth. Again, dealing with the four states of materiality and looking for them in man, not in the form of the states of matter, but in the temperament, means that we begin to look for a fourfolding expression of an entity, which we can call life. That life assembles the physical into states of matter and assembles man into a fourfold expression in the domain of temperament, gives a very basic entree into the domain of the living. Type here has a fourfold expression. The hothead, the explosive individual, the sign of the warmth-life element weaving through all human beings though altered slightly by each, is a way in which the warmth element can be found on a typological quest.
We can seek another fourfolding. This time the signs are in nature. We have the four directions that lie around us: north, south, east and west. We can connect the north with cold, the south with warmth, the east with watery and the west with the solid. The four seasons we can again relate to the warmth of summer, the cold of winter, the rain of spring and the drying off in the fall. Much lies at our fingertips if we wish to practice.
With this approach, we have taken the problem of the four states in the inorganic and make a transition into the living, looking for the four states in man in relationship to what is solid, watery, airy, and warmth. We can look for the manifestation of the four states working in the unliving and how they might have been transformed in the life of the plant. We will take up this discussion in a moment.
Our quest, then, is to find the principle that works as type in both the non-living and living, in such a way that we develop typological criteria which express themselves in nature and in man. We can say this typological expression of life in a fourfold way can give signs in nature and in man. As soon as we deal with the four states in nature, we already begin to approach the domain of the type.
This approach is not going back to the Greeks, but is dealing with elements in nature which are generally overlooked. We are all familiar with the 109 or 110 elements in nature, but these elements can be expressed as solid, watery, airy and warmth as well. The senses for these four elements were very important for the Greek. The Greek lived in relation to the type world, the etheric world, more than we do. We no longer do. We have settled into our relationship with the inorganic, with the world which is expressed in discrete and inert forms. If we begin with this non-mobile, non-moving physical world, we need to begin to make observations where the mind has to be as active as the senses. The states of matter challenge both–outer sense and inner sense (mind).
If we turn to Goethe again, it was he who spoke about the archetypal plant. As he said, in the inorganic, we can come to very clear manifestations, and distinct manifestations of phenomena. The interrelation of phenomena can become so clear, that the relationship is revealed with the phenomena. He called this the Ur phenomena. The interrelationships in the non-living give a lawful expression in the world by what Goethe called primal phenomena. If we come to the living, then we seek not primal phenomena, but type phenomena or the archetype. Goethe pointed out that in his relationship to the plant, he was able to come to a visualization, by the eye and the mind, where the two coincided. This coinciding process revealed the type being that is active in the living.
Goethe pointed out that the type being of the plant can be expressed in a kind of fourfolding. This fourfolding is working in all plant life, but is not always perfectly expressed. First, Goethe describes the plant, the Ur-type or the archetype of the plant, as always being leaf. We might say that there is a fourfold derivative of this type in a complete plant. The fourfoldness of this living element, or the etheric, is expressed in forms which can be seen in the leaf, the blossom and the seed (fruit).These are all derivatives of the same formative life which can be seen in the four states of matter. We have a direct view into the living or into the etheric world. The plant is an expression. The root we might connect with the solid, the leaf with the watery, the blossom with the airy, the seed with warmth. Again, we are dealing with a signology, a direct impression of a fourfold pressing through of the type as it works in the plant.
Once one has this type in the plant, we then have a visible generalization, a living generalization, on which many factors can come into play to create a whole kingdom that is almost so vast that it is difficult to comprehend. The variability, the potential of variations within this fourfold expression of life, is so vast that it goes on into almost a million different form expressions in the species of the plant kingdom.
Some plants are more root, some are more stem and some more leaf. Others are more the budding or blossoming and a few are more like fruit. Almost every plant can undergo endless transformation, variations from the theme, out of the archetypal plant.
It is just this life with its fourfold expression that we have come to define in defined and discrete terms. Most know that Linné was the genius who gave the method for nailing down specific forms and then relating these forms to one another to come to species. This has then given us the possibility of seeing, but in the process we have lost the eye and the mind for the type.
This is a different method of thinking than building up from separate parts. In the method spoken of here, the separate and specific is a derivative of the living, which is continually changing and in movement so that almost any form can be derived. The specific form of a plant depends on the many conditions of the earth, the atmosphere, the stratosphere and the whole starry world. We might make a generalization that the whole cosmosphere acts in its multifariousness to create derivatives of the living plant, so that we have this amazing diversity in the living world.
There is another way in which the plant as a type can be considered. Goethe did this so that he considered the spiral and the vertical tendency in the plant as an expression of reality. The plant grows upwards and the branches spiral around the central stem. This is indicative of other force systems. These are ether force systems working in a very dynamic way in relationship to the archetypal plant. He also spoke of bringing the elements of expansion and contraction in relationship to this archetypal process. He pointed out that the stem and the leaf is expansile-contractile, working in the domain of the leaf. The bud and the blossom is another contractile-expansile form of expression. The pistil-stamenic activity is again a contraction and expansion, and the seed-fruit is another polaric contractile-expansion activity in the plant. So we can say that we have a fourfold expansion and contraction in life, while a vertical and spiral tendency is at work at the same time. All is in motion, all is changing. While we can speak of expansion and contraction, vertical and spiral activities, we can note the changes of form in the unfolding plant. We can rank the forms in a hierarchical fashion to then consider meta-form (higher form as in blossom and fruit).Just as we can find what is expressive in the non-living world in the four states of matter in relation to the plant, we can begin to speak of that which is vertical or spiraling, that which is expanding or contracting, and that which is resulting in forms that can be expressed as meta-forms.
This method of dealing with the plant, which bears a relation to the four states of matter, but to another domain of existence, makes it possible to develop a signology or a phenomenology of the plant which permits us to consider dynamic activities. These dynamics are not to be found in the inorganic world. If we place these dynamics in relation to man, we can relate the vertical to the human ego and the spiral to the astral. The expansion and contraction we can relate to the pulse, as well as the breath. In the pulse we can consider the etheric, in the breath the astral. In the evolution of forms in the plant, we have to see the dampening of life which in man comes to evidence in soul activities such as thinking, feeling and willing.
This consideration of life in fourfolding the states of matter, then in man in the temperament and soul activities, can be seen as an expression of the typology of life in the plant. The vertical-spiral tendency, as it is in man, can be searched for. That which is expanding and contracting can be seen in forms and dynamics. That which is a form and a meta-form can also be looked for in man.
If we look first for the spiral and the vertical, we can get an impression of whether a human being has a very strong element of the vertical. His posture speaks this. In the person with a scoliosis, we can very quickly pick up the sign of that which weaves around something that should be vertical. In the expansile-contractile, we can look at the form of the hands and the limbs. We can begin to develop the sign expression of the processes that are connected with expansion and contraction in the form of the limbs. There are some whose limbs are totally out of proportion, where the hands are long, the arms are short. Here we quickly come to a sense of what is expansile or contractile that is not in the rhythmic or harmonic form. The configuration of the limbs is out of harmony with the forms of the healthy human being. In terms of expansion and contraction, we can also look to that which is in respiration, and the pulse. All of these can become signs, not only that we count the pulse, but that we have a sense of what is expanding and contracting. The pulse can actually be sensed not as beating against one’s fingers, but as drawn towards one. When the pulse reaches its maximum,it is drawn towards one. Then we can experience that the pulse quickly recedes or runs away from us. This is a totally different way of experiencing that which is expanding and contracting as a sign in man.
If we want to deal with the form or meta-form in man, we can look at his head. Sometimes we see heads that are much more all jaw and full of weight. The head looks more like a flat footed gorilla’s than a true human form. Here, again, we can develop a sense for forms as they relate to what is higher or lower. Again, it would be good to see this in terms of the dynamics and the expression of forms in the living, such as the plant. The plant which can never come to a flower, for example, could also be sensed in the human being with a head and physiognomy which never quite comes to a true higher expression of the individuality. The meta-form of man does not come to expression. The sign of a complete head does not appear. A clear cut physiognomy is lacking.
If we then want to look to the signs of man, we can look to the shape of his forehead, his hair, his gaze, his stature, weight–all are part of signs. Body configuration, pulse, respirations, skin, hair, and eye color are all part of a living system. All of those and many more can be considered to be signs as we are speaking here.
What has been said should be considered merely as an introduction. A very careful detailing and working out of the element of sign in man should be undertaken. It becomes very important to do this so that the sign, belonging to the living, can be differentiated from the fact, the non-living. Also, it is important to develop this signology or the knowledge of signs, so that a proper knowledge of the human psyche or soul can be developed. The healthy human soul has some way to be found independent of the fact or sign, lest we never come to the truly human.
Therapeutic Methodology Part III – Symptom or Person
We started these considerations by looking to a goal of form perception. After a brief description, we went on to the Theory of Knowledge. It is there that Rudolf Steiner speaks to the investigation of the human soul. It is in this soul we would find or discover the process and meaning of form perception through observation. After investigation of the soul, Rudolf Steiner, in this first treatise, turns to the various provinces of existence. He considers the inorganic, the organic and the spiritual. The spiritual he, in a way, divides between the soul and the spirit. After the consideration of the Theory, we took up some aspects of history, which leads us to the present where we stand in the middle of science.
With this background, we then moved on to the first major consideration of methodology, where we tried to deal with facts. The significance of the “fact” in relationship to law and the inorganic world has been somewhat detailed. I tried to suggest that the description of events in the world in terms of mechanics is a description of the world using law and facts.
In our second section we began by discussing the living world or the world of the sign. We tried to indicate how the sign is related to what is living–to what appears to the various human senses in the form of life. Life expressed in the non-living world and then in the living world, the organic world, was spoken to. The possible appearance of life in the soul was hinted at. The striving to find the type, as it relates to a specific phenomenon, is our goal when concerned with the sign. We only developed a few aspects of what we might call “signology.”
After having dealt with the inorganic, which is connected with law, and the organic, which is connected with type, we now move on to the person. We can also say that we move on to the soul that is connected to the person. In terms of the clinical therapeutician, we can also say that this is the domain of symptomatology. Symptom has very much to do with the revelation of the soul. History in illness and therapeutics has much to do with the soul. In order to unravel and get a little deeper insight into the domain of the symptom, I would like to consider what Rudolf Steiner has said about the person in the Theory of Knowledge.
Rudolf Steiner indicates that if we are in quest of something of a psychological-mental phenomenon, our goal then would be to come to a cognition of the person. In order to do this, he indicates we have to develop new sciences. He indicates that one of the new sciences is the science of history. He has often pointed out that it is no longer possible to treat history as an accumulation of facts. He points to the need to gain the faculty of imagination.
A second step in dealing with the person is to come to deal with the science of peoples–of people. It is a verity that when a human being incarnates, he incarnates in relationship to a given place of the earth where a given type of people generally live. The uncovering of the quality, of that which lives as a major component in people, has to be our quest.
In the third and final step in discovering the person, Rudolf Steiner indicates that we have to look to the psychological makeup of the individual. Here the soul processes, the psychological processes, have to be taken into consideration. The senses, the major twelve senses that relate to the human soul, are of great import. The qualities of thinking, feeling and willing have to be entered into with great care. The element of memory and love become an exceedingly important factor and finally the creativeness of the individual of the soul is exceedingly important. Creativeness of the soul points us to the human spirit.
If we look to the element of history, to the science of history, we can say that it actually takes us into the domain of time. From a superficial point of view, it is possible to get an impression of the individual’s relationship to time by merely asking the time of day. We can say that this is the epitome of superficiality. To be oriented to time from a deeper point of view suggests that an individual, in fact, has a definite relationship with history. We know from the many courses given today that some of our most well placed, or highly placed individuals in administrative positions are having a great many problems with time. This is symptomatic of our present circumstances. There is a real problem in dealing with time and the flow of time. This difficulty of the human being of our day dealing with what is here and now, indicates difficulties and suggests that there may be deeper aspects of time.
In the developing of the science of history, Rudolf Steiner has given extensive indications. His major task in life could not be undertaken until he himself was able to find a relationship with time. In his investigations, he found that there were actually two currents in existence. One current tends to flow to the past and the other into the future. It is actually in coming to focus oneself in the present between the past and the future that an individual can actually live in time. Another way of describing this would be to indicate that Rudolf Steiner places man in relation with time by speaking again and again to evolution. There is hardly a lecture, hardly a major work, where Rudolf Steiner has not brought the element of time to man. This relationship has almost always been given in terms of the evolutions. We have the major evolutionary earth periods: Saturn, Sun, Moon and Earth. We have the major earth evolutionary periods known as Polaria, Hyperborea, Lemuria, Atlantis and Post Atlantis. We have the cultural epochs of the India, Persia, Eqypto-Chaldea, the Greco-Roman and finally our own cultural period. Nearly everything that we have from anthroposophical spiritual science makes the effort to give us some impression or experience of time.
For those concerned with the real problems of orientation, it is not difficult to get impressions that, in fact, it is very difficult for many to be living in the present. Rudolf Steiner has indicated in his social writings that, in fact, many individuals who live and work in the present actually work as if they still were living in the Middle Ages. Many work as if they were closeted in a monastic cell. Those who are concerned with the social work circumstance can easily see that this is only too true. It is very difficult to get into the present, where quite new social work impulses need to come about. A more delicate sense often suggests that a good number of present souls are living intensely in other cultural epochs. As we know, there are tremendous impulses coming to us out of the East. Many Eastern practices are being promulgated, almost to the exclusion of what is to come from the West. This suggests a decided relationship with the East in the life of many Western souls. The spiritual science that is being infused into the current time from the East comes to us out of a very ancient time. The spiritual practices come out of these ancient times. Many a so-called modern man takes up these practices. The continuous effort in an anthroposophical spiritual science is to permit the serious soul to work through these older epochs so that we can become modern.
With all of this, we can see that developing a science of history is not very easy. We are hardly at the beginning and a proper evaluation of man’s relationship with time. That man has some sense of this time process that is much more profound and much broader than is generally considered. Without a proper orientation to time, in a deeper sense, it is really very difficult to expect that a human being can fulfill what he has come to take up in this round of existence. Fulfillment of the destiny in a given incarnation becomes difficult.
By saying this, we can consider that there may well be an element of Karma and an element of reincarnation that should be dealt with. If such is the case, this then places the whole emphasis on the therapeutician to take up the issues of Karma and reincarnation. It is one of the significant experiences of almost any therapeutician today that it is very difficult for man to find an anchor in life and find where to find meaningful work and relationships. As already indicated, there is often little relationship with the current time. There is often no immersion in what is occurring. There is a dreaming in the present. Again, if we go into the cities of our time, we will find all kinds of practices. We encounter the drug scene, strobe lights, rock music and the like. All this seems to me to point much more to cultures which do not fit within the major cultural streams of our history. Many are searching for “roots” when listening to some of the current music on radio or T.V. I believe we can be transported back into jungle cultures. Impulses from undeveloped cultures are still active in a very primitive way. It is not so difficult in the face of some of the present forms of entertainment to sense that one is transported into another time.
For the most part, it seems to me that this element in time orientation is glossed over very rapidly. The assumption is that if a person knows the time of the day, the day of the month, and the month of the year, then a person is properly oriented. I have great question with this and would like to suggest that the phenomena of the life crises and “burn out” indicate that many today find it very difficult to find the proper orientation in time. Therefore I am suggesting that one of the considerations in therapeutic methodology is to find these symptoms which can become a revelation of how the human soul is struggling to find its place in time, trying to deal with circumstances. The question has to arise as to whether an individual is overly burdened with the past, with unfulfilled responsibilities. Another way to formulate it would be to seek how a person carries a Karmic burden. Then a therapeutician has to work in such a way that a Karmically burdened individual can come to his own inmost being to take another step forward. Part of the emphasis in dealing with time symptomatology, orientational symptomatology of a human being would be to develop a very delicate sense for Karma.
The next area to be considered in symptomatology is that of the science of peoples. We can say here that we are not dealing with orientation in time, but we are dealing with orientation in space, in place. Again, we might ask a person what street he or she lives on, what state or nation is the home of a given individual. Such a consideration of orientation is again quite superficial. Let us consider some deeper aspects of orientation in place.
If we can begin to look at spatial or the science of people in relation to orientation, we could actually start with the world of the star. Any form of orientation in space has to ask how the earth, on which we are membered, stands in relationship to the planetary and the starry world. For the most part, an effort to undertake a new therapeutic methodology would have also to begin with this consideration. Here is one of the fundaments of a therapeutic methodology. We need to discover how an individual can gain some spatial orientation, or if there is a true orientation. Those familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science know only too well the endless efforts he made to give man a new orientation in relationship to the cosmos. After his 1920 lecture cycle, which is called Spiritual Science and Medicine, he gave a cycle entitled Man as a Hieroglyph of the Universe. In this latter cycle, he indicated very clearly that it was his hope that physicians could come to a new orientation in relationship to space. He then began to describe how a modern man might come to develop a new sensitivity to cosmic space. The way in which Rudolf Steiner goes about this is by pointing to the actual configuration–the physical shape (form)–of man. He asks us to consider our own physical configuration. He points to what is above and what is below, what is fore and aft and what is right and left. This sense that we are a spatial being in which life occurs, in which our soul life lives, is described by Rudolf Steiner in such a way that it is possible to project this around us. This can become a more delicate orientation to what lies around us. Our own form is placed into the cosmos where the earth, sun, planets and stars abide. The science of people has to consider the role of the cosmos in constituting a people.
If we now look to the more immediate spatial relationships, we can next focus on the earth. As we know, the earth is differentiated. Again, if we look to spiritual science, we notice that peoples are differentiated by the earth. In history, peoples differentiated the earth. The earth in turn differentiates peoples. The major spatial differentiations of the earth we refer to as north, south, east and west. From time immemorial we have connected the Aryan race with the north, the American Indian with the west, the yellow race with the east and the black race with the south. From Rudolf Steiner we have the indication that the earth working in man works through his metabolic system, giving rise to metabolic processes which determine color. The white, red, yellow, and black of man’s races comes from an earthly influence. This sense of the organism of the earth and how this works into the human being, forming and transforming him, becomes an exceedingly important study. This becomes a basic concern in the understanding of the science of peoples. The earth working into the human races has an important bearing on the soul-life of man. In this regard, it would be very important to sense how the earth and the basic elements are operative. The influence of solid or watery states are significant. The airy and the warmth states of existence also become very important. This sense of what lives in the solid, liquid, airy and warmth becomes important since man carries on these activities in the inner major organs of the lung, the liver, the kidney and the human heart. Here, then, we ask not for spatial orientation, as in the case of the various lands and how they work into peoples, but we seek more how the individual elements of a given region work into man. This working of the states of matter can give some impression of what is at work in these major organs. The solid is related to the lung, the watery to the liver, the airy to the kidney and the warmth to the heart. From a symptomatological point of view, an improper lung activity as related to the solid appears as hunger. A malfunction of the liver which is related to the fluid state works in the soul to produce thirst. Nausea appears when warmth is not properly working in association with the heart, and shortness of breath points to the kidney and air.
Another aspect of place in relation to people is when we take a look at climactic conditions. Whether an individual lives in a uniform climate, either hot or cold, or lives in a temperate climate with seasons, is important to the makeup and activity of people. It has always been very impressive for me to find from spiritual science that our cultural history has followed the evolution and development of the temperate climate. In this regard, Rudolf Steiner indicates that creative activity of the cultural epochs beginning with the Indian period, is connected with the change of seasons and the temperate climate. Whenever a major cultural period appeared (Indian, Persian, Egyptian, Greek or ours) it took place in a temperate climate. It is this climate which has permitted cultural evolution. Again, this is a profound insight into the significance of a people and where they live.
Perhaps one of the most profound aspects of the science of people is to consider the role of language. As we know, language does have a relation with race, but not entirely so. The same may be said for nation. We have considered that the earth, as nation, as geographic area, works into the metabolism of people to determine color. Language is not formed out of the earth, but out of the cosmos. From spiritual Science we look to the consonants as formed out of the Zodiac, and the vowels out of the planetary world. A further individuation of language occurs through the activities of spiritual being. The speech process itself we seek as grounded in the planet Mars. An even further differentiation in language and speech occurs through the working of the hereditary forces at work in a people. If we next consider the labial-dental-lingual and guttural or throat sounds, we then have another aspect of how a given language is molded or transformed depending upon how the oral cavity is configured by a given individual. We can, as well, suggest that a language and speech works to shape the lips, the teeth, the tongue and the throat and even the remainder of the human being. In racial color we can look to the earth. In language, we have also to consider the earth and the forces of heredity as well. The basics of language we seek in gazing into the broad expanses of the cosmos. In speech itself, we look to a planet in the sky. The individuality further refines language and speech. Only the working of the racial forces and the individual is non-spatial, is not dependent upon place. It is man’s relation to earthly and cosmic space that is so vital to language and speech.
Language can bring about a deep transformation of the human being. Much as the earth works into man metabolically to bring about his color, so the cosmos works into man to bring about speech and language. Heredity carries the theme of the general human on which the variations of language and color can become apparent.
Thus far we have considered time and place in relation to symptomatology. Another way to say it would be that we have tried to approach a science of history as a science of peoples. Our next step would be to consider and investigate the soul life of man directly. This soul life (psychology) is a part of the person. Psychology is a symptom of the functioning and active person. All three components–that is, the science of history, the science of people, and the science of the soul, bespeak the quest to find what is really the person. The person becomes the archetype in this sphere of culture. Comparable is the archetype for the plant and the law for the mineral. To a certain extent the person is a type unto itself. The components of history, people, and psychology so interweave that we have a resultant type which is known as the person. As color is the interplay of the entities light and darkness, so person is the interplay of three factors: history, people and psychology.
The investigation of the soul is often undertaken by the psychologist. The way in which it is done, it seems to me, lacks the depth we can find when we look at the human soul and its functioning as given in the first section of the Theory of Knowledge. There we find a method of a very penetrating and deep-going investigation of the human soul. This investigation leads to the spirit. Symptomatic becomes the factor of the senses as they play into the soul. The many activities of the twelve senses give an endless array of symptoms referable to the soul. A soul totally determined by the senses is as unhealthy as a soul determined by the inner life processes. An appreciation of the senses and the life processes becomes important in comprehending the symptomatology of a person directed by either sense or life. An appreciation of whether or not the soul is free permits the forming of judgment in relation to symptoms. The individual who can only form visual imagery in the soul is totally different than the person who has continual musical themes wafting in his being. Both are subject to a predominance of the human organism. The individual who is extremely determined by touch is very different from the individual whose life and existence is dependent upon what is eaten. The appreciation of the soul in relation to the senses and organic life becomes exceedingly important. In looking to the soul as determined by organic life, we can find another domain of symptomatology. We can look to symptoms of fixity in the soul–persistent tastes, thoughts or the like– as formative forces in the organism, in the lung. Human soul life can become dispersed and fleeting. Here the formative forces of the kidney are active. A continual mobility and fluidity in the soul, one which can not be stopped, points to the formative of the liver. In the racing, pulsing human soul, driven and pressed, the formative forces of the heart become manifest. To be able to read the formative life of the inner organs in the symptomatology of the soul can be a new view towards the nature of man.
To continue looking at the soul, we might consider how much the soul is determined in relationship to the temperamental makeup. The symptomatology of the choleric who can do nothing but explode, or the sanguine who can do nothing but be drawn from one impression to another, all becomes very indicative of the working of the life in the human organism. One would have to say it is not just the content of the soul that becomes important in terms of the choleric, but the process by which this soul content is gained. The individual who goes through a temper tantrum when he walks into a museum to look at a picture and can not, presents a totally different person symptom from a person who can go through the same series of events but then stands before a picture placidly with endless phlegma taking in what is given to the senses. Two individuals may indicate that they look at a picture, but the process by which this all occurs and their personal element in the whole process is totally different. Our sense for these qualities in the symptom and the symptom revelation of the human being has much yet to be unfolded.
Elements of sympathies and antipathies as a symptomatological impression of a given person is another area that can be dealt with. The world-embracing human being with an open naivete, being drowned in the world in endless gestures of sympathy, is symptomatological evidence of a process that is very different than he who lives in antipathies. The antipathetic person, full of questions, doubts, uncertainties, reservations and removedness, is an expression of the person who is very different from he who lives out of sympathies. Here we rise into a domain of expression and symptom which is very different from the circumstances where the life of the organism is determinative. The more soul dominative activity in sympathies and antipathies raises man out of the living element and more towards the life of the soul. A modification of the sympathies and antipathies is the living in likes and dislikes. This is a more refined aspect of that which appears in pure sympathy and antipathy. A further step in soul refinement and symptomatology is to try to perceive the soul active in memory and love. In memory activity what is of the soul passes into the organism. In love, the human organization is raised to a higher level. The symptomatological revelation of the human being in memory and love becomes exceedingly important. These are areas of therapeutic considerations that often are missing in the usual psychological considerations of a given person.
Thinking, feeling and willing can be considered as characteristic psychological function where the individuality can assert a role in the life of a soul. For the most part, it seems to me that we speak of impulses, emotions, associations and mind tracks which, by and large, are lacking in real soul life. If we begin to ask how the soul becomes really personified and individualized, it is then necessary to look at the qualities of the soul which can be grasped in thinking, feeling and willing. The delicate aspects of willing, the presence or absence of willing, is often grasped in an outward fashion. Whether a person does a task or does not do a task is related to willing. However, in the context of a real soul knowledge, willing would have to be seen as that which is then very much penetrated by the human ego. The one form in which the will is evidenced in the soul life is the process of logic. Here will becomes evident in the more independent soul-spirit aspect of the human being. Here we come to a more careful delineation of the human being. By considering the ego-determined activity in thinking, we can grasp a more careful delineation of the individuality. He who has no logic, we can grasp symptomatologically as a person who actually has a problem with his will. In the case of feeling, likewise, we can become more sensitive when we notice that acts are performed without evidence of conscience or sense of moral responsibility. The action, word, or thought that occurs without a sense of responsibility or a sense of conscience, becomes a symptomatic revelation of the feeling life of an individual.
Finally, we come to an investigation of the soul in the domain of thinking. Here we can begin to see whether there are fixed thoughts, delusions, or paranoid inclinations. We can search for gaps in the thinking process, or observe if the thinking rushes forward or darts from one thought to another. All of these can become perceptions of the therapeutician whose symptomatological quest includes this higher form of cognition of the person in whom the spirit is manifest or not.
In closing, one might say that this investigating of the soul was the one that is not so easy. Goethe did not trust himself to do so. Schiller portrayed this soul life in the form of his aesthetic letters, picturing Goethe’s soul to himself. Goethe was a thorough doubter of knowing the soul. It was his direction to know the world and then seek to find something of the soul by looking out and into the world. Goethe doubted the possibility of self-knowledge. It is Rudolf Steiner who indicates that it is possible to turn to the self and gain that element which can be called self-knowledge. He tells that self-knowledge can be a revelation of the person. It is from this vantage point, looking at the soul, investigating the soul, that we get our first step into the domain of the science that approaches the spirit. It is in investigating the thinking activity itself that we begin to undertake the real science of the spirit. This, then, lays the basis for the next consideration, which will be the consideration, not of the law, the type, or the person, but of the human.
id=”part7″Therapeutic Methodology Part IV – Creativity or the Human
(Therapeutic Methodology in Relation to the Human)
This is step number four in relationship to therapeutic methodology. The first step was to take up the facts. We have indicated that facts arise out of a world which can be described as lawful, mechanical and mathematical. It is in this field of factual disciplining that nearly all therapeuticians have their major training.
The second step in therapeutic methodology is to consider the sign. We have not elaborated this sufficiently but have brought it in relationship to the world of the organic. As the law pertains to the inorganic, the sign pertains to the organic and is a manifestation of the type. Here we have to develop the capacity to perceive what is living and see it in relationship to the type. The given is nothing but a manifestation of the general, which operates as a creative entity. We have indicated that Goethe was able to bring together the mind process and the observational process into a onefold activity, so that intellectual seeing and visual ocular seeing correspond. It was Goethe’s faculty that permitted him to discover the type of the plant, or the archetype of the plant. Training in this direction is now needed. We need a training that is connected with the living in order to deal with the signs that are very much a part of the organization of the human being. We will have to undertake a much more thorough consideration of the type process that is alive in the organics which are part of the human makeup.
Our third step in therapeutic methodology has been to consider the person. We tried in outline fashion to deal with history, so that we can come to a sense for orientation in time in regard to a given individual. We dealt with the science of peoples in order that we could get some sense for the orientation in place in regard to a given individual. Finally, we dealt with the element of psychology so that we could speak to the person and person orientation. We are all familiar with the idea that time, place and person are major ways of assessing the human being. They are a basis for psychological-psychiatric judgement. However, in our consideration, we have tried to point out that a real orientation in time, a real orientation in place, and a real orientation in person is a very deep-going perception. Here we are dealing with the symptomatology which when assembled into a whole can be said to be revealing of the person. In our consideration of symptomatology, we tried to indicate how some of the elements of the inorganic world, the organic world and even the so-called psychological world work in such a way that a symptomatological depiction of the person gives insight into the working of that being. It is out of this that we can get some sense of appraisal as to health and illness. Here the symptom complex becomes much more grounded in time, in place and in person.
Our next step is to take up the person as this evolves into what we may call the human. This is a domain that, for the most part, is not at all a consideration in the usual therapeutic field. In some of our more off-beat religious movements and some of the more Eastern threads in our current times, we hear of the functioning human spirit. However, for the most part, what is given could also be said to pertain to the functioning of the soul or psyche. In our considerations we would like to make a step from what is called psychology to pneumatology, from the soul to the spirit. It is Rudolf Steiner who has paved the way in order that the functioning of the spirit can be appraised.
The investigation of the human soul so that it can be seen as penetrated by the working of the spirit has been undertaken in a very careful way by Rudolf Steiner in his consideration of Goethe. In Rudolf Steiner’s book, Goethe’s World Conception, he has very carefully looked at how the soul of Goethe functioned. It is in this treatise that it is possible to find a very careful delineation of the working of the spirit. The spirit of Goethe is spoken to. Rudolf Steiner indicates how Goethe had a great distrust for introspection. This we already articulated. Goethe did not have the skill, training or inclination to deal with psychological processes, with his own intra-psychic processes, in a very objective fashion. The reason that he could not do this and did not so, from the point of view of Rudolf Steiner, is that Goethe was loath to look at his own activity of thinking. Schiller was able to look at the soul of Goethe and depicted it, as already stated, in The Aesthetic Letters. A cursory view of these Aesthetic Letters will quickly reveal how Schiller is portraying the soul of Goethe to the world. In this portrayal there is some working of the human spirit, but Schiller as Kantian thinker is not able to depict where and how Goethe’s spirit is active in the soul. Rudolf Steiner indicates that Goethe by all means had a major spiritual impulse at work in his soul, but that Goethe neither took up a depiction of his soul life nor the working of the spirit. It is because of Rudolf Steiner’s concern for thinking as a potential spiritual activity that he is able to depict and characterize what lives in the soul as spiritual activity.
The unraveling and description of the spiritual activity of the human soul Rudolf Steiner portrays again and again from many views, with great accuracy and with endless research. He does so by looking at the activity of thinking itself. From every point of view, it can be seen that this is a very unique domain of soul-spiritual research. In our time, it was Bertram Russell who very quickly denied any possibility of looking at the thinking activity of the mind. He accepted thinking as such and said it was futile to investigate what went on in the thinking process. Rudolf Steiner takes great pains, in researching the activity of Kant, to reveal how Kant did not deal with thinking. He then, in his treatise on Truth and Science, indicates how Fichte again and again depicted the working of spirit in thinking but then did not take it up. Hegel, likewise, in his dialectical methodological approaches to the knowledge process, sidestepped the activity of thinking. In the ego philosophers, which I take it are Hegel and Fichte, one then begins to find a symptomatology of ego activity. It is not until the being who carries on this thinking activity researches this activity and then the being who is doing that activity, that thinking activity can be portrayed in a correct fashion. By going this path of observing thinking, looking at thinking as an activity and then at the thinker who is doing the thinking, one treads a steady and slow path to the domain of what we would call a true ego spiritual activity. For the most part, the thinking that we do is so passive, is so undisciplined, so undirected, that the concentrated thinking process can not be contemplated. What is generally taken up are the ideas, thoughts, and representations. The activity itself is not cognized. Another way to speak to this is to say that we continually count but do not try to look at the processes of arithmetics. We do not consider that we are adding, subtracting, dividing and the like. Our mind undertakes the activities involved with simple mathematical processes, but does not look at its own activities in the process. It is Rudolf Steiner who points to this domain of activity. He describes how in the case of Goethe, and even in Goethe’s own words, he would not take up this challenge. If we look at Rudolf Steiner’s Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, we see that, in fact, it is a treatise where the soul is portrayed in its workings, its workings particularly in relationship to thinking and the different thought systems. The treatise leads over to love–love of wisdom and love of action. He portrays his work there as a result of the scientific method applied to the functioning of the human.
Rudolf Steiner has shared with us the basis for thinking and thinking activity in relationship to the ego and to knowledge, in the first section of The Theory of Knowledge. In the case of Goethe’s World Conception, Rudolf Steiner placed before us the problem of Goethe dealing with his own mind activity. There is a fairly detailed description of how Goethe undertook the cognitional act in relationship to, or in the process of, cognizing the type. Rudolf Steiner, in researching the activities of many thinkers, portrays man in his activity of the spirit.
Rudolf Steiner’s autobiography is a wonderful revelation of his own identity. In this book Rudolf Steiner becomes an idea being, living in relationship to the idea of world. In this world his own identity becomes the intuition of the ideas of many human thinkers, of the ego activity of others.
It is in this activity of the thinker that we discover from Rudolf Steiner a basic criteria for freedom.
Of great interest is that Rudolf Steiner has pointed to the fact that if an individual has problems with his movement sense, in his sense of movement he has great difficulties in sensing freedom. We can say that, from the side of the physical world, the sense of movement and its health and livingness is important for a very basic sense of freedom. However, there is another basis for freedom experience. This we have been considering. When a human being is able to cognize the act of thinking in process and as a creative activity, then the feeling or sense of freedom can arise. We might conjecture that this is in fact a higher form of the sense of movement. The image that comes to mind is of a Buddha in the lotus position, sitting under the lotus tree in active movement.
The cognitional act bears in it the germ of the deepest experiences of freedom. My impression is that whoever undertakes this path of investigation will after some years of effort come to the experience of breathing light. It is like a refreshing, enlivening and freedom-giving experience in the light of the soul. It seems to me that one of the great problems in pursuing the problem of freedom is to consider that freedom can be experienced from these two polaric domains. One experience comes from the movement sense in life, and the other is in the domain of free spiritual activity, in the cognitional act. He who has problems with the sense of movement may become a freedom fighter without realizing there is another freedom domain.
If we are to come to some appreciation of another human being as a spirit in health and in function, it would be exceedingly important to look to this domain of freedom in order to appraise whether an individual is fulfilling his deepest impulse. It seems to me that very few actually look to this domain for an appreciation of the human being. Very few look to whether or not there is a certain sense of fulfillment (in freedom), so that this experience which is part and parcel of our time is present. The individual who cannot experience freedom, it seems to me, is an individual who basically is having tremendous difficulties in life. Such an individual is barraged from every side by his destiny. He is not able to rise above destiny and sense that he has an identity, a beingness, an eternalness which is not merely the destiny experience. Here we rise to the defense of the eternal, for the uniqueness of the individuality. This all would have to be appraised in relationship to the person who lives in relationship to time, place and person. When the sense of freedom is absent, when the element of creativity as a free spirit in the act of cognizing thinking is not present, then it can easily be that the burdens of destiny are such that an individual needs assistance to find new bearings. This becomes a spiritual task; it becomes a task in addition to the usual tasks which are considered to be a part of healing. It is my view that this healing necessary for the individual to discover his freedom and his creativity, is one of the hallmarks and cornerstones of an anthroposophical-therapeutic responsibility.
By this criteria, looking for the being who is creative, we find an indication that there is a possibility of rising above the usual psychological processes. The active soul in thinking, feeling and willing, in memory, in action and in love, has even greater potential. There is another domain of creativity, a higher one, where the individuality can raise the personal to that which is once more common for all men. It is at this point that the individual is creative in relationship to a commonality which we designate as the human. Here individual and person is a creator of an archetype. This archetype is called the human. It is those free and creative souls who are the creators of an archetype which we call the all-human. In every other aspect, man is formed, but in the case of the human or the all-human, it is actually the free human being who can create a type. The possibility of not being submerged in the person in time and place, but being able to be active and creative in bringing forth the all-human, becomes a sign and symptom of the healthy and free working spirit. From this point of view, the all-human being can be seen as the creation of the community of free spirits.
Let us again turn to look at thinking activity. We might describe different aspects of thinking or of an ego-activity in relationship to the soul. We have to consider if there is freedom and creativity or not.
First comes a person who begins to think but has fixed thoughts. The thought repeats itself again and again. From spiritual science we learn that this is actually not the activity of the thinking spirit, but an expression of the formative aspects of the lung. For another human being, there is a fluidity in the thinking so that there is no fixity but there is a continual flow of ideational thought processes. This we might suggest is related to the liver. The liver formative aspect plays a role here. If we look at thoughts that skip about, thoughts that are not tied together, here the kidney is active. It is possible to see that there is a problem in relation to the will in thinking. Where thoughts become fanatical, filled with pressure and force, we now have thoughts that are determined not by the spirit but by the malfunctioning of the human heart. When we speak of these organs we actually speak of their life makeup, their etheric makeup. We are speaking of their formative life activities which determine the soul and particularly the thinking in connection with the soul. In this circumstance or these circumstances, the human spirit is eliminated. The polar circumstance is not where the soul is formed out of the organism giving forth with thoughts that are either fixed, overly fluid, darting about or fanatical, but is where the thinking spirit is creative, permitting the experiences of freedom to flow. In this polarity, we can gather a sense and appreciation of whether the human being is a free human being.
The question may be asked why it is important to make such observations. I would suggest that it is fairly straightforward. When the human being does not have a degree of freedom in the area of thinking or is not creative, then a certain degree of responsibility can not be taken on. To be true, this is a very difficult judgement, but its import is overwhelming. This is particularly the case when one has to come to judgments about the care of human beings. Where responsibility should be taken up, and where responsibilities should be left to the sick individual, is a very deep and growing problem in our social circumstance when it comes to care. The rights and judgement of the patient, the whole problem of ethics, has become a center and a focal concern in the therapeutic field today. There is hardly a hospital, there is hardly a medical organization, there is hardly a medical school in the country, that has not had to take up the problem of ethics. The central concern of whether or not an individual is responsible, whether or not he can be morally responsible, is a pressing issue. To my mind it is unfortunate that the deep-going insights into morality, creativity and freedom that have been given by Rudolf Steiner have not been dealt with in a more extensive fashion. In the world at large, his indications have been totally overlooked.
If we now look not only to the different qualities of thinking, which can help give some impression of whether or not a person is free or not, we might consider where thinking activity has to flow into feeling. Here we might consider that thinking flows into a higher form of feeling. We can speak of judgement. To be able to come to a perceptual judgement is important. If a person cannot identify a flower when looking at it we know that there is a considerable perceptual difficulty in judgement. If another individual cannot come even to a conception of a given object, then we know there is a conceptual judgement involved. And finally, if an individual can not come to a judgement as to what should be done in relationship to a given circumstance, then we can speak to a problem of intentional judgement. Where an individual has succumbed to his feeling and is ruled and thrown by one impulse or another, by one feeling or another, we then have to ask what is the method by which we can appreciate a feeling life which is not free. Here I would like to suggest that considering perceptual, conceptual and intentional judgments is extremely important. It is important to have some sense of where they lie, so that it is possible to see whether or not there is a real problem in feeling life.
If we are not to observe the spirit in will, we need to gradually come to some impression of how the varied makeup of the will operates. From spiritual science we have the indication that when the physical is working in the will we have instinct .When we have urge, the etheric is operative. In desire, the astral takes hold. It is only when we come to the domain of motive that we have ego expression. In wish, Rudolf Steiner tells us, spirit-self becomes active; in intention, the life-spirit; and finally, in resolution, spirit-man. What is important would be to get some appraisal as to where the will life of a free human being comes into play. When a person is ruled by instinct, urge and desire, there is relatively little of an ego-activity. It is when the ego begins to be active that we can speak of motives, wishes, intentions and resolutions.
Now, there is another domain where we might look at the willing that becomes more delicate. This is to look at the willing as it applies to the human senses. As we know, we can speak of twelve senses. The human being lives in relation to the sense of touch, life, movement and space. This is not an easy matter to decipher. Essential is first to come to a realization that the senses are so much connected with the will. In the case of the senses of touch, life, movement and space, the will is very much in the sphere of sleep. When it comes to the senses of warmth, smell, sight and taste, there again we have will activities, but they are not quite so asleep. These senses give us an indication of a perceptual life. The lower sense can give impressions. The middle senses, warmth, smell, sight and taste, can give perceptions. With the higher senses, that is, the sense of sound, word, idea and ego, we have a greater degree of wakefulness. A greater degree of conscious activity can be found. These senses are very much more connected with the more conscious will process. Hearing, taking in sounds, words, ideas, and another ego, bespeaks much more of an awake and active will. An appraisal of the will that lives in these twelve senses is a task to be undertaken by the therapeutician. This task Rudolf Steiner indicates should be undertaken by the educator wherever education is necessary. The therapeutician should have some insight as to how these senses are functioning, as well as the will connected with them.
If we want to observe the will in an even more refined fashion, then we have to get some impression as to how the human thinking processes can relate themselves to the many forms of thinking. From Rudolf Steiner we have the indication that there is a twelvefolding of the philosophical world possible. He has indicated that we have various philosophical views, various philosophical orientations. He has given their connection with the zodiacal world as are the twelve senses. The twelve senses relate man to the physical world, to the world around us. The twelve philosophical views relate us much more to the cosmic world, to the etheric world and to the world of the stars. It is important to have some impression as to how the thinking process relates itself to this world. The thinking process becomes a love of wisdom; will becomes a love process. This is one of the most refined areas in the appraisal and comprehension of the human will in relationship to spiritual life. This form of will appraisal takes an unending and serious effort on the part of the therapeutician to try to make his or her way to a sense of the twelvefolding of the thought-world system and also that love is needed to enter this province. Rudolf Steiner has indicated the following philo (love)-sophia (wisdom) views. He has indicated that idealism is related to Aries, rationalism to Taurus, mathematism to Gemini, materialism to Cancer, sensualism to Leo, and phenomenalism to Virgo. These are the philosophical views that are connected with the upper zodiacal world, the world of light. Going on, Rudolf Steiner relates realism to the domain of Libra, dynamism to Scorpio, monadism to Sagittarius, spiritualism to Capricorn, pneumatism to Aquarius, and psychism to Pisces. This enumeration of will (love) in relation to the star wisdom (Sophia) world is an area of investigation which directs one’s gaze to the depth of our humanity. Rudolf Steiner gave us an indication of how to do this in the life of Frederick Nietzsche (Human and Cosmic Thought). Some of our thinkers have been concerned with such matters. The ideal would be to become a therapeutician who, as an idealist, strives to think as a spiritualist. The activity of will involved in these different domains, gathering wisdom, becomes one of the most refined revelations of the activity of the human spirit that I know.
Now, let us turn to the spirit in its true creativity, creating that which is human. To begin with, man has to see his own being in relation to nature. He has to sense a relation with his own nature as well as outer nature. In this way, man can come to a uniting with–a union and communion with–what he carries as nature and perceives as nature. This is a religious process and a very basic human process. At the next step, man finds himself as a soul mingling with other souls. The question arises as to how to establish the proper relations in this domain. Art might be considered to be the vehicle. Creativity as a social artist is a need. Social arts are an essential and related to the realization of the human. Working for the social processes is an essential human activity. Finally, in the domain of the spirit, man can meet man in a way that is quite new. Communing in the world of idea–as a free spirit–can serve as a basis for the creating of a new community. The all-human, by this line of thought, runs through religious, social and spiritual life as a fine thread. This thread arises out of the creative capacity of man.