Nourishment instinct of children (2 – End)

Only those children sneak sugar who have something wrong with their livers — it is then actually cured by the sugar. The others are not interested in sugar; they ignore it. Naturally, such a performance can’t be allowed to become a habit; but one must have understanding for it. And one can understand it in two directions. You see, if a child is watching all the time and thinking, when will Father or Mother not be looking, so that I can take that sugar: then later he will sneak other things. If you satisfy the child, if you give him what he needs, then he doesn’t become a thief. It is of great importance from a moral point of view whether one observes such things or not. It is very important, gentlemen.

And so the question that was asked just now must be answered in this way: One should observe carefully what a child likes and what he loathes, and not force him to eat what he does not like. If it happens, for instance, as it does with very many children, that he doesn’t want to eat meat, then the fact is that the child gets intestinal toxins from meat and wants to avoid them. His instinct is right. Any child who can sit at a table where everyone else is eating meat and can refuse it has certainly the tendency to develop intestinal toxins from meat. These things must be considered.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 354 – Nutrition and Health: Lecture 1 – Dornach,  2nd August 1924

Translated by Gladys Hahn

Nourishment instinct of children (1 of 2)

The most useful thing you can possibly do is this: observe a child when he is weaned, when he no longer has milk, observe what he begins to like to eat and not like to eat. The moment a child begins to take external nourishment, one can learn from him what one should give him. The moment one begins to urge him to eat what one thinks he should eat, at that moment his instinct is spoilt. One should give him the things for which he shows an instinctive liking. Naturally, if a fondness for something threatens to go too far, one has to dam it up — but then one must carefully observe what it is that one is damming up.

For instance, perhaps in your own opinion you are giving a child every nice thing, and yet the moment that child comes to the table he cannot help jumping up on his chair and leaning over the table to sneak a lump of sugar! That’s something that must be regarded in the right way. For a child who jumps up on his chair to sneak a lump of sugar obviously has something the matter with his liver. Just the simple fact that he must sneak a bit of sugar, is a sign that his liver is not in order.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 354 – Nutrition and Health: Lecture 2 – Dornach,  2nd August 1924

Translated by Gladys Hahn

To be continued

Too much protein

If one gulps down too much protein, it doesn’t go over into the body at all, but into the fecal waste matter. Even so, the body does get something from it: before it passes out, it lies there in the intestines and becomes poisonous and poisons the whole body. That’s what can happen from too much protein. And from this poisoning comes then very frequently arteriosclerosis — so that many people get arteriosclerosis too early, simply from stuffing themselves with too much protein.

It is important, as I have tried to show you, to know these things about nutrition. For most people are thoroughly convinced that the more they eat, the better they are nourished. Of course it is not true. One is often much better nourished if one eats less, because then one does not poison oneself.

The point is really that one must know how the various substances work. One must know that minerals work particularly on the head; carbohydrates — just as they are to be found in our most common foods, bread and potatoes, for instance — work more on the lung system and throat system (lungs, throat, palate and so on). Fats work particularly on heart and blood vessels, arteries and veins, and protein particularly on the abdominal organs. The head has no special amount of protein. What protein it does have — naturally, it also has to be nourished with protein, for after all, it consists of living substances — that protein man has to form himself. And if one over-eats, it’s no use believing that in that way one is getting a healthy brain, for just the opposite is happening: one is getting a poisoned brain.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 354 – Nutrition and Health: Lecture 1 – Dornach, 31st July 1924

Translated by Gladys Hahn

In the future, a man’s moral qualities will be recognised from his actual appearance

In the sixth epoch (3573-5733) of post-Atlantean evolution, men will be born with bodies quite definitely expressing their inner, moral qualities. A man’s moral qualities will be recognised from his actual appearance. The moral physiognomy will then be very strongly in evidence and the physiognomy as it now is, will have receded more into the background. Man’s physiognomy today is largely determined through heredity: he resembles his parents, his grandparents, his people, and so forth. In the sixth epoch this will play no part at all; man will himself determine his outer appearance — as the result of his incarnations. Human beings will all be very different, but each will have a very definite stamp. It will then be known with certainty: You have before you now a well-disposed or an ill-disposed man. Just as it is known today: You now have before you an Italian or a Frenchman, it will then be known: Here is a malicious or a kindly man — with all the many gradations. More and more, therefore, the moral qualities will be expressed in the countenance.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 254 – Significant Facts Pertaining to the Spiritual Life of the Middle of the XIXth Century – Lecture III – Dornach, 7th November 1915

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on January 24, 2014

We must not expect the spiritual world to be merely a kind of finer sense-world

Many people try hard to see spirits or the activities of spirits, but they want to see them just as they see physical things. They want to see a spirit, but this spirit is expected to have the form of a man or a woman or perhaps a poodle, as these are seen in the physical world. In the other world, however, it is not like this. The process itself lies outside the ordinary consciousness and what enters into the consciousness is at most a picture, an image which appears afterwards.

In short, we must not expect the spiritual world to be merely a kind of finer sense-world, nor that it will speak in human words, the only difference being that the words come from the spiritual world. Our friends are often only willing to listen in this way to voices which seem to speak to them; these voices are expected to be similar to those of the physical world, merely giving a different, subtler version of things of the physical world. These people would like to enter the spiritual world with the ordinary consciousness which belongs to the physical world only.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 254 – The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century: Lecture Ten – Dornach, 25th October 1915

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on January 23, 2014