Every agitation in the psyche works on the circulation of the child as well as on the breathing and metabolism. Body, soul and spirit are not differentiated yet. Therefore, every negative arousal that comes from the environment penetrates deeply into the bodily organisation of the child. So, when a choleric teacher lets his temperament go rampant in the vicinity of a child, is even merely in the presence of the child, then the letting go of the choleric temperament penetrates the soul of the child, planting itself into the physical body. What the teacher does under the influence of his temperament – when he does not exercise that self-control that we will discuss later – leaves an imprint in the child’s physical body.
The curious thing is that it penetrates the deeper layers of the existence of the developing child and the consequences will show only later in adulthood. In the same way that a seed planted in the earth in the autumn becomes a plant in the spring, so it happens with children. When the child of eight, nine years, enters its forty-fifth, fiftieth year, we see the effects of the choleric temperament of the teacher who let himself go. Metabolic diseases appear, not only in the adult but also in old age.
Research thoroughly, and you will realise why we encounter this or that person in his fortieth, fiftieth year, suffering from rheumatism. Your investigations will lead you to understand why a person may be suffering from all kinds of metabolic diseases like poor digestion. You will discover why this person is as he or she is, why he suffers from gout at an early age: much of it must be attributed merely to a choleric teacher who let go of the reins when he dealt with this person at a young age.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 308 – Die Methodik des Lehrens und die Lebensbedingungen des Erziehens – Stuttgart, April 8, 1924 (page 15-16)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger