Native predisposition of each one of us has very much to do with our destiny

That which develops in us as we grow, is, after all, connected very deeply with our destiny. Only to choose grotesque and radical examples, we may have grown in such a way as to be short and thick-set, or tall and lanky, as the case may be; or so as to receive this or that shape of nose. In short, the way we grow is not without its influence on our external form. And this is certainly connected, in however loose a way, with our destiny. But our way of growth is expressed not only in these crude externals. If our instruments and methods of investigation were only delicate enough, we should discover that every man has a different composition of the liver, of the spleen, or of the brain. “Liver” is not simply “liver”; it differs — though in its finer aspects, needless to say — in every human being. And this is connected with the same forces which cause plants to grow. As we look out over the plant-bedecked earth, we should be conscious: That which pours in from the wide ether-spaces, causing the plants to grow, works in us human beings too, bringing about the original and native predisposition of each one of us, and this has very much indeed to do with our destiny. For it belongs very deeply to his fate, whether a man receives out of the ether-world this or that constitution of liver, lung or brain. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 235 – KARMIC RELATIONSHIPS I – Lecture II – Dornach, 17 February 1924

Translated by George Adams / Revised by M. Cotterell, C. Davy and D.S. Osmond

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What is it that is not well in a mentally ill person?

What is unwell in a mentally ill person?  In the case of someone who is mentally ill it is the body that actually is sick; the body is unable to use the soul and the spirit in the right way. In the case of someone of whom it is said that he is mentally ill, it is always the physical body that in reality is ill; when the brain is not able to function in the right way it is understood that the person concerned will not be able to think normally. In the same way the feelings of a person with a sick liver cannot function in the normal way.

And so to call someone “spiritually ill” (in German it is called Geisteskrank) is actually the most incorrect expression to use. Someone, of whom it is said that he is mentally ill, actually suffers from a bodily ailment. The body is so ill, that the spirit, which is never ill, cannot be utilised in the right way.

Above all, you must clearly understand that the spirit is always healthy. Only the body can get sick in such a way that it cannot take hold of the spirit in the right way. If someone has an ailing brain it is the same as when someone uses a hammer that keeps on breaking when he uses it. If I call someone who does not have a hammer lazy and tells him he is incapable to function as a woodworker, it goes without saying that I am talking nonsense. He might be able to function as a woodworker if he had a hammer at his disposal. In the same way it is utter nonsense to say that someone is mentally ill. The spirit is perfectly healthy, but his body, his tool, lets him down.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 350 – VORTRÄGE FÜR DIE ARBEITER AM GOETHEANUMBAU – Dornach, 28th June 1923 (page 144-145)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on February 11, 2018

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Every human being has a different organ composition

Every human being has a different organ composition. Were the instruments we possess for purposes of research fine enough, we should discover that actually every human being has a different liver composition, a different spleen composition, a different brain composition. Liver is not merely liver. In every individual — naturally, in a very delicate way — it is something different. All this is connected with the same forces which cause the plants to grow. And in beholding the plant cover of the earth we must become conscious of the fact that what pours in out of the reaches of the ether, causing the plants to grow, works and acts also in us; it produces in us the original human potentiality which has a great deal to do with our destiny. For whether a person has received this or that liver, lung, or brain composition from the etheric universe is a matter profoundly connected with his destiny.

Rudolf Steiner – GA 235 – The karma Question and the Hierarchies: Lecture II: Karma – Dornach, February 17, 1924

Translated by Henry B. Monges

Previously posted  March 1,  2019

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Melancholy and sugar

We must know that every manifestation of melancholy in a human being is connected with some irregularity in the function of the liver. This may seem unlikely to the physicist, but it is nevertheless a fact that every kind of melancholy, especially if it goes so far in a child as to become pathological, is due to some irregularity of this kind. In such a case I shall turn to the parents of the child and say: “It would be good to put more sugar in his food than you usually do.” He needs sweet things, for sugar helps to normalise the function of the liver. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 310 – Human Values in Education: Lecture VII – Arnheim, 23rd July, 1924

Translated by Vera Compton-Burnett

Previously posted on May 18, 2016 

Nourishment instinct of children (2 of 2)

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

Previously posted on May 5, 2016