Sugar

When the soul undergoes development, it then experiences all the sugar it takes into its body, or already has within it, as something giving it inner firmness, supporting it inwardly, permeating it to a certain extent with a sort of natural sense of selfhood. And in this respect a sort of eulogy might even be pronounced on sugar. In passing through a soul development a person may even often notice that he needs to take sugar, because the psychic development inevitably tends to make him become more and more selfless. Through an orderly anthroposophical development the soul of itself becomes more selfless. […] 

It might be said that, through eating sugar, a sort of blameless ego-sense is produced, forming a counterpoise to the necessary selflessness in the spiritual realm of morals. Otherwise there might all too easily be the temptation not only to become selfless, but also dreamy and fantastic, to lose the healthy capacity for judging earthly conditions. An addition of sugar to the food gives the power, in spite of the ascent into the spiritual world, to stand firmly on the earth with both feet, and to cultivate a healthy estimate of earthly things. [ …] 

On the whole, we may say the consumption of sugar intensifies physically the character of the human personality. We may be so certain of this that we may even say that it is easier for those who take sugar to imprint the character of their personality upon their physical body than for those who do not; but it stands to reason that this must be kept within healthy limits.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 145 – Effects of Occult Development: Lecture II – The Hague – March 21, 1913

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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

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.

To be continued

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

Translated by Gladys Hahn

Previously posted on May 4, 2016

Some remarks about nutrition

Vegetarianism without spiritual striving leads to disease. It’s not a matter of back to nature but of through nature to the spirit.

It’s true that meditation and concentration exercises will be the main thing for our spiritual striving, but when the elaboration of the astral body begins, the food that an esoteric eats will be of some importance.

It’s especially important to avoid alcohol in every form. The bad effect of alcohol on the brain function has been scientifically shown, and knowledge of spiritual things is made completely impossible through its use. It’s inadvisable to eat meat and fish.

[…] Proteins make mastery of sexual passions difficult. Sugar promotes independence, and should be avoided by egotistical people. People who tend towards envy, deceit and bad will should avoid cucurbits and vine plants in general. The sweet, intoxicating aroma of melons darkens clear, intellectual consciousness and should be avoided by emotional people. Apples intensify the urge to dominate in some people and often lead to rudeness and brutality. The high iron content in cherries and strawberries isn’t good for everyone.

If someone wants to undergo training in thinking, he mainly needs a well-constructed, healthy brain apparatus. Since present-day parents seldom give their children such well-built brains, one needs help to strengthen one’s brain apparatus. And here it’s mainly filberts that supply the brain-building substance. All other nuts are of less value and peanuts should be avoided altogether. Milk butter is the best fat. Coffee supports logical thinking, but doesn’t make one a logical thinker by itself. Drinking too much coffee leads to hysteria in people who don’t think much. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – No date or place given

Previously posted on April 19,  2016