Steiner Online Library Spiritual Science for Human Evolution

Curative Education
GA 317

Table of Contents

  • Title Page
  • Colophon
  • Note
  • Lecture I 25 Jun 1924
    • Understanding of normal children helps with abnormal and vice versa. Right way to regard symptoms. Abnormal commonly regarded as deviation from the supposed normal. Distinction between soul and spirit-soul. Soul life of thinking, feeling and willing only a reflection of higher permanent soul life which passes through repeated incarnations and is seated in organisation of body. Head system is synthetic. Metabolic-limb system analytic. Higher form of thinking builds the brain. Lower uses it as reflector. Metabolism with separated organs is basis of will. Body changes in seven year periods. In first period body is an inherited model. In second, descending spirit-soul builds new body. In third, child builds a third body in accordance with earth forces. Sex maturity merely a part of earth maturity. In child physical organs and corresponding soul life deeply connected, in adult more independent. Subtle forms of illness. In children most defects lie in will rather than in thinking, whose apparent defects are often those of will. Inherited defects are often a karmic necessity. Man has exact knowledge of human organism in spiritual world. Knowledge of the earth world necessary for that of the body in spiritual world. Why children may choose defective rather than healthy bodies. The liver enables thought to be transformed to action. A man whose philosophical system excluded the will produced a pathological son with no connection to the liver.
  • Lecture II 26 Jun 1924
    • Need to go beyond symptoms. A sarcastic newspaper article on Wulffen's view of Schiller. Model body overcome in second period of childhood in accordance with strength of child's ego. Thinking, feeling and willing of the soul are symptoms behind which stands the thinking which builds the brain synthetically and the limbs-metabolism analytically. Thoughts not produced by body but borne by cosmic ether, from which child receives them in building his own ether body. This living thinking forms the brain which becomes mirror for dead thoughts and excretes the nerves. In so-called deranged thoughts the mirror is out of order. Teacher must have reverence for cosmic ether. Child's etheric permeates body with varying intensity. Law that every principle is influenced by one above it. This applies as between teacher and child. How teacher can develop his astral to influence child's etheric. Need for good Judgement. Case described of a genius who in a later incarnation cannot unite his principles and alternates between sanity and madness. Insanity distorted genius. Interest and love can restore true rhythm. To educate backward children is to intervene in karma. The agricultural course and the need for high morality both in the agricultural methods there advocated and in curative education.
  • Lecture III 27 Jun 1924
    • Difficulty of helping adults as compared with children. On waking, ego organisation enters directly into physical forces (gravity) and etheric forces (buoyancy). It connects fully with Earth, Water and Air, and partially with Warmth. Astral body especially connected with light (in spiritual science “light” is perception of all senses). This light is etheric. Mechanism of the eye correctly described in modern science. Soul and spirit lay hold of this mechanism and go out from it to surrounding world. In abnormal conditions an organ (e.g. liver) may restrict this activity and prevent consciousness. This happens in epilepsy. If giddiness is associated with epilepsy exercises for balance recommended. For disturbances in circulatory system element of warmth to be stressed. When moral defects are present in epilepsy medicines are necessary. Children are born without morality, which they must learn from their surroundings. An example of an a-moral child. The intellect is rightly acquisitive, but this acquisitiveness should not enter will. “Collecting” and kleptomania.
  • Lecture IV 28 Jun 1924
    • Congestion of astral and ego forces in an organ connected with consciousness leads to fits. Congestion in an organ which hinders consciousness leads to pain. Conversely, an organ may allow ego and astral forces to flow out too freely, and this leads to hysteria, which is not to be associated with sex in children before puberty. In this condition ego and astral grasp surrounding world too strongly and child becomes hyper-sensitive. The unfolding of will then causes him pain, ideas evoke fear and depression follows. Enuresis connected with this condition. “Soreness of soul” and relation to death process. Anxiety among teachers caused by their training. Need to drive out the anxiety connected with “soreness of soul” by inducing a different anxiety which consolidates the astral body. Bodily activity for epileptics, shocks for the opposite type of child. Alternation of depression and sense of well-being. Teacher must enter into child's inhibitions and give him the right stimulus and encouragement. The best self-education for the teacher.
  • Lecture V 30 Jun 1924
    • Differing Inter-relation of the four principles of man described for the head and metabolic systems. Impressions in the head system reach the corresponding member in the metabolic system in becoming memories. Condition under which the metabolic man cannot retain the impression, leading to fixed ideas. Opposite condition when impressions are too strongly absorbed and produce disturbances. These two conditions related to lack or excess of sulphur in the albumen. Educational treatment for boy mentally apathetic but excitable in the will. Barrenness of ideas today and an exercise for developing creative ideas. Educational treatment for a child mentally active but outwardly apathetic. Spiritual understanding of children will save them from the psychoanalyst. Feeble mindedness and mania. Curative Eurythmy for the same.
  • Lecture VI 1 July 1924
    • Case history of a boy in whom the head organization has failed to control the limb system. Reference to the backward child whom Dr. Steiner himself educated. Unskilfulness in the modern age due to lack of religious feeling. Interest must be aroused in the boy in all his activity. Tenacity of language forms. Curative Eurythmy. Three therapeutic methods — taking medicines internally, injections, and bath lotions. Prescription for the boy concerned. Necessity of humour and enthusiasm.
  • Lecture VII 2 July 1924
    • Case history of boy of six. Acting by the mother during pregnancy had weakened astral. Disintegrating forces out of order in both brain and metabolism. Speech exercises and curative Eurythmy. Case history of a boy of eleven. Astral organization cannot properly enter body, perhaps through deficiency in the “model”. This causes fits and other symptoms. Root, leaf and flower of plant affect head, rhythmic, and metabolic systems respectively. This boy's imagination to be stimulated by giving him “unfinished” toys and encouraging him to carve forms. The first boy again. His absorption with the sound R. For him lessons must rise to a climax and then tail off, thus helping astral to enter body.
  • Lecture VIII 3 July 1924
    • Drawings of a boy of twelve shown. Next a hydrocephalic boy and his clinical history. Sudden death of the child's father. The boy really still an embryo. Details of mother and child. Child's astral bears features of mother's astral. Ego not developed in last moments of pregnancy. Mother's wish to keep the child in the womb. Father forces weak in embryo. Boy an example of infantilism. Return to first boy, who appears normal but is a kleptomaniac. His ingenuity. His head formation. A charming little girl with blue eyes is a sulphurous child who wets herself by day but not at night. Weak head a result of poor appetite. Limbs are nourished from cosmos through breathing and sense activity. The child's fantasy comes from limbs. This child dreams on falling asleep, not on waking. Treatment of these three children to be given later.
  • Lecture IX 4 July 1924
    • Kleptomaniac boy. Moral judgements belong to earth, not to spiritual world. Astral body of this boy has not penetrated into physical. His interest is in “discovery”. Good and bad mean liking and disliking. Authority of teacher especially needed. Early excessive pleasure in sounds of speech connected with kleptomania. Need to study the place and people where such a child is born. Two examples. Stories to represent a child's nature. The hydrocephalic child. Such children are ultra-sensitive in head and nerves. Quietness and darkness recommended. Gneiss as therapy. Nectar and its effects. Set-backs as part of a cure. Lead to induce decomposition. Lead and radium. A hydrocephalic man whom Steiner knew as a child described. The girl seen previously and her clinical history. Arsenic baths to help astral harmonise with physical and etheric. Mustard and horse-radish compresses recommended. Child to be broken of habit of excitability. Man has developed as far as the ego, but beings of spirit-self are also to be reckoned with, e.g. the Genius of language. Teacher must attend to speech and gesture.
  • Lecture X 5 July 1924
    • Cases from Lauenstein. Boy of sixteen able to do a subtraction sum but very slow. Reluctance to move his limbs noticed. Head forces not in proper contact with limbs. Should be made aware of skilfulness in hands and legs. Medically, lead may help. Younger children of similar character should touch their feet with their heads. Quick but deep observation to be cultivated by teacher. Epileptic boy of fifteen who had been castrated. Difficult puberty expected. Need to interest him in the world, as is practise of Waldorf Schools at this age. School attainments reported nil. He should paint and express in colour his inner troubles. Medical treatment algae and belladonna. Peculiar relation of algae and mushrooms to air and water. A girl of fifteen described of whom Steiner had said she must have had a bad disturbance in her astral body at three or four (afterwards confirmed). Over-enjoyment of food leads to protruding lips. Loving devotion can help to discover disturbances like these without clairvoyance. Danger of vanity in discovering new faculties. Youth Movement of great significance but marred by lack of devotion to small details. Need for true confidence. A meditation for night and day. Enthusiasm in experience of truth required. Curative Eurythmy and nicotiana juice recommended for girl above. Albinism in two Lauenstein children. Their horoscopes show a special relation of Uranus and Neptune. In albinism organisation resists iron and drives sulphur to periphery with effect on hair and eyes. Is albinism inherited? Geology of locality to be studied. The Saal region characterised.
  • Lecture XI 6 July 1924
    • Girl of ten suffering from loss of memory. Adenoids due to excess of etheric in region of bladder. Defective astral lies behind both symptoms. Strong impressions needed. Child remembers simple folk melodies. Poems with refrain recommended. Medical treatment and curative Eurythmy prescribed. Kleptomaniac boy of sixteen to receive same treatment as previous boy of this type. Fidgety backward boy who has not learned to speak. He has never learned to imitate. Tone Eurythmy recommended and repetition of strongly rhythmical sentences forwards and backwards. Also curative speech Eurythmy and medicines. Use of hot and cold baths. Boy who sees colours everywhere. Ego always pushing at astral from within. Try to change his handwriting and work on his boastfulness. Albinos. Horoscopes characterised. Strong predestination of the will. Nerves and senses unable to endure strong impressions. Medical treatment with radiation of iron. Two questions: Is the mood of those attending the lectures good? Is there a connection between Lauenstein and the Trüper Homes in Hanover? Goethe's Theory of Metamorphosis and Steiner's discovery in a notebook in Weimar. Meditation of point and circle (already given) fundamental to grasp of metamorphosis. Historical antecedents in Jena. Hildebrand reappears on earth as Ernst Haeckel. The latter's speech at Jena on his sixtieth birthday. His humour and influence.
  • Lecture XII 7 July 1924
    • Man today understands human being less than Goethe understood the plant. Goethe's interest in malformation in plants, the study of which can lead to observation of archetypal plant. Spirituality lives in human malformations. Earlier education balanced Luciferic and Ahrimanic aberrations. The virtue of mother's milk. In embryo the good mother forces live in metabolism and have ego content. Later they move higher, retaining astral content. In head they would have only etheric and physical content. Plant becomes more spiritual in ascending from root to flower. Man is plant reversed. Mother's milk related to blossom in plants. Making a map of illness. Old belief that every animal represents an illness. Meditation for the teacher. The right feeling for the ego — the youngest principle. Need to integrate all work within the form of the Anthroposophical Society.

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"You can see from this, my dear friends, what mischief will be set on foot if the truths of Spiritual Science are withheld. For man will be exposed to the forces of evil, and he will only be protected from it by giving himself up to the spiritual life of the good. To withhold the spiritual life of goodness from men is to be no friend to humanity. Whoever does this, be he Freemason or Jesuit, is no friend to humanity. For it means handing men over to the forces of evil. And there may be a purpose in doing so. This purpose may be to confine goodness to a small circle, in order by the help of this goodness to dominate the helpless humanity who are thus led by evil into the follies of life."

—Rudolf Steiner,
Spiritual Science Notes On Goethe's Faust, Vol. II, No. 273-8.

Spiritual Exercises

Calendar of the Soul

In 1912 Rudolf Steiner offered a “calendar of the soul” with weekly verses that express how the changing seasons in both the outer natural world and our inner lives help humanity evolve. Download and read the verses in four translations with commentary by Eloise Krivosheia of the Los Angeles Branch of the Anthroposophical Society.


2022-2023 Calendar Dates