Hygienic occultism

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Hygienic occultism, according to Rudolf Steiner, will very soon emerge as a result of natural development, especially in the centre of Europe and far into Asia, through which one will learn to prevent diseases prophylactically by psychic means. In addition to this, a eugenic occultism of spiritual birth control will develop in the East and a mechanical occultism in the West.

„Of a third faculty, which is latent today and which will develop, I must speak to you. It is the one I would like to call the hygienic occult faculty. Now we have all three: the material occult faculty, the eugenetic occult faculty and the hygienic occult faculty. This hygienic occult faculty is well on the way and will relatively not be long in coming. This faculty will mature simply through the insight that human life, in running from birth to death, runs according to a process which is quite identical with a disease process. For disease processes are only special and radical transformations of the quite ordinary, normal life process which runs between birth and death, except that we carry within us not only the disease-making forces but also the health-giving forces. And these health-giving forces, as every occultist knows, are exactly the same as those which one uses when one acquires occult abilities by transforming these forces into knowledge. The healing power inherent in the human organism, transformed into knowledge, gives occult knowledge.

Every knowledgeable person in the Western circles knows that materialistic medicine will have no basis in the future. For at the moment when the hygienic-occult faculties develop, there will be no need for external material medicine, but there will be the possibility of prophylactically treating, of preventing by psychic means, those diseases which do not arise from karmic causes and are therefore beyond our control. Everything will change in this respect. This still seems like a mere fantasy today, but it is something that will come very soon.

But the thing is that these three abilities do not come equally over all the population of the earth. You have already seen the differentiation. This differentiation has of course only something to do with the bodies, not with the souls, which always go from race to race and from people to people; but it has a great deal to do with the bodies, this differentiation. From the bodies of the English-speaking population can never come out the ability to develop eugenetic-occult abilities in the future through birth. They will be used precisely in the West, but they will be used by dominating Eastern countries and by bringing about marriages between the people of the West and the people of the East; by using what can only be learned from the people of the East.

The people of the central countries are particularly predisposed to the hygienic-occult abilities. And the situation is such that the English-speaking population cannot acquire the hygienic-occult abilities through the birth disposition, but that they can acquire these abilities in the course of time in the development between birth and death. There they can become acquired qualities. And in the population roughly east of the Rhine into Asia they will be present through birth. And again it is the case that the population of the Midlands cannot acquire the eugenetic-occult disposition directly by birth, but can acquire it in the course of life if they go to the East for instruction. This is how these abilities will be distributed. The people of the East will have no ability at all for material occultism; they will only be able to receive it if it is given to them, if it is not kept secret from them. And one can always find the means to keep it secret, especially if the others are so foolish as not to believe in the things said by one who is once able to look into these things approximately. So the people of the East and the people of the Midlands will have to receive material occultism from the West. They will receive the blessings - the products. Hygienic occultism will develop preferably in the Central countries, eugenetic occultism in the Eastern countries. But communication will have to take place between people. This is something that must be included in the social impulses of the future; this is something that makes it necessary for people to realise: In the future they will only be able to live as a whole humanity over the whole earth. For if the American wanted to live only as an American, he would indeed be able to achieve the highest material effect, but he would condemn himself to never being able to get beyond earthly development. He would condemn himself, if he did not seek social relations with the East, to be banished as a soul to the earth region after some incarnation and to haunt only within the earth region. The earth would be lifted out of its cosmic context, and all these souls would have to haunt it. The man of the East, on the other hand, if he did not absorb with his eugenetic-occult abilities that which draws down to the earth, the materialism of the West, would lose the earth. He would merely be drawn into some psycho-spiritual development, and he would lose earth-development; the earth would sink under him, as it were, he would not be able to have the fruits of earth-development.“ (Lit.:GA 186, p. 74ff)

„But there are obstacles to the development of these abilities, and they are manifold, and their effectiveness is actually quite complicated. Thus, for example, a significant obstacle to the development of the abilities that are to come, especially for the people of the Central and Eastern countries, is when strong antipathies against the people of the Western countries play in them, when these things cannot be viewed objectively. That is an obstacle to the development of these abilities. On the other hand, in a certain way even the disposition to a later occult faculty is supported if it is developed out of certain instincts of hatred. This is a very peculiar phenomenon. For one so often asks oneself - for here lies something which should be considered quite objectively -: Why is it, then, that in the field of the Westerners such senseless ranting has actually taken place? - This is also instinctively aimed at these abilities. For nothing will promote that which lies in the deepest impulses of Western occultism more than if untrue sentiments, which are, so to speak, felt to be sacred, develop, which can portray the people of the East, namely the people of the Midlands, as "barbarians". The material occult tendencies are promoted, for example, by the so-called "crusading mood" in America. This consists in the idea that America is called to bring freedom and justice, and I don't know what all these beautiful things are, over the whole earth. People believe this, of course. There is no question of any accusation here. People believe that they are making a crusade. But it is precisely in the fact that people believe what is false that they are supported in a certain direction. If one were consciously to say the wrong thing, then one would not have this support. Thus, on the one hand, what is happening now is infinitely beneficial, on the other hand, it is a hindrance to the development of those very faculties of which it must be said that they are still latent in most people today, but that they want to develop towards the future, and that they will deeply intervene in the social structure of the people of the future.“ (Lit.:GA 186, p. 77f)

Pedagogy is of particular importance for the development of spiritual hygiene. It is important here that children are not taught ready-made, dead concepts, but living concepts which they do not yet have an intellectual grasp of in their full scope, but which they can confidently absorb through the beloved authority of the teacher, and which can grow and mature with them throughout their lives.

„Today, for example, in education, in teaching, an enormous value is placed on the so-called visual representation, and rightly so, for within certain limits it is good if the child is led directly before what can be seen externally or internally, and its ideas, its concepts are imagined by it in such a way that it deducts them itself. But not everything can be brought to the child in this way which it needs for its development for a dignified existence. And so much must enter into the child merely by its looking up to its educator, to its teacher as its authority, to him who develops a certain fire in educating, in teaching, who passes imponderables from himself into the child with his fire. There will then be many things that the child will take in, believing that the authority believes in them, but does not yet understand them. Then the times may come, perhaps after fifteen or twenty years, after the child has left school, when he remembers: you learned that then and did not understand it, now you have matured, now you bring it up purely in memory from the well of your soul. Now you understand it. Whoever knows the life of the soul of man knows that such an understanding of that which has been carried in the soul for years, perhaps decades, and which is imparted by later maturity, develops forces which strengthen the man inwardly; nothing pours into the will such energy from the innermost part of the soul as learning to understand something through one's own power of maturity, of something which one received years ago on authority, on communication.

In this way, pedagogy can be combined with ideal, with spiritual hygiene. Once our public health care will really be permeated with such far-reaching views, only then will the spiritual, which is rooted in humanity, be able to really unfold its energies, which are so beneficial for humanity. Whereas all that we absorb only through the intellect and its training is, as it were, detached from the human being and therefore cannot have any effect on the human being, that which is brought out of the whole human nature, the spiritual-scientific, will also be able to have an effect on this whole human nature. And we have the possibility, if in medicine too we look not merely at momentary successes, but at a health care which reckons with the laws of the world, that is, also with the laws of time, to work tremendously favourably in this direction.“ (Lit.:GA 334, p. 43f)


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