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Elephants to Einstein
GA 352

II. Poisons and their effect on humans

19 January 1924, Dornach

I'd like to add something to the lectures we've had so far, gentlemen. The next time I'll then ask you again to put a question or two on science.

I have told you that we must consider the human being to consist of a physical body, which we see before our eyes, and also of higher organizational aspects, which are invisible bodies. And I said that the first invisible body is the ether body. It is a subtle body that we cannot perceive with our ordinary senses but which is really the reason why a human being is alive, and essentially is also the reason why all plant and animal life exists. Another, yet higher body is the one we call the astral body. This astral body makes us able to have sensations and feelings. We have it in common with animals, for animals, too, have an astral body. But then, there is something in the human being which animals do not have, and that is self-awareness. For this we have an I. The human being thus consists of the physical body, which we see, and the three higher bodies: ether body, astral body and I.

The best way of seeing why people who have some degree of supersensible perception have good reason to say that man has these supersensible aspects — it can also be understood in other ways—but it is easy to see it if we consider the way poisons act on the human body. When we spoke of the insects we saw that insect venoms can in a given situation have an extraordinarily helpful effect on humans. We saw that insect venom will get rid of certain diseases. 2Steiner, R., Nine Lectures on Bees (in GA 351), lecture of 12 December 1923. Tr. C.A. Meir, M. Pease. Spring Valley: St George 1975. And this is also why medicines are mostly made of things that in ordinary life act as poisons. They merely have to be taken in suitable doses, that is, they have to be taken in such a way that they may act on the human organism in the right way.

The action of poisons on the human body has its peculiarities. Just consider the following in this respect. You see, arsenic, which is sometimes also used as a rat poison, is a very strong poison. When a person takes arsenic, or if it is given to an animal, death follows immediately, or, if one manages to keep death away by giving the person suitable antidotes, driving the arsenic out again, as it were, a kind of slow arsenic disease may develop, and this arsenic disease then progresses slowly. Or it may also be that a person has an occupation involving something that must contain arsenic, and then arsenic poisoning with small amounts of arsenic may become an occupational disease. When it happens that a person does not take so much arsenic that he will be killed immediately, but takes a little arsenic, just enough to be harmful, he will grow pale, getting a kind of very chalky look; he'll grow thin and gradually die of emaciation. He loses his fresh colour and also all the fat that his body needs. The body gradually perishes, even if the arsenic action is a slow one.

But then there is something else. In Austria, for instance, arsenic is found in the rocks in some Alpine valleys. People start taking very small, tiny amounts of arsenic. They are able to tolerate this. They start with small amounts; then they go further and further, taking more and more, and in the end we have the strange situation that they are able to tolerate a terrible amount of arsenic.

Why do they do this? Well, gentlemen, most people do it from vanity. They get what they consider to be a beautiful skin colour and it makes them fill out more if they were skinny before. They take it from vanity, getting into the arsenic-eating habit from vanity, and this makes them look good.

So you get a strange contradiction. Such contradictions exist not only in human thinking—there everything usually contradicts everything else—but very much also in the natural world. There you get this contradiction: on one occasion arsenic makes a person grow thin and sallow, grey — not the hair goes grey but the skin. On one occasion the person fades away, the other time he takes arsenic to look good! There you have a complete contradiction.

What lies behind this? All you find in modern science about such a thing is that they will say: This cannot be explained; it simply is so. You cannot explain it unless you know about the supersensible bodies of man. You see, it is like this. Just as a human being always has to have formic acid in him, as I told you, 3Steiner, R., Nine Lectures on Bees (see note 2), lecture of 15 December 1923. so he always has to have arsenic in him. He produces it himself. In many respects this may seem very strange, but you know, I have told you before, 4Steiner, R., The Human Being in Body, Soul and Spirit; Our Relationship to the Earth (GA 347), lecture of 16 September 1922. Tr. J. Reuter and S. Seiler. New York: Anthroposophic Press & London: Rudolf Steiner Press 1989. when people say human beings can live without alcohol this is not true. A person can live without drinking alcohol, that is true. But he cannot live without alcohol. For if he does not drink alcohol, his own body will produce the necessary amounts of alcohol in him. All the substances that man needs are produced by himself. Anything taken in from outside is there merely to support, to stimulate. In reality man produces the substances he needs out of the universe. All substances exist in very finely divided form in the universe. Everything is there in the universe. There is iron in the universe, for example. Human beings not only inhale it, but also receive it into their bodies through their eyes and ears. And the iron people eat only serves to give support. It is largely eliminated again. If human beings did not have to live on earth from birth to death and therefore also do things on earth, they would not need to eat at all, for they could draw on the universe for everything. But when we work with our hands, or have to walk, we need the support gained from eating, for the body does not produce enough.

The human being is thus constantly producing arsenic; animals do it too, but plants do not. Why? Because plants have only an ether body. Arsenic is produced by the astral body, and therefore humans and animals produce arsenic. And what purpose does the arsenic serve? Well, you see, gentlemen, if human beings were not able to produce arsenic themselves they would not be able to sense things and respond to them inwardly. They would gradually come to have plant existence. They would begin first of all to dream and then to walk about like sleepyheads. Arsenic gives human beings the power to be awake and to respond inwardly to things. If I press down somewhere with my hand, it is not only that the skin is pushed in there at the front, but I have sensation. And this sensation arises because my astral body is all the time producing arsenic.

Someone who eats arsenic, takes arsenic, therefore strengthens the activity of his astral body. And what is the consequence? The consequence is that the astral body makes itself very much at home everywhere in the body. It gets too strong. It attacks all the organs and wears them down. And that is the consequence of rapid arsenic poisoning. If someone takes a lot of arsenic, quickly, his astral body begins to become terribly active, whirling, whirling, whirling and finally destroying the activity of the whole organization. It drives the life from the organs, for there has to be a constant battle between astral body and ether body in the human being. The ether body gives life, the astral body gives sentience. But there can be no sentience unless life is suppressed. To draw it in diagrammatic form, therefore, it is like this (Fig. 5). There you have the astral body, there the ether body. They are always fighting one another. If the ether body wins we get a bit sleepy; if the astral body wins we come wide awake. This alternates all the time in daytime life, but so briefly and quickly that we do not notice it and think we are always awake. In reality, however, being awake, asleep, being awake, asleep, and so on alternate all the time. And the astral body gets what it needs so that it may act down there in the right way from the amount of arsenic human beings produce themselves.

slimy mass
Figure 5

If we give extra arsenic into the astral body, then in a trice the astral body gets too strong, much too strong, and kills all the life in the ether body. Now the human being can no longer live at all and he dies. But if I give someone so much arsenic that the astral body gets much too strong, the limbs, the internal organs, gradually lose substance and the person grows thin, begins to look grey, because the internal organs are not working properly. Yet if I start to give someone a little arsenic to begin with—one would not be giving it to him in that case, he would take it—the astral body begins to get a little bit lively, very little; it then actually stimulates the organs, and the effect is the opposite. If I give it too much from the beginning, it will kill the organs in a trice. If I give it just a little, it will stimulate the organs. It stimulates, just as when we use a spice. If one then goes up slowly, increasing the dose, the organs will tolerate this. The person begins to look better, fill out a little, because his astral body is more active than it was when he did not take arsenic.

But now imagine that someone who has been 'eating' arsenic has to stop. Then his astral body will also stop being active, for it no longer has the arsenic whip behind it, and then the person will rapidly go into a decline. Someone who has started to eat arsenic and reached a certain dose is dependent on taking it all the time until he dies. And this is the problem. People cannot get out of the habit. The bad thing is that the person has to eat it all his life. Alternatively— but this is very difficult to do —one would have to reduce the dose slowly, giving less and less to eat. What usually happens in that case is like what happened to the farmer who wanted to get an ox out of the habit of eating with such a theory. He gave the ox less and less. The ox got very lean, but it still lived. Finally the farmer gave it just a single blade of grass, and the ox died. But the farmer said: Well, if it had given up eating that last blade of grass it would still be alive today. Yes, that's how it is with people who want to give up arsenic. They do not manage to leave off that last little bit; they perish before that.

You see, gentlemen, the human astral body needs arsenic, and it is strange to see the way scientists are groping in the dark today. They are really terribly in the dark! Today we keep hearing that a cure for syphilis has been found somewhere. A few days ago you could also read in the paper that a remedy for syphilis has been found in Paris. The fact is that no one knows what causes syphilis. It is due to the fact that the physical body becomes too active and the astral body is unable to intervene. But people do not know this, and they therefore keep trying one thing after another. And the funny thing is that all their remedies contain arsenic! You'll always find it, just take a look. But one can really only penetrate these things with the science of the spirit. All these things always contain some arsenic; but people do not know what it is about, they are completely in the dark. That is the peculiar nature of modern science. People will notice of course that something happens in a person when a preparation is used that contains arsenic. But they do not know that the astral body is getting more active, and that the physical body, having received such a principle of dissolution, will therefore dissolve. This is something a new medicine must bring about, that people gain proper insight into the human being again; only then can medicinal actions be brought in.

Now if we continue to consider poisons: some are mineral poisons. Arsenic is a mineral poison, for example, copper, lead, phosphorus, tartar emetic are mineral poisons; these are mineral poisons; one is dealing with stones, or with powders, powdered rock. So there are mineral poisons. Then there are plant poisons, for instance the poison that is in Belladonna, deadly nightshade, or the poison that is in henbane, Hyoscyamus niger, or in red foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. These are plant poisons. A third kind are animal venoms — we have discussed some aspects of these a short time ago, 5See notes 2 and 3. so I only need to round out the subject today—insect venoms and snake venoms. And a particularly terrible, dreadful animal poison comes from rabid dogs.

We thus differentiate between mineral poisons, plant poisons and animal venoms. Each acts in a very different way on human beings. Let us take mineral poisons for example, lead, perhaps, or copper — all these things are toxic—or sulphuric acid, nitric acid, phosphorus and so on. Such poisons can really only be studied if they are not introduced into the human body in such amounts that they will immediately kill a person. For it is a strange thing. Taken in large amounts, the poison will kill a person, a mineral poison will kill. Taken in a weaker dose it will make him ill. The weaker actions are best for studying the effects of the poison. And if a suitable dose is given to a sick person, that person may get well.

Now it is like this with these poisons. When a person gets arsenic, copper or lead into himself, the first signs are nausea, retching, then feeling sick in the stomach, in the intestines, pain in the gut, colic-like symptoms. This happens when a person takes mineral poisons. The body seeks to take in only what it is really able to digest. That is why retching develops as soon as mineral poisons have been taken. The person vomits. It is how the body seeks to help itself, but it is not enough as a rule. It will not be enough if there is a certain amount of poison and then one has to use antidotes. One must take care to get an antidote into the stomach and intestines so that the poison combines with it. The poison attacks the body when it gets into the stomach and intestines. But if I give an antidote, poison and antidote combine to form a compound. The poison no longer attacks the body, having entered into matrimony with the antidote, as it were. And after this I must give a powerful emetic or aperient so that it all comes out.

If you have weak poisoning — with more serious poisoning you have to get medical help — but what are the antidotes for weak poisoning? You see, a good antidote is this: quickly take lukewarm water and crack an egg into it, so that you have the liquid egg white and let this get into the stomach and intestines. The poison combines with the liquid egg white and can then be vomited up or be got rid off in diarrhoea; or, especially if the poisoning is weak, you can achieve this with lukewarm milk, also with all kinds of oils obtained from plants. These are antidotes to mineral poisons, except against phosphorus. If someone has phosphorus poisoning, one should not give vegetable oils, for they enhance the poisonous effect of the phosphorus. But all other mineral substances can be made to combine with oily substances and driven out. What happens when I have poison in my stomach? Well, the poison is there. Let us have the egg in lukewarm water I spoke of, and this will surround the poison in the stomach.

All these poisons I mentioned are also produced in the human organism. The human organism produces a small amount of lead, it produces a small amount of copper, it produces phosphorus. Man is the producer of all kinds of things. But these substances should only be produced in the quantities the body needs. If I introduce lead into the body, there is too much lead in it. So we now have to ask ourselves: what does lead do in the human being? Well, you see, gentlemen, if we were never to produce any lead in the body we would all walk around with rickets! Our limbs would go soft. And a child with rickets is indeed a child who does not produce enough lead. The human body must not have too much or too little lead. Generally the human being is able to produce the substances in adequate amounts. If he does not, he will indeed fall ill.

So if I now introduce lead into the human organism, what will happen? What happens with the lead which the human being is continually producing? Just think, you start to produce lead in your body when you are a child. But lead is not really ever found in the body in perceptible quantities, because we immediately sweat it out again. If it were not sweated out, then you would have had enough lead in you after a few years as a child that it could be detected. And now, as gentlemen of a venerable age, you would all go about with extremely hard rather than soft bones. You would only have to knock into something and the bone, being brittle, would immediately shatter.

So the lead a human being has in him, this small quantity, is always produced and sweated out again. If I ever introduce too much of it, it cannot be sweated out again immediately and destroys the human being. If I introduce egg white, which is protein, in water this will prevent the harmful effects of the lead. Why is that so? Well, gentlemen, the reason why I always sweat out my own lead is that I always also have protein in me. And when a baby drinks its mother's milk, one of the actions of that mother's milk is that by getting used to taking milk the baby also gets in the habit of sweating out lead all the time. I may also use lukewarm milk, therefore; it makes the lead find its way out of the body either by being vomited up or by being sweated out. The last remnants must always be sweated out.

So you see, we copy something which nature does all the time. The protein which is always present in the human being continually dissolves the lead. If I get too much lead into the stomach and then also put in protein in water, I am doing artificially what the body is always doing of its own accord. The situation is therefore that these mineral poisons and their actions have to be destroyed by bringing in something from the sphere of life. It must always be something from the sphere of life — the egg comes from a hen, and therefore life — or lukewarm milk, which comes from an animal, from life, or oils, which come from a plant, from life. I have to introduce something that comes from the sphere of life and still has something of the ether life. I thus cure the physical body through the ether body if there is mineral poisoning. The physical body is sending its substances too strongly into the ether body in cases of mineral poisoning. So that we are able to say: mineral poisons cause the physical body to penetrate into the ether body, entering into the ether body somewhere in the organs. So you see, if I have too much lead and it is not got rid of by an antidote in the stomach, if it enters into the body, then the physical body is immediately driven into the ether body everywhere in the human body. The physical body is dead, the ether body alive. But the ether body is killed by the physical body when this penetrates into it too strongly.

When I have copper poison and do not manage to render it harmless immediately in the stomach, using an antidote, it will enter into the body, and as a result the physical body will penetrate the ether body too strongly in the pelvic region. Again the body suffers damage. And so we may say that all mineral poisons cause the physical body to penetrate into the ether body. If I then give my antidote, something that comes from an ether body — egg white in water, lukewarm milk, and so on — the physical is driven out of the ether body again. You see, here we can see exactly what goes on in the human body.

How is it with plant poisons? If one has the poison from deadly nightshade, or from henbane, or from Digitalis, foxglove, or from Datura stramonium, thornapple, if one has some such plant poison, the following happens. In the case of mineral poisons one develops nausea, one's stomach begins to rumble, the intestines begin to rumble. But when one takes plant poisons — taken in large quantities, even alcohol acts as a plant poison, opium acts as a plant poison — it does not stop at nausea, retching, and so on, but he whole body is taken hold of. Hardly anything happens in the stomach with plant poisons to begin with. But further along in the intestines something happens, and diarrhoea develops. With mineral poisons, retching is more likely to develop, with plant poisons diarrhoea.

But it goes further. The body grows bloated, it turns bluish, and seizures develop. The black part of the eye, the pupil, opens out; it grows large, or it may grow small. So you see, such plant poisons intervene much more in the body. Mineral poisons only act on the human physical body. Plant poisons, coming from the etheric, from life, immediately influence the ether body. We may thus say that plant poisons cause the ether body to enter into the astral body. There the action on the body is a deeper one. While mineral poisons drive the physical body somewhere into the ether body, into life, plant poisons drive life into sentience, into the astral body. As a result the human being is narcotized, sensation disappears, and especially the eyes, being organs that convey more subtle sensation, are attacked, with the pupils enlarged or narrowed; the skin is attacked which we use for the sense of touch.

With plant poisons, therefore, the action goes more deeply into the body. And now one has to consider that just as the mineral poison was thrown out of the ether body with something coming from the sphere of life, the plant poison must be thrown out of the astral body. And here one has to look for plants that are more than ordinary plants, plants where the astral body has already intervened out of the cosmos.

You see, gentlemen, ordinary plants come up in the spring, they live through the summer and wither away in autumn. Those are the ordinary plants. But there are also trees. They do not wither away but persist for a long time. This is because the astral comes from the outside and intervenes. This is particularly so with particular trees. They do not become animals, plant nature has the upper hand, but the astral intervenes — above all in the bark. Trees characteristically surround themselves with bark, and the bark of oak trees and willows is most effective, because there the astral comes in most strongly. But all trees that contain tannic acid, as we call it, are trees where the astral has come in strongly. The result is that the liquid that can be obtained by pressing or boiling the bark of willows or oaks acts as an antidote, because with this one can throw out again from the astral body what has come into it through the plant poison. Coffee and tea also contain such an acid, in a sense, which throws the harmful influences out of the astral body. Strong coffee and good quality tea also have this effect against plant poisons. We can see now why it may not be such a bad thing to take black coffee with a meal on some occasions. When we take black coffee, the situation is — because plants always have a little bit of poison in them—that with the black coffee we throw out of the astral body something that consumes the body because the ether body has penetrated into the astral body. And drinking black coffee means that every time we put something into the body with a meal that makes it a little bit unhealthy, we remove anything that might be in the food and could penetrate too strongly into the astral body.

With tea one would have to be careful about drinking it with a meal, for it actually acts more powerfully and attacks the astral body. If tea is taken with a meal it mixes in with the digestion and encourages digestion, getting the astral body free again where it is involved in digestion. But if one takes tea after a meal, one gets directly to the astral body and makes it whirl around too much, be too active.

But you see, gentlemen, people have really had quite a good instinct. It is not for nothing that people have got in the habit of taking a bit a coffee, for that frees their astral body from something that is about to be harmful. The body always has a little bit of a tendency to develop poisons. Because of this the human being quite rightly needs these weak antidotes that are found in coffee.

You know that there are also people who want to encourage digestion not only with black coffee but by adding a small glass of cognac or brandy to their coffee. Well, brandy has something in it that itself acts a little like a plant poison, and this cuts off the astral body completely. The ether body gets particularly strong when people drink brandy. The ether body is particularly active when any spirits are taken. The person feels greatly at ease, for he has cut off conscious awareness and become all plant. He enters wholly into plant existence when he drinks spirits, and feels at ease, just as people normally feel at ease in their sleep. In sleep we do not, however, have awareness of that feeling of ease. When a person is able to feel at ease in sleep, this is because he is able to perceive the activity of the flesh. But normally people know nothing of being at ease when they are asleep. They do know about it, however, when they drink brandy. They are a little bit awake, but on the other hand their lower body is asleep, and with the lower body asleep while the head is awake they feel infinitely good. Drinking spirits therefore encourages animal and plantlike ease in people.

The third kind of poisons are animal venoms. There we have snake venom, for example, and the different insect venoms. Then there are poisons like the poison of rabies. These poisons act in the blood. It is easiest to see it in the case of snake venom. When a snake bites you, the venom enters the blood where it is tremendously harmful. But if you prepare a meal, draw venom from snakes and use it with pepper and salt, mixing it to make a meal — there is no point to this, for it does not taste good, but I mean if you did it for fun — your stomach would tolerate the snake venom with the greatest of ease. It is not at all poisonous in the stomach. Much the same holds true for other animal poisons, for instance insect venom. Only rabies poison gets into the saliva and from there into the blood, and therefore might also prove somewhat harmful if it got into one's stomach, though not as harmful as when one is bitten by a rabid dog. The rabies poison also gets into the blood from the saliva. But generally speaking we may say that animal poisons really only take effect in the blood and have no effect in the digestive tract.

You see, when the digestive process begins in a human being, the things he eats or drinks first of all reach the stomach. At that point they are still the way they were outside, physical objects, that is, still physical. If this is taken further in the case of plant poisons, which are not only physical but come from an ether body, it will go deeper. But all foods actually reach the blood. Snake venom can be properly digested; it does no harm when it reaches the blood via the digestion. Why? Well, when things are in the stomach, the physical body is still active. When they have moved along into the gut, and until they enter into the blood, the ether body is active, and in the transition into the blood the astral body. And in the blood the I is active. If you introduce snake venom into the blood, it causes the astral body to penetrate into the I. Mineral poisons make the physical body penetrate into the ether body. Plant poisons make the ether body penetrate into the astral body. Animal venoms make the astral body penetrate into the I. With animal venoms, therefore, there is nothing for it but to get it out of the blood again, for the I is the highest principle. There it is no longer possible to give something that will throw it out; one has to remove it directly. It means we can only get it out with something that is actually in the blood itself. If one has got the poison from a rabid dog in one's blood, or snake venom, one must take an animal and inoculate that animal with the particular poison. If the animal dies, well, then it has perished because of the poison. If it does not die, however, its blood is able to fight the poison. If one takes the fluid from such blood and inoculates the person suffering from rabies with it, he will have blood in him that can fight the poison, and in this way it may be possible to cure him. In this case, therefore, the poison can only be got rid of by its own antidote which is produced in the blood.

There is a great deal to be learned from animal venoms. For you see, gentlemen, human beings also produce these themselves all the time. Everything that exists is also produced by the human being himself. And it is because they produce such venoms that animals really have their powers; they would be stupid, dumb if they did not produce venoms. And man produces poisons very similar to animal venoms, doing so in organs that are more towards the head, but again does so only to a slight degree, so that his body is able to use them. If he produces them too strongly, he may actually have too much of those animal venoms in his own organism.

This is the case with diphtheria, for instance. Diphtheria develops because the individual produces animal venoms in himself. And diphtheria can be cured in a similar way, by inoculating an animal that can tolerate it with diphtheria, and then inoculating the human being with the animal's blood juice. He then gets something in his blood that fights the diphtheria poison.

You can see from this that there must be in nature not only things that are useful in a sense; things that are harmful clearly also have their function. Mineral poisons are the same, only more so, as something the ether body has to deal with in the human being. Plant poisons are the same as something the astral body has to deal with all the time in the human being. Animal venoms are the same as something the I has to deal with all the time. So we may say: some degree of poisoning is ever present in the waking human being — in the sleeping human being, too — but this poison also has its antidotes within it. And the situation truly is that we have to see clearly that poison and non=poison must be present in nature, so that the whole economy of nature can function properly.

And now you will also understand why I said formic acid has to be present. Formic acid evaporates continually from the ant heap, going out into the natural world at large. Because of this, formic acid is really always present everywhere. Human beings produce their own formic acid. But nature needs ants to produce formic acid that goes outside themselves. And if the formic acid were not produced, our earth could never be renewed in the universe but would die.

You see, when you have a human corpse, a poison called ptomaine develops in this human corpse, which is yet another poison. But human beings continually carry this corpse around with them. The poison is being produced all the time. If you have a living person, the physical body also produces ptomaine, but the etheric body, astral body and I are still present. They concern themselves with this poison all the time, consuming it, living on the fact that such poisons exist. If we were not poisonous as corpses, we would be unable to be human when alive. You can see from this that something must have gone away when a person dies. This is his supersensible aspect. And then, with the supersensible aspect gone away, the poison is no longer destroyed and remains in the human being. If people were able to think properly about the reason why ptomaine develops in the physical body, they would say: 'Yes, the physical body has been producing ptomaine all the time; there is no reason why it should not produce it, for as a physical body it is the same whether the person has died or lived. But the human being, the supersensible human being who needs ptomaine in order to live, has gone away; the ptomaine thus remains.' This shows, therefore, that the supersensible human being exists inside the physical human being. Modern scientists are unable to discover this, however, because people do not think in modern science.

So this is the general message, I would say, to be learned from the action of poisons. But at the same time you also see that if one wants to speak about the human being in medical terms, wanting to know of a medicine, one must be able to ask oneself: 'How does this medicine act?' There may be situations where one finds that the astral body is unable to work properly, is unable to gain mastery of the physical body and the ether body, and one has to give the person a little arsenic, for given to the astral body this will strengthen the astral body. And it is the same if one finds that the I is not working properly. One sees this when people develop gout or rheumatism, with the I getting too weak and unable to dissolve the foods. They then enter into the blood and become foreign bodies. If gout or rheumatism indicate that the bodies become foreign bodies, one has to strengthen the I. This can be done with insect venom. If a bee stings a person, this happens naturally, and the person may be fortunate enough to be cured. Knowledge of medicines means: How does nature act on the I? How does nature act on the astral body? How does nature act on the ether body? We need to know supersensible nature if we want to have knowledge of medicines.

So you see, genuine knowledge is only gained in a particular field if we are able to consider the supersensible human being. All kinds of questions will no doubt come to your minds or may already have done so. We'll continue with that at nine o'clock next Wednesday.

  1. Mineral poisons make the physical body penetrate into the ether body.

  2. Plant poisons make the ether body penetrate into the astral body.

  3. Animal venoms make the astral body penetrate into the I.