Naturosophy: Anthroposophic Naturopathy
“Look at man, he’s a little cosmos. Look at the Cosmos, it’s a huge man!”
For Anthroposophic Naturopathy the body of man is not a machine, it is a miniature Cosmo. The vital forces that pervade our body are the expression of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms that make up Nature. All our bodily imbalance is therefore the expression of a natural need.
Restore the harmony of your physical and vital body through the integration of natural substances extracted from crystals and plants.
From the encounter between the understanding of the Nature of Anthroposophy and Naturopathy comes Anthroposophic Naturopathy or Naturosophie. According to our approach the human body is not a machine, it is a miniature Cosmos. The vital forces that pervade our body are the expression of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms that make up Nature so that every altered condition in the body is an expression of natural need: thus “naturopathy” means “feeling oneself together with Nature”. Only by resonating among souls can we find the solution: the cure is given by the soul of the naturopath to the soul of the patient through the Wisdom of Nature.
The cause of disharmony arises first on the soul plane and then descends as an effect on the material plane. Physical disharmony is the message that the spiritual world sends out for the consciousness to understand. Materialistic science has not understood that the state of disharmony does not depend on the effects of disharmony but on the animic and spiritual causes that have generated it. By suppressing the symptoms, the animic-spiritual cause is suppressed, thus making it increasingly difficult to attain harmony. The more we fear what is wrong in our soul, the more disharmony possesses us. Anthroposophical Naturopathy, taking into account both the physical and the spiritual aspect, is capable of understanding the human being in his totality, in his individual biographical evolution, taking into account both the necessity of destiny (karma) and the possibility of freedom.
The occult constitution of man
Anthroposophy describes the human being as constituted by a set of bodies or limbs ranging from the physical, in the physical world, to the highest spirituality in the spiritual worlds, passing through the intermediation of the soul. Each body has its own precise function and constitution, which originates from a cosmic process of original creation and subsequent evolution.
The bodies above the dense body are also called, generically, subtle bodies. The subdivisions of bodies or members of human beings can follow different numerological patterns depending on the context in which they are mentioned. There are divisions according to numbers 3, 4, 7 and 9. Each of these subdivisions has its own esoteric meaning which leads, however, to the same mystery, namely David’s question “What is man?”. (Psalms 8, 5).
In order to understand how these different subdivisions actually describe the same reality according to different points of view, we can start from the division according to number 4, from which we will then obtain the other subdivisions by subtraction or addition.
For the purposes of Anthroposophical Naturopathy we can keep in mind the subdivision of the tripartite and the quadripartite occult constitution.
The tripartite occult constitution distinguishes the esoteric way from the essoteric way of religions. In all forms of authentic spirituality, since the dawn of time, man is considered to be composed of three principles: body, soul and spirit. The body belongs to the world of matter composed of the four elements; the soul to the world of planets and stars; the spirit is the divine spark that participates in God himself:
- Body: is the physical body united with the vital principle (etheric body). The body operates in the physical world and serves man to perform actions;
- Soul: it is the astral body united with the ego, the lower reflection of the ego. The soul operates in the world of feelings and serves to join the joys and sufferings of the world. In one concept the sentient soul, the rational soul and the conscious soul are summed up. The three souls of man correspond to his faculties of feeling (sentient soul), thinking (rational soul) and wanting (conscious soul);
- Spirit: it is the “I”, in which are present in nuce the three superior spirits, Manas or Spiritual Self, Buddhi or Vital Spirit and Atma or Man-Spirit. The spirit works in thought and reason and serves as an instrument for the universal thinking of the divine. The spirit is the only part, individuality, which survives post-mortem by accumulating and sublimating the experiences of lower bodies and using them as potential to incarnate again in various personalities;
According to the quadripartite occult constitution, man is composed of three bodies and a principle, the Ego, in turn in relation to the Realms of Nature and the elements:
- I: who is the bearer of self-consciousness, the individual spirit. In Nature, only the individual man is able to call himself “I”, and no one else. The “I” is a spiritual principle, unlike the rest of bodies, and being “I” allows us to live our individual biography. It is expressed in outer time as a daily cycle of day and night (the Solar / Lunar Dualism). It distinguishes the “I” from the organization of the “I” that pertains more to what the “I” weaves once incarnated in the bodies and thus forming the three souls, sentient, rational and conscious It corresponds to the element Fire.
- The astral body is the bearer of feeling, sensitivity and movement. It is the soul (or psyche), which man has in common with the Animal Kingdom, but which possesses a consciousness on the level of species and not of the individual. In the past, in the West, its phenomena were known as animal magnetism. It is expressed in external time as a weekly cycle, composed of seven days (the Seven Planets). It corresponds to the element Air.
- Etheric body: it is the bearer of life, growth and reproduction, as well as the seat of memory. It is the life force called in the East Ki or Chi and which flows as a subtle fluid along meridians. Man has life in common with both the Animal Kingdom and the Plant Kingdom, but they also have a consciousness at the level of the environment and not of the individual. It is expressed in external time as a lunar month (4 x 7, the Four Elements multiplied by the Seven Planets). It corresponds to the element Water.
- Physical body: it is the body that gives existence, dimension and weight in time and space. Materialistic natural science deals only with this body, which is measurable and quantifiable. Man has in common physical existence with both the Animal Kingdom and the Plant Kingdom and the Mineral Kingdom, whose consciousness is extended to the Earth itself. It is expressed in external time as an annual cycle, composed of twelve months (the Zodiac). It corresponds to the element Earth.
Fire in the human spirit, Air in the animal soul, Water in plant life, Earth in mineral existence. Thus, man contains within himself all Nature, which he experiences as an objective world outside of himself: every disharmony he encounters is a lack in his relationship with the world.
The four bodies are in a specific relationship with the four worlds: man possesses the four incarnated bodies in the Physical-Etheric World; animals possess astral, etheric and physical in the Physical-Etheric World, while the group ego is in the Astral World; plants possess etheric and physical incarnated bodies, while the astral is in the astral world and the ego in the Lower Devachan (World of Thought); the minerals possess the four bodies located in the four worlds (physical body in the physical world, etheric in the astral world, astral in the Lower Devachan and the Group Ego in the Upper Devachan or World of Reason).
Man, Synthesis of Creation
In this sense man is “Synthesis of Creation”, man is the most complex and at the same time the most fragile living being. It is for this reason that man falls ill more than any other being: this is the price to pay for being endowed with a self-conscious ego. In fact, it is the thought processes of the ego that damage the physical body of man.
If we consider the Kingdoms of Nature, the rocks do not get sick, but their transformation is part of the cycle of rock formation, with erosion, sedimentation, metamorphosis and fusion. Minerals, therefore made up of a single chemical species, do not get sick but can deteriorate, while Metals that are already closer to the fluid element and therefore to plants, can “get sick” or lose their characteristics when they oxidize when exposed to air and water. Plants, given their abundance of etheric forces, do not suffer from congenital diseases, they get sick only in connection with external agents, be they bacteria, fungi or animals. In particular, it is cultivated plants that are susceptible to disease. Simpler animals become less sick than complex animals. So that among animals, the domestic ones are the most fragile, precisely because of their proximity to humans.
The same goes for the regenerative capacity, so the lower the degree of consciousness of a living being, the greater the regenerative capacity: in higher animals, such as birds and mammals, regeneration is limited and slow, it is greater instead in reptiles, which are able to regenerate limbs and tail, but even more so in amphibians. In the invertebrates, especially in the annelids and flatworms, we find extreme regenerative capacities, succeeding also in reproducing by fragmentation, which are still increasing among the jellyfish and sponges. But it is once we reach the vegetable kingdom that we find the apex of the regeneration forces, so much so that some plants reproduce exclusively by this means. Moreover, the simpler the body organization, the faster and more complete is the regeneration, to get to the unicellular organisms, be they protozoa or bacteria, where in fact there is no real distinction between regeneration and formation of the next generation.
The more the complexity of the manifestations of consciousness increases, the more individuality increases and the greater the possibility of getting sick, the less regeneration is possible. Man himself becomes capable of conveying new diseases through his selfish actions towards the Earth and the Kingdoms of Nature. Harmony means returning to the origin in a fully conscious way. To heal means to have within us again the principles that connect man to the Earth and the Cosmos with its inhabitants, whether incarnated or not.
Remedies and subtle bodies
The body knows how to ask only through its own manifestations, and these are but the expression of a disharmony that has already occurred previously in the deepest and subtlest nature, be it etheric, astral or in the organization of the ego. Disharmony is part of the human being itself, disharmony is the fruit of the capacity for free choice: chaos as much as order is necessary, every destruction is the possibility of a new creation. However, it is only by considering the spiritual causes of physical disharmony that harmony can be achieved again. Indeed, in the healthy body, the ego acts upon the astral body, the astral body upon the etheric, and the latter upon the physical, but when these relationships fail, a remedy is needed to compensate the disharmony.
In this context it should be kept in mind that our concept of “remedy” is broader than that of “medicine” present in medicine, in fact even a practice that does not administer any substance can provide a remedy. In fact, Naturopathy is by its very nature a multidisciplinary approach, because for some people some disciplines work better for others, others, it all depends on the constitution of the client, his imbalances, as well as his inclinations. Naturopathic treatment will always and rigorously be individualized, as well as entering into the Client’s biography through the Naturopath’s intuition. The same principle applies in NAturosophy. In Anthroposophic Naturopathy there are certain practices which, due to their balancing action, are remedies: such as counseling or pranotherapy.
Thus we will have that:
- Mineral remedies: they act on the disharmonies of the physical body. This category includes all remedies derived from minerals, such as Schüssler salts, trace elements, homeopathic and anthroposophic remedies extracted from metals;
- Plant remedies: they act on the disharmonies of the etheric body. This category includes phytotherapeutic, galenic, plant extracts. Phytotherapy to restore harmony through the Plant Kingdom, whose vital forces are essential to the vegetable part of man, his etheric body. Natural Nutrition allows to re-establish a healthy connection with the Earth and its fruits. The vital forces contained in food allow us to create an ethical relationship that respects the environment and our harmony. Energy techniques also operate mainly at this level. In aromatherapy, heat and light are condensed in the essential oils of the Plant Kingdom, whose animic forces are essential to the animal part of man, his astral body;
- Animal and floral remedies: they act on the disharmonies of the astral body. They include remedies derived from animals, such as honey and milk, homeopathic remedies derived from animals. However, flowers, as an astral part of the plant, also belong to this category. In Chromotherapy the colors correspond to the states of the soul to restore inner serenity, whose soul forces are essential to the human part of man, his soul. Counseling in its cathartic component, is part of these remedies;
- Spiritual remedies: they act on the disharmonies of the ego’s organization. Practices such as Biographical Counseling and so-called “priestly” pranotherapy are part of these remedies.
Anthroposophical Naturopathy deals mainly with the physical and etheric bodies, therefore using mineral and vegetable remedies. However, if interpreted in a broad sense, we can understand in it, by extension, any technique in the field of natural treatments.
The Biographical Counseling Session
The Biographical Counseling interview goes like this…
- Let’s talk about your biography, from birth to the interview, the point at which we have reached in our spiritual-animal evolution;
- We divide your biography into seven years and discover the rhythms and forces at work;
- We draw a picture by images of the archetypes at stake, learning to recognize and interpret them;
- We delineate how to write in full consciousness the continuation of the biography.
In order to avoid misunderstandings remember that Naturopathy has nothing to do with Medicine, only the doctor can diagnose and treat organic diseases. Naturopathy is concerned with maintaining the well-being of the person, as well as disharmonies present in the absence of organic or psychic pathologies.