Starting a Conversation on Ethics, Between Hahnemann, Reich, and Steiner

The study of Heilkunst begins with a thorough reading of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann’s works, who invented not only the method of homeopathy, but he also put forward a complete understanding of therapeutics applicable to a full range of health issues, from correcting simple imbalances, to the treatment and cure of full-blown chronic degenerative diseases. Our unique training at the Hahnemann College for Heilkunst goes further than simply taking in Hahnemann at face value, and has greatly expanded the context of Hahnemann’s therapeutics to the broader understanding of the human being in health and disease, as explored and researched both by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, and Dr. Wilhelm Reich, both of the 20th century.

Although the three historical figures never met, a great deal of fruitful research can be produced by creating imaginary “conversations” between them, thus cross-pollinating, and clarifying the therapeutic concepts that each put forward. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and such an exercise of bringing these three geniuses together produces a form of knowledge which is more penetrating and therapeutically effective than any one of them produced on their own.

I’ll let Hahnemann speak first, and explain why he published his method for anyone to use, when he could have profited much more if he kept it to himself:

Did I not know to what intent I was here on earth–“to become better myself as far as possible and to make everything around me better that is within my power” — I should have to consider myself as lacking very much in worldly prudence to make known for the common good, even before my death, an art which I alone possessed, and from which it was within my power to eventually profit from as much as possible by keeping it secret.

Steiner understands this very well, and goes on to explain to us the purpose of ethically-based deeds in the world:

On the other side, we evolve by permeating our deeds and actions, our will-nature, with thoughts; deeds are performed in love. Such deeds detach themselves from us. Our deeds do not remain confined to ourselves, they become world-happenings. If they are permeated by love, then love goes with them. As far as the cosmos is concerned, an egotistical action is different from an action permeated by love. When, out of semblance, through fructification by the will, we unfold that which proceeds from our inmost being, then what streams forth into the world from our head encounters our thought-permeated deeds.

And we can always count on Reich to point out where everything in nature is grounded, in terms of our healthy biological structure. [Note: his term “the genital character” was a product of his early studies with Freud, as he struggled to overcome the errors in Freud’s thinking, and find a real, grounded energy to explain health vs. neurosis, as opposed to Freud’s abstract notions such as “libido”. At this early phase in Reich’s thinking, “the genital character” was his representation of the state of a person unfettered by neurotic conflicts, where all of the life energy flowed freely through its natural pathway.]

In the genital character, motive, goal, and action are in harmony with one another. The goals and motives are rational, i.e., socially oriented. In accordance with the natural character of his motives and goals, i.e., on the basis of their primary biological foundation, the genital character strives for an improvement in his own conditions of life and in the conditions of life of others. This is what we call ‘social accomplishment’.

Putting these three historical figures in a room together actually leads to many hundreds of hours of conversations, but for now I’ll leave you to mediate on these opening remarks. The practice of Heilkunst involves not only a dedication to upkeep the highest professional standards, but a grounding in a deeper ethical love impulse towards doing good in the world.


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