International Postgraduate Medical Training / IPMT

Concept and working modus of the IPMT

• Schooling of sense perception and active ways of thinking as a basis for new diagnostic faculties.

• A practical introduction into diagnostics and therapy with anthroposophic medicaments, artistic activities, curative eurythmy and other modalities.

• Professional ethics and meditative schooling


What we do:

1. In the morning we start with the new art of movement - eurythmy. This was developed before World War I by Rudolf Steiner, in conjunction with the movement and speech formation artist, Marie Steiner. All processes in nature and the human being, in art too, can be made visible with the help of movement. Therefore the eurythmic movements do not have a symbolic character, but rather correspond to the inner formative movements and shaping gestures, just as these too correspond to the formative language of the realms of nature and human speech - the archetypal alphabet of vowels and consonants which may be found in all languages. When we perform and practise these movements (Eurythmy as „visible speech”) we may develop a more subtle appreciation of formative and shaping processes in nature and in the human being and hence for the processes of illness and healing.
In the course of the first training block, the basic vowels and consonants are taught, their movements practised and Rudolf Steiner’s sketches for these given forms studied. In the further training weeks, the gestures corresponding to the tones and intervals in music will be added, as well as the cosmic gestures within the planetary movements and the zodiac gestures.

2. After the introduction to the phenomenological method of working according to J.W.v. Goethe (1749-1832), we divide into small groups so that everyone has the possibility to engage themselve through interactive learning. Goethe gave us the aphorism:
Were not the eye born of the sun,
It could never see the sun.
If God’s own power lay not in us,
How could the Divine enrapture us?
The processes, which we recognise as the aggregate states in the area of natural phenomena (or as the four elements in the sense of the Aristotelian meteorology) solid state of matter (mechanics), liquid state of matter (hydraulics), aeriform state of matter (aerodynamics) and the pure state of matter, no longer accessible to physical description, warmth (thermodynamics) stand, according to Goethe, in direct connection to the inner experiences and possibilities of soul and spirit activity. Goethe described this fact throughout his life’s work. We can reduce it to a short saying:" Like recognises like." Just as the eye forms itself from the light to perceive light, the bones of the foot can only develop fully through walking and every organ develops its skilled activity through its own doing, so too the human being can only perceive and understand that which they themselves have experienced, felt and thought in some form or other. In addition, Goethe also formulated his ethical-religious way of life: "One only learns to understand that which one loves". Developing love as force of cognition and thus creating a spiritual empathy is the goal of our work. As Goethe said: Make the kind of observing dependent upon the kind of object to be observed.

3. The third step following movement and inner dialogue with nature by Goetheanistic observation, is the schooling of thinking. For this purpose we will use chapters from the book Fundamentals of Therapy written jointly by Steiner and Wegman. After a short introduction, the work takes place in the same small groups as for the Goetheanistic studies. Using this text, a path of schooling in thought is taken that has four stages:

a) Reading of the text, numbering the paragraphs, working through what has been said, written. Connections that remain incomprehensible or give rise to questions are written down for further dialogues if they cannot immediately be satisfactorily answered.

b) The train of thought will be followed from the first paragraph through to the last: How does one thought join with the next? Where does the train of thought apparently break off, in order to be taken up again at another place? Where do new thoughts start and - perhaps with apparently no connection - stand next to the first and second thoughts? What is the thread running through? Are we in a position to be able to reproduce the train of thought, developed by Steiner, ourselves? And what about the inner evidence of these thoughts?

c) Whilst the first and second steps have more to do with the way in which the content is brought as forms of thought, in the third step the emphasis is on comprehending the composition of the chapter as a whole: How are the beginning and end related to each other? In the course of the paragraphs, do various important points reveal themselves or does the whole move towards a climax, which is all important? Does one thought develop out of another in a more sculptural style of directing thought or is it a more inspirational style where one thought does not directly join onto the next, but rather is in a loose illuminating association ie a complementing form? In this third step, which is to do with a deeper, artistic grasping of the way in which the inner and outer structure of the chapter is built up, the possibility arises of unlocking the text in a much more intimate way as a work of art, a composition. Through this it may then be possible to come to further deeper understanding of the content in the text and thought relationships.

d) The highest stage of grasping in thought and understanding is then the attempt to penetrate to its essential nature, that means „the being” of what is written. Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual-scientific research rests upon supersensible experiences, which he was able to translate into clear concepts and thought connections. With that he could also put them into words, making them reproducible and comprehensible for present day people. We want to take the reverse path: Going from the written text, to the effectiveness of the thought; from there to the artistic revelation and in the end to the being of what is recognised and said.

Diagnostics, Therapy and Pharmaceutical Experiments:

First, we will work on the diagnosis of the members of the human being and the therapy arising from this, using either a characteristic case-study from the book Fundamentals of Therapy by Steiner/Wegman or an actual one from every day practice. Some of these will take place over two consecutive afternoons. On the first, the diagnostic method is in the foreground. Then the possibilities of the night are made use of in practice. If I have taken in a picture of a case, a concrete patient situation with as many details as possible, the question arises what does it all say to me for possible therapy, for my therapeutic goal? I take this question into sleep and observe how and what other aspects reveal themselves, when we take our own ideas regarding the state of illness and health of a patient to a higher wisdom. "Morning is wiser that the evening" is an old folk saying. Looking at the night from a spiritual-scientific point of view shows that just as we look at everything during daytime from the aspect of the material-physical with the help of our senses, during the night we look at the same things and processes in a social-moral way, ie. from a soul-spiritual aspect. Therefore, some of the case studies are placed in such a way that the night lies between the discussion of diagnosis and that of therapy. We can thus learn to take note of how particular thoughts or points of view can transform themselves solely because we have taken them consciously into the night.

Professional Ethics, Meditation and Self Development:

In close connection with the review and preview of the day, as well as the specific questions of the participants, the basics elements of the Anthroposophic Path of inner meditative schooling and self development will be built up. It will be shown and achieve inner evidence that the ethical-moral development is as well the most powerful salutogenetic resource. It may become fact that – as Paracelsus said – in the end there is only one true healing power – it is love.