... [so] the heart becomes the lifelong guarantor of the mediation between the earthly and the cosmic part of being human that we are prophetically given as a gift. The heart does not belong to the earthly I, the everyday I, nor to its own I of the spheres, of the night, but to the I that can connect all people, the I of humanity.
Wolfgang Schad: Der periphere Blick. Die Vervollständigung der Aufklärung, Stuttgart 2014.
Wolfgang Schad’s words quoted above beautifully sum up the guiding theme of this year’s annual conference of the Medical Section: the importance of the therapeutic community. After almost three years of social distancing, of restrictions on meeting and travelling, the sense of the importance of real person-to-person encounters has been sharpened again. Something that was known for a long time became tangible.
Diseases often arise in a social context that favours them or creates opportunities for healing. Communities can thus be part of the problem – and at the same time a necessary part of the solution.
This is a bitter realisation at a time of war in Eastern Europe, the spiral of rearmament and the resulting global harms, especially for the poorest of the poor.
The medicine of our time is gradually practicing looking at disease and health with an ecological eye. The connections with regard to health between consciousness and the immune system, between loneliness, mental conflicts and diseases of the heart, between social status and education are, on the one hand, gradually finding their way into holistic treatment paths. On the other hand, precision medicine at the genetic and molecular level is being driven forward with tremendous input. Processes of consciousness are interpreted purely as processes of data processing, with corresponding effects on the image of the human being and social coexistence. Artificial intelligence and robotics are increasingly finding their way into medicine.
The big questions associated with this development form the background for this year’s Medical Section conference. In numerous lectures and workshops we intend to focus on the healing factors of human coexistence and therapeutic community building. The heart as organ of the middle offers the appropriate medical and therapeutic link in this respect. The question of how human health can become the focus of medicine forms a thematic arc from the beginning to the final day of the conference.
Like last year, the conference is structured in three parts. Parallel, profession-related conferences of eurythmy therapy, therapeutic speech, art therapy, psychotherapy, medicine and pharmacy and a conference of patients’ associations form the prelude. The middle section offers the opportunity for spiritual deepening and to work on the 16th class lesson. The multiprofessional conference carries the heart theme through the five CARE areas: birth and childhood, infectiology, anxiety and trauma, oncology and palliative medicine.
Workshops with contributions from India, Russia, USA, France, Holland, Italy, Switzerland and Germany offer an interesting international programme filled with content.
All three parts of the conference can also be attended individually. Participation in the whole event, however, brings the composition of the whole to life and gives cohesion to the parts.
The lecture programme, the morning preludes, almost 50 working groups, and guided tours of the Goetheanum promise a special experience and a contribution to strengthening Anthroposophic Medicine at a time when it is subject to major public attacks.
We look forward to an interesting and vibrant conference, we send you warm greetings on behalf of the International Coordination of Anthroposophic Medicine
Matthias Girke Georg Soldner Rolf Heine
Let this passage from the second verse of the Foundation Stone Meditation be preparation for and accompaniment to the conference:
You live in the beat
of heart and lung,
Which leads you through
the rhythm of time
Into the feeling
of your own soul’s being:
Practice spirit contemplation
In equilibrium of soul,
Where the surging
Cosmic creative deeds
Your own I
With the cosmic I;
And you will truly feel
In human soul’s creating.