The potentiation problem
Some viewpoints from an anthroposophical perspective
Sune Nordwall

In anthroposophical medicine one among other things uses warmth-processes and rhythmic processes to produce medicines from different substances. The warmth-processes are described more closely elsewhere in this issue (of Nord J Anthr Med). I will therefore concentrate this description on the rhythmic processes, and especially the potentizing process.
        Potentizing is a process where you in a stepwise, rhythmical way dilute and homogenize a substance in a medium that is chemically neutral to the substance. 

The substances used as starting points to produce medicines most often come from one of the natural kingdoms. They can have the form of a soluble or insoluble mineral or be some form of liquid extract from a whole or part of a plant. They can also come from the animal kingdom and have the form of an extract of a whole organ from mostly some form of mammal or have the form of a whole animal extract from for example an insect. 
        In homeopathy one also, in contradistinction to anthroposophical medicine, uses pathological substances of human origin as starting points for the production of medicines (nosodes). 
        In anthroposophical medicine one hence, except in the cases of inorganic compounds like minerals and salts, consciously uses complexes of substances, that as closely as possible attach to and represent organic wholes in nature. 

The medium used to disperse the substance most often, when it is fluid, has the form of water or a mixture of water and ethanol. When potentizing insoluble substances one at least during the first steps uses lactose as medium. The ethanol is only used when it is necessary to dissolve a substance or to prevent decomposition of an extract. 
        Often, one for different reasons changes from one type of medium to the other during the production of medicines. The reason can be that one wants to facilitate the continued potentizing of a substance (change from lactose to water) or that one specifically wants to use lactose as carrier of the healing effect (change from water or water/ethanol to lactose). 


1/ The spreading out and diluting of substance
In anthroposophical medicine one usually uses steps of 1:10 for the spreading out of substance in a medium, both when dealing with liquids and solid, insoluble substances, that are potentized through grinding in a mortar.

2/ Rhythmic dispersion and homogenization of substance
The homogenization that, when liquids are concerned, involves some form of shaking, takes place during a period of 4 minutes for mineral substances and 2,5 minutes for plant substances and animal substances. The homogenization of solid substances through grinding takes about one hour in every step.

3/ Rest
After the homogenization, the solution/mixture is left resting for some time. 
        The solution/mixture attained after one such potency-step is termed D1 (Deka=10) and is used as a starting point for a next potentizing step that is performed in exactly the same way as the first step. The new solution/mixture thereby attained contains 1 % of the original solution/substance and is termed D2. 
        This process in three phases with a dissolving - spreading out of substance, rhythmic dispersion - homogenization and rest in every step can in principle be continued indefinitely. In anthroposophic medicine one however for different reasons only (mostly) uses potencies up to D30. 

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From a natural-scientific point of view it is easy to view the "potentizing" as an absurd process, as long as one has not dug into the problem of what it really means. How could a substance, that in a high potency hardly, if at all, remains in the medium in a material form have a healing effect?
        But if you instead approach the problem from a research point of view, you discover that it opens up possible new perspectives on a number of basic scientific issues. They concern the question of the nature of matter, the relation of matter to space and time, the question what constitutes a living organism and how substance-processes take place within and outside the plant organism, the animal and in humans. 
        A reasonably adequate treatment of the problem would probably be very difficult to give and motivate within the limits of an article. The following conjectural description may therefore on different points upset the feelings of a number, in one or another way scientifically thinking people. It may also on some points turn out to be an incomplete and maybe also incorrect description of the problem. But it seems to the author to be an at most points defendable description of the problem. 
        How could a sketch to an as rational as possible description of the potentizing problem and how it is related to illness- and healing processes in man look from an anthroposophical perspective?

If you take his relation to the natural kingdoms as a starting point, you can discern four different layers of reality in man. They are a more spatial-material, a more vegetative-living, a more "psychic" (seelische) and a more or less obvious and "visible" "I-level". In anthroposophy, they are (approximately) described with the concepts of "physical body", "ether body", "astral body" and "Ego-organisation".
        "Physical body" can in a certain respect be said to be a summarizing term for everything that exists as solid structures in man´s body, everything that has its primary extension in space. 
        "The ether body", the life body as such, is a supersensible, super-spatial element in man, that primarily lives and acts in time, but also works into the dynamic of the life processes in the physical body via that which is streaming fluid in man. Spiritual science describes the activity of the ether body as primarily biologically edifying. 
        Man´s "astral body", her soul-"body", has its roots also outside time. The astral body works into man´s physical body directly only via that which is gas-like in the body, as an inner regularity of the gas exchange in man. Biologically the results of its activity are primarily disintegrating. 
        As "I" finally, man works directly only into that which you can observe as warmth-differentiations in the body. It is only via the warmth-structure, the warmth-organism that thereby arises, that s/he as "I" works and acts regulating into all processes in the human body and makes it into an expression of him/her-self (Steiner/ 1927/1965). 

From "bodies"/"structures" on "super"-spatial levels in man, there streams activity in the direction of and permeating the physical body. 
        Via streams in that which is fluid in man, the "ether body" works directly into the physical body and the way it develops and is formed. Via the gas exchange, the "astral body" also permeates the movable fluid-element and thereby also almost totally the physical body. Via warmth-differentiations, the "I" works regulating into and permeates both the gas exchange and the streaming fluid in man. 
        But there also streams something in the opposite direction. It is the stream of substance out of which man builds up the substantiality of the supersensible parts of his being. That takes place through life, among other things through a transformation of the substance she takes up as nourishment. 
        The first step in this transformation has the form of a breaking down of the nourishment into more simple substances, by neutralizing its nature-character. The second step involves a transformation of this substance in three further steps into "etheric substance", "astral substance" and "I-substance". 
        This process, which is as most intensive during the embryological development, is also that which is the base for the generation and differentiation of the more or less living, permanent structures of the physical body; the muscles, the inner organs and the skeleton (Steiner/Wegman 1925/1978). 

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In the healthy human, the I permeates and "cooperates" in a living, dynamic way with the soulbody, the life-body and the physical body, in one way when you are awake, in a somewhat different way during sleep. 
        In a human that is ill, the interplay is disturbed in different ways. That doesn't necessarily mean that the disturbance immediately becomes visible in the physical body. The disturbance can have the form of psychic stress and "overburden" the astral body or have the form of biological rhythm-stress (an irregular life) and overburden the ether body. Only later they may take the form of more serious disturbances also of the physical body. 
        They may also more primarily come to man via external damages to the physical body or in a longer perspective have their roots in more or less consciously made moral decisions made by man out of his I. 
        Independently of origin, they sooner or later lead to a disturbance in the interplay between the "structures" on the different levels in man. One of these disturbances can have the form of a too strong or too weak disintegrating action of the astral body in relation to the ether body. 
        The action of potentized substances can primarily be made understandable against the background of this disturbance in the interplay between the ether body and the astral body. 

But why specifically use "natural substances" as starting points for the potentizing process? 
        Anthroposophy describes the development of life in the universe, in our solar system and on earth as a bi-symmetric process. Simultaneously with the generation and development of man, you find the generation and development of the world around man. This takes place in such a way that man comes to form a complete mirror-world to the world around her. In man´s bodily surface, her skin, the world looks at itself like in a mirror. To every smallest process in man there exists somewhere in the world that surrounds her a "mirror-process".
        From this world that surrounds man, from the mineral world, the world of plants and animals, she once more can find the roots to the more basic pictures, the "Ur-pictures" that lie at the base of the generation of her body. Out of the world that surrounds her, she also once more can draw impulses for a renewed generation of herself as a human being. 
        The potentizing of a substance taken from one of these natural kingdoms "fetches" and liberates the "Ur-picture" out of the substance in a way that directs its "action" primarily in the direction of man´s ether body, with a more secondary "action" on the other of her supersensible "structures". 
        The purpose of the potentized substance is to show the ether body the prototype, the pattern, of how to perform a process, that for one reason or other has become disturbed. The "action" of potentized medicines is more of a "teaching" character than directly "causal". In this perspective the healing process in a more true sense appears as a teaching process (Hensel 1977). 

Technically, the potentizing, as far as it has hitherto been developed, can be described and understood as a grabbling, elementary attempt to imitate parts of the above mentioned transformation of substances that normally take place in every living organism. Göbel (1975) in another place in this issue characterizes it in relation to the way the plant builds up its body through processes that he for different reasons describes with the terms "Sal", Mercury" and "Sulphur". 

Phase one: solving-dissolving-spreading out of substance 
In man, this transformation, as mentioned above, takes place through a breaking down of the food, at first by chewing and adapting it to the body temperature in the mouth and by dissolving and analyzing it with the help of first the salivary, then the gastric, pancreatic, liver- and small intestinal secretions. 
        When you prepare an organism or a substance for potentizing, you break down its nature-form through plucking/killing, maybe grinding and/or making a liquid extract of the organism from which you want to make a medicine. 
        In both cases, the process neutralizes the nature-form of the substance and "takes it down to earth", in man also spatially by carrying it down into her intestines. 
        In man, the substance is then taken into and "spread out" in her blood. When you potentize, you spread it out, either in a fluid or in lactose. 
        The greater part of this process, the neutralization, in the case of man, takes place outside the epithelium of the body and constitutes a separate phase that Göbel terms "homeopathisation" when the analogue of it takes place in plants (1975). In the case of plants, this process brings the mineral substance that constitutes their nourishment from a "Sal"-state to a "Mercury"-state. 
        The first part of the "potentizing process as such" however, in man starts first with the uptake of the completely neutralized substance through the epithelium into the organism and spreading it out in the blood. 

Phase two: rhythmic turning inside out of the substance
The second phase of the potentizing process can give you the feeling of rhythmically turning the substance inside out, an "Ein- und Ausstülpung" of the substance. In the case of fluids it can have one of three basic forms. 
        The bottle used for the potentizing can be moved hin and forth with the bottle in a horizontal position. The bottle can also be hit with its bottom against a horizontal support. Or it can be moved from a position by the hip almost vertically upwards with a strong stroke of the base of the thumb against the bottle at the beginning of the movement upwards. The movement then creates a strong whirl in the bottle around a vertical axes. 
        The movements, that can be termed "oscillating" (pulsating), "succussive" and "whirling" respectively, are in each case repeated for a certain time or a certain number of times. Also other variants are possible. One variant of the percussion towards a support is a shaking of the bottle up and down without hitting it against a support. 
        The Turbula (a special mixing machine based on the studies by Schatz (1975) of one way of turning a cube inside out) has also (in one study; Bockemühl (1968)) been used for potentizing. 
        This second phase of the potentizing process can mainly be understood as a simplified imitation of the movement of the blood through the heart and lungs in man and stands out as the heartpoint of the process. 
        At first sight the oscillating form of potentizing can seem to imitate this process most closely. 

Phase three: Rest
The third and last main phase of the potentizing process is letting the potentized substance come to a rest. This phase has its model, its "Ur-picture" in the streaming of blood through man´s head. 

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The foregoing has been a sketch of a possible description of the potentizing problem from an anthroposophical-functionalistic perspective. How could it be possible to approach and describe the potentizing problem from a more physicalistic perspective? 
        Maybe one way could be the following. 
        When you potentize a substance, you carry the substance into and make it unite with a fluid element. This process in some respects displays similar, in some contrary characteristics to what happens when substances, or objects are "carried close to", made to move almost as fast as and almost "become" light. 

Space - analogue but orthogonal generation of a surface
When objects approach the velocity of light, their extension along their direction of movement decreases. They are "flattened" and increasingly turned into a surface, orthogonal to their direction of movement. 
        An analogue "becoming surface" of substance also occurs through the potentizing process, but here it occurs because of the tendency of the fluid to generate a great number of inner surfaces because of the enforced movement of the fluid along the curved inner wall of the bottle. Here the substance moves along the surface instead of orthogonal to it. 

Mass - contrary processes
When objects approach the velocity of light, their mass increases ever more and would become infinitely great if they would succeed in attaining the velocity of light. 
        When you potentize a substance, a contrary process occurs. When you bring a substance stepwise into and make it unite with the fluid element in a proper way, you also stepwise "eliminate" its mass correspondingly, to in the end make it approach zero. 
        (This is the character of the process, even if it is, of course, a very incomplete description from a physical point of view.) 

Time - contrary processes?
You also find a similar contrast viewed from the perspective of time. 
        With objects that approach the velocity of light, time runs increasingly slower in relation to more "resting" objects, to stop "running" completely if the objects could reach the limit velocity of light. "The clock stops" in relation to a "resting" observer. Time completely "becomes" space.
        During the potentizing process, substance is carried increasingly over into a state of pure "time" via surfaces in a fluid element. Here you instead eliminate the space of the substance that instead "becomes" time. 

Time-space - different processes
Both of these processes can be described as changes of space-coordinates in a fourdimensional space-time. For the potentizing process a similar process in a threedimensional space would be the rotation of a plane (substance) from a position almost parallel to two of the coordinates (space-) to a position orthogonal to one of them and parallel to the third dimension (time-). 

RADIOACTIVE DECAY - A death process
It is also possible to understand the process as an, in certain respects, contrary process to the radioactive decay of matter. 
        While the potentizing process "de-spaces" substances and carries them from space over into time, into a state of pure life, the radioactive decay of matter implies a "de-timing" of substance, a death process of matter that instead completely carries it out of time over into space, thereby necessarily leading to an "atomizing" of the substance. 
        The processes of living organisms, found in its most pure form in the plant kingdom, are characterized by a regular change over time (primarily of the "gestalt" of the organism) for causes arising out of the organism itself. 
        In the inorganic world, the radioactive decay of matter stands out as a unique example of a counter-picture to this type of process. It is there the only type of process that, like the life processes, is characterized by a change over time, in a regular way, caused from within, but now of the substance as such. But while this type of regular process over time in living organisms leads to a "vitalizing" of substance, the "same" type of process in the inorganic field leads to a "death" of substance. 
        The life processes bring substances completely into time, "makes" them into "time". The radioactive decay, where substances completely become space, implicates a corresponding death process of the earth as a whole. 
        Of the relation between the life-processes in living organisms and death-processes of matter, so far only one side has been studied; how radioactive decay or fission with the resulting radiation disturbs, damages and kills living organisms. The possible counter-process; how living organisms overcome and neutralize the spontaneous decay of matter, still remains almost completely unexplored.
        The experimental basis for an understanding of how the potentizing process "times" substances and how the interaction takes place between the "timed" substance and the time-body of man and other living organisms also still remains on a very elementary stage. 
        In this more physicalistic perspective, the qualities of the potentizing process; when substances unite with a fluid element, appear as mirrorlike on the one hand in relation to what happens when substances become "lightlike" in one sense, out of which one of the pillars of modern physics; the theory of relativity was developed.
        On the other hand the process appears in important respects as a mirror to what happens when substance falls out of the living and is left to its own, as pure matter, the phenomenon out of which the second pillar of modern physics; the quantum theory, was developed. 
        Between the two appear the phenomena of potentizing, for which a more comprehensive theory still remains to be developed. 

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For about one hundred years, a certain amount of experimental and theoretical research around the problem has been done in different places, mostly in Europe, but for a number of years now also in the USA. Around 1980 you could find in the magnitude of 150 experimental and 50 theoretical works, more or less directly related to the problem. The majority however had and still have the character of pilot studies, with the purpose of finding starting points for further studies. 
        So far, they have not been overwhelmingly successful, in spite of the fact that one has found clear experimental support for the effect as such. This can probably be ascribed to the lack of a theoretical understanding of the problem. After some earlier attempts (Itschner et al 1971, Schwenk 1954/1972), such an understanding, among other based on the works of Steiner, has also however slowly been developed during the last years, among other things through the cooperation of anthroposophically working pharmaceutists, that have resulted in four works (Der Homöopatiseringsbegriff bei Rudolf Steiner 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978). The viewpoints above draw part of their inspiration from those works. 
        Some ten overviews of the research in the field had been published up to 1980 (among other Siewecke 1941, Stephenson 1955, 1964, Netien and Girardet 1963, Plazy 1967, Wurmser 1970, Flemming 1971, Lamasson 1971, Pedersen 1972, Unseld 1973, Zwiauer 1976). Later, Scofield (1984) and Righetti (1988, 2nd ed 1992) among others have published renewed reviews (Righetti the most thorough so far) of the field. 
        In 1992 Stephan Baumgartner and Barbara Ziegler put together an extensive documentation on behalf of a working group in anthroposophical medicine with participants from Wala, Weleda, Hiscia, the Medical and Natural scientific Section of the Goetheanum and others. They mention also Aubin 1984, Aulas et al 1985, Bastide 1989, Bayr 1982, Belon 1985, Boiron 1980 and 1986, Boiron et al 1983 and 1986, Busser 1982, Callinan et al 1987, Coulter 1982, Demarque 1981, Endler 1990, Flemming 1979, Gebhart 1985, Gosau 1990, Guillemain 1987, Harisch et Kretschmer 1990, Hoffmann 1987, Joly 1982, Khurana et al 1981, King 1988, Kollerstrom 1989, Kowalski 1989, Linde 1991, Majerus 1990, Moser 1990, Pirtkien 1976, Poitevin 1987 and 1988, Popp 1986, Resch et al 1986, Roth 1991, Rubik 1989, Sankaran 1978, Saur 1990, Schmidt et al 1992, Schöler 1948 and 1950, Scholz 1956, Schwab 1990, Sing et al 1985, Sportouch 1986, Ullmann 1988, Wagner et al 1989 and 1991, Walach 1986, Weingärtner (ed) 1984 and Wurmser 1986. 
        The research done has in a great number of cases been able to show that different forms of potentizing of substances makes them influence organic and inorganic process in a way that goes far beyond what you would expect purely from the concentration of substance in the medium. 

The most clear and common trait of the different investigations done is that they show that the potentizing of substances changes the normally continuously decreasing effect of substances with decreasing concentration to a rhythmically varying effect, that after D6 oscillates around a zero-effect up to at least D60 (Kolisko 1961). The curve at times can remind you of a dampened oscillation. 
        The main part of the German and Austrian studies tend to concern plants and studies of electric parameters. In France, studies of animals and light-parameters dominate. Investigators in England also like plants. From USA come NMR-studies. 
        The main part of all investigations on biological material have been studies on the stimulation and repression of potentized substances on different processes. The processes studied have been the growth and assimilation of germinating seeds and plants (Pelikan 1926, Kolisko 1961, Pelikan and Unger 1965 among many others). To the exceptions belong a comprehensive study by Boyd (1954) on the effect of different potentized substances on the hydrolysis of starch by amylase. 
        Other studies have been concerned with the toxification and detoxification of plants (for example Flemming 1974). Studies on smaller animals (fish, frogs, rodents and pigeons) have been concerned with their life duration (Kolisko 1961), behavior (Heintz 1964) and the storing and excretion of different substances (Cier et al 1967, among others), but also the effect on isolated organs like the skin, the mucous membrane of the nose and on the heart (Heintz 1963 and others).
        Studies on the medium as such (in which a substance has been potentized) of among other things absorptions spectra (Heintz 1941), emission spectra (;Raman Laser) (Bardet et al 1975) and of the nuclear spin resonance (NMR) of the OH-group in the liquid (Smith and Boericke 1966, 1968, Young 1975) show that you find a similar type of rhythmically varying effect at least up to D30, like in the biological studies. 

        In general, they support the thought that the effect of potentized substances partly could be related to the presence of such structures in the liquid (water-polymers), that Smith and Boericke (1966, 1968), Barnard and Stephenson (1967, 1969), Unger (1971) and others have put forward as an "explanatory model". 
        On the other hand you can have the presentiment that the problem is far more complicated than that. 
        You can for example come to the following picture.
        In anthroposophical medicine one normally only uses potencies from D1 to D30. When you potentize, you take one part of the mother tincture or a previous potency, expand it, and lift it up to a "higher" stage. This leads you to a picture of the row of the potencies as something that looks like 30 "balloons" blown up and out of each other and standing on top of one another. 
        To the naive eye this picture has the same character as the vertebral column of man. Like the vertebral column the 30 potencies constitutes a unity, a form of "organism" created through the potentizing process. If the row of potencies developed out of one another in this way really constitutes an "organism", it would implicate as a possibility that, what you do to one part (one potency) of it influences the whole "organism" of 30 potencies. And like an organism it can be killed by letting too much of it be killed and "consumed" by other organisms. 
        This is one picture you can come to that has empirical implications that can be tested experimentally. 
        Other pictures can and have been developed that relate more to the picture of potentizing as an imitated heart-lung-process. Hopefully it will be possible to go further into the problem in another article. 
        I will here finally only point to some of the basic problems concerning the potentizing process as such, of which already Basold in 1968 pointed to some, but not formulated explicitly in that context.

Through the potentizing process substances are diluted, dispersed and rhythmizised in a solid or fluid medium, in a way that neutralizes their spatial characteristics and gives them an effect that primarily concerns the time-structure, "the biological clock"; the "ether body" of living organisms.
        This process actualizes basic problems concerning the relation between matter, space and time and the optimal conditions for carrying substances "out of" space and "into" time, using fluid processes primarily in liquids but also in "fluid" solid substances. 
        Looking at potentizing in a liquid in a bottle, you find the following spatial aspects of the problem (the "statics" of the potentizing process). 

1. Does there exist an optimal relation between the amount of substance and the amount of medium that gives an optimal potentizing of the substance?
Investigations by among other Pelikan (1971) give one aspect of the answer. They show that the relation of 1:10 between the amount of substance and medium gives a greater amplitude in the stimulation and repression of growth of wheat seedling than the relations 1:5, 1:7, 1:30 and 1:100. The investigation, using Pb(NO3)2, leaves open the answer to among other the general question if organic substances have another optimal relation. 
        A later, unpublished study by one researcher elucidates some further aspects of this question. It points to the possible importance, not only of the relation between substance and medium, but also of the absolute amount of substance potentized in each step in relation to amount of substance used as the starting substance. 

2. Does there exist an optimal relation between the amount of medium and amount of air in the bottle?
Research around the problem is almost completely missing, but in practice one normally uses the relation of 2:1 (liquid:air) with "oscillating" potentizing, while the reversed relation is used with "whirling" potentizing. According to Osika (1978), a relation of 1:6 gives an optimal potentizing with the "succussive" potentizing. 

3. Does there exist an optimal size of the bottle in which the potentizing takes place (possibly in relation the size of man resp. the earth)?
In practice, potentizing in liquids is being performed in bottles with sizes varying from 10 ml up to 25 l, amounting to a difference in size corresponding to a factor of 2 500. Does potentizing in small bottles differ from potentizing in greater bottles, and if, how? 

4. The research results under point 1 were achieved using "oscillating" potentizing in a horizontal bottle. Are the optimal relations different for the other forms of potentizing, "succussive" and "whirling", as the answer under point 2 may implicate?

In relation to time, you find the following problems (the "dynamics" of the potentizing process). 

1. What is the proper; optimal rhythm for the movement of the liquid through the bottle for the different forms of potentizing?
The practice, using "oscillating" potentizing, takes aim at the special "ring" that arises when the liquid pulsates back and forth with the "right" rhythm (Wiedersheim-Paul 1978). 

2. For how long should the bottle be moved for every potency? 
Steiner suggested the time that gives optimal homogenity of the substance in the solution, as it can be found using a simple form of "Steigbildchromatography". Studies by Kolisko (1961) show that the rise of substance in chromatography paper, as well as the distribution of the band varies rhythmically with the time used for potentizing, in a way that differed for plant- and animal substances. On the bases of these studies, she suggested a potentizing time of 2 - 2,5 minutes for plant substances and 4 minutes for mineral substances. 

3. How long should you let the potentized substance rest between the sequential potencies and is there an optimal, fixed resting time?
Out of this question arise the questions if the optimal resting time varies with potency and also if it it possible to arbitrarily put in pauses of hours, days and weeks and still retain the potentizing effect, when you continue potentizing. In practice, every potency is put to rest, some minutes for smaller bottles, up to 15 minutes for bigger bottles, before a next potentizing step is performed. 

4. What is the optimal time for potentizing?
Studies show that a disturbance of the potentizing effect takes place around midday (Heintz 1971). A similar disturbing effect possibly also takes place around midnight. Against the background of these studies and points of view by Steiner (among other 1917/1966) potentizing is not performed during these times of the day, but mainly in the morning and in the afternoon.
        Some studies (by among other Kolisko 1952 and Fyfe 1967, 1978) indicate that different metals display somewhat different qualities during times that coincide with strong constellations of those planets that since pre-Greek time have been seen in relation to the metals in question (silver for the moon, mercury for Mercury, copper for Venus, iron for Mars, tin for Jupiter and lead for Saturn). Against the background of these studies one therefore also avoids potentizing these metals during these times (days). 

The potentizing process opens up perspectives on problems concerning the nature, not only of matter, but also the structure of the actual, with matter "filled" space and the structure of the actual, not only in abstract considered time. 
        The problem touches on the question of the actual structure of the earth as a whole, and how processes differ, depending upon where they take place on earth (What role does the character of the surrounding nature play, the nature of the soil and rock under your feet and where you are on the earth, looked upon from the perspective of its crystallitic; tetrahedric (Schmutz 1986) and dodecahedric/icosahedric structure (See for example Peltonen, 1978). 
        The problem also touches on the question of the actual structure of time and how processes (both organic and some inorganic) vary, depending upon "where" they take place or are performed in time, as you can follow it via the movements of for example the planets.
        The possible understanding of the radioactive decay of matter as a mirror-process to the potentizing process, finally, touches, in the end, on the question of the regularity in the death process of the earth, that it implies, and that also Steiner pointed to. 
        If the decay of certain heavy basic element is an expression of an organic death process of the earth, it implies (Steiner said it expressedly) both that the decay earlier in the history of the earth was not as comprehensive as today, as also that it maybe in general is increasing. 
        The relation thereby points towards future investigations into the possible regularity, not only of the "nature-processes" as such, but also of the regularity of the change of the "laws of nature" themselves, a natural science of a second order.

(Update August 2010: 

Investigations the last years indicate that the supposed stable rate of decay of radioactive elements actually is not as stable as earlier thought, but - on closer look - turns out to display variations related to the seasons, and also the rate of rotation of the core of the sun. It scratches on the deeper problem and perspective, indicated above.

Stanford Report, August 23, 2010  

A popular report of the findings is published by Discovery News Aug 25, 2010)

REFERENCES (click for references)

The article was first published in The Nordic Journal for Anthroposophic Medicine nr 2/3, 1981 

This page was last modified on 28 August 2010 

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