September 18, 2013 | Posted in Concepts in Anthroposophic Medicine, Inflammations / Infections

A chicken embryo run through a blender is in no way the same as an ordinary chicken embryo — quietly developing in the egg — even though the same cells are present in each.  You wouldn’t even know the blenderized mass had been a chicken embryo.

Form gives meaning to substance.


The blender destroyed the form of the embryo, and the mass of cells became meaningless. The mass of molecules could not be recognized as an embryo, because the form is gone.

There is a constancy of form that minerals, plant, animals, and humans carry, in one lifetime, or within a species or kind.

Salt crystals, for example, show a characteristic pattern: they are always cubes or cubic.

More complex forms, like oak trees and human families, similarly have identifiable features.

The human cell structure renews itself, and remembers the original blueprint of “me” throughout each visible body part and invisible organ. That’s good, because we want the immune system to recognize “self” and “non-self” and defend us.

Where does form come from?

We get a clue by learning that the theory of DNA presumably controlling everything, from the nucleus of the cell, is not the whole story.

The DNA itself is influenced by its surrounding environment. ‘Epigenetics’ (Greek epi = upon) is as important as genetics in understanding the constancy and manifestation of form.

The periphery impacts the center.

In an embryo, the limbs develop from the digits (fingers, toes) toward the center.

The periphery comes first, then the center. Form is given from the outside.  An example is the work of a sculptor, whose idea influences the clay he molds with his hands, as they form it from outside.

The periphery may be very close like neighboring tissues around a group of cells, or far away like the cosmic bodies (sun, moon, and perhaps others) that influence our biorhythms.

The neighboring tissues may be very high in a substance that is sensitive to the influences of the farther periphery.

Silica is one such substance. Silica mediates the entrance of form.*  Silica is found in very high concentration in the tissues around the embryo (eg, amnion, chorion).

We know silica as quartz, which transmits light.  Light, sound, smell, thought — these realities come from the periphery toward the sense organs and the brain.  The sense organs and brain are able to receive these forces through the work of silica.  The force from outside is met by silica, and stops, and a perception occurs.

Anthroposophic healthcare providers seek to understand the periphery and the center, and the substances which carry relationships to these.  A substance is a process come to rest. Understanding what processes are in a substance helps choose a remedy. Silica gives a boundary to over – abundant life forces, eg inflammation.

The form of the human body is rhythmic, music-like. Working with forms in music and movement, therapies are brought as part of healing. See Music Therapy, Eurythmy therapy, Rhythmical massage therapy.

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