The Pill - Part I

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By: Bart Maris, M.D.
You take a pill every day and you do not get pregnant. Every day 80 million women and girls are put in a straight jacket through the pharmaceutical industry. And at the same time, for many, it is a savior indeed. Bart Maris develops his thoughts about how the pill works, in two parts. He bases this on his many years of experience as a gynecologist with an anthroposophical view of humanity.

Hormonal Thinking
It is really quite unbelievable, you take a little pill every day and you can have sex with each other without getting pregnant. What has to happen to make this possible?

Nowadays, this seems simple to explain. The human body is looked upon as a complicated system that, through various rules and coordinated mechanisms, is organized, for example, through the brain, the genes and also through the hormones. Hormones are substances that are produced in specific organs and then enter the bloodstream and in this way target an organ’s specific functions either to stimulate or stop. Through a feedback mechanism the production of hormones is regulated.

The thought model: “feedback-regulations” comes from mechanics, electronics and chemistry and is an example of linear causal thought (this hormone causes this effect in this organ, and if it overdoes it, this and that causes the production of the hormones to decline). Through such a thought model one tries to understand “life” the same way as non-organic manifestations. When you forget that such a model is only a simplified aid, then this can lead to the following conclusions: Premenstrual problems? Crying spells after giving birth? Night sweats in menopause? These are only the hormones! Important emotional and biographical happenings are then only the result of hormones. This is an example of reductionist thinking. Manifestations of LIFE are reduced to reactions that are understandable logically. Of course, hormones play a part in menopause and menstruation. However, every woman reacts differently when her monthly menstruation appears and not every woman reacts the same during menopause. If you think mechanically, you’ll gain no understanding about the relationship between reason/source, consequence and any accompanying manifestations.

During the cycles, the relationship between the physical body, etheric body, astral body and ego affects your own rhythms. Based on such linear thoughts about hormones regulating organ functions, the next step seems logical: the manipulation of the human body with the aid of hormones. The human organism is looked upon as a feedback-regulation system and consequently treated as such a system.

The female body is forced to react linearly when taking the pill. By regularly taking the pill, a woman menstruates every month not according to her own rhythms, but through a dictated (pill-induced) time line.

The cycles of a woman have a few peculiarities. What is most noticeable is the rhythm. Rhythm is not the same as measure. Rhythm has a little bit of play, you could also say chaos, in its development. Contrary to measure, it is more irregular. There are very few women who can predict in the spring on what days she’ll have her period in October, for instance.

Often it is recognizable why, for instance, the menstruation comes somewhat later. Because of stress, conflict, or heavy physical activity, menstruation can respond to factors of both physical or soul nature. Mechanical measure can be counted on to be predictable—the living rhythms cannot.

Every rhythm in the human body has life movement in it. When the rhythm of the heart has too little play area and becomes monotonous, this can be a sign of the onset of heart disease. It is interesting to know that the quality of “not calculable” is considered as negative and “calculable” as positive. However, when everything is predictable, where can something new come about?

The menstruation rhythms and the rhythms of the moon correlate. This says a lot about the connection between fertility and the cosmic influence of the moon. There are still groups and communities in Europe where women together, at the full moon, get their menstruation at the same time.

A second aspect of the menstruation cycle is the build-up in two phases, a sort of rhythm that consists out of two mirror images, as is true of all living rhythms. The in-breathing and out-breathing of the lungs, the diastole and systole, the expanding and contracting of the heart, sleeping and waking. The first part of the menstruation cycle builds up: the mucus layer of the womb grows, the skin membrane of the egg cell grows also, the soul of the woman, generally speaking, is optimistic, unencumbered. She enjoys partaking in the affairs of the world and seeks contact with other people. After the ovulation everything changes. That is the second half of the cycle. The mucus layer in the womb doesn’t grow any longer; it transforms and is restructured. From the rest of the watery egg cell the yellow body is made that produces hormones. The temperature of the body raises somewhat and the soul turns to rest and introspection. Her body feels heavy and she doesn’t like to initiate actions or absorb actions and events of her surroundings. When such moods and feelings become too strong, one speaks of premenstrual syndrome.

Ego (I) Impulse
During the menstrual cycle, the relationship between the physical body, etheric body, astral body and ego changes. During the first half (till the bursting of the egg) the relationship between the physical body and the ether body, on one side, and the astral body and the ego on the other side, is not so intensive. The etheric body is strong, and body and soul are not held back by a strong structured I or Ego impulse. This happens in the second half, as is indicated by a higher body temperature, in the restructuring of the mucus membrane of the womb and the egg, and also in the turning in of the soul. Looking upon it from the point of view of our four natures, one sees an out-breathing and in-breathing, or as sleeping and waking, but then in a rhythm of approximately four weeks, a less intensive connection between our higher bodies and lower bodies (between astral body and the ego and the physical-etheric body) transforms into a much stronger connection. The changes are marked by ovulation and menstrual bleeding. At the end of the less intensive, the more extroverted phase, one finds the days to become pregnant a time of great acceptance and also often of intensified sexual feelings. At the change from outside to inside, a spiritual entity can enter inside the body. When this doesn’t happen, two weeks later the menstrual bleeding appears which indicates a return to the outside.

Sacrifice of Purification
This movement is the archetype of the gesture: going to the outside, taking-in of images and taking those images inside to reflect and contemplate them. The blood of the menstruation is in itself a very curious event: a healthy woman bleeds again and again, without trauma and for a few days.

It’s not an elimination product like urine or saliva or mother’s milk. It is not anything that she would have otherwise too much of, or what would have a certain function. The blood, the carrier of the I, that every month gets released to the earth —is it a sacrifice? Is it a subconscious sadness about a missed pregnancy? Or is it a purification of the soul and not physical, so to be open and receptive for new images/impulses?

Dr. Bart Maris is a gynecologist in an anthroposophical clinic in Krefeld, Germany. He is the author of five books. Translated from the Dutch anthroposophical journal, Motief by Elisabeth Potter. Used with permission.

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