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  In Search of a Physician

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By: Paul W. Scharff, M.D.
Book review.doc

In Search of a Physician
A review of the book Organic Physics, In Search of a Science of Life,

by Bertram von Zabern, M.D.

As therapeutics has evolved today, there is often a review of one physician's work by another. Such is usual in hospitals and care circumstances. However, it is highly unusual for a physician to review another physician's search for a true physic. Though this is unusual as just noted, it should actually be the usual. For it is the name of the one looking over the shoulder of the other, seeking a physic, a true physic, that gives the physician his name. It is the physic which is the hallmark of the physician in our materialistic time.

Actually, the search of human consciousness lays the ground work for this book, but the search in consciousness is not that which is usual in our day. To find physics revealed in human consciousness, so that the physical of the world can be understood, this is usual. It is held for the most part that it is the world, the physical world that gives the most secure basis for physics. This book says no - it is human consciousness that gives the content for physics, and also then directs a possible glance to the non-physical. This book begins with the mind as it were and from this starting point researches all other domains of existence. This is the approach and thesis of Rudolf Steiner and here Dr. von Zabern gives this search his own coloring.

It is just the activity of thinking that the author tries to bring to the light of day, and in relation to what gives the physician his name, that is physics. His thesis is that it is human thinking which identifies the foundations of physics. He bases his approach on the fundamental epistemo-logical works of Rudolf Steiner. These fundamental works by Rudolf Steiner investigate human consciousness, and the thinking in that consciousness as a starting point from which to investigate all else. The elucidation of thinking in the life of the soul is Rudolf Steiner's fundamental gift to the world. At the same time Rudolf Steiner always tried to reveal how thinking can in turn serve action, moral action. This was always Rudolf Steiner's orientation.

Here in this book the research into thinking by Dr. von Zabern is done to elucidate the very ground which gives a healer his starting point today. This starting point is physics, if the healer is a trained physician of modern times.

The author takes a step into the world of physics when he takes hold of a concept of force. Force is a concept, so says the author. A number would argue that force is not a concept but an experience. The experience of force is different than the concept and the experience gives the concept a foundation. The direct experience of force is within man himself and is not a readily observed - so argues our author. This experience of force comes to birth in the slightest contact with the world, in the dream-sleep of touch, or more immediately with movement. Movement of any part of the body, can easily be experienced and can then come to be associated with the conception of force.

The author comes to equate the movement, the experience of force in an extremity, with the movement of the mind, that is the force of thinking, conceptual activity. The two forces, the force of thinking, of concept formation and the force of movement in a human organism become psychologically observable to the researcher.

Such introspective observations have to be carved out of consciousness, if one is to follow the line of development of this physician. On this foundation the remainder of the book is based.

Noteworthy is that brief biographical sketches of important historical personalities are presented in the course of the book. In this way the search is not only for a physic, but a search in relation to human beings, human thinkers and searchers who have traveled this road in times past. In this way, ones journey with the author is a journey in history as well.

It will be the more unusual individual who will be willing to work her or his way through this book. To do so is highly recommended by this reviewer. The author of this book has worked long and hard, and asks participation on his journey, his quest, his research.

All seeking familiarity with the secrets of the physical world know of the uphill struggle that is needed. To make another step from the physical non-living to the living world of the organism, that is, life, the task is even more daunting. The conviction of this reviewer is that no one can write a lazy man's text for those seeking for another physic that does not close the door to life, the soul and the spirit.

Congratulations and appreciation can be extended to the author of this book by a colleague who also seeks a more real view of the physics of the world, of man, and the physic needed by any healer of men.

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