The Purpose of Autism

As mentioned in a previous post on karma, illnesses and disorders have a cause and a purpose in Steiner’s doctrine.
Some parents of children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) may think of sending their child to a Steiner school, so it is worth mentioning how anthroposophists view these disorders.
Once again there is evidence that Steiner’s ideas are being put in to practice currently, and taken very seriously by so-called professionals.
There is an interview with an anthroposophical doctor on a website saying it is for those interested in “holistic health”.
In the interview, the doctor has this to say;

Autism can be looked at as an atypical incarnation process. This specific “abnormality” reveals itself in the pattern of symptoms we call autism. Yet, one should ask, what is the purpose of autism? In anthroposophy, Steiner said that we prepare for our upcoming incarnation in the time between death and rebirth. The interweaving of the cosmos, the individual soul, and our specific karma come together as we make plans for what we want to work on in our upcoming incarnation…
Is the purpose of autism one of altruism, to serve as a sacrificial mirror …or as a springboard for the individual soul to form a future earthly life, as Steiner indicated in his book, Education for Special Needs?…
The essence of autism is a disharmony of the ego function. The ego does not engage the lower organization (metabolism) sufficiently from the periphery inward. This is reflected into the consciousness pole, as the centering of the ego in the upper organization is also deficient. The disturbed relationship of the ego results in a weakened etheric stream from the lower organization, which is too little for a healthy relationship to the soul forces.

Do parents of children with ASD find this reassuring? Steiner school parents are usually asked to entrust their children’s health to the school doctor who will be an anthroposophical doctor.
This doctor says there is a very specific cause of autism; it is because we live in an age of materialism which “distracts us from our spiritual development”, and that autism can be seen as the “result of, and the remedy for excessive materialism”.

This explains why anthroposophists believe those diagnosed with autism are in need of much more spiritual “work” than other people.
The doctor also agrees with ” educator Eugene Schwartz” that   looking  at illnesses as “mirrors for the age”, we will see “see in our current mirror, indifference, social isolation, timidity, and lack of empathy”.  He says that in autism he sees individuals who “share these “inbreathing” characteristics, and serve as sacrificial mirrors to reflect our time”.

He also thinks he knows why diagnosis of autism is on the increase; He says it is because there is an epidemic of these children who are not incarnating typically…

Here is a Steiner lecture where he concerns himself with sacrifice. I warn you, there are a lot of Thrones and Cherubims in there.


One comment

  1. Helen

    Sometimes in Steiner education, parents are told that their actions have had an effect on their child’s health or behaviour. One parent on a forum said she had been told that knitting and watching tv during pregnancy had caused autism in her child.

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