New Physis Nature + Medicine.png
Secrets of the Human Body and other Confessionspretiosa margarita.jpg
by Cornelis van Dalen

In promoting the 2006-2007 seminar programme of the School of New Physis, I used the headline "Death Lurks in the Intestines" and as an eye catcher and a point of teaching the drawing reproduced to the right. [Anatomical depictions from 1503 AD.] It raised several negative responses: some thought the figure gruesome, others morbid. The title of the first seminar also met with less enthusiasm. Well then, I certainly cooked the goose, properly! These things we learn; but at the same time stand firm, like all stubborn persons, to be correct in the title and the drawing. And herewith stand to make amends.

“Death Lurks in the Intestines”
Years ago when at a loose end I signed up to sell insurance. Oh! Ugh! I was given the drill and also a list of words to use. The words that people like the most are considered to be very useful for ‘getting the message across.’ The most tragic word is death. Well, I am not one to dispute that, but in the context of the seminar title, our intestinal health is an indication of the state of our aliveness or morbidity, however one views it. And since it is thought that ninety percent of all people need intestinal cleansing and are healed and revitalised by so doing, even those near their supposed end, then the subject is worthy of pursuing.
In her daily work amongst the mortals in London, the Goddess S one day confronted a sad and moribund looking individual working as bank teller. She asked him out loudly: “Are you constipated?”  Those patient individuals queuing in the bank on hearing this smirked, smiled, groaned, grinned, at the horror or the truth of the question. He who has a proper bowel movement before breakfast in the morning is happy and well! What comes of it is clarity of mind and a sense of vigour. I heard of a legend from Ireland of a curse of madness which was placed on a soul and the only relief he had of his mental torment, was when he was evacuating his bowel. Think on it!
Many of the symptoms of mental ill health are tied to the condition of the bowel. Croton-seed oil (Croton tiglium), a severe laxative, was used in the lunatic asylums of past centuries to get their inmate’s bowels moving. Constipation of the bowel is considered the underlying source of all diseases of the colon. Why constipation occurs is manifold, though poor diet and lack of water is prime. Worry, anxiety, fear, sedentary lifestyle, irregular bowel movements from early childhood, intestinal obstruction, excess use of purgatives (laxatives), medicinal and recreational drugs, and anal lesions are some factors. It is noted that these are also present in some forms of insanity. Hence, croton-seed oil.
It is an axiom in Naturopathy to treat mental symptoms by treating the bowel, and treat the bowel by treating the mind. This shows the relationship of the two poles of the human – the upper (mental-nerve) sphere and the lower (metabolic-limb) sphere. A female patient, age 40 years, suffered with what is termed irritable bowel syndrome, and when asked this first started she replied: when studying for final school A-level exams. This illustrates when the upper pole (mental activity) through severe stress, permeates the lower pole (metabolic) and has for years affected her digestion and elimination.

Belly shapes and Belly Aches
Careful observation of patient’s diseases and their bowel shapes gave the Austrian doctor F X Mayr (1875-1965) the impetus to record the diagnostic criterion of real health of people’s bodies.[1] Healthy abdomen means healthy organs and an upright posture. Mayr was able to identify the shapes which indicated a sluggish bowel, inflammation and flatulence: excrement bellies, inflammation bellies, gas bellies and combinations of these three conditions. The perfect and healthy body can be seen in Greek and Roman sculpture. He devised a treatment programme which is now known as the Mayr Cure.
With a regimen of health, and inner cleansing through diet, fasting if appropriate and if necessary herbs and other remedies a healthy body shape will result. A person, who can walk upright, head held high, feels that way inwardly.

Heal the intestines, heal your life
Many people do not realise that the aid to health and to weight loss and slimming is to heal the intestines. Bloating and the proliferation of bacteria, intestines full of putrefying faecal matter, the source of autointoxication; the swelling due to inflammation of the intestine proper, should first be treated.
But the matter is more complicated than at first look. “Most intestinal affections are merely reflexes of primary diseases; liver or spleen affections may cause chronic constipation alternating with chronic diarrhoea, painful or painless cramps etc. Renal calculus too, may cause the most varied sorts of intestinal troubles…….” [2] These are the words of Dr Johann Gottfried Rademacher (1772-1850). In his time he cured many a desperate case by understanding these reflexes with his organ remedies.
We live by destroying food through digestion within the abdomen. Life is removed from the food; it is killed. It dies in order that the body may live. Simply put, death lurks in the intestines all the time. In another sense, many of the deaths caused by so-called bacteria, the germs, come from the intestines. It has been shown that bacteria mutate into more virulent forms, as we have learned through previous articles. [3] The putrefaction of the bowel affects the quality of the blood. The pneumonia, the hospital super bugs, septicaemia and more, come from within the bowel. Death lurks in the intestine.

Pretiosa Margarita Novella – a conception of Alchemy [4]
The drawing titled Pretiosa Margarita is dated 1503 and appears in Alchemy and Mysticism by Alexander Roob, published by Taschen GmbH 2005, in the section Microcosm: Human Form Divine. I used this picture for the very reasons it seemed to have been created: to illustrate the concepts of alchemy which came to prominence in Europe in especially from the 12th to the 17th century. The alchemist’s view of life was later transformed into the modern scientific method.
The man in our picture [inset] does look a little startled. No, he hasn’t had his bowels removed! His hands somewhat expressive, eyes wide open. Within the body there lies an inner world – worlds within worlds. It was not until the first half of the sixteenth century that systematic dissections were carried out. It was Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) who brought newness to the then accepted understanding of the fabric of the human body. Up till then all medical knowledge adhered to was the work of the 3rd Century Roman physician Galen (Claudius Galenus), who in turn based his understanding on animal dissections, what he learned by the stitching up of gladiators at the Coliseum, and the knowledge passed on from Greek perceptions. When inquisitiveness about dissection arose in Renaissance Man, and was made permissible by the church, many of Galen’s notions were proved inaccurate.
Our startled illustration of the human becomes important for us as it deliberately focuses on the major organs and the division of the body into two halves by the diaphragm – referred to earlier as the two poles. The four organs shown correspond to the four elements of antiquity, as put forward by Greek Empedocles. Fire, Air, Water, and Earth are represented in the Heart, Kidneys, Liver and Lungs respectively.
When we glimpse this and can come to some feeling for the forces ever present in the formation of the world, the body is indeed a wonder of creation. One could well view the fact of ‘gas’ in the intestines as the ‘air in the wrong place.’ Air is of the kidneys, based on alchemical knowledge, and this has implications for the selection of natural remedies.

New Physis
The study of health and healing in the course of the eight seminars conducted by New Physis is about exploring the secrets and myths of antiquity, which are embodied in our illustration. And with the addition of modern material knowledge, the human and the world is exalted. It may be simplistic to come to know the four elements as the four organs, but they are also expressed in the four temperaments of the human: the choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic and the melancholic. The way we are and behave is constitutional; what we are and what you can become is veiled in the temperaments, which work through the organs.
Thus, when we look at intestinal disorders, the consideration of the person’s temperament comes into play. Modern medicine is very, very new in the history of civilisation. Up till the late 19th century humeral pathology was still practised, meaning any disorder was seen as an imbalance of the humours: black bile, yellow, bile, phlegm, and blood. The treatment of any and all disorders was through blood letting and purging.

A doctor doing the rounds in the wards was happy when he learned that the patient was constipated for then he could prescribe a purgative. Today, with all the material knowledge, the antibiotic is the first panacea to be offered. Which brings us back to the intestines, for the medically much-abused antibiotic wreaks havoc there, leading to many modern illnesses and deaths. Hospital acquired infections as they are called are but one of the many. This is known and it is no secret; tragically no one seems to be able to stop it. Only you can – come and learn of the secrets of the human body – New Physis await you.

Cornelis van Dalen 2006

1. Dr Erich Rauch, Die F.X. Mayr-Kur, Karl F. Haug Verlag GmbH & Co, Heidelberg, 1991
2. AA Ramseyer, Rademacher’s Universal & Organ Remedies, B Jain Publishers, India, 1999 reprint, p 41.
3. Cornelis van Dalen, Germs & Pestilence New Physis Newsletter, #3; Germs are Winning New Physis Newsletter, #3.
4. Pretiosa Margarita Novella (The New Pearl of Great Price) by Petrus Bonus, written about 1330-9.  It is a work that influenced alchemy for hundreds of years in which he strongly identified the philosopher’s stone with the Christ. The title comes from the New Testament Gospel of Matthew 13:36 – Inventa autem una pretiosa margarita abiit et vendidit omnia quae habuit et emit eam.  “Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.” King James version.

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