Three Main Culprits for the Present
Worldwide Health Crisis

Brane Žilavec, 30 June 2020
Improved version: 11 October 2021

If we want to understand the present state of the health of humanity we need to start with the transition from the old religious views of man – regarded as created “in the image of God,” [1] – to the modern scientific view of man as the highest animal in the kingdoms of nature. However, it did not stop at this degradation of human status. Parallel with the development of technology the status of man has been degrading further, until it has been proclaimed: “In science, man is a machine; or if he is not, then he is nothing at all.” [2]

In this manner man has fallen from the position of a divine offspring to the stage where he is only an ‘image of technology’. The consequences of this transition were and still are tremendous. Amongst them is the loss of the awareness of the existence of the supersensible bodies of human constitution: the ego (the spiritual core of a human being), the astral body (the carrier of soul life), and the etheric body (the carrier of life forces). Thus modern science has lost the knowledge of man as a being of spirit, soul and living body and accepted the mechanistic view of man’s body as a very sophisticated machine.

Not so long ago there were still biologists who acknowledged the existence of the life force or vital force in the living organisms. There was about a hundred years long battle of the world views between followers of vitalism and those who opposed it. [3] At the end the victory was taken by those biologists who accepted the viewpoint that all life processes can be described by means of chemical formulas and physical laws. Around hundred years later we are harvesting the bitter fruits of this great fallacy of modern materialistic science: the apocalyptic-like escalation of the numbers of diseases. For without the recognition of the existence of the life body we cannot truly understand any living being! And without knowledge of the etheric body and other supersensible bodies of man we cannot successfully deal with any issue of health and disease!

If we want to understand the origin of diseases we must start with the THREEFOLD HUMAN BEING which corresponds with the division of man into body, soul, and spirit. This is the foundation enabling us to proceed to the source of THE INNER HEALER OF MAN and his links to the activities of education, healing and nutrition. Although the holistic approach to health and disease [4] is far from simple, we can nevertheless by means of these archetypal relationships obtain profound insights into those forms of education, medicine and nutrition that don’t support the inner healing forces of people and consequently contribute to the increase of diseases. On the other side there exists also forms of education, medicine and nutrition that support our inner forces of healing in the best possible manner. Therefore we can make the following summary of two opposing types of influences on the human being:

Behind all fundamental principles of nutrition presented on this website is the knowledge of human beings as spiritual beings in the process of evolution of various forms of consciousness. For the sake of human freedom we contain within ourselves many polar processes and activities that need to be kept in a healthy balance. Among them are of vital importance the following ones:


The prevalent education of present times is based on a materialistic image of the origin of the cosmos, Earth, the natural kingdoms and the human being. And the crucial consequence of such a one-sided worldview is that the focus of modern education is more or less on the development of intellect which is very useful to measure, weigh and calculate what we can perceive in the physical world around us and inside us. This one-side education of intellect is in complete dominance also in the medical educational institutions.

The materialistic image of the human being has not stayed just within the domain of the medical care, but it has became part of general culture – although there are globally many more people who admit to belong to religious groups than there are atheists. But neither materialistic science nor traditional religions can enable people to gain a proper understanding of the nature of the human being in relation to health and disease that would fit to the demands of the present time. [6]

This is the crucial reason why materialistic intellectual education is contributing to the increase of diseases in modern times. If one looks for explanations of the origin of diseases in medical literature, one can find, for example, the following list of the factors that cause a disease: [7]

To this are added iatrogenic conditions “that result from harm caused by members of the caring professions.” [8] The majority of the causes on this list are coming from the environment of the human being. Only the inherited genetic abnormalities can be regarded as the inner causes of a disease. But there exists also one mysterious group of diseases of which “no specific cause has been identified and these may be described as essential, idiopathic or spontaneous diseases.” [9] The meanings of these words are:

This is more than evident confession of the inability of materialistic science to grasp the origin of internal diseases – that is those physical diseases that are not caused by injuries or poisoning or wrong nutrition. In comparison to this incapacity, anthroposophical spiritual science offers numerous explanations of the origin of internal diseases (see short introduction to HOLISTIC APPROACH TO HEALING). However, if one wants to grasp such a fundamentally different view of human health and origins of diseases one needs first to acquire the basic spiritual-scientific understanding of the nature of human being and the nature of matter. And this is only possible if one becomes familiar with the basic characteristics of cosmic evolution and the role humanity has in it.

As we can see, the acquisition of a proper all-encompassing understanding of human health is not an easy task at all. However, it is of the utmost importance that we acquire a real understanding of the nature of human health and origins of diseases if we want to continue with our evolution in a proper manner. And this is possible only by means of a holistic art of education that will not educate just the intellect in our head but also the feelings of the heart and volition of our limbs.

Without a proper understanding we are exposed to all kinds of one-sided truths or partial truths or complete untruths. As we cannot expect the authorities to introduce holistic education with the aim to improve the health of people we need to take responsibility and educate ourselves. Otherwise we will be just helpless observers of the escalating numbers of the modern diseases and all negative consequences of such a course of events.

The impact of a one-sided materialistic education of the intellect on the present worldwide health crisis should not be underestimated. For it is the way of teaching “at the universities that has brought us to these disastrous situations” in the area of health. This happened because the leading personalities and other members of medical staff think in a materialistic way. And this same manner of thinking “is now presented to the masses; that is, millions are to head for the disasters that so far have come about because the wrong lead was given by a few” [10] in the leading positions in the medical institutions and governments. This has been more than evident in the case of the corona pandemic.

Therefore we need democratisation of education by allowing all worldviews to participate in the great task of the restoration of the human health. This task cannot remain anymore the exclusive domain of a one-sided materialistic worldview! For that reason we cannot proceed to educate the public at large “simply by teaching outside the universities what until now has been living inside them. It would mean teaching something that is altogether unsuitable for human beings. This may sound radical, but it is absolutely essential that it is fully understood if there is to be even the least hope of the decline being halted and something new and positive developing” [11] in regard to the present truly enormous extent of the health crisis of the modern humanity.


The second culprit behind the present health crisis is mainstream medical practice – another offspring of materialistic science – with its understanding of the human being as a kind of biological machine. This is an extreme reduction of the true nature of a human being, consisting of the ego, astral body, etheric body and physical body. And as “the essential aspects of contemporary health care are determined by the nature of medical education, the emphasis is on hard technology, the overuse of drugs and the practise of centralised, highly specialised medical care” [12] – in other words, on over-reliance on chemical drugs, surgery and technology.

There is no doubt that modern medicine is very effective in the case of accidents and emergencies: injuries, poisonings, heart attacks, strokes, serious allergic reactions, and similar life threatening conditions. In such cases the modern medical interventions are sure enough saving the lives. Therefore we need to acknowledge that these interventions are very useful contributions of the materialistic approach to medical care – under the condition that the medical staff are well trained. [13]

But if the use of prescription drugs, surgery and technical devices were also effective in the healing of internal diseases we should have already eradicated many health problems inflicting modern humanity. The present statistics demonstrate that this is not the case. Quite the opposite, we are facing an increase in the number of ill people in such proportions that it is becoming an excessive burden for the whole society. “Because Western medicine has adopted the reductionist approach of modern biology, adhering to the Cartesian division and neglecting to treat the patient as a whole person, physicians now find themselves unable to understand, or to cure, many of today’s major illnesses.” [14]

This is no surprise to those who know that for any true recovery from any disease we need to stimulate innate healing powers in the human beings themselves. But neither surgery nor chemical drugs are having such impacts. [15] For healing doesn’t include just repairing the malfunction of the human organism, but also the finding and removing of the original cause for the occurrence of the malfunction. As the original causes in the case of internal diseases are of the nature of soul and spirit, it is obvious why materialistic science is incapable of finding them and even less of helping to resolve them. [16]

There is also little incentive to change this unhealthy situation, for the selling of the healthcare services has become one of the largest businesses on the global scale with ever increasing profits. This is evident from the following list of the total revenue and year-over-year (yoy) increases of revenue [17] of the biggest pharmaceutical corporations in the world:

We can see that the total income of these ten companies was 354 USD billions. If you compare this with the total income of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in 2022 [18] we can see an extraordinary growth of the income to the total of 483.1 USD billions – this means an increase of income of almost 130 USD billions in just three years, coinciding with the three years of ongoing ‘corona pandemic’!?

But this is not all. In the USA “pharmaceutical companies are among the biggest spenders on political corruption, having poured close to $2.5bn into these activities over the past decade. It has been reported that nine out of 10 members of the House of Representatives, from both parties, and all but three of the 100 senators have taken campaign contributions from pharmaceutical and other health industry companies seeking to affect legislation on everything from the cost of drugs to how new medicines are approved.” [19]

The pharmaceutical corporations “control the government’s pharma policies in many other ways, too. For example, by way of their regulatory capture, by essentially owning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was originally established to control the industry. They have now set up a revolving door between industry and FDA, people constantly alternating between roles of company executive and FDA director. By this regulatory capture the pharmaceutical industry is well placed to rig the system in its favour and to continually grant itself special privileges. This happens – among other things – by extending exclusivity rights on phony justifications, harassing would-be competitors and blocking market entry of generics.” [20]

The outcome of all these activities of the health industry is – from a business perspective – impressive. “The United States runs the by far biggest and most bloated healthcare sector in the world when measured as a share of the total economy. Its annual value was $3.7 trillion, amounting to 17.9% of GDP in 2018.” [21]

When one becomes familiar with these hidden facts behind the modern healthcare sector then one also knows that there is no chance that those who profit financially from this system to a great extent will be willing to change anything in favour of improving the health of the wider population. And there are not just pharmaceutical companies that profit from this system, but also medical equipment manufacturers, drug wholesalers, drug stores, health insurance companies, doctors, clinics and hospitals, university researchers, political parties, media outlets and advertisers.

Therefore it is no surprise that they are trying to convince their ‘customers’ that they are in control of the situation. And that in the case “you have just found out that you have diabetes, this doesn’t mean that you have become sick or turned into an invalid. Millions of people in UK have diabetes and most lead normal, active lives. Some of them have had condition for over 50 years.” [22] Or to assure those with a seriously distressed heart, that “most people who have a pacemaker fitted feel it has a tremendously positive impact on their life. Having a pacemaker can help you be more active. It may also help you stay out of hospital and live longer. Above all, you should feel better. Previous symptoms, such as breathlessness or dizziness, should disappear.” [23]

The representatives of medical industry will never admit that “there is no true healing if a person doesn’t make a step further in his or her spiritual development through overcoming of the disease.” [24] This would, of course, go against their business plans of expanding their markets. In this business model there is no place for an individualised and more human-friendly approach to healing, where “the main purpose of the first encounter between patient and general practitioner, apart from emergency measures, is to educate the patient about the nature and meaning of the illness, and about possibilities of changing the patterns in the patient’s life that have led to it. This, in fact, is the original role of ‘doctor’, which comes from the Latin docere – ‘to teach’.” [25]


The third culprit behind the modern pandemic of diseases is modern food production, an offspring of the scientific revolution based on materialistic comprehension of living beings, the use of modern technology and artificially made substances. Modern nutritional science recognises only various nutritive substances and is consequently not aware of the loss of the life forces in our food due to use of modern methods of food production. [26]

If we focus our attention on those agricultural practices that contribute to the loss of the life forces in modern foods we can expose the following ones:

These practices are already having a very negative impact on the quality of crops and other raw materials provided by agriculture. But this is not yet the end of the loss of the vital forces in our food. For when we come to what actually goes on in food factories we might be surprised “how radically different food manufacturing is in its concepts, goals, behaviours and ethos from any form of domestic food preparation. Unlike home cooks, food manufacturers are driven by innovation and novelty. They work not from a framework of time-honoured principles, but with a blank sheet. Each new product is, in industry-speak, a ‘matrix’, a never-ending jigsaw puzzle of possible elements, either chiselled out from natural ingredients, or entirely man-made, that can be arranged and rearranged, right down to the molecular level if necessary, then stuck together in various ways, and in numerous forms, to meet certain overriding goals. For product developers and food technologists, the professionals who design and create a never-ending stream of products” have at their disposal a very large ‘shopping’ “trolley of components to play around with.” [30]

In fact, an ideal of the food processing industry is to have all ingredients in the form of powder! In 2012 Obama’s pastry chef “explained and demonstrated to audience members how the food of the future will not actually contain real food, but rather various combinations of lab-created chemicals that mimic food. He said: ‘You take the (chemical) compounds and you make the dish.’ … ‘So you have no vegetables, no fruit, no meat, no fish, nothing except compounds. And you have to create a shape, a color, a taste, a freshness, a pungency, an astringency, everything,’ he added, likening traditional cooking methods such as ‘cracking eggs’ and using real food ingredients to ‘living in the Middle Ages’.” [31]

However, our bodies are not suited to eating ‘stones’ alone. Although the minerals in our food are providing indispensable food for our brain and consequently for our intellectual capacities, this is not the only reason why we need to eat. Another reason is that we need to stimulate the life processes of our etheric body. And although food is not the only factor that contributes to weakening of innate vital forces, we need to take into account the cumulative effect of the daily eating such excessively mineralised foods with small amounts of life forces that will sooner or later create the very conditions for the onset of this or that disease. [32] This is evident from the following summary of modern food production:

For the sake of wellbeing one needs to know that even those people who buy exclusively organically produced foods are not completely safe from the negative impacts of bad quality foods. [33] For organic standards are still allowing the use of hybrid seeds, the use of old flour [34] and the refining of foods. [35] Unfortunately, the use of white flour and/or white sugar has become very common practice in the production of organic bread, pasta, biscuits, crackers, chocolate, etc. In fact, it is quite a challenge to find an organic sweet product (especially among those containing flour) that does not contain any refined ingredient. [36]

We need to be aware that the solution to the loss of natural mineral substances caused by refining and other methods of modern food production is not in replacement with artificially acquired minerals. The best solution is the use of those methods of production that will retain natural minerals in food. This is especially important in the case of so-called ‘vitamins’ which are from the perspective of spiritual science the etheric substances – and not mineral ones as seen by materialistic science. The addition of all kinds of mineral substances to food makes human bodies far too sclerotic, even at a youthful age. For the cumulative effect of all practices and methods of modern food production is ‘dead’ mineralised food that does not stimulate the vital forces of the human etheric body to the same extent as it does ‘alive’ natural food – that is, naturally produced food with enough life forces and natural minerals that we need. [37]

The impact of regular consumption of such foods on human health is clearer when we grasp the true nature of plants. “A plant, having physical and etheric bodies shows that these principles are fundamentally healthy. There is in them sufficient force not only for the development and growth of the plant, but also there is a super-abundance of these forces which manifest themselves as healing powers when injuries come from outside. Whence, then, do these healing forces come? If you wound a merely physical body the injury will remain; it is unable of itself to repair the injury. For this reason, we cannot talk of a disease in the case of a merely physical body, and least of all can we talk of a relation between disease and healing. This we can best see when a disease appears in a plant. It is an extremely interesting fact that we call on the etheric body of a plant to exercise increased activity when we injure its physical body.” [38]

Although in animals the healing forces of the etheric body are no longer so powerful as in the case of plants, it is nevertheless true that the principle of the inner healing forces of animals lies in the etheric body. The same is true for humans. Thus everything that is contributing to the weakening of the forces of the etheric body of the human beings is at the same time contributing to the increase of the diseases. For the fundamental principle of the living beings is that only life is capable to support life[39]


Many more things could be written about the state of the modern education, medicine and food production. But from the above descriptions of their main weaknesses it should be evident why they can be regarded as the three main culprits behind the present increase of diseases all over the world.

Our task is “to understand these things, to absorb them thoroughly into our own approach to knowledge. This is one of the future demands that will be made on human life. The time spirits will make this demand especially on those who are seeking knowledge for the future and wish to bring active will-impulses into some particular sphere. Particularly must the spiritual branches of culture be taken in hand – theology, medicine, jurisprudence, philosophy, natural science, even technics and social life, even politics – yes, truly, politics, even that strange creature. Into all this, those who understand the times ought to introduce the fruits of spiritual science.” [40]

But for that purpose we need to become capable to see behind the outward appearances and empty speech that create the web of deceptions. For “on the physical plane we stand within the realm of illusion regarding events as well as the Will of human beings. As soon as illusion is treated, not as illusion but as reality, we must fall into error. And as soon as we fail to pay proper attention to developments within the world of illusion and to what resembles development within this world of illusion, we are already treating illusion as reality.” [41]

Instead of an honest recognition of the impasse of modern medical approach due to the continuous increase of illnesses we get false promises of a ‘just-around-the-corner’ discovery of this or that ‘miracle drug’ or genetic intervention or a high-tech substitute for a diseased organ – to ultimately sort out a specific health problem. However, no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. Therefore it is useless to promise that we can “attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable diseases” [42] while simultaneously carrying on with business as usual. For this leads into the special form of insanity – of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If we want that human “evolution continue in an upward direction, we must be capable in the presence of truth, first of all, of having a feeling, an inner experience that in itself gives us a feeling of healthfulness. We must feel happy, so to say, in the face of truth and unhappy in the presence of the false. Our age demands this; we must strive for this in a healthy manner. We have to return again to the concepts of true and false, but with feeling. This is what must take hold of humanity as inner cultural education, namely, that the concepts of true and false are not treated in the complacent manner customary today, but that man can have an inward part in truth and error. When one has insight into the necessities of the present age, it is a very painful experience to see that people have gradually become so indifferent to one or the other assertion.” [43]

This attitude can change when we grasp that the concept “true and right pass over into the concept healthyfalse and wrong pass over into the concept diseased. In other words, when we reflect about something in ordinary life – feel, sense, or will something – we say: ‘This is right, that is wrong.’ But, when we are in the realm of supersensible knowledge, we do not arrive at this impression of right or wrong but we actually reach the impression that something is healthy, something else is diseased.” [44]

Therefore it is no wonder that we have in the present time simultaneously a pandemic of diseases and a pandemic of untruths in all possible variations: from one-sided truths on the one side of the spectrum to the pure lies on the other. For that reason – if we really want to contribute to the healing of the diseased humanity – we must above all else strive for an attainment of unconditional truthfulness in everything we think, feel or do.

Therefore it “is essential is to develop the will to see things, to see how human beings are manipulated, to see where there might be impulses by which people are being manipulated. This is the same as striving for [the development of] the sense for truth. It has been often stressed that this is not something that enables one to say: But I really believed it, it was my honest and sincere opinion. No indeed. One who possesses the sense for truth is one who unremittingly strives to find the truth of the matter, one who never ceases to seek the truth and who takes responsibility for himself even when he says something wrong out of ignorance. For, objectively, it is irrelevant whether something wrong is said knowingly or unknowingly.” [45]

For an additional perspective see:

The Global Epidemic of Diseases of Modern Civilisation


  1. Holy Bible, Genesis 1:27
  2. Statement of biologist Joseph Needham from the essay Man a Machine, published in 1928; quoted in The Turning Point (see note12).
  3. The confrontation between vitalists and materialistic biologists started with the Wohler’s synthesis of urea in 1828 which was regarded as the first organic compound to be artificially synthesised from inorganic materials. This period ended when “mainstream science has rejected vitalism in the 1930s, for a plethora of good reasons that have only become stronger with time.” (Wikipedia/Vitalism, 2010)
  4. An initial introduction to the holistic approach to health and disease is given in the HOLISTIC APPROACH TO HEALING.
  5. Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, 09.11.1923; Man as Symphony of the Creative Word,
  6. This has been clearly shown in the case of the Corona pandemic when some very intelligent people with materialistic worldviews became victims of the fear propaganda of the ‘deadly virus’ that can wipe out huge numbers of population if we do not put them into mass-quarantine. Neither have we seen any serious resistance against closing the places of worship from the members of various religious groups. That shows that the majority of them accepted a materialistic interpretation of the virus being the origin of an infectious disease. One can wonder if the Christian worshippers are aware of the absurdity of being prevented to celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday on the basis of fear of suffering and death, and media propaganda of the extraordinary rate of infection by the extraordinary small physical entity, called ‘coronavirus’.
  7. Roos and Wilson: Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness, Elsevier, 2004
  8. As above
  9. As above
  10. Both quotes in the paragraph: Rudolf Steiner, Stuttgart, 24.06.1920; Polarities in the Evolution of Mankind, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1987
  11. As above
  12. Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point, Flamingo, 1982
  13. With the constant increase of diseases and growing number of medical conditions that need emergency interventions in intensive care units is no surprise that the WHO issued a warning “that the world community is confronted in the time of the coronavirus pandemic with an enormous deficit of the medical nurses, of which are lacking at least 5.9 million.” (Source: Sputnik Serbia, 7.04.2020) It is relatively easy to build new emergency hospitals in the time of epidemic, but it takes years to properly educate medical personnel to be capable of offering good quality care in the time of any increased need.
  14. See note 12
  15. The good and bad sides of the mineral remedies are described in the article The Spiritual Impacts of Vaccines and Mineral Drugs on the Future Development of Humanity.
  16. One can find the confirmation for incapacity of materialistic science to penetrate into the realm of true origins of internal diseases in their descriptions of diseases which always start with the descriptions of pathological processes and not – as one would expect – with the descriptions of why the malfunctions came into existence in the first place.
  17. Year-over-Year is a frequently used financial comparison of two or more measurable events on an annualized basis. Looking at YoY performance allows for gauging if a company’s financial performance is improving, static, or worsening.
  18. Source: Who are the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world? (updated on 14.02.2023)
  19. Jon Hellevig, The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare - And the Resulting Human Crisis, December 03, 2019
  20. As above
  21. As above
  22. Rudy W. Bilous, Understanding Diabetes, Family Doctor Series, published in association with The British Medical Association, 1995-2003
  23. NHS - FAQs Pacemaker implantation, June 2020
  24. Paracelsus (1493/4-1541), born Theophrastus von Hohenheim was a Swiss physician, alchemist and philosopher of the German Renaissance.
  25. Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point, Flamingo, 1982
  27. For more information about the negative impacts of hybrids see
  28. For the description of the link between oxygen and life see COSMIC ORIGIN OF LIVING SUBSTANCES.
  29. See short video Coronavirus is just the start - Something far worse is coming.
  30. Both quotes in the paragraph: Joanna Blythman, Swallow This - Serving Up the Food Industry’s Darkest Secrets, London, 2015
  31. Ethan A. Huff, White House chef says future food to be made from chemicals, not real food ingredients, 30.07.2012
  33. We need to be aware that although the quality of food is extraordinarily important, it is nevertheless not the only factor that impacts human health. For a better understanding of other factors see NINE ASPECTS OF A HEALTHY MEAL.
  34. The life forces which are stored in seeds are those that enable their germination. When we use freshly milled flours we still keep a good amount of these forces. But in flour older than one month these life forces have almost completely dissipated and all that is left are mineral substances.
  35. The process of refining is problematic due to two reasons: the loss of essential minerals and the loss of vital forces (to which materialistic science refers to as the loss of ‘vitamins’). In fact, when knowing all the negative health consequences of regular consumption of refined foods one can regard the use of refining as a crime against humanity, especially against children! In the book Fast Food Genocide, board-certified physician and nutritional researcher Joel Fuhrman, MD, arrives at the same conclusion from a materialistic perspective.
  36. Various aspects of the existence of organic junk food are presented in the report Is Refined Food Really Organic?
  37. The explanation of why mineralised food is so attractive and even addictive is available in FOOD vs STIMULANTS.
  38. Rudolf Steiner, Hamburg, 18.05.1910; Manifestations of Karma,
  39. The basic explanation of how the presence of the etheric vital forces in food impacts the human organism is available in FOOD AS SOURCE OF ENERGY.
  40. Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, 06.10.1918; Three Streams in the Evolution of Mankind,
  41. Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, 16.12.1916; The Karma of Untruthfulness, Vol. I, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1988
  42. Healthy People 2020 Progress Review: The Burden of Tuberculosis and the Infectious Diseases in the US and Abroad, July 30, 2013
  43. Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, 15.08.1920; Spiritual Science as a Foundation for Social Forms,
  44. Rudolf Steiner, Vienna, 29.09.1923; Supersensible Knowledge: Anthroposophy as a Demand of the Age,
  45. Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, 26.12.1916; The Karma of Untruthfulness, Vol. I, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1988