The prevailing attitude in modern medicine is that illness should not exist. Consequently, millions of research dollars pour each year into medical science and technology in the hope of eradicating various sicknesses and diseases. Patients and doctors alike suffer the terrible consequences of this impossible quest for material perfection. Yet, there is an alternate view—that human beings and human evolution are great enough to include "illness" as an essential part of existence.
In the first part of the book, the author traces the history of our changing concept of healing, from the so-called temple sleep of ancient Egypt—when spiritual science tells us that human beings still had a living connection with the spiritual hierarchies—through the herbal lore of ancient Greece and the healings of Christ, to the rise of modern medicine, based primarily on treating symptoms.
The practice of modern medicine focuses merely on removing discernable symptoms and ailments. The author, however, asserts that this does not really heal at all. Rather, true healing considers the whole human being. And, to do this, doctors must learn the language of our natural, healing life forces, which affect not only the body, but also nature and the greater cosmos. From this perspective, illness is actually a gift, a blessing that urges both patient and doctor to work together with our illnesses for the sake of something infinitely greater—true healing.
Blessed by Illness is a powerful introduction to "alternative" methods of healing.
Leendert F. C. Mees, M.D. (1902–1990), was born in Amsterdam and studied medicine before becoming a student of the anthropologist Louis Bolk. At the time, he also met Rudolf Steiner and became a lifelong student of Anthroposophy. From 1930 on, he practiced general medicine in The Hague and was also a doctor and teacher at the Waldorf school there. In 1959, he and his wife established a clinic for artistic therapy in Dreibergen. In 1969, he began writing extensively and lecturing worldwide on medicine, evolution, education, and other topics.