From AnthroWiki

The warm blood (Latinsanguis; Greekαἷμα haima; Hebrewדָּם dam) is the direct physical expression of the human I. The prerequisite for the formation of the red blood was the iron which Mars gave to the Earth in its first half of development. It is a pure product of the earth evolution and did not yet exist in this form in the preceding planetary stages of world evolution. The warm red blood arose in the Lemurian period and is connected with the Luciferic influence. Lucifer has direct influence on the blood ("blood is a very special juice" - Faust). The average blood temperature of humans today is about 36-37 °C.

The blood as a pure product of the earth's evolution

„The blood - I am speaking of the human being - presents itself to us as that which has come into the human organisation through the processes which are, in particular, earth processes. The blood is by all means an earth being. You know that long before there was an earth, man was prepared by the existence of Saturn, the sun and the moon. What has been prepared there, the blood does not yet have in itself. The blood, as it flows through our veins today as human blood, was added through the earth organisation. On the other hand, in the construction, in the whole shaping and formation of the nervous system, is contained that which has long, long been prepared by the Saturn, Sun and Moon processes, by the preliminary processes of our earth organisation.“ (Lit.:GA 169, p. 37)

Heart and blood circulation

The heart is not a pump!

Schematic representation of the human circulatory system. Drawing from (Lit.:GA 128, p. 32).

The heart begins to form from the flowing blood circulation as early as the 3rd week of embryonic development and begins to pulsate independently from the 23rd or 24th day of pregnancy. In Steiner's view, the shape of the heart is a result of the accumulating currents of force from left-right or right-left and from above and below. The backwater of these currents creates thickenings from which the four chambers of the heart are formed. But according to Steiner, not only the shape but also the activity of the heart is a result of the living movement of the blood circulation. In his view, the heart does not function as a pump that drives the blood through the body, but rather the blood circulation sets the heart in motion. The left half of the heart receives the oxygen-rich blood from the small pulmonary circulation, the right half of the heart receives the oxygen-poor blood from the large body circulation.

„This heart has turned the mechanical-materialistic view into a pump that drives the blood through the human body. It is the opposite, this heart: blood circulation is a living thing - embryology can prove it exactly if it only wants to - and the heart is set into activity by the internally moved blood. The heart is that in which the activity of the blood is finally manifested, in which the activity of the blood is taken into the whole of human individuality. The activity of the heart is a consequence of the activity of the blood, not the activity of the blood a consequence of the activity of the heart.“ (Lit.:GA 74, p. 92f)

„If one learns to recognise the rhythmic system as it is expressed in the formation of the course of breathing, of the course of the blood, one breaks with the superstition that the heart is a pump which drives the blood through the organism like some body of water. Then one learns to recognise that the spiritual intervenes in the blood circulation, that therefore the rhythm takes hold of the metabolism, causes the blood circulation and then in the course of human development, already in embryonic development, the heart is sculptured out of what is the blood circulation, so that the heart is formed out of the blood circulation, thus out of the spiritual.“ (Lit.:GA 203, p. 151f)

Rudolf Steiner's view that the heart is not a mechanical pump, but rather is put into action in reverse by the living flowing blood, was largely ignored in medical research for a long time. However, more recent studies confirm his statements. For example, Branko Furst sums up in his book The Heart and Circulation:

„In summary, an attempt has been made to review the current status of the pressure- propulsion model of circulation and highlight a number of inconsistencies which have been either explained away or tailored in order to fit its mold. According to the mechanistic (cardiocentric) model, the blood is considered an inert fluid, impelled along the vessels by the pressure gradient created by the heart. Experimental and phenomenological evidence presented in this monograph suggests exactly the opposite, namely, that the blood is a “fluid organ”, with self-movement as its inherent characteristic. Conceptually, autonomous movement of the blood is no different than autonomous contraction of the heart, the enterohepatic circulation of bile salts, or the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid ...

... the ontogenetic origin and morphology of the cardiovascular system indicate that it can be considered an organ, whose function is rhythmic mediation between the nerve–sense (form) and the metabolic poles of the organism. Its mobile component, the blood, fulfills this function ...“ (Lit.: Branko Furst: The Heart and Circulation, p. 217)

The polar opposition of blood and nerve

The blood forms the polar opposite of the nervous system:

„While the nervous system is actually destined for life in the cosmos outside, extraterrestrial, and is dead in us, the blood is destined to be dead in us and acquires a life from outside. The nervous system in a sense gives up its life to the blood, and so the nervous system is proportionately dead, the blood proportionately the living. As truly as the nervous system has cosmic life and earthly death, so conversely the blood has in itself earthly death and borrowed, imposed cosmic life. Life is not of our earth at all. Therefore the nervous system must, as it were, absorb death in order that it may become earthly, and the blood must become alive in order that man, in so far as he is earthly substance, may turn towards the extraterrestrial world.“ (Lit.:GA 169, p. 37)

„Everything of the soul expresses itself, reveals itself in the body, so that on the one hand everything that expresses itself in antipathy, memory and concept reveals itself in the body. This is bound up with the bodily organisation of the nerves. As the nerve organisations are formed in the body, all that is prenatal works in it for the human body. The psychic pre-natal works through antipathy, memory and concept into the human body and creates the nerves for itself. This is the correct concept of the nerves. All talk of a distinction between sensitive and motor nerves is, as I have often explained to you, only nonsense.

And in the same way volition, sympathy, phantasy and imagination in a certain respect work out of the human being again. This is bound to the germinal, it must remain in the germinal, must therefore never really come to a real conclusion, but must already pass away again in the coming into being. It must remain in the germ, the germ must not go too far in its development; therefore it must pass away in its coming into being. Here we come to something very important in the human being. You must learn to understand the whole human being: spiritually, mentally and physically. Now, something is continually being formed in the human being which always has the tendency to become spiritual. But because one wants to hold it in the body with great love, albeit egoistic love, it can never become spiritual; it melts away in its corporeality. We have something in us which is material, but which continually wants to pass from the material state into a spiritual state. We do not let it become spiritual; therefore we destroy it the moment it wants to become spiritual. It is the blood - the opposite of the nerves.

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The blood is really a "very special juice". For it is that juice which, if we could remove it from the human body - which is not possible within earthly conditions - so that it would still remain blood and would not be destroyed by the other physical agents, would then stir up as spirit. So that the blood does not whirl up as a spirit, so that we can keep it within us as long as we are on earth, until death, that is why it must be destroyed. Therefore we have perpetually within us: formation of the blood - annihilation of the blood, formation of the blood - annihilation of the blood, and so on by inhalation and exhalation.” (Lit.:GA 293, p. 38f)

Etherisation of the blood

Main article: Etherisation of the blood

To the clairvoyant eye, it is evident how the blood in its finest parts is constantly etherised in the heart, i.e., passes again into the etheric state from which it originally condensed. This etherised blood flows continually from the heart towards the head. These etheric powers of the heart penetrate the brain and radiate even beyond the head (if sufficiently strong, this appears to the imaginative gaze in the aura of the head as a halo). Only through these etheric forces are we at all able to grasp thoughts that are not completely bound to the egoistic needs of the organism. Aristotle still had an inkling of this. Since the blood of the Christ was shed on Golgotha, the Christ force can unite with this etheric current.


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References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English (by Steiner Online Library).
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.