Etherisation of the Blood
The etherisation of the blood means that, starting from the heart as the centre of the blood circulation, the finest physical components of the blood are continuously transformed into etheric substance in the smallest quantities in the waking state of the human being. From the heart towards the head a current of etherised blood rises and plays around and illuminates the pineal gland. 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 head aura 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.
At the same time, astral forces also rise, although they cannot penetrate the skullcap, but accumulate and condense here. But they draw in outer astral forces, which lay themselves over the skull like an astral cap. The inwardly rising astral forces, in which there are desires but also tremendous wisdom, meet here with the outer astral world wisdom. These etheric forces described here are essentially involved in the formation of memory.
„When man stands before us today in a waking state and the clairvoyant eye observes him, it shows that certain rays of light are continually going from the heart to the head. If we want to draw this schematically, we would have to do it in such a way that we draw here the region of the heart, then currents go continually towards the brain and play around that organ in the interior of the head which is described in anatomy as the pineal gland. Like rays of light it goes up from the heart to the head and flows around the pineal gland. These currents arise from the fact that the human blood, which is a physical substance, a material, is continually dissolving into ethereal substance, so that in the region of the heart a continual transition of the blood into fine ethereal substance takes place, and this flows up to the head and glimmeringly plays around the pineal gland. This process, the etherealisation of the blood, is always apparent in the waking human being. But now it is different in the sleeping human being. If we had the brain region here and the heart region here, the occult observer would perceive a continuous current from the outside in, even from backwards to the heart. These currents, however, which in the sleeping human being stream in from outside, from the world-space, from the macrocosm into the interior of what lies there in bed as the physical and etheric body, represent, if one examines them, something very strange indeed. These rays are quite different in different people. Sleeping people are quite different from one another, and if people who are still a little vain always knew in the end how badly they betray themselves to the occult gaze when they fall asleep in public meetings, they would prevent it, because it has a treacherous effect.
It is indeed the case that in the high degree the moral qualities show themselves in the peculiar colouring of what flows into him during sleep, so that the man who has lower moral principles has quite a different current than a man with high principles. There is no use in pretending during the day. One cannot disguise oneself to the higher powers of the world. It is so, that in one who has only a very slight inclination to not quite moral principles, such brownish-red and all kinds of other radiations inclining towards the red-brownish constantly flow in. And purple-violet radiations appear in those who have high moral ideals. Now, at the moment of waking or falling asleep, there is a kind of struggle in the region of the pineal gland between that which flows downwards from above and that which flows upwards from below. The intellectual element flows from below upwards in the form of light effects in the waking human being, and that which is actually of a moral-aesthetic nature flows from above downwards. And at the moment of awaking and falling asleep the upward and downward currents meet, and there one can judge whether a person is particularly clever and has low principles, where then a strong struggle takes place in the vicinity of the pineal gland, or whether he has good principles and his intellectuality flows towards you: then a calm spreading of a glimmering light appearance appears around the pineal gland. This is embedded, as it were, in a small sea of light at the moment of awaking or falling asleep. And in the fact that a calm glow surrounds the pineal gland at the moment of awaking and falling asleep, moral nobility is revealed. Thus man's moral nature is reflected in him. And this calm glow often extends far into the region of the heart. Thus, two currents appear in the human being, one from the macrocosm, the other a microcosmic one.
The whole scope of how these two currents meet in the human being can only be appreciated if we consider, on the one hand, what has been said before about the life of the soul as it shows itself in its threefold polarity of the intellectual, the aesthetic and the moral, which flows from above downwards, from the brain to the heart, and on the other hand, we arrive at the whole meaning of what has been said if we now consider the corresponding phenomenon in the macrocosm. This corresponding phenomenon is to be described today as it is the result of the most careful occult researches of recent years, undertaken in the spiritual investigations of some of the true, genuine Rosicrucians. Accordingly, this macrocosmic must be described in relation to the microcosmic. And here it becomes apparent - you will come closer and closer in your understanding of the matter - that something similar to what has now been said for the microcosm also takes place in the macrocosm.
Just as in the region of the human heart there is a continuous transformation of the blood into etheric substance, so a similar process takes place in the macrocosm. We understand this when we turn our eyes to the Mystery of Golgotha and to that moment when the blood of the Christ Jesus flowed from the wounds. This blood must not be regarded merely as a chemical substance, but by all that has been described as the nature of Jesus of Nazareth, it is something very special. And in that it flowed out and flowed into the earth, a substance was given to our earth which, in uniting itself with the earth, was an event that is a most significant one for all subsequent times of the earth, and which could also only occur once. What happened to this blood in the following times? Nothing different from what usually happens in the human heart. In the course of earth evolution, this blood underwent a process of etherisation. And just as our blood flows upwards from the heart as ether, so the etherised blood of the Christ Jesus has lived in the earth ether since the Mystery of Golgotha. The etheric body of the earth is permeated by what has become of the blood that flowed on Golgotha; and that is important. If that had not happened, which happened through the Christ Jesus, then only that would be the case with the people on earth, which has been described before. But since the Mystery of Golgotha there has been a continuous possibility that the effect of the etheric blood of the Christ flows with these currents from below upwards.
Because the etheric blood of Jesus of Nazareth is in the earthly etheric body, the etheric blood of this Jesus of Nazareth flows together with the etheric human blood flowing from below upwards, from the heart to the brain, so that not only does what was described earlier come together in the human being, but the actual human blood flow and the blood flow of the Christ Jesus come together. But a connection between these two currents can only come about if the human being has the right understanding of what is contained in the Christ-impulse. Otherwise no connection can come about, otherwise the two currents will repel each other, colliding just as they have collided. We can only acquire understanding if in each age of earthly development we acquire this understanding in the way it is adapted to that age. At the time when the Christ Jesus lived on earth, those who came to his forerunner John and were baptised by the formula expressed in the Gospel were able to understand the forthcoming fact. They received baptism in order to change the sin, that is, the karma of their previous lives, which had come to an end, and in order to recognise that the most important impulse of earthly evolution would now descend into a physical body. But the evolution of humanity is progressing, and for our present time it is important that man should learn to realise that he must receive spiritual-scientific knowledge and gradually so fire that which flows from the heart to the brain that it will meet Anthroposophy with understanding. The result will be that he will be able to receive that which will begin to intervene from the twentieth century onwards: that is, in relation to the physical Christ of Palestine, the etheric Christ.
For we have reached that point in time when the etheric Christ intervenes in earthly life and first becomes visible to a small number of people as in a natural clairvoyance. Then in the next three thousand years he will become visible to more and more people. That must come, that is a natural event. That it will come is as true as the achievements of electricity came in the nineteenth century. That a certain number of people will see the etheric Christ, will have the Damascus event, is true. But it will be a question of men learning to contemplate the moment when the Christ approaches them. Only a few decades will pass, and for men, especially those of youthful years, the event will occur - it is already preparing itself everywhere -: Some man will come there or thereabouts, he will experience this or that. If he had only really sharpened his eye by occupation with Anthroposophy, he could already notice that suddenly some one is around him, coming to help, drawing his attention to this or that: that the Christ comes face to face with him - but he believes that some physical man is there. But he will notice from this that it is a supersensible being, and that he disappears at once. Many a one will experience, when he sits in his room, oppressed, burdened with suffering, and does not know how to get out or in, that the door will be opened: The ethereal Christ will appear and speak words of comfort to him. The Christ will become a living bringer of comfort to people! It may seem grotesque today, but it is true that sometimes, when people sit together, not knowing what to do, and also when large crowds sit together and wait, they will see the ethereal Christ! There he will be himself, he will confer, he will throw his word into the assemblies. We are certainly approaching these times. That is the positive, that which will intervene as a positive constructive element in the development of humanity.“ (Lit.:GA 130, p. 89ff)
The human blood is etherised in the solar centre of the heart through the activity of the I - physical substance is transformed into etheric substance. The I is the original offering of the solar Elohim. Their solar power was handed over to us and in the course of human evolution we have been making it more and more our own since the middle of Lemurian times. Since then the same process has been taking place microcosmically in the human heart that works macrocosmically in the Sun. The forces that make the sun shine outside and those that etherise the blood in the human heart are of the same kind.
Even before Lemurian times, 6 Elohim separated from the Earth with the sun and have been working from outside ever since. The 7th of the Elohim, Yahweh, on the other hand, has connected himself with the lunar forces, namely with the lunar forces, which still work in the Earth today. The latter work in the hereditary forces of the blood, while the sacrificed I-power of the other Elohim works in the solar forces of the heart. The lunar forces, as active birth forces, lead us into the physical-material existence; the solar forces lead us over again into the etheric existence.
The etherealisation of the blood is always apparent in the waking human being. It is different when the human being is asleep. Currents from the macrocosm continually enter the human heart from outside and from behind. These currents appear very differently in the individual human being. Their imaginatively perceptible colouring reveals the moral qualities of the human being, while the etheric current rising from the heart reflects more his intellectual abilities. At the moment of awakening and falling asleep, these two currents meet near the pineal gland. There, when the intellectual and moral forces are far apart, a fierce battle can take place; or a calm glow arises when the day and night forces harmonise with each other.
The Christ force means macrocosmically the same as microcosmically the etheric current rising from the human heart. The blood of the Christ shed on Golgotha undergoes a process of etherisation in the course of earth evolution and thus initiates the future becoming Sun of the Earth.
Since the Mystery of Golgotha, the etherised blood of the Christ has been flowing along with the etheric current rising from the heart. Two etheric currents have thus been rising from the heart ever since. However, these two currents only connect with each other when the human being here on Earth, in an awake state, develops a sufficiently clear understanding of the Christ impulse.
In the Greco-Latin period, when the sensual faculty of perception was developed to the highest degree, the Christ had to appear in the physical body. Today we live in the time in which the intellect is to mature fully - and this is based, as already indicated, above all on the etheric current rising from the heart. This must be consciously grasped by the I, then the Christ can gradually be experienced in the pure intellect. In this way the etheric Christ will become perceptible to more and more people in the next 3000 years.
- Rudolf Steiner: Eine okkulte Physiologie, GA 128 (1991) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Weltenwunder, Seelenprüfungen und Geistesoffenbarungen, GA 129 (1977) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Das esoterische Christentum und die geistige Führung der Menschheit, GA 130 (1987) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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