Blood is a special fluid

From Anthroposophy

'Blood is a special fluid' is a quote from Faust (by Goethe), and the title of a lecture by Rudolf Steiner in the period 1906-10 to 1907-01.

It points to the fact that blood is not just a physical bodily fluid, but an important spiritual substance as it relates to and is the carrier of the 'I' bodily principle of Man. The mineral substance analyzed after removing blood from the human organism, is no indicator for the functions of spiritual fluid in the body of Man.

Aspects

What is blood

  • blood is the carrier of the human 'I' in its warmth. It was with the appearance of the warm blood that blood-based relationships were initiated through the influence of the Jehovah SoF in mid Lemuria. See 1920-12-17-GA202 in the I-organization.
  • mineral blood fluid is Luciferic, the pure blood is spiritual: initially the blood was intended to be on the border between the spiritual into the physical. In the initial cosmic plan, blood was not intended to become a mineral fluid as it is today, but this happened through the Luciferic influence. Blood carries the egotistic Luciferic influence in the mineral blood fluid. (1911-12-31-GA134)

Blood constitution

  • evolutionary perspective: the Mystery of silver discusses the link with warmth and previous generations
  • the premordial Jehovah-love carried by the warm blood: blood-relationships-based-love, and the difference between marriage between relatives and non-relatives
  • there is a direct relationship between the spiritual maturity of an Individuality, and the purity of the blood. Through initiation, Man purifies the different bodily principles and this relates to taking over control over the various Elementary kingdoms (see above) working in the blood.
    • Francis of Assisi is given as an example (1909-04-15-GA266/1 below)
    • Christ worked on the blood of Jesus, purifying it during the three years (see 1908-03-14-GA266 on Mystery of silver)
  • the quote from Faust: why blood is linked in legends and traditions of old to the evil or devil
  • Iron in the blood and raying in
    • there is a link between meteor showers and human blood: meteor showers trigger a change in the blood due to the 'raying in' of the force of iron, which drives fear and anxiety out of the blood. This is also referred to as the Michaelic iron impulse (1923-10-05-GA229)
    • Iron in the blood regulates the connection between physical body and etheric body on the one hand, and the astral body and I-organisation on the other. It works on the organism in such a way that the astral body and I are prevented from being too strongly bound to the physical and etheric bodies. See 1924-07-24-GA319 on Healing with metals
  • the blood flowing in the arteries and sustaining the living body, is not the physical blood liquid that flows out when one makes a prick to take out a drop and do a mineral analysis
    • In mineral contemporary 'mineral science' and medicine, blood is considered as a transport mechanism connecting different body systems, transporting oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, and removing waste products. It also has an extra cellular matrix called plasma with formed elements floating in it. Four blood groups A, B, AB and O are differentiated based on the antigens in the red blood cells and the antibodies in plasma. Blood tests are performed through medical diagnostics to analyze the traces of many substances as indicators for health, eg iron, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.

Mystery of the Blood and the Holy Grail

Changes in the blood

  • since the middle of the 15th century, the forces in the blood are waning, which is an important change taking place for humanity in this cultural age of the consciousness soul; consequence is we need to educate ourselves to do consciously what was done unconsciously by Man's blood in the past (1919-10-04-GA191)
  • since end of 19th century, reversal of the workings of the spirits of light and darkness in the tribal, blood and hereditary bonds. As a result there is an insistance on national and racial relationships, and also individually an increasing awareness of Man's hereditary identity (which are signs of the decline in humanity) (1917-10-26-GA177)

Illustrations


FMC00.285 describes the blood not just as a physical mineral fluid, but also its other dimensions. The Human 'I' lives with consciously in the warmth .. the other components are physical due to the Luciferic infection.

In both drawings, the blue rectangle highlights what happens during sleep: spiritual beings of The elementary kingdoms (re the higher ethers) maintain Man's blood during the time when Man is asleep, and replace the I and astral body in this function while Man is asleep.

As part of Man's transformation and spiritualization also the blood gets purified, therefore Man needs to take conscious control over the forces of nature in a balanced way.

FMC00.285.jpg

Lecture coverage and references

The quote from Faust was the title for lectures, 1906-10-25-GA055 and 1906-11-30-NOGA and 1907-01-11-NOGA (NOGA stands for lecture not in the GA today), an introductory quote to set the scene, from 1906-10-25-GA055 (SWCC)

.. in Goethe's Faust, when Faust, representing striving man, enters into a pact with evil powers, represented by the emissary from hell, Mephistopheles. Faust is to sign the pact in blood. At first he regards this as a joke, but Goethe undoubtedly meant the words spoken by Mephistopheles at this point to be taken seriously: “Blood is a very special fluid.”

.. I naturally cannot go into what every commentator has said about this particular passage, but it amounts more or less to what is said by Professor Jacob Minor. Like others, he regards Mephistopheles' remark to be ironic, but Minor adds: “The devil is an enemy of blood.”

He goes on to point out that as blood invigorates and sustains human life, the devil, being an enemy of the human race, must of necessity be also an enemy of blood. Minor is quite right when he further demonstrates that in sagas and legends blood always plays the kind of role it plays in Goethe's Faust. The oldest version of the Faust legend clearly describes how Faust makes a slight cut in his left hand with a penknife, dips a quill in the blood in order to sign the agreement, and as he does so, the blood, flowing from the wound, forms the words: “Oh man, escape!”

This is all quite correct, but what about the remark that the devil is an enemy of blood and for that reason demands the signature written in blood? Can you imagine anyone wishing to possess the very thing he abhors?

The only reasonable interpretation of the passage is that Goethe, as well as earlier writers of Faust legends, wishes to show that the devil regards blood as especially valuable, and that to him it is important that the deed is signed in blood rather than in neutral ink. The supposition must be that the representative of the powers of evil believes, or rather is convinced, that he will gain a special power over Faust by possessing at least a drop of his blood. It is quite obvious that Faust must sign in blood, not because the devil is his enemy, but because he wants to have power over him. The reason behind this passage is a strange premonition that if someone gains power over an individual's blood, one gains power over the person. In short, the feeling is that blood is a very special fluid and it is the real issue in the fight for an individual's soul between good and evil.

and also several other aspects are illuminated, requiring study of the full lecture

The pictures of the external world made inward through the brain are absorbed by the blood and transformed into vital formative forces. These are the forces that build up the human body; in other words, blood is the substance that builds the body. We are dealing with a process that brings the blood into contact with the outer world; it enables it to take from it the most perfect substance, oxygen. Oxygen continually renews the blood, endowing it with new life. ..

.. The “I” turns its vision inwards into a person's being, and its will outwards to the world. This twofold direction manifests itself in the blood, which directs its forces inwards, building up a person's being, and outwards towards the oxygen. When humans fall asleep they sink into unconsciousness because of what the consciousness experiences within the blood, whereas when they, by means of sense organs and brain, form mental pictures of the outer world, then the blood absorbs these pictures into its formative forces. Thus, the blood exists midway between an inner picture-world and an outer world of concrete forms.

This becomes clearer if we look at two phenomena. One is that of genealogy, that is, the way conscious beings are related to ancestors, the other is the way we experience external events. ..

.. The important fact to bear in mind is that in ancient times a dim clairvoyance existed out of which arose sagas and legends, and that the clairvoyant consciousness is based on unmixed blood, whereas our awakened consciousness depends on mixed blood. ..

.. therefore, it is a destructive process that gave rise to the modern human wakeful day-consciousness. The kind of spiritual life that resulted from intermarriage has been destroyed in the course of evolution; while the very thing that destroyed it, that is, marriage between strangers, gave birth to the intellect and today's lucid consciousness.

Also 1908-11-10-GA107 (SWCC)

Unless you make it your business to know what spiritual science can tell you about the nature of the fourth member of man's being, the I, then however much you study anatomy and physiology you would not know anything about the nature of blood. That would be quite impossible. And you would never be able to say anything of any value about the illnesses connected with the nature of the blood. For the blood is the expression of the ego nature of man. And if Goethe's words in Faust: “Blood is a very special fluid” are still quoted today, they do in fact say a very great deal. Present-day science has no inkling of the fact that scientists ought to treat blood, even physical blood, in an entirely different manner from any other organ of man's physical body, because these other organs are the expression of entirely different things. If the glands are the expression, the physical counterpart, of the etheric body, then even physically we have to look for something quite different in the composition of a gland, be it liver or spleen, than we have to look for in the blood that is the expression of a much higher member of man's being, namely the I. And scientific methods must be guided by this if they are to show us how to work with these things.

A materialistically-minded scholar of today takes it as a matter of course that when he makes a prick in the body blood will flow out that can be examined in all the known ways. And blood is described according to the method of investigating its chemical composition in exactly the same way as is done with any other substance, such as an acid. ... The blood flowing in the arteries, and sustaining the living body, is not what flows out when I make the prick and take out a drop. For the moment blood comes out of the body it changes to such an extent that we have to admit it is something quite different; and what flows out as coagulating blood, however fresh it is, is no proof of the living essence within the organism.

Blood is the expression of the I, a member of the human being that is at a high level. Even as physical substance blood is something that you cannot examine physically in its totality at all, because when you are able to see it, it is no longer the blood it was when it flowed in the body. It cannot be looked at physically, for the moment it is exposed to view and can be examined by some method similar to X-ray, you are no longer examining blood but something that is the external image of blood on the physical plane.

Everything to do with man's health or sickness really is bound up with man's manifold nature, with the complicity of his being; hence it is only through a knowledge of man arising out of spiritual science that we can arrive at a conception of man in health and in sickness. There are certain ailments in man's organism which can only be understood when we realise their connection with the nature of the I, and these ailments also appear in a way — but in a limited way — in the expression of the I, the blood.

...

Those types of illnesses connected with the I itself and therefore also connected with its external expression, the blood, appear as a rule — but only as a rule, for things are not so clear cut in the world, even though you can draw clear lines when you want to make observations — these illnesses appear as chronic illnesses.

Various other disturbances appearing to begin with are usually symptoms. One or another symptom may appear, which nevertheless originates in a disturbance in the blood, and that has its origin in an irregularity of that part of the human being that we call the bearer of the I. I could speak to you for hours about the types of illness that are chronic and which originate from the physical point of view in the blood and from the spiritual point of view in the I. Those are chiefly the illnesses that are in the proper sense hereditary, and these are the illnesses that can only be understood by those people who look at the being of man from a spiritual point of view. Here and there are people who are chronically ill, who are, in other words, never really fit; they always have one or another thing the matter with them. To get to the bottom of this, we must ask ourselves what the actual basic character of the I is like. What kind of a person is he? If you understand what life really is, then you will know that definite forms of chronic illnesses are connected with one or another basic soul character of the I.


In the lecture 1907-12-04-GA098 on the Elementary Kingdoms page, we learn that the forces of the three elementary kingdoms work in the blood, short extract below, see that page for full excerpt:

.. It is the blood which first makes man a human being; all the kingdoms are contained within it. But the I can for the present, penetrate with its cognitive forces only into the mineral kingdom; it must leave the other kingdoms to the Beings of the Elementary Kingdoms.

and also

..the group-souls of the animals reside on the astral plane, but there is another species of Egos, dwelling upon the astral plane, which work upon the human being and vitalize his blood, when the I of man has abandoned it. ...

.. The Beings of the third Elementary Kingdom have a warmth body on the astral plane. During the night, they permeates the blood of Man which warmth — and at the same time. These Beings, belonging to the third Elementary Kingdom, are the companions of the Group souls of the animals — they belong to the same region.

In our astral body, in addition to our I, live spiritual beings whose I dwells upon the astral plane. These Beings permeates the astral body just as maggots live in cheese. This is the third Elementary Kingdom: it is the kingdom which forms impulses and passions of an animal nature [in us].

1917-10-26-GA177 talks about the reversal in the human blood due to the fall of the spirits of darkness

[introductory context]

In those times, when the spirits of light made it their concern to order human affairs on the basis of blood relationships, the spirits of darkness which had been cast down from heaven to earth with humanity, made it their concern to work against anything connected with heredity through blood relationship. They were the source of all rebellion against ordinances based on blood relationship in those ages, and of all teachings of rebellion against heredity and against tribal and racial relationships, insisting on the independence of the individual and seeking to establish laws based on this, laws which did, of course, come from human beings but were inspired by the spirits of darkness. Those ages extended as far as the fifteenth century. Echoes still persist, of course, for systems do not come to an abrupt end when there is a major break in evolution. Up to the fifteenth century in particular, we see teachings come up which rebel against purely natural bonds, against the bonds of relationship, family, nationality, and so on.

Thus we have two streams: the ‘protector’ of everything to do with blood relationship, which is the stream of light; it is opposed by the stream of darkness as the ‘protector’ of everything which wants to abandon the bonds of blood relationship and help people to be free of the bonds of family and heredity. All this does not, of course, come to an abrupt halt any more than it does in the natural world, and in 1413, the year when the break occurred which marks the boundary between the fourth and fifth post-Atlantean ages, the old ways did not stop immediately. We can see the influence of the two streams continuing right into our own time. For from the nineteenth century onwards, from the time of the significant events I have described to you, we see something entirely different emerge — I have already made some mention of this. Angelic spirits, members of the hierarchy of the Angels have been active among us since 1879. They follow on after the old spirits of darkness, are related to these and are of a similar kind, but have only been cast down from heaven to earth because of the event which occurred in 1879. Until then they had their function up above, whilst their relatives, who acted in the way I have just described, have been among human beings from Lemurian and Atlantean times.

Thus there was a break in evolution in about 747 before the Mystery of Golgotha; another one came in 1413 after the Mystery of Golgotha, and the break which is particularly important to us, in 1879.

Throughout the whole of this time spirits of darkness were active on earth, whilst certain other spirits of darkness, which are related to those down on earth, were still in the spiritual world.

[key section]

1841 saw the beginning of the mighty battle of which I have spoken. Then the spirits which are related to those others descended to join them below. The power of the old rebels, of the continuing stream of spirits of darkness who had their tasks to perform from Lemurian and Atlantean times, is gradually dying down as the powers of their brothers begin to take effect. This means that from the last third of the nineteenth century the situation has been completely reversed.

The spirits of light who have been continuing in their activities have done enough where the establishment of blood, tribal, racial and similar bonds is concerned, for everything has its time in evolution. In the general and rightful scheme of things, enough has been done to establish what needed to be established through blood bonds in humanity. In more recent times, therefore,

  • the spirits of light have changed their function. They now inspire human beings to develop independent ideas, feelings and impulses for freedom; they now make it their concern to establish the basis on which people can be independent individuals.
  • And it is gradually becoming the task of the spirits who are related to the old spirits of darkness to work within the blood bonds.


The function which was right in the past or, better said, belonged to the sphere of the good spirits of light, was handed over to the spirits of darkness during the last third of the nineteenth century. From this time onwards, the old impulses based on racial, tribal and national relationships, on the blood, became the domain of the spirits of darkness, who had previously been rebels in the cause of independence. They then began to instil ideas in human minds that affairs should be ordered on the basis of tribal relationships, of blood bonds.

You can see that definition is impossible. If you define the spirits of darkness on the basis of the function they had in the past, you get exactly the opposite of their function in more recent times, that is from the last third of the nineteenth century.

  • In the past, it was the function of the spirits of darkness to work against hereditary traits in humanity;
  • from the last third of the nineteenth century they have been lagging behind, wanting to lag behind, wanting over and over again to make people aware of their tribal, blood and hereditary bonds and to insist on these.

These things simply are the truth, though it is a truth which people today find extremely unpalatable. For millennia, human beings have instilled the insistence on blood bonds into themselves, and out of sheer inertia they are letting the spirits of darkness take control of these habitual ideas.

We therefore see insistence on tribal, national and racial relationships particularly in the nineteenth century, and this insistence is considered idealistic, when in reality it is an early sign of decline in humanity. Everything based on dominance of the blood principle meant progress for as long as it was under the authority of the spirits of light; under the authority of the spirits of darkness it is a sign of decline. The spirits of darkness made special efforts in the past to implant a rebellious feeling of independence in human beings at the time when hereditary traits were passed on in a positive sense by the progressive spirits. In the three ages of human evolution which now follow and will continue until the time of the great catastrophe, the spirits of darkness will make extreme efforts to preserve the old hereditary characteristics and inculcate human beings with the attitudes which result from such preservation; in this way they introduce the necessary signs of decline into human evolution.

Here is another point where we have to be watchful. In particular, it is not possible to understand the present time unless one knows the change of function which came in the last third of the nineteenth century. A fourteenth-century person who spoke of the ideals of race and nation would have been speaking in terms of the progressive tendencies of human evolution; someone who speaks of the ideal of race and nation and of tribal membership today is speaking of impulses which are part of the decline of humanity. If anyone now considers them to be progressive ideals to present to humanity, this is an untruth. Nothing is more designed to take humanity into its decline than the propagation of ideals of race, nation and blood. Nothing is more likely to prevent human progress than proclamations of national ideals belonging to earlier centuries which continue to be preserved by the luciferic and ahrimanic powers. The true ideal must arise from what we find in the world of the spirit, not in the blood.

...


1919-10-04-GA191

Activities going on in the blood forces always used to ensure that this happened in the past. As you will probably know, man has not learned to release the planetary forces himself, after the age of twenty-one. And yet he has been doing so. He did it as an unconscious process. The capacity was in his blood. It was built into him to do it. The important change in our present time — and the present extends over a long period of several centuries, of course — is that man's blood is losing the capacity to release what we have put into the organism in this way, before twenty- one.

The important changes taking place in humanity at the present time are based on the waning of the forces in the blood. These things cannot be testified by external anatomy and physiology; to do that they would need to investigate bodies from the tenth or ninth centuries in order to discover that blood was different then. And they would not even have had the chemical tests to do it. But through spiritual science we can know with certainty that man's blood has grown weaker. And the great turning-point when human blood began to grow weak lay in the middle of the fifteenth century.

What are the consequences? The consequences of this are that what we cannot carry out unconsciously any more by means of our blood, we have to carry out consciously. We have to educate ourselves to do consciously what was simply done unconsciously by man's blood in the past. For the strength in our blood is in the process of fading away. What would happen if a time were to come when human beings completely lost hold of their youth, and were unable to draw on their youthful forces, if there were no means of resorting to doing consciously what was once done unconsciously by the blood?

You must not take these things in a purely theoretical way, of course. As theories, they may be interesting, but to take them as theories is not enough. Nowadays they have to be put into practice, for they are connected with the practical matter of the evolution of mankind. They must be put into practice to the point of making us conscious that man's whole educational system has to change. We have to help man to develop a strong, conscious capacity to re-experience later in life, as though with the force of elemental memory, what he has received in his youth.

...

This too was done by the blood in earlier ages of history. When people met in social life they used to learn things from one another unconsciously, some people learning more and others less, according to the way their blood worked. But our blood has grown weak and has lost its power. This activity, too, has to be replaced by more consciousness. People must achieve the art of acquiring relatively more for themselves from other people compared with what they produce from out of themselves. In earlier times it was sufficient to rely on life. The blood did everything. Now it is essential for people really to develop a sense for the other person's being. This will come about as a matter of course if people steer their thoughts in the direction of spiritual science. Different kinds of thoughts are stimulated with spiritual science than without it.

Blood as a symbol in the Mysteries – two spiritual preparations

1906-07-29-GA097 is the key lecture with Wagner and purified blood but also contains this element

We shall come to perceive what blood really signifies when we learn to understand a great revolutionary change that took place once in the mysteries. ... When the ancient blood relationships began to be broken, a significant event took place in the mysteries. ...

.. In the high mysteries, blood relationship was replaced by the partaking of two spiritual “preparations.” In the lower mysteries outward symbols were used instead of these; and the outward symbols were Bread and Wine. In the two spiritual preparations was a substance that was like blood. They were substances that worked spiritually in a somewhat similar way to the way blood works physically in the veins. As the old clairvoyance gradually disappeared, men began instead to partake of these spiritual preparations. When they had learned all that is contained in the whole wisdom of theosophy, they received these symbols out of Ceridwen's Cup. That was the purified blood that could be given to man from the chalice that opened down to him from above. This Mystery in this true essence passed into the care of a very small community. ...

It was known in the Mysteries that what streams upwards in the Chalice of the Flower lives also in the blood of man. The blood needs, however, to be made clean and pure again, it must be as chaste as the sap that flows in the blossom. ...

The essential secret of the high mysteries passed into the hands of Templars in Northern Spain, the Guardians of the Grail.

Lemuria blood warmth and the start of the 'I' with Jehovah impulse

1907-04-01-GA096

In the blood warmth which lives in the human being, and in pre-Lemurian times lived outside the human being, we have the medium by which the spirit of the earth enters into the human being himselfthe

1906-10-25-GA055 - blood special fluid (link with the 'I', blood relations and primordial love, two blood circuits and breathing - link with heart)

This primordial love, which arose when the souls began to descend into physical bodies, thus faces us in a descending,course of development; this love streamed into the human beings at the moment which the Bible describes in the words: “And God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul.”

But something else arose at that time. Man became a living soul, and consequently a being who breathed through his lungs. The air which he thus breathed in, produced his red blood. The I-nature expressed itself in the red blood.

As long as the blood was a common element shared by many, the I too was a common I. We see this in the Jews, where a whole nation was ruled by a group-soul. But the human beings gradually developed and emancipated themselves from the blood of their relatives.

When the first breath of air entered the human being it formed the first foundation of his blood.

But long epochs of time passed by before mankind reached the degree of maturity enabling it to influence the blood so that the primordial love could be replaced by a love for mankind as a whole.

Imagine the course of human development as described just now: The primordial love would gradually die out; love among relatives, the love of a mother for her child, and so forth, would have to decrease; the blood has not the power of encompassing the whole of humanity with a tie of love, so that the power of the Ego, the power of selfishness would grow ever more ... An event had therefore to occur which replaced the primordial love with another kind of love, calling into life a spiritual love, and this event is Christianity.

The appearance of Christianity prevented that which would otherwise have taken place: the disintegration of the whole of humanity into single human atoms. The human beings must indeed become more and more independent, for this lies in the development of their blood, but that which was driven apart naturally, must once more be led together spiritually, through a new power which is able to exercise its influence without the love connected with the blood: This new power is Christianity.

The Mystery of Golgotha thus acquires a fundamental significance for the whole evolution of humanity. If we understand this, we also understand the meaning of the words: the Blood of Christ. This is not something which can be experienced or investigated externally, but something which must be considered as a mystical fact.

Blood relations and primordial love

Excellent lecture reference is 1907-06-27-GA100.

First the difference is sketched between marriage between relatives and non-relatives ..

But something else arose at that time. Man became a living soul, and consequently a being who breathed through his lungs. The air which he thus breathed in, produced his red blood. The I-nature expressed itself in the red blood. As long as the blood was a common element shared by many, the I too was a common I. We see this in the Jews, where a whole nation was ruled by a group-soul.

This lecture complements the earlier 1907-03-25-GA096

Mineral blood fluid is Luciferic, the pure blood is spiritual

From 1911-12-31-GA134, (SWCC), a lecture advised to read in full, we learn that the mineral blood substance is an effect of the Luciferic infection, and that originally blood was intended to be on the border between the spiritual and mineral.

In between the spiritual and the material, as it were mediating between the two, stands the blood. And in blood we have something which has directly undergone, as substance itself, the Luciferic influence.

... The substance of nerve and muscle and bone owes its existence to the fact that certain bodies of man are irregularly put together. Upon the substances as such Lucifer has no influence; for these substances arise as the result of what he has done, they are there because he has displaced, disarranged, the bodies. Where Lucifer approached the human being he brought about a disarrangement between the bodies.

But upon the blood as matter, as substance, Lucifer works directly. Blood is the one case - and therefore a “special fluid” - where in the material substance itself we have evidence that present-day man is not as he was really intended to be, is not as he would have been but for the Luciferic influence.

For blood has become something quite different from what it should have been.

.. Matter arises when spiritual form comes to a kind of boundary or limit and there breaks and scatters; this pulverised form then shows itself as earthly matter. It really only occurs directly in this way in the mineral world, for the other substances are changed and modified through being taken hold of by other things that intervene. The substance of blood, however, is a unique substance.

Blood substance was originally destined to come first of all to a certain limit. Suppose you have here (a) purely spiritual form-rays of the blood substance, and here (b) its force is exhausted. Now according to the tendencies originally inherent in it, blood substance was not meant to be dispersed and sprayed into space, but at the boundary (b) it was to become just very slightly material and then spray back into itself, directly back again into the spiritual. Blood ought only to have come so far as to form as it were a skin of substance, fine and slight, it ought only to have come to the point of beginning to be material. It should be forever shooting out of the spiritual for a moment, becoming matter just to the extent of being materially perceptible, then again shooting back into the spiritual and being received up again into it.

A perpetual surging forth from the spiritual and shooting back into it again — that is what blood should have been. Its inherent tendencies are directed to this end. Blood was designed to be a perpetual flashing up of light in the material. It was really intended to be something entirely spiritual.

after this essential section is discussed:

  • how the I-consciousness would have been if there were no Luciferic infection - Part 1
  • the changes and impact of the Luciferic infection on blood
  • how the I-consciousness would have been if there were no Luciferic infection - Part 2

again SWCC:

[how the I-consciousness would have been if there were no Luciferic infection - Part 1]

.. if men had received their I from the Spirits of Form alone, they would experience their I through the resistance created by the momentary lighting up in the blood. In the lighting up in the blood man would experience the “I am”; it would be the organ for his I perception. That would, however, be the one and only sense perception which man would have had at all; the others would not be there if everything had happened without the Luciferic influence. Man would have lived in union together with the ruling Will. The single sense perception that was designed for man was this — in the flash of blood substance and in the immediate rush back into the spiritual, to perceive his I.

Instead of beholding colours and hearing tones and perceiving tastes man ought really to live within the ruling Will; he ought to be, as it were, swimming in it. What was designed for him was that from out of the spiritual World-All, into which he would be placed as a pure Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition, he should gaze down upon a being on the earth or in the environs of the earth — not feeling to himself: “I am in that being,” but: “I gaze down there — it belongs to me — the spiritual blood becomes for one moment material, and in what flashes up to me I perceive my I.” The one and only sense perception which should have come is the perception of the I or ego, and the one and only substance which was intended for man in the material world is the blood in this form of momentary flashing up. So that if man had become like this, if he had remained the man of Paradise, he would look down from the World-All upon that which was destined to symbolise him on this earth and to give him the consciousness of I, namely, a purely spiritual being consisting of Imaginations, Inspirations and Intuitions, within which the I shoots up in the attempt to break through. And in this flash man would be able to say: “I am, for through me has come into being that which is of me down below.”

It is strange but it is a fact. Man was intended to live in the environment of the earth. Suppose a man were living here (a) in the environment of the earth, then it was intended he should him-self produce on the earth his reflection, and only through this reaction ray back again his I, and then he would say: “There below is my sign.” It was not intended that man should carry round about with him his man of bones and his man of glands, etc. — still less that he should pronounce the grotesque verdict: “That is I.” It should have happened quite differently. Man should have lived in the environs of the earth planet, and sunk a sign and symbol into the earth in the flashing up of form in blood, and he should then have said to himself: “There I drive in my stake — my sign and my seal, which gives me the consciousness of my I. For what I have become, in that I have passed through Old Saturn, Old Sun and Old Moon existence — with that I can hover here outside in the World-All. It is the 'I' that I must now add; and the 'I' that I perceive by inscribing myself in the earth below, so that I can always read in the flashing of the blood what I am.” We were, therefore, not originally intended to walk the earth in bodies of flesh and bone as we do, but to circle around the earth and make records, as it were, down below from which we might recognise and know that we are that — that we are an 'I'. Whoever overlooks this fact has no true knowledge of the nature of man.

[changes and impact of the Luciferic infection on blood]

Then came Lucifer and brought it about for man that he should have not merely his I for sense perception, but that he should feel his astral body, too, as his I, all that he had acquired on the Moon as astral body — thinking, feeling and willing. The I was thus no longer pure, something else was mixed with it; and this led to the necessity for man to fall down into matter. The expulsion from Paradise is the fall into matter.

And immediately there followed the change in man's blood. For now instead of flashing up for a moment and then being received back again into spirituality, the blood becomes real blood substance; it drives right through and spurts up as blood substance. It receives the tendency to be as we know it today. And so this blood substance, which by rights should return into the spiritual in the very moment when it becomes material, now gushes up into the rest of man and fills his whole organisation, undergoing modification in accordance with the various forces in man. According, for example, as it penetrates into a preponderance of physical over etheric body or of etheric body over astral body, and so on, the blood turns into nerve substance, muscle substance, etc. Thus Lucifer compels blood to a greater materiality. Whereas blood has been designed to shoot up and immediately disappear again, Lucifer brought it into a coarse materiality. That is the one direct deed that Lucifer has performed in matter itself. He made blood into matter, whereas with other things he at least only brought disorder among them. Were it not for Lucifer blood would not be as it is at all, it would instead exist in a spirituality which comes only to the edge of materiality, only to the status nascendi, and then at once returns. Blood as matter is the creation of Lucifer, and since man has in blood a physical expression of the I, man's I is bound up here on earth with a creation of Lucifer.

And since again Ahriman is only able to approach man because Lucifer is there before him, we can say: Blood is what Lucifer has thrown down for Ahriman to catch. So that both have now an approach to man. Can we wonder that an ancient primal feeling makes Lucifer-Ahriman look upon blood as his earthly property? Can we wonder that he has his contracts written in blood, or that he attaches great value to Faust's signing the contract with his blood? For blood belongs entirely to Lucifer. Everything else holds in it something divine; with nothing else is he quite at home, even ink is for Lucifer more divine than blood; blood is precisely his element.

Man has these two beings in him, the man of senses, glands and digestion, and the man of nerve, muscle and bone. The corresponding forces of both are charged with a coarse materiality, and both are supplied with blood, in the form it has assumed through the action of the Luciferic influence. For it is quite obvious, even to external science, that man, in so far as he is a material being, is entirely a product of his blood. Everything in man that is material is nourished out of blood, it is really all transformed blood; from the point of view of matter, bones, nerves, muscles, glands are all of them nothing else than transformed blood. Man is actually blood, and as such he is a walking Lucifer-Ahriman. He carries Lucifer-Ahriman round with him all the time. It is by virtue of what is behind matter, and is poured into matter through the blood, that man belongs to the divine world and to a forward-moving evolution, not to an evolution that is a mere relic of the past. Lucifer — and Ahriman, too — came into our world through remaining behind at particular stages of evolution.

[how the I-consciousness would have been if there were no Luciferic infection - Part 2]

Bearing in mind all we have said, we can see quite clearly how at the very beginning of earth evolution men had something in common, something that united them. They had from the first in their blood something that was common to them all. For if the blood had remained as it was designed to be for man it would have been a pure emanation of the Spirits of Form. In the blood the Spirits of Form would live in us. These Spirits of Form are none other than the seven Elohim of the Bible.

Remember all that was said in the Munich cycle of lectures on Genesis (GA122), and you will see that if man had kept his blood in the state it originally was to have had, he would feel in him the seven Elohim; that is to say, he would feel his I in him as seven-membered. One of its members would be the chief and would correspond to Jahve or Jehovah, and the other six would, to begin with, be subordinate for man. This seven-foldness that man would feel in his I, as it were, a surging up within him of each of the seven Elohim or Spirits of Form, would have produced originally and spontaneously in him the sevenfold nature that we now have to acquire with so great toil and trouble.

Because his blood has been tainted by Lucifer, therefore man has to wait so long; he has to wait until he has sent forth sufficient outstreamings of Intuitive and Inspired and Imaginative substance from nerves, muscles and bones for him to be ripe to receive once again this sevenfold nature into himself. As yet we have only come so far as to count up in an abstract manner as follows: the nature of man as it plays into the I from physical body, and from etheric body, as it plays in from astral body, and from the very self of man — Jahve or Jehovah — and from Manas or Spirit Self; the nature of man as it plays in from Budhi or Life Spirit, and from Atma or Spirit Man. But man would never have been able to effect this specific darkening of the six other members and this outstanding illumination of the one, the I, had not authority been given to Lucifer to interfere in the course of evolution. The real cause why at the beginning of earth evolution the other members suffered a darkening, while the I grew particularly bright and was made to shine with a light-filled 'I'-ness — was that the I was hurried into dense matter, so that it was able to come to a clear consciousness of its individuality, of its particular single individuality, whereas it would otherwise all along have felt its sevenfoldness.

Thus we see on the one hand that if man's blood had remained as it was he would have come to an I that would from the outset have had a sevenfold character. Through Lucifer having been given him, man has come, however, to an I that is single and unitary in character, he has come to feel and know his I as the centre of his being. We can therefore understand how the blood in its originally intended form contains something that could work in a social direction, that could bring men together, so that they might feel themselves to be one common race of humanity. This would have been so if the seven Elohim had come to revelation in the human I's, as it was intended they should in the beginning. Lucifer's gift to man has meant that man feels himself as a particular individuality and cuts himself off in his self-dependence from the common race of mankind. The world process takes its course on earth in such a way that through the working of Lucifer man is inclined to become more and more independent, whilst through the working of the seven Elohim he is inclined more and more to feel himself a member and part of the whole of humanity.

Link with meteor showers and cosmic or Michaelic iron in blood to drive out fear and anxiety


1923-10-05-GA229 (SWCC)

.. the August meteor showers stream down into the human shining in the astral light .. trigger a change that occurs in the human blood.

This human blood is in truth not such a material thing as present-day science imagines, but is permeated throughout by impulses from soul and spirit, is rayed through by the force which is carried as iron into the blood and wages war there on anxiety, fear and hate.

The processes which are set going in every blood-corpuscle when the force of iron shoots into it are the same, on a minute human scale, as those which take place when meteors fall in a shining stream through the air. This permeation of human blood by the anxiety-dispelling force of iron is a meteoric activity. The effect of the raying in of the iron is to drive fear and anxiety out of the blood.

And so, as the gods with their meteors wage war on the spirit who would like to radiate fear over all the earth through his coiling serpent-form, and while they cause iron to stream radiantly into this fear-tainted atmosphere, which reaches its peak when autumn approaches or when summer wanes — so the same process occurs inwardly in man, when his blood is permeated with iron.

.. then millions of tiny meteors are scintillating inwardly in their blood.

or a longer extract:

And when in high summer, from a particular constellation, meteors fall in great showers of cosmic iron, then this cosmic iron, which carries an enormously powerful healing force, is the weapon which the gods bring to bear against Ahriman, as dragon-like he tries to coil round the shining forms of men. The force which falls on the earth in the meteoric iron is indeed a cosmic force whereby the higher gods endeavour to gain a victory over the Ahrimanic powers, when autumn comes on. And this majestic display in cosmic space, when the August meteor showers stream down into the human shining in the astral light, has its counterpart — so gentle and apparently so small — in a change that occurs in the human blood. This human blood, which is in truth not such a material thing as present-day science imagines, but is permeated throughout by impulses from soul and spirit, is rayed through by the force which is carried as iron into the blood and wages war there on anxiety, fear and hate. The processes which are set going in every blood-corpuscle when the force of iron shoots into it are the same, on a minute human scale, as those which take place when meteors fall in a shining stream through the air. This permeation of human blood by the anxiety-dispelling force of iron is a meteoric activity. The effect of the raying in of the iron is to drive fear and anxiety out of the blood.

And so, as the gods with their meteors wage war on the spirit who would like to radiate fear over all the earth through his coiling serpent-form, and while they cause iron to stream radiantly into this fear-tainted atmosphere, which reaches its peak when autumn approaches or when summer wanes — so the same process occurs inwardly in man, when his blood is permeated with iron. We can understand these things only if we understand their inner spiritual significance on the one hand, and if on the other we recognise how the sulphur-process and the iron-process in man are connected with corresponding events in the cosmos.

A man who looks out into space and sees a shooting-star should say to himself, with reverence for the gods: “That occurrence in the great expanse of space has its minute counterpart continuously in myself. There are the shooting-stars, while in every one of my blood-corpuscles iron is taking form: my life is full of shooting-stars, miniature shooting-stars.” And this inner fall of shooting-stars, pointing to the life of the blood, is especially important when autumn approaches, when the sulphur-process is at its peak. For when men are shining like glow-worms in the way I have described, then the counter-force is present also, for millions of tiny meteors are scintillating inwardly in their blood.

This is the connection between the inner man and the universe. And then we can see how, especially when autumn is approaching, there is a great raying-out of sulphur from the nerve-system towards the brain. The whole man can then be seen as a sulphur-illuminated phantom, so to speak. But raying into this bluish-yellow sulphur atmosphere come the meteor swarms from the blood. That is the other phantom. While the sulphur-phantom rises in clouds from the lower part of man towards his head, the iron-forming process rays out from his head and pours itself like a stream of meteors into the life of the blood.

Such is man, when Michaelmas draws near. And he must learn to make conscious use of the meteoric-force in his blood. He must learn to keep the Michael Festival by making it a festival for the conquest of anxiety and fear; a festival of inner strength and initiative; a festival for the commemoration of selfless self-consciousness.

...

During the last three or four centuries we have developed a magnificent natural science and a far-reaching technology, based on the most widely-distributed material to be found on earth. We have learnt to make out of iron nearly all the most essential and important things produced by mankind in a materialistic age. In our locomotives, our factories, on all sides we see how we have built up this whole material civilisation on iron, or on steel, which is only iron transformed. And all the uses to which iron is put are a symbolic indication of how we have built our whole life and outlook out of matter and want to go on doing so. But that is a downward-leading path. Man can rescue himself from its impending dangers only if he starts to spiritualise life in this very domain, if he penetrates through his environment to the spiritual; if he turns from the iron which is used for making engines and looks up again to the meteoric iron which showers down from the cosmos to the earth and is the outer material from which the power of Michael is forged. Men must come to see the great significance of the following words: “Here on earth, in this epoch of materialism, you have made use of iron, in accordance with the insight gained from your observation of matter. Now, just as you must transform your vision of matter through the development of natural science into Spiritual Science, so must you rise from your former idea of iron to a perception of meteoric iron, the iron of Michael's sword. Then healing will come from what you can make of it.” This is the content of the aphorism:

   O Man,

You mould it (iron) to your service,

You reveal it (iron) according to the value of its substance

   In many of your works.

Yet it will bring you healing

Only when it reveals to you

   The lofty power of its spirit.

That is, the lofty power of Michael, with the sword he has welded together in cosmic space out of meteoric iron. Healing will come when our material civilisation proves capable of spiritualising the power of iron into the power of Michael-iron, which gives man self-consciousness in place of mere nature-consciousness.

1923-10-15-GA229 (SWCC)

Now man is a microcosm and everything that manifests in the great world outside in gigantic and majestic phenomena such as the phenomena of meteors, manifests also within, in the inward nature of Man as physical being - which is only a manifestation of his spiritual being.

  • And so in a certain way we bear within ourselves, starting from the animal lower nature, the sulphurous element. We must say to ourselves: this sulphurous Ahrimanic element storms through the human organism, stirs up his desire-nature, stirs up his emotions. We feel it within us; we behold it at high summer-time in the cosmic desire-covering above our heads.
  • But we also behold how into this over-arching cosmic desire-covering there shoot the iron arrows of the meteoric phenomena, cleansing and clarifying it, acting as an opposite pole to the animal-like desire-nature. For through this shooting in of the meteoric iron arrows from the cosmos, the animal desire-covering of high summer time above us is purified. And what takes place in majesty and grandeur out there in the great cosmos, goes on continually also in us.

We produce tiny iron particles in our blood, in combination with other substances, and while, on the one hand, there pulses through our blood the sulphurising process, there works against it inwardly, meteorically, as the other pole, the iron inside us, bringing about the same process as is effected outside in the cosmos by the meteoric iron. We can then so picture man's relationship to the cosmos that in the flashing meteoric element we find the cosmic counterpart of what within us is a million upon million-fold flashing forth of the meteoric element that sets us free by means of the iron in our blood, cleansing and clarifying us from the sulphurising process which is also active in the blood itself.

... Man must learn to experience this meteoric shag of the blood-iron into the blood-sulphur as freedom, or initiative, as the strength of his will.

The blood of Christ at Golgotha, and the purity of the blood

1909-04-15-GA266/1 - notes from memory by Mathilde Scholl:

Hate is the most extreme expression of the I. And where is the I to be found? In the blood. Even our physical blood undergoes a change when this gate, this hardening process of the I, this becoming wooden, is transformed into love. If chemists only had sufficiently fine instruments they could detect the difference in the blood of, say, an ancient Indian and a Francis of Assisi. This spiritualization is expressed even in the physical. In the blood that flowed for humankind at Golgotha we have a symbol of 'hatelessness' through which we are able to transform every feeling of hate into love.

1914-02-10-GA148 (SWCC) mentions the etheric nature of the blood at Golgotha and how the etheric tableau of Man after death is affected by these forces

.. the part played by the blood in the physical body of Christ Jesus. The blood is one of the physical components of the body, and in the case of an ordinary human being it dissolves away at death in the physical Elements. This did not happen to that part of the blood in the body of Christ Jesus which flowed from the wounds on Golgotha. This blood was ‘etherised’, was actually taken up into the etheric forces of the Earth. The blood that flowed from the wounds on Golgotha became Ether-Substance. And perceiving this Ether-Substance gleaming and glistening in the ether-body after death, man knows it to be the young, fertile life by which he is borne onwards into the future.

These quickening, freshening life-forces pour into the human ether-body from yet another source. The Fifth Gospel reveals that after the body of Christ Jesus had been laid in the Grave, an undulating earthquake produced a rift in the earth into which the body of Christ Jesus fell. The rift then closed again, and as described in the Gospel of St. John: the clothes lay scattered around the empty Grave, hurled about the empty sepulchre by the tempest.

This is what flows into the human ether body: What had been received into the rift in the earth poured through the blood now agleam in the Ether, making this gleaming blood visible in the human ether-body. The ether-body expands after death and man sees it as a ‘firmament’ against which everything else stands out in relief. And the feeling arises: The body of Christ Jesus, empty of blood, spreads through the expanding ether-body like a basic substance. The body which had fallen into the chasm passed into the Earth, and the etherised blood now reveals itself in the tableau of the human ether-body, filling the tableau with life. And from this revelation arises the certainty: Mankind does not perish, but lives on as the spiritual essence of Earth-existence when the Earth falls away, just as the corpse falls away from the indwelling spiritual being on man. True, the ‘I’ and astral body guarantee freedom and immortality for man; but he would live on only for himself, he would pass over to Future Jupiter only to find himself in an alien world if the forces poured by the Christ Impulse into the Earth-sphere were not carried over to Future Jupiter.

Various other

To put 'blood is a special fluid' in another perspective:

Helena Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled (1877), Ch 11 p 565 comments on 'The sacrifice of blood interpreted' (with sub topics 'magical properties of blood'). This coverage is not relevant to our topic here, but more about the use of blood in initiation rites and blood sacrifice in religious and evocation rites.

The following is just a short extract, for the stories and examples re the original text.

Every initiate of the "last hour" became, by the very fact of his initiation, a son of God. When Maxime, the Ephesian, initiated the Emperor Julian into the Mithraic Mysteries, he pronounced as the usual formula of the rite, the following:

"By this blood, I wash thee from thy sins. The Word of the Highest has entered unto thee, and His Spirit henceforth will rest upon the newly-born, the now-begotten of the Highest God. . . . Thou art the son of Mithra."

Blood begets phantoms, and its emanations furnish certain spirits with the materials required to fashion their temporary appearances.

  • "Blood," says Levi, "is the first incarnation of the universal fluid; it is the materialized vital light. Its birth is the most marvellous of all nature's marvels; it lives only by perpetually transforming itself, for it is the universal Proteus. The blood issues from principles where there was none of it before, and it becomes flesh, bones, hair, nails . . . tears, and perspiration. It can be allied neither to corruption nor death; when life is gone, it begins decomposing; if you know how to reanimate it, to infuse into it life by a new magnetization of its globules, life will return to it again. The universal substance, with its double motion, is the great arcanum of being; blood is the great arcanum of life."
  • "Blood," says the Hindu Ramatsariar, "contains all the mysterious secrets of existence, no living being can exist without. It is profaning the great work of the Creator to eat blood."
  • In his turn Moses, following the universal and traditional law, forbids eating blood.
  • Paracelsus writes that with the fumes of blood one is enabled to call forth any spirit we desire to see; for with its emanations it will build itself an appearance, a visible body — only this is sorcery.

Discussion

The 1911-12-31-GA134 quote above can be directly connected with the fact that Christ worked on the blood of Jesus purifying it during the three years, see the Mystery of silver.

Related pages

References and further reading