The heart's two blood circuits

From Anthroposophy

In the human heart, two blood circuits meet, a minor and major blood circuit. The rhythmic heart and lungs mediate between these two circuits:

  • the minor circulation connects with the brain and nervous system (sensory impressions)
  • the major with the organs and metabolic system (food stuff)

The lungs are intermediate between the oxygen (inhalation) and carbon-dioxide (exhalation) in the blood (see Schema FMC00.157 below)

Aspects

  • the layout of the two blood circuits and the four heart chambers can be mapped to the spiritual streams around the Sun, see Schema FMC00.034 and the Discussion note: Sun#.5B1.5D - About Schema FMC00.034
  • through the two blood streams, the heart merges both impressions from the senses, and mineral impressions from the metabolic systems. In the Holy Grail, this concept is covered on the Ganganda Greida page, see Schema FMC00.354 (also explained on Kundalini)
  • on the fourth apocalyptic seal - see Schema FMC00.228 below - the red oxygen-rich blood and blue carbon-dioxide-rich blood are represented in the two pillars labelled J and B where they represent the trees of Knowledge (blue blood, death, B) and the tree of Life (red blood, J) - see more on Golden legend

Inspirational quote

Rudolf Steiner:

The Christ mystery is the revelation of the great miracle that takes place between the heart and the lungs. The cosmos becomes the human being and the human being becomes the cosmos.

The Sun carries the human being out of the cosmos and onto the Earth. The Moon carries the human being from the Earth into the cosmos. In larger terms, what streams from the lungs to the heart is the human correlate of the descent of Christ onto the Earth; what moves from the heart to the lungs is the human correlate of the human being carried into the spirit world by the Christ impulse after death.

Thus the secret of Golgotha lives between the heart and the lungs in each human being, in a very human, organ-related sense.

For a commentary, see Note [1] in Discussion area below.

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.034: Note that the form layout of the heart with the two circuits (see drawing right) can be mapped to the Earth between Sun and Moon (see middle drawing). This relates to the two etheric streams represented by Sun and Moon (see also Emerald Table).

FMC00.034.jpg


Compare the above with the notebook entry lower right of FMC00.339A on Rudolf Steiner's Gesamtausgabe (GA).

See also Discussion note Sun#.5B1.5D - About Schema FMC00.034

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Schema FMC00.180 (from Olive Whicher) shows an etheric perspective on the heart (left), connecting it with the image of 'Man as an inverted plant' (right - see also Schema FMC00.110 on Man as a threefold being ). The middle drawing represents the area between two focal points with the heart above and the brain below. See more on: Etherization of the blood

Schema FMC00.034B shows the symbolism of the form in the layout of the first Goetheanum in Dornach

FMC00.034b.jpg


Schema FMC00.157 illustrates the blood circulation through the upper four organs (Holtzapfel, see also Spiritual scientific physiology)

Schema FMC00.228 shows on the left, the fourth apocalyptic seal with the two pillars J and B representing (red and blue) the Trees of Knowledge and Life. The blue tree clearly knowledge with the linked book and standing on physical earthly ground, the red tree clearly upstreaming life. Two pillars supporting earth’s development: Jupiter and Mercury, Old Sun and Moon, Strength and Wisdom.

See 1907-10-GA284 about the pictures of the apocalyptic seals and columns (as well as more references in that volume GA284 about the symbolic meaning of the colours blue and red in 1911-10-15-GA284, and more).

On the right, a Freemason Rosicrucian illustration dated 1779 (taken from 'The Freemason by Eugen Lennhoff, published 1913). See also the alchemical symbols of earth below B, and air below J

FMC00.228.jpg

Lecture references

1911-03-21-GA128
1914-07-05-GA286

is the reference for the spiritual streams around the four chambers of the spiritual Sun, see Sun#1914-07-05-GA286

1923-09-14-GA228:

The form also corresponds to the layout of the Goetheanum and the Druid stone circles near Penmaenmawr in Wales, as Rudolf Steiner points out in when describing the particular geographical qualities of a specific location and the astral atmosphere in 1923-09-14-GA228:

You come to realize how these old Druids chose for their most important cult-centers, just such places in which the spiritual as it approaches mankind, expresses itself to some extent in the quality of the place. Those Druid circles we visited — well, if we had gone up on a balloon and looked down from above on the larger and the smaller circles, for though they are some distance apart you would not notice that when you are a certain height above them — the circles would have appeared like the ground-plan of the Goetheanum which has been destroyed by fire.

Olive Whicher goes into this in her book 'Sunspace'.

For more on the Legend of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, see 1915-12-27-GA165 (and 1915-12-18 and 1915-05-30 and more in GA165), 1905-05-29-GA093.

Discussion

[1] - Commentary on quote: "the secret of the MoG takes takes place between the heart and the lungs"

Once again the full quote:

Blood in the heart, striving toward the breath in the lungs, is humanity's striving for the cosmos.

The breath in the lungs, striving toward the blood in the heart, is the cosmos forgiv­ing humanity.

Blood striving for the heart is the refined process of dying. The blood, carrying carbon dioxide out of the body, is portraying the refined process of dying.

The human being streams into the cosmos on an ongoing basis in the flow of the blood. This is an event that shapes itself radically after death by seizing the entire physical being through the blood....

The Christ mystery is the revelation of the great miracle that takes place between the heart and the lungs. The cosmos becomes the human being and the human being becomes the cosmos.

  • The Sun carries the human being out of the cosmos and onto the Earth.
  • The Moon carries the human being from the Earth into the cosmos.

In larger terms,

  • what streams from the lungs to the heart is the human correlate of the descent of Christ onto the Earth;
  • what moves from the heart to the lungs is the human correlate of the human being carried into the spirit world by the Christ impulse after death.

Thus the secret of Golgotha lives between the heart and the lungs in each human being, in a very human, organ-related sense.

Consider Schema FMC00.034 to 'read' the above, maybe the few lines can help your contemplation: Man - Earth - lungs, Christ - sun - heart.

  • 'the sun carries Man from cosmos to Earth' means that the major blood circuit allows Man to function on earth thanks to cosmic influences and metabolic transmutation that are circulated in that major circuit.
  • 'The moon carries Man from earth to cosmos' means that the minor circulation carries the sense impressions, and through living Man participates on earth and matter disappears in the brain and these fruits of Man's life will ultimately be brought to the cosmos.
  • 'What streams from lungs to heart is descent of Christ to earth' means that Man breathes in, with fine breathing, the higher ethers.
  • 'What moves from heart to lungs is like Man's return to spirit world after death through Christ impulse' is the out-breathing whereby Man is returned to the spirit world with all fruits of his life, but now in the image of a single breath or the breathing process.

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Wolfgang Schad
    • 'Dynamische Morphologie von Herz und Kreislauf' (Goetheanistische Naturwissenschaft Band 4 Anthropologie, 1985, Seite 190–206)
  • Olive Whicher: 'Sunspace'