The human heart

From Anthroposophy

The human heart plays a central role in Man and a deep understanding is required both for understanding of Man, as for the Christ Impulse.

Study can shed take various perspectives and shed light on:


Schema FMC00.279 depicts - on the right - the statement from 1906-09-20-GA091 - see Mystery of the heart. The heart is the center of Man where the twelve zodiacal flows stream in, and they stream out through the head similar as with Earth. On the right, an illustration of the etheric (prana) streams taken from Dr. Stone's polarity theory, and a comparative illustration of Earth's outstreaming on the pole.

See also: etherization of blood and the Damming up between heart and brain


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 also: Etherization of the blood


Lecture coverage and references

The heart is not a pump


Here Rudolf Steiner speaks of the former inner, dynamic connection between the human etheric head and the physical head which still existed during the period when Greek culture was at its prime. This extract is taken from Kirchner-Bockholt 'Rudolf Steiner's mission and Ita Wegman.

Since the third century B.C. the inner connection between the etheric head of man and the physical head has come to an end. But a close inner connection was always preserved between man's physical heart and his etheric heart. Since the year 1721, however, this connection has been progressively loosened. . . . By the year 2100, approximately, man's physical heart will have been entirely freed from its etheric part.

[As time goes on, something similar happens in the case of other organs. The disconnection of the heart]

"has a very significant result in man's evolution".

[The increasing scienti­fic materialism is mentioned in connection with the processes taking place in man's organic system. As long as the natural connection existed, a relation to spiritual worlds and the spiritual forces behind Nature was always maintained. What had formerly been a natural endowment must today be sought for along different paths.]

This etheric heart that has been released from the physical heart will acquire its true relation­ship to the spiritual world if the individual concerned seeks for spiritual know­ledge, for spiritual thoughts with an anthroposophical orientation.

[Belief by itself,]

which will develop only a naïve relationship of feeling to the spiritual world—such belief materialises the heart of humanity, leads to material­istic culture in a domain usually unrecognised.


This belief must be saturated and spiritualised by authentic conceptions of the spiritual world and it is an Ahrimanic trick to instil into people in the epoch of confusion : do not ever try to develop vision of the spiritual world but keep to belief.


Related pages

References and further reading

  • Ehrenfried Pfeiffer 'The Heart Lectures' - see more on The human heart as a future organ
  • Heinz Herbert Schoeffler: 'Die Zeitgestalt des Herzens' (1973-75)
  • Peter Selg: 'The mystery of the heart' (2012)