The Heart is Not a Pump

We wanted to salute the great work of the Anthroposophist Ralph Marinelli who was credited with establishing the fact that the heart is not a pump.
Together with John Barnwell and others, Ralph accomplished the task Rudolf Steiner had given to his followers who wanted to know how to help Waldorf education spread to a greater audience – “prove that the heart is not a pump.”
Ralph Marinelli, John Barnwell, Douglas Gabriel, and others worked in the eighties to try to find a way to prove that the heart is not a mechanical pump but, in fact, acts like a biological vortex momentum booster that works with the “draw” (suction) of the circulation of the blood, especially from the peripheral capillary dynamics.
We begin our tribute to Ralph Marinelli by showing you a video entitled the Helical Heart to give you an overview on the amazing discoveries of the heart that have taken place over the last few years.
Next we offer you three videos to share our memories of Ralph and to recall the process that led to this most important discovery. John also shares an imagination of how the heart and kidneys work together in the human body and human consciousness. Douglas shares, in the third video, an imagination of the cosmic place of the heart in the universe and human development.
To read Ralph Marinelli’s ground breaking paper on the heart, please see

The Heart is Not a Pump: A Refutation of the Pressure Propulsion Premise of Heart Function

The Helical Heart


In this video, Douglas explains the backstory of how Ralph Marinelli began researching the heart from indications given by Rudolf Steiner.

The Heart is Not a Pump

Douglas Gabriel and John Barnwell explain how they worked with Ralph Marinelli and many surgeons and physicians over several years to test Steiner’s indications that the heart is not a pump.

Discovering the Heart with Ralph Marinelli

Douglas Gabriel presents a spiritual picture of the nature of the human heart and its relationship to the world and the cosmos. The key position of the heart in spiritual teachings makes it the “holy grail” of consciousness.

Mysteries of the Heart


Douglas refers to several items that may interest you at this point. The topics and links are listed below.

The Etherization of the Blood

Ascension Sacraments for the Cosmic and Earthly Nutrition Stream

The Gospel of Sophia: A Modern Path of Initiation

The Eternal Ethers: A Theory of Everything


If you are ready to explore the true nature of the cosmos, we recommend our post:



This tribute is also available in a flyer here. The Heart is Not a Pump