The Human Heart is a Supersensible Organ of Perception
By Douglas Gabriel
Chapter Five: Rudolf Steiner on the Human Heart
“The heart is not a pump; the heart is an organ of perception.”Rudolf Steiner
The greatest authority on the human heart, both old and new, is Rudolf Steiner. There is no end to the wisdom Steiner has shared with his Anthroposophical Society about the human heart. Everything stated in the article above is found in seed-form in the Steiner passages below. We have already presented a variety of summaries of some of Steiner’s ideas above; now it is time to hear these ideas from the source.
We have highlighted these passages to bring to the reader’s attention new elements that build on the previous “Anthroposophically Illuminated” remarks and moves the narrative forward. From education to medicine, agriculture to human development, Steiner shed light on the human heart that brings forward ancient wisdom in a new form of spiritual science. We have classified the selections according to general topics for organizational purposes only.
The Heart as a Supersensible Organ of Perception
Course for Young Doctors, January, 1924, GA 316
“The heart is a sense organ of a different kind. The heart is a sense organ for perceiving the inner being of man. I have often said that it is nonsense to regard the heart as a kind of pump which drives the blood through the arteries. The movement of the blood is the result of the activity of the ego and astral body, and the heart is merely a sense organ which perceives the circulation, particularly the circulation from the lower to the upper man. The task of the heart is to see how astral body and ego are working on the human being. Therefore, the heart is an entirely spiritual sense organ.”
Rudolf Steiner, source unknown
The senses are nothing other than differentiated breathing organs. Eye, ear – all are refined breathing organs. Breathing expands to all the senses. As it lives in the lung, it lives in the eye. Except that in the lungs it combines with carbon, and in the ears with highly rarefied silica. Carbon dioxide is formed in the organism. In the senses, very fine silicic acid is formed.
Man lives downward by converting oxygen to carbon dioxide. He lives upward into the zone of his sense-nervous system by combining oxygen with silica, forming very fine silicic acid. So we live in a way that when breath turns to blood, it generates carbon dioxide; when breath passes around the senses it generates silicic acid – downward and outward through breath: carbon dioxide; toward the senses and back from the senses to the breathing process in very fine doses of silicic acid.
Spiritual Science and Medicine, Lecture II, March 22, 1920, GA 312
“The heart originates as a ‘damming up’ organ between the lower activities of the organism, the intake and working up of food, and the upper activities, the lowest of which is the respiratory. A damming up organ is inserted and its action is therefore a product of the interplay between the liquefied foodstuffs and the air absorbed from the outside. All that can be observed in the heart must be looked upon as an effect, not a cause, as a mechanical effect, to begin with.
The heart is a sense organ, and even if its sensory function is not directly present in consciousness, if its processes are subconscious, nevertheless it serves to enable the ‘upper’ activities to feel and perceive the ‘lower.’ As you perceive external colors through your eyes, so do you perceive, dimly and subconsciously through your heart, what goes on in the lower abdomen. The heart is an organ for inner perception.
The heart is primarily that organ whose perceptible motion expresses the equilibrium between the upper and lower processes; in relation to them it is the perceptive organ that mediates between these two poles of the total human organization.”
The Heart is Not a Pump
Seven Lectures to Workmen, Lecture 3, June 6, 1923, GA 350
“The function of the heart is not to pump blood through the body. It is a sensory organ. Through the heart’s activity the head can perceive the entire blood circulation. The pulsebeat is a barometer for health or illness. But the pulsebeat is also nothing other than the movement of the blood.”
Theosophy of the Rosicrucians, Lecture 13, London, GA 99
“The feelings of the soul are the initiating force behind the movement of the blood. The soul drives the blood and the heart moves, because it, in turn, is driven by the blood. The heart is set in motion by the movement caused by hunger for breath or hunger for nourishment.”
Esoteric Development, 1923, GA 84
“The heart is not a pump; the heart is the organ of perception. Through it, one perceives what the spiritual and soul forces develop in the blood, as one perceives the outer world through the outer senses. The heart is actually the inner organ of perception, by means of which the head perceives everything that takes place in the body. The movement of the blood takes place via the ‘I’ and astral body. The heart is given to see how the astral body and the ‘I’ work in the human being. The heart is thus an entirely spiritual organ of perception.”
Spiritual Science and Medicine, Lecture VIII, March 27, 1920, GA 312
“The two processes of breathing and blood formation meet again in the human heart itself. The whole outside world (including man) appears as a duality that is dammed up in the heart, and in it strives for a kind of equilibrium.
Outside in the world there is an analysis, a scattering, of all that is gathered together in the heart. If I look into my own heart, I find, as it were, the inverted heaven, the polar opposite. On the one hand you have the periphery, the point extended to infinity, on the other you have the heart, which is the infinite circle concentrated to a point. The whole world is within our heart.
All that happens in the moral life, and all that happens physically in the world are found in their real union when we learn to understand all the configurations of the human heart.
In our time there are certain changes taking place in the heart, by which gradually a fifth chamber will develop. In this fifth chamber man will have a new organ which will allow him to control life forces in a different way than is possible at the moment.”
The Effects of Esoteric Development, March, 1913, GA 145
“All of these are connected with the inner forces of the blood circulation, working upon the human heart: the sun forces received by the earth in its solid basic substances; everything the earth receives in its hulls of air and water, and in the changing ration of warmth; everything it receives into the light flooding the earth; everything it receives that is not in any way physically perceptible, such as the earth’s portion of the harmony of the spheres; and everything it receives as life forces that come directly from the sun. Essentially, all of these forces work on the circulation of the blood and from there, they work upon the heart.
The external theory would have us consider the heart to be a pump that pumps blood through the body, so that we would have to see the heart as the organ that regulates the circulation of the blood. The opposite is true. The circulation of the blood is the original source, and a resonance of its motion is seen in the movement of heart. The blood drives the heart, not the opposite. However, this entire organism I have described, which is focused on the activity of the heart, is nothing other than a microcosmic human reflection of the macrocosmic effects of the sun upon the earth. What the earth receives from the sun is reflected in the way the heart is affected by the blood.
So, what takes place in our brain corresponds to activities lying outside the forces which find their microcosmic human reflection in our heart. Sun dwells in the human heart; what is present in the cosmos beyond the sun dwells in the human brain. In fact, in the circulation of the blood and the activity of the heart are a reflection of the hidden forces of the solar system, and in the processes of his brain which he then sees spiritually from without, the secrets of the cosmos.
Through his brain man belongs to the whole stellar universe; through his heart and everything connected with it he belongs to the sun; through his digestive system and everything associated with it he is, in another sense, a terrestrial being.
It is only the most noble part of the brain that must be nourished by the most perfect union of sensory perceptions and the finest mineral extract. The legend of the Holy Grail tells us that miraculous food, prepared from the finest activities of the sense-impressions and the finest activities of the mineral extracts, whose purpose is to nourish the noblest part of man throughout his life on earth; for all other nourishment would kill him. It is this celestial food which the vessel of the Holy Grail contains. The legend of the Holy Grail is an occult experience which everyone can experience every evening.”
From Mammoths to Mediums, June 6 , 1923, GA 350
“My whole body hungers for oxygen. Because it develops this hunger for oxygen, the instinct arises to get all the blood moving, for the blood has to have oxygen. Using its astral body, the physical body sends the blood to a place where it can get oxygen. Blood grabs the food for itself. All this, the hunger for air, the hunger for food, sets the blood in motion. It is the blood which moves in the first place, and the blood takes the heart along with it. And so it is not the heart which pumps the blood through the body, but the blood moves because of its hunger for air, hunger for food, and this moves the heart. We therefore have to say that it is the invisible human being in us which moves the heart.
The heart is not a pump, for the heart is moved by our astral body. We also move our heart with our ‘I.’ If I want to look inside, at the blood circulation, I see my heart. The heart does not exist to pump blood through the body; it is a sense organ which perceives everything, just as the whole of the head does. The movements of the whole human being are perceived by the heart. It is this which sets the heart in motion. The movements caused by the hunger for air and the hunger for food set the heart in motion. And the movements of the heart show you if something is out of order in the body or if it is in order.
The pulse beat truly is a barometer for the whole state of health and sickness. The pulse beat is nothing but the movement of the blood, however. The head is all the time doing what we do when we feel the pulse of a sick person. It is continually sensing the whole blood circulation and it does so through the heart. And indeed, the head senses everything that goes on in the body, doing so through the heart. We can therefore only understand what the heart really is if we know that it is in fact the inner sense organ through which the head perceives everything that is going on in the body.
With regard to the influences on the heart, we certainly have a relationship to the movements of cosmic bodies, especially the moon. If you make your heart such that you look at your blood circulation through your body, as it were, and do not have inner sensation of the heart, nor of your pulse beat, but through them, if you learn to through yourselves – then gentlemen, you will see not just the blood circulation but you’ll see the whole movement of the moon, everything the moon does, and you’ll see how the moon relates to the sun. And you will then see the relationship which the heart has to sun and moon.
First, we have to understand that the heart is not mechanical but takes its orientation from the human being. Then people will also find the basic principles for external machines, making them such that they take their orientation from the human being. But in a science which has so much taken the easy way that the heart is described as if the human being had just a pump there in the blood circulation, in such a science people will feel no compunction to make machines where the human being has to take his orientation from the machine. All the problems in our social situation are due to this wrong view that is taken in science. And so one really has to understand that a proper way of thinking must first of all come upon people, for only then will it be possible to begin a proper social life. For as long as people think the heart is a pump, they will also not be able to relate to outer life in the right way. It is only when people know that the invisible human being is greater than his heart, that it is he who moves the heart, that they will also design their machines to be in accord with human nature.
We have to have the right amount of iron in the blood, otherwise we don’t do well. Blood is connected with the influences that come from Mars also. Mars, which always moves and stimulates the blood activity in us. This is because of its relationship to iron. Mars we thus see as a body that is all the time growing radiant inside.
If a person lives to an age of about 72 years they will have lived 25,920 days. Every day, from one sunrise to the next, a person takes about 25,920 breaths. We take as many breathes in a day as the earth does in the whole of our life. Human beings breathe in such a way that the blood needs the breath. The blood is produced in the belly, and the abdomen therefore wants to breathe that quickly. But the head really wants to slow the breath down, make it much slower. We are therefore able to say the head is really doing cosmic breathing; only the breathing from the body is all the time rushing up to the head, fast, and the breathing then goes slowly from the head to the body. The human being takes in the whole world in the breathing process.
People with low blood pressure grow extremely weak, tired, pale, and their digestion suffers severely. They grow feeble inside and do not properly manage to perform their bodily functions, and so they will go into a gradual decline and become sick. We have to realize that the astral body is an invisible body in us and it lives in the pressure we have in us, in the blood pressure. The astral body always has to have the right blood pressure so that it may spread out. The astral body is healthy when our blood pressure is right. Low blood pressure means that the astral body and the I do not enter sufficiently into the physical body, whilst high blood pressure means that the astral body and the I enter too deeply into the physical body.
The astral body determines whether you age early or late. We live too fast when the blood pressure is high. Growing old has to do with the organs growing more and more calcified. If the blood pressure is too high, the sensitive organs will calcify too soon.
Inner gladness, deep interest, is what we need for the life of the mind and spirit. And when people are full of interest, the blood which has grown to heavy – the blood has grown too heavy in everyone today – will grow lighter again.”
Therapeutic Insights: Earthly and Cosmic Laws, Lecture IV, July 2, 1921, GA 205
“The heart has nothing whatsoever to do with pumping the blood; rather the blood is set into activity by the entire mobility of the astral body, of the I, and the heart is only a reflection of these movements. The movement of the blood is an autonomous movement, and the heart only brings to expression the movement of the blood caused by these forces.
Something is reflected from the surface of the heart that is no longer merely a matter of habit or memory but is life that is already spiritualized when it reaches the outer surface of the heart. For what is thrown back from the heart are the pangs of conscience. This is to be considered, I would like to say, entirely from the physical aspect: the pangs of conscience that radiate into our consciousness are what is reflected by the heart from our experiences.
If we look into the inner aspect of the heart, however, we see gathered there, forces that also stem from the entire metabolic-limb organism, and because what is connected with the heart, with the heart forces, is spiritualized, within it is also spiritualized that which is connected with our outer life, with our deeds.
The forces thus prepared within the heart are the karmic tendencies, they are the tendencies of karma. The heart is the organ which, through mediation of the metabolic-limb system, carries what we understand as karma into the next incarnation. If you look into the inner aspect of your hearts, you can perceive quite well what you will do in your next life. We can actually point directly to the vessel in which resides the karma of the following incarnations.
The heart system as an organ is connected with the warmth element; it is formed entirely out of the warmth element. This element, therefore, which is the most spiritual, is also the one that takes up the inclination for karma into these exceptionally fine warmth structures that we have in the warmth organism of breathing and circulation.”
Mysteries of the Human Heart
The Influence of Spiritual Beings Upon Man, Lecture 3, GA 137
“Once human beings can free the higher members from the physical heart, they will begin to experience a soul life that is attached to a higher heart organism than the physical muscle of the heart which is bound to the blood. If they learn to experience higher heart forces than those which are bound to the physical heart, they will really discover that which is palpable all around, like an inexpressible word which resounds on every side.”
Color, Lecture 3, GA 228
“The human heart is the result of gold which lives everywhere in the light and which flows in from the Universe and that light carries the gold and actually forms the human heart. They imagined that light weaves through the Universe, and the light carries the gold. The gold is everywhere in the light. It lives and weaves in the light. And, as he stands in earthly life, man’s heart is made up of gold of this light.
The Workmen’s Lectures, 1922, GA 347
“Sleeping and waking are connected with the activity or inactivity of the brain cells, the nerve cells in general, and the white blood cells.
Thus, life actually originates between the processes in the intestines and those in the blood. In turn, in the blood processes, that is, between the activities of the blood and the air, our feelings come about.
Whereas the white corpuscles are in constant motion, the brain cells are at rest and in fact are almost dead. White corpuscles have the ability to multiply, whereas the brain cells cannot multiply. The white blood cells are full of life, independent life, and they can reproduce.
When a person faints and loses conscious they have to many white corpuscles in proportion to red corpuscles in the blood. When we faint or sleep, we have white corpuscles that are too active. When we have too many white corpuscles in the blood, we have too much life in us and as a result we lose consciousness.
The strength required to increase the brain activity when we sleep must be withdrawn from other areas of the body. It is withdrawn from some of the white blood cells. Since the white corpuscles are more at rest during the night, we should actually begin to think. We should be able to think with our bodies.
Psychoanalysis in the Light of Anthroposophy, Lecture 6, London, GA 205
“If we look into the innermost part of the heart, we can see forces gathering through the whole metabolic and limb system, and because that which is connected with the heart forces is spiritualized, whatever is connected with our external life is also spiritualized in there. The forces which are prepared within the heart are karmic tendencies. The heart is the organ which carries what we understand as karma from the metabolic system into the next incarnation.
From the Contents of Esoteric Classes, Berlin, February, 26, 1908, GA 266
“The atmosphere of Saturn was fiery-bloody. Man didn’t have any blood yet, but the first germ of his later blood lay in the atmosphere around him. Man’s physical parts were only germinally present.”
Health and Illness, The Relationship Between the Breathing and the Circulation of the Blood, December 23, 1922, GA 348
“Now, if you consider respiration and the activity of the blood, these two processes are related in today’s adult in a ratio of one breath to four pulse beats.”
Philosophy, Cosmology, and Religion, September 1922, GA 215
“The physiological after-effects of the nightly planetary experiences of the human soul and spirit contribute significantly to the blood circulation.”
Spiritual Science and Medicine, 1920, GA 312
“The breathing function conducts itself in an inverse relationship to the sensory function, in the same way the blood circulation is related to the digestive function. Digestion is, to a certain extent, a compressed version of blood circulation. Or the opposite: what circulates in the blood is a finer version of the breathing process. I could also say the breathing process is a cruder sensory perception process.”
Wisdom of Man, of the Soul, and of the Spirit, Lecture 3, October 26, 1909, GA 115
“In the neighborhood of the heart the third organ develops, the twelve-petal lotus flower, the intuitive sense. If we draw a diagram of such a structure, where in one organ the currents of the physical and etheric bodies are dammed up against those of the ego and astral body, the result is nothing less than the diagram of the human heart with its four chambers.
That is the way the human heart came into being. When we consider all that the human heart achieves – the co-operation of the physical, etheric and astral bodies and the ego – it will be borne in upon us that the spirit had to build the human heart in this way.
From left to right, the currents of the physical body.
From right to left, those of the etheric body.
From the front backward, those of the sentient body.
From the rear forward, those of the sentient soul.
From above downward, those of the ego.
From below upward, those of the astral body.
The ego, then, acts downward from above; so how would its physical organ have to lie? The physical organ of the ego is the circulating blood; and the ego could not function downward from above without an organ running in the same direction in the human body. Where the main direction of the blood-stream is horizontal, not vertical, there can be no ego, as in men. The main direction of the blood-stream had to raise itself in man to the vertical in order to enable the ego to lay hold on the blood. No ego can intervene where the main blood-stream runs horizontally instead of vertically. The group ego of animals can find no organ in them, because the main blood-line runs horizontally. Through the erection of this line to the vertical in man, the group ego became an individual ego.”
From Limestone to Lucifer Answers to Questions, May 7, 1923, GA 349
“Now the situation is that we are born again out of the blood every day and every hour. Blood always means renewal. We have two opposite principles in us – the nervous system that makes us get old all the time, actually handing us over to death all the time, and the blood system which is connected with the nutrition system and lets us grow young all the time. The nerves have to be in a condition throughout life, as it were, in which the blood vessels must never be. The blood vessels have to be fresh. The nerves must all the time be inclined to die off. We really get a little bit older all the time from morning to evening. During the night this freshens up again, something that comes from the blood. And that is how it goes all the time, like the pendulum swing of a clock – grow old, grow young. A temperature develops when the getting-young process grows much too powerful in us. We cannot cope with this. We begin to be too fresh with the whole of our body. We then have a temperature, or pleurisy, or pneumonia.”
Anthroposophical Approach to Medicine, Lecture IV, October 28, 1922, GA 314
“The iron in the blood unceasingly plays the role of a remedial agent, protecting man from his innate tendency to disease. The iron-bearing corpuscles swimming in the blood loses as much of its weight as the weight of the volume of fluid displaced. And now, if our soul-being lives in the force of buoyancy, just think what this possession of iron-bearing blood corpuscles must mean for the whole life of feeling and perception, indeed for the whole life of the organism.
The relation of the etheric to the astral organism of man is bound up with the iron-content of the blood. The possibility, however, of promoting the corresponding balance, of enabling the organism to lead the necessary amount of foodstuff into the domain of the kidney activities, is provided by regulating the iron-content in the blood. And by imbuing the actual dynamic element in the blood either with weight or with the force of buoyancy – according to how we regulate the iron-content – we are thereby regulating the whole circulation of blood, which in turn reacts upon the kidney activities. In adding to or decreasing the iron-content we have brought about a fundamental regularization of the blood circulation: that is, of the interplay between the etheric and astral parts of man.”
Man as Symphony of the Creative Word, Lecture III, 21st October, 1923
“No other animal has the same proportion between the blood-weight and the entire body-weight as the cow; other animals have either less or more blood than the cow in proportion to the weight of the body. And weight has to do with gravity and the blood with egoity; not with the ego, for this is only possessed by man, but with egoity, with separate existence. The blood also makes the animal – the higher animal at least. And I must say that the cow has solved the world-problem as to the right proportion between the weight of the blood and the weight of the whole body – when there is the wish to be as thoroughly animal as possible.
You see, it was not for nothing that the ancients called the zodiac ‘the animal circle.’ The zodiac is twelvefold; it divides its totality into twelve separate parts. Those forces, which come out of the cosmos, from the zodiac, take on form and shape in the animals. But the other animals do not conform to the zodiacal proportion so exactly. The cow has a twelfth part of her body-weight in the weight of her blood. With the cow the blood-weight is a twelfth part of the body-weight; with the donkey only the twenty-third part; with the dog the tenth part. All the other animals have a different proportion. In the case of man the blood is a thirteenth of the body-weight.
You see, the cow has seen to it that, in her weight, she is the expression of animal nature as such, that she is as thoroughly as possible the expression of what is cosmic. A fact I have mentioned repeatedly during these days – namely that one sees from the astral body of the cow that she actually manifests something lofty in physical-material substance – this comes to expression of itself through the fact that the cow maintains the partition into twelve in her own inner relationships of weight. The cosmic in her is at work. Everything to do with the cow is of such a nature that the forces of the earth are working into spiritual substance. In the cow, earth-heaviness is obliged to distribute itself according to zodiacal proportion. Earth-heaviness must accommodate itself to allow a twelfth part of itself to fall away into egoity. What the cow possesses as spiritual substance has necessarily to enter into earthly conditions.
Thus the cow, lying in the meadow, is in actual fact spiritual substance, which earth-matter takes up, absorbs, makes similar to itself. When the cow dies, this spiritual substance which the cow bears within herself can be taken up by the earth, together with the earthly matter, for the well-being of the life of the whole earth. And man is right when he feels in regard to the cow: You are the true beast of sacrifice, for you continually give to the earth what it needs, without which it could not continue to exist, without which it would harden and dry up. You continually give spiritual substance to the earth, and renew the inner mobility, the inner living activity of the earth.
When you behold on the one hand the meadow with its cattle, and on the other hand the eagle in flight, then you have their remarkable contrast: the eagle who, when he dies, carries away into the expanses of spirit-land that earth-matter, which – because it is spiritualized – has become useless for the earth; and the cow, who, when she dies, gives to the earth heavenly matter and thus renews the earth. The eagle takes from the earth what it can no longer use, what must return into spirit-land. The cow carries into the earth what the earth continually needs as renewing forces from spirit-land.”
From the Contents of Esoteric Classes, Berlin, March 14, 1908, GA 266
“During the Saturn period, there was only a warmth globe on which the spirits of darkness attained their human stage. The blood we had then was dark. There was a hidden fire or warmth on the planet, but no light. When Saturn disappeared, the Sun rose from the darkness, the second, air element with its oxygen made Saturn’s glimmer burst into flames, and then there was light, as is symbolized by the alchemist’s sulfur. Blood turned from black to yellow. Our present men with their red blood are shaped on the earth.
Thus we have four kinds of fire in the four kinds of blood: black on old Saturn, yellow on old Sun, white on old Moon, and red on earth. The warmth that now lives in our blood is the warmth of the planet Saturn. All these bloods or fires are still in us and are instruments for spirits who work in and on us, until we will be individualized enough to do what these spirits do. Saturn spirits find a point of attack in the warmth of the blood and ego. Some of them are very bad and dangerous.
The four kinds of fire refer to our four lower sheaths that are the ‘children’ of the I. We must ‘add fire to fire,’ that is, the fiery, lower passions must be purified by uniting them with the higher, spiritual fire.
Blood is the I’s instrument. Saturn spirits work in the warmth of our blood, as Christ worked in Jesus’ blood from age thirty on. Then Christ took hold of the blood and purified it during the three years. That’s why blood had to flow. When we’ve purified our four bodies in the same way we’ll then have the four-fold philosophical fire that belongs to the Vulcan period.
Initiate Consciousness Truth and Error in Spiritual Research, August 11, 1924, GA 243
“But thou hast something within thine own inner being that will not permit thee to fall either below or above, either toward the right or toward the left; thou hast the center of gravity of thine own being within thyself. One learns to feel within oneself that central point. It is in the heart primarily that the center of gravity lies which will not permit one to sink, to fly away in space, which presses neither toward the right nor toward the left, but holds one fast within the universe. At that point where physically the muscles of the heart lie, everything is concentrated which gives us a firm hold. One becomes aware that what holds one to the earthly consciousness is gold, disseminated in most extraordinary minuteness through the world, working directly on the heart.
Gold works upon the inner man with immeasurable harmonizing effect, establishing a state of balance, an inner equilibrium. The human being threatens to fly to pieces outwards, to faint away outwards, is held together by the heart.
When we move in consciousness above the heart, consciousness then becomes more attenuated. We come near swooning. But, if we move downward below the heart, consciousness condenses. We enter into the worlds that are real. Only one must be able to endure it. These press upon one, they are painful. But, if we thrust ourselves forward with sufficient courage, we enter.
Thus, we have the ordinary consciousness of the day in our hearts; a second consciousness in the larynx; a third consciousness in the region of the eyes; a fourth consciousness above the head, which leads wholly out into the cosmos; and then a fifth consciousness below the heart, which leads us, not in the space-worlds, but backwards in the periods of time. We move through time. We make a path through time. We have stepped out of space and passed over into time. If we transport ourselves into these other states of consciousness, we then experience the other worlds.
The world of the stars determines the directions in the circulation of the blood. But what pulsates within the blood as warmth, what really pulsates as warmth through our life and in the right manner through our blood, – this bears effectively within it that force which has come over out of previous earth-lives. The secret of the warmth of the blood is the secret mystery of silver.
From Comets to Cocaine Answers to Question, January 8, 1923, GA 348
“The influence on human beings of the red and white corpuscles that are produced within the hollows of the bone is such that the red corpuscles are more important for the woman and the white are more important for the man.
If the heart muscle – it is also a muscle – becomes too thick from overexertion, however, it exerts pressure on all the other organs with the result, as a rule, that beginning from the heart the blood circulation becomes disturbed. The next consequences of a thickened heart is that the kidneys become ill, since it is due to the harmonious activities of heart and kidneys that the entire human bodily organization is kept functioning properly. The heart and kidneys must always work in harmony.”
From Sunspots to Strawberries Answers to Question, July 31, 1924, GA 354
“We can say that the green part of the plant works particularly on heart and lungs, while the root strengthens the head. When we eat greens, they chiefly give us plant fats; they strengthen our heart and lungs, the middle region, the chest.
The Heart is the Temple of the Human Spirit
The Mystery of Golgotha, 29 July, 1906, GA 97
“In the temple of the human body is located a Holy of Holies. Many people live in the temple without knowing about it. But those who sense it, receive from it the power to purify themselves so that they may enter into this sacred place. There is the sacred vessel which was prepared through epochs of time. There rests the holy Chalice which was prepared through epochs of time so that it would be ready when the time came to hold the blood of Christ, the life of Christ. When the human being has entered this place he has also found the path to the Holy of Holies in the great Earth temple. Many on Earth live there too, without knowing it; but if the human being has found himself in his innermost sanctuary, he will also be allowed to enter the great Earth temple and find the Holy Grail. Firstly, the chalice will appear to him, carved as though from wonderfully gleaming crystal that forms symbols and letters; then gradually he will sense its holy content, so that the content itself shines for him in a golden radiance. A human being then enters into the Mystery place of his own heart, and then a divine being emerges from this human mystery center and connects itself to the God without, with the Christ being. This divine being lives in the spiritual light which streams into the chalice, hallowing it.
The time has arrived where these secrets may be proclaimed, if the hearts of people
make themselves mature through a spiritual life, so that they are able to raise themselves to
the understanding of this great Mystery through gazing at this holy chalice. If people become ever more prepared for the reception of the Christ-I, then shall the Christ-I ever more pour itself into the souls of people. People shall then evolve themselves up to where their great archetype, Christ Jesus, is. Then people shall begin to learn to understand to what degree Christ Jesus is the great prototype of the future redeemed humanity.”
Rudolf Steiner from his sick bed in 1924
“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.
The human being streams into the cosmos on an ongoing basis in the flow of the blood. The Christ mystery is the revelation of the great miracle that takes place between the heart and lungs. The cosmos becomes the human being and the human being become the cosmos. The Sun carries the human being out of the cosmos and onto 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 and heart and the lungs in each human being, in a very human, organ-related sense.”
How the Spiritual World Projects in Physical Existence, May 5, 1913, Paris, GA 150
“A third power also gains independence through meditation. It involves not only brain and larynx but also the circulation and the heart. We are aware of it in a low-level activity when we blush or grow pale. There, a soul element intervenes in the blood’s pulsation, going as far as the heart. This power of the soul may be withdrawn from the blood’s pulsation and become an independent inner power. It comes about through meditation at the point where the will enters into it. We meditate ‘Wisdom shines in the light’ but decide to connect our will to act with it in such a way that we want to go with this radiant wisdom in human evolution. When we come to such a will meditation we get the powers of will to flow in the soul. We can find these powers and withdraw them from the blood – though not entirely – and they then create a power of clairvoyance which allows us to go beyond our earth.”
An Occult Physiology, March, 1911, GA 128
“The prickles of the conscience are thrown back by the heart, which can be interpreted entirely as a physical phenomenon; prickles of conscience that stream into our consciousness are the content of our experiences, reflected by the heart. This teaches us about the spiritual knowledge of the heart. The processes of life become spiritualized as they complete their reflection on the outside wall of the heart. Every organ, in addition to serving this or that function in the organism, is also a sense organ. The heart is an apparatus for registering the human circulation and that which flows into the circulation from the metabolic system of the blood.
Spiritual activity in the physical organism is a working together of the Ego with warmth relationships. Silica forms the physical basis of the Ego organization. If the human organism, working from the Ego organization, were not able to bring forth the warmth organization, which must exist in the heart region then this human organism would, for example, not be able to think or perceive.”
Therapeutic Insights: Earthly and Cosmic Laws, Dornach, July 2, 1921, GA 205
“You can imagine what a tremendous difference there is, between that which lives in our heart during this incarnation and the condition in which we find ourselves in a new life after having gone through a long development in the time between death and a new birth. And yet when you look into your innermost heart you can assess quite well, of course in a hidden way only, not in a fully developed imagination, what you will do in your next life. One can, you see, not only say in an abstract way, my next life is being prepared today in all karmic detail, but one can point to the ‘little box’ in which the karma rests, awaiting the future.”
Supersensible Man, November 1923, GA 231
“In their work upon the nervous system, the Beings of the Second Hierarchy are looking downwards, towards Earth. In their work upon the blood system they are looking upwards. Both the nervous system and the blood system (as well as the organs connected therewith) are created by the same Hierarchy, but their gaze is at one time turned towards the Earth and at another upwards to the spiritual world, to the heavens.”
Foundations of Esoterism, September 1905, GA 93
“One takes up the warmth of the world in the heart and lets it stream forth again through the pituitary gland in the brain. Once this capacity has been achieved, the heart will have become the organ it was intended to be. There is a reference to this in the words from Light on the Path: ‘Before the soul can stand in the presence of the Masters, its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart.’ Our heart’s blood streams out as today our words stream out in the world. In the future warmth of soul will flood over mankind.”
Man: Hieroglyph of the Universe, April, 1920, GA 201
“Just as the circulatory course of the lungs with its absorption of oxygen, and giving out of carbonic acid, belongs to the planetary system, just as what is introduced through the digestive apparatus belong to the Earth, so the part of the circulatory course that branches off above, belongs to the starry world.”
Macrocosm and Microcosm, March 1910, GA 119
“When the thinking of the heart changes Time into Space, our whole being has to move about; we have to be involved in a perpetual circulation. Such is the definite experience of anyone who passes from ordinary memory to the higher form of memory possessed by the spiritual investigator. Whereas in an act of remembrance an ordinary man looks back to the past, the spiritual investigator has the inner experience that he is actually moving backwards in Time in the same way as he otherwise moves in Space. And this consciousness expresses itself outwardly in the experiencing of our blood, which must also be in perpetual movement if we are to go on living. In our blood we are involved all the time in the movement from the heart through the body and back, so that what really belongs to the heart is in perpetual movement. Not so what belongs to the head. The several parts of the brain remain stationary, so the brain is in very truth a physical symbol for the consciousness of Space; the flowing blood, the fluid of the heart is in its circulation an image of the mobility of spiritual consciousness. Thus, every physical phenomenon is a symbol for the corresponding spiritual reality. It is an extremely interesting fact that in our very blood we have an image of certain faculties of the spiritual investigator and also of the worlds in which he moves.
Reminding ourselves of what has been said about human evolution it may be affirmed that in earlier epochs man already possessed a kind of logic of the heart; at the present time he is passing through the stage of logic of the intellect and in the future he will regain a logic of the heart in which the logic of the intellect has been absorbed and elaborated.”
Supersensible Man, Lecture IV, November 17, 1923, GA 231
“The fact that we receive into ourselves in the Sun sphere the first germ of the physical heart is less important than the fact that in this germ of the heart is concentrated all that we are morally, all our qualities of soul and spirit. The spirit-germ of the heart unites with the embryonic germ of the future body because the heart in man is a spiritual being, a moral being of soul and spirit created out of the Cosmos; only later does this moral being of spirit and soul – which man now feels living within him, which man has, as it were, acquired in the course of his return journey to Earth – unite with the embryo. This concentration, in the germ of the heart, of his whole soul-and-spirit being is experienced by man in communion with the sublime Sun Beings – those Sun Beings who rule over the creative forces of the planetary system and therewith of earthly existence.
The beat of the spiritual heart of man is the heart-beat of the world in which he is living. The blood-stream of this world are the deeds of the creative Beings of the Second Hierarchy, the forces which stream out from them. And just as the blood-stream on Earth centers itself in the heart where it is unconsciously experienced by man, so at this point of time between death and a new birth it is given to man, as a grace bestowed, to hold and cherish within him a cosmic heart – one of the organs of perception, one of the cosmic hearts, created out of the pulse-beat of the Macrocosm, even the deeds of the Beings of the Second Hierarchy. For let it be remembered that the physical heart is a sense organ, which perceives the movement of the blood, not a ‘pump’ as the physiologists imagine. The spirituality and vitality of the human being – these it is that cause the movement of the blood.”
Occult Significance of Blood, Berlin, October 25, 1906, GA 55
“A man’s blood is therefore a true double ever bearing him company, from which he draws new strength, and to which he gives all that he can no longer use. Blood is, therefore, an expression of the individualized etheric body, just as the brain and spinal cord are the expression of the individualized astral body. And it is this individualizing which brings about that which lives as the ego or ‘I.’
The blood vessels, together with the heart, are the expression of the transformed etheric body, in the same way in which the spinal cord and the brain express the transformed astral body. Just as by means of the brain the external world is experienced inwardly, so also by means of the blood this inner world is transformed into an outer expression in the body of man.
Blood is therefore the material that builds up the human body. We have before us a process in which the blood extracts from its cosmic environment the highest substance it can possibly obtain, oxygen, which renews the blood and supplies it with fresh life. In this manner our blood is caused to open itself to the outer world.
Blood originates when man confronts the external world as an independent being, when out of the perceptions to which the external world has given rise, he in his turn produces different shapes and pictures on his own account, thus himself becoming creative, and making it possible for the Ego, the individual Will, to come into life. By means of the blood, assisted by the oxygen of the external world, the individual body is formed according to the pictures of the inner life. This formation is expressed as the perception of the ‘I.’
The ego turns in two directions, and the blood expresses this fact externally. The vision of the ego is directed inwards; its will is turned outwards. The forces of the blood are directed inwards; they build up the inner man, and again they are turned outwards to the oxygen of the external world. Thus the blood stands midway, as it were, between the inner world of pictures and the exterior living world of form.
At the present time, everything in a man’s environment is impressed upon his blood; hence the environment fashions the inner man in accordance with the outer world. In the blood of the descendants were to be traced the effects of the ancestors’ tendencies. Now, when the blood was mixed through exogamy, this close connection with ancestors was severed, and the man began to live his own personal life. Thus, in an unmixed blood is expressed the power of the ancestral life, and in a mixed blood the power of personal experience.”
An Occult Physiology, The Blood as Manifestation and Instrument of the Human Ego, Lecture 6, March 26, 1911
“Earth-man, has in his blood-system the instrument of the ego, so that he actually is man by reason of the fact that he harbors within himself an ego, and that this ego can create an expression of itself as far as the physical system, can work with the blood as its instrument.
We can state thus that the blood-system is the most immediate instrument of the human ego. Yet the blood-system is possible only if all the other systems are first existent. There is no passion, no instinct, no emotion, whether we experience these habitually or whether they come to expression in an explosive way, which does not pass over, as inner experience, to the blood as the instrument of the ego, which does not there express itself externally. All the unwholesome elements of the inner life of the ego express themselves primarily in the blood-system. And so, wherever we wish to understand anything that goes on in the blood-system, it is important not merely to inquire as to the nutritive process but even more to look into the soul-processes in so far as they are inner ego-experiences, such as moods, habitual passions, emotions and the like. All soul-processes, all processes of the ego, react directly upon what is occurring in the circulation of the blood.”
The Etheric Heart and Blood
Curative Education, June, 1924, GA 317
“Starting at the time of sexual maturity, all human activity begins in the etheric heart, taking a detour through the astral body. The etheric heart is the organ that arose from the reflection of the stars and the cosmos. Everything begins there. The substance of the entire cosmos is there inside, contracted into the heart, in the etheric body. If you think in term of the etheric world, you find a compact form of the cosmos in the heart. At the same time, if you think in terms of the astral world, you see in contracted form all that is undertaken by the human being. The human being and the cosmos, with all of its cosmic events, find their connection in the heart. In all of the human body, only in the area around the heart do we find such a close correspondence between the astral body and the etheric body. This is how the human heart becomes and remains an organism for the development of karma.”
Pastoral Medicine, September 1924, GA 318
“Cosmic warmth enters the human organism by way of breathing. But not only warmth. The warmth carries with it light, macrocosmic chemism, and macrocosmic life, vitality. Light ether, chemical ether, and life ether from macrocosm are carried by the inhalation of warmth into the human organism. The element of warmth carries light firmly embedded in it, also the chemical element, also the life element into the human being, and gives them over to the air-inhalation process. This entire process lies over the air-breathing process and which appears as a refined (or even, metamorphosed) breathing process.”
The Human Soul in Relation to World Evolution, Lecture VI, May 26, 1922, GA 212
“For what has thus rayed together into a center becomes, at the time of puberty, the etheric heart. The etheric heart he had before this time he had received as heritage through forces inherent in the embryo. When man gathers his ether body and with it approaches the physical organism a kind of etheric heart, a substitute etheric heart, so to speak, is drawn together by the forces of the physical body. But this etheric heart which man has in childhood slowly decays – this may not be a very nice expression, but it does fit the situation – and is replaced gradually, as the decaying processes take place, by the new etheric heart. The latter is formed by a raying together of the whole universe. In reality, it is an image of the cosmos which we bring with us as an etheric structure when, through conception and birth, we enter earthly existence. Thus, we trace, throughout the time from birth or rather conception until puberty, a distinct change in the structure of the etheric body. One can say that not until puberty is man’s own etheric heart present – formed out of his own etheric body. Thus, he no longer has a provisional heart.
All the ether forces active in man up until the time of puberty have a tendency to provide him with a fresh etheric heart. The inherited etheric heart, which we have until puberty, is pushed out and we get our own etheric heart. This is what is essential: that we get our own etheric heart.
In the heart, not only the astral process, but the etheric, too, is concentrated. This is also the reason why the heart is such a uniquely important organ for man. From puberty, a central organ is created wherein all our doing, all our human activity is centered. In the same region where man has his heart the sum total of all his activity is centralized, but in this case neither physically nor etherically, but astrally. The significant thing is that at the onset of puberty – the astral process coincides only approximately with the physical process – man’s etheric heart is so far prepared that it can take into itself the forces which develop from our activity in the external world. Thus, to describe what actually occurs one could say: From puberty onwards, the totality of man’s actions pours, via the astral body, into the etheric heart – i.e., into the organ which is an image of the whole cosmos.
You have in the heart, as far as the etheric world is concerned, a whole cosmos drawn together, and, at the same time, as far as the astral world is concerned, the totality of man’s activity drawn together. This is where the cosmos and its processes join with man’s karma. Only in the region of the heart is there such a close correspondence between the astral and etheric bodies and man’s organism.
When man goes through the portal of death and lays aside his physical and etheric bodies, this etheric-astral structure – within which the physical heart, as it were, swims – contains all that which man takes with him into his further soul-spiritual life. Because within the heart, in the etheric body, the substance of the whole cosmos is drawn together, man is able, as he grows spiritually larger and larger, to hand over to the cosmos his entire karma. The etheric structure, which is an essence of the cosmos drawn together in the heart, now returns to the cosmos.
When we observe the human organization in its becoming, we have to say: In the region of the heart the cosmic and the earthly come together. They form a union in such a way that the configuration of the cosmos is taken into the etheric heart and there it prepares to receive all our deeds. Then when we go through the gate of death and enter a new cosmic existence, we take with us the outcome of this intimate union of the etheric and our human actions.
To begin with the ‘I’ has a somewhat separate existence along the bloodstream within the child, then it begins to unite ever more closely with the blood circulation until at puberty they are fully united. Thus, while you have an astral structure surrounding the etheric and physical heart, the ‘I’ takes another path to the heart. Let us say the ‘I’ slips into the lungs – it will then, through the veins leading to the heart, gradually approach the latter. The ‘I’ follows the circulating blood, becoming more and more intimately united with it, so that here again, via the detour of the ego forces circling with the bloodstream, the ‘I’ enters the structure formed by the union of the etheric and astral heart. This structure alone makes it possible for the cosmic-etheric to grow together with a human astral.
Hidden from sight, at the onset of puberty, our inherited etheric heart succumbs to forces of decay and we acquire a kind of permanent etheric heart. Only the permanent etheric heart is fully adapted to take into itself our deeds. The real building up of karma only begins from the moment when the astral heart has fully penetrated the etheric heart, so that the two form a unity. One could say that this union constitutes, as it were, an organism for the forming of karma.”
The Etherization of the Blood, Basle, October 1, 1911, GA 130
“These streamings arise because human blood, which is a physical substance, is perpetually resolving itself into etheric substance. In the region of the heart there is a continual transformation of the blood into this delicate etheric substance which streams upwards towards the head and glimmers around the pineal gland. This process – the etherization of the blood – can be perceived in the human being all the time during his waking life.
The occult observer is able to see a continual streaming from outside into the brain, and also in the reverse direction, from the brain to the heart. Now these streams, which in sleeping man come from outside, from cosmic space, from the Macrocosm, and flow into the inner constitution of the physical body and etheric bodies lying in the bed, reveal something remarkable when they are investigated. These rays vary greatly in different individuals.
At the moment of waking or of going off to sleep a kind of struggle takes place in the region of the pineal gland between what streams down from above and what streams upward from below. When a man is awake the intellectual element streams upwards from below in the form of currents of light, and what is of moral-aesthetic nature streams downwards from above. The intellectual, the aesthetic and the moral elements stream downwards from above, from the brain toward the heart. At the moment of waking or of going off to sleep, these two currents meet, and in the man of low morality a violent struggle between the two streams takes place in the region of the pineal gland. In the man of high morality there is around the pineal gland as it were a little sea of light. Moral nobility is revealed when a calm glow surrounds the pineal gland at these moments. In this way a man’s moral disposition is reflected in him, and this calm glow of light often extends as far as the heart. Two streams can therefore be perceived in man – the one Macrocosmic, the other, Microcosmic.
Just as our human blood streams upwards from the heart as ether, so since the Mystery of Golgotha the etherized blood of Christ Jesus has been present in the ether of the earth. The etheric body of the Earth is permeated by the blood – now transformed – which flowed on Golgotha. This is supremely important. If what has thus come to pass through Christ Jesus had not taken place, man’s condition on the Earth could only have been as previously described. But since the Mystery of Golgotha it has been possible for the etheric blood of Christ to flow together with the streamings from below upward, from heart to head.
Because the etherized blood of Jesus of Nazareth is present in the etheric body of the Earth, it accompanies the etherized human blood streaming upwards from the heart to the brain, so that not only those streams of which I spoke earlier meet in man, but the human blood-stream unites with the blood-stream of Christ Jesus. A union of these two streams can, however, come about only if a person is able to unfold true understanding of what is contained in the Christ Impulse. Otherwise there can be no union; the two streams then mutually repel each other, thrust each other away.
If this comes to pass, individuals will be able to receive and comprehend the event that has its beginning in the Twentieth Century: this event is the appearance of the Christ as an etheric being in contradistinction to the physical Christ of Palestine. For we have now reached the point of time when the Etheric Christ enters into the life of the Earth and will become visible – at first to a small number of individuals through a form of natural clairvoyance. Individuals will see the Etheric Christ and will themselves experience the event that took place at Damascus.”
The Human Heart, Dornach, May 26, 1922, GA 212
“The gathered radiance that arises at the time of puberty becomes the true etheric heart of man. The etheric heart he has before this time is one that he received as a heritage through the inherent forces of the embryo. When a man gets his etheric body, and with it makes his way into the physical organism, a kind of etheric heart – a substitute etheric heart, so to speak – is drawn together by the forces of the physical body. He keeps this etheric heart during his childhood years, but then it gradually decays. The first etheric heart slowly decays, and in its stead, as it were constantly replacing that which falls out in the etheric process of decay, there comes the new, the real, etheric heart. This etheric heart is a concentration of the whole cosmic sphere we brought with us as an ether form, a faithful image of the cosmos, when we proceeded through conception and birth into this earthly life. Not until puberty does the human being possess his own etheric heart – that is, the etheric heart formed out of his own etheric body, and not supplied provisionally by external forces. All the etheric forces that are working in man until puberty tend to endow him with this fresh etheric heart. So, likewise, the etheric heart we have until puberty is cast out, and we now receive our own.
In the heart, not only the astral process but the etheric process also is concentrated. Therefore the heart is the uniquely important organ which it is for man.
At the same place where the etheric heart – our own etheric heart – has formed itself, we now have an astral structure too, which gathers together all our actions. And so from puberty a central organ is created wherein all our doing, all our human activity, is centered. It is so indeed: in the very region where man has his heart, all his activity is centralized – centralized, in this case, neither physically nor etherically, but astrally. And the important thing is that in the time when puberty occurs man’s own etheric heart is so far formed that it can receive these forces that develop out of our activity in the outer world. Thus we can truly say from puberty onwards man’s whole activity becomes inserted, via the astral body, in his etheric heart – and in that which has grown out of the pictures of the stars, out of the images of the cosmos.
The heart, as far as the etheric universe is concerned, is a cosmos gathered up into a center; while at the same time, as far as the astral is concerned, you have a gathering together of all that man does in the world. This is the point where the cosmos – the cosmic process – is joined to the karma of man. This intimate correspondence of the astral body with the etheric body is to be found nowhere in the human organism except in the region of the heart.
Then when man passes through the gate of death, this ethereal-astral structure – wherein the heart is floating, so to speak – contains all that man takes with him into his further life of soul and spirit, when he has laid aside the physical and the etheric forms. Now, as he expands ever more widely in the spirit, he can hand over his entire karma to the cosmos, for the substance of the whole cosmos is contained within him; it is drawn together in his heart, in the etheric body of his heart. It came from the cosmos and changed into this etheric entity, then it was gathered up as an essence in the heart, and now it tends to return into the cosmos once more.
In the region of the heart there takes place a union of the cosmos with the earthly realm, and in this way the cosmos, with its cosmic configuration, is taken into our etheric body. There it makes ready to receive all our actions, all that we do in life. Then we go outward again, together with everything that has formed itself within us through this intimate permeation of the cosmic ethereal with our own human actions.
When, later on, the ego slips with its astral body into the organs of the physical, this is what happens: whereas, in the little child, the ego was present only outwardly along the paths of the blood, it now unites with the blood circulation more and more inwardly, intensively, until – at puberty once more – it has entered there in the fullest sense. And while you have an astral formation around the etheric and the physical heart, the ego takes a different path. It slides into the organs of the lung, and with the blood vessels that pass from the lung to the heart approaches nearer and nearer to the heart. More and more closely united with the blood circulation, it follows the paths of the blood. By way of the forces that run along the courses of the blood, the ego enters into that which has been formed from the union of the etheric and the astral heart, wherein an etheric from the cosmos grows together with an astral from ourselves. Here, then, you have a complete linking up of karma with the laws of the whole cosmos.
All that happens in the moral life, and all that happens physically in the world, are brought together precisely in the human heart. These two – the moral and the physical – which run so independently and yet side by side for modern consciousness today, are found in their real union when we learn to understand all the configurations of the human heart.
At puberty, in an invisible way, our etheric heart is given over to disintegration, and we now acquire a kind of permanent ether heart. Only this permanent ether heart is fully adapted to receive into itself our activities. The forming of karma, properly speaking, begins only at the moment when the astral heart takes hold of the etheric heart and they join together. This, indeed, is the real organism for the forming of karma. For, at death, what is gathered up and concentrated there in the human being becomes increasingly cosmic; and in our next earthly life it is incorporated in the human being once again out of the cosmos.
If you recall all that I have said in this lecture, you will be able to see that the region into which the breath was breathed is the intervening region that is in between the onsets from before and behind and from above and below – there, in the middle, where Jehovah created man, as it were in the form of a cube. There it was that he so filled man with His own being, with His own magic breath, that the influence of this magic breath was able to extend into the regions in the rest of man that belong to Lucifer and Ahriman. Here in the midst, bounded above and below and before and behind, is an intervening space where the breath of Jehovah enters directly into the spatial human being.”
The Human Soul in Relation to World Evolution, Lecture VI, Dornach, 26th May 1922
“All this takes place gradually throughout the period of life between the change of teeth and puberty. At puberty the process is so far advanced that these rays, having grown together at the center, form, as it were, a distinct structure. It could be said that the surrounding stars become very pale and so too the rays, though something is still discernable. By contrast, what has come together into a ball-like formation in the center becomes particularly vivid and alive. Within this structure the physical heart, with its blood vessels, is suspended by the time puberty sets in.
Thus, we have this extraordinary situation that the star-ether body draws inwards. As ether body it is, of course, present throughout the body but in later life it is undifferentiated at the periphery. During the time from the change of teeth until puberty it rays intensely from without inwards. It forms a center within which the physical heart is suspended.
You must not suppose that until then man has no etheric heart. He certainly has one, but one obtained differently from the way in which he acquires the etheric heart he now has. For what has thus rayed together into a center becomes, at the time of puberty, the etheric heart. The etheric heart he had before this time he had received as heritage through forces inherent in the embryo. When man gathers his ether body and with it approaches the physical organism a kind of etheric heart, a substitute etheric heart, so to speak, is drawn together by the forces of the physical body. But this etheric heart which man has in childhood slowly decays – this may not be a very nice expression, but it does fit the situation – and is replaced gradually, as the decaying processes take place, by the new etheric heart. The latter is formed by a raying together of the whole universe. In reality, it is an image of the cosmos which we bring with us as an etheric structure when, through conception and birth, we enter earthly existence. Thus, we trace, throughout the time from birth or rather conception until puberty, a distinct change in the structure of the etheric body. One can say that not until puberty is man’s own etheric heart present – formed out of his own etheric body. Thus, he no longer has a provisional heart.
All the ether forces active in man up until the time of puberty have a tendency to provide him with a fresh etheric heart. It can really be compared with the change of teeth in the physical sphere. At the change of teeth, the inherited teeth are pushed out and replaced with our own. Likewise, the inherited etheric heart, which we have until puberty, is pushed out and we get our own etheric heart. This is what is essential: that we get our own etheric heart.
Parallel with this, something else occurs. When we observe man soon after his entry into the physical world, that is, when we observe a very young child, we find an extraordinary number of organs distinguishable in his astral body. As just described, man gathers together an ether body which is an image of the external cosmos. But in his astral body he brings with him an image of the experiences he has undergone between his last death and his present birth. Much, very much is to be seen in the astral body of the young child; great secrets are inscribed there. Very much is to be seen of his experiences since his last death. This astral body is extraordinarily differentiated and individual.
The strange thing is that during the time when all that I have described takes place in the etheric body, the highly differentiated astral body becomes ever more undifferentiated. Originally, it is a structure of which one must say – if one observes it with understanding – that it comes from a different world. It has entered into this world from a realm that can be neither the physical nor the etheric. Up to the time of puberty all the many individual structures living in the astral body slip into the physical organs, as it were, primarily into those which are situated above the diaphragm. Wonderful structures, radiantly present in the astral body in the first days of life, gradually slip into the brain and also penetrate the sense organs. Other structures slip into the organs of breathing, yet others into the heart and through the heart into the arteries. They do not slip directly into the stomach; but through the arteries they spread into the abdominal organs. Gradually, one sees the whole astral body, which man brings with him into physical existence through birth, dive down into the organs. The astral body slips, as it were, into the organs.
One could express it by saying that by the time we reach adulthood our organs have imprisoned within them the individual structures of our astral body. This may sound strange to ordinary consciousness but it corresponds absolutely to the reality. It also provides a deeper knowledge of the human organs. One cannot fully understand the human organs unless one understands the astral body that man brings with him. One must know that each individual organ, in a certain sense, harbors within it an astral inheritance, just as the first etheric heart is an inheritance.
Gradually, the inherited astral is completely permeated by what man brings with him as his astral body. This astral body dives down, bit by bit, into the physical and etheric organs. The heart is as it were an exception. Here, too, the astral dives down; but in the heart, not only the astral process, but the etheric, too, is concentrated. This is also the reason why the heart is such a uniquely important organ for man.
The astral body becomes ever more indefinite because it sends the distinct structures it brought over from another life through birth into the physical organs in which they become confined. This causes the astral body to become more or less like a cloud. But the interesting thing is that while, on the one hand, the astral body becomes cloud-like, on the other, new differentiations enter in, slowly at first, but from puberty onwards quite regularly.
The strange thing is that what is thus inscribed has a tendency to meet inwardly just as the rays in the ether body meet in the etheric heart. All human deeds also meet there. This coming together is due to an outside cause. As human beings we must, right from childhood, engage in some activity. All this activity expresses itself as indicated throughout the astral body; but there is a constant resistance to its being inscribed. The influence on the organism cannot always take full effect in the upper part. It meets resistance everywhere in this part and is pushed down. Whatever we do with the help of our physical organs has a tendency to stream upwards to the head. But the human organization prevents this from happening by holding it back. This causes the influences to collect together and form a kind of astral center.
This, again, is clearly developed at the time of puberty, so that at the same place where our own – not the inherited – etheric heart formed itself we have also an astral structure which centralizes all our deeds. Thus, from puberty a central organ is created wherein all our doing, all our human activity is centered. In the same region where man has his heart the sum total of all his activity is centralized, but in this case neither physically nor etherically, but astrally. The significant thing is that at the onset of puberty – the astral process coincides only approximately with the physical process – man’s etheric heart is so far prepared that it can take into itself the forces which develop from our activity in the external world. Thus, to describe what actually occurs one could say: From puberty onwards, the totality of man’s actions pours, via the astral body, into the etheric heart – i.e., into the organ which is an image of the whole cosmos.
This is a phenomenon of extreme significance. When you think about it you will realize that it amounts to an interconnection of man’s earthly deeds with the cosmos. You have in the heart, as far as the etheric world is concerned, a whole cosmos drawn together, and, at the same time, as far as the astral world is concerned, the totality of man’s activity drawn together. This is where the cosmos and its processes join with man’s karma. Only in the region of the heart is there such a close correspondence between the astral and etheric bodies and man’s organism. The reality is that the ether body which man brings through birth is an image of the whole cosmos; and this essence of the cosmos within him permeates itself with all his deeds. This flowing into one another in mutual permeation provides the opportunity for human actions continually to be inserted into the essence of the cosmic images.
When man goes through the portal of death and lays aside his physical and etheric bodies, this etheric-astral structure – within which the physical heart, as it were, swims – contains all that which man takes with him into his further soul-spiritual life. Because within the heart, in the etheric body, the substance of the whole cosmos is drawn together, man is able, as he grows spiritually larger and larger, to hand over to the cosmos his entire karma. The etheric structure, which is an essence of the cosmos drawn together in the heart, now returns to the cosmos. The human being expands into the whole cosmos and is received into the soul-world. He then continues his passage through what I described in my book Theosophy as the Soul World and Spirit Land.
When we observe the human organization in its becoming we have to say: In the region of the heart the cosmic and the earthly come together. They form a union in such a way that the configuration of the cosmos is taken into the etheric heart and there it prepares to receive all our deeds. Then when we go through the gate of death and enter a new cosmic existence, we take with us the outcome of this intimate union of the etheric and our human actions.
This is, in fact, a concrete description of how man lives his way into his physical body and how he is able to withdraw from it again through the fact that his deeds give him the force to hold together what he formed out of the essence of the cosmos.
The physical body is built up within the physical-earthly realm through heredity – i.e., through embryonic forces. With this unites that which man brings down from the spiritual world after having drawn together the ether body. This “I”, which has gone through many earth-lives and has a certain development behind it, lives within that wonderful structure he has brought with him as his astral body. His “I” has a certain sympathy for the structures that exist in the astral body. When they slip into the organs of the physical body as described, the “I” retains this inner sympathy which now extends to the organs. The “I” expands more and more within the organs and takes possession of them. Indeed, the “I” has already in earliest childhood a relation to the organs; however, at that time the hereditary conditions are present, as I explained, and the relation is, in consequence, an external one.
Gradually the “I” and astral body slip into the organs of the physical body. This occurs as follows: To begin with the “I” has a somewhat separate existence along the bloodstream within the child, then it begins to unite ever more closely with the blood circulation until at puberty they are fully united. Thus, while you have an astral structure surrounding the etheric and physical heart, the “I” takes another path to the heart. Let us say the “I” slips into the lungs – it will then, through the veins leading to the heart, gradually approach the latter. The “I” follows the circulating blood, becoming more and more intimately united with it, so that here again, via the detour of the ego forces circling with the bloodstream, the “I” enters the structure formed by the union of the etheric and astral heart. This structure alone makes it possible for the cosmic-etheric to grow together with a human astral. I said earlier that the astral body gradually comes to contain an extraordinary amount because all our deeds are inscribed in it. But more than that is inscribed. Through the fact that the “I” has sympathy for everything concerning the astral body, our intentions – that is, the ideas on which we base our actions – also become inscribed. In this way human karma unites with cosmic laws.
Of all this taking place in man’s inner being, practically nothing is known nowadays. What is known are the results of man’s physical actions which are judged according to laws of nature; also known are his moral actions which are judged according to laws of morality. But man’s moral and physical deeds come together in the heart. Therefore, these two things, which for man today go on side by side independently of each other, are discovered to be a unity when one learns to understand the whole configuration of the human heart. That is to say, when we understand what takes place in the heart, albeit in a much more hidden way, it is comparable to what occurs openly at the change of teeth.
We inherit our first teeth and form the second ones out of the organism. The first fall out, the second remain. The first have an inherent tendency to decay; even if they did not fall out they would not last. The reason that the second teeth sometimes decay is due to external circumstances; to these belong the external causes within the organism itself. Hidden from sight, at the onset of puberty, our inherited etheric heart succumbs to forces of decay and we acquire a kind of permanent etheric heart. Only the permanent etheric heart is fully adapted to take into itself our deeds. Therefore, it makes a great difference whether a person dies before or after puberty. When a person dies before puberty he has only the tendency to bequeath his earthly deeds to karma. Separate earthly deeds may be incorporated in their karma when children die before puberty, but these will be indefinite and changeable. The real building up of karma only begins from the moment when the astral heart has fully penetrated the etheric heart, so that the two form a unity. One could say that this union constitutes, as it were, an organism for the forming of karma; what has thus united and contracted within man, becomes after death ever more cosmic. In the next earthly life, it is again incorporated into the human being. Thus, something is incorporated in us out of the cosmos which retains the tendency to hand over our deeds after death to the cosmos. The laws that shape our karma are effective within the cosmos so that at the start of a next earthly life we carry into it the consequences of what the cosmos made of our deeds.
Heart Thinking as Living Thoughts
Macrocosm and Microcosm, Organs of Spiritual Perception, Thinking of the Heart, March 29, 1910, GA 119
“A spiritual organ develops in the neighborhood of the heart, the twelve-petalled lotus-flower. This organ becomes a kind of organ of thinking in one who achieves inner development and this thinking of the heartis very different from ordinary thinking. In logical thinking we experience above all a kind of conscience, and by developing that we establish in the soul (heart) a certain sense of responsibility towards truth and untruth, without which nothing can be achieved in the higher worlds. Anyone who wants to undergo higher development must for a certain time also undergo training in logical thinking and then discard it in order to pass over to thinking with the heart.
To develop the thinking of the heart we must have the power to go out of ourselves and look back upon ourselves from outside. All true presentations of the higher worlds proceed from the thinking of the heart although outwardly they often seem to be purely logical expositions. The truths imparted from the higher worlds are tinged with something like the heart’s blood.
From the moment a man has developed the thinking of the heart, he experiences something that seems like a vision; yet what he experiences is not a vision but the expression of a soul-and-spiritual reality, they are direct experiences of the soul.
Thus do we penetrate into the realities, into the spiritual Beings themselves, and we have to unite with them. We become more and more intensely involved in the experience; we are within the Beings and things themselves.”
Ancient Myths: Their Meaning and Connection with Evolution, 12th January 1918
“One is in this way enabled to see how a man assimilates life-wisdom, life-experience all his life through. And one can study through it the relation between what the head can provide with its short development, and what the rest of the human being can furnish with its long development in the social life. It is really true that during his young days a man takes in certain ideas and concepts that he learns; but he then only learns them. They are then head-knowledge. The rest of life that runs more slowly, is destined to transform the head-knowledge gradually into heart-knowledge – I now call the other man not the head-man, I call him the heart-man – to transform head-knowledge into heart-knowledge, knowledge in which the whole man shares, not only the head.
We need much longer to transform head-knowledge into heart-knowledge than to assimilate the head-knowledge. Even if the head-knowledge is an especially clever knowledge, one needs today the time into the twenties, is it not so? then one is a quite clever person, academically quite clever. But in order to unite this knowledge fully with the whole man, one must keep flexible one’s whole life through. And one needs just as much longer to change head-knowledge into heart-knowledge as one lives longer than to the twenty-seventh or twenty-sixth year. In so far is the human being also of a twofold nature. One quickly acquires the head-knowledge and can then in the course of life change it into heart-knowledge.
The dead have a thorough consciousness of how man develops quickly as headman and slowly as heart-man. And if the dead wish to express what really happens when the quickly gained head-knowledge lives itself into the slower course of the heart-knowledge, they say their wisdom-knowledge is transformed through what ascends from man as heart-warmth or love. Wisdom is fructified in man by love. So say the dead.
And that is in fact a profound and significant law of life. One can acquire head-knowledge rapidly, one can know a tremendous amount precisely in our age, for natural science – not the natural-scientist – natural science has made very great advances in our time and has a rich content. But this content has remained head-knowledge, it has not been transformed into heart-knowledge because people – I pointed this out yesterday – no longer pay attention to what approaches in life after the twenty-seventh year, because people do not understand how to become old – or I could say, to remain young in growing old. Because men do not keep the inner livingness their heart grows cold; the heart warmth does not stream up to the head; love, which comes from the rest of the organism, does not fructify the head. The head-knowledge remains cold theory. There is no necessity for it to remain cold theory, all head-knowledge can be transformed into heart-knowledge. And that is precisely the task of the future; that head-knowledge shall gradually be transformed into heart-knowledge.
A real miracle will happen if head-knowledge is transformed into heart-knowledge! One is completely right if one vigorously declaims today against the materialistic natural science, or, really, natural-philosophy – one is completely right, but all the same, something else is true. If this natural science which has remained mere head-knowledge in Haeckel, Spencer, Huxley, etc. and is therefore materialism, became heart-knowledge, if it were absorbed by the whole man, if humanity were to understand how to become old, or younger in old age as I showed yesterday, this science of today would become really spiritual, the true pursuit for the spirit and its existence. There is no better foundation than the natural science of the present day, if it is transformed into what can flow to the head from the rest of man’s organism, that is to say from the spiritual part of the organism. The miracle will be accomplished when men also learn to feel the rejuvenation of their etheric body so that the materialistic natural science of today will become spirituality. It will the sooner become spirituality the greater the number of people who reproach it with its present materialism, its materialistic folly.
If humanity knows someday that it has a twofold nature, a head-nature and a heart-nature, then it will know too that the head obeys quite other cosmic laws than the rest of the organism. Then the human being takes his place again within the whole macrocosm, then man can do no other than form concepts that lead him to say ‘I do not stand here upon earth as merely a higher animal, to be born and to die, but I am a being formed from out the whole universe. My head is built up for me out of the whole universe, the earth has attached to me the rest of my organization, and this does not follow the movements of the cosmos as my head does.’ Thus, when we do not look at man abstractly, as modern science does, but regard him as picture in his duality, as head-man and heart-man in connection with the universe, then the human being is placed again into the cosmos.
And I know, my dear friends, and others who can judge such things know it also: if man can make heart-warm concepts of the fact that when one looks at the human head it is seen to be an image of the whole star-strewn space of the world with its wonders, then there will enter the human soul all the pictures of the connection of man with the wide, wide universe. And these pictures become forms of narrative which we have not yet got, and which will bring to expression, not abstractly, but linked with feeling, what we can pour into the hearts of the youngest children. Then these hearts of young children will feel: here upon earth I stand as human being, but as man I am the expression of the whole star-strewn universal space: the whole world expresses itself in me. It will be possible to train the human being to feel himself a member of the whole cosmos. That is the one condition.
The other condition is the following: when we are able to arrange the whole of education and instruction so that man knows that he is an image of the universe in his head, and in the remaining organism is withdrawn from the universe, that with his remaining organism he must so work upon what falls down like a rain of the soul – the whole universe – that it becomes independent in man here upon earth, then this will be a particular inner experience.
When he comes to know that from the whole universe there flow unconsciously into his head, stimulating its forces, the secrets of the stars, but that all this must be worked upon his whole life through by the rest of his organism, so that he may conserve it on earth, carry it through death back again into the spiritual world – when this becomes a living experience, then man will know his twofold nature, he will know himself as head-man and heart-man. For what I am now saying means that man will learn to solve his own riddle, to say to himself: inasmuch as I become more and more heart-man, inasmuch as I remain young, I view in later years through what my heart gives me, that which in childhood and youth I learnt through my head.
The heart gazes up to the head and will see there an image of the whole starry heavens. The head however will look to the heart and will find there the mysteries of the human riddle, will learn to fathom in the heart the actual being of man. The human being will feel as regards his education: To be sure, I can learn all sorts of things with my head. But as I go on living, as I live on towards death that is to bear me into the spiritual world, what I learn through the head is fructified in the future through the love ascending from the rest of the organism and becomes something quite different. There is something in me as man that is only to be found in me as man; I have to await something.
Our natural science is either execrable, if it remains as it is, or it is something quite extraordinarily grand, if it changes into heart-knowledge. For then it becomes spiritual science. The older science which is involved in all sorts of traditions had already transformed head-science into heart-science; the modern age has had no gift for transforming into heart-science the science it has acquired up to the present, and so it has come about that head-science, especially in the social field, has performed the only real work, and has thus brought about the most one-sided product it is possible to have.
You see, man’s head can know nothing at all of the being of man. Hence when man’s head ponders over the being of man and his connection with the social life, it has to bring something quite foreign into the social common life. And that is the modern socialism, expressed as social-democratic theory. There is nothing that is such pure head-knowledge as the Marxist social-democracy. This is only because the rest of mankind has shirked any concern in world problems, and in the Marxist circles they have only occupied themselves with social theories. The others have only – no, I will be polite – let themselves be prompted by professorial-thoughts, which are purely traditional. But head-wisdom has become social theory. That is to say, people have tried to establish a social theory with an instrument which is least of all capable of knowing anything about the human being. This is a fundamental error of present-day mankind, which can only be fully disclosed when people know about head-knowledge and heart-knowledge. The head will never be able to refute socialism, Marxist socialism, because in our times the head’s task is to think out and devise. It will only be refuted through Spiritual Science, since Spiritual Science is head wisdom transformed through the heart.”
The Human Soul in Relation to World Evolution, Lecture V, Dornach, 7th May 1922
“While we carry out exercises which lead us to knowledge of the external spiritual world, we also make progress in the inward direction. What we first discover is that, from the viewpoint of the soul, we come to value our head with its knowledge rather less. By contrast, we become very aware of that knowledge which is more concentrated in the heart, not so much in the physical heart as in the etheric and astral heart. At this point something of the greatest significance becomes crystal-clear knowledge.
Well, the life of thought is, in a certain sense, a distinguished world, unconcerned about subjective states. However, when man sends his subjectivity into this distinguished realm, thus making it feel closer to his human nature, then his feelings pass through his heart. Rays from the head shoot, as it were, down into the lower part of man and from there well up again. But what is it that wells up?
From below there arise feelings, instincts, urges, passions; everything active in man’s nature bursts forth. Within all this subjectivity, which is part of man, wells up also the effect of everything that seethes in the organism itself. The effects of whatever processes that are taking place in the stomach or intestines or in any other bodily function burst forth and come up to meet him together with the instincts and passions, so that one can indeed say that there, above, a distinguished world exists. Distinguished it may be but, as it has no concern for subjectivity, it contains no soul life. Thoughts in themselves are not subjective; for them it is quite immaterial whether Smith thinks of a lion or a triangle or whether Jones thinks of them. Thoughts are not concerned about subjects. The soul aspect only becomes evident when out of man’s inner being there well up feelings or instincts which saturate the thoughts. Subjectivity only enters when, for example, Smith, being a hero, thinks of a lion and there wells up within him feelings of a kind that make him unafraid of a lion; whereas when Jones, being a coward, thinks of a lion, he immediately wants to flee. The thought “lion” is universal; it contains no soul element, it is spiritual. Soul comes into it when it meets the instinctive element within man. That is what imbues the thought “lion” with a soul content which in Smith’s case makes him think of some instrument with which to attack the lion and defend himself, come what may; or in Jones’ case makes him think of how fast he can run, and so on. In ordinary life thoughts are imbued with soul because in one way or another the soul element always rays into the spiritual.
However, when the ascent has been made first to imaginative cognition, and then to inspired cognition, things become different. At first there is a great struggle to beat back the instincts and desires which are now all the more in evidence for being undisguised. They must not be allowed expression; they must be vanquished completely. However, something else rises towards the heart, which has now become a wonderful sense organ – a great etheric sense organ as large as the whole blood system. Towards this heart there now rise, not what lives in instincts and passions but another kind of thought complex. These thoughts come up to meet the thoughts which have their origin in the external world and have made the head their abode in such an aristocratic manner. But the thoughts now rising through the heart to meet them are mighty pictures which do not in any way express what otherwise rises up within the organism. They express what man was before birth.
Man learns to know himself in his existence within the spiritual world before he was born (or conceived) on earth. That is what comes up to meet him. He is transported into his existence in the spiritual world before he descended into physical embodiment. This occurs, not through what lives in his passions and desires, but through what meets him when he has attained imaginative and inspired cognition. As he learns to know his own being within the spiritual world, he also learns to distinguish himself from what, to imaginative and inspired cognition, otherwise surrounds us as an external spiritual world. In that world we learn to know elemental beings, angels, archangels and so on. Out of the wisdom itself we learn to know our own being, now widened beyond earth existence.
This also leads to a significant insight into the working of the soul. We gradually come to recognize that the soul is completely poured out within the head. It has shaped the head in its own image and organized it for the external world, so that the latter can imprint itself and become mental pictures which we retain in memory, whereas within the rest of the organism, as I indicated yesterday, the soul life does not unite so intensely with the physical; it remains more separate. Therefore, when the heart becomes sense organ we can look down into the flaming, scorching, burning emotions, desires and passions on the one hand, but also into that which lives alongside them, yet never unites with them: our eternal being.
It now becomes clear that as far as the head is concerned our soul is buried within it; there the soul rests. The head is essentially an external organ, organized for reflecting the physical environment; in the head we grasp the external physical world. We grasp ourselves when we look through the heart into the depth of our being. For ordinary consciousness the waves of emotions are all that are thrust up from that depth. When we gain more insight through higher knowledge then our eternal being comes up to meet us. Then our soul learns to unite itself with that spiritual being which is our self. We are not part of the spiritual environment which we see outside. We are that which we behold through our heart when it has become sense organ. The path which otherwise led only to the experience of our soul’s external side, its urges and desires, now leads us into the eternal soul within us, which is saturated with spirit. The eternal soul is as spiritual as the spiritual environment. We have come into a sphere where soul and spirit are one.
No matter how much you seek within the brain, only what is physical is to be found there; in the head you are yourself physical. Yet the brain is the main field of research for modern psychology. It is said that psychology investigates the soul, but only the brain is investigated. This can be done because the brain is an expression of the soul which lies entombed within it. The soul rests like a corpse within the brain and this corpse is the subject of modem psychology. The soul itself is beneath the heart where it is united with the spirit. Only its external aspect unites with the instincts and desires; the soul’s inner being does not.
We are, in reality, within the sun. We are within the external physical-etheric aspect of the sun in all that which we externally perceive because of the sun’s presence, and our senses’ inner connection with what the sun enables us to perceive.
However, when we attain imaginative and inspired cognition – that is, when through the heart we penetrate further into our own being – then we experience the sun differently. At a certain point, when inspired cognition begins and we are within a world of pictures which at the same time are realities, we become aware, as if through a sudden jolt of soul and spirit, that we have arrived within the sun.
This is an experience of immense significance. On earth the sun shines on us; as human beings we perceive things around us because they reflect the sunlight. But the moment we ascend to inspired cognition, when for us the heart becomes a sense organ, we suddenly experience ourselves within the sun. We no longer look up and see the sun move in its orbit – I am taking into account only the sun’s apparent movement – rather do we feel that with our heart we are within the sun and moving with it. For us the heart is in the sun and the sun becomes our eye with which we behold what begins to appear around us. The sun now becomes our eye and our ear and our organ of warmth. We no longer feel that we are outside the sun; rather do we feel transported into the sun and existing within the light. Formerly we were always outside the light, but now that we have plunged with our being into the heart we have the feeling that our relation to the world is such that we are within the light, that our being is light. Within the undulating, weaving light we touch the spiritual beings with the organs of light which we now possess. We are now, in our soul being, akin not to the world outside the sun, but to the world within it. And I want to emphasize that our being becomes linear, so much so, that we feel we are within the sun’s linear path. When we advance just a little further in higher cognition we feel ourselves to be not only within the sun but also to a certain extent beyond it. Formerly we were tiny human beings there below and we looked up at the sun. But now that we have come into the sun we feel we are, with our soul being, within the sun and the world which was formerly around us is now within us.
Verse by Rudolf Steiner
Sun, thou bearer of rays,
Thy light’s power over matter
Magics life out of the earth’s
Limitless rich depths.
Heart, thou bearer of soul,
Thy light’s power over spirit
Magics life out of the human being’s
Limitless deep inwardness.
If I gaze upon the Sun
Her light speaks to me in radiance
Of the Spirit, filled with grace,
Wielding through the beings of worlds.
If I feel within my heart
The Spirit speaks its own true word
About the human being, loved by him
Through all time and eternity.
Looking upwards, I can see
In the Sun’s bright disc
The mighty heart of worlds.
Looking inwards, I can feel
In the heart’s warm beat
The human Sun ensouled.
Verse for Ita Wegman, February 27, 1925
Hearts interpret Karma
When hearts learn to read
Which creates in
When hearts learn to
Speak the Word
Which creates in
The Human Being.
Verses and Meditations, by Rudolf Steiner
In the human Heart
there lives a part of Man
which contains matter
more spiritual than in any other organ;
also a part of Man
of which the spiritual life
is made more manifest in matter
than that of any other organ.
Hence, in the Microcosm that is Man
Sun is the Heart,
and in his Heart is Man united
most of all with the deepest fount-
the fount of his true Being.
Douglas Gabriel has written a book about the heart, entitled The Human Heart is a Supersensible Organ of Perception, and is being released section by section until complete. You can also access the chapters by typing “The Human Heart” in our search bar and all of the posts will be displayed.
Chapter One: The World Changes When Our Hearts Do
Chapter Two: Physiological Aspects of the Human Heart
. . . . . Secrets of the Heart
. . . . .Chambers of the Heart
. . . . .A Thumb of Fire
Chapter Three: Three Fields of Force
Chapter Four: Great Thoughts About the Heart
Chapter Five: Rudolf Steiner on the Human Heart (you are here)
Chapter Six: Dodecahedron Universe