What is Blood?

Many religious festivals are overlooked today. We are happy to have holidays for Christmas and Easter even if we have no connection to the reason for the holiday. In many ways an overly zealous church has alienated us from them. However, we do not need to be affiliated with a church to bring the meaning of these festivals into our lives. They belong to the whole of humanity because they are connected with the development of human consciousness. They are also connected with the birth of Jesus Christ who entered this earth for all of us.

Not only did he live on this earth but his blood flowed out of his body and into the earth itself. We could say that it soaked the earth with the purity of its forces. If we eat food grown in this earth then surely these forces enter into us, consciously or unconsciously. If we are to understand the consequences of this act we need an understanding of what blood actually is. In his play Faust, Goethe wrote, “Blood is a very special fluid.” Rudolf Steiner explains this in his lecture given in October 25, 1906 http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/19061025p01.html

Steiner explains that essentially blood is our liquid life, it is like a second being in us, distinct from our bone, muscle and nerve. The latter connects us to this earth and our blood connects us with the higher worlds and with our Higher Self, our I-being. The purpose of the crucifixion and the resurrection was to assist us to purify ourselves so that we could become aware of the spiritual worlds through our connection with our Higher Self. With this in mind consider these words in the Gospel of St John.

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; John 6:53

If we examine the meaning of some of these words the symbolism referred to by the Church moves beyond the symbol and becomes a reality in our own being. There are nine different words for eat in the Greek. Each one has a specific meaning. The word phagō is used here and it means to consume or devour so that whatever we eat unites with us inwardly and becomes part of us.

The flesh of the Son of Man does not refer to the physical body of Jesus. The word for flesh here is sarx which means our astral body. The astral body gives us consciousness and is the seat of our desires which we need to purify. The Son of Man is that state that we attain as we are able to carry out this purification. We, Man, give birth to the Son. We regenerate our desires, refining them and raising them ever higher.

Pinō, to drink, is to receive into the soul what will nourish it. The blood, aima, of the Son of Man is our own blood which we have individualised and purified so that we can become aware of our I-being which our blood carries. The highest expression of this I-being is the I AM and Christ is the archetype of the I AM.

If we can do this we will have life in us. Life, zoe, is our spiritual life. Other words for life are bios which is physical life and psuche which is soul life.

So what St John is saying in this text is that in every moment of our life we can participate in the process of consecrating our own being. We do this by responding to life in the highest way possible. We become one with our purified astral body which means that our consciousness is heightened, and we individualise our blood, we claim it away from our ancestors and make it our own. In these ways our Higher Self influences our feeling, thinking and will; our three basic soul forces. That is what blood is for, to give us our true spiritual life here on this earth so that we can know the truth of our own existence. Without blood we could not be consciously aware of who we really are. That is the real mystery of blood.

Edited 24 Feb, 2013

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