The study of the blood is very deep, far-reaching, and of supreme importance from whatever viewpoint we analyze it. Lucifer was decidedly right when he said that "blood is a most peculiar essence." It builds the physical body from the time the seed atom is deposited in the ovum till the rupture of the silver cord ends material existence, being one of the highest products of the vital body and the carrier of nourishment to every part of the body. It is the direct vehicle of the Ego, having injected into it every thought, feeling or emotion transmitted to the lungs.
In infancy, and up to the fourteenth year, the red marrow-bones do not make all the blood corpuscles. Most of them are supplied by the thymus gland, which is largest in the fetus and gradually diminishes as the individual blood- making faculty develops in the growing child. The thymus gland contains, as it were, a supply of blood corpuscles given by the parents and consequently the child, which draws its blood from that source, does not realize its individuality. Not until the blood is made by the child does it think of itself as "I," and when the thymus gland disappears, at the age of fourteen, the "I" feeling reaches its full expression, for then the blood is made and dominated entirely by the Ego. The following will make clear the idea and its logic:
It will be remembered that assimilation and growth depend upon the forces working along the positive pole of the vital body's chemical ether. That is set free at the seventh year, together with the balance of the vital body. Only the chemical ether is fully ripe at that time; the other parts need more ripening. At the fourteenth year the life ether of the vital body, which has to do with propagation, is fully ripe. In the period from seven to fourteen years of age the excessive assimilation has stored an amount of force which goes to the sex organs and is ready at the time the desire body is set free.
This force of sex is stored in the blood during the third of the seven year periods and in that time the light ether, which is the avenue for the blood heat, is developed and controls the heart, so that the body is neither too hot nor too cold. In early childhood the blood very often rises to an abnormal temperature. During the period of excessive growth, it is frequently the reverse, but in the hot-headed, unrestrained youth, passion and temper very often drive the Ego out by overheating the blood. We very appropriately call this an ebullition or boiling over of temper and describe the effect as causing the person to "lose his head," or become incapable of thought. That is exactly what happens when passion, rage, or temper overheats the blood, thus drawing the Ego outside the bodies. The Ego is outside of its vehicles and they are running amuck, bereft of the guiding influence of thought, part of the work of which is to act as a brake on impulse. Only the man who keeps cool and does not allow excess of heat to drive him out can think properly.
As proof of the assertion that the Ego cannot work in the body when the blood is either too hot or too cold we will call attention to the well known fact that excessive heat makes one sleepy, and, if carried beyond a certain point, it drives the Ego out, leaving the body unconscious. It is only when the blood is at or near the normal temperature that the Ego can use it as a vehicle of consciousness.
The burning blush of shame is an evidence of the manner in which the blood is driven to the head, thus overheating the brain and paralyzing thought. Fear is a state when the Ego wants to barricade himself against some outside danger. He then drives the blood to the center and grows pale, because the blood has left the periphery of the body, and has lost heat, thus paralyzing thought. In fever the excess of heat causes delirium.
The full-blooded person, when the blood is not too hot, is active in body and mind, while the anemic person is sleepy. In one the Ego has better control; in the other, less. When the Ego wants to think it drives blood, at the proper heat, to the brain. When a heavy meal centers the activity of the Ego upon the digestive tract, the man cannot think; he is sleepy.
The old Norsemen and the Scots recognized that the Ego is in the blood. No stranger could become associated with them as a relative until he had "mixed blood" with them and thus become one of them.
In the descendants of the patriarchal families--Adam, Methuselah, etc., the blood which coursed through their veins contained the pictures of all that had happened to their different ancestors, and these pictures were constantly before the inner vision of each one as they had no outer vision at that time. At the present time the blood of each individual contains only the pictures of his own individual experiences and the subconscious mind has access to them. Up to the time that marriage outside of the family was commenced individuals were ruled by a Family Spirit (Angel) which entered the blood by means of the air inspired, and helped each Ego to control its vehicles. When marriage outside the family began, Egos had arrived at a point in the evolution of self-consciousness where they could depend on self, and where they were to cease being God-guided automatons and become self-governing individuals. The greater the mixture of blood the less the indwelling Ego can be influenced by the Race or Family Spirits. Unmixed blood gave us ancestral assistance when we needed it. Mixed blood makes for independence of outside help. A God (creator) must be independent.
The heat of the blood is the vantage ground of the Ego, and the Lucifer Spirits from Mars aid in maintaining this heat by dissolving iron, a Mars metal, in our blood to attract oxygen, a solar element.
The proper heat for the real expression of the Ego is not present until the mind is born from the macrocosmic Concrete Mind, when the individual is about twenty-one years old. Statutory law also recognizes this as the earliest age when the man is deemed fit to exercise a franchise.
In the lower order of animals blood is fluid and nucleated. The nuclei, centers of life, are the vantage ground of a Group Spirit. It regulates their vital processes and guides them through the nuclei. During the early part of the gestatory period the blood of the fetus is also nucleated by the life of the mother, and she regulates the process of body building; but as soon as the incoming Ego enters the mother's body, it commences to assert its individuality and resist formation of nucleated blood cells. The old cells gradually disappear, so that when the silver cord is tied at the time of quickening and the Ego is drawn into its body, all nuclei have disappeared, and it is absolute autocrat of its new vehicle, a heritage more precious than any other earthly possession; and when properly used it is our means of generating soul power and laying up treasure in heaven. When we abandon this vehicle to Spirit controls, we seriously hinder our higher evolution and commit a great sin. Thus the blood is the particular vehicle of the Ego, and as in the past aeons of development we have crystallized matter in order to form our dense body, so also it is destined that now we must etherealize our vehicles in order that we may lift ourselves and the world out of the realms of materiality and into the spiritual. Naturally, therefore, the Ego aims first to make the blood gaseous, and to the spiritual sight, this red unnucleated blood is not a fluid, but a gas. It is no argument against this assertion that the moment we prick our skin the blood comes out as a liquid. The moment we open up the try-cock of a steam boiler the gas also condenses into a liquid, but if we make a model steam engine of glass and look at the way steam works there we shall see only the piston move backward and forward, driven by an invisible agent, live steam, and similarly, as the live steam direct from the boiler is invisible, and gaseous, so also the live blood in the human body is a gas, and the higher the state of development of any given Ego, the more ethereal is it able to make the blood.
When, by the vital processes, food has reached the highest alchemical state, the process of condensation begins and the blood-gas is formed into tissue in the various organs to replace what has been wasted or destroyed by the activities of the body. The spleen is the gateway of the vital body; there the solar force which abounds in the surrounding atmosphere enters in a constant stream, to aid us in the vital processes, and there also the war between the desire body and the vital body is waged most fiercely. Thoughts of worry, fear, and anger interfere with the process of evaporation in the spleen, a speck of plasm is the result, and this is at once seized upon by a thought elemental which forms a nucleus and embodies itself therein. Then it commences to live a life of destruction, coalescing with other waste products and decaying elements wherever formed, making the body a charnel house instead of the temple of an indwelling living Spirit. We may therefore say that every white corpuscle which has been taken by an outside entity is to the Ego a lost opportunity. The more of these lost opportunities there are in the body, the less is the body under control of the Ego, therefore we find them present in larger numbers in all diseases than when the person is in health. It may also be said that the person of a jovial good nature or one who is devoutly religious and has an absolute faith and trust in divine providence and love, will register many less lost opportunities or white corpuscles than those who are always worrying and fretting.
So it is that the blood is the only part of the body really ours. The measure in which we control all blood depends upon the Ego's ability to express itself through the body. It is only through the red corpuscles that the Ego is able to work. Whenever we allow ourselves to be negative we manufacture white corpuscles, which are not, as we have seen, "the policemen of the system," as science now thinks, but destroyers.
When the blood courses through the arteries which are deep in the body, it is a gas, as has been shown; but loss of heat near the surface of the body causes it to partially condense, and in that substance the Ego is learning to form mineral crystals. Science has lately found that the blood of different people has different crystals, so that it is possible now to tell the blood of a black man from the blood of a white man; but there will come a day when they will know a still greater difference; for just as there is a difference in the crystals formed by different races, so there is also a difference in the crystals formed by each individual man.
Looking at the matter from another angle, we may note that when blood is beaten with a stick it separates into three distinct substances: the serum or water-like substance which comes under Cancer ruled by the Moon (Lunar Hierarchy); the red coloring matter which is the Martian substance generated under Scorpio; and most important of all, the fibrin, or stringy matter which is under the third of the watery signs, Pisces. When the skeleton was outside our flesh, consciousness was dull as in the crustacea. By getting outside the bony structure we have gained a much higher grade of consciousness, and by spiritualizing this inner skeleton through the medium of the blood, we extract the essence of all we have learned in the past epochs and transform it to usable soul power in the Jupiter Period. To interfere in this work is a crime against the soul.
Since woman has the positive vital body, she matures earlier than the male, and the parts which remain plant-like, such as the hair, grow longer and more luxuriant. Naturally a positive vital body will generate more blood than the negative vital body possessed by the male, hence we have in woman a greater blood pressure, which it is necessary to relieve by the periodical flow, and when that ceases at the climacteric period there is a second growth in woman, particularly well expressed in the saying, "fat and forty."
The impulses of the desire body drive the blood through the system at varying rates of speed, according to the strength of the emotions. Woman, having an excess of blood, works under much higher pressure than man, and while this pressure is relieved by the periodical flow, there are times when it is necessary to have an extra outlet; then the tears of woman, which are white bleeding, act as a safety valve to remove excessive fluid. Men, although they may have as strong emotions as women, are not given to tears because they have no more blood than they can comfortably use.
The blood is now differently constituted from what it was in the earlier ages of human evolution. The Christ Spirit was seen at the Baptism to descend upon Jesus' body. Jesus himself, the Spirit, left that body and was given a mission to serve the churches while his body was being used for direct teaching by the Christ, and his blood was being prepared as an Open Sesame to the Kingdom of God.
When anyone is killed, the venous blood with its impurities clings closely to the flesh, and therefore the arterial blood which flows is distinctly cleaner than it would otherwise be. Being etherealized by the great Christ Spirit, the cleansed blood of Jesus overflowed the world, purified the Etheric Region of selfishness to a great extent, and gave man a better chance to draw to himself materials which will allow him to form altruistic purposes and desires.
This article was adapted from "Occult Principles of Health and Healing," page 22-30, by Max Heindel.