The zeitgeist and the phenomena of the times –
Outlook for 2023 – Part 4a

Article by Heinz Grill, published in German on 1st January, 2023

The healthy activity that is demanded today on the part of the spiritual world and also of the souls dwelling in the cosmos, of people who have departed, consists in recognising the so-called phenomena of the times in their, so to speak, unbearable wrongness, and out of good ideals, in the sense of the best zeitgeist, to bring actions into the world. The term zeitgeist characterises the philosophy of Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831), who in his idealistic philosophy spoke of a spirit spanning history, a world spirit. Rudolf Steiner called this zeitgeist, in the sense of the spirits of the primal beginning, the so-called Archē. Hegel is of the opinion that the objective spirit is reflected in a certain era and its phenomena, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) regards the zeitgeist as the prevailing spiritual aspect of an era. Unfortunately, to this day, these terms have become alienated and many people consider the zeitgeist to mean lifestyle fads and superficial thinking habits.

The phenomena of times are subject to great fluctuations and can be perceived in external reality. But the zeitgeist is a mysterious dimension that can be broken down very precisely through insight. It is a task of spirituality to understand the zeitgeist and from this to provide information about the future.

What phenomenal outer spirit is it that pulsates in the way it does today with a network of lies, stylizing the true as false and the useless as necessary? The recognition of this phenomenon of the times, and of so-called evil, often opens gateways to an initiative for action that opens up a basis for the future. In the last two years, many people have recognised the irregularities of the times and have tried to correct them with sincere efforts. Almost all of these activities, in the form of demonstrations, rallies, public statements and exposure of correct information, have failed to gain traction, and in many cases deep depression and despair has arisen. What phenomenon reigns at this time, a time which is seemingly impregnable? What kinds of silent mysteries are going on in humanity in the current course of events?

As already described in previous annual forecasts, today’s ruler of the times is a shadowy figure in the cosmos, which is actually visible to the spiritually trained eye. It was able to develop because there were once people who actually did such mean and paltry deeds in their life, leaving behind a large number of unexposed lies, that they completely forfeited their soul and therefore could not find a place in the cosmos even after death. But the secret of why they still exist is that precisely these people are most worshipped and revered. A nothing is elevated to something good.

Furthermore, these shadow figures show themselves through the most diverse people, who produce outright lies, malice and intent to destroy their fellow human beings and even all nations. They are also so small and useless in their souls that they can only survive through malice towards others. The number of people, for example, who need a third world war to cover up all their wickedness is not small. In their own world they want vināśa, destruction; they long for the greatest possible conflicts and through this they unconsciously send the shadowy figures, which shield the sun and destroy all morality, into the cosmos. There are people who outwardly preach good and inwardly need evil, and it is precisely these people who in a first-rate way create the current phenomenon of the zeitgeist and its resulting problems. Ultimately, the politicians are much more dependent on the effects of these inner forces of the people than one might think.

Finally, there is a third power that is also of great importance in the study of evil. Humanity and certain very egoistic and powerful interests produce phenomena that are elevated to reality. The reality that is created in this way is not real, it is produced, it is created, and as a construct it actually acquires a certain reality. But when people are confronted with a reality that does not in fact exist, yet which they believe does exist, many cooperate with the shadowy zeitgeist figure and generate astonishing aggression. People speak of a need that comes through the climate, and in doing this they produce a completely disproportionate feeling. The feeling becomes reality, and eventually it becomes measurable. The cosmic figure in the shadow of vināśa, destruction, thus gains reality and rules the times.

The unreal, which exists purely on the basis of projection, lives enthroned above the current events in a compelling way. These effects have an impact on the human ability to think and, in their further course, on people’s entire relating behaviour. Individuals are no longer able to form sufficiently logical ideas and from these ideas the necessary feelings. Their whole soul balance seems like a rowing boat that is thrown into a rough sea. Inevitable divisions in relationships are the consequences that result from the zeitgeist.1) Featured photo: The view from Naone of the Adamello mountain range


1 Featured photo: The view from Naone of the Adamello mountain range

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