Article by Heinz Grill
The sharp rise in population growth in recent years
The earliest historical calculations estimate a count of 200 million people dwelling on earth. The population only rose gradually over the coming centuries and in the year 1650 reached a figure of around 500 million people. Then industrialisation followed, and the development of many new technical achievements. In the year 1900 the earth’s inhabitants had already reached an astonishing count of 1.6 billion, and 65 years later this had massively expanded to 3.3 billion.
Today a shocking – if we consider the proportional relationship of space – figure of 7.7 billion people world-wide is postulated. Can these masses of people connect appropriately with nature, shape their lives harmoniously, artistically, and fulfil their individual needs for space?
The relationship of earlier human beings to the spirit and the earth
From the perspective of reincarnation, people today lack the actual spiritual, substantial power for sufficient, deep-reaching development. In order to understand the higher reality of the spirit, it seems useful to think of an abstract vertical line reaching from above, in other words from the cosmos, down to earth. Human beings carry within them the creative power of the spirit, they are bestowed with thought, which they can develop to create the highest inventions, and with whose help they can achieve the most varied conquests of nature. So a vertical line lives in human beings. An animal finds expression through a spine which tends to be oriented to horizontal movement.
To get a concept of the basic principles of reincarnation, we can imagine a vertical line with a zenith and a nadir, and can mark these points anatomically on the human being with the head and the feet. However these lines should not be thought of as limited to the human body, rather they should span all the way to the centre of the earth and right up to the sun. Spiritually seen, individual human beings are actually not only defined within their bodily existence, they are in fact equipped with a deeply rooted, spiritually cosmic dimension of light and warmth, which corresponds to the sun and the planets, and beyond this they are energetically connected with all chemical substances of the earth. The soul and the spirit communicate in the highest heights of the solar system and come into contact with the deepest substances of the earthly world.
Earlier human beings, for example at the beginning of the Christian era around 2000 years ago, were still connected very intensively with the sun-forces of the firmament. At the same time they perceived the earthly world sensitively, aware of its intrinsic essence, its elements and also its energies. If they took a handful of earth, observed it with their senses, they felt its aliveness and saw intrinsic, fruitful forces. Their being literally breathed with the elements of universal creation and they did not need to analyse the soil-composition, as people do today, in order to know how they could use this earth. People at that time experienced the earth and nature, with its elemental spirits and forces. Their souls were connected both intuitively in the zenith of the spirit as well as perceptively with the elements of the earth, but they were not yet really established in an ample self-awareness.
The demands of the present day
The difference to people of the present day, therefore, is that the consciousness of earlier human beings could still perceive many spiritual so-called “beings”, and existed intuitively as if in a cosmic dream, but did not yet have their own understanding of the self. The fear of death, for example, was far less than today. The line from above to below was long, but it was not yet stabilised, based, and the head of the human being was accompanied more by a so-called atavistic clairvoyance. 1) The term atavistic clairvoyance literally means a clairvoyance derived from the grandfather. This inherited clairvoyance stands in contrast to the spiritual consciousness which today needs to be developed out of a fully mature consciousness and free from genetics.
Today human beings live in an intensive, materialistic time period. They drive cars, use computers, watch films on TV, and if they want to know the weather for the next day they listen to the forecast on the news. People find out what’s going on in America, or at least they think they have been correctly informed about this. And yet they only know very limited technical details about the car that they drive, and they do not have to take care of oil the engine needs themselves. Materialism is characterised precisely by alienation. Utilising and consuming technology leads to the loss of a real relationship to matter. Although people today are involved in consuming substances and using machines at almost every moment, they feel as if they are isolated and homeless on this earth. Their souls lack both the spirit with its depth, and closeness to the experience of world phenomena. The long connecting line between zenith and nadir, between spirit and earth, has been torn. Modern human beings are neither established in the spirit nor sufficiently incarnated in earthly existence. 2) The term incarnate means that the soul connects harmoniously with the body. A less esoteric but more psychological term would be just as appropriate here: There is no longer sufficient human integrity. People no longer feel complete in their souls.
From a spiritual perspective, the high degree of overpopulation today appears like a hopeless dangling and floundering of souls between heaven and earth. The nadir of earth can hardly be reached by these many souls and yet the forces for incarnation and embodiment are thronging. It is an image of agitation and of desperation.
Fear as a feature of our era
More and more people are coming from the spiritual realm into the sphere of incarnation on earth. The situation, however, which appears with this extraordinary growth of population is like a kind of panic state, comparable with passengers in utmost turmoil on a sinking ship. The souls are born out of fear and the human beings now do not become like well-founded creatures, but like beings packed into the earthly sphere. Children literally fall into a world of masses, of agitation and of excessive scenes of achievement. With their first breaths they find a world which produces unpleasant and hardly bearable feelings of alienation. On the physical plane life will be pleasant and secure for them through medicine and an indulgent upbringing, but only by way of physical benefits. The soul-life barely receives the naturalness and nourishment it needs.
The children, who go on to become adolescent and grown-up, experience a feeling of intense relationship through the highly cramped space on the earth. But it is nothing other than a lack of real closeness, connection and soul-identity that the many young people discover. They therefore develop longings, generating these deeply in their souls, and when these people become old and die, they take these experiences over into the world after death. Paradoxically, the rampant meaninglessness of the profuse population explosion triggers a deep question of meaning. The learning steps however remain more on the unconscious level and do not show on the surface. A first love for the spirit and a first love for earth can be acquired through the soul when it has to live in the stream of torrential panic of modern society. The soul must cope with fear and then, only for a next incarnation, a real strengthening comes about for the soul.
The learning, in the time of overpopulation, is therefore a strange, paradoxical learning. It is a learning of the most elementary love and appreciation both of the earth and of the spirit.
The lack of spiritual responsibility leads to imbalance in the world
The world which is described in Indian philosophy with the term brahman contains ideas, waiting ideals, and the powers to realise these ideals. It it like an invisible reservoir, which weaves and breathes like a great mystery behind the sun and planets. Every individual human being carries into this spiritual world all those powers for which he or she has assumed enough knowledge or responsibility. Now, we can imagine how many people today avoid responsibility and sign off sick when they have to face certain challenges. How much responsibility does Mrs Merkel have to assume in her term as German chancellor? In her lifetime she should already be bringing powers into the spiritual world, into brahman. She is supposed be a leading personality and ought to be promoting enough ingenious thought to preserve the cultural treasure of Germany in the sense of philosophy, the power of thinking, and the innovative spirit. The chancellor is an expression of the nation, and if one studies Mrs Merkel, one discovers not abundance but an unspeakable emptiness and lack of position.
The emptiness which arises in the spiritual world, through the intellectualistic, compensatory forms of lifestyle void of relationship or depth, results in the highest possible birth rate. An infinitely large number of people have to be born into this world because there is too little responsibility politically, socially and in the preservation of culture. The quantitative human abundance demonstrates the lack of depth and consciousness. 3) In Indian philosophy the significance of overpopulation was known. The less human beings fulfilled their duty – and at that time it was largely spiritual duty that was meant – the more the movement of the population would overflow. The Sanskrit term for this was samkarasya. See Bhagavad Gita 3.24
The failure of religions and the population explosion
As long as religion represents an escape from life and from a deeper encounter with the contents of the spirit, the spiritual world defends itself and answers with precisely the phenomenon that it sends people to earth, as determined by their karma, so that these people discover the state of homelessness. When someone interested in undertaking a spiritual training uses the latter only to accumulate energy and balance their life, they remain far removed from their potential task in life and their deeper incarnation. The phrase “recharging with energy”, which is very often used in esoteric scenes, could best be applied in a material, consuming society, but not for the productive unfolding of the human spiritual life. As it is mainly life-compensations which predominate today in yoga, in meditation, in anthroposophy, in Buddhist institutions and in Christian bible circles, and the term spirituality not seldom serves to sublimate everyday life, people cannot establish themselves sufficiently in the zenith of the spirit and the nadir of the earth. Escape into groups therefore very often promotes population explosion.
Individual human beings appear weaker in their powers of consciousness than they did fifteen years ago. Experience in yoga courses shows that spinal stress in young people is extremely apparent, a state which indicates a growing weakness in the metabolism and not least also a lacking ability to concentrate. The consciousness of young people becomes overloaded by too much information and no longer acquires enough time to orient itself in solid relationships with deeper perceptions. Emotions take the place of rational thinking.
The defects which exists in society through weakness appear unavoidably and conspicuously before the eyes. Experience shows that on a course, whether it is a yoga course or a philosophy lesson, an enormous amount of effort needs to be invested in order to be able to think a future ideal peacefully and confidently. However, if on a course one speaks about the defects in culture, and complains with strong statements about the impossibility of politics, one receives encouragement and a lot of support for one’s words. But where is people’s productive and constructive thinking? Everything is too difficult, they say. Ideals can no longer be thought, as people are too weakened through the over-demands and problems in the world. As a speaker one receives an unfriendly look when one does not allow the emotional complaints to become the subject matter and begins to speak about the responsibility of human beings, their potential and their most urgent spiritual goals. 4) When individuals decide upon a spiritual training, the suggestions of politics, the church, the media and economy have less hold on them. They eventually establish themselves in more profound thoughts and develop an independent power of self, a power which stabilises them individually and at the same time opens them universally for more expanded forms of relationship and experience. The love for the spiritual and for the earthly world increases in them and their souls experience closeness, conscious connection and meaningfulness. Their feet tread on the earth differently and their heads experience the world of the universal creative spirit. Though an ordered and disciplined spiritual training the line between above and below, between zenith and nadir, can span out and be experienced in an independent consciousness.
The good person in contrast to a creatively active person
The so-called good people, who dutifully follow the suggestions of the times, whose seeming opinions are formed according to collective precepts, and who occasionally rebel in emancipation against the defects of the economy, as is certainly fitting in modern society, such people remain as if unborn. With their souls they only go to the edge of universal creation, because they do not yet find the courage for an ideal, and therefore live in a seeming apathy in the face of the bad conditions of the times.
Successful spiritual training is lacking today in the panic-drives of the population explosion. The more people are moved to examine things more deeply, and achieve the courage for ideals and their implementation, the more they have the effect of balancing the whole universal sphere. Human beings must be born completely, for only then, when they find their contact with earthly substance right into the depth of the nadir, and joyfully experience the bright formation of the highest, free ideals, right up to the zenith, can a universal balance develop.
|⇑1||The term atavistic clairvoyance literally means a clairvoyance derived from the grandfather. This inherited clairvoyance stands in contrast to the spiritual consciousness which today needs to be developed out of a fully mature consciousness and free from genetics.|
|⇑2||The term incarnate means that the soul connects harmoniously with the body. A less esoteric but more psychological term would be just as appropriate here: There is no longer sufficient human integrity. People no longer feel complete in their souls.|
|⇑3||In Indian philosophy the significance of overpopulation was known. The less human beings fulfilled their duty – and at that time it was largely spiritual duty that was meant – the more the movement of the population would overflow. The Sanskrit term for this was samkarasya. See Bhagavad Gita 3.24|
|⇑4||When individuals decide upon a spiritual training, the suggestions of politics, the church, the media and economy have less hold on them. They eventually establish themselves in more profound thoughts and develop an independent power of self, a power which stabilises them individually and at the same time opens them universally for more expanded forms of relationship and experience. The love for the spiritual and for the earthly world increases in them and their souls experience closeness, conscious connection and meaningfulness. Their feet tread on the earth differently and their heads experience the world of the universal creative spirit. Though an ordered and disciplined spiritual training the line between above and below, between zenith and nadir, can span out and be experienced in an independent consciousness.|