Today is a sad day. The majority of the citizens of the European Union and United Kingdom are not at all aware of the scope of what happened just a few hours ago, with the decision in Referendum, by a narrow margin, of the citizens of the United Kingdom, to leave the European Union.
The EU was and is far from being perfect. Even more so, is deeply imperfect. It lacks appropriate democratic mechanisms and effective governance processes, and above all, in the past decade , it has lost the ability to give answers and to create enthusiasm in the citizens of the various countries. member of it. And this is a good part of the reason why British citizens, especially those older than 50 years, have voted “leave”. Because, quite simply, the EU was for them, something they perceived not close, important, or simply beneficial.
But the fact that they do not perceive it does not mean that it wasn’t so. It means, that it benefits were “way beyond” thee scope of their immediate perception.
To this problem, or better said, in relation to the same, joins the problem of emerging extremisms and nationalisms at the length and breadth of the world. Instead of advancing in the “democratization” of the areas controlled by authoritarian systems (that always are, by definition, extremists and nationalists), has begun to happen otherwise: the democratic world turns nationalist, extremist, and not taking much, it will become authoritarian.
Why is this happening?… As I have indicated in La Economia de la Confianza (Lit.: “The Confidence Based Economics”. Not published in English. IAO Publishing, 2015), modern economics is based on two essential pillars that, in these moments, act at the unconscious level of mankind: fraternity and trust. The world economy, based on the intensive use of technology (that is, on human intelligence, that organizing the work produces an effect of saving or release labor) generates a gigantic and global interdependence that makes impossible, as a fact, that no human being can now work for itself. Our work is already so specialized and so intensively in “intelligence” (in capital) that, as a consequence, we are extremely productive and effective, but on the other side, we depend on each other for our mutual sustenance. Everything you produce, the fruit of your work is always for other human beings, and conversely, all that we need is given to us by others. This is fraternity “de facto”. However, in our consciousness, which reflects in the circulation of capital, we act in an ego-centric way, as if the money were “our possesion”, and as if we were “working for ourselves” (which, on the other hand, is not real, but constitutes a strong illusion in which we continue to live each day as if nothing were going to happen for this reason).
In relation to trust, the division of labor has created an effect of “isolation” and “separation” in the modern world, to the point of “isolating” the worker in his own “cubicle”, or in their “position” in the assembly line. We have gone from the workshop of the guilds of the 17th century, where the artisans of different level worked together creating their products, to modern work spaces, in which individualization has been taken to the extreme. This process of “separation” is a totally necessary individualization process so that the modern man can experience freedom. It was necessary that human beings would break old collective forms, to develop as an individual and free being. And the first “phase” of the individualization, is the phase of the insulation. This process is perceived as a process of loss, darkening and cooling. In the process of loosing the old world of relationships and connections, the modern man experiences more and more the emptiness of its own being. It is “the dark night of the soul” as it was called by Saint John of the Cross.
In this space, the human being feels the impulse of going back, the fear of spiritual darkness, of having no answers, and with it, the temptation to “Mistrust”. This fear is the one that leads us to go back to the collective world, in which the forms of organization that promote the predominance of the group over the individuals (nationalism, extremism and authoritarianisms) emerge.
But it is also facing and crossing this vacuum, that modern man can find himself. It is just in the vacuum when one can begin to ask “questions”, to question their own path in life, and to seek answers to these questions coming, not from the already made judgements from the past, nor from what we had been taught (from our old collective environment – something that does not come from a free and personal elaboration) but from the “objective” contemplation of one’s life itself. When one, following the path of Goethe, contemplate one’s biography, the contemplation creates an organ which enables the observer to perceive “the formative forces” of one’s life: the personal biographical archetypes. And with it one can begin to perceive “the meaning of life”, and the miracle occurs: one begins to “see”, literally, how biography itself is “formed”, “molded” by “the others”, for all those human beings with whom we have been having encounters throughout our lives.
In some cases these encounters have led us to feel “pain”. Without a doubt. But that pain, contemplated from this new “inner space”, is not a “bad” thing, but it is simply my own reaction facing a formative force (that is, what another human being has brought to me) which, at that time, I was not able to “assimilate”. Using another perhaps more understandable example, let’s consider what happens when a baby is given of some food for which his/her digestive system is not ready. That food may act, in an extreme case, as a poison. In a more benign case, it will produce more or less severe pain, and even some digestive infection. But little by little, the baby’s digestive system will “transform”, becoming more anger and more able to digest the food. In the same way goesthe path of pain for human beings; each “painful” situation that we live in, “mold” us, “transform” us, and gives us the opportunity to develop a new concrete and specific capability, which allows us to grow in our development.
Thus, the person or persons who bring us painful situations in our lives, are precisely those people who have helped us the most to develop ourselves. And if we learn to look at these situations in an objective way, without prejudices, without allowing our emotional reactions (guided always by my pre-judgments, by the memories and judgements made in the past and so, not subjected to the scrutiny of my objective contemplation) to cloud our look, we can realize that, in our lives, thanks to that person, because of the pain we lived, we won something, we moved in a particular direction, we did something that, otherwise, we would have never ever done.
This discovery then becomes a blessing for the individual soul, that begins to go, little by little, through the dark night of the soul, towards a space in which the light and the darkness of its life are interwoven, creating multiple color settings. The soul enters a new area, where the interweaving of light and darkness generates purpose and sense; in a space where human free creativity begins to have more and more importance, as much as we must take care, increasingly, of the weaving process itself. Doing so, we have gone from living in the “illusion” of the Gallery of Tapestries, to enter the workshop of the spinners of Velazquez, in the workshop of the fates. We have started, little by little, to become masters of our own destiny. And we do, precisely, recognizing, consciously and specifically, in each case, the importance of the action of the “other” human being in its action of “molding” my own destiny. Thus, the other becomes my brother (fratello) and the fear and distrust of “the dark night” are now transformed into confidence and appreciation. With this, we can transform into a real experience the fifth verse of Saint John of the Cross in his work “The dark night of the soul”:
Oh, night that guided me,
Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
Lover transformed in the Beloved!
This is the spiritual process which is reflected in the need for “confidence” in any financial transaction. In the financial world, every transaction is a process of trust. “We are confident” in the value of the paper (banknotes) that a stranger gives us when buy us our service, or pay us our salary. “We are confident” that the Bank will fulfill our contract and refund us our deposits. We trust, in short, in the fact that, the other part of the “contract” (since all the financial instruments are, in essence, contracts, starting with banknotes themselves) will comply, and in this way, we both will “mold” our destiny together, consciously. In the financial world, the pain occurs when our money is “taken away” . And in a similar way to the previous process, if one contemplates those situations in which we have lost our money, you would be able to see how we have needed to confront our fear, and to find creative ways to get ahead. You will be able to observe how we had to “mature”, to become more able to find new forms and modes of relationship with the world in order to overcome the critical situation we were living. Ultimately, you will be able to see how we had to “reinvent ourselves”, or if you want, to “stand up” on our own feet, in order to continue walking in the direction of our development.
All of that, we would have never done if it were not because of the “losing” of our money. This is how one can convert the loss in gain; and so it suddenly makes sense the old accounting adage: “the one that receives, debts; the one that gives, credits”. In fact, we have not lost us our money: we have given it; unconsciously, but we did it… And therefore, we have become “creditors” to the world, of to those to whom we have given. Or even, again unconsciously, we had “received” at a previous time, and therefore, we were “debtors”, and now we proceeded, without knowing it, to cancel this debt.
When one begins to contemplate life itself from this new “inner space”, of course, all these situations becomes much more concrete and specific. The doubts dissapear and life encounters make sense. So, the eleventh commandment starts to become a vital experience for oneself: “Love your neighbor as yourself”, or if you prefer, “whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters…. you do for me”.
Forces acting in the realm of the economics and finance, require from us a high level of consciousness, and therefore a high moral standard, very superior to the one that modern man seems to be able to get, at least for the time being. Rather than strive inside in order to discover the meaning of his existence, and thus, to be able to recognize the “little brother that brings me (even unknowingly) just what I need”, we have devoted ourselves to cover that gap produced by the emptiness with all sorts of distractions: consumption, possessions, pleasures, addictions… thinking that we could delay, permanently, the inevitable …
And if there were some special group in makind that had the tools and capacities to have offered a pathway, an “epistemological” response, a way of development a consciousness capable of crossing the abyss of darkness of the modern self, those were the anthroposophists. For more than 100 years we have had the possibility of having developed the ability of consciousness to enter into this new “space” of the soul that Rudolf Steiner described in 1894 in his Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. From that “space of the soul” we could have offered to the world “experiential” and creative answers to the questions of our time, rather than repeat as “parrots” what Steiner said a hundred years ago, rather than behave and act as a “sect” that “believes” in what Steiner said (actually, we “believe” in what we “understand” that Steiner said, because in most cases, we don’t even strive to try to understand it; we just “assimilate it” to our belief system, instead of “transform” our belief system in order to understand it). For almost a hundred years, we have had Social Threefolding, and Associative Economics, both true jewels of human social development .But it is more easy to say that they are “utopias” for the future, rather than recognizing that something in myself prevents me to understand them, so I need to increase, to enhance my ability of contemplation to create in me the proper organ of perception…
For almost a hundred years, we have had the possibility, unique in the history of mankind, of having “conscious” encounters (thet is, from the “new inner space of the soul”) to transform our different impulses of destiny, and unite them in a new impulse at the service of Christ and Michael, in a new impulse through which we were able to “compensate” our “debts” of previous lives , creating so an area of karmic “freedom” that would have allowed us to act in the world in a “spiritually” effective way . But it is much more easy to continue criticizing the other anthroposophist; It is much more easy to continue discussing “what Steiner said,” instead of fighting for one’s own experience; It is much easier to cling to the memory of one own’s experience instead of emptying oneself and listening to each other in order to discover the meaning and purpose of that fellow human being in my destiny; It is easier to call another anthroposohist “brother”, “friend”, while he/she brings us what we love to hear, and then, when the first situation of tension arises, when the first difference appears, just when the pleasure that kept us warm and happy together, when the time has arrived of contemplating our own reactions and “owning” them , when the time comes to recognize the other as the one bringing me a molding force of my destiny, at that time, it is much more easy to return to my own impulses, to my own emotions, to my own judgments, and then the “brother”, the “friend”, is no longer anything like that… now is a “rogue”, a “retarded force”, a “self-centered”, a “narcissist” a… call it what you will. Instead of fighting for loyalty to the higher self on the other, even more, instead of fighting for recognizing one’s own destiny through the other, we deny our own destiny, we rejcet and deny the other, and we radiate “contempt”, “hate” and “lies”…, but…of course, disguising and justifying them in the best possible way with a few lectures of Rudolf Steiner to intellectually justify our actions.
In short, we have not only failed to Rudolf Steiner,making useless his sacrifice, but we have also failed Michael, the Archangel who “trusted” on the human beings, the one that has being waiting for our creative actions, originated from spiritual courage, our action of spiritual “standing up”, in order to give us his hand, so that we could have created together a new future for all mankind.
Anthroposophy in these times, has failed. The Anthroposophists have failed. And with us has also failed the spirit of Europe, unable to create a social and economic alternative to the self-centered proposal of Western-Anglo-Saxon capitalism and to the collectivist Eastern Teocracies. And with all this, the spirit of fear and mistrust has triumphed.
Now, as Steiner said shortly before his death, ” Karma. will hold sway”.
Once recognized the failure, there is only a way: to learn and get up, at once, with courage and determination, in order to gain access to the “new inner soul space” in which freedom and necessity find each other, the space of the soul in which one can say, from the deepest spiritual and physical reality: ‘I am’.