Again and again in his lectures on The Karma of Untruthfulness, Steiner emphasised the importance of the search for truth. He began with the question that was in everyone’s minds at that time of the First World War: “what can I do in this crisis?” – and answered simply and directly: “Endeavour to understand! See through things!”
Thoughts, he said, are forces and have effects. What people think is far more important than what they do, because thoughts become deeds in the course of time.
We live today on the thoughts of past times; these thoughts are fulfilled in the deeds of today. Clear and proper understanding of what is going on is the only way – “Nothing else is of any use”.
We need wide-awake vigilance and discrimination in all things. All forms of atavistic mediumism and spiritual practice that avoid the conscious mind are anti-modern and harmful. At the very beginning of his public life, in his book The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (1894; a.k.a. The Philosophy of Freedom), Steiner showed how it is vital to combine the correct thought with the object, to find the concept that truly corresponds to the percept.
Nothing is better for a person, he said, than real insight into how things work in the world. The truth can never be as damaging as an untruth and to adhere to the truth is a solemn and holy act of worship. Have courage for truth, he urged; stand on the foundation of truth, even if it is harmful or embarrassing.
It is essential “to develop the will to see things, to see how human beings are manipulated, to see where there might be impulses by which people are manipulated. This is the same as striving for the sense for truth. ….
This Consciousness Soul epoch (1413-3573), which according to Steiner lasts 2160 years, will continue until the middle of the 4th millennium. A crucial aspect of this epoch is for individuals to become conscious of themselves as spiritual beings and of their relationship to the worlds of spirit, nature and other human beings. This is something that only individuals can do in freedom; it cannot be done en masse, as a group...
In this epoch the main challenge is for individuals to penetrate their mental life so that they can become the conscious masters of their thinking. The Consciousness Soul Age will be followed by the Age of the Spirit-Self, the first period in which the spirit of man will be developed, as distinct from the soul. The focus in that epoch will not be so much on individuals and thinking but on the development of new communities and a higher, more refined life of feeling...
The current coronavirus crisis in this 21st century since the time of Christ is taking place within this struggle for the corona (crown) of world power between China and America...
From the early 1970s until today we have seen countless examples of this animalisation. In their paranoid overreaction to the coronavirus, governments have sought to reduce whole nations to sheep, locked up in domestic ‘pens’, unable to move freely until their ‘shepherds’ allow, and whole nations have meekly complied.
Public social and cultural life has all but been sheared off and we wait dumbly for we know not what. Perhaps a vaccine that, like sheep, we shall all be required to take for purposes of “health and safety”, our vaccination records accessible on an implanted ID chip in our bodies, just as farm animals already have...
Meanwhile, as we are not in fact sheep but human beings, we can at least use this current imposed detention in our ‘pens’ to study, research, think and meditate, and try to understand what is going on, even though much of that research and study may have to be in the ahrimanic realm of the Internet (the inspiration for which, like almost all modern technology, came from that realm).
We can take courage from the knowledge, a result of Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual research, that in this Age of the Consciousness Soul, in this 21st century of the Christian Era, and in this Michaelic Age, since the 1930s17 the Christ Being, the Divine Logos, has been visible to those who can perceive Him in the etheric mantle of the Earth, which is the realm of the angels.
There He is borne by an angel, as in Palestine He was borne for just three years by a human being. Since the Ascension he has united Himself with the Earth. This can become a great source of strength and comfort to people in times such as ours.
(Note: this essay is difficult, esoteric in a way different from my own frame of understanding - nonetheless, I regard it as full of deep insights.)