How to Arrive at a Proper Understanding of
the Social Phenomenon of the Corona Pandemic

By Brane Žilavec, 28 October 2021

The First Basic Condition Is to Take Into
Account All Possible Aspects and Objections

The present global crisis which has come into the forefront of the worldwide public attention under the ‘trademark’ of corona pandemic can be at any rate compared with the crisis of the first world war that was witnessed by Steiner himself and about which he said: “Times are grave: therefore only grave and earnest views of the world and of life can serve in these times. So it is important to sense something of a feeling that I have often described as essential: above all not to judge rashly but, instead, to look at things side by side and wait for them to speak. In the course of time they will say a good many things to us. To acquaint oneself with as many aspects as possible is the best preparation for penetrating thoroughly into the difficult and complicated conditions of life today.” [1]

Here we have one of the basic conditions for an attainment of an understanding of any thing, being or phenomenon, including the very complex social phenomena in which many people participate with different motives which are the outcome of various worldviews and ethical values of individuals. This condition demands that we are not satisfied with one single view of the present crisis; instead we need to pay heed to all possible views without regard to our sympathies and antipathies.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we need to agree with all claims which are presented in the diverse explanations of the social and medical aspects of the present crisis. Due to our life experiences and the level of knowledge of each topic we can in specific cases feel if particular claims are true or not. However, this is not sufficient. What is important is that we understand why they are true or false!

We can develop such capacity if we “listen with an open mind to all objections that are presented. We can do so calmly” and persistently, for we “feel obliged to acquire knowledge even if this is arduous, to make it our own – to concern ourselves with epistemology and logic.” For this purpose “we must acknowledge the need, in anthroposophic accounts specifically, to reconcile concepts drawn from the world of spirit with philosophical (scientific) concepts – that is, to enable our terms and concepts to relate everywhere to those gained from the outer sense world” [2] by means of science.

We need to be aware that today an absolute prerequisite for attainment of a proper understanding of any affair is to consider all possible viewpoints and all serious objections against conclusions we have arrived to. For this purpose we should perform the so-called ‘inner thought monologue’ before we ‘go public’. “The thought monologue which should be as lively as possible we must have rehearsed earlier, letting it take form out of the arguments for and against, which we ourselves bring forward during the preparation [of a lecture or an article], anticipating all objections as much as possible.” [3]

Hence the demand is that “we have beforehand absolutely settled the thought element within ourselves” – “completely establishing it, as long as possible” [4] in advance – before we appear to the public with our explanations of thing or phenomenon. For only in such cases when we “feel ourselves in duty bound first to prove all things we utter, to set due restraint on all our words” [5] – are we developing our sense of truthfulness that is suitable to the demands of our age.

One would expect at least that members of the anthroposophical movement are aware that “the anthroposophist, among many other capacities which he must acquire, must also acquire a feeling of how matters concerning the world can be approached from many standpoints and from many different sides[6] – before one can claim to really know something. This is important for our capacity of formulation of personal conclusions and judgements when we are in the role of observers of social events. But in the case of all those who are presenting the fruits of their investigation to the public it is an absolute necessity.

For “an enormous amount depends on whether there are enough people who understand” that in the present age and “for many thousands of years hence, it will be crucial that we human beings acquire a feeling of responsibility towards the thoughts we take hold of.” This means that “we are not given the ability to think in order to formulate thoughts with undue haste but, rather, so that we can search. Thinking is to be seen as a process that can remain for a long time at the stage of searching for a suitable form. One should postpone formulating thoughts until responsibility has been taken for the facts – until the facts have been turned and revolved and looked at from all sides.” Only by virtue of such consistent preparations can our thinking  “reach the stage where it is, at any rate, suitable for being communicated” [7] to other people.

The Second Basic Condition Is the Need
to Know the Methods of Research

Perhaps you have noticed that in many cases when authors present scientific ‘facts’ no explanation is given as to how they have arrived at their conclusions. Nor is there given any explanation about the methods of experiments which supposedly prove what they claim in regard to infectious diseases and manners of prevention and therapy. And in the rare cases when there are descriptions of the procedures of an experiment, these are not easy to comprehend due to the use of scientific jargon which is understandable only to the ‘initiated’ who work in a specific field of science. In all these cases it is not possible to know for sure if the claims are true or are just hypotheses which were accepted as real by scientists. [8] This puts people in a situation where they are deciding on the basis of their personal preferences and not on the basis of facts which can be discovered by means of objective procedures of medical research.

This is especially problematic when they are speaking about things which are happening on the cellular and molecular level inside living organisms. For we need to be aware that there exists two areas where it is no longer possible to use the methods of research of materialistic science. One limit arises when they investigate objects in the universe with telescopes and others devices; in this case the objects are so enormously far away that scientists can say whatever they want, but we do not have any means to check what is really happening there. And the same problem is when they investigate the realm of existence where there are objects so small that we cannot ‘see’ them even with the most powerful microscopes. This is the area of atoms and molecules, among which also belong viruses. Additionally, in this case we cannot distinguish between what are facts and what are only presumptions that are regarded as facts.

Besides these two spacial limits of materialistic research there exists also a limit in the research of living organisms. Among other facts, this is evident from very fact that one of the greatest challenges of modern science is its striving to understand living organisms and the processes that contribute to occurrences of illness, aging and death. For that very reason “it is difficult to reconcile what we call life with the concept which the materialistic doctor has of it. Only someone who knows by intuition what life is can really penetrate to the understanding of life. And somebody like this also knows that the effectiveness of chemical and physical laws in the human body is controlled by something” which is difficult to describe with an earthly language. “This can be recognised only by intuition. Not before the doctor himself has become another person, can he realise this. With a certain training he has to acquire the concepts and then the insight of the mode of action of our etheric body. The usual reason, the usual human intellect, is incapable to understand the spiritual; as soon as it should advance to higher fields, it fails. Hence, without intuition everything in the medical field is only discussion; one does not touch reality.” [9]

Whoever has an opportunity to become familiar with the methods which are used in various branches of natural science in the research of the living organisms, can notice that discussion by scientists about what they perceive is very limited due to the simple fact that they do not have at their disposal suitable concepts and ideas which would enable them to recognise the workings of the supersensible bodies in the living organisms. And the first among these bodies is the etheric body, without which no living organism can exist – for each cell is its manifestation in the natural kingdoms.

Without knowledge of the nature and functions of the etheric body “it is impossible – when we find two cells of the same shape – to conclude from their structure an identity of their inner function. It is necessary to know the whole connection of the facts” that have influenced the development of both cells. “That is why the modern cellular physiology which sets out from an examination of the inner structure of the cells is taking the wrong course. Never can the external appearance prove the inner nature of a thing.” Therefore, the scientific explanations of the happenings in the human organism are to a great extent only assumptions which have become a component part of modern materialistic culture. And we should have no illusion that it will take a long time before enough people will recognize that “all our modern theoretical science is a creation of fantasy which has come about through combinations of external facts, having regard only to their outward appearance.” [10]

In the present phase of human development it is absolutely necessary that people understand the very methods of observation and cognition which are to prove this or that assertion of scientists. Steiner himself has characterised in numerous places in his published works the methods of research and cognition which were used by him and which should be used by all other spiritual-scientific researchers if they want to come to a real understanding of any topic they are investigating. [11] This means that we can never claim anything without providing evidence and explanation of how we arrived to our conclusion. “We have sure scientific results only, since we have such “research by which every human being can check the results at any time. Today the human being is right if he wants to check everything” [12] that is asserted by any expert who works in this or that area of scientific investigation, including spiritual-scientific investigation.

The Basic Principles of Spiritual-Scientific Approach to Research

In the period when I was running the nutritional courses and later in the preparation of the website New Food Culture I was following the basic principles of spiritual-scientific research which were described by Steiner.

Everybody who is more seriously occupying himself/herself with the burning questions of nutrition can notice the existence of many nutritional schools with different nutritional guidelines which often contradict to each other. The frequent consequence of this is confusion among those who wish to find the best nutrition for their health. The special characteristic of the anthroposophical approach to nutrition is that it enables one to understand why there exists so many different nutritional schools and why they are contradictory. For “spiritual science does not give rules, but only wants to explain how things really are. It does not stand for this or that kind of diet – what it actually does is to enable people to understand any form of diet. Then each may arrange his life as he wills, according to these great laws of existence.” [13]

The preparation of the website was great schooling for me of how one who is using the principles of research given by Rudolf Steiner can arrive at such knowledge of complicated questions of nutrition that are not leading to one-sided viewpoints or to confusion in regard to the challenge to distinguish what is valid for all people and what is only valid in specific cases.

This approach is not only useful in the field of nutrition; it can also be used in any field of investigation. It is evident from the following summary of the Main Characteristics of Spiritual-Scientific Research:

I was using these methods of investigation also in the research of various aspects of the ‘corona pandemic’. The fruits of my research are available in twelve articles. From their content it can be seen that I have in them addressed many aspects of this social-medical crisis which are not even mentioned by many other investigators, including some anthroposophical ones. [15]

Besides, you can see that they are all – with the exception of the last article – written in such a manner that readers don’t need to be familiar with the esoteric aspects of the present crisis. [16] Of course, this doesn’t mean that the rest of the articles were not written on the basis of knowledge of the spiritual background of what is evolving in the world; the only difference is that I was using those spiritual-scientific explanations that can be understood by all who have developed the capacity of common sense.

The main motive for my writing was the need to respond to one-sided and insufficient views of the ‘corona pandemic’ by anthroposophical doctors and some other anthroposophists who have accepted the viewpoint in favour of vaccination against so-called ‘Covid-19’. Of course, there were on the other side also enough anthroposophists who were able to recognise that my “articles about the various aspects of the corona pandemic are true examples of spiritual research” which can help people to recognise the workings of evil. Therefore “let’s hope that people in the anthroposophical movement begin to see what is really going on.” [17]

The realisation of what is really going on will be possible to attain among the members of anthroposophical movement only when all anthroposophical spiritual researchers use the methods and principles of investigation that were used by Steiner himself in his activity. [18]

Spiritual Science Enables Us to Become Capable
to Criticise the Work of the Experts

In the period of the present crisis there are many who are wondering why there exists so many people who “have the tendency to surrender their sense of freedom and succumb to the fetters of public opinion.” The reason for this phenomenon was disclosed by Steiner himself in his lecture where he described the spiritual origin and nature of ‘public opinion’. In it he explained that “there is an utter impossibility that within the world of public opinion there can still be independent judgement” – that is, the capacity for formulating judgments that are based on facts and objective verification of all possible factors that contribute to the emergence of a medical or social crisis. For “public opinion is of less value than the judgements which an individual can reach on a path of progress” of his or hers own personality. Steiner has also foretold that “in the future, men will be still more exposed to the pressure of public opinion” than was the case in his time. He has at the same time explained that an effective defence against this pressure is the development of greater inner power inside people – and “this is possible only through spiritual science.” [19]

Many people who in the present time are coming across all kind of views, opinions and judgments in regard to the medical aspects of epidemic – especially when they are uttered by laymen – would agree with the following objection: “You are not qualified to pronounce an opinion upon what experts nowadays officially proclaim. Only consider what the medical student has to learn!” [20] And this is not all; after finishing study a doctor needs still more years of practical experiences before she or he can be regarded as an expert in a specific medical field.

But if that were the absolute principle, we would be under the complete authoritarian rulership of the medical experts – without any right to evaluate the quality of their work which can have such a tremendous impact on our health when we need their help. Spiritual science is capable of overcoming this real life contradiction by pointing out that “we must allow the expert to create, but we must be able to criticise the expert. And this faculty of judgment we shall not acquire by specialising, but only by cultivating in an all-round way our powers of understanding and our faculty of judgment. This, however, can never come about through expert knowledge in some particular branch of science, but only through the all-embracing knowledge of the spirit” [21] that is enabled by anthroposophical spiritual science.

This is especially important for the present age when the main task of humanity is to develop ethical individualism. Therefore we need to know that “the construction of concepts and representations necessary for spiritual science, and peculiar to it, does not qualify us to become experts in any particular sphere, but it gives us the power of judging.” This will “enable us to use our judgment when we stand in the presence of authority. We shall not have expert knowledge but when in certain cases the expert acts on the strength of what he knows, we shall be able to form our own judgment about it.” [22]

For spiritual science, knowledge is the source of that which “makes possible and fosters the freedom and independence of our thinking. Spiritual science may not qualify us to enter the medical profession, but if we can penetrate to the reality of spiritual science it makes us capable of forming a right judgment upon the results of medicine in public life” [23] or upon any other aspect of modern medicine which has an impact on the quality of our lives.

All this is possible because “spiritual science feels intimately related with the most practical fields of life, and where it is appropriately pursued, it places the greatest value on the fact that thinking, the most certain guide, experiences a practical development within the real practical life.” For this purpose “spiritual science should not be anything that hovers unworldly and otherworldly anywhere in the cloud-cuckoo-land and wants to deduct the human being from the usual everyday life. Instead, it should be something that can serve our life with all that we think, act, and feel at every moment.” [24]

The descriptions above are related to the development of the capacity to criticise the medical and other experts when we are dealing with the real scientists, including those who criticise the measures by means of which the governmental and medical institutions are supposedly controlling ‘corona pandemic’. Yet each person with healthy reason and a basic sense of truth can notice that we live in a time when the spreading of untruths, which are diverting attention from real problems, has become the common practice in media, among the politicians and representatives of medical organizations. This is evident in the cases of constant repetition of particular phrases – such as “trust the science” or “science is settled in regard to vaccination” – while at the same time they don’t even mention all those experts who present good arguments against vaccination, and all available evidence about the extraordinary extent of corruption of science that is coming to the surface thanks to the present crisis.

For complementary perspectives see:

The Need for Cultivation of the Inner Sense for Reality by Means of Spiritual Science

The Need to Distinguish between Illusions and Realities in Regard to Human Health and Disease

   NOTES

  1. Rudolf Steiner, Dornach 04.12.1916; The Karma of Untruthfulness, Vol. I, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1988
  2. Rudolf Steiner, Prague, 28.03.1911; The Mission of the New Spirit Revelation, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2021
  3. Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, 11.10.1921; The Art of Lecturing, www.rsarchive.org
  4. As above
  5. Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, 19.01.1923; Truth, Beauty and Goodnes, www.rsarchive.org
  6. Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, 02.05.1910; The Christ Impulse and the Development of the Ego-Consciousness, www.rsarchive.org
  7. Vsi citati v odstavku: Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, 27.08.1916; The Riddle of Humanity, www.rsarchive.org
  8. In natural science it is the usual practice to formulate first the theory about something which is then taken as a starting point for preparation of experiments with the aim to prove it. But scientists might have arrived at other outcomes if experiments were designed on the basis of different ideas. This means that the scientific approach is not as objective as it is presented. This is valid also in the cases where we do not deal with the unjustified influence of those who have paid for scientific experiments.
  9. All quotes in the paragraph: Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, 25.05.1905; Origin and Goal of the Human Being, www.rsarchive.org
  10. All quotes in the paragraph: Rudolf Steiner, Hamburg, 26.05.1910; Manifestations of Karma, www.rsarchive.org
  11. Steiner’s methods of cognition do not only encompass methods of cognition of the spiritual worlds which are described in the book How to Know Higher Worlds and in some other works. In his works there are also given numerous descriptions of methods and principles which we need to use if we wish to come to the real understanding of human or social organism, the kingdoms of nature, historical development, etc. 
  12. Rudolf Steiner, Prague, 19.03.1911; Truths and Errors of Spiritual Research, www.rsarchive.org
  13. Rudolf Steiner, source unknown
  14. This principle is not valid for those explanations which are a consequence of unjustified attempts to explain all world phenomena with one single worldview. Very obvious examples of such an approach that leads into errors are the explanations of living organisms by means of a materialistic understanding of the world which is the most suitable way of thinking for the mineral world and technology.
  15. There are many more aspects of the present crisis which, due to time limits, I could not properly investigate and present the fruits of my research in articles. When we follow the demand to investigate phenomena from all possible viewpoints, we have the constant feeling that one should write a whole book about each single viewpoint with the aim to avoid all possible misunderstandings and one-sided views that exist among people.
  16. See an explantion of the Basic Prerequisites for the Comprehension of Esoteric Aspects of Diseases.
  17. Opinion of Bernard Jarman, the former chairman of the Biodynamic Association in the Great Britain.
  18. We can recognise that there exists amongst the members of the anthroposophical movement a division between those who have accepted some key elements of the official narrative about the ‘corona pandemic’ and those who were capable of recognising the manipulation of the public by ‘Mr. Global’.
  19. All quotes in the paragraph: Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, 14.01.1913; Between Death and Rebirth, www.rsarchive.org
  20. Rudolf Steiner, Zurich, 10.10.1916; How Can the Destitution of Soul in Modern Times Be Overcome?, www.rsarchive.org
  21. As above
  22. All quotes in the paragraph: See note 20
  23. See note 20
  24. All quotes in the paragraph: Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, 11.02.1909; Where and How Does One Find the Spirit?, www.rsarchive.org