Under this section we would like to share thoughts and suggestions to the latest events from an anthroposophist's point of view. We wanted to start the section 'Current Events' for quite some time and never got around to do it. The terrible attack on the USA finally motivated us to make a beginning. We hope that our thoughts are helpful and inspiring...
It was short after 15.00 on the 11th of September 2002 when I watched on TV
the terrible pictures of the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. What
I saw has changed my comprehension of the world forever. There was a strong
feeling that from now on things will never be the same. I was used to see pictures
of destruction and disaster only in countless Hollywood Movies and it took some
time until it sunk into my mind that it was not a movie I was watching on TV,
it was the naked, uncensored reality. At first one wanted to believe to witness
a very unlikely catastrophe of modern aviation. The second crash 18 minutes
later made clear that this must be a deliberate attack and act of terror of
a scale never seen before. The events worsened when about one hour later one
of the two 414 meters high towers of the World Trade of Centre collapsed, witnessed
by millions of people around the globe. With it also disintegrated a sense of
security taken for granted after many years of peace between the Super Powers.
The collapse of the building buried not only thousands of human beings and those who had rushed to their aid, it also buried the hopes of those which had believed in patience and diplomatic skills used by the Democratic Nations to solve the problems in the crisis areas on this planet.
Before being able to fully comprehend the seriousness and consequences of the atrocity, the second tower collapsed in itself like a house of cards. Into the panic of people directly involved, witnessing the death of thousands of fellow human beings, friends, colleagues and relatives, fear is mixed of a renewed outbreak of a war in which the Western Nations must defend democracy and liberty against radical Islamic countries in the Middle East.
Whilst trying to come to terms with the somehow unreal pictures of a whole town quarter reduced to rubble, the world centre of modern trade, finance and economy now burying thousands of bodies, messages come in from more attacks on central and strategically important institutions of the USA: the Pentagon and adjacent buildings of the White House. Many people might have not yet fully comprehended the consequence of the events witnessed on TV, but they knew one thing for sure: The 11 September 2001 will be marked as a " black day " in history. The new millennium begins with one of the most brutal acts of terror never seen so far in a modern Democracy.
In the following I would like to facilitate some thoughts from the viewpoint
of a mind educated and to some degree experienced in applying the methods of
spiritual science as given through Anthroposophy.
Some of you might think that the thoughts I am going to outline are unproven fantasy whilst for others these thoughts might be not unfamiliar at all.
However, one should bear in mind that these thoughts contain elements taken out of the context of a complex system of spiritual science. Therefore the evaluation of the following might be different without having had a profound introduction in these matters by studying in depth the literature concerned with these issues.
Innocent human beings have died whilst doing their job or on their way to work.
Besides the horror caused by seeing the gruesome images of the disaster area,
injured and dieing people, another awful feeling creeps up as I imagine that
thousands of human beings had to face dead completely unexpected and unprepared.
Thousands of people who stood in the middle of their lives carrying out the
duties in context with their professions and out of their responsibilities towards
families, friends and society. They were prevented from fulfilling the purposes
and tasks of their lives and from living up the challenges that might the future
have hold for them in order to further their development and that of other human
The physical horror is obvious and very visible and even measurable to some extend.
The horrid consequences for the human souls are not as obvious. Although not visible, they produce an equally powerful reality. As much the condemnation of the atrocity and crime against humanity on a political level is necessary, it is of little use for the victims, their relatives and friends.
There is medical care and counselling for the injured and the relatives who lost beloved family members, friends or colleagues. Memorial services are held for the victims.
The question is whether there is more that could be done.
I think it is possible. At this moment the victims find themselves in a condition
one can only make assumption about. Human beings with body, soul and spirit
soundly connected have been robbed of their physical existence. They have become
separated from their bodies in an instant without preparation and warning and
might be lost in realms with conditions unknown to us living people. Perhaps
they look for their bodies not knowing where they are and what has happened.
A nightmare. Is there a way to help these souls?
Rudolf Steiner has written and lectured to a great extent about death and the connections of the living with the dead. Generally he highlights in this lectures and literature how important it is to believe firmly that a human being who has died has 'not just gone' or disappeared. Apparently the believe that the souls of the deceased are still existent after the physical body has died causes that they develop the strong desire to search out the people they loved in life, and to find them. If the living people once loved by those gone over the threshold do not think that the souls of the dead are still around, invisible perhaps, but still a reality, a great deal of suffering and pain for the souls of the dead is the consequence according to Rudolf Steiner. They know that they have been loved in their lifetime and now the people who once loved them do not believe in their presence. This is why it is important to have not only a memory of dead persons, but to think of the souls of the dead without any doubt about the reality of their existence. To help a just deceased person one could envisage that it is helpful to imagine vividly sitting face to face and to talk to beloved person in ones imagination. The content and purpose of this 'conversation' is to reassure the now invisible soul that one knows of her existence by telling her that one knows that she is still around. This is supposedly of great help, especially in the first couple of days after death. It is a task particularly for those who had a close relationship with the deceased since the dead feel drawn to people they loved during life. It is important to keep a living memory of the dead to reassure them that you firmly believe that they haven't just disappeared in 'nothingness'. If you believe that there is just 'nothingness' after death, you will become a 'nothing' for the dead. Thus we help them and also us at most.
Finally it remains to be said that despite the understandable feeling of revenge and retaliation one can only hope that the governments of the world proceed against terrorism consistently, but in a measured way thus the development of mankind is not endangered by a third world war against the Middle East because of some blinded fanatics. My compassion goes to all the victims and their families, but also to the perpetrators who have burdened their own karma with infinite guilt through their evil deed causing immeasurable suffering to many innocent people.