Man is twofold in his nature. In him two worlds meet. He lives in the physical-soul world and receives impulses from the spiritual-soul world every day. Thus, his life runs in the area of tension between two developments that could not be more different. From the moment of birth, the body begins to age. It is a living, self-organizing system that is in exchange with its environment, collects experiences and slowly diminishes energetically. On the spiritual-emotional level the path runs in exactly the opposite direction. If impulses from it are taken up and implemented, the person becomes younger in his inner condition. In the Bible this is described with the saying: “If you do not become like children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” Crisis, illness and healing have very different meanings depending on which of the two paths we consider.
“No life without crisis” – this is a typical experience for many people. Crises are experienced very differently. Typical for our time today are crises that affect large parts of humanity as a result of a strongly networked world. With the peace movement, the ecological debate or the “Black Lives Matter” movement we experience worldwide reactions within a very short time.
The constant search for a new balance
Typical crises are diseases of the body. Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived 400 years before Christ’s birth and who still has a great philosophical influence on medicine today, recognized how strongly the knowledge of diseases and their healing at that time was influenced by superstition. By soberly observing the symptoms, he removed illness from superstition and created the beginning of a rational art of healing.
For him, illness was the result of an imbalance. He saw in the symptomatology the body’s attempt to bring its functions back into balance. The illness was an expression of the self-healing powers that needed to be supported. Therefore, if a spinning top rotates at high speed, similar to a body being in full possession of its powers, it is difficult to bring it out of balance. If the speed of rotation decreases, it begins to tumble and is more easily thrown off its course. Just like a spinning top, the body always strives for a harmonious balance. It is a complex equilibrium system. Many of its self-organizing and self-regulating reactions are still unknown today.
Let us take a look at very simple systems of equilibrium. In chemistry we know so-called dissipative structures. These are solutions of chemical compounds that are in exchange with each other and develop stable reaction patterns. Their equilibrium and thus their “health” depends on the exchange with the environment. For example, they need energy to remain stable, and they age and migrate through crises to ever new states of equilibrium.
We are currently experiencing that humanity, similar to dissipative structures, has built up a reaction pattern that costs more energy than the earth can produce in a healthy state. This results in crises in which the patterns change and the entire system searches for new states of equilibrium.
Life means self-organization and adaptation to constantly changing living conditions. Crisis and new balance constantly replacing each other. Normally equilibrium is a static state without external change. This is never achieved, except in the case of a complete dissolution of all involved matter particles. Everything that lives, from single-celled organisms to planetary systems, follows the process of constant adaptation. In the case of the universe, most scientists assume that everything began with a “big bang” and will one day perish in “heat death”, the absolute equilibrium.
Looking at the human being, one could compare the material birth with the “Big Bang” and the final dissolution of the material body with heat death. In between, man lives his life between crisis and balance.
Who creates the basic new conditions?
Ilya Prigogine discovered that dissipative structures change when their basic conditions are changed. Who changes the conditions for humanity? To a certain extent it is the people themselves, with their inventive spirit and the fullness of their needs. One speaks of the beginning of the Anthropocene as a new period in the history of the earth. But the changing factor can also be that mysterious force that ultimately moves the entire cosmos.
The physicist Max Planck summed up the connection between science, philosophy and religion in these words:
“As a physicist who dedicated his whole life to sober science, to the study of matter, I am certainly free from the suspicion of being taken for a swarm spirit. And so, after my explorations of the atom, I say this: “There is no such thing as matter. All matter is created and exists only by a force that makes the atomic particles vibrate and holds them together to form the tiniest solar system in the universe. However, as there is neither an intelligent force nor an eternal force in the whole universe-it is not possible for mankind to invent the much longed-for perpetual motion machine – so we must assume a conscious intelligent spirit behind this force. This spirit is the source of all matter.”
“Not the visible and transitory matter is the real, true and actual – for without spirit, matter would not exist at all – but the immortal invisible spirit is the true. This spiritual reality is at the beginning of all consideration in philosophy or religion. In the scientist it often comes into view at the end of his research.”
The theosophist and author Alice Bailey, who lived at about the same time, thought of science more from philosophy or theosophy. In her “Treatise on the Seven Rays” she developed a viewpoint with which she sought to shed more light on the workings of this invisible spirit. In this way she describes how patterns of radiation emerge from the transcendental – the primordial source, as Max Planck called it – with which the changes in the spirit of the times can be explained. These patterns are not static, but are constantly changing, constantly creating a different atmosphere to which mankind or humanity must adapt. Adaptation typically occurs through crises.
From an astrological point of view, human history is divided into large periods of time during which a basic pattern of radiation remains relatively constant. We are just leaving the age of Pisces and after this are under the first influences of the Age of Aquarius.
In the rift between two eras
It is typical for our time that old values, which were decisive for the previous development, lose their power and new value spaces develop. We live for a certain time as if in a “rift” between two ages, in which nothing really holds. The “old” leaves and the “new” is not yet there. No wonder that our time is shaken by crises and brings with it a lot of insecurity and fear for one part of humanity and a firework of new ideas for the other part. But it is exciting to live in such a time. Many symptoms of this crisis are perceived as an illness for which a cure must be found. In the daily press the term “sick society” appears again and again. An army of therapists is searching for healing possibilities in the physical, psychological or social fields for often mysterious illnesses.
The Russian philosopher Alexander Kojève, who taught in Paris in the 1930s, coined in his studies on Hegel the concept of man as a post-historical animal living in an “eternal present”, considering this time. He spoke of an “eternity bubble” to characterize the atmosphere between two eras.
Polarities that were typical for our previous world weaken or disappear completely. In the polarization of man and woman the concept of gender appears. In many places, our society takes on an androgynous character.
Political polarities are also undergoing rapid change. Kojève’s idea of the “eternity bubble” makes it clear that in such a transitional phase, in which people are no longer fully in the grip of collective patterns of behavior, eternity can more easily have an effect on them. The dream of an everlasting development from glory to glory rises. In matter shall arise what is possible only in the realm of spirit. Kojève’s bubble of eternity is reality between two ages, which is slowly coming to an end, since the spiritual-soul nature cannot be realized in the material world.
An age-old polarity
The duality of the human being becomes particularly clear in an age like ours. It is one of the age-old polarities that are revealed in times like ours. We experience especially clearly the enormous tension between the spiritual-soul and the material-soul of our inner being. How can we use this tension constructively?
The material-soul aspect of man seems to be weakened, his intensive influence on matter is inhibited. Matter, in its peculiarity, enters consciousness without any history. Who does not come to silence here, who continues to try to make his life as pleasant and comfortable as possible and to keep it at the level once reached, will get into the crises as we experience today. Perhaps unconsciously the spiritual-emotional pole of man is the final cause for this, because although it has a strong effect through the current zeitgeist, it does not really reach consciousness as long as it is trapped in the material world. He tries to lead man out of the material-soul aging so that he can bathe in the spiritual Fountain of Youth.
So, there are two developments that go in opposite directions. The material world follows the law of entropy and ages. It is always seeking a new balance under decreasing energetic forces.
From a spiritual point of view, the development runs contrary to entropy and lets the spiritually striving person become younger in his inner condition. He experiences the spirit as a fountain of youth.
On both ways there is the constant change between crisis and balance. Step by step a new balance must be developed, and the crises in between are phases of healing and cognition. On the material side this leads to the realization of the transience of all life and in the spiritual structure it leads man to the consciousness of oneness with all that exists and that does not exist.
Healing in the physical sense means to remain flexible and adaptable and to strengthen the tonicity again and again through a wise attitude towards life. Aging and death are an integral part of life. Spiritually, it means to live the tonicity that leads to unity with the Divine-Spiritual and thus to unity with all living systems.
Healing therefore always means something different depending on one’s point of view and condition. According to its deepest essence, it is the development of a tonicity that enables the consciousness to mediate freely between the two poles of humanity in order to express the full potential of divine ideas.
* Bible; Matthew 18:3
https://berühmte-zitate.de (Max Planck)
Erich Jantsch, 1979, The self-organisation of the universe: From the Big Bang to the human spirit
Alice Bailey, 1990, A treatise on the seven rays
Ilya Prigogine, 1992, From being to becoming