Carlo Simon Belli’s editorial from Misli 2020 Magazine
In the year that is drawing to a close, it is not possible to refrain from making a mention of the difficult health situation that the entire planet is going through, but since I do not have expertise in the medical field, I will limit myself to expressing some reflections from a social and spiritual perspective.
In this sense, looking at the world of communication, but above all at the choices in the economic, social and health spheres that governments are making, it seems very evident how much, in these times, the main victim is Truth, which appears to be seriously wounded, with deep wounds that involve worrying repercussions even in the social fabric, and with scars that will take years to heal. In societies in which Truth has been violated, and in which insecurity and uncertainty consequently dominate, forms of individual and collective malaise emerge, manifesting concretely in paranoid attitudes of mutual distrust, paralysis of socializing activities, worrying slowdown of educational and training processes, increase and spread of various forms of intolerance, xenophobia, violence, triggering or aggravating socioeconomic crises marked by a scandalous increase in the gap between rich and poor.
Well, it will have to be recognized how all this can be seen as a more or less direct cause of a widespread and deep individual malaise, almost as if we were in a kind of war, albeit undeclared. People do not just die from disease; on the contrary, it can be said that in our globalized world, more people die from social conflicts, poverty, hunger, despair, fear, and also often from diseases that individuals contract as a result of heavy mental distress, which end up manifesting in socially disruptive ways.
But the social, economic and political crisis that we are experiencing and that we are likely to face in the coming times cannot be traced solely and only to material issues (as a direct result of the choices of most governments): if that were the case, “recovery” would be easier to achieve. In reality, there is a dimension of the crisis that is more “subtle,” more “spiritual,” and that is affecting our globalized society in a much deeper and much more lasting way, being attributable to the widespread loss of confidence, discouragement that stem from the now strong propensity to manipulate and distort information, a nefarious tendency that now characterizes most rulers, politicians, and men of power. Multitudes are as if disoriented, as they no longer know whether they can trust the elites who govern them, they no longer feel represented; distrust spreads vertically and horizontally throughout society.
It is reasonable, as well as necessary, to be able to recognize the extent to which all the looming crisis factors can be seen as a direct or indirect consequence of partial truths presented as absolute, of distorted or misleading information, of false or exaggerated news, often given with the specific intent to create misinformation, anxiety and bewilderment.
Unfortunately, there are still few who realize how damaging it is-for individuals and for society as a whole-to injure and violate the Truth; often not even the most attentive intellectuals are aware that this practice constitutes perhaps the main source of disharmony and conflict, in all civilizations, of all times.
Great sages and great spiritual masters, on the other hand, have often cautioned us on this matter: in the ancient grand Indian epic poem Mahabharata,which tells of the clash between an elite of good rulers against an elite of bad rulers that took place in the era (Dvāpara-yuga) that preceded our own (Kali-yuga ).- the real cause of the final conflict (which will lead to a real slaughter and see almost all of humanity succumb) lies in the plots and deceptions of an apparently secondary protagonist, Dushasana, who is known to be false and a liar; the message is clear: human societies risk catastrophe not because of insufficiently capable “good” rulers, or “bad” rulers who are too authoritarian or cruel, but because of individuals who, by lying, spread discord.
For all these reasons, those who wish to work for the “Common Good”-as much from an agnostic materialist perspective as from a spiritualist perspective-should give themselves as an indispensable task the defense of Truth, the non-adherence to lies.
But how to fulfill this task so vital to the health of the individual and society as a whole? Evidently, the conditio sine qua non would be to be able to figure out where the Truth is “found,” a very difficult task, and one that should be entrusted to the subjective sensitivity of each of us.
In this material reality of ours, Truth can be told where it is not found; for example, it is not found in “extremes,” it does not dwell in the excesses, proclamations, edicts, of any side, and it shuns the bearers of hatred and violence: here we will never find an absolute Truth. Rather, it is important to recognize that we will be able to find as many truths as there are inhabitants of our planet.
Instead, in this time of ours, overwhelmed by an invisible enemy, more than ever we are witnessing a widespread attempt to convince as many people as possible that the truth is on one of the two “fronts” that are opposing each other so forcefully: on the one hand, the front of governmental institutions all over the world which, in the name of a supposed pandemic (declared on the basis of questionable parameters), are imposing restrictions on social life, restrictions that are harbingers of those anxieties and social disharmonies that are at the root of those problems alluded to earlier; on the other hand, in sharp antithesis, we have those many who persist in denying the seriousness of the health emergency facing our societies, thus inducing a great many people to engage in reckless and irresponsible behavior.
How preferable it would be to recognize that the truth lies in medias res, i.e., “in the middle,” and that therefore, to put it in simple and direct terms, we are in a serious situation-where therefore we all have to behave in a civilly responsible manner-but that in no way justifies the sacrifice of social life and freedoms.
Citizens of this world should develop a kind of “shared civic responsibility” for health, whereby, in order to ensure overall health, each person individually takes on the task of improving his or her own health through behaviors that are objectively beneficial to his or her physical body, emotional balance, and mental condition.
Both those who deny the dangerousness of this virus and those who claim to find exogenous solutions-with vaccines touted as miraculous and approaches that medicalize existence-don’t understand what truth is to be pursued, the socially useful and therefore “true.” As a result, they limit or prevent so many from taking the median path, the one that suggests that everyone take appropriate behaviors to live healthier lives, in healthier environmental and work settings, promoting a new vision of health that includes respect for our ecosystem.
Failing to recognize this truth, governments are not taking advantage of this very important opportunity to stimulate greater health-consciousness in their citizens: instead of proposing and propagating miraculous, and scientifically unproven, solutions, governments would now have the opportunity to give citizens a whole series of indications on those many behaviors-which instead enjoy proven scientific validity-that it is possible to take to improve one’s general state of health, to strengthen one’s immune system and make it more resistant to viruses and bacteria, whatever their nature and origin.
According to scientifically based hypotheses, the virus that worries us so much risks being only the first in a long line of diseases, capable of spreading easily in our globalized world and toward which it makes no sense to devise solutions that attempt to curb the effects, while it would be appropriate to try to address the causes.
But beyond these considerations of what to do, this is also a very important opportunity to reflect on the issue of Truth, because it is precisely when Truth is wounded so vehemently that the suffering that such an act causes to the social fabric becomes evident.
For those who have embarked on a path marked by a spiritual vision of existence, this is therefore the best opportunity to develop an attitude aimed at defending the reasons for Truth, and, summarizing what has been expressed so far, we could say that to this end we will first have to recognize the relativity of the truths we encounter in our earthly existence, and that consequently it is necessary to keep away from those who presume to propose absolute truths in an apodictic manner. Secondly, it is necessary to reflect on the fact that if we want to cultivate and defend Truth, we must likewise drive out from us the two feelings that are the enemies (inner and outer) of Truth more than others: anger and fear. Anger makes us intolerant of others’ truths, while fear causes us to believe in extreme and absolute “truths,” those that are precisely not true. These feelings also lead us to be unable to take in the suggestions that, through our intuition, come to us from the spiritual plane.
To help us cast out anger, fear and uncertainties, Aïvanhov reminds us of the relativism of concepts such as Good and Evil ., urging us to connect with a Principle of a higher order, which towers above Good and Evil, bending them to His service: thus the spiritualist is able to act in the world with that necessary conscious detachment, acting always as a bearer of love and wisdom, and manifesting himself with a new way of being, as a forerunner of a new humanity.
If we cultivate this awareness in our hearts and minds, we can help Truth to rise again: Truth may indeed be wounded, but sooner or later, as a phoenix rising from the ashes, it is reborn, to reveal itself irrefutably.
We can conclude these brief reflections with a thought by O. M. Aïvanhov, which well sums up what we have just tried to express: “If it is so difficult to give a definition of Truth, it is because it does not exist as such: only Wisdom and Love exist. It is the behavior of beings that reveals whether they are in Truth, not the theories they present to others. As for those who claim to be seeking Truth but have not yet found it, they should understand that they actually have nothing to seek: they only need to progress, every day of their lives, in Love and Wisdom. It is Love and Wisdom that lead to Truth. Truth cannot be conceived independently of the heart and intellect. If it were independent of the activity of the heart and intellect, everyone would have to discover the same Truth. Well, this is not the case: everyone – or almost everyone – finds a different truth. Only those who possess love and wisdom discover the same Truth. That is why, despite their different origins and cultures, they basically speak the same language.” (Daily Meditation – tuesday 5th march 2019).
 To confirm what has just been said, it is interesting to recall a quote from Rudolf Steiner-which we find in Harrie Salman’s article with which we open the series of articles in this issue of Misli – according to which, from an esoteric point of view, bacteria (and viruses) are “the physically embedded demons of lies” (cf. Rosacroce’s Wisdom, O.O. 99, lecture of 30/5/1907) and can thus be considered the materialization of the lies of our materialistic civilization.
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