Welcome to the Summer issue of New View. St. John’s Tide focuses, in many ways, on making decisions, but how hard that is to do if one is not well informed about what one needs to decide upon.
Much of this current issue of New View is given over to understanding the Coronavirus giving rise to Covid-19 and the nature of our responses to it. Especially in the UK, the population is being encouraged, ‘trained’ even, to accept ‘social distancing’ as a way of life. The basis for this is actually anti-social. Many scientists argue against such an approach, particularly warning of the damage it is causing to the emotional lives of young children. But, of course, people have many different points of view and understandings of this. One thing is clear, fear is playing a profound role in it all.
The period since Covid-19 was widely, publicly, identified in March has shown a marked deterioration in the quality of journalism; by that I mean real investigative approaches that raise questions and pursue answers. The mainstream media has appeared quite complicit in shutting down debate on many aspects of the political and medical approach to the pandemic and this has spread to social media platforms with the censoring of various posts on the internet. So how do you get well informed? I suppose you have to want to. And here I come to the reason I took a different approach to the front cover of New View for this issue. The words printed on it come from the verse play A Sleep of Prisoners by the poet and playwright Christopher Fry published in 1953. The last line “But will you wake for pity’s sake” sums up the place we as a human family have arrived at. We are called upon to stir ourselves and strive to see and understand what is at the heart of things now.
I am minded that we each surely need encouragement from one another – acts of friendship – to help manage our way through life and also to find the means to strengthen our inner lives to enable each of us to face what now comes towards us. And in many ways the contributions in this issue of New View reflect and deepen these themes, whilst always encouraging a better informing of events.
It is to Karin Jarman that we turn to begin our journey though this issue. She uses this same verse from Christopher Fry’s play as her starting point in her exploration of fear and how to manage it in Thank God our Time is Now. Writing from Taiwan, Ben Cherry complements this with The Pandemic of Fear… (and the Medicine of Love) demonstrating how the power of our thinking makes the reality we live in.
We then have a fine translation by Bernard Jarman of an article from Germany by Dr. Thomas Hardtmuth setting out the context, both medical and social, of the approaches to this virus in The Corona Syndrome – Why Fear is More Dangerous Than the Virus
We are then invited to go ‘walkabout’ by Saraphir Qaa-Rishi, who shares her experiences of connecting with the Earth through practising ‘Threefold Walking’ in A ‘Threefold Gratitude Journey’: Walking as a Way of Enlivening the Earth.
We ebb and flow in this issue with pandemic insights and here return to its theme with From Symptoms to Real Insights into the Social Backgrounds of the Corona Pandemic by the Slovakian writer, Brane Žilavec, which looks at the dangers of submitting to medical and governmental ‘authority’ without thinking for ourselves.
Jill Taplin then shares her experience of working regularly with weekly exercises for spiritual development in Reflecting on Rudolf Steiner’s Concept of the Eightfold Path, contributing to the theme of strengthening our inner lives.
Boyd Collins, writing from the Philippines encourages us to be more awake to the real, not virtual, world in Enlivening Imagination Through Perceptive Participation.
Paul Carline brings us A View from Germany on the Coronavirus with a translation and comment of reports on related events taking place in that part of the world.
Terry Boardman then looks at what influences are underpinning current world events with Into the ‘New Normal’? – Part I.
We feature new artwork by Greg Tricker on the life of Anne Frank, which has resonances for us today.
The scientist, analyst and environmentalist Peter Taylor writes on Covid Conspiracies – or the Origins of the Matter concerning the origin of Covid-19.
Ben Cherry follows up his earlier article with The Medicine of Love (within the Pandemic of Fear).
From Spain, Michael Warden explores the theory that 5G – through affecting the human immune system – played a role in the spread of the virus with 5G and Coronavirus: It Merits a Closer Look.
It seems that an attempt to destroy the impulse for Steiner education is happening in the UK. The Wynstones Parents’ Core Group brings us an update on the legal challenge to the closure of Wynstones School in a Letter to the Editor: On Defending Waldorf Education in England’s Courts. This is Followed by The Fight for Steiner Education in the UK – in which parents of children at each of the three Steiner Academy schools that were taken over by the Avanti Schools Trust share some personal thoughts on what has happened.
Finally, my sincere thanks to all of you who responded to our plea for donations. We had a lively response that closed the financial gap that had opened up on the last issue and helps towards closing the gap that now yawns at us with the current issue. Anyone who still feels able to support us is most welcome! In the meantime all good wishes to you, the reader, wherever you may be.