The Be-All and End-All of Balances & Prospects


A commentary on the week in review – week 49-50/23

Business as usual, you might think, if you take a look at the last two weeks. Let’s be honest, this is not only the sad conclusion of these fortnight, but also that of another year on our planet Earth. The imminent turn of the year invites us to take stock. At the same time, it tempts us to make resolutions that are very often cancelled just a few days after they have been made. Of life. By everyone themselves. So far, so bad.

At the moment – yes, I would like to put it this far – it feels like the majority of humanity is still in a permanent crisis that has lasted several years and in which nothing less than its own existence is at stake. At least if you believe the published opinion. And yet I know a not inconsiderable number of people who (nevertheless) see prospects. A critical mass – in both senses of the word. They see the chance of a restart, a new beginning, a turning point towards the positive, towards the further development of humanity as a whole.

And so we have arrived in the middle of Advent, those weeks that could still be dedicated to expectation and arrival today. The expectation and arrival of the rebirth of light, the birth of a solution or of the redeemer within us, of connectedness, love and peace. Big words. Far too often misunderstood. And nipped in the bud in this way, they are far too rarely actually brought to life, really brought to life.

I would like to invite you to follow me and my thoughts, to leave the supposedly present behind, to let go of the past and even the future and truly immerse yourself in the moment and the now. Just before Christmas and the start of a new year, I allow myself to become philosophical, perhaps even visionary, possibly even utopian. Inspired by the confidence that even utopias can become reality, because this has already happened at one time or another in the history of mankind – and because every person knows this deep down inside, I am letting go of everything that keeps me so firmly on the ground in order to take one or two angelic flights of fancy, always with the aim of actually bringing what I experience in this way to the ground, i.e. to realize it or contribute to its realisation.

So while Benjamin Netanyahu himself, despite US concerns, makes no effort to end his campaign of revenge until the last Palestinian terrorist has been wiped off the face of the earth, the Pope authorises the blessing of unmarried or same-sex couples – provided they are sexually abstinent, the second, completely unnecessary winter of war is imminent in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, memory lapses are the order of the day among loyal supporters of the former German Chancellor as part of the false testimony trial against him, or the most powerful FIFA President the world has ever seen (even his predecessor Sepp Blatter was an orphan by comparison) announces a Club World Cup for the summer of 2025, which “threatens” professional footballers with up to 80 football matches in 52 weeks of a year, while all this and much more is happening and degeneration and hubris are flying around our ears every day – mostly completely unrecognised – and we are sometimes even becoming falsifiers of our life balance as a result, while all this is happening, I dare to make the presumably naive and naïve attempt to see the opportunities and prospects of this supposedly completely tricky situation.

In doing so, I would like to take inspiration from what has driven people at this time of year, which has also prompted the Christian churches to schedule the birth of the Messiah (incidentally, a Jewish expectation of salvation that Christians have adopted) at precisely that time and thus put an end to pagan popular beliefs.

This year, it is exactly on 22 December at 4.27 a.m. Central European Time (CET) that the so-called “winter solstice” occurs. This coincides with the longest night and the shortest day and thus the turning point from which the days become longer again. What a significant event. In the age of electricity, however, this turning point usually passes us by without a trace. Over the last few decades, we have become alienated from nature and thus also from our own nature: technology has seemingly erased everything natural in our lives and, by ignoring natural rhythms, we are also losing our inner rhythm. And with it the awareness of the ups and downs, of the becoming and passing away that is inherent in all living things, that truly “determines” our lives. In this way, living in exile, as it were, far away from ourselves, we miss the connection to what really counts in human life: namely connectedness.

When Christians celebrate the birth of the Jew Yeshua (“YHWH/God saves”) of Nazareth a few days after the winter solstice in reference to the Roman festival of the sun god, Sol Invictus, they cast all their hopelessness on a “man” who is supposed to fix it for them. In the religious sense, Christmas is therefore not called the time of God’s incarnation for nothing. However, if we take a different view, if we look at this “event” described in the Bible from a mythological, even deep psychological perspective, only then, in my view, can it unfold its true meaning and become the perspective that can make us (once again) into true human beings. Because our humanity is what connects us all – and I repeat: all of us. And we need to become aware of this connection again. If the human in me is (re)born in this way, then hatred, war, domination and many other inhuman characteristics are reduced to absurdity. Love, peace and family, which we fail at not only – but especially – at Christmas, lose their oversized significance, which makes it difficult, even impossible, to do justice to these challenging concepts.

And another thing is urgently needed – I have already addressed it in one of my weekly commentaries this year: Being aware of our certain death, which can overtake us at any time, enables us not to make life, which is full of challenges, even more difficult for ourselves and our fellow human beings.

The (re)birth of the human in us, to which Christmas invites us, shows us our fundamental connection with all living things and will make us the people the world needs, the people who actually change the world for the better. We cannot leave this change of perspective to anyone else, and therefore not to a saviour of any kind: we can and must do it ourselves.

I wish you all a Christmas with this awareness and a New Year full of the resulting perspectives with all my heart.