The transition from the old world to the new world in our time 

By Margarete van den Brink

Translated by Nesta Carsten

With the transition from the old to the new world in our time, we live in a time of crisis. This crisis is not limited to the Netherlands and Europe but applies worldwide.

Moreover, we are not dealing with one crisis but with several simultaneously. We have a climate crisis, an ecological crisis, a political and leadership crisis, and a culture or civilisation crisis as well. In addition, a great many people are also facing a crisis in their religion or faith.

All these crises together lead to a new one: the crisis of trust. Where is all this going? Who or what can be trusted?

Numerous seers, thinkers and writers from various philosophical traditions and visions point out that we are on the way to a global crisis that only major innovation and transformation can resolve.

Rudolf Steiner spoke about it in his lectures. Jiddu Krishnamurti, in his speeches, collected in A world in crisis. Living in uncertain times. And in our time, researchers such as Ervin László, with his book The Chaos Point: working on global renewal now to prevent total collapse later.

Many people believe that it will be relatively easy to solve the current crises by changing some critical systems. After all, the technology for a sustainable society is available.
It just needs to be applied.

Crucial point

But the issue is not so simple. Esoteric tradition tells us that these crises are part of a much larger - encompassing our entire world and humanity - process of change and transformation.

László talks about the fact that we are close to the ‘chaos point', the moment when the world irrevocably enters a new phase of development. A new phase either leads to further destruction or a breakthrough into a completely new way of functioning.

Rudolf Steiner also says that we have reached a crucial point in our evolution. In our time, he says, an old stage, an old period of world development, is coming to an end.1) This old developmental stage helped us become who we are today: independent personalities with an I and self-consciousness. Now that humanity has accomplished this developmental stage, the old stage diminishes in strength and will be coming to an end.

However, he says, there is also an ascending world, a world that grows stronger every day. This new world, this new development, has its starting point in the inner being, in the hearts of the human being. It emerges out of the spiritual world which lives in us.
It arises from our spiritual Self, which is part of the spiritual world and in our time is born in our I, our personality.

Focusing on the own ego-I

The old world, which placed us as human beings on earth with our individual responsibilities, brought us material prosperity and progress. However, we became more and more focused on ourselves, on our ego-I because of our earthly nature. This led not only to isolation from the environment and from the spiritual world. But also to egoism, greed, and materialism. It is this egoism, greed and materialism that ultimately caused all the crises we are now facing. Just think of the financial crises we had, and at present the climate crisis, and the ecological crisis. In the media, we can read how it came to this daily.

All these crises are phenomena that belong to the old, declining world era that is coming to its end. They transpired because of the previously one-sided, materialistic way of thinking.

That way of thinking is no longer in accord with what wants to develop in our time and is therefore counterproductive and destructive.

The crisis in the churches is also a symptom of this transition from the old to the new world. The rigidity of dogma and doctrine tends to bind people to the (ecclesiastical) outer authority. When the free individuality whose spirit seeks to be inwardly enlivened meets these constraints, the church becomes redundant. In such a framework, the church in its old form belongs to the old world and therefore has had its time.

The birth of a new culture

The new world is born when people ask themselves questions on their life paths, search for answers, go through processes of change and, as a result, perceive, think, and do things differently.

That is why László, Steiner and Krishnamurti all stress the importance of a different way of thinking. To look at things, at reality, differently, with new eyes. Searching for what life is really about and giving it form.

That new kind of consciousness, arising from inner transformation, is happening everywhere and can be recognised worldwide. It is leading to the emergence of a new culture in which people connect to their feelings, think about what they believe, make conscious choices, know what values they stand for, and consciously interact and cooperate with other people and with nature. They are the ones who create the new culture.

From separation to wholeness

A study by the sociologist Paul Ray in 2000, entitled The Cultural Creatives. How 50 million people are changing the world shows how these individuals, these Cultural Creatives make up 26% of the world population. In Europe even 30-35%. Their number is snowballing. The characteristics of this group are values such as simplicity, sustainability, spirituality, and social awareness.

In his book Quantum Shift in the World Brain, Laszlo describes the shifts in consciousness and behaviour he sees taking place in these people. Instead of an attitude of competition and rivalry, opposing and fighting each other, they seek connection and cooperation. Instead of blindly obeying an authority outside them, they trust their own authority, their own inner knowing. Probably the most essential of all, he says, is that there is a shift from separateness to wholeness - the recognition that we are connected to the greater whole in all aspects of life and reality, our humanity, the earth, the cosmos, everything that lives. There is a realisation that everything is dependent on everything else.

Awakening the inner spirit

In this active awareness, in this gradual culture change, which is also taking place worldwide, we can actually see the awakening spirit in people at work. The inner spirit gives us this new awareness that causes the characteristic behaviour and finds entirely new, creative solutions to the problems we face.

If this new world wins, we have a future as humanity and as an earth planet, and our development will continue. If it loses, for the time being, we will experience disintegration and decline increasingly. Which of the two will prevail depends mainly on how quickly humanity wakes up spiritually and acts.

Three phases

In this whole global transformation event, in which the transition is made from the old world to the new world, we can distinguish three phases. They are the same stages that we can recognise in every crisis:

1. a period of decline or decay

2. the turning point or conversion

3. the building of the new

In what I have said above, all three phases can be recognised. In our time, however, we mainly experience the first one: decline and destruction. This is the mood you encounter most often, also in the media. It usually lacks any vision of the innovation that is coming.

If, however, only what is declining and will cease to exist is named and emphasised, and no perspective offered of what is to come, it fills people with fear — deep existential fear. Anyone who has ever been through a crisis will confirm this. Fear of existence is terrible. More so when you hear a small voice saying in you: this is undoubtedly the end, there is no point in fighting or living for anything at all. That voice comes from the opposing spiritual forces that also work in us and want to work against the new world's birth, even want to prevent it. The stronger they work, the more anxious and depressed we become until we become completely paralysed by fear and do not take up any action anymore.

Christ - the divine transformer

To avoid being thus overwhelmed, it is vital to understand the process described above and learn to recognise it in all areas of life. But above all, it is essential that we consciously open up to and connect with the renewing, inspiring and empowering forces belonging to the high divine power that originated this gigantic, worldwide process of transformation from the old world to the new world: Christ, the Sun-Logos.

This power he expresses in the words, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me”. 2)

His transforming power is expressed in: “Behold I make all things new”. 3)

It was for this purpose - to resurrect the spirit in the souls of men and thus transform the old world into the new world - that he came to earth two thousand years ago.

To achieve this revolution, he went through a process of death and resurrection on the cross of Golgotha. In doing so, he connected himself with the inner life of all human beings on earth ánd with the earth itself. He expressed that new covenant in the words, “Behold I am with you always, to the end of the world”. 4)

It is thanks to the resurrection power of Christ living in us that we can become spiritually active, find creative solutions and the new world is born.

In our time, with all its fears and uncertainties, it is extremely essential – if we are not to be paralysed and discouraged – that we continually realise anew that the divine power and loving force at work in Christ encompasses and carries this whole process of change. Nothing happens without his will. No matter how incomprehensible the events that occur may be to us.

Trust in the divine guidance.

What matters in our uncertain times is that we learn to trust in this ever-present help and guidance of Christ and the spiritual world of angels, archangels, and even higher angelic hierarchies in all circumstances.

That means, whenever fear strikes, to seek rest, to let go and to realise and feel that Christ and the angels are present everywhere and want to lead us through this time of transition from the old world tot the new and give us strength.

The more we connect with the loving power of Christ, build on him and ask him for help and strength for ourselves, for other people, for humanity, for the future of the earth, the better he can reach us, give us strength, and bring about the necessary transformations.

This is how the new world becomes a reality – through us humans.


1 Anthroposophy as Cosmosophy, Rudolf Steiner, GA 207, the lecture of 24-9-1921.

2 Matthew 28:18

3 Revelation of John 21:5

4 Matthew 28:20


naar boven