Yes, last time I spoke about the truth by consensus and came to the conclusion at the end of it, that it is basically also possible, in a group of people, of thinking people, to come to a consensus about something, which has to happen, in which those facts, which then have to take place, are actually more important than the truth. And then it would be possible to come to that, to come to a consensus in that group about something you want to do together, that you want to set in motion, without even asking yourself to what extent you remain in agreement with the facts. So then you really have sent Aristotle all the way home. It does not really matter anymore, whether you say something, what is so or is not, what matters is that you have decided something with one another, and that is the way it is then.
Now that is, one would say, difficult to market with well-thinking people, if a certain group of people has a certain power, if they decide on certain actions out of consensus and they do not do so in accordance with the facts, then one would say, well-thinking people will then start to resist. But of course we have the big problem, that although we as humanity belong to the species Homo Sapiens, that is the human, who carries the wisdom, even has an awareness of it, but that is a possibility, and that is far from a fact. And the problem is, that we as humanity are not yet really engaged in making our possibility a reality. And that is why all kinds of things can happen, which, when one tries to think reasonably, are totally unexpected.
We actually do not think autonomously at all. We do have thoughts, we also know all sorts of things, but our opinions are for a very large part determined from the outside, and not from the inside. And we do not even notice that. That starts at school, of course, that is where all kinds of things are taught, all kinds of opinions are brought in, and when you grow up later on, then you live with those opinions and you probably don't know at all, where you heard them for the first time.
But of course there is a medium, which makes excellent use of opinion formation. They do that rather unscrupulously, they have a certain task, to bring about opinion building in people, and they do that in a very special way, but they can only do that because we are not good thinking people. We are not independent thinking people and we let ourselves be made, as it were, into a copy in our thinking, of what the media has to say.
And here I have a book by Rudolf Steiner with readings from 1916, a New Year lecture that is. And the interesting thing is that in 1916 he gives a quote from a book of psychology. And that quote, that is about the newspaper reader, you have to imagine 1911 is that article published, from which he quotes. We are now 2020. And there's the following:
The newspaper reader is a very complicated creature. It’s innumerable less important properties, if you make them disappear, then they disappear behind two main properties. So here the main characteristics of the newspaper reader are pronounced in an article about psychology, two characteristics. He believes everything, he forgets everything. On these two main characteristics, which are present in every newspaper reader, rests the whole secret of the daily press in the present enormous course of development. He believes everything, he forgets everything. Printed newspaper is one of the essential characteristics of the modern man of culture.
We no longer have that, we have put the printed newspaper aside, instead we have our mobile phone, or we have our iPad, or we have our computer and then read there, what the 'newspaper' has to say.
Most readers only read one newspaper and believe in it. Their view of the world in the evening is exactly the one they took from the newspaper in the morning. When they meet someone who reads a different newspaper than the one he reads himself, i.e. who reads the world view of his newspaper, the man seems either completely crazy or at least paradoxical to him. The editors of newspapers, who have a particularly fine understanding of the soul of the newspaper reader, are very cautious about the delicate faith of their readers in the printed newspaper. Never will a newspaper publish anything for the masses which is a correction of something which it has to communicate to its readers, not even in those cases in which a misrepresentation was the opposite of the truth or a complete nonsense. Even then, they will not admit it, because they do not want to endanger the readers' faith in the infallibility of the newspaper.
In the meantime, of course, they are sometimes forced to report the truth after a few days.
And I then say, they don't say, we made a mistake, but they just brutally say something completely different from what they said before.
And then their second indispensable characteristic of the newspaper reader comes in handy, namely his forgetfulness.
And that is something we have been able to observe very intensively in the past nine months, I would say. In all my life I have not seen so clearly, as in these past months, that there is an indescribable impertinence with which, let me say, the press gives certain information, and then contradicts it with as much ease. I once said somewhere, people do not notice, that in the second part of his sentence someone contradicts what he said in the first part, so forgetful people are. Let alone that he knows what was in the newspaper last week. And that is a very big problem. As a result it becomes possible, to actually bring into people whatever you want, and you can do that with great impertinence, you can very easily publish what is not useful to you and count on it, that it will be forgotten again, and then introduce the opposite in the form of measures.
I think that is a development that makes one almost desperate. Probably that development was always there, as it was described in 1911, the credulous and forgetful nature of the newspaper reader, but the fact that, one could almost say, with a moral pretence, these qualities of the newspaper reader or of the media viewer are being used is very disturbing. And you would wish that there would be a movement of people, who feel, that it is highly necessary, that people start to think independently.
If you look at the alternative media channels, then of course you have to make sure that you don't get stuffed with opinions either, because they're there just as well, of course, as they are in the mainstream media. But generally in the alternative media people are a bit more independent in their thinking and don't have the urge to influence a mass of people to a certain opinion. So you can have a little more confidence there anyway, but of course you have to think independently there as well. And you then see, when you look at these alternative media, that in dealing with the figures published by the newspapers, for example, that they are looked at with much more critical eyes, an independent way of thinking is unleashed on them. And then things are seen there that are not seen, if you just follow your credulity and your forgetfulness.
Highly necessary is the development of autonomous thinking, the truly independent testing of the facts. Calculating the percentages, not just copying them, but looking, what are the percentages based on, is that right, is that so properly calculated, what is it actually about, when one day there is talk about 6000 contaminations in the Netherlands. What are we talking about then? We're not talking about sick people, we're talking about positive tests.
And while the RIVM, that's what the Robert Koch Institute is in Germany, while the RIVM publishes on the website that this doesn't mean, that those 6000 people are also sick, that it's even so, that in this so called second wave, the number of sick people increases only very slowly, the number of hospitalizations also increases very slowly, compared to the spring. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) publishes this itself, also publishes the low mortality rate in this second wave, and yet, and I find this impertinent, all countries act as if it were even worse than in spring. And that is something to be really desperate about. I think we really have to be, we have to be really desperate and we have to draw courage to think from this despair. See those differences between what is reported on the one hand on the official websites and what is done on the other hand. That's the one thing I wanted to say.
And the other is: the medium with which the forming of opinion is brought about, that is the phrase, a hollow phrase. We can think, we can speak, and when we think and speak, we can be with our human personality, with our being completely in those thoughts, in those words. Then we can never speak a phrase. But when we simply repeat like a parrot, what we have heard, without having thought about it, to what extent those things we have heard actually correspond with the facts - the Aristotelian truth, which I would like to get back to us - when we do not, and we only repeat what has been said, then we start to say things, like 'too few places in the ICU, overburdened care, and so on and so forth. These are arguments for discussion that are used as soon as the figures published on the RIVM website are discussed, when you come up with them, you are pelted with the phrase about care and ICU. Those are phrases, you really should make the effort, to be with your being in that phrase, to compare it, the burden of the ICU now, in spring, in other years with other diseases, and so on and so forth. Dive into it before you take over a phrase.
The phrase is the instrument for forming an opinion. When you fill people with phrases, you can be sure that they will eventually say exactly what you want them to say.
At a certain point there was a small YouTube video, which gives an extraordinarily clear example of how all the words used in the beginning, of this so-called pandemic, how those words are used by everyone, and you see the emptiness of them. I will look up the link and add it to this video.
So far. It wasn't a very positive message this time, but it's related to the creation of a second wave and connected measures that are so unworthy of human beings, that you can't help but feel the despair for once.