Unrealized potential: Book on perspectives and initiatives in the times of Coronavirus

Unrealized potential: Book on perspectives and initiatives in the times of Coronavirus

24 June 2020 | Sebastian Jüngel

The Corona pandemic highlights the complex ways in which life forms interact. When disruptions occur, they lead to stress symptoms that can have a destructive effect. The Leadership of the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum is working on multidimensional solutions based on its understanding of life.


“The Corona crisis and the ecological crisis are interrelated.” With this statement, Matthias Girke and Georg Soldner, the leaders of the Medical Section at the Goetheanum, are calling for the sustainable strengthening “of the ecological balance of human beings and nature”. Factory farming is one example of what they are concerned about: keeping animals in the smallest of spaces can cause “the release of viruses on a massive scale and promote their mutation.”

The two physicians and the other authors think that understanding the Covid-19 pandemic requires an understanding of the nature of life. Life rests on what has evolved and, being itself in the process of evolving, it holds unrealized potential. The way to approach the crisis is therefore by being open to what only emerges in the encounter and interaction of life forms.

Particularly when there is danger, institutionalized actions tend towards centralized control based on regulations and supervision. The less an approach relates to the concrete life situation, the more fragile the social system and the sooner the disruption leads to a breakdown. If communities that know the specific situation come together locally, the decentralized, dynamically responsive, self-organizational processes that are characteristic of living organisms make it possible to overcome stress and trauma through individual responsibility and initiative and allow for personal growth and development. The Corona pandemic therefore also asks for new social forms of participation and decision-making as well as for trust in the power of self-organization.


Book Ueli Hurter, Justus Wittich (eds): Perspectives and Initiatives in the Times of Coronavirus, translation by Christine Howard, Rudolf Steiner Press, Forest Row 2020, 182pp, £ 12.99

Web Rudolf Steiner Press

Web Verlag am Goetheanum

Translation by Margot M. Saar