TPA Editorial

Beyond Ambition, Vanity and Untruthfulness

One can certainly object to much in the policies of the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Mihály Orban, especially in regard to the current refugee crisis. But in one thing the Hungarian Premier is correct. The architect Attila Ertsey (Budapest) has drawn to our attention that “Viktor Orban has said that the crisis has been caused by us – that is, by the West and NATO, of which we are members – and therefore the responsibility lies with all of us.” The western media are silent about such statements by Orban. Ertsey argues that the meddling in the Middle East by Cameron, Hollande, the USA and their Middle Eastern allies has to be stopped so that the countries affected can decide about their own futures. We would like to add: unfortunately, the chaoticisation of Europe by the wave of refugees is entirely in line with an ambitious long-term Anglo-American strategy. The plan of the establishment of “an all-powerful world super-government” spoken of by Winston Churchill (14 May 1947) will only be realised through a chaoticised Eurozone, not a united one. Only on the ruins of Europe is Churchill’s aim attainable. Europe will not manage to deal with the refugee problem until it sees through this western ‘chaos strategy’, in which the ISIS terrorists are playing their part even while being fought in a pretentious manner by the West and its allies. According to Ertsey, an ISIS-leader has boasted that around 4000 ISIS fighters have already been infiltrated into Europe amongst the refugees.
Rudolf Steiner ascribed three cardinal vices to our modern era: ambition, vanity and untruthfulness.1
In relation to the last of these, he once said that “hypocrisy is the basic characteristic of public life in our time”.2
According to Steiner, it is not only many private actions that are motivated by vanity, but also a great deal of “science”. For example, one can point to the questionable, extremely complex and not entirely danger-free research that goes on at CERN.
Personal ambition is perhaps the worst enemy of all spiritual development, as Mabel Collins wrote in her book of esoteric schooling Light on the Path. The first step on the path of occult development she therefore gives as: “Kill out ambition”. No easy matter, for ambition is deeply rooted in most people’s habits of life and training today.
One has to go far back in human history to find a time when ambition was still completely unknown: the first Atlantean epoch, which was permeated by the mighty sound of TAO. It was a golden age of selfless devotion to nature and spirit, which were experienced as a powerful unity.3
The “unholy trinity” belongs to the deeper causes of the present war in the Middle East, which stands in a reciprocal relationship to the rejection of the spiritual knowledge that has been available for the past 100 years and more: the more rejection of the spirit in the form of personal ambition, vanity and untruthfulness, the greater the powers of war. Without an energetic turn towards concrete knowledge of the spirit, there will be no lasting solution either of the current refugee crisis 4 nor of the future destiny of Europe and the world.


Thomas Meyer


1   To W.J. Stein, Mitteilungen aus der anthroposophischen Arbeit in Deutschland, Michaelmas 1966.

2   On 21.8. 1920, GA 199.

3   See R. Steiner, Cosmic Memory, GA 11.

4   It goes without saying that the maximum humanitarian aid possible is necessary in all circumstances.