We supposedly live in a humanistic age, one in which mankind is central and owes nothing to anything or indeed anyone beyond itself. We are our own justification. We celebrate ourselves, and our art, politics and science are all based on expanding our knowledge and deepening our fulfilment of ourselves as ourselves. For some our potential is limitless but it is still our potential as human beings even if we bring the universe into it on some abstract or quasi-spiritual level.
What we don't realise is that humanity restricted to humanity is doomed to a solipsistic nihilism, however much we may give our fundamental emptiness a false glamour. The human being can only find any real fulfilment when it goes beyond itself. In fact, the human being is only properly human when it understands itself to be more than human. Humanism actually means separation from God so it is an anti-spiritual philosophy. Truth to tell, it is an anti-human philosophy because the human being without God is destined for death.
We don't live in a humanistic age. We live in an inhuman age. We cover up that grim reality with technological distractions and false ideas about ourself. We are lost, on our own, floating off into the void. We are so insane that people who are aware of this are regarded as mad or childish because they, so it is said, cling onto fantasies. But the biggest fantasy and the greatest arrogance is that we can live without God. Remove the artificial supports that modern human beings have, take away the elaborate structures we have built up to keep out reality and most people might reflect a little more deeply on what they are and what they should be.
The ground is being prepared for the incarnation of a being known as the antichrist by Christians who is probably the same as the one named Ahriman by the spiritual philosopher Rudolf Steiner. This is that aspect of evil which seeks to bind human beings to the material world and cut them off completely from the spiritual. The advent of this being has been prepared by our reduction of life to what can be weighed and measured. Our modern arts, science, politics and philosophy and even medicine have all been pressed into service to accommodate the ends of this individual who may already have been born. Even religion, which now focuses on materialistic humanitarianism more than true spirituality, serves the ends of antichrist/Ahriman. When he appears he will not be obviously evil like some of the despots of the 20th century. He may even appear benign by the materialistic standards we have built up over the last 2 centuries. But he will seek to divert us from true divine understanding and spiritual life. We need to understand that anything or anyone that promises happiness and fulfilment in this world, whatever it calls itself, is not of God. That doesn't mean that hardship and suffering are good in themselves. That also can be a false path. But this life is intended to serve the greater life and can never be justified in itself.
The current state of the world has been brought about to make us ripe for the picking when the antichrist arrives. But God has not abandoned us. If we can see through the lies we become spiritually stronger. The lies are permitted because they must be brought out into the open in order for us to overcome them and that which corresponds to them in our own souls. If they were not made manifest and outwardly present in this way we would not be able to defeat them and nor could we deal with the same tendencies that exist within ourselves. There is risk involved. The darkness can overwhelm us or we can use it to see the light more clearly. But we are, or should be, spiritual adults now and we can only progress spiritually by facing reality and dealing with it. God will protect us but he will not overprotect us for then we would never grow up.
Ahriman/antichrist has many servants in the modern world, most of whom don't know they are his servants even though they serve his agenda and prepare his way. I would go so far as to say that more or less everyone in the public eye who has any form of power serves his agenda. If they didn't they wouldn't be there. This will only become more so. The plans are laid for complete control of human consciousness. That's not just control of human beings but control of human consciousness. The best slaves are willing slaves and that is what Ahriman wants and what his agents are currently working for in preparation for his appearance. We have to be aware of this. Preserve your freedom. God gave us complete freedom, making us free even to reject him. No one and nothing can take that away but you can give it away. Never sell your birthright, no matter what is offered in exchange for whatever is offered is worthless really. Stay free.