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case study -THE ZEITGEIST

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THE ZEITGEIST MEMORANDUM
This is a global memorandum for those who seek societal transformation and a future that is defined by
hope. If what is written below appeals to your intellect and intuition you may forward this
memorandum to other like minded people.
Part I
What is the Zeitgeist?
It is something everyone breathes. Something everyone is in . . . like a fog it obscures our
vision. Until we are awakened we live with the delusion that we are immune to it. We think
we are in control. We think we are autonomous. But this is only because we have forgotten.
We have forgotten history and have forgotten to listen to the wisdom of the past . . . to our
ancestors. They too were in it. And yet some enlightened souls saw through the veil.
Ever since humans began to think beyond immediate needs, we have tried to transcend the
Zeitgeist. For better or for worse, it can cause us to believe and act in certain ways. Sadly, we
forget that each individual has power. Everyone has a choice. We can choose to follow the
Zeitgeist blindly or we can choose to transcend it. We can go about living in our semi-
conscious state by allowing others to think for us and be myopic and apathetic OR we can
choose to transcend the Zeitgeist. WHAT IS THE ZEITGEIST?
Every era, like every person, has its own personality. This is the Zeitgeist. It is not an esoteric
concept. It is a simple word yet a very descriptive word that anyone can understand. The
German word Zeitgeist (often capitalized and italicized) is comprised of two German words:
zeit meaning time and geist meaning spirit. The word denotes the spirit of a particular
age . . . the milieu of a society or era.
With hindsight we can understand the personality of any given era . . . what it did right . . .
where it went wrong . . . and the people (influencers) who shaped it, for better or for worse.
Whether it was the Zeitgeist of the 1960’s, the Renaissance or the Zeitgeist of pre-Nazi
Germany, behind every era are people of influence who affect the masses and thereby define
the personality of any era (e.g., musicians, poets, novelists, authors, philosophers, essayists,
movie directors, etc.).

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Consider your own personality. It was partly shaped by your genetic makeup but ALSO by
your parents. What parents are to children, influencers are to the Zeitgeist. Not only is every
person shaped and moulded by their parents but also by their culture, by the Zeitgeist.
We are a product of our times, that is to say, we are a product of the Zeitgeist. Just as our
parents can affect the way we think so too does the Zeitgeist affect the way we think and act.
Our parents instil in us certain values and ideas and these ideas become part of our belief
system, likewise with the Zeitgeist. The problem is, when we are IN the Zeitgeist we are often
not fully aware of its manifestations; how it affects us and how it directs the future . . .
sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.
Consider, for example, how one particular Zeitgeist in North America promoted the ‘idea’
that woman were inferior to men. In fact, the Zeitgeist went so far as to say that woman were
not persons. To affect the Zeitgeist all it takes is one person to act as a catalyst. A
Canadian woman, for example, by the name of Emily Murphy sought to be a Senator;
however, she was unable to. Why? Because she was a woman. Recall the words of
America’s third President, Thomas Jefferson: “The appointment of a woman to office is an
innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I.
Remember, the Zeitgeist of that time said (according to the British North American Act)
women were not allowed to vote because they were legally not “persons” therefore a
woman could not be Senator. Murphy’s motion to overturn this ‘idea’ to overturn this
one facet of the Zeitgeist became known as the “Person’s Case. The most important
constitutional case in Canadian history. Her motion was denied by the Canadian Supreme
Court. In deviance, she courageously sailed to England in 1929 to appear before the Judicial
Committee of the Privy Council of the British Empire, which at that time was Canada’s
final court of appeal.
Emily Murphy did not, like most of us, resign herself to the Zeitgeist. She saw through its
veil and awoke. As a result, she challenged it and won. Five years later the Prime Minister of
Canada, Mackenzie King, appointed the first female Senator. Unfortunately, it was not
Emily Murphy. It should be noted, however, that Murphy was the first female magistrate in
the British Empire. Ideas have consequences. Ideas are created by people. And ideas, for
better or worse, shape the Zeitgeist.
It was people of influence who moulded the Zeitgeist of Emily Murphy’s era and because
most people are followers they uncritically accepted that woman were inferior. We should

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THE ZEITGEIST MEMORANDUM This is a global memorandum for those who seek societal transformation and a future that is defined by hope. If what is written below appeals to your intellect and intuition you may forward this memorandum to other like minded people. Part I What is the Zeitgeist? It is something everyone breathes. Something everyone is in . . . like a fog it obscures our vision. Until we are awakened we live with the delusion that we are immune to it. We think we are in control. We think we are autonomous. But this is only because we have forgotten. We have forgotten history and have forgotten to listen to the wisdom of the past . . . to our ancestors. They too were in it. And yet some enlightened souls saw through the veil. Ever since humans began to think beyond immediate needs, we have tried to transcend the Zeitgeist. For better or for worse, it can cause us to believe and act in certain ways. Sadly, we forget that each individual has power. Everyone has a choice. We can choose to follow the Zeitgeist blindly or we can choose to transcend it. We can go about living in our semi-conscious state by allowing others to think for us and be myopic and apathetic OR we can choose to transcend the Zeitgeist. WHAT IS THE ZEITGEIST? Every era, like every person, has its own personality. This is the Zeitgeist. It is not an esoteric concept. It is a simple word yet a very descriptive word that anyone can understand. The German word Zeitgeist (often capitalized and ita ...
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