Valentin Tomberg, the New Age and the Way of the Heart

Or: An Open Letter on the Salvation of the World

 

Valentin Tomberg (1900-1973)

 

APOLOGIA

This Page is in process of a regrettable Deconstruction.

The Deconstruction will be ongoing over the days ahead.

We will explain the reasons for this regrettable Deconstruction and aim for a Reconstruction with most of this material and indeed expanded on.

Until that happens, the Page below may become increasingly cryptic in certain places at least, though hopefully meaningful content will remain.

My apologies for any inconvenience which has been due to unforeseen circumstances, which have brought me distress – though perhaps not as much as the distress I may have caused (?)

Again, some explanation will be forthcoming (perhaps in a new weblog entry).

Meanwhile, my latest entry on Steiner, Tomberg and Belloc continues with some of the themes from this page – RB.

 

Dear X (and All who share Similar Concerns to her)

This post, as my subtitle above says, is an Open Letter to you, in response to your recent searching and thoughtful comments at this website.

It began, in fact, as responses in the comments boxes themselves, but has grown too big for that. Thus I am dedicating an entire post to some very important and serious things that you raise.

In fact, these things are central to my whole life and are at the heart of this website.

They include concern about the New Age movement, for as you know, I am a former member of Findhorn, who is now deeply troubled that the New Age is burying Christianity.

They also include the Catholic Church, the Way of the Heart and indeed as you have put it, ‘the salvation of the world’.

In connexion with all of these, you have invoked Valentin Tomberg, the former Anthroposophist who converted to Catholicism.

What has emerged in response to you is quite lengthy, but hopefully it will help if I break it down into sections – and so I commence with such.

Valentin Tomberg and the Way of the Heart

Now, not only has Tomberg featured strongly in your responses, but you have spoken of him as a ‘great mentor’ and have quoted his pre-Catholic Anthroposophical writings – writings which moreover he renounced and did not wish to be republished. I am concerned by this and will say more on that in a moment.

However, I want to begin with something, where we share, I think, deep and sympathetic accord.

For while we disagree on many things, I feel an essence in what you write, which moves me deeply. It is an essence I shall call the Way of the Heart. I feel this repeatedly in what you write, for example in your words regarding the cognition of the Heart:

[See Apologia above]

May I say that it was this quality of warmth and the heart in Tomberg’s work that as a New Ager, first drew me powerfully to Valentin Tomberg, as I indicate in my review of his Meditations on the Tarot, where I wrote:

In my experience, to engage sincerely with this book is to engage with more than a book. It is to engage with a living spiritual saint, master and genius of the highest order. A very human being, with the warmest of hearts, the most lucid of minds. A profound, profound thinker whose heart, burning with compassion for the world, gave us [this book].

This is the most human book I have ever read. Human, human, human – profoundly kind and warm – yet calling us to God. And with God and with Christ and His Church, calling us to heal our lives, heal our culture, calling us with the most rigorous clarity of thought and the most tender of feelings.

Yes X, this Way of the Heart is most pronounced in Tomberg’s work.

However after long years of inner struggle, I have also come to believe that it is precisely this Way of the Heart which ultimately led Tomberg away from many of the positions you appear to champion.

I do not say this lightly – it did indeed take me year after year of inner turmoil and inner struggle in order to be able to write such a sentence to you today.

Because in the past, I also championed so very much of what you champion.

For example in the past, how much I would have resonated with your sentiments here:

[See Apologia above]

And you go on, I think, to imply that they may be more qualified for this ‘salvation of the world’ than traditional Christians. How in my youth, I would have warmly and vigorously nodded in agreement!

But I have broken – quite painfully – with such views and the reason for this owes very much to Valentin Tomberg himself.

Now, it feels important for me to say this, for you quoted the younger, Anthroposophical Tomberg in support of what you say. As for example, when you quote that youthful Tomberg writing:

[See Apologia above]

All this brings me to the following.

The Need to Distinguish between the Younger Anthroposophical Tomberg and the Mature Catholic Tomberg

This quote is taken Tomberg’s Anthroposophical Studies and yet the mature Valentin Tomberg made this plea regarding these Studies:

Nothing lies further from me today or would be more tiring than to see the ashes of the Anthroposophical past dragged up … Shield me from discussions about the ‘Studies’ … and similar things, which are now totally alien to me.

This plea was made in response to a central European Anthroposophist who was so impressed by Tomberg’s 1930s Anthroposophical Studies that he tracked the reclusive Tomberg down to his home in Reading, England. Indeed, the Anthroposophist was so impressed by these Studies he wished to visit England to meet him. But Tomberg’s response was that he should not come – in order to spare himself disappointment:

Because a disappointment would be unavoidable if you came to Reading to meet me personally; you would not encounter the one who emerged as the author of the ‘Studies’ … simply for the reason that he isn’t here anymore, he no longer exists … Really I should now have a different name; but for civil reasons that is not possible.

It would seem hard to imagine a stronger renunciation of his Anthroposophical past than all of this.

The letter above is quoted in Valentin Tomberg and Anthroposophy: A Problematic Relationship by Sergei O. Prokofieff (which is that author’s second book attacking Tomberg for betraying Anthroposophy). We will come to back to Prokofieff later on. For now, let us stay with Tomberg’s past Anthroposophical writings from which you have quoted – perhaps unaware of his own wish that these Studies never be republished.

There are very, very grave things here – and they are all to do with Tomberg’s Way of the Heart.

Now I certainly understand why these Studies have been republished and I do not wish to quarrel with those who have done so. For I trust that like your own heart, X, their hearts too are pierced by the world crisis and that they too, in their own way, are seeking Salvation for the World.

Nonetheless, I feel a duty to really call attention to the distance that Valentin Tomberg emphasised between his later Catholic period and his earlier Anthroposophical thought – with the sharpest of language:  ‘totally alien’ … ‘nothing lies further from me’ … ‘Really I should now have a different name.’

I believe we owe it to Valentin Tomberg to take him at his own word – and not try to pretend that he did not really mean these things, which he said, no doubt, with sincerity.

Now, I mentioned my long years of inner struggle, as I moved from heartfelt accord with you to quite strong disagreement today.

And much of that struggle lies in the fact my conscience bade me to ‘take Tomberg at his own word’ and listen to the distinction he himself makes between his pre-Catholic and his Catholic Christianity. Yes, I have been with this for fifteen years now and most of these years were tough work.

What I want to do here X, is to present some fruits of that tough work – which as we shall see have much to do with both the Modern Age and the New Age Movement.

Now, there are Anthroposophical parrots, who go around parroting what Steiner said. The refrain ‘Steiner says’ is famed in Anthroposophical circles. ‘Steiner says this, Steiner says that …’

Perhaps I will be judged by some who read this as a ‘Tomberg parrot’ myself: ‘Tomberg says this, Tomberg says that’.

Perhaps you might even think that I am saying, ‘You are wrong X, because “Tomberg says”.’ But I hope it will be clear that I am attempting something more profound than such.

Because X, you express views that are held by innumerable noble souls today. And although I have shed such views, you may hold them in common with such noble souls until the day you die.

What follows then, X is not so much a call to dissuade you from such opinions, but to invite you to the same struggle as I have made: Trying to understand how and why Tomberg changed.

But if Tomberg is a ‘great mentor’ for you, I believe such a struggle – should you choose to undertake it – will lead to not only facing the disjunction between the mature Tomberg and younger Tomberg – but the disjunction between the mature Tomberg and many of the views you express here in your comments.

And I have no idea where facing this disjunction would take you (or indeed anyone else). It may well lead you (or others) in a direction like Prokofieff’s, who has at least faced the enormous gulf that lies between the Anthroposophical and the Catholic Tomberg.

Tomberg on the Spirit of Reformation and Revolution

In trying to understand the Catholic Tomberg, one cannot avoid the issue of the Reformation.

Indeed in so many ways, the Reformation is the crux of the matter here. For the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner and the younger Tomberg draws from Rosicrucianism  – ‘esoteric Protestantism’ if you like.  And I hope it will become clear from what follows that herein lies an axis on which so much turns. As a point of departure, I would refer to you saying:

[See Apologia above]

I would observe that the issue of ‘giving one’s self over to a priest’ represents the fundamental issue of the Reformation.

For the whole of the pre-Reformation Church – Catholic in the West and Orthodox in the East – is to do with obedience to a hierarchy composed of bishops and priests.

However it is not simply pre-Reformation Christianity, because over 60 per cent of global Christianity – Catholic and Orthodox – still hold to this, at least in principle.

We in the Anglophone world tend to forget that – because our own culture has been dominated by the Reformation.

And Reformation Christianity is the break from ‘giving one’s self over to a priest’ in favour of an unmediated approach to God.

That break is something that Rudolf Steiner very much believed in. The younger Anthroposophical Tomberg believed in it also. But I have had to face the fact that it is precisely at this point where the Catholic Tomberg broke from Steiner.

Here is why this Catholic Tomberg critiques the Reformation continuously – in very strong language, far stronger than contemporary Catholicism would. For example, he speaks of the ‘Lutheran heresy’ (Meditations on the Tarot pg 387).

No Pope would say that today – and I recall when I first read those words – which shocked me – that I needed to ask why had Tomberg chosen – consciously chosen! – such strong language.

Elsewhere, Tomberg speaks of the “catastrophic upheavals which have taken place in the history of Christianity’ in connexion with Luther and Calvin.  He then proceeds to say that the Counter Reformation Catholic Saints were needed to atone for the sins of Luther and Calvin:

St. John of the Cross atoned for Martin Luther … St. Ignatius of Loyola atoned for John Calvin  [Tomberg’s italics] (Meditations on the Tarot pg 396).

In approaching St Ignatius of Loyola, we of course approach the issue of the Jesuits – whom you also invoke.

Now Steiner was famously and intensely critical of Saint Ignatius and Jesuitism. But we find something very different with the Catholic Tomberg. Not only does Saint Ignatius, according to Meditations on the Tarot, atone for Calvin’s sin, but in his final writings, Tomberg goes still further.

For in Lazarus Come Forth, Tomberg will say that the Counter Reformation spearheaded by Saint Ignatius expresses a new pentacostal miracle in the Church. This, he will write:

expressed itself in a great movement of interiorisation connected with the bringing into existence of the Jesuit Order through St Ignatius of Loyola and his comrades … It was a matter in this [Jesuit] spiritual training of awakening the whole human being to the reality of Christianity through inner experience. Through the meditative training [of St Ignatius], people became more than pious; they became witnesses to the truth of Christianity …

It was the impulse towards inwardness of a Christianity reawakened through meditation which rescued the Church from the storms of the so-called ‘Reformation.’

All this, of course, is key to Prokofieff’s now two volume set of books attacking Tomberg for betraying Anthroposophy.

And Prokofieff is right in at least this: a vast difference does exist between Steiner’s relentless pro-Reformation critique of Jesuitism and the Catholic Tomberg’s unwavering criticism of the Reformation and affirmation of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

On the Salvation of the World

But rather than focus on Prokofieff, what I really wish to do X, is return to your phrase: the Salvation of the World.

For here, it seems to me, is the key. Both the young Tomberg and the late Tomberg were gravely concerned with how civilisation might be saved.

This is because Tomberg never stopped seeing grave danger to civilisation, right till the end – and his life story is all about how to respond to that grave danger.

For as we shall see below, the Anthroposophy which consumed the young Tomberg is all to do with the Salvation of the World from materialism. And after his conversion, Tomberg reveals continuously the very same concern – that the world is degenerating into ever deeper materialism.

This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in his Catholic legal works on the degeneration of jurisprudence, but it also features repeatedly in Meditations on the Tarot.

For example, we may regard this historical chain of events that the Catholic Tomberg clearly sees as bringing degeneration:

The Reformation, rationalism, the French revolution, materialistic faith of the nineteenth century, and the Bolshevik revolution, show that everywhere mankind is turning away from the Virgin. The consequence of this is that the sources of creative spiritual elan are drying up, one after the other, and that an increasing aridity is showing up in all domains of the spiritual life of the West [Italics mine].

It is said that the West is growing old. But why? Because it lacks creative elan, because it has turned away from the source of creative elan …

Each revolution which has taken place in the West —that of the Reformation, the French revolution, the scientific revolution, the delirium of nationalism, the communist revolution — has advanced the process of aging in the West (Meditations on the Tarot pg 292, 294).

Yes, Tomberg was gravely concerned that the West was ageing – indeed dying. And repeatedly he cites the Reformation in this context. In some recently published notes, he speaks very starkly indeed:

The impoverishment of humanity caused by Protestantism: without the Mother the Word is not ensouled, and consequently humanity is deprived of the effect of the Universal Remedy. Christ becomes a Master who only teaches, not a Universal Healer [Tomberg’s italics] (The Wandering Fool pg. 90).

From the above, there is not only further critique of the ‘impoverishment’ of the ‘Lutheran heresy’, but still more besides. We see the Catholic Tomberg’s ongoing critique of all forms of rebellion and revolution. The ‘emancipated personality’, free spirits,  revolutionaries, rebels, Tomberg – as we shall see – repeatedly sees all of these, as falling into:

The weakness of revolt (for revolt is a weakness where one lets oneself be carried away by the current of emotional impatience — the fundamental weakness of all rebels, including religious reformers as well as political revolutionaries and the most celebrated social reformers) (Meditations on the Tarot pg 535).

Throughout all this, the Catholic Tomberg stresses his difference from Steiner in terms of the Modern Era – this is to say the epoch, which began with the Renaissance. Steiner called this the ‘fifth cultural epoch‘ and spoke in support of the Reformation and many further revolutions that have happened since.  

Now there is a profound passage where Tomberg echoes Steiner in speaking of this ‘fifth cultural epoch’ as the Age of the Pentagram (following the fourth epoch of the four arms of the Cross). For anyone trying to understand the difference between the young Tomberg and the late Tomberg, this passage merits the deepest consideration. And I hope that you will join me Charlotte, in giving it your profound attention:

The Middle Ages erected the cross above the nations, societies, aspirations and thoughts of Europe. This was the epoch of obedience and faith —accompanied by every imaginable human abuse. This was followed by an epoch where the dawn of hope made itself felt. Humanism, with its flourishing of Renaissance art, philosophy and science, was born under the sign of hope. The sign of the pentagram began its ascent.

It was then that opposition arose between the sacred pentagram of five wounds and the pentagram of the emancipated personality. A purely humanistic art, science and magic had its development under the sign of the pentagram of hope in man, as opposed to the sign of the pentagram of hope in God, i.e. the sacred pentagram of the five wounds …

The impulse of freedom — of hope in emancipated man —has built up and demolished a great deal. It has created a materialistic civilisation without parallel, but at the same time it has destroyed the hierarchical order— the order of spiritual obedience. A series of religious, political and social revolutions has ensued.

But the hierarchical order is eternal and obedience is indispensable.

Now new hierarchical orders are beginning to be established, replacing obedience by tyranny and dictatorship. For he who sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind (cf. Hosea ix, 7)—this is a truth that we are learning with so much suffering today. The pentagram of hope in emancipated man has in former times sown the wind —and we and our contemporaries are now reaping the whirlwind (Meditations on the Tarot pg 118-119).

In Meditations on the Tarot, Tomberg has articulated our desperate need for the Sacred Way of the Five Wounds of Christ. But he suggests that our civilisation is now imperilled by the precise opposite of this – an unsacred pentagram of the ‘emancipated personality’.

From all that Tomberg writes, this rise of the unsacred Pentagram clearly follows in his eyes, from the ‘Lutheran heresy’. The Renaissance followed the Age of the Cross, but instead of being followed by the Age of the Five Wounds of Christ, our modern epoch has been derailed in favour of:

The Reformation, rationalism, the French revolution, materialistic faith of the nineteenth century, and the Bolshevik revolution

The result has destroyed that which is ‘indispensable’ according to Tomberg: hierarchy and obedience. The consequence has been a whirlwind of false hierarchy involving ‘tyranny and dictatorship’.

All this I would say – along with Hilaire Belloc – includes our current plutocratic capitalist tyranny, which is now leading us to ecological disaster. Now some of these ‘new hierarchical orders’ are somewhat visible and they have names attached to them – as I wrote in this post concerning Tomberg and Napoleon, and Murdoch, Gates and Hefner. Other false hierarchies are largely invisible,  but they nevertheless work to destroy the world, leading us towards capitalist-environmental catastrophe.

Now X, I am writing all this conscious that your responses at this site gave a narrative, which in many ways emphasised reaction to injustice as a way to account for the changes during the Modern Era:

[See Apologia above]

X, I appreciate the evident thought and study you have clearly undertaken in trying to understand history as well as the roots of the New Age movement. However, may I also say that your narrative seems to me deeply, if subtly coloured by the Anglophone perspective?

You write, for example, that [see Apologia above].

What may I ask of ‘true Christians’ across Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, Austria, Hungary or Poland, who did not feel so compelled?

Or will you tell me that this is all because, they remained in ‘[see Apologia above]‘? If you do, I shall only suspect you of being further in the grip of Anglophone ideology.

Now the French-born Hilaire Belloc studied history at Oxford and spent the rest of his life afterwards trying to work against this ideology that he believed coloured the English interpretation of history. He noted for example, how very much the English Reformation owed not to ‘true Christianity’ but Henry VIII’s liquidation of the monastic property, which fell into the hands of the rich and the violent repression of Catholicism that followed …

Tomberg on Obedience, Authority and Hierarchy

But leaving Hilaire Belloc, your opinions or my opinions aside, let us return to Tomberg.

Tomberg was fluent in several languages and thus his reading was less circumscribed by either Protestant or Catholic prejudices.

Please note that I will very readily admit Latin Catholic prejudice, as well as Anglo Protestant prejudice. However with Tomberg I think we need to look to something deeper than prejudice when he gives such a very different narrative of history than your own.

That ‘something deeper’ I say is his heart ripped open for the ‘impoverishment of humanity’ leading to ‘new hierarchical orders … replacing obedience by tyranny and dictatorship’.

In any event, we are dealing with very, very grave matters at this point. And this is where Tomberg came to differ so deeply from Steiner.

For as we said, Steiner certainly affirmed the Reformation and many of the revolutions that followed in its wake. For example, Steiner regarded the French Revolution as rooted in a new consciousness that was essentially good, even if the implementation of the secular French Republic had been problematic in his eyes.

The Catholic Tomberg is very different. The reader of Tomberg’s legal-political theses will readily see that Tomberg criticises the French Revolution in the starkest of terms – as something unambiguously evil.

And instead of reformation and revolution and Anthroposophy, Tomberg now embraced and defended very traditional Catholic structures –  structures which are all to do with dogma, hierarchy and obedience to authority.

Again, these were the structures common to all of Christianity before the Reformation – both Catholic in the West and Orthodox in the East. Here is why Tomberg continually affirms both Catholicism and Orthodoxy, even while he continuously critiques Reformation Christianity.

However, it should be noted that Tomberg goes further – where no Orthodox would ever go. He affirms the Counter Reformation Catholicism of the Jesuits, which culminated in the 1870 declaration of Papal Infallibility.

Tomberg’s support of Papal Infallibility is, needless to say, yet another point on which Prokofieff would damn Tomberg for betraying Anthroposophy.

For myself, I find Prokofieff blinkered. However, he does make a case as to why and how Tomberg would state that his Anthroposophical past was ‘totally alien’ to his mature Catholic faith.

I feel that we who have found a ‘great mentor’ in Tomberg do need to listen to what this transformation entailed for him. And I would like to ask you – and everyone else who cares about Tomberg – to listen to what he says which is so far removed from Anthroposophy or the ‘free thinkers’ you champion, X.

Here for example, is what he writes of dogma in Lazarus Come Forth:

Dogma is not a prohibition against thinking and research, but a command and a summons [Italics mine] to orient thought and research towards divine truth. Dogma is like a star in the heaven of eternal Being which shines, ever radiating and inexhaustible, into the world of temporal existence.

Given such thinking, Tomberg can make statements which are extremely difficult for New Agers, Anthroposophists and everyone else who breathes the Protestant spirit. Certainly as a natural ‘White Anglo Saxon Protestant’ myself, I found statements such as the following extremely hard:

The Catholic Church, being catholic or universal, cannot consider itself as a particular church among other particular churches, nor consider its dogmas as religious opinions among other religious opinions or confessions …

This is from page 89 of Meditations on the Tarot – and I recall how my jaw dropped open, when I first registered it. Here was a serious challenge to my liberal New Age assumptions!

And it was a challenge for ever deeper pondering as the years passed. Now shortly after this last quote, Tomberg continues (on the same page) with further comments regarding Hermetic philosophy. But from the context, I think we can infer that what then follows also applies to the statement above regarding Catholicism:

Presumption? It would be, without any doubt, a monstrous presumption if it were a matter of human invention instead of revelation from above.

In fact, if you have a truth revealed from above, if the acceptance of this truth brings miracles of healing, peace and vivification with it, and if, lastly, it explains to you a thousand unexplained things — that are inexplicable without it — can you then consider it as an opinion among other opinions?

Dogmatism? Yes, if one understands by “dogma” the certainty due to revelations of divine worth which prove fruitful and constructive, and due to the confirmation that they receive from reason and experience together. When one has certainty based on the concordance of divine revelation, divine-human operation, and human understanding, how can one act as if one did not have it?

Is it truly necessary “to deny three times before the cock crows” in order to be accepted into the good company of “free spirits” and “non-dogmatics”, and to be chauffeured along with them by the fire of things relating to human creation (Meditations on the Tarot pg 89)?

In re-reading this now X, I am reminded of what you yourself appear to champion.

To be clear, I refer to what I have quoted from you above, regarding ‘free thinkers’.

And I am very concerned that New Agers are not truly free, but rather chauffeured along by ‘free spirits’ and ‘non-dogmatics’. At least, I can say of my own Findhorn past that I denied three times – and much more! – because I allowed myself to be chauffeured along.

Now such people sometimes appear desperate to interpret Tomberg’s call to obedience in a purely spiritualised way. They are desperate, that is, to believe that Valentin Tomberg did not really say submit yourself to a human hierarchy of priests and bishops – but only a spiritual one. But I am afraid that such an interpretation is repeatedly contradicted by what the man himself actually wrote:

The vow of obedience …  is the life of cosmic and human hierarchical ordering; it is the meaning and justification of the fact that there are Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones; Dominions, Virtues, Powers; Principalities, Archangels, Angels; Priests, Knights and Commoners. Obedience is order: it is international law; it is the state; it is the Church [Italics mine].

Tomberg on the Danger of Psychological Inflation and the Need for Humility

But this is not all. Tomberg says far regarding obedience, when he speaks of the need for humility.

This I believe you will readily recognise, X. For knowing that you have studied Tomberg’s thinking, I trust you will immediately recognise his grave concern for the hazards of psychological inflation. Thus, I doubt there is much need to rehearse all this here. The Seventh Letter of Meditations of the Tarot is devoted to this serious danger, which can lead to catastrophe. And Tomberg expresses himself repeatedly about Hermeticists becoming proud and haughty.

It is pellucid that Tomberg relates such haughtiness to lack of obedience, as when he writes:

The Church is based on the three sacred vows—obedience, poverty and chastity—whilst we Hermeticists behave as pontiffs, without the sacraments and the discipline that this entails … We do not want to obey [Italics mine] either religious or scientific discipline. At the same time, it is obedience or discipline which underlies the moral greatness of the Church (Meditations on the Tarot pg 190).

And elsewhere, he says:

Such obedience as is practised in religious orders and the Catholic spiritual knighthood is a form of training —moreover, very effective —of the will, with a view to rivetting the will-to-greatness [Italics mine]. The obedience that the chela has to his guru in India and Tibet follows, in principle, the same aim. This is true also of the absolute obedience that the hassidim have towards their tzadekim in the jewish Hassidic communities, and similarly it is so with the obedience without reserve on the part of the disciples of the startzy (spiritual masters) in orthodox, pre-Bolshevist Russia (Meditations on the Tarot pg 112).

No, we will not rehearse all that Tomberg wrote about psychological inflation. Let us simply note that when Tomberg speaks about ‘absolute obedience’ and ‘obedience without reserve’ that this is all to do with humility: riveting the will-to-greatness in the heart.

Thus, Tomberg called Hermeticists to:

renunciation of the role of representing an esoteric and sacred science different from exoteric and profane science. It is a matter of renouncing the desire to set up ‘chair against chair’, just as with respect to the Church it is a matter of renouncing the desire to erect ‘altar against altar’ (Meditations on the Tarot pg 191).

All of this is relevant to the issue of the New Age. At least, all my years of experience of Findhorn and the New Age testify all-too-amply to the lack of obedience and the lack of humility found within therein.

And no doubt that Tomberg quotes the penitent Eliphas Levi at length, with the same concerns in mind:

Catholics alone have priests because they alone have the altar and the offering, i.e. the whole of religion. To practise high Magic is to compete with the Catholic priesthood; it is to be a dissident priest [Italics mine].

Rome is the great Thebes of the new initiation . . . It has crypts for its catacombs; for talismen, its rosaries and medallions; for a magic chain, its congregations; for magnetic fires, its convents; for centres of attraction, its confessionals; for means of expansion, its pulpits and the addresses of its bishops; it has, lastly, its Pope, the Man-God rendered visible (Meditations on the Tarot pg. 107).

Steiner and Tomberg – a Paradoxical Continuity

Rudolf Steiner in 1920: "Modern civilisation is asleep ... Rome ... alone is awake."

But I do not want to dwell on the arrogance of ‘dissident priests’, for the issue of the Salvation of the World seems much more pressing to me.

And here I return to Rudolf Steiner, whom according to Prokofieff, Tomberg betrayed. It is clear why Prokofieff should think so: because Tomberg’s defense of Counter Reformation Catholicism – right up to and including Papal Infallibility – is deeply opposed to Steiner’s Anthroposophy.

And yet Steiner said some very strange things that lend weight to the hypothesis I am advancing here.

That hypothesis is  – again – that Tomberg turned to the True Hierarchy of the Church, because he saw the world being destroyed by growing aridity, by false ‘new hierarchies’ and still more.

For Tomberg’s Way of the Heart meant that his heart was ripped open by the course the West was taking and his new, yet deeply traditional ‘Catholic politics’ were born from that very love, which burned in his heart.

Now, however much Rudolf Steiner profoundly disagreed with such ‘Catholic politics’, he was concerned with the very same danger to the West and the world. Contrary to some popular supposition, Steiner was no New Ager, believing that we were all to be shortly rescued by the energies of Aquarius.

Indeed, while he criticised Rome relentlessly, he made a very strange and paradoxical utterance regarding Rome.

In effect, he said that while everyone else was asleep to the danger to the world, there was one force in the world, which was not asleep. That force came from Rome: ‘Rome  … alone is awake.’

X, I have written about this paradoxical utterance elsewhere at this website. But I hope you will not mind, if I repeat it here. For it has much to do with why Tomberg turned his back on Anthroposophy – and all other forms of revolt, rebellion, reformation or ‘the desire to erect altar against altar’.

Thus here is what I offered earlier at this website:

Steiner [did] not share the consistently, unambiguously bleak picture of the Reformation, French Revolution and related phenomena that the Catholic convert Valentin Tomberg would now repeatedly emphasise.

Much more to the point: Rudolf Steiner repeatedly criticised Rome. Steiner in fact once expressed a wish that the Church of Rome would have died at the time of Dante, hundreds of years ago …

Nonetheless, I want to point to a strange continuity between Steiner and the Catholic Tomberg, with which no Catholic of Faith can have much difficulty.

Paradoxically, the Catholic of Faith might even applaud Rudolf Steiner on this single point of continuity, at least.

The continuity I have in mind is that which lies between Tomberg’s urgency and Steiner’s similar burning concern with the degeneration of civilisation.

If we listen to Steiner carefully, we will see that not only does he speak in a similar vein, but that Steiner even affirms Rome, for being awake at least, where no-one else is awake.

Let me turn to lectures from 1920 by Steiner … Italics have been added by myself to denote turns of phrase, worthy I think of special reflection.

Now apparent contradictions abound here – and not only about Steiner’s condemnation and yet strange affirmation of Rome. For it might appear that Rudolf Steiner was also critical of the rise of Natural Science. But that is not the case, at all. Rudolf Steiner certainly celebrated this rise.

Nonetheless we see Steiner enjoining his followers to feel in their hearts – painfully in their hearts – certain things which he indicates they are not awake to – although Rome is. Here is Steiner:

“I should be interested to know how many people felt as if stung by a viper when they read a certain sentence [which at the time, Steiner spoke had recently appeared in the German language press].

I should really like to know how many people, when reading this felt stung by a viper! The sentence runs:

‘Religion, which represents a fantastic reflex in the minds of human beings, concerning their relations one to another and to nature, is doomed to natural decay through the victorious growth of the scientific, clear and naturalistic grasp of reality which is bound to develop parallel with the establishment of a planned society.’

This sentence is to be found in an article on the measures taken by Lenin and Trotsky against the Russian Catholic Church …

One knows for a certainty that the number of Lenin’s opponents, who feel as if stung by a viper on reading such a sentence is very small.

I want to emphasise this as not being without significance, because it brings out to what an extent modern humanity passes lightly over things, usually asleep – how it passes over the weightiest facts, facts which are decisive for the life of humankind on this earth …

But the Roman Catholic Church is awake, she alone in fact is awake, and is working systematically against the approaching storm …

Much more of this can be found here, where Steiner develops the idea that civilisation is terribly endangered by modern materialism. Thus I shall only quote a little more from my earlier post:

Steiner clearly characterises Rome’s direction as ‘extremely harmful’.

Yet he also says: “it must be recognised that the Catholic Church has shown great foresight …

The Catholic Church long ago foresaw the [modern] social condition … the Catholic Church took her own measures to make her influences felt in these social conditions …

In face of the rising tide of naturalism [Rome] throws down the gauntlet before all this rising materialism … It demonstrates the only wakeful consciousness within our sleeping civilisation …

Modern civilisation is asleep … Rome is awake … Rome was wide awake and made in advance her necessary preparations [Italics all mine].

Charlotte, you have spoken about the need for the Heart. And here Steiner speaks of the need to feel as though stung by a viper. Here is a cognition of the heart!

For when Steiner speaks of feeling stung like a viper, he necessarily means to have one’s heart open and pierced. For the truly open heart is always pierced …

And clearly Rudolf Steiner’s heart was deeply pierced by the tragedy of the world plunging ever more deeply into materialism. In the words above, he critiques Marxist materialism: the Communist rejection of religious reality.

However, Steiner was also very gravely concerned with Capitalist materialism as well. He warns of an American capitalism triumphing in the world by the 1980s – the very era of Reagan, Thatcher and the massive deregulation of global finance that happened in that era.

Steiner even went so far as to predict the possible persecution of Christians in the Twenty-First century, persecuted by growing materialistic forces. This is to say philosophical materialism denying Christ and commercial materialism denying spiritual and religious development.

All this takes us too far away from the issue at hand. Instead, let me return Charlotte, to what you have invoked: the Salvation of the World. For here is what mattered to both Steiner and the young Tomberg. Like the Roman Catholic Church, they were both ‘working systematically against the approaching storm’.

But it is the same with the later Catholic Tomberg. He never ceased to work ‘systematically against the approaching storm’. For Valentin Tomberg’s heart never closed down – it remained ever open, ever pierced and ever stung – stung with the bite of the Serpent devouring the world.

And as I have struggled over long years to understand Tomberg’s transformation, I have concluded that not only did he agree with Steiner that the Catholic Church alone was awake, but that it was this that led him to work systematically with Rome and not against her.

Thus it was that he was willing to call his entire Anthroposophical past into question.

Now I think that all of this also calls into question very much that you appear to champion, X.

For whereas I once championed many of these things alongside you, I now believe that were Valentin Tomberg with us today, he would recognise your noble intention, X, he would honour your own pierced heart – but he would say that what you advocate cannot be the way forward.

That is, I believe he would say: in that way lies the further erosion and destruction of Christianity.

In that way lies the destruction of the West and disaster for humanity.

However X, I want to say something now that I hope will honour the sincere concerns of your own open, pierced heart in regards to the Church.

On the Horrors and Atrocities Committed by Catholics

For Charlotte, I feel and hear your beating, living heart, throughout your words. For example, when you write:

[See Apologia above]

Now there is a very great deal I might say to this directly, X. But pressed as I am for time, I hope you will not mind, if I respond somewhat indirectly, by repeating what I once said to two people who raised similar issues at this website – people who identified themselves as Mark and reXteryalizer. Speaking to them, I said:

I do not think you are wrong  …  to feel anguish and compassion for those who have been molested, raped, tortured, slaughtered at the hands of Catholics.

And I guess Mark, this is where your comment comes [indicating] the terrible true story of those who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of clergy. And maybe worse.

No I have no wish deny that in countless, untold ways, people suffer at the hands of Catholics right up to the modern day.

This is the real – truest – point of what you are both saying, it seems to me.

Now reXteryalizer you ask me:

“What is the Lure & thrill and unified UNBROKEN chain of unity and love and respect that the catholic church has bestowed upon the earth..

Are we missing something … ?”

May I be frank with you reXteryalizer and say that I think you may be missing several enormous things at once?

And perhaps yourself as well, Mark [for] in pointing us to the horror of abuse, you would seem to be suggesting that Catholicism loses credibility(?) 

But to answer the question – what do I think is being missed here?

First of all: the immense depth of human evil in general.

For … again without needing to criminalise Ven. Pius XII, we can find countless cases of Catholics individually and collectively commiting atrocities.

We can find the same of course in countless other human arenas.

If we look at the immense horror of Stalinist Russia, we would have to say that untold numbers of those guilty – even if only by doing nothing – were or had been Orthodox Christians.

If we look to the American massacres of the indigenous people, we would find mainly Protestant Christians.

There are people (many New Agers spring to mind here) who say: ‘Ah – you see religion and maybe particularly Christianity is clearly the problem here’.

What such conclusions miss is that vast collectives everywhere have immense blood on their hands. And they need not be religious. I think of Mao’s China; I think of the genocide of the French Revolution …

It seems to me that people who fault religion Catholicism, Islam whatever – are in some kind of denial of what human nature is.

The Enlightenment has bestowed on the West the notion that we human beings are relatively innocent by nature. New Agers in particular tend to lap this up.

As for myself, whenever I see people very angry at the Church, I have two responses.

First: I respect their compassion. Its shows that their hearts are ALIVE.

They are not just numb, desensitised.

Hurrah for hearts that feel in a world that grows cold …

May I interject hear X hurrah for your heart too – which clearly is neither desensitised, nor numb.

For you may feel that in quoting my response to Mark and ‘Rex’, I am misreading you. You may feel that I am attributing to you what I attribute to them.

But I hope you will not feel that I misattribute what is of the essence here: a heart that cares (or is ‘compassion-centred’ as you put it). So while I realise that you, Mark and ‘Rex’ all different people with different concerns, I think the same root is here. And I hope you will not mind if I continue in my response to them.

After offering my first reaction to ‘people very angry at the Church’ – i.e. hurrah for they are not numb! – I continue to elaborate my following response:

Second: I tend to think they are in denial of human fallenness. Without realising it, they may have fallen for Enlightenment thinking.

And there is a nasty non-Enlightenment truth that must be confronted.

It is this: that terrible powers of darkness are at work through human beings. And that it is simply inevitable that all vast collectives will do terrible things, Catholics, Hindus, Capitalists, Communists etc.

Seeking the source for human evil in the Church is naïve.

So this is my first point, as to what you might be missing reXteryalizer.

Similarly Mark if you are suggesting Catholicism loses credibility because of certain evil priests, I would say this is also naïve …

It is indeed undeniable that [the abuse] has been happening. And terrible cover-ups have followed.

That being said, I remained unconvinced that sexual abuse is a particularly Catholic thing. Though this would seem the foregone conclusion in much of the media. But shallow thinking seems operative here.

There are four hundred thousand Catholic priests on this planet. And I know not how many more Catholic religious …

There are not say 600,000 ministers of the United Reform Church or 600,000 Rabbis say …

Statistically, one is far more likely to hear ‘Catholic-Catholic-Catholic-Catholic’ and not hear for example, ‘URC-URC–URC-URC’ or ‘Catholic priest-Catholic priest-Catholic priest’ than ‘Rabbi-Rabbi-Rabbi’ etc.

I have heard word that Catholic abuse outpaces that of Protestants. I have heard opposite reports.

My imagination based on some reading around – not more! – is that probably sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy has been marginally higher than other sectors of our society, say secular, say Protestant, say workers in institutions for the vulnerable.

But it might be there are other sectors with a marginally higher rate than the Catholic clergy. Who can say?

Whatever the truth of the matter, none of it excuses the horror perpetrated by Catholic priests, nor the terrible cover-ups.

I only say that it is unclear to me, whether the terrible tragedy of children being violated is particularly Catholic or not.

Over the course of my forty seven years, numerous people have revealed childhood abuse to me. I was also once in a situation, engaged with the justice department, where I came across harrowing cases. It is a miserably depressingly and terribly common thing. The people I encountered never mentioned Catholic priests.

My point is: it happens everywhere.

Again this fits with what I am saying in general here: human beings are prey to far more evil than the Enlightenment or New Age philosophies would have us believe …

Let me now move into one last piece of territory regarding what might be being missed here.

So far the temptation here is that we are largely focussed in terms of QUANTITIES.

So many people murdered, raped, violated – damaged for life by Catholics …

But it is a temptation. How is it possible for anyone to COUNT things up like this?

What of quantities, statistics like all the starving people fed by Catholics? All the naked clothed by Catholics? All the people treated in Catholic hospitals? All the people counselled and loved by Catholics?

In my years since my conversion, I have been astonished, absolutely astonished by the vast reach – throughout history and throughout the world – of the Church in this way.

But of course “Catholic paedophile” makes better media fodder than “Chilean nun clothes and caresses street children”.

If you are advising people Mark to read about the evil that is at work in the Catholic Church, I wonder if you should consider also texts that give the other side of the picture?

But I said this was a temptation. And maybe I just succumbed to the temptation.

Because we are not going to arrive at a true judgment of the Catholic Church through counting numbers, through amassing statistics – again through quantities.

No we will arrive through something different than modern fetishism for quantification.

And this is where I would say reXteryalizer you are missing the greatest thing of all …

However dark, broken, fallible, downright monstrous any number of Catholics might be …

The Church is not making claims based on its all-too-human representatives.

And it is certainly not making the claim as you put it to of an

“unified UNBROKEN chain of unity and love and respect that the catholic church has bestowed upon the earth.”

What claim is being made?

The claim is being made that through all these dark, broken, fallen, fallible people who belong to the Catholic Church …

A Supernatural Power of the highest order is working to morally elevate us and draw us nearer to God.

Since I converted to the Catholic Church, I see the truth of that claim.

The Sacraments of the Catholic Church are uplifting, strengthening, succouring me day after day in a way that is completely unmistakeable.

I have never murdered or physically molested or raped anyone. But God only knows what I would be doing, without these Sacraments …

Whatever I would be, it would be far, far less moral.

God only knows how much worse the world would be without these 400,000 priests saying the Mass across the world every day.

Feeling these Sacraments working in me – as I do nearly every day – this is what I would say you are missing reXteryalizer …

And it cannot be counted or quantified or reduced to statistics …

The Balance of Justice

Now X, I bring this back to your good self and to ‘[see Apologia above]’ Valentin Tomberg, as you call him.

If Tomberg is a ‘[see Apologia above]’ for you, you cannot help but regard him, I think, as particularly alert and awake. We can agree – can we not? – that Valentin Tomberg was surely very awake to the innumerable evils committed by Catholics across the centuries. And we have already noted above how Tomberg spoke that:

The Middle Ages … was the epoch of obedience and faith — accompanied by every imaginable human abuse.

And there is certainly more in Tomberg’s writing to support the notion that he was alert to ‘every imaginable human abuse’ within the Catholic Church! One might ask then, how it was that the same Valentin Tomberg could write the following words:

Make use of the balance of Justice and judge impartially. When you have done so, you will no doubt say: Never will I throw stones —in thought, or through word or deed — against the Church, since it is she who makes possible, and stimulates and protects, human endeavour for the glory of God (Meditations on the Tarot pg 189).

Might it not be asked how Tomberg can declare this – with all the apparent horror and atrocities on one side of the balance of justice?

The answer, I believe, lies in what resides on the other side of that balance of justice.

For what lies there is a HIDDEN miracle (hidden particularly in the English-speaking world).

In other words: I would say that it is not a matter of Tomberg being blind to one side of the balance of justice. He certainly knew that ‘every imaginable human abuse’ could be found there.

Rather he saw clearly the utter miracle of the Holy Church – which is to say the Church of the Seven Sacraments as it exists in both the Orthodox East and the Catholic West (but which is more invisible in our own Anglophone world – buried as it is by centuries of Reformation prejudice). And thus I turn to that miracle, which since Henry VIII is so hidden from our ‘Anglo-Saxon eyes’.

The Miracle of the Sacraments

Now in personal notes published in his German biography, Tomberg’s inner experience of this Miracle of the Church has been preserved for us. These notes are from Bernhard Martin, a friend of Tomberg, who recorded a conversation where Tomberg had said:

The transformation in the Mass deeply shakes him (erschüttert ihn) [Tomberg] every time in his innermost being.

This is to say, that he was profoundly affected every time he witnessed the consecration on the altar of the Catholic Church. Even in his Anthroposophical writings, he wrote:

‘There is nothing in the physical world more holy – more healing in the deepest sense of that word – than the bread of the Communion Service.’

And in my own far less eloquent, far more clumsy way, this is what I was trying to say above, when I spoke of how much the Sacraments:

are uplifting, strengthening, succouring me, day after day, in a way that is completely unmistakeable … God only knows what I would be doing, without these Sacraments …

Whatever I would be, it would be far, far less moral. God only knows how much worse the world would be without these 400,000 priests saying the Mass across the world every day.

Yes Valentin Tomberg recognised the miraculous power of the Church, because it deeply shook him inside at every Mass he went to.

I confess that I who am far less awake, far less sensitive, than Valentin Tomberg was, do not feel deeply shaken ‘in my innermost being’ every time I go to Mass. However, I do feel so deeply supported and uplifted by this Mass, that it is hard for me to miss even a single day.

And here is the real miracle that has completely re-oriented my life since my New Age years – not Valentin Tomberg. Although it took Valentin Tomberg to open my eyes to that miracle, which Findhorn, the New Age and indeed generations of my Anglo-Saxon forebears’ prejudice had closed.

Seeing, feeling this power of the Sacraments of the Church, I now understand all too clearly why Tomberg – once again – was gravely concerned by:

Hermeticists [who] behave as pontiffs, without the Sacraments and the discipline that this entails

Now this discipline is all to do with submitting to a Priest. For example, there is not simply the Sacrament of the Holy Mass – but the discipline of regular confession.

Thus at least every month, I try to humble my pride-filled ego by kneeling in confession and saying: ‘Bless me Father, for I have sinned.’

And there are no words to adequately describe the interior sensation of receiving Absolution from a Priest – it is an inner cleansing that is indescribably precious.

And it pains me deeply that the Reformation tried to eliminate this miracle of Absolution and bury it in lies.

However, we have said enough of the Protestant Reformation and we need to turn to the attempted ‘Vatican II Reformation’ that Tomberg so strongly critiqued.

Tomberg and the Revolution of the 1960s

For this, I would first set the scene with some of Tomberg’s final thoughts on revolution, written during the late 1960s when he deeply suffered from the revolutionary currents of that age.

As we recently featured in an entry here, Tomberg wrote deep praise in favour of Pope Paul VI and Charles De Gaulle’s response to that 1960’s revolution, where in fact De Gaulle called out the military:

General de Gaulle’s astonishing victory which has saved France (and perhaps Europe) from chaos, is an example of the magic of “standing at one’s post”(German: Stylirenrom).

Would he have wanted to keep his popularity through compliancy and ‘flexibility’ all would have been lost.

The Encyclical Humanae Vitae of the Pope is a similar turning point. Would the Pope have yielded to the so-called ‘Zeitgeist’ then the intellectual and moral masses (German: ‘Strasse– see note below) within the Catholic Church would have taken over in just the same way as the Parisian mob in France, if de Gaulle would have wavered.

Thanks be to de Gaulle, thanks be to the Holy Father!

These two have once more brought the Father Principle to effect against the onslaught of the drunken youth and the drunken reformers.’

Around the same time, Tomberg wrote further correspondence to, which further illumines his attitudes to much that was happening in the 1960′s:

‘Peace is in great danger. The nature of this danger is not so much rampant China, the embittered Arabs, the plans of Russia …  the aimless war of Vietnam – no  … Is not the whirlwind which was caused by [de Gaulle’s pro-Quebec declarations] an unmistakeable sign that the inclination to see and judge clearly is vanishing … A drunken anger has suddenly spread everywhere.

An atmosphere of drunkenness exists … And this is the danger. This atmosphere is what makes Maria [Tomberg’s wife] and myself ill. We are not well health-wise – like with poisoned people.’

But let me turn from this to Tomberg’s last book Lazarus Come Forth, written during the same years. For myself, as a liberal New Ager who admired Findhorn so deeply, the words I quote below were the cruelest of all. For they contain a powerful critique of the Second Vatican Council and with my New Age background, I naturally deeply responded to Vatican II.

I felt: now the Church is opening to the modern world, opening to other religions, opening to the New Age and everything that was dear to my Findhorn self …

Thus I can still vividly remember a late afternoon in 1997, where my heart sank. For I had just bought Tomberg’s final book in the Westminster Cathedral bookshop and I sat down in the open London air to read it. And my heart turned to lead, when I came upon this passage:

“It happened that the “second Pentecostal miracle” hoped for and prayed for by the Holy Father – the proclamation by the World Council of a deepened, elevated and expanded treasure of Church revelation – was replaced by a policy of “keeping in step with the times”.

The Council did not reflect the timeless inspirations of heaven, but rather the earthly needs, complaints, wishes and demands of the age .

It became a sort of religious parliament with a “progressive left”, a “conservative right” and a “moderate center”.

Thus people spoke of a “democratisation” of the Church, now breaking through.

The “world” remarked with satisfaction: the Catholic Church is moving closer to us; yes, just a little while and it will be part of us – the Council exudes a “fresh wind”, the wind of a free and modern spirit! …

A fresh wind did indeed blow from the Council.

It blew up such problems as the abolition of the celibacy of priests suddenly become pressing; the problem of mixed marriages with those of another faith; the problem of acceptability of the “pill” and other methods of contraception; the problem of “demythologisation” of the Holy Scripture and of tradition; the problem of the Mass, in the sense of abolishing Latin as the liturgical and sacred language and the substitution for it of many national languages and many other problems associated with conforming to the spirit of the age …

The “fresh wind” of the council was not the wind of the Pentecost miracle in the Church but a wind blowing out of the “world” into the Church – through a portal which had now been opened.

It was not the effect of the Church on the world, but the effect of the world on the Church.

Against the will and hope of the now deceased Pope John XXIII and of his successor, Paul VI, it happened that the Second Vatican Council became a door which opened to the world, but in such a way that the “world’s wind” blew into the Church.

The Council for which Pope John XXIII prayed did in fact fail; it failed … to guard the “portal” where the way begins which leads to degeneration, to exhaustion, and to death (hades) – the “way of the world”.

This failure to guard the threshold the portal opening up to the “way of the world” … is nothing else and can be nothing else but the way to death … [Italics all mine]

Could anything be plainer? Tomberg clearly – and very consciously, one may be sure – invokes the word hades – suggesting hell. He clearly believes the post-Vatican II Church has started on ‘the way to death’.

So much might be said, but I will limit myself to one point in the above. This point is the extraordinarily conservative way (as I saw it back then) that Tomberg implicitly critiques mixed marriages.

Mixed marriages?! I was thunderstruck, for in the pre-Vatican II days, a mixed marriage was considered a bad thing indeed. A mixed marriage involved a wedding between a Catholic and a Protestant (to say nothing of a member of another religion!) and it was a last resort, because prior to Vatican II, the expectation was that the non-Catholic should convert.

But Tomberg appears to support this pre-Vatican II notion, implying that the alternative is to succumb to the world and the way to hades …

His applauding Pope Paul VI for using the ‘Father Principle’ to suppress the revolt against the Church’s teaching on contraception only underscores my point.

We are now in a very, very, very different world than Anthroposophy, the New Age, ‘free thinkers’ or Reformation Christianity!

The author of Lazarus Come Forth cannot be seen as other than deeply conservative and traditional.

A few pages later in that same book, he will write:

“The darkening which today is described as “the present crisis of the Catholic Church” can lead to the necessity for the solitary sons of the Church to hurry to the aid of the Holy Father, the most solitary of solitaries, in order to save the Church from the abyss toward which she is moving …”

In Conclusion

Dear X, I will now begin to draw to my close.

There is a call “our great mentor” suggests, which is the call to hurry – hurry! – to the aid of the Holy Father.

It is a call that involves obedience to the hierarchy of the Church, of ‘giving one’s self over to priests’ and other things you cannot abide.

At least, this is how I read you when I read your words that I have quoted above, as well as these:

[See Apologia above]

Now again X, I am not so much trying to persuade you that ‘you are wrong’ (although it will be clear what I think) as much as I am saying that you stand in a very, very different place than the mature Catholic Tomberg.

And to someone who has struggled with these issues for years, quoting the pre-Catholic Tomberg in defense of your views will cut no ice.

I beg you: please, do not do this again, whether here at this website or elsewhere. You dis-serve your mentor.

Let me stress that I hear your invocation of the word conscience.

It would appear that it is your conscience, that will not allow you to stand with the mature Catholic Tomberg. And if that is really true, you must follow your conscience.

And I would encourage you to do so – even if it should take you along ‘the way of Prokofieff’.

For let me stress again, that I do hear how much this has to do with your own pierced and compassionate heart.

I can see how your heart hurting for world injustice could lead you to join with the young pre-Catholic Tomberg, whom you have quoted.

But I ask you to see that standing with this pre-Catholic Tomberg means standing apart from the later Catholic Tomberg, who stood so firmly for ‘the earthly and exoteric hierarchy’ as you put it.

There is a choice involved here. Saying yes to some things means saying no to other things.

Tomberg writes that in the Modern Era, the Sacred Pentagram of the Five Wounds of Christ has been betrayed by Reformation and revolution. The de-Christianised (or even anti-Christian) New Age movement is the latest fruit of that trajectory.

Conscience leads people to make different choices. Some will choose a way consonant with the Rosicrucian Protestant impulses of Steiner and the younger Tomberg.

Again I realise that this is because their hearts are pierced, like your heart is pierced dear Charlotte, pierced for the world.

But still I emphasise: we are dealing with a very serious choice here. In regards to that choice, I want to invoke one final element concerned with the de-Christianised or even anti-Christian New Age movement. For as you have said, there exists an:

[See Apologia above]

Yes this group is very large, entrenched and also growing particularly in the Anglophone world (though far less so in the Catholic sphere, where there is a certain protection against it – as I have observed often at this site).

Once more I will refer to something already published at this website, where I offered:

a few lines from a German book by Martin Kriele, who guards Valentin Tomberg’s estate, and who knew him during his life. I hope that Doctor Kriele can forgive my taking these brief lines from his book. It seems to me important.

“Occasionally [Tomberg] spoke of evil in which he saw not only a “lack of being”, but very real powers manifold and chaotic. One should not occupy oneself excessively with it but pay attention to evil in the seductive form of seeming good, its method of adopting something beautiful and half-true which deceives us and leads us unwittingly into evil.

He was concerned with the art of the discernment of spirits which was needed particularly also in matters of politics and political philosophy. In this context, he held Vladimir Soloviev’s writings in high esteem.

If people were afraid of evil occult groups and “conspiracies”, this was not principally unjustified – they did in fact exist – but most of the time, one did not understand how to localize them accurately. Thus the talk of a “Jewish world-conspiracy” had been a fateful lie. But in fact sinister occult forces had worked in Hitler’s and Lenin’s movement …

In “Scottish” Masonry, whose center in London had been destroyed during the war and relocated to New York, he saw a dangerous occult counter current. It would lure man with the promise of humanity – but with the aim of a world without Christ and without death and resurrection …

He described to me the methods of working of the sinister counter-occultism, for example its influence on language, manners of speech, ideological forms of thinking [Italics mine] and the fostering of all sorts of enemy-polarisations.

He took the occultism without Christ which based itself on the Theosophy of Blavatsky and worked out of the Indian-Tibetan region very seriously. It was very influential from the background. It was for example partly instrumental in the spread of Bolshevism, in the benevolent neutrality towards it, in the threatening east-west polarization but also in the “esoteric” youth movement of the “New Age” which began to flourish at the time.

Valentin Tomberg’s life represented a choice as to how to counteract evil in this world.

That choice led him away from the Protestant spirit of Rosicrucian Anthroposophy to the Catholic Church.

But still I think that he concurred with Steiner on this: only Rome was awake to the true danger threatening civilisation.

Now Valentin Tomberg’s choice did not lead him to some wooly, liberal ‘spirit of Vatican II’ Catholicism, which he clearly deplored – but to a vigourous traditional Catholicism that owed very much indeed to St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuit Counter-Reformation.

I will not say that Prokofieff is right. But I will not say that he is wrong, either.

Facing all of this, I, too, was presented with a very serious moral choice.

And after long years of struggling with these issues, my own conscience, my own heart leads me to join the older Catholic Tomberg in saying:

Let us work not in order to overthrow but in order to build. Let us range ourselves amongst the builders of the “great cathedral” of mankind’s spiritual tradition — and let us try to contribute to it. May the Holy Scriptures be holy for us; may the Sacraments be Sacraments for us; may the hierarchy of spiritual authority be the hierarchy of authority for us (Meditations on the Tarot pgs 409-410).

For feeling the pain of the world in my own heart and feeling the utter miracle that is the Catholic Church, I choose to follow the call to hurry, hurry to the Holy Father and to obey …

This is the only place where I can see Salvation for the World.

This is what this website is all about.

And I give thanks every day of my life to Valentin Tomberg, who opened my eyes to that.

Warmly, respectfully and tenderly yours,

Roger

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31 Comments

  1. Posted 21 August 2012 at 12:59 | Permalink

    Mr. Buck, what do you make of Steiner’s claim to be the incarnation of Thomas Aquinas? Did he see himself as continuing the same spirit, albeit in a more experiential way rather than an abstract philosophical way? If so, perhaps Tomberg took on that project, and rectifying it in the process. After all, the points of emphasis of Tomberg’s Catholicism are not in the mainstream of that Tradition. For example, right from the start in the first two Arcana, Tomberg presents the dogma of the Incarnation in a way that can be “experienced”, “known”, or gnosis, and not simply as an object of faith.

    • Posted 24 August 2012 at 08:18 | Permalink

      Cologero, as a Catholic who aspires day and night to loyalty to the Magisterium of the Church, I will not affirm anyone’s claim to be the reincarnation of anyone else, let alone Steiner and Saint Thomas Aquinas!

      However beyond that, you raise profound and important things indeed, which I will not be able to do justice to in this comments box.

      But let me make a little start at least. To do justice to Steiner at least, he never publicly made such a claim about himself. And although I think there are reports that Steiner may have indicated something discreetly along these lines, how reliable such reports are I have neither the slightest idea, nor interest.

      What is important in what you write – and beyond my competence to address right now – is that Steiner did indeed feel he was working in a direction that was very much along the lines of Aristotle and Aquinas. He saw Anthroposophy as the progression of Aquinas, where scholasticism could have evolved, had it not become (in his view) frozen.

      I believe that I am correct that Steiner points to Rosmini – recently rehabilitated by Bl. John Paul II – as a Thomist thinker in whom Steiner saw incredible potential along the above lines.

      If I am right, this is very striking indeed, for generally Steiner has nothing positive to say about Nineteenth Century Catholicism (apart from what we have quoted above).

      But with Rosmini, it was very different. His praise was very high indeed.

      And when I say you are invoking very profound and important things, I refer most particularly to this pregnant line of yours – pregnant with all kinds of meaning that is:

      Perhaps Tomberg took on that project, and rectifying it in the process.

      Tomberg’s work is all to do with rectifying Steiner I think and it certainly includes this epistemological project.

      You make a sharp distinction between Tomberg and orthodoxy on this point that I would not make, although I do understand why you make it, for Tomberg is encouraging a hermetic epistemology, but in a private and intimate way that seeks to be loyal to the Church and not ‘erect altar against altar’.

      Finally Bl. John Paul II’s rehabilitation of Rosmini may well be useful to contemplate in terms of these lines, but I am not competent to say more, as yet.

      I am not entirely happy with this answer to the profound matters you raise, but I think I must let it stand there – at least for the moment.

  2. Comment Deleted
    Posted 21 August 2012 at 14:12 | Permalink

    Comment Deleted at Author’s Request

  3. Posted 21 August 2012 at 14:38 | Permalink

    Comment deleted at author’s request.

  4. Comment Deleted
    Posted 21 August 2012 at 16:34 | Permalink

    Comment deleted at Author’s request

  5. Posted 23 August 2012 at 13:57 | Permalink

    Roger,

    I’ve read all three posts relating to Catholicism and New Age and I’d like to add my own remarks. I agree with you on the main points, but I consider the New Age movement way more toxic than you and Charlotte seem to think it is. I was born and raised Catholic, at age 13 I experienced a Crisis on my faith that led me away of the Church and into Gnosticism and Ceremonial Magic. At age 20 I found the writings or René Guenón (and later all other Perennialists) and G.K. Chesterton, which rushed me back to the Roman Church. Anyway, I kept contact with people from Occultist and New Age circles which seemed open and were an useful source of obscure documents. From my point of view New Agers fail at this:
    * They believe in Evolution and Progress, something that contradicts not only Catholic Theology but the very foundation of all Traditional Cosmologies: the concept of Essence.
    * The readily admit that we are living in the Kali Yuga (The End of Times), something that you cannot not reconcile with Evolution and Progress.
    * They use this “evolution” crap to dismiss criticism, when you say they got something wrong, or you demand an explanation, they just say things like: “You vibrate at a lower frecuency” “You are no awake enough” “You see what your mind lets you see” “blah blah crap”
    * They are terribly sectarian, I was kicked off a FB group I was in when some guy said that Max Heindel was the best astrologer ever. I told him that his Astrology contradicted the Tradition as laid out by Ptoley, Bonatti, Lilly, etc. They kicked me out…..
    * Most of them are profoundly anti Christian (the “Jesus was a great teacher” crap) and anti Religious in general.
    * They confuse the psychic with the spiritual, and encourage their members to develop abnormal siddhis (powers) as if that had any spiritual value or importance, when in fact they are just (or mostly) distractions.
    * They are (in the popular eyes) equated with all things esoteric, giving orthodox esoterists or hermeticists a bad reputation.

    I believe that most of these New Age groups, are servants of the Countertradition and Counterinitiation, most probably without even being aware of that.

    Just my 2 cents!

    Blessings in Christ and Mary

  6. Comment Deleted
    Posted 23 August 2012 at 16:26 | Permalink

    Comment deleted at author’s request.

  7. Posted 23 August 2012 at 16:48 | Permalink

    [Name has been deleted here, as the name was that of Comment Deleted above]

    I agree that not every non Catholic is not a New Ager. To begin with, there are other respectable Traditions that are Revelations of God in their Own Right (Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc). But I disagree on those you say “work esoterically”. I mean, to reach the Esoterism of a Tradition, you have (first) to comprehend the Exoterism. In those Traditions with a religious form there is no Esoterism without Exoterism. As an example, the main esoteric rites in Catholicism are the Sacraments themselves. Oh! And one more thing, this has to do with what I said regarding the confusion of Psychic and Spiritual. The Mass is not a magical rite, magic deals with the Psychic, the Mass with the Spiritual. Hell, not even what is called “Angel Magic” is Magic, for the most part it is Theurgy, because it deals with Spiritual beings and not with psychic entities. By the way, your aversion is towards ritual magic or to rites in general?

    Blessings in Christ and Mary!

  8. Comment Deleted
    Posted 23 August 2012 at 19:49 | Permalink

    Comment deleted at author’s request.

  9. Posted 24 August 2012 at 10:33 | Permalink

    This comment from myself in response to the author above is being deleted, inasmuch as it reflects, in my judgment, too much of what that author wished to be deleted.

    This seems the right thing to do. Work is in progress to comply with that author’s other requests to me, which will be honoured.

    Given the considerable time entailed by those other requests, their complete satisfaction may take me up to another 24-48 hours, given that simply deleting this webpage does not seem to me a right or acceptable solution to the author’s requests to me.

    My heart, my prayers go out to this author, whose wishes in this matter I will fully honour.

  10. Posted 24 August 2012 at 11:26 | Permalink

    [To Comment deleted], one last thing.

    There was a quote from Tomberg’s legal theses which I left out of the above in reference to the Reformation.

    But perhaps it will do no harm, if I just paste it in here – because this quote expresses so much of the main point above that I have perhaps communicated all too muddily.

    “The French Revolution was but a stepping stone – a stepping stone that demonstrated with alarming clarity the great trend of revolutions which began with humanism in the Fourteenth Century, then resulted via the Reformation in the Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century, which in turn, took “fleshly” form in the revolution of 1789.

    From there it advanced via 1830 and 1848 to the international community of 1871 [when the Third French Republic arose, among other things – RB] – and to the Russian revolutions in 1905, February 1917 and October 1917.

    The beginning of the revolutionary development is harmless humanism, the swooning over laical culture; and it ends with Black and Red Bolshevism – as the final result of the destruction of the great temple of piety, in which and from which the soul of the occident draws its life-force.

    The joy of thinking and researching without God in laical humanism led to the first push in the direction towards further “emancipations”, i.e. the severing of the bonds of reverence: reverence for the Church´s tradition, including her saints and sages; reverence for the tradition of chivalry, including its reverence for women and the sancity of word and honour, finally reverence for the human being itself, with its right to life, liberty and property.

    One started thinking without God and one ended up with life without God, the push to liberate oneself from one bond (research liberated from religion) led ultimately to the liberation from all bonds.

    Thus was created a human without reverence, the psychological Bolshevik … ”

    I hope I have not muddied things more.

    Again I wonder if the only way to communicate might be through speaking. I believe you would find I am a decent listener.

    Or it may be that our divergent positions are just so huge to be insurmountable. Still even if this last were sadly true, you would still have my sincere warmth and respect ….

  11. Posted 24 August 2012 at 11:48 | Permalink

    Juan, having just replied in some depth to [Comment Deleted – see above], I cannot muster a proper response to you now.

    But I promise you a second response.

    Tired as I am, let me say just one thing.

    I am very, very, very open to your essential point that the New Age is ‘way more toxic’ than I am representing it.

    I actually found your comment most refreshing. when I discovered it yesterday.

    Most people tell me I am far too negative, polarising, black and white concerning the New Age.

    Yes, it makes a refreshing difference to hear someone suggest I have not gone far enough!

    And yesterday, it really gave me cause to think.

    Still thinking …

    I will just say now that some of what you say in this regard was at least implicit in my piece, particularly where I quoted Kriele saying of Tomberg:

    “He took the occultism without Christ which based itself on the Theosophy of Blavatsky and worked out of the Indian-Tibetan region very seriously. It was very influential from the background.

    It was for example partly instrumental in the spread of Bolshevism, in the benevolent neutrality towards it, in the threatening east-west polarization but also in the “esoteric” youth movement of the “New Age” which began to flourish at the time.”

    Juan, more to say when I can.

    Just for now thanks for refreshing me and giving me cause to think!

  12. Elena Charalambous
    Posted 25 August 2012 at 18:44 | Permalink

    In MoT, Tomberg illuminates the Spiritual significance of The Christ. What this means to you, may actually be quite different to what this means to me. And we can only but respect this difference, until our understanding unfolds to embrace what Tomberg is alluding to, and moreover, what ‘The Truth’ of our existence, salvation, and afterlife … actually IS. Tomberg also calls us towards unity, rather than disparity. And thus, to claim some authority over God, or Tomberg, or The Christ, or even enlightenment, is incredibly misleading, and exclusive – which strays from the teachings of Tomberg – who himself, drew upon the teaches of Yoga, Steiner, Nietzsche, etc, to create his works. No one has authority over God, or one’s spirituality.

    Granted, many people, stray from the heart, from all walks of life. Only God can be the judge, and even then, it is not God that will judge, but The Book of Judgement. Is it possible to have a life without transgression? If it were so, wouldn’t more of us actually be born, live and die without the need to even learn? How else do we learn if not by mistakes? What are the Spiritual books of all ages about, if not to guide us towards an INNER COMMUNION with the Divine?

    We are advised in The Book of Revelations – ”Many are called but few are chosen”. And again, in the same book, we are told about the various Churches, and healers, and advocates, who call out to Christ saying ‘Lord Lord, didn’t I do good works in your name?’ But Jesus turns away saying, ‘I did not know you’. How do any of us know that when Christ comes that we will be chosen? Or that we will even know that he has been? He will arrive like a thief by night, will he not?

    Thus, despite what we THINK or what feats we are able to perform due our heightened spirituality – in our ignorance or even arrogance we may actually not be in communion with The Christ. Spiritual gifts, insights, and legends are not indicative of being one of the few who are called, AND, chosen.

    We are therefore, all, but a few, sinners, be we, Catholic, Atheists, Christians, Priests, Muslims, Jews, or otherwise. And only God can be our Judge. Let him who is without fault cast the first stone. Remove the plant from your own eye, before you look at the speck in your brothers.

    New Agers, are just like you and I. And if you are really really, really concerned about them, then pray for them. Take heed to what Tomberg has advised, and embrace your brothers, with love, and compassion, for these are gifts from God. Then and only then, can we begin to heal our hearts, and extend this healing to our kin.

    In Jesus name, Amen

    • Posted 25 August 2012 at 20:51 | Permalink

      Elena, thank you for this honest response. I am always grateful to hear how people are receiving my writing.

      There is a lot of beauty in your words about not judging, I think.

      As Tomberg writes, we judge every instant of our lives, but we should not condemn:

      “It is one thing to judge and another thing to condemn. One judges phenomena and actions, but one cannot judge beings as such. Because to do so would exceed the competence of the judgement of thought. Therefore one should not judge beings, because they are inaccessible to the judgment of thought which is founded only on phenomenal experience. Thus, negative judgement concerning beings, or their condemnation, is in reality impossible. And it is in this sense that there is a ground for understanding the Christian commandment: “Thou shalt not judge”—i.e. do not judge beings, do not condemn.”

      I think from your words that you must feel that I have strayed from judgment, into condemning people.

      I hope that I have stayed more clear of that than may be apparent.

      I certainly feel for example that I am not condemning New Agers, as perhaps you fear I am doing.

      I know from first-hand experience within Findhorn and the New Age movement over 20 years that it draws very sincere and moral people.

      But you are right, we are all sinners and in the sin in my heart certainly lies the sin of condemnation.

      You recommend prayer Elena and there is no substitute for prayer!

      One would certainly sin, if one wrote pieces such as the one I have written above – without having a life of prayer.

      But will you believe me, I wonder, if I tell you that the above is really the result of many years of prayer – struggling to get at the riddle, as I say above, of how and why Valentin Tomberg changed.

      This seems to me vital for the future of so, so much and so I have prayed and struggled.

      Just a final little point I feel I must make. You mention Neitzche as though he were an inspiration for Tomberg.

      Or at least people reading your comment might take it that you mean that.

      However Tomberg consistently wrote about Neitzche as though he was a terribly tragic figure.

      Similarly, Tomberg warns about the danger of yoga that is not Christianised.

      All of this I believe is my struggle and my prayer over 15 years to listen as carefully as I can to Tomberg – what he is really saying – and to make on the basis of that a moral choice.

      Again thank you for writing with frankness and honesty. It helps me.

  13. Elena Charalambous
    Posted 26 August 2012 at 08:55 | Permalink

    My dearest Roger,

    Thank you so much for your heartfelt reply. My comment was intended as a response to Juan, who wrote about the failings of New Age followers. I was particularly touched by this discussion because Juan’s appraisal rejected non-Christian ideas; and down played the value of measuring energy as vibrations, as though it is of no use for it; and dismissed the notions of progress and evolution, as though there is no room for these words in our lexicon. All is part of the whole.

    Non-Christians, in their ignorance, and quite often in their intellectualism, reject Christ, and it is precisely this rejection that causes division and perpetuates the deception..

    However, by focusing on the problem, we feed it, rather than remedying it.

    Jesus gave us a solution, Love, compassion, and appreciation – virtues that we have not really put into practice. Had we focused on the solution for the past 2000 years we’d have an entirely different history. But perhaps we were not meant to? The prophesies actually indicate that everything is just as it should be. And therefore, the drama/suffering is part of one’s life, to be experienced and overcome – for without it, there would be no experience, no growth (progress/evolution). When we reach perfection, and our consciousness is at the highest state of bliss … it will all stop.

    In the meantime, we can focus on the problems, or the solutions? Focusing on the solutions is enriching, and a wonderful gift to humanity, for it empowers, and guides humanity towards God’s glories, wealth and happiness. It is a deception that poverty and suffering are God’s choices for mankind. For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son – which put an end to all suffering. Health, wealth and happiness are God’s gifts to us. Abundance, opulence, and magnificence, for all mankind. It intrigues me to see God’s children believing that poverty and self sacrifice are characteristic of obedience, when the commandments clearly state ‘love thy neighbour like thyself.’ Loving oneself first, and with this barometer, love thy neighbour. As an energy Love is powerful, magical, healing, enlivening, enriching, hopeful and faithful. Love enables us to open our hearts to achieve joy, and inner peace.

    We could spend 1000 years analysing, critiquing, and working things out, but unless we put things into practice, and love, live, and contribute, we will achieve very little. Or least, this is my message to myself, who as a thinker have thought things through a lot, and feel it is time to feel, and let go of the suffering in order to experience some light.

    Every so often, a few amongst us make a leap forward, and elevate their consciousness to a heightened state, drawing closer to the etan vital. As more and more of us draw closer, the gap between dark and light closes. At the end of the day, and only God knows when that is – all will be washed whiter than snow.

    I feel the sincerity in your words, and in the words of those that take the time to reflect upon your works. Thank you for providing this space to discuss Tomberg, and most importantly, Spirituality.

    Please do not take too much notice of me. I am just another soul working it out, and taking to myself as much as you.

    With love and joy

  14. Elena Charalambous
    Posted 26 August 2012 at 13:48 | Permalink

    Hello again 🙂

    I have not read all of VT works; I am only familiar with MoT, which had a profound effect on me. At the time, I had no one to discuss this glorious treasure with, and pondered on the teachings alone for many years. This led me on an interesting journey of discovery, particularly ‘rationally’. With a background in academic Psychology, and the Social Sciences, I perused from an academic perspective, the works of Dion Fortune, A,E, Waite, and others within the circle of Alchemy and Magic. Occasionally, I would sense that the only way to really benefit from all these teachings was from experience. The transformation being inner, an awakening. No amount of reading and critiquing was actually taking me ‘there’ (wherever there is/was?)

    More recently, I have been musing over the questions ‘What is it all about?’ How can I experience inner peace and joy?’ ‘How can I live a better life with what I have learnt?’ ‘What is my calling?’ ‘What can I give?’ ‘How can I piece it all together to experience the magic that captures the moment, and, grow into a better person?’ What would happen if I processed my ancestral pain; accepted it, healed it, and used it to guide me towards a better future?’

    Nietzsche, was a tragic figure, he suffered greatly, and through his suffering had some incredible insights as well as some less empowering to mankind. VT chose to make reference to Nietzsche, he could have made reference to countless others to illustrate the same point. For me, Nietzsche is just a reflection of an aspect of myself. Another me, in the sea of genetic blueprint that makes up this thing called life. Thankfully, I do not reside in that consciousness, and seek resolve; though I do see this driving force within me, and within society at large. In my heart, I have compassion for the man called Nietzsche, and others who get stuck in the pain. Perhaps, Tomberg recognised the same tragic figure within himself and wanted to bring it to life for healing?

    Why and how Tomberg changed is an interesting quest to follow. Temperance strikes my heart. As does an experience I had recently whilst meditating; where my mind was so silent that my heart spoke, and my awareness expanded to embrace an inner peace and tranquillity. In that moment that lasted for days, nothing mattered, all was perfect, despite it all. I felt more sensitive to tragic tales, and could feel them with an intensity that startled me. My impetus to heal the pain was higher than average, whilst my awareness that it was not my ‘job’ to heal the world was crystal clear. So I prayed, not from my mind, but from my inner voice.

    I have since started to worry on occasion, and what a waste of time that is lol Ohhh, how much more beautiful the heart is when it has trust, and faith, love and joy. But we are not accustomed to it, and seek and seek and seek with the mind, until we are entwined in a spiral. I cannot condemn this spiralling, for it too is part of the journey. And was indeed part of Tomberg’s and hence his works. He tried to understand the abyss, and the heavens, and all that lies in between. And in the end, his greatest message to me was be like a flower that rises to the sun, be like the birds who sing.

    Tomberg’s search for Truth, led him to Gnosis, this I recall with great clarity. He sought to understand. And encouraged Gnostic faith, over blind faith. As a man, Tomberg refined his intellect, and, brought together, all of the pertinent ideas in human history to create a masterpiece. And like most genius’s, he did not want credit for it, because he felt something greater than himself, pouring through him..

    We use words to describe, illustrate and articulate that which we sense and experience, but seldom does language manage to capture the essence of it all. Life is dualistic, and we use a variety of modes to describe this dualism – which forms the whole. At different levels of existence, life appears differently. When we experience Shame, life is humiliating, despising, we feel miserable. When we are in Grief, we are filled with regret, despondency and life becomes a tragic tale. Willingness creates optimism, hope and inspiration. When we experience Reason, we are filled with understanding, wisdom and meaning. And when our souls are bathed in Joy, life is complete, serene and we experience oneness. Peace brings bliss and illumination, perfection and the potential of Pure Consciousness, of the Divine.

    These demarcations, though illustrative, and bound by the limitations of language and comprehensions, offer an insight, and a gateway, should we wish to embrace our highest potential.

    We have nothing to fear, but everything to embrace and experience. Forgiveness is ours, for we are born of sin. The fall occurred before we were born, it is our inheritance, and part of our mythology. Perhaps this is the big bang? Without the darkness there would be no light, no search, no experience. One is necessary for the other. Even the laws of physics stipulate that when perfection occurs, life will no longer occur. So we are called to live, love, and contribute; become our greatest potential, to heal, and to draw shine the light for others. As a species we are many years away from completion, war is not yet over, famine and disease are yet to cease. It could occur in an instant, should God wishes it so – which may appear as Time to us? And perhaps it is? A piece of Aion?

    But to worry about these things is futile. To remedy them, with practical solutions, loving kindness, is a move towards greatness. And we are all destined for that! 🙂 Or so I think …

    • Posted 11 September 2012 at 09:53 | Permalink

      Dear Elena,

      Well I warned you in my other, earlier responses to you that it might take me a while to respond to this – but still I am sorry it has taken so long as this!

      You write in both depth and openness about your search, for which I truly thank you.

      I think that in some of my other responses to you, I have already said something of what I would say here.

      For indeed, I do concur with you writing:

      ‘to worry about these things is futile. To remedy them, with practical solutions, loving kindness, is a move towards greatness.’

      Amen.

      As the incredible Padre Pio was famed for saying: Pray, hope and don’t worry …

      I have also tried to listen carefully as you write:

      As does an experience I had recently whilst meditating; where my mind was so silent that my heart spoke, and my awareness expanded to embrace an inner peace and tranquillity. In that moment that lasted for days, nothing mattered, all was perfect, despite it all. I felt more sensitive to tragic tales, and could feel them with an intensity that startled me. My impetus to heal the pain was higher than average, whilst my awareness that it was not my ‘job’ to heal the world was crystal clear.

      There is a tension it would seem between various opposites for you here.

      For example, between knowing that it is not your ‘job’ to heal the world versus an intensified impetus to heal. Between a sense of perfection and an intensity of sensitivity to tragedy which ‘startled’ you …

      Perhaps we are all working out that tension of opposites in different ways.

      Speaking for myself, I see the great capacity for arrogance – that I certainly have myself!! (my old friends can attest to this 😉 ) -for the job of healing the world.

      This is the work of Jesus Christ and I am not the healer. I am healed by Him.

      At the same time, it is a Grace from Him I think if I can feel, as you did, this intensified impetus to heal. And it is a Grace to feel a greater intensity of sensitivity to tragedy …

      But none of this has anything to do with worry, which while very human and understandable, is uncreative. ‘Futile’ as you say.

      What I see in Tomberg is neither worry nor despair, but a tremendous intensity of sensitivity to tragedy

      And I think it is the same with all the Christian Saints.

      Like Tomberg, the aforementioned Padre Pio certainly suffered very deeply, but I believe he was filled with hope and I think much freer from worry than most of us.

      Again, my gratitude to you Elena for sharing of your experience and your search ‘between the opposites’.

      And also as I said before, for your clarifying things for me.

      Warmly yours, Roger

  15. Edwin Shendelman
    Posted 30 August 2012 at 00:24 | Permalink

    I have been following these blogs and exchanges with interest. What I can say is this: Whatever the historical circumstances of Protestantism and its proposed relations with other “revolutions” there is a danger which VT seemed to be oblivious of. Protestantism in its various forms comprises a large chunk of Christianity. The Charismatic form is the fastest growing form of Christianity in the world. I and others can attest to the power of the Holy Spirit “available” in non-RC liturgical forms (such as Anglican) and the power of the Holy Spirit in Charismatic groups. Is this not God’s Will? It cannot be an accident. If so, Protestantism is blessed by God even if it confounds our concepts.

    • Posted 30 August 2012 at 08:40 | Permalink

      Thank you Edwin.

      Things are very subtle, paradoxical and complex, are they not?

      I have no doubt that Protestantism is blessed by God inasmuch as there have been countless sincere Christians who prayed devotedly and lived moral lives, often far more moral than countless Catholics and certainly myself. And no doubt God loves and blesses such indeed!

      You have invoked C.S. Lewis before in this context and I could not do other than agree with you.

      So I think your point here – or much of it – is taken.

      However, I think in the subtle, complex and paradoxical nature of things, there is a tragedy going on which Tomberg meant to call our attention to.

      You invoke of ‘non-RC liturgical forms’. I prefer to speak of these outside of both Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism – for both share the same seven Sacraments.

      But as a former Anglican Christian myself, I have given many years to considering Anglican liturgy.

      While I am certainly aware of profound experiences that people have had with such, even the staunchest supporter of the Church of England would have to admit that not all Seven Sacraments are as present there as they are within Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

      For example, speaking as a former Anglican, who moreover went to an Anglican college to study Theology, I can only profoundly lament the absence of the miracle of Confession and Absolution – now that I have discovered this miracle as it exists in the Catholic Church and of course within Greek, Russian Orthodoxy etc

      The effects of this loss now seem very grave indeed to me. It took me years to see what Tomberg was getting at – but I have come to the conclusion that he was getting at something very, very profound indeed.

      Another very striking feature to me about Anglicanism is why the Eucharist is so little honoured in comparison to Orthodoxy and Catholicism.

      In so many Anglican churches, it features once or twice a month. Whereas if one travels through Catholic Spain or Ireland say, one witnesses many Catholics who hunger for it on a daily basis still.

      The profound difference with which Anglicans and Catholics (and Eastern Orthodox) regard the Eucharist speaks volumes, I think …

      You also invoke charismatic Christianity, of which I know far less than Anglicanism – and thus am far less qualified to speak. No doubt there are many, many sincere, beautiful, prayerful Charismatic Christians. And the Holy Spirit does not ignore such …

      However when you speak of this movement’s astounding growth, I am aware of many factors which – in my limited understanding – would seem to speak otherwise.

      I believe I am right in saying that much – not all!! – of charismatic Christianity functions as a revolving door out of Christianity.

      That is to say that there is a very large number of ex-charismatics: people who were taken up with that movement for a few years and then depart Christianity altogether.

      We would have to go into precise definitions, etc. For example, what exactly is the Charismatic movement.

      Nonetheless while as an Anglican convert to Catholicism, I have pondered Anglican liturgy over years, I am quite ignorant of the charismatic movement, of which I can imagine you may know much more than me.

      So I welcome your correcting my errors, as I welcome your continued interest and engagement with this blog and the controversial matters which Valentin Tomberg has helped to guide me to ( after long years where my perspective I think was much more in natural agreement with your own).

      UPDATE: following Holy Mass on the same day as above – Edwin please note that I have added a further response to you below.

  16. Posted 30 August 2012 at 09:04 | Permalink

    To Juan … I promised you a second response to your comment above and here it is at last.

    I will not respond to every point, but have studied your comment gratefully and read it several times.

    First let me say how moved I am by your return to the Church and I thank you for telling us of your return journey. I would be interested to know which book of Guenon’s and Chesterton’s was most helpful to you in this return.

    Indeed I will be interested to learn any more about your return journey that you care to share.

    As for New Agers, I have 30 years of experience with such. In-depth, because starting with my visit to Findhorn age 16 in 1980, followed by numerous visits then finally living at Findhorn, I went on to actively promote the New Age movement in England. Many of the people I have been closest to are deeply committed to the New Age.

    Paradoxically, this website is supported by a friend at Findhorn in its technical side, who has been kind to me for so many years …

    Thus I could agree with Elena above and write what I did that the New Age draws very sincere people. Idealists I would say that are seeking something better than our crass, materialistic society.

    HOWEVER …

    I am grateful to you indeed for giving us the other side here …

    For example, when you write things like …

    * Most of them are profoundly anti Christian (the “Jesus was a great teacher” crap) and anti Religious in general.
    * They confuse the psychic with the spiritual, and encourage their members to develop abnormal siddhis (powers) as if that had any spiritual value or importance, when in fact they are just (or mostly) distractions.
    * They are (in the popular eyes) equated with all things esoteric, giving orthodox esoterists or hermeticists a bad reputation.

    I believe that most of these New Age groups, are servants of the Countertradition and Counterinitiation, most probably without even being aware of that.

    I believe you are pointing in the direction of very grave matters indeed.

    Your final comment is most telling: ‘without even being aware’ …

    Yes, there is a very marked anti-religious and anti-Christian aspect which is commonly denied and I think that what you say about Counter – initiation points in the direction of largely hidden and unconscious processes which are indeed chilling.

    Again: thank you!

    Finally I will just add that the label New Age below contains many pieces I have written reflecting on my 32 years of experience with New Age-ism

  17. Posted 30 August 2012 at 12:32 | Permalink

    Dear Edwin,

    After writing the comment to you above, I went to Mass.

    And after kneeling down upon receiving His Body and His Blood, something came to me in the silence.

    I do not know for certain, but it seems I should indicate it here.

    You write:

    ‘Whatever the historical circumstances of Protestantism and its proposed relations with other “revolutions” there is a danger which VT seemed to be oblivious of …’

    In my many years of struggle with Tomberg’s startling conversion, I think a large factor for me has been that Tomberg could not have been oblivious in the way that you suggest.

    He was a baptised Protestant – a Lutheran from Saint Petersburg on the edge of Lutheran Scandinavia (rather than a Russian Orthodox, as many suppose).

    He devoted his adult life till he was forty years old to a form of Christianity that was Protestant in essence and sympathy and apparently concurred with Steiner about the Catholic Church.

    In other words, he could not have been unaware of or oblivious to countless arguments for Protestantism.

    My point in the above was that very suddenly he renounced all this.

    It was, it seems to me, a very, very conscious act of renunciation.

    Comparing 1940 Anthroposophical Tomberg with 1944 Catholic Tomberg – when he begins his Catholic legal theses with their astonishing reversals from certain key positions of Steiner – has been most instructive to me in my struggle to understand.

    So respectfully Edwin – for I genuinely feel a great deal of respect for you – I submit that the answer to the puzzle of Tomberg’s life cannot lie in obliviousness.

    One possible resolution to what you have presented here Edwin – with your heart open I think and with your concern for justice – is that Tomberg was not oblivious to danger in the directions you point out, but he became aware of still greater dangers in another direction …

    Edwin, although my life journey has brought me into disagreement with you on this point, please know that I mean what I say about respect for you and thankfulness for you posting here …

  18. Edwin Shendelman
    Posted 30 August 2012 at 16:24 | Permalink

    I was in a rush last night and have more time to reflect on this. My point is not to debate things that have been gone over billions of times such as the nature of the Sacraments or the Blessed Mother. For what it is worth I believe in the Catholic/Byzantine positions for the most part.

    I find VT too dismissive in a way that may not do justice to actual realities. He was looking at it from the long-view of history as RS was. I am viewing it more experientially and asking questions from there. Let me put it this way: Let us hypothetically consider the following as true:

    1. The Holy Spirit is active in some Protestant communities whether in Sacraments, Charismatic worship services or others.
    2. If God is available in the Sacraments or worship services there it is not an accident. He means to be there and blesses the people through it.

    Now consider the implications of considering like VT seems to imply that Protestantism is heretical:

    3. God is a heretic.

    However, we know this is not true as GOD is TRUTH. But if God is truly present in Protestantism one can only conclude logically that:

    4. Protestantism contains TRUTH, God Himself.

    If so can we conclude VT is wrong on this point? What’s the real problem here? Can VT who is so right on many things be so wrong? The answer is I believe to be found in the writing and thinking style of VT i.e. he thinks dialectically and often dualistically. Read MOTT and you will a constant stream of contrasting positions that VT brings up. Sometimes he aims at synthesis but other times not. A possible synthesis here may be (which VT missed) could be:

    1. Truth can measured by quality and quantity.
    2. There is greater and lesser truth qualitatively and quantitatively.
    3. Christianity has greater quantity and quality of the truth than other religions who may possess lesser degrees of truth quantitatively or qualitatively. We cannot say that: Christianity is true, other religions are not but Christianity is the closest religion to the Truth, other religions are either approaching the fullness of this truth or falling away from it.
    4. The different Christian denominations are microcosms of this reality as well, they may all possess truth but in greater and lesser degrees again qualitatively and quantitatively.
    5. The Catholic Church as part of the Body of Christ including Protestants, Byzantines, Copts, Monophysites and others is larger in the qualitative and quantitative expression of TRUTH.
    6. But TRUTH is ONE, the One God. Containers can be greater or lesser, more transparent or less so.
    7. Protestantism contains the Truth of Christianity qualitatively and quantitatively. It is united at heart to all other Christian denominations containing the same TRUTH who is God.
    8. The container of Protestantism is generally smaller so TRUTH is not present in the same degree quantitatively or qualitatively as the Catholic Church but it is one Church and one Truth.
    9. That being said God may use Protestants (or other Christians and even other religions) to reveal more of Himself for the building-up of the body of Christ at times when the Catholic vessel cannot be the vehicle at that moment on time, for example, the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement began amongst very Low-Church Protestants.
    10. I dedicate all these thoughts to Christian Unity in particular and religious unity in general, for the Glory of God.

    • Posted 31 August 2012 at 09:35 | Permalink

      Dear Edwin, thank you for this tightly reasoned defence of religious unity, which indeed I concur with on many points.

      I won’t go into every point, although I disagree with some conclusions here. (Notably point 3. For God is present in heresy too, for heresy always contains elements of truth. Hence the appeal of heresy. Heresy would not be attractive if it lacked some truth and therefore something of God.)

      But although I might argue here or there with you, please know that I have followed your chain of reasoning point by point and feel that it contains a great deal of value – e.g. about greater and lesser containers of truth – and much more besides.

      Now as you said at the beginning, we are coming at this from different angles. You are not so with ‘the long view of history’ as you put it, but an ‘experiential’ perspective.

      And from that perspective and for the Glory of God you wish to defend a religion you do not belong to.

      This is beautiful, Edwin! Not so many of us have the generosity of heart to spend such time and thought defending religions different than our own!

      Thus while disagreeing at some points in your chain, the chain does not thereby collapse and I really do salute you.

      You find Tomberg ‘dismissive’ as you put it.

      I suppose the whole point for me is that I unable to consider his statements ‘dismissive’.

      And being unable to join you there, I was forced into year after year of enquiry as to why Tomberg had said those things.

      So here I part company I suspect with you and many other people.

      If Tomberg is simply ‘dismissive’ at this point, there is no need for ‘year after year of enquiry’.

      But if one feels there must be profound and grave things behind his reversals of a lifetime’s thinking, then one may go down a road that takes years of enquiry.

      So we walk down different roads here, Edwin, but I do see and feel the beauty expressing itself through your road.

      • Edwin Shendelman
        Posted 31 August 2012 at 14:32 | Permalink

        Perhaps dismissive is too strong a word to refer to Tomberg’s attitude on these things. Undoubtedly he was inspired down a certain line of thinking and choices that suited him. Perhaps it is a question of whether he had certain blind-spots led perhaps by the kind of dialectical-dualistic thinking he used which I mentioned and again by a certain lack of experience in certain religious groups that might have altered his perception…I don’t know…

        Don’t read into this a lack of respect for the incredible work of the Unknown Friend which more than any other author has influenced my spirituality the most. But I do not think VT would be at all offended by this questioning of some of his ideas but would respond with moral warmth, intelligence and insight…
        I concede your point that truth can be present in heresy as Tomberg himself eloquently points out but I would suggest that the way truth is present in certain Protestant groups is not of this vein. It is more a question of “greater and lesser truths” and so on. Perhaps one can also consider Kabbalistic concepts about how God hides His Face, how sparks from the First Emanation of Worlds have gotten embedded and hidden and how we must uplift back into their original unity….

  19. soren dalsgaard
    Posted 13 September 2012 at 20:59 | Permalink

    And elsewhere, he says:
    Such obedience as is practised in religious orders and the Catholic spiritual knighthood is a form of training —moreover, very effective —of the will, with a view to rivetting the will-to-greatness [Italics mine]. The obedience that the chela has to his guru in India and Tibet follows, in principle, the same aim. This is true also of the absolute obedience that the hassidim have towards their tzadekim in the jewish Hassidic communities, and similarly it is so with the obedience without reserve on the part of the disciples of the startzy (spiritual masters) in orthodox, pre-Bolshevist Russia (Meditations on the Tarot pg 112).

    Catholics alone have priests because they alone have the altar and the offering, i.e. the whole of religion. To practise high Magic is to compete with the Catholic priesthood; it is to be a dissident priest [Italics mine].

    Thus, Tomberg called Hermeticists to:
    renunciation of the role of representing an esoteric and sacred science different from exoteric and profane science. It is a matter of renouncing the desire to set up ‘chair against chair’, just as with respect to the Church it is a matter of renouncing the desire to erect ‘altar against altar’ (Meditations on the Tarot pg 191).

    And as I have struggled over long years to understand Tomberg’s transformation, I have concluded that not only did he agree with Steiner that the Catholic Church alone was awake, but that it was this that led him to work systematically with Rome and not against her.

    Hello – With my own background in 60th uprising – I can understand follow you – Your criticism was solemn discovered by example – Vladimir Solovjeff – but like all Russians, they have an instinctive sense and historical experience of what the “Yellow Danger” means –
    In his article does HP Blavatsky (HPB) – he makes some brief comments up with what he called her “militant neo-Buddhism” or Teosofisme – for which he says “Theosophy” is a legal philosophical concept – but Teosofismen is a -theistic – like all Buddhism. He says bluntly – that her books are “a number of confused mix of concepts – but not without some knowledge”.
    HPB learn was rejected in Russia and in Europe – R. Steiner (RS) term as General Secretary – the German section of the TS-placed him in an unfavorable light among many spiritual and religious people in Europe – and they rejected mixed together and heated attempt at a Co-Masonic introduction – RS distanced and created AS. – He tried to move away from “Teosofismen” by referring to that he had always been on a purely European intellectual life – with roots in Goethe, Schiller and the Christian Mystics Rosae Crucis – he spent the latter part of his life with reference to the etheric Christ second coming “. as such, one can say that he before his death had declared Christ as” Savior of the world “-

    I see that you recognize that V. Tomberg (VT) and RS agreed on Christ’s role as the “Savior of the world” – and not only a great teacher – but “The World Healer”.
    As such, I do not think it’s fair to make RS a part of New-Ages movement – he takes such. also clear distance from “Aquarius time” – but instead places St. Michael in the center of The Mystery of Golgata “.
    As for VT, I do not so much – in addition to his critical books were written long before he broke with AS and went over to the Roman Church.
    Another consensus between TV and RS was that “Rome was not asleep” – breakthrough between RS and VT – came as I understand it – of that AS was “lost” after scar RS “retired” at an early age (transition). Maybe Rome was not asleep, but only dreaming perception of the Spiritual Realities and it can be said of AS.
    One point that I think is important in VT messages are to distance themselves from the “idols” – and it comes as himself as well as RS.

    There are many paradoxical all the way through your arguments – and opinions which seem to me inconsistent with the Duality of Life – but becomes a “dualism” – but let it be for now.
    To understand the complexity of human beings as RS and VT – I think it’s important that you have to learn to live with a paradox – it is difficult to accept?

    Why the Human Eternal Individuality – choose to do or not to do – is a mystery – but what I see in both of these great personalities life is to recognize the universal and non-sectarian Christian.
    What you later then use or abuse their spiritual legacy is another matter –
    I think that they both wanted to save Christianity from the Spiritual Materialism which now pervades the world –
    RS perhaps tried to safe Christ from the Roman culture period and VT Sophiae from a degenerate Greek culture pulse. Or simple we do not know –

    To go from the cross to Pentagram time is not easy – but VT remind us about in Letter 4 Emperor – the crown of Christ does not consist of gold and gems – but merge of the Rose Bush – thorns spider and kill all our mental illness and doubt – cleans them with the Spirit of Light perception force.

    However – we cane study all the wisdom of the world – and have all kinds visions – it is all perceptions, experiences or observations – the explorations, the conclusions we make are however based on only one thing: our active thinking and common sense.

    Thank you for being who you are.

    • Posted 19 September 2012 at 11:06 | Permalink

      Dear Soren,

      Thank you so much for engaging with me at this website. I appreciate hearing from someone who is obviously working with many of the same issues as I have done over the years.

      Also as Kim said, I think English must not be your native tongue, so I appreciate the extra effort you have made.

      Unfortunately, I think there may be some breakdowns of communication on both sides.

      I have not understood – after several readings – everything you say and I imagine that you have not understood eveything I meant to say – due to the language barrier.

      For certainly I agree with you absolutely Soren, when you write that:

      I do not think it’s fair to make RS a part of New-Ages movement – he takes such. also clear distance from “Aquarius time”

      Yes indeed Soran – but if you look at what I wrote above again, you may see that I said the same myself.

      But again, I realise that there is a language barrier here and that I am certainly misunderstanding you as well.

      What IS clear to me, however, is again that we are both working with the same issues.

      And I am grateful to hear from anyone working with these issues. And to you for making your voice heard.

      I think that you may be critiquing me for lacking nuance and a sense of paradox.

      Perhaps for being too dualistic, either-or, or as we say in English, “too black and white”.

      At least, this is what I am hearing when I read your words:

      To understand the complexity of human beings as RS and VT – I think it’s important that you have to learn to live with a paradox – it is difficult to accept?

      Why the Human Eternal Individuality – choose to do or not to do – is a mystery – but what I see in both of these great personalities life is to recognize the universal and non-sectarian Christian.
      What you later then use or abuse their spiritual legacy is another matter –

      Now IF what I am hearing IS correct – I certainly understand you.

      For that is exactly how I myself in the past would speak.

      The person that I was in the past would say that I need to do more to hold the paradoxes here, hold more of Tomberg’s universal perspective etc, not be so dualistic etc.

      But the more I struggled with Tomberg’s path away from Anthroposophy – as I suspect you are struggling, unknown friend …

      The more I struggled and worked with it year in, year out, the more I had to abandon my former hypothesis, which was more like your own I think.

      Somewhere in Meditations on the Tarot, Tomberg writes something like this:

      The hermeticist has his yes and he has his no …

      After struggling for many years with the same problems I think you struggle with Soren, I came to this conclusion which was not easy for me:

      Valentin Tomberg truly was saying “no” to certain key aspects of the Protestant-Anthroposophical trajectory over the last centuries since the Reformation …

      And once again: it was not easy for me to see this or acknowledge it.

      Thank you once more Soren for making the effort to express your own struggles with these important world problems.

      Although I did not understand all of it, I read it with real interest and gained from it.

      And I am truly glad to know you are out there – seeing these important world problems and working on them.

  20. soren dalsgaard
    Posted 13 September 2012 at 21:32 | Permalink

    Elena [email protected]

    As you say “to be one another’s burdens” is the work of the vineyard.
    This is not to our own faith must make others to shame.
    Are our minds yet been as Romans which St. Paul spoke to and I appreciate particularly the first verse of his letters Chapter 14

    So we have to agree to bear one another’s burdens

  21. Tom
    Posted 30 September 2012 at 15:12 | Permalink

    Anne Rice, a bestselling, famous American novelist, was raised as a traditional Catholic. At age 18, she became an atheist, and remained one for about 35 years, during which time she wrote her bestselling vampire novels. Then at age 57 she re-converted back to Catholicism. She wrote about this re-conversion in her book Called Out of Darkness. Then at about age 70, she announced that she was leaving the Catholic Church and all forms of organized Christianity, while remaining dedicated to Jesus Christ. The main reason she cited for leaving organized Christianity was the anti-gay stance. She’s not gay herself. Her son is, however. I read her book Coming Out of Darkness, and then was shocked to read that she had then left the Church. Some of her criticisms of the Catholic Church and organized Christianity seem, to me, very valid. I would be grateful if this blogger would look into the comments of Anne Rice about leaving the Catholic Church, and give his own views of what she has said. Thank you.

  22. Tom
    Posted 30 September 2012 at 16:00 | Permalink

    I just noticed this comment by the blogger: “I am a former member of Findhorn, who is now deeply troubled that the New Age is burying Christianity.”
    Oh sir! “O ye of little faith”! It seems that you are not a believer in the Christ at all, since if you were, you would be 100% certain that no movement, New Age or other, could ever bury Christianity or bury Christ or un-do Christ’s resurrection. Forgive me for saying this, but, I think you may not be a Christian at all, but are really, without knowing it, a Political Conservative. Yes, the Political Conservative Movement is under assault from many quarters, and is failing and dying in many countries. But the Christ Movement? It is ALWAYS supreme and dominant and sovereign in every human heart where it is God’s will for it to be. Sir, check out the Bible. Christ did not come to form or found Christian nations or Christian societies. That is a heresy that came about after Constantine and subsequent Roman emperors created a sort of wedding of Church and State. Such a wedding is nowhere indicated in the New Testament. Quite the opposite is indicated in the New Testament. The Kingdom of Heaven is always 100% fine. Even when it is persecuted, all is still well in the Kingdom of Heaven. No so with human political kingdoms–they are always threatened, and in decline, or cycling back up into temporary dominance after some war or attack or something. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He meant it. Jesus never meant for the Christian Movement (aka His Church) to be dominant in this world, and to embrace all or most of the citizens of this world. The New Testament says over and over again that the true Christians in this world will always be a little flock, always a minority, and that most people will always take the “broad way” that leads to “destruction.” Many in the Political Conservative Movement see the Catholic Churches and other Christian groups as integral parts of their movement to save the Nation or redeem the Culture. They view the churches the way the military views chaplains. But this model of things has nothing to do with the Way of Christ. The Way of Christ is not a political movement at all. All the nation states of the world as headed for destruction and elimination, one way or the other. There is nothing sacred or eternal about the United Kingdom or the United States of America or the United Arab Emirates. When Christ returns, these will all evaporate like mist. The Kingdom of God is all that is eternal. Or sir, you don’t need to, like so many, be always fretting and worrying about the forces arrayed against Christ. They are paper tigers. They have already been defeated. Just have faith in Christ, and not in political movements and not in State-Church alliances, and not in Church-Party alliances, and not in man-made religious traditions of theology, dogma, political religion. Best wishes! Find God! Trust God! Fear not!

  23. Tom
    Posted 7 October 2012 at 21:34 | Permalink

    I repent of having cast doubts on this blogger’s faith. Forgive me. I get carried away in my crusade against Christians being involved in worldly politics and the “culture war.” I must calm down and respect the choices that other make regarding how they see God calling them to carry out their Christian discipleship. God bless this blogger Amem

  24. Posted 16 October 2012 at 12:52 | Permalink

    Dear Tom,

    Well, thank you for all of this.

    And I must apologise to you, as well. For personal difficulties have been limiting the time I have been able to give to this weblog and I have only just noticed your comment!

    (An apology also to any regular readers seeing this comment to Tom, for the same above-mentioned difficulties have been slowing down my responses, both public and personal, as well. As a result, you may have noticed that I have mainly only been posting here pre-written material – i.e. extracts from my book manuscript.)

    At this moment Tom, pressed as I am, I cannot give you a full response. Let me just say that in your passionate, articulate ‘crusade’ as you call it, I thinkyou have jumped to some conclusions about my politics.

    Although I cannot clarify in depth right now, I am not exactly a “Political Conservative” as you put it, at least certainly not in the contemporary American sense of that word.

    Lacking time, I will give you this link to another blog entry on the politics of Hilaire Belloc:

    http://corjesusacratissimum.org/2012/08/on-hilaire-belloc-fumbling-in-the-footsteps-of-a-giant/

    Scrolling to the bottom of that post will get you to the most relevant part (in bullet points).

    I resonate with Belloc very much and Belloc cannot easily be considered a “Political Conservative”. He was in fact on the left wing – the radical wing – of the British Liberal party.

    Thus he was on the left wing of major left wing party of his day!

    I am not saying I am identical to Belloc either in my views, but I do have have tremendous sympathy for his views and neither of us are easily categorised.

    Again, my thanks, Tom. I will make a fuller response, but you (and others) may need to be patient with me.

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