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Goetheanism as an Impulse for Man's Transformation

Goetheanism as an Impulse for Man's Transformation - Lecture II: St. John of the Cross

Schmidt Number: S-3628

On-line since: 31st May, 2014

Lecture II

St. John of the Cross

4th January, 1919

It is perhaps important and especially a propos where the kind of considerations now in point are concerned, to look back on many things connected in former times with some particular spiritual stream. For you have seen that it is a question of spiritual events that lie at the basis of the physical world, making it necessary at present for man to take a new standpoint in relation to the whole understanding of his connection with the world and with the rest of mankind. Yesterday we pointed out how much must be differently understood which, apparently well founded, shines forth here and there into the spiritual life of mankind. You must really be clear, my dear friends, that when impulses founded in this way are taken seriously then, as life goes at the present time, opposition arises against this seriousness and against these impulses generally, the opposition of hate, the opposition of envy, of fear, which proceed from the pettiness of men and so on. Only a deep understanding of things can help to clear away the many hindrances to which the adherent of such a spiritual revolution is exposed. For this deep understanding is well adapted to strengthen the soul, so that this soul is a match for much that always makes itself felt precisely in opposition to the most earnest endeavours in world activity. And so we wish today to enlarge in many ways upon what was said yesterday.

I pointed out yesterday how man, just by standing on the ground of Spiritual Science, can be absolutely objective towards other spiritual streams, how he certainly has no need to misjudge other spiritual streams. From this standpoint I said that on certain points, compared with many of the statements made today by philosophers and theologians outside the Church, through their training the representatives of the Catholic clergy are superior. Just at present we live at a time in which everyone wishing to take the questions concerning a world-conception seriously should come to an understanding about these things. The different currents of world-conception and the social currents of the present day both require this. Without very fundamental observation, the temptations arising from the scholarly approach cannot be properly fathomed, cannot be recognised in their actual lack of significance in the light of the greater demands of the present. The temptation to fall in with the objections of scholarly opponents of the endeavours of Spiritual scientists today is not to be underrated. It is true that if men have sufficient power of discriminations if they would bestir themselves to go into the facts concerning the basis of Spiritual Science, the broad base on which it stands, they would be less exposed to this temptation. But such power of discrimination is rare. What as Spiritual Science, according to how we understand it, wishes to join in with the world current accounts for many kinds of attacks, including those, for example. from the standpoint of the Catholic faith. It is necessary to grasp such things at this time because in the chaos that is about to break upon us, unfortunately far too little appreciated, far too little heeded by men—in this chaos many different things of a disconcerting nature will proceed from what is contained in the Catholic doctrine.

Now today I should like to make you familiar with the kind of judgment about some particular spiritual scientist that an orthodox Catholic may pronounce if he has reason to assume this spiritual scientist to be an unintelligent reader or listener. One of the most common objections against what we here mean by Spiritual Science is its being pantheistic. One of the chief objections made, for example, in the articles by the Jesuit, Zimmermann, in the publication “Voices of the Time” is this—that Spiritual Science is Pantheism.

You know how often I have spoken about this point. You know how I have said that the only wad of overcoming this commonplace Pantheism, so dominant in many places today, is to put in its place the concrete spiritual world of which Spiritual Science speaks. It is naturally not intended, on the part of those from whom the objections come, to go deeply into the truth; taking into account all the prejudice belonging to certain religious partisanship, their efforts go much more in the direction of bringing forward what has a definite suggestive or hypnotic effect. Pantheism is indeed the view that in everything spread out in Nature, spread out anywhere in the phenomenal world, there lives the divine, that, in a way, nature herself is to be looked upon as direct revelation of the divine. It is just this which I have always attacked—this watered-down Pantheism that is forever talking of how behind the outspread world of phenomena there is spirit, spirit, spirit. I have always called your attention to how this is much the same as refusing on the physical plane to recognise tulips, roses or lilies as anything but plants, plants, plants. Spiritual Science goes straight to the individual, concrete spiritual beings and does not speak in the pantheistic general may about the spirit. Another characteristic of Pantheism lies in saying: Pantheism has no wish to separate outer nature from the divine spiritual but would mingle both together. Now, my dear friends, one must indeed be a Jesuit to make it appear that it is believed where the actual ranks of the beings of the higher hierarchies are spoken of in this way as being individualised among themselves and having a personal and superpersonal existence in themselves—it is believed that there can be any question of the mingling of this hierarchical world as a whole with external nature. Whoever can think in accordance with reality will be unable to make anything at all of the accusation of Pantheism, where such a description of the world of the hierarchies, and the connection of the individual beings of the hierarchies with nature, is concerned.

There is a further thing that is quite unique and is given particular prominence in the articles from “Voices of the Time”, namely, that in sir Spiritual Science it is said—and this is supposed to be heretical in the Catholic churd—that the divine is living in man's soul, that the soul of man is itself a drop in the ocean of this divine. Such and similar utterances are collected there and established as heresies within the Catholic confession.

Thus it is shown how the teaching that a divinity should live immediately in the soul is heretical and to be condemned. Now faced with this a reasonable man might say: There is no need for you to draw my attention to such foolishness. But, my dear friends, that is not important, that is not the question. But it must be a matter of these things playing a real part in the world, that where men would deceive themselves these things should play a really powerful part, and that we must already be alive to such things. But they are connected with something besides. And now we will turn our attention from any particular attack that has been made. Let us imagine a man, a Jesuit, who has either been made apathetic where his own reflections are concerned or consciously lives in them—what I mean is, he knows that for himself he has no need to reflect about things but has only to judge the faithful according to the sense of the officially recognised creed. For once we will look at the kind of pronouncements such a man can make about the path of Spiritual Science. I an simply telling you here the average—I should not like to say opinion for opinion does not meet the case, but average utterance of an official representative of the Roman Catholic Church about the path of Spiritual Science, as this would come from a modern believer.

He would perhaps say: The Catholic Christian would not dare take such a path as the one recommended by Spiritual Science for gaining insight into the supereensible. For all the Church Fathers and every exponent of Church doctrine—the cleric of today would perhaps say—condemn such a path. By such a path man is supposed to acquire the special faculty of rising to the supersensible world. That, however, is heresy, that should never be an aim at all. All that may be striven for by an orthodox Catholic is what their teachers of religious doctrine hold to be the legitimate vision. This 'legitimate vision' is that the present day hall-marked cleric of Rome considers valid. What does ne understand by it?

You will be able to form a concept of what he understands by it when you distinguish between two kinds of gifts which, in the sense of the orthodox Catholic Church, man can receive as a believing Catholic. The one kind of gift is the so-called gratiae grate detae, what is given through grace, the supernatural gifts of grace, one might say the Greek charisms. The other gifts are those which may be called the universal human gifts. The gifts that ae out of the ordinary, the charisms are bestowed by God in a way that is out of the ordinary upon men who are out of the ordinary. The Maid of Orleans would perhaps be given as an example. These gifts cannot be striven for, they are bestowed as special gifts of grace upon outstanding men and may not be striven after, accouding to the dictates of the Church. What may be striven for, however, is a certain enhancement of the general life of the soul which does not bring men to any extra-ordinary faculty but to a raising og the faculties that are universal and human. Such a raising of universal human faculties has nevertheless the effect—so says the Roman Catholic Church today of making man capable of being permeated with the Holy Spirit.

Therefore this is what we say: The ordinary mortal thinks something, feels something or does something. According to the dictates of the Church, according to the dictates of the State, he has in duty bound to do these things in a certain ways with his ordinary mortal reflection he can endeavour to perform his action in accordance with the Church, in accordance with the State: in the opinion of the Church this is the same as being in accordance with God. He may also notice, however, if in other things he is an ordinary Catholic Christian, that the Holy Ghost often intervenes in his acting, thinking, feeling, and that because the Holy Ghost is working in him the practice of certain virtues becomes easy which otherwise is difficult. This, however, may not be striven for in such a way that man would go beyond the ordinary point of human endeavour, and develop special faculties for penetrating to the supersensible worlds all striving of such a kind is reprehensible.

Now here I have described the objections an orthodox, hallmarked, Roman Catholic cleric would make to what is found, for example, in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment. He would say: man strives for special faculties that would place him in a position to unite himself in a certain way with the spiritual world. But he may not do this. He must remain perfectly passive until he notices that in his mind and soul there enter impulses of the Holy Spirit. He may not bring about ax qualitative change in his behaviour, only an enhancement, as it were, a facility in becoming virtuous, a facility in other faculties exercised ter man on the external physical plane.

You can read this kind of thing today not only against our Sairitual Science but against all man-made endeavours towards producing a human being who sees a spiritual world ground him just as rhynical men with his physical senses, sees around him a physical world. This is familiar even among those who believe they are standing on the firm ground of Christian belief dictated by Rome. And it in widely recognised that anyone thinking differently about the things I have just been describing to you, is a heretic. In giving such a description it must alters be made clear that these things still have tremendous influence today upon millions of human beings. We must not be so egoistic as to think that because one has ceased to believe in thaw oneself (and this too is only a matter of belief) there is no further need to worry. This is exactly what is such a pity today, particularly where the social movement is in question, men are so egoistic that they look only to the needs of their own soul and have no wish to extend their gaze to what unites men, to what is permeating millions and millions of men, as a drivinfr impulse which, when it then breaks forth, can appear in the font we nee things now arising in the word, Today it is necessary to be quite clear about the sources of these things and the necessary attitude to take towards the things themselves.

Now these clerics stamped with the mark of Rome as a rule appeal to the Fathers of the Church. They go back to the Church Fathers of earlier centuries and from their sayings take what they believe to be in harmony with all I have just described. Now, naturally, I cannot read out to you for hours at a time the doctrines of the Church Fathers; I should like, however, to draw your attention to something in this direction, namely, the attitude to these things that can be taken by man in this age of the consciousness soul which began with the fifteenth century.

First, therefore, we must keep in mind that the way into the spiritual world, as Spiritual Science understands it, is held to be heretical; so says the modern cleric recognised by orthodox Rome. In the second place we have to remember the accusation against Spiritual Science—that it speaks oft man being able to partake of the divine; this also is heretical, as once more stated today by the Catholic cleric approved by Rome.

Let us be willing to look for once rather more closely at what an outwardly—not inwardly as we shall soon see—an outwardly well-reputed Church Father, outwardly well-reputed also by Rome, says about a matter like the vision of which I have previously given you a description. John of the Cross [ Note 1 ], for example, speaks about what vision should be for orthodox Catholic Christians who through this vision my be said to get beyond the mere general belief of the Church and rise to a kind of higher perception of the divinity pulsing through the world. The Catholic Church today allows a man through vision to get beyond purely general belief. But it forbids him to get as far as superphysical faculties, that is, faculties leading into the super-physical world in the same way as external senses lead into the world of the senses. Now St. John of the Cross says: “The time has come (he is referring to the time of vision) when the reflection and contemplation undertaken previously by the ordinary powers of the soul should gradually cease, when the soul sees itself bereft of its former enjoyments and palpable delights.”

Thus St. John of the Cross admits the state in which ordinary reflection is silenced, the reflection by which man comes to terms with the things of the physical plane that are perceived by the senses and understood by the intellect. He admits, therefore, that man deprives himself ordinary contemplation which the soul experiences in such contemplation and in such relation to external nature ceases. This he admits.

Condemned to a state of barrenness and aridity (he goes on to say) the soul can no longer deliberate by means of the intellect.

Thus, by shutting off his senses, by stopping the activity of his intellect, (and this is necessary for the attainment of vision) man with his soul comes to a kind of barrenness and aridity. By this he really comes to that participation in the divine, held by St. John of the Cross to be permissible. When therefore the soul no longer reflects with the intellect or even finds any physical support, then the senses are no longer enriched. The spirit has the advantage without receiving anything from the senses. It can thus be seen that in this state, God is the principal agent.

Now let us go minutely into this matter. St. John of the Cross says: Man can reflect, he can take up outer perceptions through his senses, the soul can become passive, the soul of itself does nothing further. Thereby God becomes the principal agent in the soul. He Himself instructs the soul and gives it suitable knowledge. In visions he presents the soul with wholly spiritual possessions, more particularly knowledge and love of God, without the soul having to reflect or enter upon other exercises which are no more possible to it than formerly.

Take these words of the canonised John of the Cross, one who is still recognised today in Rome as an orthodox Father of the Church. Take these words first in relation to the accusation of Pantheism recently made against Spiritual Science for having spoken, for example, of the life of soul as being like a drop in the ocean of the divine, therefore having itself a divine nature, which today according to preaching and believing clerics is heresy. But, my dear friends, St. John of the Cross describes the possibility of coming to a passive condition of the soul when reflection and sense perception are shut off and God is the chief agent, when, in his own words, God presents the soul during vision with wholly spiritual benefits Himself, instructing the soul, imparting to it an infusion of wisdom.

Now I ask you: What sense have these words if it is said further that the human soul is never brought into a real connection with the divine Being? What does the statement mean that God Himself is alone active in the soul, when it is supposed to be heretical to speak of men coming into direct, conscious connection with God? When anyone says: the soul is related to the sum of the divine-spiritual like a drop in the ocean that is of the same nature an the water of the ocean as a whole—should this be understood as unpermitted Pantheism if truth held good, and when at the same time it is recognised, for example, that an orthodox Father of the Church, St. John of the Cross, admits the possibility of God Himself taking over the chief activity in the soul? To recognise how far truth is the governing factor in official circles you must keep consciously in your soul the following fact—that, at the sane time, such masters are appealed to as St. John of the Cross who really teaches Pantheism (if one is to call it Pantheism) in a far more marked way than Spiritual Science. But this is held to be heresy! So, what is one to do? St. John of the Cross is allowed to pass for a Church Father of authority, and people are deceived by being told that Pantheism is forbidden. But this means further that nobody may assert it to be heretical if it is said: God is so directly present in the soul that the human soul can be conscious of this!

No, my dear friends, people today should not be loose in their thought; they dare not think loosely if still greater misfortune is not to befall mankind. Today men should be able consciously to keep the fact before them that it is possible officially to convey this kind of misrepresentation of the truth throughout the world.

Another utterance of St. John of the Cross is: ”Priceless are the inner benefits imprinted by this silent vision into the soul when it is unconscious. In short they are nothing but the extraordinarily tender and most mysterious anointing by the Holy Ghost who, as he is God, acts as God.”

“The Holy Ghost acts as God immediately in the soul,” says St. John of the Cross (this was Catholic doctrine at the time of John of the Cross before the age of the consciousness soul) “And works upon, and inundates the soul in secret with such a measure of riches, gifts and graces that it is beyond description.”

And now I would ask you: what are we supposed to understand when one of those who write about heresy today says it is heretical to assert that God is identical with the human soul!

This is the position of things. But men are so little awake that they pay no attention today to how the truth is 'managed'. in the final analysis it rests on man having troubled so little about what has been given out as truth in the world, that so fearful a catastrophe should have fallen upon it. And it rests on this also that truth can be hated in the way it is still hated at present by certain people.

Today in Rome the approved clerics take particular pains constantly to emphasise that no difference should be said to exist between the ordinary faculties the faithful develop by belief, and the enhancement of belief that is expressed in vision. No difference is supposed to exist or at the most a difference of degree; for when a real difference is striven for, this is heretical. But St. John of the Cross says: “The difference consists in man seeing only darkly through belief, whereas with perception of the soul theveils are removed from Him”. (He means God). At the time when St. John of the Cross wrote these things down, before the age of the consciousness soul, this was Catholic doctrine. What today holds sway as Catholicism where these things are concerned is only the shadow and no longer the light. It is really very beautiful how John of the Cross describes for that age the mystical path of Knowledge, the way into the tensible. He says: “The narrow portal is the night of the senses. To pass through it, the soul has to get free from itself and cast its shell.” At that time these things were said not in the way that Rome speaks, but rather as Spiritual Science speaks. Spiritual Science is the real continuation of the noble strivings to enter the spiritual world as they appear in John of the Cross. But Spiritual Science is the continuation suited for the present age: it reckons with the progress of mankind

The narrow portal is the night of the senses. To go through it the soul must become free of itself and cast its shell. And by then taking beliefs which has nothing to do with the senses, for its guide, the soul travels along the narrow path to the second night—the night of the spirit.

And very beautiful is the description by St. John of the Cross of the union with the divine-spiritual: “The union is accomplished when the two wills, namely, the will of the soul and the divine will, become one.”

It could not be more clearly expressed that a divine will exists holding sway over the world, and a will belonging to the soul, both of which merge in vision. But today that is said to be heresy. Truth would be honestly upheld were it said: Today St. John of the Cross is no longer a saint but a heretic. This is what the cleric of Rome would be bound by duty to say if he wished really to uphold his assertions.

Thus, St. John of the Cross says that union is brought about by the two wills, that of the soul and the divine will, becoming uniform, which means, when there is nothing in the one will that is opposed by the other.

But then in the sphere of the orthodox Roman Catholic clericalism it is definitely intended that the path of individual knowledge should be barred to the mere believers and also to the bumbler clerics. Today, therefore, while misrepresenting people like John of the Cross, people such as John of the Cross are constantly having attention drawn to them. It is pointed out that John of the Cross would at that time have only allowed vision to be resorted to if men first received three signs. The first of these signs by which the soul felt itself summoned to vision, that is, to mystical vision, would be inability to contemplate and to make use of imaginative powers, antipathy towards outer contemplation. Thus when the soul feels loath to receive sense-perceptions and to reflect, the time has arrived when it should give itself up passively to the will of God.

The second sign would be perceiving that one no longer desired to employ the imaginative power of the senses in special outer and inner imaginations. Thus the first sign is becoming tired, the second is ceasing to have desire. The third inner sign would be the sensation of most intimate joy felt by the soul in being alone, therefore without sense-perceptions and reflection, but with attention focussed purely on the divine.

Now, my dear friends, you will not read what is in the book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds intelligently without saying to yourself something which it is true, is modified to suit the time, namely: with those three signs I can now first find myself completely in harmony. There is absolutely nothing against the three signs. One has only to meet them with understanding in accordance with existing conditions. Let us then consider the three signs, which John of the Cross sets up as signs on receiving which the soul may turn to mystical vision, and thus to the path into the spiritual supersensible world.

The first sign would be the inability to contemplate and use one's imaginative power, reluctance towards contemplation. We must remember how these words were written before the age of the consciousness soul was fully established. Than when the age of the consciousness soul is established man turns his gaze upon nature as she is presented to him by modern science. But the historical development of mankind must still be reckoned with. We have to reckon that the men around St. John of the Cross were not soaked and steeped in the conceptions that shower in all directions out of modern natural science. St. John of the Cross had only those about him who led a life of devotion to the Catholic Faith, who took their world outlook from this Catholic Faith and were preached to from the pulpits of Catholic Churches. One has to speak differently to such men from how one speaks in the twentieth century to men soaked through by scientific conceptions. For what does it actually mean to be permeated by a scientific outlook? Whether they admit it or not all men are that nowadays down to the last peasant in the last cottage, if he is not just an illiterate, and even illiterates are permeated by scientific conceptions in the form of their thought. Anyone who looks at the world today in the way it must be looked at in the sense of the modern world, if he has a living need for knowledge must, because scientific conceptions inform him only about what is dead, must come to see that scientific observations make it impossible for him to be satisfied with them. There arises exactly what St. John of the Cross describes as the first sign. This sign is produced by the scientific kind of conception. At the time he wrote it was granted to few, today it is granted to all who even begin to think. We must take note of this difference. Were St. John of the Cross to write today he would say: Certainly at that time to those men who felt incapable of observing things outwardly and of setting the imaginative power in movement, mystic vision had to be recommended. Today everyone given up to unprofitable conceptions of science, at a definite point of time becomes capable of abandoning these conceptions, particularly when in their souls they have a longing to find some kind of path to the divine-spiritual. St. John of the Cross spoke to very few candidates; today all thinking men are candidates. This exactly represents the progress of mankind. Thus when man who lives in the scientific age feels this longing today, it is the fulfilment of what St. John of the Cross accepted as the granting of the sign.

The second sign is man's perceiving that he no longer desires to use the imaginative power of the senses for special outer or inner imaginations. My dear friends, the moment science can do no more than afford man a view, a perception, of how he has developed from what is animal, the soul in reality begins to perceive that the desire has flown simply to observe in the outer world what the senses reveal. For these reveal that man has descended from the animals; one no longer has any desire in that direction. And bemuse the time has come—formerly only for the few, now for all thinking men—in the actual sense of John of the Cross one turns to what is the idea behind evolution, that is, one turns to the path into the spiritual world.

The third sign is the experience of joy in the depths of the sea en feeling itself alone in its contemplation of God. Now this inward joy will certainly be felt, as soon as they find their way into the supersensible world, hy all who in this scientific age have absorbed only those concepts offered them by science.

Once again we are faced by the fact, the significant fact, that it is just our Spiritual Science of today that so thoroughly fulfils what, for his time and in his sense, was demanded by such a man as John of the Cross.

The stream of development flows on and today fulfilment has a different appearance from What it then had. There are other contributing factors. whoever looks today with an honest sensefor truth at the evolution of mankind, will say to himself: Because we have entered upon the scientific age, the feeling for super-sensible knowledge must be kept alive in men. Such demands as those of John of the Cross will be fulfilled without further adoif man treads the path marked out, for example, in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment. If he takes this way there will be revealed to him not what was revealed at the time when St. John of the Cross was writing, but there will be revealed to man what lies today on the path of human evolution. At this point we can no longer speak in the sense of pure positivist Christianityas did St. John of the Cross, for the serious fact lies before us, referred to both yesterday and many times previously that today in a certain respect man either consciously or unconsciously passes by the Guardian of the Threshold. There he comes to recognise that he must speak not only of a single divinity but of the divine hierarchies. There he comes to know how Ahriman and Lucifer are to be contrasted with the divine hierarchies. But, my dear friends, just as the Catholic Church wanted to hold men back from accepting the Copernican view until the year 1827, in a similar way it will want to keep men from the supersensible knowledge that is a necessity for our times. Why in this? It is because it does not wish men to be awake to what is streaming into the evolution of mankind from spiritual heights.

It is true that there may be some and there are some who with a certain honesty say the following: Man today is not prepared to approach directly with his soul what comes from the spiritual world; this only does him harm. Then when he meets the Guardian of the Threshold he will not be able to distinguish illusion from reality. Therefore let us give him a grizzly picture of setting out on the spiritual path so that he runs no risk. - Such people do not reckon with the necessities of the age, they reckon with a narrow, limited conception, but it is possible that they are sincere. The majority, however, of those who say things such as: “One dare not set out today on the path to supersensible knowledge” mean something else. From various directions a certain feeling of fear towards truth holds the truth back from flowing in. This feeling of fear, this anxious feeling, is present in the official upholders of widely extended religions; it is also prevalent in certain societies of Freemseons and similar brotherhoods. I have already drawn attention to this from another point of view. [ Note 2 ] There are, too, within these Societies some people who are honest from their point of view, but the force with which they hold up the progress of mankind is terribly strong. The following calls for attention. There are those, particularly in the higher grades of these Orders, who say: Man as a rule is not sufficiently mature to come to an immediate knowledge of the spiritual world, therefore he should be held back from direct entrance into the spiritual world. It is a forbidden thing to enter and man shold only be permitted to get as far as the practice of ceremonies prescribed in certain ancient rituals. He should be referred to all manner of symbols which do not lead him directly into the spiritual world but which as far as possible would indeed be symbols of great antiquity. I have told you that in this respect certain Masonic Orders, shall we say, hold to what is in contrast to the dearest impulse of most of the ladies. Most ladies you must know are young, most masonic societies would like to be as old as possible! Where possible, very ancient ritual is indicated or very ancient traditions. Not always, but very frequently it has an untrue intention, but sometimes it is honestly meant when it is said Rituals that are very old can do no harm when carried out by men today, for they are obsolete, they have become rigid, they are merely the shadows of what they have been. Besides, human souls have lived so long with rituals, with their symbols mid what these represent, that they have became habituated to them and will no longer receive shock from the impression of an immediately experienced truth. If people are made acquainted with what is thoroughly old, what still exists only as a shadow, they will be lass exposed to danger. All these things may be argued, my dear friends, but they have to collapse in face of the necessity belonging to this turning point of time. The evil that would come were man to throw back the breaking wave of the spiritual tide, would be greater than all the rest of evil beside. Our real duty in face of all those cosmic spirits who have to do with the evolution of mankind, is to make man realise what, simply throw present cosmic lrws in any case in the unconscious, is taking place in the soul of every man today. In the age of the consciousness soul it is an absolute necessity to call this up into consciousness. It is necessary, also, where what is arising with such power in social dew ads is concerned, that that is actually present in the soul of ran should be recognised. For, externally, existence becomes ever more like a mask, and elmsys merely phenomenal. The possibility absolutely exists for man to have such experience in his soul that he posses by the Guardian of the Threshold; but because of the materialism of the time his consciousness of this passing will be suppressed. What is suppressed, however, what is not conscious, not for that reason non-existent! In spite of all, it is there. Any man passes by the Guardian, but by reason of present education he suppresses this. What it then represents can be something quite different. It may be the deeds of Lenin, it may be the deeds or a member of some kind of Spartacus League. Heed must be paid today to the fact that we have arrived at the age when through the delusive impulses of materialism the passing through certain spiritual impulses may be outwardly masked in a way that is very highly dangerous to mankind.

The times are serious. But action will be in accordance with this seriousness if in man the honest will is only there to interpret with his sound human understanding that can be brought from the spiritual world through a real Science of the Spirit.

Notes:

X San Juan de la Cruz, born 1542, died 1591, studied under the
Jesuits in Medina del Campo, became Abbot of the Carmelite Monastay at Menrezo about 1568; successfully defended himself on an indictment brought against him by the Inquisition, and founded the Monastery of Ban= in lam In 1581 the Order of the Carmelites hauled aver to his the direction of their pal Monastery at
Granada. The Curia appointed him as Pro al Vicar of
We-UM in lam, and in 1566 as Definitor. Through the discipline of his Order he acquired enemies vho, by their influmea vg Philip II, sumeoded in eausing, John of thi Woos to be co
the Monastery of Ubede. In 1675 Benedict XIII canonised the "ecstatic Doctor."



In vision ( this is another utterance of St. John of the Cross ) in vision we are in a state of receiving.
And another proposition of St. John is the following: In vision it is God Iho is working. ( within the soul, that is to

2. See a XLVII, Leettlres 8 and 9.



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