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Fed up to the Teeth with Hearing More About the Jesuits

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    An extract from a lecture by Rudolf Steiner from 2nd November 1918: For reasons I have already mentioned, the life and aspirations of men at the beginning of
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2001
      An extract from a lecture by Rudolf Steiner from 2nd November 1918:

      "For reasons I have already mentioned, the life and aspirations of men at
      the beginning of the fifteenth century are characterized by a spirit of
      opposition to the uniformity of the Roman Church which operated through

      This assault of personality again provokes a reaction, the counter-thrust of
      Jesuitism which comes to the support of the Romanism of the Church.
      Jesuitism in its original sense (though everything today, if you will
      forgive the brutal expression, is reduced to idle gossip and Jesuitism is on
      everyone's lips) is only possible within the Roman Catholic Church. For
      fundamentally Jesuitism is based on the following: whilst in the true People
      of the Christ the revelation of the Christ impulse remains in the
      supersensible world and does not descend into the physical world (Solovieff
      wishes to spiritualize the material world, not to materialize the spiritual
      world), the aim of Jesuitism is to drag down the Kingdom of God into the
      temporal world and to awaken impulses in the souls of men so that the
      Kingdom of God operates on the physical plane in the same way as the laws of
      the physical world. Jesuitism, therefore, aspires to establish a temporal
      sovereignty in the form of a temporal kingdom of the Christ. It wishes to
      achieve this by training the members of the Jesuit order after the fashion
      of an army. The individual Jesuit feels himself to be a spiritual soldier.
      He feels Christ, not as the spiritual Christ who acts upon the world through
      the medium of the Spirit, but he feels Him-and to this end he must direct
      his thoughts and feelings - as a temporal sovereign whom he serves as one
      serves an earthly King, or as a soldier serves his generalissimo. The
      ecclesiastical administration, since it is concerned with spiritual matters,
      will, of course, be different from that of a secular military regime; but
      the spiritual order must be subject to strict military discipline.
      Everything must be so ordained that the true Christian becomes a soldier of
      the generalissimo Jesus. In essence this is the purpose of those exercises
      which every Jesuit practises in order to develop in himself that vast power
      which the Jesuit order has long possessed and which will still be felt in
      its decadent forms in the chaotic times that lie ahead. The purpose of the
      meditations prescribed by Ignatius Loyola and which are faithfully observed
      by Jesuits is to make the Jesuit first and foremost a soldier of the
      generalissimo Jesus Christ.

      Here are a few samples. Let us take, for example, the spiritual exercise of
      the second week. The exercitant must always begin with a preliminary
      meditation in which he evokes in imagination 'the Kingdom of Christ'. He
      must visualize this Kingdom with Christ as supreme commander in the vanguard
      leading his legions, whose mission is to conquer the world. Then follows a
      preliminary prayer; then the first preamble.

      '1. It consists in a clear representation of the place; here I must see with
      the eyes of imagination the synagogues, towns and villages which Christ our
      Lord passed through on His mission.'

      All this must be visualized in a complete picture so that the novice sees
      the situation and all the separate representations as something which is
      visibly present to him.

      `2. I ask for the grace which I desire. Here I must ask of our Lord the
      grace that I should not be deaf to His call, but should be prompt and
      diligent to fulfil His most holy will.'

      Then follows the actual exercise. (What I have quoted so far were
      preparatory exercises.) The first part again includes several points. The
      soul is very carefully prepared.

      `Point 1 . I conjure up a picture of a terrestrial King chosen by God our
      Lord Himself to whom all Christians and all princes render homage and

      The exercitant must hold this before him in his imagination with the same
      intensity as a sensory representation.

      `Point 2. I observe how the King addresses all his subjects and says to
      them: "It is my will to conquer all the territories of the infidels.
      Therefore whosoever would go forth with me must be content with the same
      food as myself, the same drink and clothing, etcetera. He must also toil
      with me by day and keep watch with me by night so that he may share in the
      victory with me, even as he shared in the toil." '

      This strengthens the will, in that sensible images penetrate directly into
      this will, illuminate it and spiritualize it.

      `Point 3. I consider how his faithful subjects must answer a King so kind
      and so generous, and consequently how the man who would refuse the appeal of
      such a King would be deserving of censure by the whole world and would be
      regarded as an ignoble Knight.'

      The exercitant must clearly recognize that if he is not a true soldier, a
      warrior of this generalissimo, then the whole world will look upon him as

      Then follows the second part of this exercise of the `second week.'

      `The second part of this exercise consists in applying the previous example
      of the terrestrial King to Christ our Lord in accordance with the three
      points mentioned above.

      `Point 1 . If we regard an appeal of the terrestrial King to his subjects as
      deserving of our consideration, then how much more deserving of our
      consideration is it to see Christ our Lord, the Eternal King, and the whole
      world assembled

      before Him, to see how He appeals to all and each one in particular saying:
      "It is my will to conquer the whole world and to subjugate my enemies and
      thus enter into the glory of my Father. Whoever therefore will follow me
      must be prepared to labour with me, so that, by following me in suffering,
      he may also follow me in glory."

      `Point 2 To consider that all who are endowed with judgement and reason will
      offer themselves entirely for this arduous service.

      `Point 3. Those who are animated by the desire to show still greater
      devotion and to distinguish themselves in the total service of their eternal
      King and universal Lord will not only offer themselves wholly for such
      arduous service, but will also fight against their own sensuality, their
      carnal lusts and their attachment to the world and thus make sacrifices of
      higher value and greater importance, saying:

      ` "Eternal Lord of all things, with Thy favour and help, in the presence of
      Thy infinite Goodness and of Thy glorious Mother and of all the saints of
      the heavenly Court, I present my body as a living sacrifice and swear that
      it is my wish and desire and my firm resolve, provided it is for Thy greater
      service and praise, to imitate Thee in enduring all injustice, all
      humiliation and all poverty, both actual and spiritual, if it shall please
      Thy most holy Majesty to choose me and admit me to this life and to this

      `This exercise should be practised twice a day, in the morning on rising and
      one hour before lunch or dinner.

      `For the second week and the following weeks it is very beneficial at times
      to read passages from The Imitation of Christ or from the Gospels and lives
      of the Saints.'

      to be read in conjunction with those meditations which train especially the
      will through visualization. One must know how the will develops when it is
      under the influence of these Imaginations-this martial will in the realm of
      the Spirit which makes Christ Jesus its generalissimo! The exercise speaks
      of the `heavenly Court which one serves in all forms of submission and
      humility'. With these exercises, which through the imagination train
      especially the will, is associated something which exercises a powerful
      influence upon the will when it is continually repeated. For the schooling
      of Jesuits is above all a schooling of the will. It is recommended to repeat
      daily the above meditation in the following weeks as a basic meditation and
      where possible in the same form, before the selected daily meditation,
      before the `contemplation'. Let us take, for example, the fourth day. We
      have the normal preliminary prayer then a first preamble.

      'I. We visualize the historical event-Christ summons and assembles all men
      under His standard, and Lucifer, on the other hand, under his standard.'

      One must have an exact visual picture of the standard. And one must also
      visualize two armies, each preceded by its standard, the standard of Lucifer
      and the standard of Christ.

      `2. You form a clear picture of the place; here a vast plain round about
      Jerusalem, where stands Christ our Lord, the sole and supreme commander of
      the just and good, with His army in battle order; and another plain round
      about Babylon where stands Lucifer, chief of the enemy forces.'

      The two armies now face each other-the standard of Lucifer and the standard
      of Christ.

      `3. I ask for what I desire: here I ask for knowledge of the lures of the
      evil adversary and for help to preserve myself from them; also for knowledge
      of the true life of which our sovereign and true commander is the exemplar,
      and for grace to imitate Him.'

      Now follows the first part of the actual exercise: the standard of Lucifer;
      the exercitant therefore directs his spiritual eye of imagination upon the
      army which follows the standard of Lucifer.

      `Point 1. Imagine you see the chief of all the adversaries in the vast plain
      around Babylon seated on a high throne of fire and smoke, a figure inspiring
      terror and fear.

      `Point 2. Consider how he summons innumerable demons, scattering them
      abroad, some to one city, some to another and thus over the whole earth
      without overlooking any province, place, station in life or any single

      This despatch of demons must be visualized concretely and in detail.

      `Point 3. Consider the address he makes to them, how he enjoins upon them to
      prepare snares and fetters to bind men. First, they are to tempt men to
      covet riches, as he (Lucifer) is accustomed to do in most cases, so that
      they may the more easily attain the vain approbation of the world and then
      develop an overweening pride.

      `Accordingly, the first step will be riches, the second fame, the third
      pride. And from these three steps Lucifer seduces man to all the other

      Second Part. The standard of Christ

      `In the same way we must picture to ourselves on the opposing side, the
      sovereign and true commander, Christ our Lord.

      `Point 1 . Consider Christ our Lord, beautiful and gracious to behold,
      standing in a lowly place, in a vast plain about the region of Jerusalem.

      `Point 2. Consider how the Lord of the whole world chooses so many persons,
      apostles, disciples, etcetera, and sends them forth into all lands to preach
      the Gospel to men of all stations in life and of every condition.

      `Point 3. Consider the address which Christ our Lord holds in the presence
      of all His servants and friends whom He sends on this crusade, recommending
      them to endeavour to help all, first urging upon them to accept the highest
      spiritual poverty, and, if it should find favour in the eyes of His divine
      Majesty and if, should he deign to choose them, to accept also actual
      poverty; secondly to desire humiliation and contempt, for from these two
      things, poverty and humiliation, springs humility.

      `Accordingly there are three steps: first, poverty as opposed to riches,
      secondly, humiliation and contempt as opposed to worldly fame, thirdly,
      humility as opposed to pride. And from these three steps the ambassadors of
      Christ shall lead men to the other virtues.'

      The spiritual exercises are practised in this way. As I have already said,
      what matters is that a temporal kingdom, and organized as such, must be
      represented as the army of Christ Jesus. Jesuitism is the most consistent,
      the best, and moreover extremely well organized expression, of what I
      referred to as the second current-the impulse of the People of the Church.
      We shall find in effect that fundamentally this impulse of the People of the
      Church is to reduce the unique revelation which occurred at Jerusalem to the
      level of a temporal Kingdom. For the end and object of the exercises is
      ultimately to bring the exercitant to choose himself as soldier serving
      under the banner of Christ and to feel himself to be a true soldier of
      Christ. That was the message entrusted to Ignatius Loyola through a
      revelation of a special kind. He first performed heroic deeds as a soldier,
      then as he lay on a sick bed recovering from his wounds was led as a result
      of meditations (I will not say by what power) to transform the martial
      impulse which formerly inspired him into the impulse to become a soldier of
      Christ. It is one of the most interesting phenomena of world history to
      observe how the martial qualities of an outstandingly brave soldier are
      transformed through meditations into spiritual qualities. Where the
      continuous influence which the Christ impulse had exercised within the
      People of the Christ had been blunted, it is clear that jesuitism had to
      assume this extreme form. And the question arises: is there not another form
      of Christianity diametrically opposed to that of jesuitism? In that event a
      force would have to emerge in the territory occupied by the People of the
      Church. From the different reactions of Lutheranism, Zwinglianism,
      Calvinism, Schwenkfeldism and the Anabaptists, from this chaos and
      fragmentation, a force would have to emerge which not only follows the line
      of Jesuit thought (for jesuitism is only an extreme expression of Catholic
      dogma)-but which is diametrically opposed to jesuitism, something which
      seeks to break away from this community of the People of the Church, whilst
      jesuitism seeks to be ever more deeply involved in it. jesuitism wishes to
      transform the Christ impulse into a purely temporal sovereignty, to found a
      terrestrial state which is at the same time a Jesuit state, and which is
      governed in accordance with the principles of those who have volunteered to
      become soldiers of the generalissimo Christ. What could be the force which
      is the antithesis of jesuitism ?

      The counter-impulse would be that which seeks, not to materialize the
      spiritual, but to spiritualize the material world. This impulse is a natural
      endowment amongst the true People of the Christ and finds expression in
      Solovieff though often tentatively. Within the territory of the true People
      of the Church there exists something which is radically opposed to
      jesuitism, something which rejects any direct intervention of the spiritual
      in power politics and external affairs, and wishes the Christ impulse to
      penetrate into the souls of men, and indirectly through these souls to
      operate in the external world. Such an impulse might well appear in the
      People of the Church --because, in the meantime, much might tend in this
      direction; but it would seek to direct evolution in such a way that the
      spiritual Christ impulse penetrates only into the souls and remains to some
      extent esoteric, esoteric in the best and noblest sense of the term. Whilst
      jesuitism wishes to tranform everything into a temporal kingdom, this other
      current would simply regard the temporal kingdom as something which, if need
      be, must exist on the physical plane, something, however, which unites men
      so that they can lift up their souls to higher realms. This current which is
      the polar opposite of Jesuitism is Goetheanism.

      The aim of Goetheanism is the exact opposite of that of Jesuitism. And you
      will understand Goetheanism from a different angle if you consider it as by
      nature diametrically opposed to jesuitism. That is why Jesuitism is, and
      ever will be the sworn foe of Goetheanism. They cannot coexist; they know
      each other too well and Jesuitism is well informed on Goethe. The best book
      on Goethe, from the Jesuit standpoint of course, is that of the Jesuit
      father, Baumgartner. What the various German professors and the Englishman,
      G. H. Lewes, have written about Goethe is pure dilettantism compared with
      the three volumes by Baumgartner. He knows what he is about! As an adversary
      he sees Goethe with a more critical eye. Nor does he write like a German
      professor of average intelligence or like the Englishman, Lewes, who depicts
      a man who was indeed born in Frankfurt in 1749; he is said to have lived
      through the same experiences as Goethe, but the man he depicts is not
      Goethe. But Baumgartner's portrait is reinforced with the forces of will
      derived from his meditations. Thus Goetheanism, which is destined to play a
      part in the future, is linked to something which is directly associated with
      the epoch beginning with the fifteenth century via the Reformation to
      from 'From Symptom to Reality in Modern History'

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