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The Shattered West * Letter to spiritual and religious Leaders worldwide * (Wo)Man rooted in Heaven and Earth * The Politics of "Happiness for All" * Only Tradition has Future * The Integral Way * Community democracy acc. to J.Althusius * The New Economy * Transformation Manifesto for the 21st Century * Poetry * Existential Consciousness * Revolution of Being * Youngsters are asking * Personal Reactions

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The Shattered West


1. Historical essay on the mental bankruptcy of the Western culture and the role of the patriarchic religion (Christianity) in it. In order to be able to understand the true nature of the crisis the roots of the situation, which has become out of control have to be laid open. Only if we ask the right questions we will get the right answers. This will not be an operation free of pain. Since we have our back up against the wall we do not have another choice. The following criticism is only aiming at the system. It is not directed at all against persons or groups who are championing for their fellow human beings and doing so out of a Christian inspiration. Nobody should feel being attacked personally. On the contrary. Through Christian’s and non-Christian’s insight into our common suffering – the alienation from our existential roots – the mutual understanding will grow. In this time we will be needing each other and will not exclude anybody.


2. Every ideology writes its own history. As long as we believed in „progress“, for centuries we were fooling ourselves with the optimistic history of our Western superiority. This history served as a confirmation of the image we had of ourselves. For instance, the Christian message was one “of love”, renaissance was “the blossoming of the liberated ego”, enlightenment “the triumph of reason” as well as the industrial age bringing “wealth for all” and postmodern times being the “century of communication”. More profound thinkers saw history as an “evolution of consciousness”, a trend which is still extremely popular today. However, the history of mankind should be moving towards a „cosmic consciousness“. A final condition in which everything “will be fine”. In it, everything depended (depends) on the feeling of making progress. The feeling that we are constantly “on the way” to something better: materially, psychologically or spiritually.

3. In the last few decades this feeling rapidly faded, though. It was replaced by a feeling of unease. While apparently everything still was going „smoothly“, increasingly the feeling was coming over us that “something was wrong”. And someone who still insists in the world doing perfectly fine will soon receive sympathizing looks from most of us. The future with its immense problems doesn’t look to bright anymore. Our attitude to life has changed completely within an amazingly short time. The speed with which this has happened has made any orientation impossible. We’ve got nowhere to hold on anymore. The framework in which we felt ourselves and the world making sense has completely ceased to exist. For this reason we are asking for a new interpretation and meaning of life.

4. The main question is, of course, how this shattering could happen. Everything seemed to be going fine. Like no other culture, the West had fought for its individual freedom, there is wealth for everyone, there are constantly new and spectacular successes in science and technology, we are all increasingly getting older and our democracy has become an example for the whole world.

The interpretation of our history completely supported us in this. However, aghast now we look at reality: individual freedom which as a meaningless void is increasingly turning into a nightmare; wealth which is increasing the gap between the rich and the poor at great speed; technology which has turned us into slaves (of consumerism); a mass aversion against modern medicine and the “ideal” model of democracy in which nobody is interested anymore.

The recent events all give the impression of a turning point. Suddenly everything is apparently turning into its opposite. If this is our assumption, and there is plenty of reason for it, there must have been developments for a long time which have led here and which we have never noticed, blinded by our official interpretations and conclusions.

5. For instance, there are parallels to natural science, public health, ecology and social science. Without anyone noticing it and over a longer period of time, a molecule which is stable at first sight is supplied with – or deprived of – so much energy that it will suddenly make a quantum leap, turning it into a completely different molecule.

During a (long lasting) phase with only few symptoms – “no problem, I feel perfectly okay” – without noticing it, waste and toxic substances are accumulating in the body until a limit is reached. Only a little bit (of flu, too much food, stress) is already enough to “suddenly” cause a heart attack or the first attacks of rheumatism. A forest (still) looks sound at first sight. But for a longer time the long lasting impact of dehydration and a dysfunction of the minerals of the soil as well as pollution remain invisible. Until a critical limit is reached and within a short time everything changes into its opposite. The trees which yesterday were abounding with soundness suddenly seem to be fatally ill.

Conclusion: when reaching a critical limit, which often goes unnoticed, events often turn into their opposite. This is true both for social processes and interactions. For years, a political direction is actively propagated only by a small group without this perceptibly getting access to the masses. Then, “inexplicably”, after exceeding the critical limit, it suddenly becomes common property. What these four examples have in common is the following: if we had had access to the underlying processes and developments earlier it might have been possible to steer in another direction or turn around. However, understanding these processes is the prerequisite for that. The radically new interpretation of our history is serving the same goal: to help finding a way out of today’s global crisis.

6. If „suddenly“ things are not looking too great anymore, on an extensive scale, this must have originated somewhere. Which were the decisive moments? Which are the regularities being the basis for that? Which were the contributing developments and how can these be interpreted? Based on today’s shattered condition, which is not really doubted by anybody and can be considered a fact, I’ll try to rewrite history. The angle of vision is our existential situation.

Man is of threefold origin: with his spirit he is rooted in the Great Consciousness (“heaven”), with his body in the Earth and with his soul in the community. Everyone, without exception – belonging to whichever religion, culture, social position or sex – is embedded in “heaven, earth and community”. More precisely, a holistic approach comprises the unity with yourself (consciousness), your psyche, your body and nature, fellow human beings and society, everything surrendering to the Ultimate. In the course of history these diverse developments will again and again be reflected according to this criterion.

It will be obvious that an inverse evolution – regression – has taken place: from the self to the ego. Although in principle different determinants are attributed the same value – everything comes into existence due to the interaction of equally “important” factors – in this study the impact of power on spiritual-religious life will be emphasized.

We shall try to establish a connection between today’s shattered condition and its precedent phases. The moments and events turning the balance before this development will be emphasized. It is a description which does not pretend to be a historically scientific paper in the traditional sense. Everything depends of the transparency of the glasses one is wearing (and who knows, maybe my glasses are very transparent) …

7. Let’s start with the beginning: the primordial time. The name for this period of time – BIRTH – is a suiting one. The birth of mankind coincides with matriarchy, the dominance of mothers and women. Afterwards came the time of the ENLIGHTENED ones during the period of the Great Philosophers of the Enlightenment, among others with Hermes Trismegistus, Akhenaten, Pythagoras, Jesus and Plotinus. The DARKNESS is the time which directly followed this period. Apostles, fathers, teachers and the church nipped spiritual life in the bud. In this decisive period – comparable to the first years of life of a child – the original unity of being rooted in heaven, earth and the community were interrupted or rather destroyed, having wide-ranging consequences for the entire following development of the Western world.

Medieval mysticism on the other hand meant a revival of the original inspiration: RESTORATION 1. This couldn’t be established because of an oppression which lasted for centuries (inquisition). In this definite being-uprooted man did not have any choice anymore: ultimately he was thrown back onto himself. The ILLUSION (“Renaissance”) thus is also the beginning of self-enslavement (ego). Through this oppression this being separated from “heaven, earth and (traditional) community” became a long-lasting fact. Man did not have any choice, he had to fall back onto himself.

This led to a period of expansion of the ego: INFLATION. This age of intellect, rationality and science is called – ironically enough – “Enlightenment”. A second reaction had to come. One in which Western man tried again to re-establish the roots with heaven, earth and the community: RESTORATION 2. In reality, this development was far from lucky. The original impulse – Romanticism – degenerated into fascism and national socialism. The SHATTERING is the peak of everything which preceded. In this modern time and at the height of its power, the Western world plunges into a complete chaos, the global crisis. Its development cannot yet be predicted. It will however depend of the insight, strength, compassion and involvement of every single one of us if a real CHANGE is to take place.



8. It is a fact that the basis and beginning of our culture were matriarchal: dominated by the Great Mother, the Goddess and women. Countless discoveries (terracotta statues) as well as texts are a proof of that. There are thousands of examples stating that women in all their qualities were dominating men. Life was centred around the female archetypes of „fertility, orgasmic emotionality and immeasurable depth”. Women were revered/ worshipped (by men) as the origin of life, of „heaven and earth“, a fountain having its source in itself. The Goddess united the wholeness of creation in itself. In her everything came together, everything emanated from her. Her body was the living expression of that. In particular, her strength was expressed in her sexuality: vulva, pubic area, thighs, pelvis and breasts. The strength, magic and fascination emanating from her was overwhelming.

Male terracotta on the other hand were of no importance at all. The most they resemble is the miscarried figure of a human being, deformed.

9. Modern authors emphasize the fact that the original myth before patriarchy was the time of birth. In it, everything originates in the dark abyss of the universe, in the “Great Mother’s lap” 1). All visible things are interconnected with each other, together they form the web of life. This is the reason why the Great Mother is also known as the Cosmic Weaver. The weave is the wholeness of heaven, earth and the community of human beings. What we called “creation”. What is remarkable is that everything is interrelated with everything, nothing and nobody being excluded.

The earliest human beings would “spontaneously” have felt part of the whole and acted accordingly. The early intuitive connection was later called the cosmic order or the law of life. In reality, along with the emergence of patriarchy, capitalism and individualism, man has disconnected himself from the original connection. This is the cause for the fact that he has become alienated from his context and been thrown back onto himself. An organism which has lost touch with his nourishing source will sooner or later die. Human beings are not exempt from this. If the community of human beings would like to have a future, it should once again become integrated into the cosmic order.

1) See also: Han Marie Stiekema "Der Schoß des Universums" / The womb of the universe

Man was driven from paradise in order to return there

10. Female fertility overlapped with nature’s fertility; her eroticism represents the elemental forces; her (dark) depth the entrance to the religious dimension. She preserved and watched the secret of the cycle of the seasons. For this reason she was resplendent, overwhelming, full of her own strength, of primordial experiences, pleasure and self-affirmation. Daily life as well as the social structures were also entirely dominated by women. Men had a subordinated position, one of a “playboy”, fertilizer and worker. The group structure, the extended family were polygamous: several men were related to a single woman. Since the entire life was centred around the Mother – Goddess – Woman, the life of a man was not worth much. This can be compared to a colony of bees: Queen, drones and workers. Indeed there were regularly taking place public orgies, in which countless men were “serving” an individual woman and were subsequently killed. The archetype of a woman as the one giving life as well as destroyer (“devourer”) should not be misjudged. Apart from the “normal” feelings of insufficiency with regard to sexuality, in addition “early” man was self-conscious because of the dilemma of profound veneration and fear. The “horribleness of matriarchy” has since then been embossed in his psyche. These are the point of departure and the explanation for many male behaviour patterns in the following ages. Thus, the beginning of patriarchy can be explained as a “grasp for power”. The suppression of women and everything related to that has deeply influenced in our culture, and not only in ours. The deep veneration of the virgin in the Catholic church along with the simultaneous contempt and repulsion of the woman as sexual being (“whore”) is only one example for that. Since the early patriarchy was lacking an inner basis female values and qualities were simply “adopted”. Without actually possessing these powers “God” became: the “Father, maker of heaven and earth”.

11. Comment: Matriarchy is our true “history of creation”. It shows how early human beings were experiencing themselves: in harmony with the earth. Women were responsible for this experience of unity, they represented the vital powers of nature. In this phase men were lagging behind with regard to this experience. So it is no coincidence that as a consequence in the “Genesis” they reversed the roles: Adam was the “first human being” with Eva in a secondary role and, how ironic – as seducer.

The Great Enlightened Ones


12. In the age of the Goddess the religious dimension is experienced as “darkness” and “abyss”, a primordial experience, which can be compared with an unborn child. The emphasis lies on the experience of unity, the oceanic, the unity with nature and its elemental forces. In this phase the vital basis of mankind was formed. It is followed by the first phase of patriarchy, the period of time in which a writing system was invented. The writing system not only became the foundation of social ethics (Pharaos, Hammurabi, the bible, Greek philosophy) but also served as a means of control and suppression dominated by men. The law was literally prescribed. For this reason the authority of the word is of such vital importance.* However, with the help of a writing system it was possible for the first time to write down experiences of consciousness. In an overwhelming way this is first shown in Egypt: through the enlightenment of the mythical Thot Hermes, also known as “God’s messenger”.

* And the word became flesh.

13. Everything visible and invisible is embedded in the Great Consciousness. Human beings, plants, animals and things are equally permeated by it. Consciousness is the omnipresent, the eternally present. In us it is manifested on different “levels” or qualities, all of which are the prolongation of each other: from primitively being immersed (our “normal” consciousness”), the transition to “being watchful”, “being consciously present” to including “satori” (small enlightenment), the great enlightenment and the ultimate expanding. The transitions take place according to their own regularities: those of gradually increasing by leaps and bounds. In every new condition you absolutely leave the old one behind. The new condition is a coming home, in which both your “True Self” and – at the same time – the Completely Other are. This seems to be a disruption – a discontinuous transition – between the one you think you are and the one you Really Are.

14. This way to the “Self” (Universe) is the true destination of every single one of us. Some will experience this during life, the rest – without exception – experience it when dying. Since “dying and being reborn” is the central topic of those who in THIS life were reborn into the “eternal life”. This being newly born is a returning home, an experience (realisation) of the true Origin. You are united with the real nature, the person who you are, were and will be. In this (ultimately) deepest dimension you will find your true wholeness, unity and deepest being. A being which goes beyond the individual existence. Your true self will be the essence of the whole existence – without exception. In Myself I am the essence of the trees, grass, clouds, ocean and the sky.

15. “Thot Hermes” documents his realisation in 17 different writings – first passed on orally and finally written down in Alexandria in the third to first century before Christ. This is scientifically proven. However, this was such an extensive source of inspiration that it is improbable that this cannot be traced back to a great enlightened early Egyptian personality. For example, “waking up to the Divine”, “God as origin of all light” and a speech on a mountain (…) on “reincarnation and revelation of God” are mentioned. This will be of huge influence on the whole further development of the Western spiritual culture. Many great scholars were inspired by this. Was he the great example for Akhenaten, the enlightened Egyptian pharaoh? Several central statements of Jesus and Plotinus show a noticeable correspondence with pictures described by Thot Hermes. Almost all Gnostic currents have been deeply influenced by him. All teachings of the later Christianity – for instance resurrection, trinity, etc. – can be found in his writings. In his own texts Thot Hermes came (described in his first book) “from darkness into the light, from the frenzied chaos of a transient earthly existence into the home country, from uneasiness and lack into the freedom of abundance”. In his other books he describes the insights he had through his experiences. They show a wisdom, which could rarely be found afterwards again. He said: “Afterwards [after his experience of enlightenment] I began teaching the people the liberating message of the realisation of God”. And: “look with the eyes of the heart, so that you may find the gates of knowledge, where the bright light is”.


16. Since 500 b. C. in several great cultures people have turned up who state to have realized the Divine. For instance, Lao-tse, Chuang-tse and Confucius in China, Shankara, Mahavira and Sakyamuni Buddha in India. In contrast to what is often claimed this was not a time “in which the light broke through”. In prehistoric times human beings, as well as all other beings, were constantly and without interruption living in the light.

So the light was already there, HAS BEEN there since all eternity. The new thing was that since the beginning of patriarchy the male brain (ratio) had been developed so far that it could think in terms, concepts and logically. In its development it was the first to be able to express itself. For this reason, in this time the first notes could be taken down. Akhenaten indeed was the leader of these evolutionary events. He is the first historical figure of which we know he was enlightened, the son of the sun. He was 1000 years ahead of the above mentioned. His enlightenment caused a radical change in his life. During a period of twelve years he replaced the old Gods by Aton, the God of the sun, spread the new religion across the whole country and built a new capital, Amarna. He described his spiritual experience in his immortal hymns. Because of his inner state he was not really interested in war, but he implemented his regime with great rigour. History proves that the people didn’t appreciate this. After his death everything was immediately put into its old place again.


17. The time of ENLIGHTENMENT has more connections than most of us think. The Egyptian culture is clearly the cradle for almost everything which later came up in the West. In that, Thot Hermes was the great light and source of inspiration. Many centuries later Pythagoras himself was to be enlightened during the twenty years he spent in Egypt. He is quoted as follows: “Just like God is in me he is also in you”. He was the first Greek scholar who not only proclaimed man as being in God’s own likeness, but also claimed to be one with the Divine. This consisted of moral codes and avoiding the evil, as well as the instruction to meditative contemplation. He was the first to call the universe “cosmos” and human beings as its direct reflection “microcosm”.

He was already venerated by his successors as “God’s son” while he was still alive. Certainly Pythagoras was an important source of inspiration for Jesus. After all, the former was initiated into the Jewish sect of the Essenes, who in turn resulted from the Pythagorean school. The correspondences in statements are striking.


18. In the course of time Jesus – after Pythagoras (and undoubtedly many unknown others) – is the “third “ great enlightened one of the occident. He expresses his core experience for instance as follows: “I am in the father and the father is in me”. His enlightened state is indicated by the denomination “Christ”. In contrast to Pythagoras he has not left any own writings, so that the only things we know about him have been communicated to us by others (“gospels”).

For this reason, the image we have of him is by definition incomplete, essentially altered or distorted by 180 degrees or things are attributed to him he hadn’t actually said. What can certainly be stated, though, is that he was an impelled person, wandering around in order to spread his message and who met many simple people. His strikingly positive attitude towards women was exceptional for his time (and the Jewish culture). In order to protect women from arbitrariness – Jewish men could be divorced if they didn’t find their wives beautiful enough – for instance he prohibited divorce and broke the patriarchic Jewish ethics and laws several times. Reproduction, which up to then had been dominating sexuality, was replaced by love. By the way, he enjoyed physical contact, weddings, and had a relationship with a woman, which has been revealed through the Gnostic gospels.

19. Jesus must have spoken countless times about the light. “I am the light: he who follows me will not be in the dark, but receive the light of life”. In the Sermon on the Mount he says: “You are the light of the world”, showing the people that the light is present in every one of us. According to Thomas’ gospel: Jesus said, “Who knows everything but himself will miss everything”. And: “When you possess this light you will be like me”. Through these and numerous other statements, both from the bible and from the Gnostic gospels, it becomes obvious that Jesus himself reveals himself as a spiritual teacher, as the one who accompanies people in their own spiritual process. Every enlightened message is understood and interpreted differently by those who listen to it – according to their own realisation and insight. “Only those who have ears can hear”. The same words which make the light come through in some will only inspire comfort in others. “His words were beautiful” a faithful Christian could say. The role of an enlightened one is determined by the extent to which his audience can understand him. Nobody understood this better than Jesus. After all, he was confronted with the ignorance of his apostles every day: “they didn’t understand him”. The only one who really was initiated was Mary Magdalene, the “apostle among the apostles”.


20. The same goes for Plotinus, only that Plato was the connective element. Just like Plato Plotinus understood the divine truth not only intellectually but also went beyond it by actually merging into the One. After his experience of enlightenment he gathered people around himself to whom he passed his insights on. His follower Porphyry tells us that “often he was caught by divine flashes of inspiration which made his inner light shine through his face”. By the way, it was Porphyry who wrote down Plotinus’ teachings, organized them and released them in groups of nine scriptures (“enneads”). The All-One is radiating into the Being, the self and ultimately the individual consciousness. The true spiritual life is the constant receptiveness for and the orientation towards the origin. Even though the visible world is not dismissed: “as an ultimate emanation it also comes from the divine and thus has a conforming beauty”, salvation lies in getting detached from every identification, in going the “way back”. Someone who enjoys all earthly blessings but doesn’t know enlightenment is poor in spite of everything.

21. Plotinus’ strength lay in transcribing his own realisation into thoughts hich were the direct reflection of his realisation. In spreading this message enlightenment in itself is not enough. It implies that first you have to be completely cleaned and in principle free of any addiction, slavery or dominance of the small ego. Apart from a spiritual life, transformation, integration and the becoming-one of the whole personality is required. In many cases this is “more difficult” than the spiritual path “itself”. As a consequence, many scholars “fail”, not because they’re not “enlightened”, but because in decisive moments they are still determined by their ego or the things which are not assimilated yet.

One crushing example was Augustine, who despite being enlightened has brought namelessly more bad than good things to the entire Western culture because of his compulsive views of sex and power. Plotinus on the other hand – of whom Augustine was not for nothing fascinated – had had an aura of purity from the very beginning. Almost all the great teachers, from Scotus Eriugena, Dionysus, Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Basil the Great, the hesychasm (“Jesus Prayer”), Nicholas of Cusa, Eckhart to including modern mystics are influenced by him. Indeed they were neo-Platonic – as measured by their deepest experiences, but they couldn’t express this because of the dominance and suppression of writings of the church. The enlightened ones themselves (Jesus, Plotinus) do not manipulate. They are like a “lamb”. Only an institution aiming at power will try to force its will onto others. And this is exactly what happened.

22. Commentary: After the „connection with the earth“ had been made (TIME OF BIRTH) along with ENLIGHTENMENT the experience of being one with “heaven” broke through. In this way a new equilibrium could have found its way into culture. However, as stated already: transcendental experiences rarely determine the direction of developments. Other tendencies and efforts often make themselves masters of the light and manipulate it according to their own aims. In this case it was men who couldn’t cope with the whole unity of “heaven” and “earth” because of their immatureness, their fear and their untreated traumas. Most of them lapsed into a compulsive control of what could have been their liberation and fulfilment.


The Church

23. A drama was already arising while Jesus was still alive. Imagine: the beloved master, surrounded by his apostles all of the time. Those who are closest to him do not understand him, though. So none of them is enlightened, not a single one as selfless as him, no one who is as courageous as Jesus. It was a pain as Tantalus must have felt it: all of them saw it happen before their eyes, but nobody could experience it from within. And then this woman: Mary Magdalene. She has “everything” these “apostles” do not have. She is initiated, intimate and lover of the „Master“. Above all, a woman, who in the eyes of Jewish men is a subordinate being and who stands between them and their “beloved master”. All their patriarchic emotions and prejudices are regularly blazing up: “He loves her more than us” and “he’s kissing her on the mouth”. Jealousy is building up. They are striving for revenge and waiting for the right moment.

24. While in the period of time after the crucifixion Mary Magdalene could let her own inner light shine through with people who followed her, the apostles desperately tried to cope with Jesus’ death. For them – in contrast to Mary Magdalene – “suddenly there was nothing left”. They also wanted to continue following the “master” but didn’t know how. A huge despair took possession of them. “Has everything been in vain?” Something had to be found. And indeed it was their resourcefulness which was to find the solution. The first problem was Jesus’ death. A disadvantage had to be made an advantage: the „miraculous resurrection“.*

Secondly: how would they control further developments, now that nobody had really received the true inspiration from within? In this context, the acting of Mary Magdalene was a thorn in their flesh. The light she was emanating as the one who really had been initiated by Jesus was increasingly inspiring the people. She seemed to be a dreaded rival. The “Holy Ghost” brought the solution for this: in the Whitsun gathering, in which all apostles were simultaneously “enlightened” by the “Holy Ghost”…

It is a fact that this never happened. The whole superstructure of Christianity imposed by St. Paul and Christianity itself has collapsed because of this. See also: G. Lüdemann, “Die Auferstehung Jesu”, 1996, Ten Have/Averbode.

25. And what should be done about the problem of “love”. Again it is Mary Magdalene who clearly has an advantage. Not only is she a woman, because of which she possesses warmth, attractiveness and depth by nature, she had also been “intimate with the master” which made her the logic choice to carry on the message of love. After all it was not for nothing that she had been chosen by an enlightened master. On the contrary, the apostles were empty vessels and knew so. In the light of her gender, ancestry and culture they were constantly grappling with what Mary Magdalene had in abundance: insight, devotion and love. During the years they spent with Jesus these things in themselves had not been changed or transformed considerably. And now that their “master” had gone and they were additionally confronted with a (female) superiority which they could never exceed, this lack became a weapon. While in reality old patriarchic horses were fetched from the stable, to the point of limiting love, the “invincible” love was claimed as if it were the monopoly of the church founded by the apostles.

The apostles began to spread the “message of love” with the underlying intention of controlling it. While Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ real bride, this was replaced by the idea that every woman – if she lives a life in “chastity” – can become a bride of Jesus. Thus they were killing two birds with one stone: controlling and dominating women, her sexuality and love. It’s no surprise that some time later the church was proclaimed as “Christ’s bride”. Male fear of love would increasingly become an obsession to subdue it. And the institution with its priestly power, its theologies and sanctions suited this aim perfectly. While Jesus had explicitly given love the priority over reproduction, this had already been undone in the first century a. D. It was a continuation of the suppression of women (and everything she represents) which is lasting up to now. The double incapacity to possess neither heaven nor earth was replaced by what was called the “glad tidings” from that moment on. The original being rooted – in heaven and earth – has thus been displaced by a story everyone had to believe. The experience of reality – the unity with heaven and earth – was reduced to a derived reality, the world of images, ideas and allegories. So good storytellers (evangelists) were needed.

26. My theory is that this was the seed for the later development, indeed for today’s SHATTERED CONDITION. Since the fight with reality was instigated, life itself has increasingly been mutilated and deformed. The “glad tidings had to triumph over the world”. And the world comprised everything which was dear to man. As a consequence, this task, which wasn’t easy, could only be accomplished through a hysteric self-denial “for the sake of the kingdom” – which was yet to come. Martyrs were deliberately sacrificed in order to make an impression and inspire respect in the others, the “Pagans”. Women were encouraged to a great extent to leave their husbands “for the will of Christ”. The church aimed at the present frustration of many women in the light of patriarchal matrimony. This was followed by an equally hysterical polemics against everyone who didn’t want to embrace the “Christian message”. So almost everyone was concerned: Jews, “Pagans” and dissenting Christians (“heretics”).

A fight was fought against everything which was “different”, by the ancient Jewish God against anybody who didn’t want to accept his authority. Without respect or exception, everybody was deprived of the freedom to command his own life in exchange for the “freedom in Christ”. The vehemence with which this happened can only be explained with their own frustration and the repression of untreated psychological contents or emotions. For instance, their despise of the “exuberance” in the times of the Great Mother (“Whore of Babylon”) as a projection of the own suppressed sexuality. Many have wondered where the strength of the announcement came from. Why was it Christianity in particular which prevailed, and not for instance Neo-Platonism? My answer is: thanks to the (improper) strength drawn from the gigantic suppressed energies (suppression of heaven and earth), projected into “superhuman” ideals and aims.

The terms with which others – women for instance – were attacked and/or judged were bluntly shocking. What should we think of: “You are the gate through which the devil gets access” (the “father of the church” Tertullian on women), “If men could see everything which lies below the skin (of a woman)… looking at a woman should only cause sickness” (the “holy” abbot Odo of Cluny), “Woman is an ill-bred man” (“holy” Albertus Magnus), the peak being calling Mary Magdalene a “whore” at the same time. This is how much respect the patriarchs had for the lover of their master.

27. So the uprooting of Western culture had begun directly after Jesus’ death, the bitter fruits of which we are gathering today. The extensive obtrusion of the “Christian message” with a constant suppression and destruction of its “opponents”. Opponents who represent all sorts of normal daily life as well as an extraordinary life. Tearing apart the relationship with oneself, both concerning the core of one’s being (self-realisation as “blasphemy and arrogance”; the accusation of “heretics”), the fundamental powers of the psyche (physicality, sex, eroticism), and contact with nature (“love for the earth is unfaithfulness to God”). Quote of the “father of the church” Ambrose: “if you see a blossom blooming in spring scrunch it before God”. The roots of “heaven and earth” had to be destroyed recklessly in favour of the identification of the “mediator” Jesus Christ, and furthermore: the church. By “converting” the Pagans the church also destroyed the contact with nature.

A small but illustrative example is the “tree of Christ”. In order to keep the “Pagans” from revering their own holy trees in the forests they cut these down, took them into the house and degraded them decorating them for the “Christ Child”. Through this and many other manipulations men was increasingly more subduing nature. By the way, conversion now was imposed from above – in contrast to the “fire” of the first Christians. That this was not always appreciated is proven by the murder of Boniface. Christianisation was incomplete until the Middle Ages. But the greatest (deadly) sin committed by the Church is having sloppily lost its own point of departure: “God is love”. Unlike any other organization it was the Church of all institutions which consistently denied, trampled and destroyed love in any possible way. That love (God) permeates the whole existence sanctifying it thus has been denied consistently. Because the point of departure of divinity in creation, including human beings, was not what an institution trying to subdue all human beings had in mind. Sexuality was also a dreaded rival. In their “bliss” “God” (or the Church) could be forgotten way too easily.

Within a matrimony (and outside of it even more!) for instance “sexual love” was tolerated at best (“better than being obsessed by sex”) or bluntly condemned according to the Jewish tradition. The latter put sexual activities which did not lead to reproduction down as “atrocities”. Justin’s apprentice (Tatian) called it “prostitution”, thus expressing the opinion of many Christians of all times. Only the form of love which supported the Church’s position of power was not only allowed but even encouraged: the love “to Christ” (or the Church) and charity. In fact, concern for the “weak and defenceless” often made them convert to the “true faith”. The justification was the “redemption of every human being by Christ” and the “Kingdom come”. The “old society” uprooted by the church – with Jesus’ words, “abandon your mothers and fathers and follow me” as an alibi – should be replaced with a completely new way of living together: “Christian community”. It’s up to every single one of you to judge if this has been successful.

28. Commentary: So our great SHATTERED CONDITION has its ancestors in the small group of shattered men, normally called “apostles”. As representatives of the patriarchy they founded a church which was to form our culture to a great extent. The “first years of a child”, which as we now know from psychology are crucial for the (later) psychic health of the individual. Their ignorance, immaturity, frustration and the resulting need for control and power turned out to be decisive for the later imbalance of our culture: a house with an unapt foundation. Without really having understood or realised it, arbitrarily and in a contorted form, the spiritual reality – as shown by Christ – was projected onto other levels of reality as well as the self, the relationship of the people among each other and the relationship with nature. While Jesus himself never got tired of saying that “everything came from the father (God, “heaven”), the believers were forced to identify with Christ (the church) as the only way to salvation.

The justification: a “life in Christ” and the prospect of “kingdom” was a desperate projection of the own incapacity, culminating in the hysterical attitude of expectation into which everyone was drawn. The huge number of converted ones were compensating for the fundamental feeling of insecurity, which was characteristic for the apostles from the very beginning, when they left their homes in order to follow Jesus. By the way, the church quickly became the prototype of what (in a negative sense) today is called a “sect”: a blind faith in a “saviour”, the authoritarian structure, indoctrination and brainwash, “irrational” contents of teaching, imposing sanctions, (…), the uninhibited striving for power and the financial exploitation, the great example for all later authoritarian regimes. It is Jesus’ tragedy to see his commitment to bringing the patriarchy down was “rewarded” with a patriarchal religion …, which was to suppress humanity for twenty centuries in his name.

29. In contrast to the collective repression of (real) life in the Orthodox church (the result: a life in which any depth was lacking and which for this reason was “simple” and uncomplicated, which, in short, was shallow), the Gnostic Christians (successors of Mary Magdalene) tried everything to bring spirit and soul, i.e. being and psyche, in harmony. The process of spiritual self-discovery is essentially and simultaneously an integration, a becoming whole of the entire personality. According to an Valentinian author, “our psyche is only fully integrated into our being once Adam and Eve are reunited in ourselves”. In general, the Valentinians also positively appreciated love and sexuality. For instance, the bed was called “chamber of the bride” in order to ascend to God. So these Christians entirely took over responsibility for their own wholeness, in contrast to the Orthodox ethics of community, in which only obedience to the church and the bishops counted. This Gnostic self-integration went even further than Buddhism for instance, in which the spiritual path ends with “achieving enlightenment”, the realisation of your “original” self. The (non-dualistic) Gnostics had the highest demands of themselves: achieving the “own face”, bringing personality in harmony with the essence. It must be obvious that this cannot be estimated enough. How much would Western culture have been saved if it would have blossomed, if these investigations could have led further.

30. The period of time which followed was a time of strengthening the institution of the church. Numerous teachings and dogmas were set up, often at the cost of “dissenting” opinions and beliefs, which at the same time were identified as heretic or were banned. During the period of time in which the emperor Constantine (313) converted to Christianity this had already been spread and institutionalized in a way that it could easily be “integrated” into the new power structure. Indeed it was a sect which had “taken power”. In this second phase of DARKNESS the church had already turned away from a number of mostly fantastic fathers of the church: Clement and Origen. The former was pronounced heretic because of his too great veneration of the Gnosis – the path of self-comprehension – and the latter and second great enlightened one because of his tract on the three (increasing) steps to perfection: faith, knowledge (Greek philosophy) and self-realisation. Above all, the teaching of the “ultimate all-embracing redemption of everyone”, in which an “eternal hell” was denied, would finally cause his downfall. The church was too much interested in a continuing existence of the “evil” as an instrument to keep the people in the church.

Apart from that, condemning the so-called Donatism would have far-reaching consequences. Its followers demanded of those who were leading the community an inner quality, “holiness”. This was rejected by the early church because they thought that even formally holding an office would be more than enough for priests and bishops. The “young church” thus let itself being peered over the shoulder. Even back then the demand to let themselves being subjected to the institution was the highest priority. The darkest time began when Augustine, bishop of Milan, appeared on stage. Apart from his (well-known) conflict with his own sexuality it is above all his dark view of human liberty which was accepted by the church as the new teaching because of the change in circumstances – not being a rebellious sect anymore but a church which wanted to consolidate its position. This “holy father” did not shrink back either from paying bribes. He gave ninety Nubian stallions to the Pope in order to win him over for his point of view. The discussion with the young bishop Julian of Eclanum above all is startling. While according to Augustine man himself is condemned to being evil because of the original sin and is powerless to do something about it, Julian – as a successor of Pelagius – defends the point of view that things (like sexuality) are natural in principle.

According to Julian, illness and death – which according to Augustine are also a consequence of and a punishment for the original sin – are part of the natural laws, which every living being is subjected to. It is obvious that the church did not have an advantage by this liberating point of view. Both, Pelagius and Julian, were accused as heretics and sent into exile. Augustine sanctioned the war and the power of authority and eventually approved of the public persecution of “heretics”. The way was clear for what was soon to be “normal” practice: the large-scale persecution and the stakes of inquisition.

Restoration 1

Medieval mysticism

31. „The spirit goes where it wants to“. In many places and in mostly different people suddenly the light was blazing up after all these dark centuries. Its manifestation was already as colourful as medieval times themselves. After John Scotus Eriugena, who in the previous centuries had masterly given a renewed interpretation of the neo-Platonic view of the world including strong “pantheistic tendencies”, in the eleventh century suddenly a “pantheistic group” around Amalric of Bena turned up. The latter emphasized that everything is divine, without exception. In another place, Tanchelm of Antwerp had “stood up”, who was draped in luxurious robes, in order to wander about and announce he was the new redeemer. In other places the Humiliati and Waldensians as movements of pauperism found the way back to the “apostolic life”.

In the seclusion of their convent, Beatrice of Nazareth wrote about “Seven types of love”, an ecstatic description of the unification with the divine lover. One of the highlights of European spiritual literature: the legend of the Holy Grail was written. And Ruysbroeck, the “grandmaster of mysticism”, wrote in the forest near Brussels his almost scientific treatise on merging with God. In it, he came so close to a deification of man that he only narrowly escaped a condemnation by the church. Shortly before him lived a certain Bloemaerdinne, a unique woman with great “authority” who propagated eroticism (“serafinic love”) as a means of rising to the unification with God.

32. She was part of a much bigger “network” of original inspiration: the brothers and sisters of the Free Spirit. They were testifying on finding God within themselves, on self-realisation. For instance, an unknown hermit from Rhineland stated: “The divine essence is my essence, and my essence is the divine essence”. Or, as a Sister Katrei put it: “In my deepest being I am God”. The great inspirator of this “movement” was the “master of mysticism” – Eckhart – who many times said similar things in his German sermons. For instance, he said: “If you completely merge into the purely divine, of which God only is a revelation, you will become even more blessed. You will only become completely blessed if you dissolve into the emptiness of the divine, where neither activity nor images exist and where there is no God”. Bernard of Clairvaux also has to be mentioned, who was the founder of the Cistercians and very controversial. With his sermons – he was called the “honey-sweet one” – he introduced the so-called mysticism of the bride. It was also through his inspiration that many women stood up who liberated themselves of the church and of marriage in order to lead a completely different and mystical life in a very original way, as “Beguines”.

Two important representatives are Hadewijch and Marguerite Porete. The latter states: “The divine soul itself has no need for God anymore”. In another place the Benedictine abbot Joachim of Fiore announced the “Third Kingdom”, in which ultimately all human beings would be “enlightened by the Holy Ghost”. The inspiration for this was drawn from hesychasm, the only mythical movement in Christianity which excercised meditative contemplation (the Jesus Prayer) by means of body postures and control of the breathing. This was in turn inspired by Indian and Buddhist monks, who were teaching in the first centuries in the Egyptian desert (and later by Neo-Platonism)… The dualistic, Gnostic sects were also participating strongly. From the early Manichaeism over the Pauline fathers and the Bogomils finally the widely discussed Cathari were formed, the “sect” which had its heyday above all in Italy and Southern France. And what can be said about the later troubadours who were singing about courtly love in their poetry and music?

33. Where in so many instances so many people simultaneously were overwhelmed by original inspiration, there has to be repression by an institution of power. At first they tried to fight “evil” with its own means. For this aim the Pope has created so-called “mendicant orders”: the Dominicans (“the hounds of God”) and the Franciscans, successors of Francis of Assisi, who was abiding to authority. These “orders” had to become such a good copy of the successful “heretic” movements of pauperism (Humiliati and Waldensians) with the aim of keeping people who felt attracted to poverty in the church (“Third Order of St. Francis”). While Francis himself was successful, his followers above all had a different fate: the Spirituals (…). Because when the Franciscans had accomplished to fulfil the Papal order, the Pope subsequently ordered to “soften” the rules of Francis (in order to prevent possible “lapses” in this area as well). However, huge numbers of those who had remained true to the original faith were slaughtered according to the Pope’s orders.

Dominicus took another way. He believed in a direct role in fighting the heretics. In the beginning they were exclusively trying to convince the heretics, for this aim he was sent to the Cathars various times by the Pope, later then he agreed on physical persecution, banning, confiscation, torture and capital punishment (drowning, the stake), in cooperation with the inquisition which had just started back then. In order to purify themselves in the public from wrongdoings, the convicts were handed over by the inquisition in a particularly hypocritical way to the “real power” which then judged the victims. Most of them were “heretics”, followers of movements, teachers (or simply persons suspected of that) – among them many enlightened ones and mystics – with teachings which were or are condemned by the church. Of course, these condemnations were all faked, their guilt had already been determined beforehand.

34. It might be less known that inquisition completely had the power over society for many centuries with its terror. Everyone was spying on everyone. A speculation or rumours were already enough to be arrested by the henchmen of the inquisition, who literally were everywhere. Even the best persons were participating in it. For instance, the visionary Hildegard of Bingen wrote letters to the bishop of Mainz to do something about the problem of the “heretics” in particular; Jan van Ruysbroek stated his detestation of Bloemaerdinne and Bernard of Clairvaux (“the honey-sweet one”), put the “Pagans” down as “dogs” which had to be destroyed. Through a conspiracy in her own circles, the Beguine Marguerite Porete died on the stake. So there could be no better example for the later Gestapo (which had really been inspired by the inquisition). For this reason the reaction had ultimately won: the destruction of the original inspiration, “heretics” and free thinkers.

In the end, the people’s resistance was completely brittle; the ability of culture to heal itself had been gone forever. Man didn’t have a choice: by the definitive break with “heaven and earth” he could only fall back onto “himself”. The dark power still had not stopped raging. In the following period of time (ILLUSION) large groups of women (“witches”) should face the same fate.

35. Commentary: The mysticism of the Middle Ages as a continuation of ENLIGHTENMENT is a decisive moment in the history of the SHATTERED CONDITION of the West. It was a “heroic attempt” to continue with the inner tradition. Above all the “Brothers and Sisters of the Free Spirit” and the “Cathars” with their inspiration according to others (Orthodox Mystici, Beguines, citizens) were carrying the true light. They were representing self-realisation: “the Divine as my own deepest being”. They had the courage to come directly out into the light with their experiences. They didn’t receive gratitude for this. As a consequence, the repressions of the church were particularly reckless. This can easily be understood since the spiritual realisation makes the church superfluous. Even though their lives often were a downright drama, how much more pitiful is a life of those (Orthodox Mystici), who are squirming in any possible way in order to stay in conformity with the teachings of the church. Control and feedback to the inner experience can of course be recommended and essential, in the light of many obstacles and “meandering”, but certainly not imposed by an institution which has precisely originated out of spiritual ignorance. Through its intervention the church has prevented that the various currents, schools, “sects” (Gnosis, School of Pythagoras, Neo-Platonism) could from within exert any control over the spiritual quality. As had been the case with Buddhism, for instance. On the contrary, this suppression had been so complete that up to today no real recovery has taken place. Roughly speaking, the West had ever since rarely known real “spirituality”, and if so, only exclusively in a rudimentary and deformed way. And what is known as “New Age” today is only a passing manoeuvre.


The “Renaissance”

36. Renaissance is generally considered as a climax in European culture. For this reason, first the official historiography has the floor in order to give us an impression of this period of time. They say it was a “new” time of constructive openness towards the world. In contrast to the Middle Ages human beings were “of this world”: secular. Primarily in Italy a climate originated in which many aspects of the personality could be developed. The world was so exciting that there was no need for the “beyond”. Self-interest was ruling. The emphasis lay on enjoying the nice things on earth and the psychological satisfaction drawn from that. Business and wealth were very interesting. Instead of “renouncing the world” a feeling of one’s own strength was arising, the strong individual who creates its own world. Everything: business, art, literature, politics was a manifestation of individualism. One was encouraged to stand out of the masses. Everything was realistic and objective, only the visible „objective“ reality was important with its independence in art, in which the three-dimensional space was emphasized. The appearance of the things was what was most important. Even literature was of this world. Stories were written, partly as a pastime, partly to form the character and behaviour. This was continued in the educational system. This was testifying for a new critical attitude. Appearance, good manners and etiquette were indispensible for social success. Machiavelli described the new political reality: “Rulers and regimes only act according to self-interest”. In Italy the break with the Middle Ages was most complete. Apart from participating in the new developments, Northern Europe was still struggling with the past.

37. What is striking in this description is its modern atmosphere. It is not difficult to recognize oneself in it. If you consider it this way not much has changed since then. And maybe it really is like this. Our point of view is that Renaissance is a break with the past and the opening towards a new age. (The age of the ego, culminating in the great SHATTERING of today). So we don’t want to change the above description. But how can the facts be interpreted? As a triumphant renaissance and liberation from the enslaving ties of medieval religiousness and suppression by the church? Doubtlessly. But is this the only possible point of view? One of the problems has already been mentioned above. We have identified so naturally (positively) with the values and the behaviour which has developed since Renaissance that it is difficult to suddenly consider these same facts from a completely different point of view. So this is exactly the intention of this book. Its perspective is the spiritual human being, the one who is connected with himself: “rooted in heaven and earth”.

38. Let me take a first step. The man of Renaissance had clearly made a leap from the interior to the exterior, from the interior to the periphery, from openness to the world. A striking concentration on outer things and interest in “things” is obvious. By the way, this step was taken quite abruptly. It is also striking that in contrast to the “collectivism” of the Middle Ages individualism has become the important factor, the belief in the own strength. Unconcealed self-interest was blossoming. Money began to play an important role. Reality was limited to the visible things. Religiousness has become outdated. Instead of being at the mercy of “higher powers” things were taken in one’s own hands. People were proudly possessing material goods as well as good manners. Unmistakeably there is an extensive degree of self-sufficiency, indeed arrogance. One is no longer subject to “higher powers”. Politics has turned into a striving for power out of self-interest. Now that the things are in our own hands, the objectivity of things and events has been recognized. One has become the master in one’s own house.

39. My point of view is that simultaneously with the liberation from the inflicted religiousness, the illness of the past (church and its terror), also an inner leap has been made: from the interior to the appearance, from the self to the ego, from being interconnected to self-interest. From the point of view of psycho-spiritual dynamics people of this time did “not have an alternative”. The destruction of being (by inquisition), which had lasted for centuries, had been complete. The following developments after truly being-rooted in “heaven and earth” – the ideal state of a truly adult person – had thus been made impossible. Personal isolation was the only answer to a surrounding which had become unbearable. The only way out was “falling back” onto the small self as the only entity (left) with which one could identify oneself. Which, by the way, was a compensation of the loss, but which logically wasn’t experienced as that. After having undergone so much misery the emphasis lay on the new and new achievements instead of processing the old.

The birth of Western personality: individualism, the wish to be “special”, focussing on the outer world… indeed has been a protection against unbearable (inner) suffering, a survival strategy. So the above mentioned facts (“Renaissance”) appear in a different light. Many of the recent developments in culture can be explained this way. Falling back onto the self (“egoism”, ego, ILLUSION), while all other inner ways are blocked, means that from this moment on the ego is the only inner entity. The mirror of the self (God) has disappeared, banished to the subconscious, blocked out. Being “thrown back onto one’s self”*. While the ego – as the only inner entity – doesn’t have to be “responsible” to anyone anymore, in fact one is at the mercy of the ego. While one is experiencing oneself from a new centre of power, at the same time one is dominated by the ego. Enjoying things (and rightly so!) is indeed being enslaved by the ego, in the absence of any transcendence. For this reason, the church itself was the cause of the “secularization” of society, which started with ILLUSON.

* When they way back to the source – as experience – is cut off, all that remains for the ego is to only inflate itself. This was the beginning of the Western culture of ego with its individualism, self-interest, materialism, science, technology, profit, accumulation, expansion and exploitation as the central drive.

40. The abrupt change of the Zeitgeist was determined by two things: definitely being cut off of any further inner development because of an age-long suppression AND the incapacity to cope with the gigantic weight of fear, anger and pain. While with new verve and enthusiasm there was the rush into the new, simultaneously the old was pushed into the subconscious. The ego cannot bear such a big emotional weight and for this reason has turned into the shadow, the rejected part of the personality, where everything unbearable is stored. The latter will then not be allowed to consciousness anymore. So the apparently “strong Self” (ILLUSION) has received a permanent counterpart: the shadow. This turns into THE characteristic of the Western personality (by the way, also of the Eastern, but this is another story): “you are what you’re locking up in your interior”. Your identity is formed by excluding everything which doesn’t suit your self-image. Everything within this self-image is “of one’s own”, everything outside alien, the “other”. Now, all the emotions from the past, which have been pushed into the subconscious, are projected into this other. In this way the other becomes the victim of one’s own suppressed misery. On the subconscious level this means: “he/she should feel what has been done to me”. Well, to us Western people (and not only to us) gigantically much has been done. Our entire collective subconscious is affected by this. Even to an extent to which collectively we were not able to cope with this burden. The ILLUSION was the inability or rather the resistance against coping with the past. We have not undergone a process of grief. This is the reason why we Western people have turned the “other” into the object of our aggression. This had already become apparent in that time: in the reckless persecution of the “other”, the one who is closest to man: woman.

41. From the suppressed “other” to the “evil” unfortunately was only a small step. In it, the most diverse causes are playing a role. “Renaissance” had not changed male immaturity with regard to relationships, feelings and eroticism, his frustrations regarding sexuality, his secret fear and feeling of insufficiency towards women. After all, this had already been part of his shadow for ages! As indicated already, in addition the transition in the North had not been as abrupt and complete. Certain developments were undergone there: the position of the church and its terror, the superstition regarding evil powers, remembering the recent past. A concoction of contrasting powers was determining the inner and daily life. Though in Italy the triumph over the “prevailing ego” was celebrated, the North was determined by disruptive conflicts. Tension was building up so strongly that it had to be discharged. And when a Jesuit published his book “Malleus maleficarum”, hell broke loose. The woman as “witch”, the symbol of the evil, enchanted by the “devil”, would threaten everyone and lead to their downfall.

42. The church immediately discovered a new area in which to continue with its terror of inquisition. (By the way, this organization has never really been dissolved. Recently it still persisted as the “Holy Office of the Doctrine of the Faith”!.) …, men could let off their suppressed hatred of women. Equal to the suppressed burden of the past (one should have in mind that this heritage had also determined the behaviour of the “apostles” and their successors since the beginning of our calendar) an indescribable amount of pain had been inflicted on women. For centuries, mock trials, tortures, drowning and burning at the stake were arbitrarily carried out as the most popular activities. Men had women pay for all “which they had done to them (i.e., men)”. That women were not the last ones to be persecuted is a well-known fact. The shadows have not yet let off steam completely. Though the Jews, Pagans (remember among others the “crusades”, which had also been initiated by Bernard of Clairvaux), philosophers, heretics and women had already been affected, this would often be repeated again, among others by subduing and/or exterminating other (primitive) peoples as well as the persecution of Jews in the recent past. In the words of the Indian author Vine Deloria: “Wherever the cross goes there will never be abundance again – only death, destruction and ultimately treason…”.

43. Commentary: Since then, the coupling of ego and shadow has consolidated. In it, both are inseparably intertwined. The ego sends indigested experiences to the subconscious, the shadow is reinforcing the ego in its defence and suppression. They are mutually reinforcing each other, are hopelessly depending on each other. At first instance this led to an expansion of the ego. This activity was spread to any possible area. Without the presence of an inner context however, in which the ego-shadow-polarity can “find peace”, this leads to an unbearable inner tension. At first, the expansion (colonisation, INFLATION and capitalism) served as a pressure relief valve, later on to lapses like fascism, and finally it ended in the collapse of the great SHATTERING. The resulting loss of control over inner and outer events can only be cushioned by TURNING BACK and completely restoring the roots. Only becoming aware and realizing the true self can break through the inner stalemate and initiate a new integration, becoming-whole and dynamics.


The “Enlightenment”

44. It couldn’t be more typical: the ego calling its own inflatedness the age of “enlightenment”. The reason? Because of the absence of the True Self – the only gate to enlightenment – humanity had definitely fallen back onto the small self (ego). They didn’t know better than to call this the “core” of the personality. The Greek logos – which originally meant true self – subsequently was considered as “ratio”, reason. Instead of cultivating true interiority, everything was measured exclusively according to external success, and in this period of time this was visible everywhere. One constantly identified with the outer world and the intellect. In fact, the INFLATION isn’t related in any way to real enlightenment. It is its exact opposite, the consequence of its absence. In the mechanism of INFLATION the idea of “progress” is central, the feeling that “the times are constantly getting better”.

There were constantly emerging new insights and achievements, still further enriching life. Inventions, science, art and literature are still blossoming. Above all, the natural sciences were expanding. God was less a God of love than rather the infinite intelligence which had universe “ticking like a clock”, which made Newton phrase the mathematical laws. Knowledge of any kind was demanded. In this period of time influential ladies were holding “parlours” in which people and ideas were gathering. Social progress was a popular topic. They were reading Voltaire and Montesquieu. The constantly expanding intellectual knowledge was condensed in ever bigger growing “encyclopedias” which were eagerly consulted. Descartes’ idea “I think therefore I am” was dominating a whole age: the age of reason. Anything which could not be grasped or explained by reason was not taking part in public life. However, at the same time in the “underground” there were “irrational currents”. Not only Pietistic literature but also freemasonry was blossoming everywhere in Europe. Popular science exaggerated its claim for real analyses with regard to manipulating and controlling nature.

45. Through the loss of the context of “heaven and earth” – the ceasing of the integrated view of the world – the “ego” had begun to lead its own life. (ILLUSION). As the “ego” was separating from the self, with the beginning of the industrial age science, technology and economy – the extensions of the “ego” – were definitely disconnecting from the original spiritually-religiously-culturally anchored matrix and thus from social control and society. They escaped from Pandora’s box. The new rational, intellectual and scientific reductionism – as an autonomously growing complex – was decisive for the further development of culture. Expanding enormously in itself (“progress”), at the same time this was an enormous reduction and impoverishment of the interior and exterior world. While ILLUSION had been a time in which the “self” in all its aspects was in touch with reality – vitally, fantasizing, enjoying, creating – during INFLATION this was brought down to intellectual activity. In this activity, however, “entire worlds” were discovered.

46. All this is touching the core problems of the intellect. With the capacity to “create everything” in one’s own world of thoughts, the urgency of being in touch with the real world is increasingly less being perceived. People only live in their own world of thoughts. “Being lost in thought” it is consistently called. This leads to an alienation of the self and losing touch with reality, “I think, therefore I am not” (…). One’s emotional life is becoming poorer. Though you can see a tree you will not feel anything anymore while seeing it. Nothing is really touching you anymore. You are ceaselessly captivated by the stream of thoughts; the burdens seem to be stronger than the “ego/ I/ self. You are constantly “occupied”. For this reason, the intellectual self is inflationary. It is a derived and weakened form of the whole self. You are identified with only part of your self. The inflatedness has to compensate for the loss of real fulfilment. For oneself the own world is “borderless”, though it is increasingly more difficult to “communicate with other worlds of thought”. The consequence is isolation in the middle of intellectual abundance. This can nowhere better been observed than in the “age of communication”. Despite all technological resources – satellites, computers, video, mobile phones, internet – we feel more thrown back onto ourselves than ever before.

47. Commentary: Through the mechanical view of the world and the reduction of the self to the intellect a new step was taken towards the degeneration of culture: INFLATION. Now even within the self a step was taken backwards. From “completeness” to intellectual impoverishment. Through the lack of inner hold (consequence of being uprooted, the loss of touch with “heaven”, “earth” and the self) one is at the mercy of one’s own world of thoughts. This seems to be stronger than yourself. The path to a complete dominance of technology was open, as today we can feel the hard way. This created a surrogate world to compensate for the loss of the self, ideal interpersonal relationships and being in touch with nature. All this to an extent to which the original context can hardly be found again – even if you’re trying hard. NB: However, it is much too easy to attribute today’s SHATTERED condition exclusively to the consequences of the “mechanical view of the world” in contrast to the “holistic” one. It is characteristic of our crisis that it’s not only taking place in the world of ideas, but is the consequence of an existential uprooting. The crisis is (infinitely) more serious, comprehensive, profound and for this reason … promising. So freedom (“New Age”) is the least correct attitude.

Restoration 2


48. In such a unidirectional development there had to be a reaction. The balance of life threatened to topple completely to one side, to lose the ground beneath its feet. Some perceived the loss of touch with nature, fellow human beings and God as too strong. Nostalgia for the (idealized) past was arising in the hearts, with Rousseau being one of the first in expressing that. He was trusting spontaneous feelings more than intellectual criticism, social equilibrium more than an authoritarian regime, natural forces more than corruption and the artificiality of society. His successors, among others Byron, Victor Hugo and Schiller, were fundamentally doubting all values of the “ENLIGHTENMENT”. They were searching for truth, for human qualities and not only intellect, for instance for the relationship between thinking and feeling and the importance of the past. This became a completely new current.

Being that receptive, the choice was given to “undetermined feelings and sentiments” instead of the strict classification of reality. The tendency to subdivide, classify, abstract or generalize everything was detested. They were wary of readymade solutions. In contrast to that they were fascinated by the Unknown, the Mysterious and far-away places. What they were missing in “ENLIGHTENMENT” was spiritual depth (…). Romanticism knew truly enlightened ones (as did every other time, by the way). Schiller was one of them. The final movement in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, “Ode to Joy”, in reality is an ecstatic anthem to his experience of enlightenment. So they believed in an extraordinary personality, a genious in his or her field. A nation could possess this quality as well, a “Volksgeist” as Herder described it, which had to give an orientation to the extensive character of a nation.

49. That sooner or later this could lead to a totalitarian system nobody could have anticipated back then. Everything depends on the right time and the circumstances, on conditions which have to be fulfilled in the right way. It is a fact that romanticism was too weak to change the entire society according to its spirit. Political and economical factors of power, the progress of science and the emergence of new ideologies (capitalism, liberalism, socialism) made this impossible. The longing for becoming whole once again was sent to the subconscious. While the later communism was above all oriented towards the realisation of socio-economic equality, the powers of what later was to become fascism went noticeably further. While the former was a product of intellectual, philosophical and social criticism (Marx), the latter had been built on a whole spectrum of human emotions and motives. It seemed as if the lost heritage of a whole culture was coming to the surface. The feeling of loss of the national (German) identity (after World War I) revealed the loss of “heaven and earth”, along with the (subconscious) hatred against those who had taken this heritage away from them. Only damaged people with little control of their ego had the privilege of feeling this desire for becoming whole the strongest. (In case of the intellectuals being in touch with the lost “soul” had remained completely subconscious.) So it was no surprise that the way they attempted to become whole was a twisted one. Their hatred was projected onto the Jews as the “others” who were responsible for the loss of one’s “own”. In that, the church was the great example. After all, it had been persecuting Jews for centuries already and made them responsible for the “loss of Jesus”.

50. According to my point of view, you can only make a correct judgement of the basic principles, motives and the consequences of fascism from a spiritual-social perspective. With the emergence of right-wing extremist organizations everywhere in Europe this seems to be urgent. Perhaps we can learn something new in order to prevent further racial hatred and everything related to that. I have to observe that in principle fascism was an attempt of RESTORATION, born from the impulse of romanticism. Explicitly perceived as that (!) it has been and is an understandable cry for becoming whole, the accumulation of all suppressed feelings of an entire culture. This was experienced as “The Great Defeat”. The desire for an own country, proper people and the redemption through a leader shows exactly what this is about. The “paralysation of culture” is crying for a regeneration of vital power. The great defeat creates the “primal desire” for the “own”, as well as the emotions of hatred against those who have “caused” the defeat and who “stand in the way” of attempts to recreate the original situation. It is easier this way to understand the underlying motives. As an amendment to the thousands of books on fascism which have been published after World War II and which almost exclusively contain intellectual interpretation, an existential reflection seems to be necessary.

51. The contrast between for instance the American revolution and fascism can reveal many things. The former was the resistance against an alliance between church and state, as it was existing in England at that time, dating from the times of the Roman Emperors. It was a call for freedom from oppression. In it they followed an inspiration from early Christianity, the resistance against the Roman rulers, the breaking free from old alliances and the anticipation of a “kingdom” as well as the hope for the development of a “Christian society”. The American revolution was a consequence of early Christianity and the uprooting of all old constricting relationships.

RESTORATION 2 in contrast, with fascism emerging from it, was the complete opposite. Its impulse was to abolish the alienation from oneself, which precisely was a consequence of Christian uprooting, and was oriented towards a restoration of the old (Pagan, Roman) society. It was aiming at the restoration of the “community of the people”. As it has deep roots in our history, this antagonism between “freedom” (Christianity) and “integration” (solidarity/ connection) – the Christian “freedom” of the first centuries was the cause for the uprooting of the then existing form of living together – explains the intensive and deep loathing the representatives of both trends feel for each other. But now that the bankruptcy of a freedom which has gone too far (uprooting and chaos) on a wide scale is being revealed, we are facing the task – perhaps for the first time – of bringing freedom and solidarity together without falling into any extremes.

The (Post)Modern Time

52. If we imagine the concept of the „movement of culture“ as a movement from the centre to the periphery, we have barely scratched the surface. Matching it to our point of departure “man being rooted in heaven, earth and the community”: the unity with himself, his body and nature, his fellow human beings continuously surrendering to the Ultimate, almost nothing of that has survived in our modern time. Man has become completely alienated from himself, his body and nature, his fellow human beings and the Divine. For this reason, he is will-less at the mercy of interior and exterior impulses. He does not posses a recognizable interior (Self) as centre of consciousness, because of which he feels inwardly empty, chaotic and disoriented. He is completely helpless with regard to any arbitrary distraction, impulse and manipulation. Being ceaselessly at the mercy of his own world of thoughts, ideas and wishes he has lost touch with reality. Because of the absence of a Here and Now he is living the illusion of past and future. His artificial ego (self-image) doesn’t have a “leg to stand on” and has to protect itself constantly from the loss of identity, and for this reason there is the never ceasing addiction to self-control, suppression, repression, control, domination and conquest.

53. This is how he created modern science, technology and capitalism, which have taken hold of him as a consequence. His world of emotions is rudimentary and “what you can’t feel will not touch you”. Subtlety, beauty and balance are out of reach. Love seems to be reduced to superficiality, egoism and problems in relationships. Compassion for the other seems to have run dry. Ignorance, egoism and indifference are at their height. Everything seems to be unreal, a huge virtual illusory world in which nothing means anything anymore. A world full of surrogate experiences, to which nobody really belongs anymore. “I’m watching TV, therefore I am”. Human beings are thrown back onto themselves, they’re walking in the streets and are captured by their own thoughts: absent, as if in trance. Reduced to slaves of consumerism they’re fulfilling their daily duty: working and shopping. “Having” has completely replaced “being”, the saddest “human level” history has ever known. Human beings feel uprooted. Many really relate to the place, quarter or region they live in. Many live in fear and insecurity and … poverty, in a great SHATTERED condition. Stress and diseases are dramatically increasing while the “problems in the exterior world” cannot be managed anymore. They are a reflection of our inner state.

The production does not exist for us, we exist for the production

54. According to my point of view all conditions which have led to our shattered condition were present in history. The modern man is now getting the bill of a few centuries. Everything that happened in history is now culminating in our modern time. Society is the reflection of a collective enslavement in which human beings themselves have lost their impulse for survival. There must be profound causes for this. Shortly concluded this would be: the loss of touch with reality. In that, Christianity can be claimed as the main one responsible. Human beings were uprooted by force in favour of their mediator – the church: contact with “heaven and earth” was cut off. Instead of a self-regeneration – by being able to constantly go back to their inner source – a large number of human beings was being oppressed.

Through its emphasis on “personal redemption” Christianity is the basic cause of modern individualism

55. First there was the definite break with earth as nature. Nature represented almost everything evil and condemnable. Pagan places were destroyed everywhere, trees cut down, forests burned and wells poisoned. They were preaching and writing with disgust about the “sins of nature”, customs of the “Pagans”, evil and the devil, women and their physicality, while love was being reduced to the “love for Christ” and the “neighbour”. Eroticism and sexuality were being tolerated in the best of cases, mostly however being equated with fornication and prostitution. They were reduced to “instruments” of reproduction, something which today is still officially being advocated by the church. The disappearance of any spirituality from erotic love, the losing of one’s own point of view: “God is love”, turning sexuality into something gross and banal can be almost completely attributed to the church. In this way, the “earth” and love were taken away from the Western people, who as a consequence were condemned to being twisted, split, immature and mentally ill persons, cut off from their direct surrounding.

Today’s empty churches are the result of 2000 years of oppression

56. People were also cut off from the source with regard to the vertical dimension. Instead of self-realisation – the Here and Now – the attention had to be focused completely on the “kingdom come”. Instead of the original experience as the “light within themselves” now there was the “kingdom come”. A life in reality was replaced by “hope is giving life”. A permanent state of dreaming. In this way, the character of reality of a whole culture was taken away. Everyone’s orientation had to be towards “God”. This “God”, however, was projected as an image instead of as reality – the Here and Now. In this way, reality was reduced to a derivation, a pseudo-reality, a “fairy tale”. As a consequence, in all later centuries Christianity was suppressing the returning to a reality of “heaven and earth” in favour of their faith to an extent to which along with “Renaissance” human beings had definitely become uprooted. Once arrived in egoism the way back is cut off. The ego as complete break with the self does not possess the healing power of being rooted anymore. It was and is a cut-off entity alienated from the essence. The regenerative ability of a whole culture had been destroyed. This is how evil came to pass. The spiritual amputation had far-reaching consequences. History itself had become shattered. Instead of having a spiritual context – the core of history – on the contrary it was reduced to a superficial (and therefore meaningless) sequence of events.

57. All that was happening later on was proportionally less important. As is the case with the individual, the “first years of a culture” are decisive for its psychological health. What had been done in the first ten (sixteen) centuries in the West could never be reversed again in the times that followed. From that moment on the further degeneration of culture was inevitable. From egoism (emphasis on perception through the senses, renaissance), ego-inflation (degeneration to the intellect, “enlightenment”) to the great SHATTERED condition (slaves of consumerism) of today. The church as “keeper of the truth” and “source of salvation”, the one fighting the “evil of secularism”, had in reality forced upon human beings its salvation and truth by force and was consequently fighting against something it had caused itself. Ego-expansion or egoism was in fact an over-compensation for the lack of spirituality. The latter was replaced by a surrogate reality. The deep longing for roots, the restoration of being in touch with reality – with “heaven and earth” –, for being one’s self in connection; for unity in diversity, for this reason is the primal scream of Western people. Against the light of all meaninglessness this could now be the “meaning” of our Western history of suffering: a suffering leading to the great turning back.

58. Literature

E.Neumann "The Great Mother" 1974 Princeton
V.Zingsem "Göttinnen grosser Kulturen", 1999 dtv
B.Walker "Göttin ohne Gott", 1999 Hugendubel
R. van den Broek & G.Quispel "Corpus Hermeticum", 1996 In de Pelikaan
T.Freke & P.Gandy "De Hermetica", 1999 Element
S.Devi "Son of the Sun", 1996 AMORC
J.Robinson "The Nag Hammadi Library"1988 Leiden.
E.Pagels "De Gnostische Evangelien" 1985 Gaade
M.Buber "Ekstatische Konfessionen" 1929 Berlin
N.Cohn "The Pursuit of the Millenium" 1970 Oxford University Press
N.Cohn "Europe’s inner demons" 1975 Paladin
E.Conze "Buddhism, its essence and development"1951 Harper & Row
G.Denzler "Wiederstand oder Anpassung?"
(Katholische Kirche und Drittes Reich) 1984 Piper
K.Deschner "Das Kreuz mit der Kirche" 1973 Heyne
"Abermals krähte der Hahn", 1996 Goldmann
"Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums", Band 1/6 1986 Rowohlt
Meister Eckhart "Deutsche Predigten und Traktate", 1979 Diogenes
M.Erbstosser "Ketzer im Mittelalter" 1984 Edition Leipzig
G.Graichen "De nieuwe heksen" 1987 De Kern
H.Grundmann "Religiöse Bewegungen im Mittelalter" 1977 G.Olms
C.G.Jung "Four Archetypes" 1959 Princeton.
R.E.Lerner "The Heresy of the Free Spirit", 1972 Berkeley
H.C.Lea "De Inquisitie in de Middeleeuwen" 1966 Spektrum
J.Lindeboom "Stiefkinderen van het Christendom" 1929 Nijhoff
A.Mens "Oorsprong en betekenis van de Nederlandse Begijnen
en Begardenbeweging" 1947 Standaard
W.Nigg "Tragiek en triomf van het geweten" 1965 Ploegsma
E.Pagels "Adam, Eva en de slang" 1989 Servire
G.Palmer e.a. "The Philokalia" 1979 Faber and Faber
R.R.Palmer "A History of the Modern World" 1983 Columbia University Press.
M.Porete "Der Spiegel der einfachen Seelen" 1987 Artemis
K.O.Schmidt "Meister Eckharts Weg zum kosmischen Bewußtsein" 1969 Drei Eichen
C.Schuurman "Stem uit de diepte" 1978 Ankh Hermes
F.J.Schweitzer "Der Freiheitsbegriff der deutschen Mystik" 1981 Peter D.Lang
J.Sudbrack e.a. "Grosse Mystiker" 1984 C.H.Beck

Thanks to Susan for her excellent translation of a difficult text



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Can we still be saved?

Culture Renewal Manifesto for the 21st Century