Foundation Course: Spiritual Discernment, Religious Feeling, Sacramental Action
XIV. Gnostics and Montanists
3 October 1921 a.m., Dornach
My dear friends! Yesterday we started by addressing a wish which licentiate Bock had expressed at the beginning of our course and we find that what we need to build on to what I said yesterday afternoon about sacramentalism relevant to today, can be discovered if we link the possible reflections, which are necessary, to the 13th chapter of the Gospel of St Mark. It is important for us to certainly try again, in all seriousness, to derive specific meaning from what is expressed in living words. To me it is impossible that pastoral care can be developed in the future, without yourself developing the application of living words and even experiencing living words. However, it is impossible for current mankind which is so strongly gripped by materialism, to be able to handle the living Word in itself, without a historical deepening. It is simply so, that in dealing with intellectualistic concepts and ideas we are only dealing with dead words, with the corpse of the Logos. We will only deal with the living Word when we penetrate through the layer in which man lives today, only, and alone, by penetrating through the layer of the dead, the corpse-like words.
My dear friends, the Catholic Church has to a certain degree understood very well how to misplace and obstruct access to these living words for those who, in their opinion, should be the true believers. In pastoral care the Catholic Church in a certain sense considers these enlivening words already, but in an outward sense. All these things will only become understood when we take what I presented yesterday and think them through deeply, and, if we can still penetrate them further, to yield clarity. I'm saying that the Catholic Church understood very clearly in this regard, to exterminate the life of the Word, because it belonged to one of the most significant epochs of all human development, and which had contributed briefly before and some three centuries after the Mystery of Golgotha, just to the civilized part of humanity.
When we ask our contemporaries about the essence of the Gnosis, for example the essence of the Montanistic heresy, then with the current soul constitution you basically can't understand anything correctly relating to it. That which would outwardly be informative in the becoming church has been carefully eradicated and the things that archaeologists, philosophers, researchers of antiquity discover from this characterised epoch, will indeed be deciphered word for word, but the decipherment does not mean reaching an understanding. All of this must actually be read differently, in order to enter the real soul content of olden times. It is for instance possible for modern humanity, to take the Deussen translation, which has exterminated all real meaning of the Orient, and, while thinking these translations are great, while mankind can't eradicate all understanding for what Deussen translated, devote yourself to such a Deussen translation. In order to understand, you need to penetrate the meaning of the first Christian centuries, more specifically the centuries before the Mystery of Golgotha happened.
I would like to give you access, somewhat in the way I have out of Anthroposophy, by means of a presentation, which you can visualise as symptomatic of what history brings. One of the most extinct things belonging in the first Christian centuries was referred to as the Pistis, placed in contrast to the Gnosis. The Gnosis can't be understood if one doesn't know that in that time epoch, in which, let's say, you appeared in the form of a Basilides or Valentinus, people who lived in the spirituality of that time, were fighting a very terrible battle, which can be characterised by them asking a question: What do we poor people have to do on the one hand with the spirit that juts in our souls, and on the other hand our physical body into which our soul likewise juts into? In a terrifying manner this question played out in the soul battle among religious people. The two opposite poles, to a certain extent, of this battle was the Gnosis and Montanism sect.
The Gnosis was, for people who wanted to become Gnostics, being aware that within a person, where the soul resides, the spirit can only be reached through knowledge, through clear, lucid, light-filled knowledge. However, it was already during a time in which intellectualism was being prepared in the dark, in a time when intellectualism was regarded as the enemy of the human soul's relation to the spirit. To a certain extent people prophetically saw how intellectualism would push in, in the future; this arrival of intellectualism was seen as stripping the world of spirituality, wanting to completely make the world void of the Divine, like I have characterised for you yesterday. People saw this and people experienced intellectualism as a danger. People wanted to hold on to something spiritual which didn't come from intellectualism. That's roughly the soul battle Basilides fought, the Gnostic who wanted to stick to what was revealed in the course of the year. He said to himself: When a person submits himself to his forthcoming intellect, then he separates himself from the Divine spirituality of the cosmos; he must connect to what lies in his environment, which has come into being through the Divine spiritual cosmos; he must adhere to that which has the venerable image of cosmic creation in the circling of the world and thus the Divine process in matter; he must adhere to the course of the year. — Basilides did the following: He looked up - but with him it was actually still only tradition, so no longer an inner imaginative perception as in older times, which I characterised as the reading of the movement of the stars — he looked up and said: Last but not least, the spiritual gaze is lost; when we feel, that when we become aware the spiritual gaze is lost, then we talk about the unknown God, the God who can't be grasped in words and concepts, from whom the fist aeon this unknown God manifests himself, revealing himself — this concept of manifestation which later unified things as with Basilides, will be totally misunderstood if compared with what we understand today under "manifestation"; one should not say "it manifests itself" but "it is formed out of," it is individually shaped — out of the unknown God is formed the Nous, which also appeared with Anaxagoras as the first creation of the unknown God.
That is the first principle, which exists in people as a copy, when the human mind, not the intellectual mind but the lively mind I've characterised for you during these days, still existed within Greek philosophy (up to Plato), and which then appeared in a weaker form still in Aristotle.
What comes next is the Logos, in which from the Nous we descend further down. In human beings it is expressed by perceiving sound and tone. In the neck area we find five other principles which we need not characterise in detail now. With this we have what was first called the holy days of the year, which gives people, when they read the cosmos, an understanding of the human body, leading to the human head organisation.
Besides these principles we find others in the human organization, 364 in total, which gives 364 + 1=365, the outer symbol which is expressed as the 365 days of the year. The word Day (Tag) originally was inwardly connected to God, so what Basilides, by speaking about 365 days, spoke about 365 gods which all partake in the creation of the human organism. As the last one of the gods — i.e. if you take one plus 364, and then take the last day of the year as a symbol for one God — Basilides saw the God who was worshipped by the Jews in the Old Testament. You see, this is what is extraordinary in the Gnosis, that it is in such a relationship to Jahve, the Jewish God, that he is not the unknown God connected to the Nous and Logos but with the Jewish God as the 365, as the last day of the year.
By understanding the Gnosis in this way, the experience of the soul was to be permeated spiritually. If I were to give you a characteristic aspect of the Gnosis, in relation to inner human experience it is this: that the Gnostic aspired in everything to penetrate the Highest with knowledge, so that his gaze rose above the Logos up to the Nous. The Gnostic says: In Christ and in the Mystery of Golgotha the Nous is embodied in the human being; not the Logos, the Nous is embodied. This, my dear friends, if it is grasped in a lively way, has a distinct result for our inner soul life. If you consider these things abstractly, as is in our intellectual time presented to many people, well, then it is heard that people in olden times didn't speak about the Logos in which Jesus became flesh, but of the Nous, which became the flesh of Jesus. That's the thing then, if you have pegged such a term. For a person who spiritually lives within a lively experience of concepts, he would not be able to do otherwise, than to grasp such a soul's content, as to imagine sculpturally what the Nous becoming flesh is. The Nous having become flesh however, can't speak; this can't be the Christ, can't go through death and resurrection. The Christ of the Gnostic, which is actually the Nous, could only come as far as being embodied in people; it could not die or accomplish resurrection.
For Basilides, this darkened his observation. His gaze becomes clouded the moment he approaches the last acts of the Mystery of Golgotha with his inner gaze; it clouds his gaze when it comes to dying and resurrection. His gaze is drawn to the route towards Crucifixion, the route to Golgotha of Jesus Christ, but he couldn't accomplish, out of a lively imagination, that the Christ carried the cross to Golgotha, was killed on the cross and resurrected. He regards it in such a way that Simon of Cyrene took the cross from the Christ, that he carried it up to Golgotha, and instead of Christ, that Simon of Cyrene is crucified. This is the Christ imagination of the Gnostic in as far as the image of Basilides appears and is basically the historical expression of the Gnosis.
So we see how the Christ in his final deed, is omitted by the Gnostic, how the Gnostic can't grasp the final result of Golgotha, how in their imagination the Christ is merely accomplished through the Nous, how it ends at the moment the Christ gives the cross away to Simon of Cyrene. On the one hand we have Gnosis, which is so strongly afraid of intellectualism that it did not let the legitimate power of intellectualism into human vision and as a result could not enter into the last act of the Mystery of Golgotha.
What did the Gnosis do? It stood in quite a lively way, I could say, in relation to the most extraordinary and powerful question of that current age: How does one penetrate the supersensible spirit from which the soul originated? — The Gnostic pointed away from that which somehow wanted to flow in from intellectualism and result in the image of Christ up to the point when he hands the cross to Simon of Cyrene. This is the one side of the human battle which at the time had the result of creating the influence of the great question, which I have set before you. What comes forth from this wrestling?
From all this wrestling another great question arises which became the crux for the Christian Gnostics. My dear friends, because the Gnostics regarded 365 as the Divine god of the Jews, they experienced the Fatherly and the Divine at the end of this row. When the Jews worshiped their god, they experienced it as Fatherly, while what later appeared as the Holy Ghost, they experienced the opposite pole, in the Nous. As a result, the Gnostics gave an answer to the primordial question in the first Christian centuries, an answer which is no longer valid today. Their answer was: The Christ is a far higher creation than the Father; the Christ is essentially equal to the Father. The Father, who finds his most outward, extreme expression in the Jewish god, is the creator of the world, but as the world creator he has, out of its foundations allowed things to be created simultaneously, the good and evil, the good and bad, simultaneously health and illness, the divine and the devilish. This world, which was not made out of love, because it contains evil, the Gnostics contrasted with the more elevated divine nature of the Christ who came from above, downward, carrying the Nous within, who can redeem this world that the creator had to leave un-liberated.
Christ is not essentially the Father, said the Gnostics, the Father essentially stood lower than the Son; the Son as Christ stood higher. This is the fundamental feeling permeating the Gnosis: however, it has been completely obstructed by what later occurred in the Roman Catholic continuation. Basically, we can't look back at what the big question was: How does one relate to the greater Christ in contrast to the less perfect Father? The Gnostic actually saw things in such a way that the Father of the worlds was still imperfect, and only by bringing forth his Son, he created perfection; that through the propagation of his Son, the act of procreation of his Son, He would complete the development of the world.
In all these things you see exactly what lived in the Gnosis. If we now look at the opposite side, which comes into the strongest expression with Monatunus, already weaker but still clearly with Tertullian, then we look over to those who said to themselves: If we want to reach into the Gnosis, everything disappears; we can't through the outer world, not through the contemplation of the seasons, not through reading the stars, reach the divine, we must enter into man, we must immerse ourselves in man. —
While the Gnosis directed its gaze to the macrocosm, so Mantanismus dived into the microcosm, in the human being himself. Intellectualistic concepts were at that time only in its infancy and could not yet be fully expressed; theology in today's sense did not arise in this way. What existed in all the exercises, in particular those prescribed by Mantanus for his students, were inner stories, something which was enlivened within the students as visions. These atavistic visions for the Montanists were particularly indigenous. All those who were to separate themselves from belonging to the mere pastoral care of the Montanists were allowed to practice, and all of them were allowed to practice to the extent that they could answer the question: how does the soul-spiritual in man, in the microcosm, relate to the physical-bodily aspect?
During ancient times, long before the Mystery of Golgotha, what I've just said was something obvious; had a self-evident answer. For those who lived in the time epoch of the Mystery of Golgotha, such an obvious answer didn't exist. People first had to dive into physicality. Because a fear existed of bringing intellectualism into this physicality, one entered the corporality with the power of the imagination and we get to know the descriptions of the forming of Montanist visions, which have also disappeared. In descriptions of Montanist visions — and this is characteristic — we always find the repetitive idea of the Christ soon returning in a physical body to the earth. One can't think of Montanism without thinking of the imminent return of the Christ to earthly corporeality. While the Montanist was familiar with the idea of finding the returning Christ, he strongly set before his soul what happened at the cross, what was accomplished through the death on the cross, what is involved in dying, what is involved in resurrection. The re-descent of the Christ, the physical-bodily immersion that takes place, was tinged by materialistic feelings in this view of the Montanists; they lived in the idea that Christ would come again and live in time and space. This was pronounced and those who believed this in the schools were only those who responded to the belief of the imminent coming of Christ Jesus to the earth, where he would stride along as if he is in a physical body.
This is in contrast to the Gnosis, this is the other pole: it had a different danger, the danger that all historic development of humanity is to be imagined in space and time. The urge to imagine such an idea of the world is what Augustinus for instance experienced in his exchange with the Bishop Faustus. Through Faustus a method of imagination is introduced which is completely tinged with the senses as images presented to Augustinus, and this became a materialistic experience of the world for Augustinus, from where he approached the world. Augustinus' words are gripping: I search for God in the stars, and do not find Him. I search for God in the sun, in the moon, and don't find Him. I search for God in all the plants, in all the animals, and don't find Him. I search for God on the mountains, in the rivers; I don't find Him. —
He means that in all the images there is no inner experience of the Divine, as it is with the Montanists. Through this Augustinus learnt, as it happened in his exchange with Faustus, to recognise materialism. This created his soul battle, which he overcomes by turning to himself, to faith, towards believing what he doesn't know.
We must let this rise out of history because the important things do not happen in a way, we can control it, by taking a document in hand which has lain in the archives, or by looking at the entire history of these fore-mentioned men from outside — that is an outer assessment of history. The most important part of history takes place in the human soul, in human hearts. We need to look into the soul of Basilides, into the soul of Montanus, into the soul of Faustus, into the soul of Augustinus, if we want to look into what really happened in the historic fields which one then can develop into what actually became a covering of Christianity in the Church of Constantine. The Constantine Church took on the outer life of worldly realms in which the spiritual no longer lived — in the sense of the 13th Chapter of the Mark Gospel — depicted as an already un-deified earth, a perished earth, into which the divine kingdom must again live as brought by him in its real spiritual soul form.
You see, in the course of both these viewpoints, one on the side the Gnosis which only came up to the Nous, and on the other side Montanism, which remained stuck in a materialistic conception, you see, how in these contrasts present during the first Christian century, the writer of the St John Gospel was situated. He looked on one side to the Gnosis, which he recognised from his view as an error, because it said: In the primordial beginnings was the Nous and the Nous was with God, and God was the Nous, and the Nous became flesh and lived among us; and Simon of Cyrene took the cross from Christ and thus accomplished a human image of what happened on Golgotha, after Christ only went up to carrying the cross and then disappeared from the earthly plane. — For the gaze of the Gnostic Christ disappeared the moment Simon of Cyrene took over the cross. That was a mistake.
Where do you arrive if you succumb to all thought being human and having nothing to do with the spirit? No, this is not the way the writer of John's Gospel experienced it. It was not the Nous which was at the primordial beginnings, not the Nous with God and a veil covering everything which is related to the Christian Mystery, but: In the primordial beginnings was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and a God was the Logos and the Logos became flesh and lived among us. — So the first actions are connected to the final actions: a unity comes about when we understand it with the spirit. We wish for something which doesn't lift us above human heights, to where we must find the Nous, because that is only one perspective of the spiritual.
Just as much spirit is needed for the spiritual orientation to let people form the idea that Jesus and the Christ God is one, so much spirituality exists in the Logos. When we hold on to the Nous, we only reach Christ; when we hold on to a Montanistic vision we only reach Jesus who in an unbelievable way returns as Christ, but then again only as a physical Jesus. No, we should not turn ourselves to the Nous coming from humanity, we must turn to the Logos, in which the Christ became man and walked among us.
The origin of the St John Gospel has really come about through an immense spiritual time context. I can't do otherwise, my dear friends, than to make a personal remark here, that I need to experience it as the greatest tragedy of our time, that theologians do not experience the majesty of the John Gospel at all, that out of a deep struggle preceding it, out of a struggle, the big question arose: How can mankind manage to, on the one hand, find a way to his soul-spiritual in the spiritual-supersensible where his own soul-spiritual nature originated from? On the other hand, how can mankind reach an understanding for how his soul is within the physical-bodily nature?
On the one hand the question could be answered by the Gnosis, and on the other hand it could be answered by an imagination towards the Pistis, which then came to Montanism in a visionary manner. The writer of the St John's Gospel was continuously placed in the middle, between these two, and we feel every word, every sentence only intimately if we do it in such a way as it flowed out of the course of the times, and in such a way that you feel the course of time during the Mystery of Golgotha as if it can be experienced forever in the human soul. With an anthroposophic gaze we can look back at the turning point in time, to the most important turning point in the earth, when one wanted to have this experience of adoration of the St John's Gospel. The day before yesterday I said to you, one has, and must, have an experience when one reads the Gospels with an anthroposophical approach, by reading them time and time again. This admiration of the reader is always renewed with each reading by the conviction that one can never learn everything from the Gospels because they go into immeasurable depths. In Gnosis, my dear friends, you can learn everything because it adheres to outer nature and cosmic symbols. In Montanism one can learn all about it because everyone who is familiar with such things knows what a tremendous suggestive persuasiveness all this has, that can be experienced through microcosmic visions, stronger than any outer impression. You must first learn, my dear friends, in order to be able to talk someone out of a vision, you first need to learn how to do it. You could, if you want to convince a person religiously, rather talk him out of what he has experienced with his outer senses, than anything he has experienced as visions, as atavistic clairvoyance, because atavistic visions are far deeper in a person. By allowing atavistic visions into a person, he is far more connected to them than to his sense impressions. It is far easier to determine an error in sense impressions than an error related to visions. Visions are deeply imbedded in the microcosm. Out of such depths everything originated which the writer of John's Gospel saw from the other side, the side of the Montanists.
Montanism was the side of the Charybdis while the Gnosis was the side of the Scylla. He had to get past them both. I feel it at once, as our current tragedy, that our time has been forced — really out of the very superficial honesty, which prevail in such areas — that the Gospel of St John has been completely eliminated and only the Synoptics accepted. If you experience the Gospels through ever greater wonderment at each renewed reading, and when you manage to delve ever deeper and deeper into the Gospels, then it gives you a harmony of the Gospels. You only reach the harmony of the Gospels when you have penetrated St John's Gospel because all together, they don't form a threefold but a fourfold harmony. You won't accomplish, my dear friends, what you have chosen to do in these meetings for the renewal of religion in present time, if you haven't managed to experience the entire depths, the immeasurable depths of the St John's Gospel. Out of the harmony of John's Gospel with the so-called synoptic Gospels something else must come about as had been established by theology. What can really be experienced inwardly as a harmony in the four Gospels must come about in a living way, as the living truth and therefore just life itself. Out of the experience, out of every experience which is deepened and warmed by the history of the origin of Christianity, out of this experience must flow the religious renewal. It can't be a result out of the intellect, nor theoretical exchanges about belief and knowledge, but only from the deepening of the felt, sensed, content which is able to be deepened in such a way as it was able to truly live in the souls of the first Christians.
Then, my dear friends, we see how Christianity was submerged by all that Christ experienced in Romanism — as I've presented to you — in the downfall of the world. Those who still understand Christ today will have to feel that the downfall is contained in all that is held by the powers of Romanism. By allowing the powers of Romanism to be preserved by the peoples who lived in this Romanism — the Roman written language, the Latin language had long been active — by our preservation of Roman Law, in our conservation of the outer forms of the Roman State, by our even uprooting the northern regions which contained the most elementary Germanic feelings experienced out of quite a different social community, in the Roman State outstripping all that is from the north, we live right up to our present days in a Roman world of decay because in Christendom, as it was considered in the vicinity of Christ Jesus himself, no other site could be found. This is because the Christianity of Constantine, which found such a meaningful symbol in the crowning of Constantine the Great in Rome, was a Christianity which expressed itself in outer worldliness, in Roman legalities. Augustinus already experienced, as I characterised yesterday and today, the feeling in his soul: Oh, what will it be then, if that gets a grip on the world, that which streams out of godless intellectualism, out of godless Romanism into the world? The principle of civil government will become something terrible; the Civitas of people will be opposed by the Civitas Dei, the God State. — So we notice the rise — earlier the indications had already been there, my dear friends — we see an interest emerging that was just seized in the following times in its fullest power in religious fields, that a light is cast on all later religious battles in the soul, which has just felt these religious battles most deeply.
Already with Augustinus this question emerged: How do we save the morality in the face of outward forces of law? How can we save morality, the divinely permeated morality? Into Romanism it can't spread. — This is the striving for internalization we find in the commitments and confessions of Augustinus, if we penetrate them correctly.
This occurs in the later striving in the most diverse forms. It appears in the tendency towards outer moral stateliness, which had to be developed according to Roman forms of the Roman Papal church, develop through the coronation of the kings becoming Roman emperors, in which the kings were accepted as instruments of the Roman Papal church, which itself was only fashioned out of ungodly Romanism. I speak in the Christian sense, in the sense of the first Christianity, which experienced Romanism as an enemy. How could one escape this which was being prepared? The first way one could get out was to not allow the internalised Christ to submit to the nationalization of morality, as it had evolved in the Roman Papal church. The nationalization, the outer national administration of morality was what Augustinus still accepted on the one hand, while, however, in the depths of his soul there were forces which he rebelled against.
We see in this rebellion, one could call it, the tendency of morality to withdraw within, at least to save the divinity within morality, according to what one had lost in outer worldliness. We see this morality being turned inward, being searched for as the "little spark" mentioned by Meister Eckhard, by Tauler, by Suso and so on, and how in particular it profoundly, intimately appears in the booklet Theologia Deutch. This, my dear friends is the battle for the moral, which now came to the fore, not to be lost within the divine spirituality, when it has already been lost in outer world knowledge and administration of the world. However, for a long time one was not ready to use such force like Suso regarding morality and seize the divine to penetrate the moral.
At first it was a question of arranging the whole in a kind of vague form, always envisioning the side of the outside world, for there had to be someone like a Carolus Magnus, who on the one hand was a worldly administrator, and who could transfer the state administration of morality to the crown of the emperor as an outward gesture, while the church worked in the background. It was imagined in such a way, I could say, that it became a kind of moral dilemma, a conscience that has become historical. This started in the 9th, 10th centuries and this inner conscience steered towards people looking at the world, and that man, because he stood in the middle of the search for the divine in the moral, didn't manage it in the world and searched for the enemies in the world which he felt within. Man looked in the world to find enemies. This resulted in the danger of Christians looking for enemies in the outer world, this led, my dear friends, to the mood of the crusades.
The crusade mood stands in the middle of the quests for internalization, yet people still didn't reach that place within themselves where the divine was grasped through the moral. The crusade mood lived in two forms; it lived above all in the moral impact of Godfrey of Bouillon and his comrades. From them the call went out against Rome: Jerusalem against Rome! To Jerusalem! We want to replace Rome with Jerusalem because in Rome we have become acquainted with outwardness, and in Jerusalem we will perhaps find inwardness, when we relive the Mystery of Golgotha in its holy places. — This is how the imagination came to Godfrey of Bouillon who we may think of as finding the enemy inwardly, even though he still looked for it outwardly, looking for it in the Turks. The striving to turn more inward and there find the ruler of the world, but at the same time to crown a king of Jerusalem, all this expressed itself in the historic mood of the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries. All this lived in the people. For once try to place yourself, in both the worldly and the spiritual reasons of the crusades and you will discover this historical mood everywhere.
Rome saw this. Rome felt it indeed, something was happening in the north: Jerusalem against Rome. In Rome one felt the externalization, but Rome was careful. Rome already had its prophets; it was careful and looked into the future, seeing what people wanted: Jerusalem against Rome. So it did something which often happens in such cases, it introduced in its own way what the others first wanted, and the Pope allowed his creatures, Peter of Amiens and his supporters, to preach about the crusade in order to carry out from Rome what actually went against it. Study the history with understanding; take it as an impulse and you will see that already the first steps of the crusades took place in what Rome had anticipated and that which Godfrey of Bouillon and his supporters strived for.
So we see in the historic mood how outer actions were searching for what lay within. I could say we can understand this historic mood in a spiritual way when we see how the Order of the Temple has grown out of the crusades, orders which are already further in their turning within. As a result of the crusades it brought an inwardness with it. It only takes things in such a way that it knows that one does not actually internalize them if one does not penetrate the exterior at the same time, when one doesn't, in order to save the moral, see it as an enemy in an exterior way. As paradoxical as this might appear, my dear friends, what Godfrey of Bouillon saw outwardly in the realm of the Turks, this is like Luther's battle at Wartburg Castle with its devils as an inner power. The struggle is directed inward.
If you now look at all of this, what appears in programs about such people as Johannes Valentin Andrea, Comenius, what lives in the Bohemian brothers, then you will understand how in the later centuries of the crusades the pursuit of internalization has gone. I must at least mention the most symptomatic picture seemed to me always to be in a single place when I looked at this lonely thinker who lived in Bohemia, the contemporary of Leibniz, Franziskus Josephus von Hoditz und Wolframitz. For the first time, in all clarity — we don't only know this today — he stripped morality of legality. Everywhere in the early days of writing in the Roman spirit, the legal was bound to the moral. What lived in a religious way in most people, lived in a philosophic way in the contemporaries of Leibniz. He wanted the moral element to be purely philosophic. Just like Luther wanted to get the inner justification, because in his time it was no longer possible to get justification in the outer world, so Franziskus Josephus von Hoditz und Wolframitz as a lonely thinker, saw the task: How do I save, purely conceptually, morality from the encirclement and transformation of legality, with those poor philosophic concepts? How do I save the purely human-moral? — He didn't deepen the question religiously. The question was not one-sidedly, intellectually posed by Hoditz — Wolframitz. However, just because it is put philosophically, one notices how he struggles philosophically in the pure shaping of the substantial moral content living in the consciousness.
In order to understand these times which after all form the foundation of ours, in which the feelings of our contemporaries live — without knowing it — you should, my dear friends, always look back at the deep soul battles experienced in the past, also when a modern person feels that he has "brought it so delightfully far"; by looking back at this time of the most terrible human soul battles, only one period of superstition is seen.
So, I could say, the historic development of the struggle for morality came about. What was being experienced in this struggle shows up right into our present day, and it can be imposed on the spiritual search into religion, for religious behaviour, even into aberrations. Still, no balance has been found between Pistis and Sophia, between Pistis and Gnosis. This abyss is still gaping in contrast to the writer of the Gospel of St John who had infinite courage to stand above it and find the truth in between it all.
This summoning of strength in the search for the moral, in the will to save the divine, by applying it only to the moral, was felt in their simple, deep but imperfect way by those southern German religious people who are regarded as sectarians today, the Theosophists, who we find on the one hand in Bengel, and on the other, in Oetinger, but who are far more numerous than only in these two. They use all their might to strive, in complete earnestness, for attaining the divine in the moral, yet by trying to attain the divine in morality they realise: We need an eschatology, we need a prophecy, we need foresight into the course of the world's unfolding. This is still the unfulfilled striving of the Theosophists in the first half of the 19th century, started at the end of the 18th century when we must see the dawn of that which was completely buried at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, and which must, from all those who experience the necessity for religious renewal, be seen.
For this reason, my answers to your wishes which are in pursuit of such religious renewal, can't turn out in any other way than they do. I would quite like to give you what I must believe you are actually looking for.