Rejecting the rational and the real

For the supporters of the New Age, the solution to the problem of relativity must not be sought in a new encounter of the self with another or others, but by overcoming the subject in an ecstatic return to the cosmic dance. Like the old gnosis, this way pretends to be totally attuned to all the results of science and to be based on all kinds of scientific knowledge (biology, psychology, sociology, physics). But on the basis of this presupposition it offers at the same time a considerably anti-rationalist model of religion, a modern “mystic”: The Absolute is not to be believed, but to be experienced. God is not a person to be distinguished from the world, but a spiritual energy present in the universe. Religion means the harmony of myself with the cosmic whole, the overcoming of all separations.

K.H. Menke characterizes very well this change in history that is taking place, as he states: “The subject that wanted to submit everything to himself now wants to be placed into ‘the whole.”‘ Objective reason closes off the path for us to the mystery of reality; the self isolates us from the richness of cosmic reality, destroys the harmony of the whole and is the real cause of our unredemption. Redemption is found in unbridling the self, immersion in the exuberance of that which is living and in a return to the Whole. Ecstasy is sought, the inebriety of the infinite which can be experienced in inebriating music, rhythm, dance, frenetic lights and dark shadows, and in the human mass.

This is not only renouncing modernity but man himself. The gods return. They have become more believable than God. The primitive rites must be renewed in which the self is initiated into the mystery of the Whole and is liberated from itself.

There are many explanations for the re-editing of pre-Christian religions and cultures which is being attempted frequently today. If there is no common truth in force precisely because it is true, then Christianity is only something imported from outside, a spiritual imperialism which must be thrown off with no less force than political imperialism. If no contact with the living God of all men takes place in the sacraments, then they are empty rituals which tell us nothing nor give us anything. At most, they let us perceive what is numinous, which prevails in all religions.

Even in that case it seems more sensible to look for what is originally one’s own instead of letting something alien and antiquated be imposed upon oneself. Above all, if the “sober inebriety” of the Christian mystery cannot elevate us to God, then the true inebriety of real ecstasies must be sought whose passion sweeps us away and transforms us—at least for a moment—into gods and lets us perceive for a moment the pleasure of the infinite and forget the misery of the finite. The more manifest the uselessness of political absolutism, the stronger the attraction will be to what is irrational and to the renunciation of the reality of everyday life.

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