19 June 2020
Four years after encountering Orthodoxy, Craig Young, along with his wife Susan, decided they wanted to be Orthodox. They had both been in the Roman Catholic church. The year was 1970 and they were both in their mid-20s. That year they attended Liturgy at the cathedral in San Francisco, and afterwards approached Archbishop Anthony and told him that they wanted to be Orthodox. The Archbishop called for Fr. Seraphim (with Fr. Herman), who took the Youngs over to a bench and sat them down. Craig Young reported later:
"The two men rained a barrage of questions on us:
'So, why do you want to be Orthodox? Do you know what that means? What's the difference between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism? Why do you want to join our Russian Church Abroad instead of some other jurisdiction? Don't you know we are a small, persecuted Church living in exile? Everybody hates us and makes fun of us. Why do you want to join a Church like this? Do you understand what really happens in the Divine Liturgy?'
Frankly, it was daunting. Somehow we had thought we would be immediately welcomed with open arms, as though the Church had been waiting for us all these centuries; instead we were being given the third degree!"
Classic Introduction to Orthodoxy
Door to Paradise
(original by former monk John Marler)
20 November 2019
Lecture 13 from Survival Course transcript
Lecture XII, The New Religion, continued, Part D, from outline.
And this brings us to the spiritual state of our modern people, not necessarily under the direct influence of occultism or modern art, but still that very state which occultism and modern art expressed.
This we can see by a few pages from a book by another German, who is actually a Jew, became converted to Catholicism, became totally disillusioned with modern Europe and left the cities and went, found himself a place on a lake in Switzerland where last I heard he was still living. His name is Max Picard. He wrote a book called The Flight from God which describes how the life of modern man, especially life in the cities, is one of a complete running away from reality, running away from God. After the Second World War he wrote a second book called Hitler in Ourselves. Here he very nicely expresses what is the background for all these movements.
Again we see the same thing that it is the world, it is we the ordinary people who are living this very kind of life of disjointedness and used to the very phenomena which we see around us -- the newspapers, the radio, the television, the movies -- everything which is oriented toward pieces which do not fit together. There’s no God; there’s no overwhelming, underlying pattern to things, no God, no order. And the order which we see in our life is only left over from the previous time when people still believed in God. And that’s why Solzhenitsyn can look at America and say, “It’s coming here.” You are sort of cut off; you don't see it. But it’s coming here because that’s the way, that’s what’s happening in the world. And of course, Americans are blinded because we’re used to having our food...
Fr. H: We’re protected.
Fr. S: ...and very much cut off from the reality. And the reality that’s happening in the world is this here, these crazy people, who are not crazy people, they’re expressing what the devil is planning for us next.2
In modern art, as we’ve seen, we see this chaos, this disjointedness on one hand; on another hand, we see, as this man also pointed out, this Sedlmayr, the artifical calmness of the architecture. We look at the modern city and you see these tremendous big skyscrapers, pure -- there’s one in San Francisco -- pure black glass. And I have known people who look at that and say, “Oh, it’s beautiful! It expresses the soul; that’s what we are striving after.” And of course, he’s in tune with the times. What it expresses is: no God, everything is cutoff. All that’s left is some kind great memorial to what, to blindness. And inside they hang these crazy paintings of someone who goes crazy and puts, or they get paintings by apes, children, primitive peoples and so forth.
Out of this, by the way, in the last few years -- well since 1945 especially -- there’s been a new kind of art movement, which is, this wild Expressionism out of which there begin to come people, that is, shapes. Unfortunately we haven’t got any real examples of it. You can point to a couple there.
Fr. H: This would be close.
Fr. S: There’s one artist called Francis Bacon. This is very close. It looks like one of Bacon's paintings by Goya (?). Already he was foreseeing that. There’s another one called Giacometti, the Italian sculptor, who has tremendous tall figures, all sort of, they’re very much like this one here, some kind of absolute chaos and out of it there begins to come kind of a human form, only it’s like this -- inhuman, like a mask or misshapen, some kind of a thing like this, all sort of humped over and maybe one arm is missing, or its legs are missing. His face is staring ahead like sort of nothing. There no, no expression, no hope, no despair, just “Uhh.” There’re many painters like that now. But this is, apart from Surrealism, it’s the one other constant school of painting which has come out, painting and a little bit of sculpture. And they’re simply frightful figures. And he just makes you frightened to look at them, as though they’re just disfigured by the war or -- just frightful.
Fr. H: Feeling of raw meat...blood and guts...toilet seat...
Fr. S: And this also is a part of, it’s very sort of battered down now, but also there is behind it again this feeling of something coming up, some kind of chialistic expectation. Maybe now we’re going to come at last to a new age. In fact, there’s one Catholic artist, about twenty years ago this painter, I forgot his name,3 but at that time Jacques Mauritain and Gilson and all those Catholic humanists were saying, “This looks like the new iconography for Catholicism.” And you look at it, and it’s frightful. It’s like combine, well, it's more expressionistic, it’s some kind of transfiguration. You see these distorted. You can’t recognize them as human beings hardly, but all his paintings are religious. So now there’s going to be a new religious art.
And by the way, they often take religious themes now, and these forms come back, but some kind of demon figures. Like there’s one, where I went to college at Claremont, there was one sculptor. I forgot his name, but he had a sculpture of Christ rising. And what it was was the figure of a dead man who was being lifted up. You could see there all distorted still dead but he’s now being lifted up by something. In other words probably a demon’s going to take over the body. And some people say, “Oh, that’s beautiful. It’s going back to religion now, that [shows] already he believes in the resurrection.” And he believes in what the demons are resurrecting. And the body is distorted and it, you can see it’s dead, just beginning to come to some kind of distorted life. Or he has another one, a crucifixion which is absolutely a crucifixion by demons, frightfully distorted figure on the cross.
This is perhaps not so strong as a sort of chiliasm, but still it is some kind of indication that out of the nihilism of the wars and revolutions mankind still hopes for some kind of humanism. But now it’s what you can call “sub-human.”
But there is also very much a current of hope among the few prophets. We’ve already seen how Teilhard de Chardin is filled with optimism that all this, in fact, he says this Communism and fascism and all (who were victims?) is only passing by. Evolution does not regard the individual, only the species. As long as man survives, who cares about the hundred million in the concentration camps? Man will survive and the species will evolve into something higher.
So we have many prophets. We’ll mention only two or three. And this Teilhard de Chardin is one. Another one is a strange figure in the nineteenth century in Russia, his name is Fyodorov, whose writings were almost unknown at that time and were published only after his death in the early decades of the twentieth century, but with whom people like Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy were fascinated and Solovyov also. He had a very strange idea. His writings were not published in English until Schmemann got a hold of them, and had them translated for his anthology of crazy Russian writings. He has a whole seventy pages of this man, the first time ever in English. He must think it’s very significant.
He [Fyodorov] is one you can say is disillusioned with revolutionary ideals, that everything is for the future. Because that means we of today in the present, and people who have struggled in the past, are only the “manure” for the future paradise. And he could not stand that. And therefore he came up the idea that the task of mankind is to resurrect his ancestors by means of science. Of course, how this is going to come about we don’t know. He says you sort of have the faith and develop science and get ready for the great event when the ancestors will be resurrected and everybody will enter into this paradise.
And we see today we have the new science of cryogenics, that is, people are letting themselves be frozen in the hope that they will be resurrected in some future day when their disease will be cured. But that very idea is a chiliastic idea -- I’m going to be resurrected in the future. I’m going to come back to life -- very filled with this secular chiliasm. And this man Fyordorov puts this into the form of some kind of prophecy that in the future -- this book is called The Common Task -- the great task of mankind is to resurrect the ancestors. Of course, it’s a wild dream but it’s very much, you know, this is what the Antichrist will resurrect: people, and be able to look like resurrection, will be able to put demons into them and make them walk around again, with walking corpses.
And you notice, by the way, in science fiction literature the same theme occurs. [In] science fiction movies there’s some kind of aliens from outer space and they come and take over somebody’s body and walk around like zombies. You see these in advertisements for them, these children from outer space, and the children who have been inhabited by some being from outer space with their eyes wide open, staring ahead -- same spirit. In fact, the whole of science fiction is entirely chialistic: superior race, Superman is coming from outerspace.
So that’s one, Fyodorov, one crazy prophet, but very much in tune with the spirit of the new kingdom in this world, outside of the limits of Christianity, of course, because we believe in the true resurrection not by science but by God Himself.
[Insert from 1980 Nietzsche Lecture; Fr. Seraphim also took extensive notes on D.H. Lawrence for his Anarchism book in the 1960’s.]
[D.H. Lawrence] ...thirty or so. And he was filled with this idea of sort of back to the earth paganism. And he gave us kind of almost a philosophical basis for sex, although his novels aren’t dirty -- well, all except Lady Chatterly’s Lovers not too good. But what they have in them is this constant emphasis upon earthiness, upon the open expression of sex. And he has these heroes; in one story I read, there was a heroine. He talks about unhappy, in fact – he’s married, doesn’t have to be too outrageous (?). He always talks about unhappy marriages because one of them was is very earthy and the other one is very, [does] too much thinking; and this is the disease of modern times, this thinking too much. And therefore he has this one story about a man and woman who got divorced; the woman ran away or something to the south seas. So everything’s sunny and bright. South is of the earth. So he goes looking for her, and there’s a contrast. She’s there someplace on a rock in the south seas, naked, sunning herself and she’s all brown and like a goddess. He’s all pale -- most northern Europeans are absolutely pale and emaciated and effeminate. And she has power because she’s of the earth, she’s earthy. She believes in fully expressing sexuality. And he has all kinds of inhibitions, you know, “You can’t do that, no, no, no.” And he presented a very stark contrast between real earthy. He read Nietzsche; he knew that the new Superman’s going to be of the earth; that’s what Nietzsche said: the new Superman will come from the earth. And therefore in all these stories, everything that has to do with Christianity is considered effeminate, weak, like Nietzsche says. Everything to do with paganism is strong. Therefore he has all kinds of images, especially of black Africa; he loved African gods. And his heroes have these statues, these crude African statues that symbolize their fact that they’re awakened from all these prejudices. All the inhibitions of Christianity are thrown off, man becomes free. And then you’re able to see there’s no particular laws. If you’re married or unmarried, it makes no difference. He didn’t go into homosexuality. He just thought that the normal sex should be expressed freely.
He even has one horribly blasphemous story, which even before I was a Orthodox I couldn’t finish. It’s about how Jesus Christ resurrected. Or whether He resurrected or just came down from the Cross and discovered He was a failure. And then he has a love affair with Mary Magdalen and discovers the meaning of life. And it’s just expressed so crudely and blasphemously, that it’s too much even for a non-Christian. That’s the level he’s on, but he’s a very powerful writer. And he’s considered among the great writers. In fact, I think I had a course with either six or eight writers and he was one of them. I think Hemingway was even left out, so they went for him. [He’s] very important because he’s very symptomatic of modern times. But he was an example of this neo-paganism.
And he had a follower, another writer who’s called Henry Miller, who is very down to earth. Henry Miller is an American who died a few years ago -- he was more than 70 years old ten years ago. He lived in Big Sur and was a typical modern bohemian type, free of all kinds of prejudices and so forth. And in the 1920’s, I think, he went to Paris like a lot of young intellectuals in the West did. And Hemingway went there also. Paris was like the art capital of the world. There you learn about what’s really going on in art. He was rather old then, thirty-five or so, when he first woke up to become an artist and went to Paris and began living there as an expatriate and writing these novels. Basically, he was influenced by D.H. Lawrence. [He] woke up to the idea of reality of this world, of earth, of paganism, of sex and all that, and began writing these novels which were banned in America until very recently. They were published in France. In fact, I knew somebody who had a bookstore in San Diego who was arrested for selling it under the counter maybe fifteen years ago. 'Course since the seventies that’s all changed. They can now print it, considered old hat now to.
Well, D.H. Lawrence died about 1930. Henry Miller was still alive in the ’60’s when I was in down there. I never saw him. My mother lived in Carmel, so I was in that area. But he was still a tourist attraction in those days in Big Sur. He retired down there, sort of had followers around him who believed in the same things.
Well, this Henry Miller was writing, actually they’re just pornographic sex novels, all four-letter words and sex experiences and everything else is described. These books now are just ordinary; everybody writes like that now. In this way he’s [a] typical, enlightened modern man, one step beyond Hemingway, and filled with this anarchic spirit, the very spirit which Fourier talks about: let the passions be unleashed and there’ll be paradise.
But this is very interesting because at the same time in Paris, Nicholas Berdyaev met him or he read his books. And Berdyaev lived in Paris as an exile [and] was very interested in all modern manifestations of culture. And therefore he read Henry Miller, I don’t know how, if he read English or not. But Berdyaev himself is an absolute anarchist, you know. He believes in overthrowing the Church and letting the free spiritual man come forth. And so he read this American anarchist, Henry Miller, who believes in expressing whatever you have inside of you, any garbage, or whatever you have inside you, you just express it. And he read Henry Miller. I think he only read one book, and he said, “At the end of this book, I feel like my world is dissolving.” He says, “Absolute anarchy! The man should be burned!” He couldn’t stand it because he said all these passions come out, and it was too much for him because the man is just absolute expression of whatever comes out from your nature. If you once enter into his philosophy, everything begins to dissolve. There is nothing left, you just dissolve yourself, can’t stand it. Berdyaev had some quite accurate observations sometimes. For instance, he went to to a lecture of Rudolph Steiner in Berlin. And he said he feeled like that man is frightful, he is trying to conquer God from beneath. What he saw was accurate, but he himself was also a false prophet.
And he [Henry Miller] lived the kind of life [in which] his passions were unleashed. He could do whatever he want; there’s no more restraints. And he was someone like D. H. Lawrence [in his idea that] the sexual passion especially should be liberated and man will be somehow new, renewed, which is all, of course, a rather of a myth which can actually destroy people.
But he also wrote some essays, non-fiction writings, which show that the man is quite aware of things. And he thought rather deeply on what it means to be a modern man, where it’s all going, the fact that now [that] all this sexuality is coming out, we are able to be free. The prejudices of the past are being overcome. He believed in astrology, and in all kinds of magic arts, and believed the new age is coming, some kind of aquarian age when prime ministers will be astrologers and the Renaissance alchemy and so forth will flourish again. He [Henry Miller] got this out of the air, just like Hitler said, “I am the first of the first magicians,” I think he said, “in the new age of magic.” And he has one article and he talks about the necessity for mankind to be under one world government, and he says, “Who will rule this one world government?” And he said, “The time will come when a man will arise by himself, and he will have such charismatic ability that people by themselves will flock to him and see in him all their hopes for a new religion, the new age of mankind, and just like Napoleon he will become their symbol.” And he said, “I feel that every age has a person who represents that age,” sort of the age produces a person that represents this age, therefore our age is going to produce a tremendous man, a great new magical political figure, who will come and rule the world, and represent for us all these feelings of the earth, and all these forbidden things that were not allowed to come out before, which seems to be very accurate -- another prophecy of Antichrist and some kind of millenium in which the impulses of mankind will let loose, people will be free of all restraints, of past beliefs of God, of morality and will enjoy the millenium.4
And of course, this is a perfect example of this self-worship that Kant let loose on the literary and popular level. And once this was allowed to come out, then, of course, the whole, everything is allowed. And now there is hardly a single movie you can see apparently that’s not full of some kind of sex scene.
And it’s very interesting how this subject is handled in classical writers. For example, we saw a movie called Nicholas Nickleby recently, which has a lot of sex in it, sort of under the scenes, but you have to read it between the lines to get it. It’s quite clear what’s meant -- this decadent nobleman and the girl, and you see the way they look at each other. The whole picture’s revealed to you, but it’s revealed in a very elegant way, even in the movie. And there’s no stirring of passion, you just see that’s life. Therefore sex as a part of life is presented in a very realistic way. And nowadays how do they present it? You know, they go into all the gory details. So you have to sit there and watch apparently. Even Anna was taken to the movies by her father(?), and she had to sit and watch and see this squirming under covers, and imagine what they’re doing. Of course, in many places they just take everything off and show you. What does that do? That’s called realistic attitude towards life, isn’t it? Is it?
Student: Well, it depends how you look at it, your point of view. Even with the classical literature it’s not, they were working with more realistic point of view than today.
Fr. S: They just were, they had taboos. They couldn’t talk about some things.
Student: It reminds me same thing of the services, Fr. Herman was telling us about the compline...all the time these, it just talks about...that it does it in such a way...
Fr. S: Well, this element has always been part of life, and it’s always been expressed. In fact, in the, the Orthodox lives of saints are full of this. In fact they’re quite shocking if you’re used to Victorian standards of literature. It’s quite open about this subject, but it’s presented in such a way that it doesn’t arouse passion, it just gives you the reality.
And what’s happening now, the fashion in the last ten or fifteen years is to produce all this that hasn’t been allowed before in such a way that it arouses your passion. And therefore it does not put across any meaning, that is, it does not tell you how to handle this whole thing because you’re so interested in it. Of course you’re going to be watching the clothes come off and so forth. You’re going to get all excited and all interested. And what is it going to do for the plot, for the whole meaning of life? It doesn’t do anything. It just titillates you, tickles you. And that’s what Kant produced.
And the reason why it tickles is why? Because we’re self-centered. Everybody looks there and he sees himself. Because in itself, usually sex is a very unsatisfying experience. You don’t get these tremendous experiences you see in the movies or in books.
And therefore you go to the movies and you see: maybe your own body isn’t particularly beautiful, but you go there and you see beautiful bodies, ah! And as you’re looking at those beautiful images, you’re worshipping yourself. It’s like looking at yourself in the mirror. And all those inadequacies you have whether in beauty or in sex experience or whatever, it all becomes perfect, if only have someone who’s handsome enough and does it so expertly and so forth. You. It’s actually like looking at yourself in a mirror and worshipping yourself, the tremendous thrill of it. Because there’s no more literature at all, no more higher values whatsoever. And this is definitely a form of self- worship.
Student: Well, it’s the same thing as that when you tell us about that desert guy in Arizona, I don’t know, Fr. Herman or someone was telling us, you see him looking at the mirror, OK, I look like myself... It’s all self-worship.
Fr. S: Yeah. That’s a basic category of mistake in spiritual life, to be always looking at yourself. And in modern times that’s very characteristic. It’s very narcissistic, all our spirituality. And this sort of people who talk about being spiritual, it’s usually very self- centred; they’re looking at themselves in a mirror.
That’s right. And on the lower level, this is where it’s affecting contemporary art. I haven’t seen these films, although the last one I saw about twelve years ago was bad enough. I think I saw two of them already pretty bad. That means now it is even [more] open. And there’s no more, the higher values get drowned in this lower element. And you simply apparently cannot make a film nowadays -- unless it’s just an outright child’s film -- unless it has some kind of a sex scene in it. So you get an “R” and if you get an “R” that means, ahah! this is spicy. Let’s go watch that. that’s all part of this same cult of self-worship.
And it filtered down from the time of Kant. He wrote about 1790. And now in 1980, two hundred years, this filtered down to this lowest level. And that’s the result. That’s one aspect which is very prevalent in our society, in fact, every place: advertisements, the whole suggestive element in television. The whole idea is to arouse you, arouse your emotions, arouse your passions and present some kind of a beautiful figure, just like you’re looking in the mirror at yourself: I have to have that perfume, I have to have that deodorant...
Dostoyevsky also wrote several interesting pieces. One, I forget where it was, and what book it was, he wrote about a dream of -
Fr. H: The Raw Youth.
Fr. S: That’s a different, I think it’s a different book, there is two of them. One is [the] idea that it’s very attractive to our human nature to, if everyone sort of takes their clothes off and does what he likes.
Fr. H: "Baboque."
Fr. S: "Baboque"? Because this is the very same thing that Henry Miller feels and Fourier liked, that idea of unleashing the passions. In fact, we’ll ven see from ten years ago in San Francisco and New York, I don’t know, I read in a newspaper, some critics said of the San Francisco, some kind of ballet from San Francisco went to New York, and in one of their dances all the people took their clothes off, and just bounced around the stage for a couple minutes then put their clothes back on. And he said that in that moment I felt such a feeling of liberation, I couldn’t explain it, the mysterious feeling of absolute liberation came over me.
Of course, then it was very avant-garde, today now this happens all the time. But this shows again this chiliastic desire now when all restraints are gone then you feel some kind of new liberation coming over you which lasts for a moment but that’s all you need. You need only a few years to be in the reign of Antichrist.
And in The Raw Youth Dostoyevsky had a very good prophecy about the future, unfortunately we don’t have the quote, but it concerns the day when the sun went down, that is, God went out of the life of man. And he said in that day men will all of sudden realize that they are alone, that the sun has gone out of their life, and now they are alone on this planet, and what will happen then? He said men will then be filled with such love for each other and such love for every little piece of grass because they know it’s going away. It will always, if it’s going, going forever. Only this moment it survives. There’s no God, nothing else beyond life. We must grasp this moment and live to the full. And they will huddle together and embrace each other out of loneliness.
Dostoyevsky’s comment on this:
Of course, this is very much part of our contemporary mentality. And even all this sexual revolution and so forth, some of it’s just, you know, looseness but quite a bit of it is people looking for love. They do not find love in God, in the family, in church, in the society. And so they grasp at this ideal of sexual love, which gives a temporary warmth and then fades away to nothing. That also is needed to make a millenium: people who are enlightened, away from any standard. And it will give the appearance, therefore, of a kingdom of love, and the Antichrist will be he, the one they worship, while worshipping themselves, because their god is themselves.
And Berdyaev, we’ve already had quite a bit of, I want to repeat one more quote from him; it is in the article on charismatic movement. "The world is moving towards a new spirituality and a new mysticism; in it there will be no more of the ascetic world- view. The success of the movement towards Christian unity presupposes a new era in Christianity itself, a new and deep spirituality, which means a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.”8
In a way it sums up the whole of the past chiliastic hopes since Joachim of Floris, who was his idol, and inspires people in the present to look for some kind of new age. And if it looks impossible, if the future looks dark and difficult, and tyranny and, and gulag, still somehow when you think of his ideas you can all of a sudden be filled like Rousseau with a great mystic feeling that, yes, there must be something more to reality than some kind of concentration camps. We believe in the future harmony.
And so Berdyaev says, “The world is moving through darkness toward a new spirituality and a new mysticism... The new mysticism will not consider this objectivized world as final reality.” See, there’ll be a new science. The spirit reality will come in. “In it will be revealed the true gnosis... And all the tormenting cotradictions and divisions” of modern life which divides man into actual fragments “will be resolved in the new mysticism, which will be deeper than all religions and ought to unite them.” It “will be the victory over false forms of social mysticism, the victory of the realm of the spirit over the realm of Caesar.”9 “The final triumph of the realm of spirit presupposes a change in the structure of human consciousness... This can be envisaged only eschatologically.” 10
Of course, evolution comes to the aid of this by saying indeed mankind is evolving to some higher consciousness wherein spiritual reality will be opened.
Now we come finally to one man who is very much part of all these movements. His name is Vladimir Solovyov. In fact it’s probably owing to him more than anyone else that the Russian intelligentsia went off the track, because Kireyevsky tried to call the intelligentsia back to Orthodoxy, and Soloviev was inspired by pantheism, by foreign influences, had a vision of Sophia. In fact, he met Sophia in the desert of Egypt. It’s probably that same woman messiah that the Saint-Simonians went to look for in the 1830’s. She was staying in the desert there, and he went to the desert and had a vision of Sophia. He was there in 18--, the Saint- Simonians went in 1830’s, and Soloviev went in 1880, I guess.
He didn’t live long. He died in 1900. He lived about forty-five years or so, probably contemporary with Nietzsche. He was another one of these wild thinkers. He came up with all kinds of fantastic things. The world would be governed by the Pope and the Tsar -- the whole world, the world empire of the Tsar and the Pope. And he was full of these new ideas, Sophia as the fourth person of the Holy Trinity, and all these fantastic things that threw off Bulgakov, inspired Berdyaev, FIorensky, and all these wild thinkers.
Fr. H: All the Paris School came straight from this Sophia.
Fr. S: Vladika John, in his article on Soloviev and Bulgakov, says that this sophiology is the worship of man, the rejection of the worship of God, and placing in its place the worship of man. But at the end of his life some kind of new spirit came over Soloviev. And he came into complete discouragement over the hope for a world empire -- Orthodoxy and Catholicism uniting.
Fr. H: He didn’t become Catholic, though; he didn’t become Catholic.
Fr. S: Yeah. He received communion in Catholic church for a time.
Student: He did become Catholic?
Fr. S: Yeah. But he didn’t consider he had become Catholic. He considered that he was uniting both religions. And in the last year of his life he was troubled by forebodings of the future. And all of a sudden he began reading prophecies about Antichrist. And it got so much for him that he told some people that he has very difficult time going to church because he has such a strong feeling that in a very short time all the churches will be closed and the catacombs will be opened up.
Fr. H: He had some kind of insight, no question.
Fr. S: And he saw as the end of history, the end of modern life, the end of modern history, the coming of Antichrist. And so he sat down and wrote a story which was the dialogue of three people. One is some kind of monk who tells us the story of Antichrist...
...Three Conversations on War and Future of Mankind. In this he makes fun of the Tolstoyian who thinks that we should be peaceful and not resist no matter what happens. At the end of this Three Conversations is a story of Antichrist. Most of the details he gets from Scripture and the Holy Fathers, and a few things he adds a little to himself which are not too good, but the basic story is quite accurate. And he adds into this the things which he himself learned by his own occult experiences and his own awareness of the spirit of his times. So we’ll see we’ll see how this comes out in his...
In a way you can say this is the very close parallel to the legend of the Grand Inquisitor of Dostoyevsky.
All of this is not too different from these socialist prophets, by the way.
(That is how the Saint-Simonians says “the Saint-Simonian transformation of Christianity,” in which he’s actually greater than Christ.)
How many people there are like this, by the way, some people who think they’re great genuises. They’re waiting for some demon to appear to them to tell them to go out and teach the world.
And this is very similar to many occult experiences.
Which, by the way, refers to Antichrist.
We have here a very realistic picture which needs only a few details corrected perhaps to be in fact a realistic view of a millenium which is possible just about in our time.
So let us sum up the main points of the new religion which is preparing for the reign of Antichrist. The first is the “death of God,” which entails the abolition of Christianity, that is, Orthodoxy, but this began in the eleventh century, what we call the apostasy. The “death of God” is a poetical way of saying apostasy. If God is dead, everything is permitted, which means an entirely new order of the universe and the demons come into man’s world. If there is no God, then...
G. Summary: doctrines of the new theology
1. Death of God ‘apostasy’
2. All is permitted ‘irruption of demons.’
3. Superman ‘sub-man’: worship of oneself.
4. Man and world become divine: final deception of devil.
5. World monarchy, new revelation, milennialism — for a brief time.
H. The answer: to save oneself. God is with us. Ours is the truth.