Wednesday, April 25, 2007
THE ROLE OF THE KABBALAH
If I were to venture an opinion about when I think the occult "entered" the Church, I would have to say that it appears to have been with the advent of Martines de Pasqually and his Order of Elus Cohens which smacks of Kabbalism. In Wikipedia, interestingly enough, Martinism is defined as A FORM OF MYSTICAL OR ESOTERIC CHRISTIANITY. What's up with that?
According to my Encyclopedia of the Occult Pasqually was a "Portuguese Jew" from Spain. He was a Mason who claimed to be in possession of masonic patents for masonry associated with the deposed Stuart monarchs of Great Britain.
Louis Claude de St. Martin was Catholic, but was nevertheless initiated by Pasqually into his "Elus Cohen" rites.
Order of Elect Cohens
Vintras was associated with Martinism through Towianski. Eliphas Levi was associated with Martinism through Josef Maria Hoene Wronski.
Guenon who was connected with the Hieron du Val'd'Or's propaganda publication "Regnabit" was a Gnostic bishop with ties to Papus who established a Martinist order in France reviving the Elus Cohen Rite. Papus was initiated into the O.T.O. by Theodore Reuss. In turn, Papus assisted Reuss in the formation of the O.T.O. Gnostic Catholic Church. Then, of course, there was Blavatsky and her association with Max Theon.
I can't see how anyone who has studied the history of the occult can validly claim that the Kabbalah (or counterfeit Kabbalah ) was not a major influence in the occult revival in modern times.
I agree with her assessment. The Kabbalah is central to occultism/New Age, though I can't say exactly why yet.
In any case, I'm not sure if I've posted this previously and I don't have time to look right now, but it applies here as well, so I'll post it here. The interest of Karol Wojtyla in the writings of the Polish poet Mickiewicz makes Mickiewicz's interest in the Kabbalah noteworthy. Susanna wrote:
Looks like Mickiewicz was [a Martinist] as well vis a vis Oleszkiewick.
Mickiewicz, Martinist Mason
In effect, the relations with Towianski were also of an occult type, or rather Masonic. Was Mickewicz a Mason? From the beginning, in 1817, we see that he founded the secret society, the Philomaths (Towarzystwo filomatow). In 1820, he joined another secret society, the Philarethes, which he speaks of in the third part of his 1833 book, Dziady (Ancestors). Alas, I don’t know if the Philarethes have something to do with the Masonic lodges called the Philalethes. (21) Whatever the case may be, these Polish secret societies were the replica (and often the ally) of the Russian secret societies---a type of Slavic Carbonarism---which would give rise to the 1825 Decembrist revolt, the Tzarist government had recognized the hand of Masonry, and it is precisely because of this situation, that it was made illegal in Russia. (22) To support the suspicion that the secret societies to which the young Mickiewicz belonged were not Masonic, a meeting will lead him to Martinism: the meeting with Oleszkiewick. "No one would have as strong an influence on him as the Pole, Josef Oleszkiewick, painter, mystic, disciple of Saint-Martin, and who would be the first to initiate Mickiewicz to the most profound religious experiences of his life." (23) So it is that the Voltarian, Mickiewicz, became a Martinist, from rationalist to "mystic;" in 1836, he published Zdania I uwagi (Feelings and observations), a collection of quotes from the works of Böhme.(24), Silesius and Saint-Martin. (25) With Saint-Martin, we are amid fullblown Masonry, and even full blown Jewish Cabalism! It is in this esoteric environment, well established before the his affiliation with Towianski’s movement, that Mickiewicz’ thought becomes bogged down in the mud, "Strongly touched in his youth by the mystique of the secret societies---de Lubac must admit ---by Böhme with whom he fell in love in Dresden in 1832 (26), by the visions of Frederick Wanner, by Swedenborg, (27)by Baader and by Saint-Martin whom he had read in Paris in 1833, but also by Catherine Emmerich…and by the great mystics of the Christian tradition, above all Denys (who he tried to translate into Polish), he resembled Joseph de Maistre, who would be closer to the sources of popular inspiration, and to Lammenais who would remain faithful." (p. 245) Surely, the more Lubac tries to excuse Mickiewicz, the worse it involuntarily becomes, so much so that he makes clear the place occupied by Mickiewicz among the most dangerous thinkers of "Masonic-Christian" esotericism.
Here is something else interesting about Towianski:
Closer in spirit to Mickiewicz was the curious figure of Andrzej Towianski, a mystagogue and defrocked priest, who played a disproportionately large role in the spiritual life of the Polish Great Emigration in Paris in the 1840s. Towianski had his own ideas about the Jews and Polish-Jewish relations, and like Mickiewicz also thought in idealized terms. In Towianski's view, the long history of coexistence of Poles and Jews meant that the fate of the two peoples was intertwined. Each could nurture and fulfill the other for the greater future glory of Poland. But unlike Mickiewicz, Towianski posited the symbiosis of Poles and Jews on the Jew's acceptance of Christianity. This desideratum, however, is advanced by Towiasnki in the idiom of mystical enlightenment. It is sincere, fervent, and never strident or contemptuous.
It is reported in this article that Mickiewicz's mother may have been a descendant of a Frankist family.