||This review appears in the August 3, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
It's About All of Us
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Jesus of Nazareth
Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI,
Adrian J. Walker, trans.
(New York: Doubleday, 2007
416 pages, hardbound, $24.95
July 22, 2007
The reality which confronts mankind, today, is Apocalyptic.
A friend, an influential priest of about my own age, blurted out the news that, in his nation, there was not a single person currently in training for the priesthood. I was shocked for a moment, but only a sobering moment. In the U.S.A., for example, the percentile of avowed "believers in God" among voters has, allegedly, increased during the most recent decades; nonetheless I shudder when I ask myself, what, for example, do many among those believers actually believe?
What, really, is gripping mankind's will in these presently ominous times?
Contrary to a considerable amount of strongly expressed opinion, the decline within the Catholic clergy was not a product of the process known as Vatican II; Vatican II was a response to the seemingly unhindered wrongness of the direction which the post-World War II world had already taken, almost from the very hour in which President Franklin Roosevelt had died. The chief source of the worsening moral crisis of trans-Atlantic society today has been most prominently expressed in the new forms of decadence introduced into the factor of will in certain, chiefly "middle class" communities throughout the Americas and western and central Europe. For the witting, there was a sense that the world which emerged triumphant over the fascist menace, had betrayed the purpose for which that war had been fought. This sense of a world gripped by a new, careening decadence, drew the attention of the most thoughtful to the effect of the conditioning of a layer of chiefly white-collar, middle-class children born, notably, in post-war Europe and the Americas, between 1945 and 1957-58. This was a so-called "white-collar" generation, whose decadences would later erupt, violently, in the form of the explosion by "the 68ers" on both sides of the Atlantic.
The key to understanding this specific change, is to recognize that the pro-existentialist, post-Franklin Roosevelt change in quality of beliefs in both the Americas and western and central Europe, corresponds, specifically, to the entry into adolescence of a large social, so-called "white-collar" stratum from within the generation which had been born to those nations in the aftermath of Franklin Roosevelt's death. Typical of this were the children born to the family households of what was known during the 1950s as "The Organization Man." President Dwight Eisenhower referred to the expression of that "white-collar" constituency as a "military-industrial complex."
The most significant factor in bringing about a related change of the Catholic, and relevant other institutions of Europe and the Americas, has been the forced-feeding of the populations with the wild-eyed, existentialist dogmas of the "Frankfurt School," dogmas associated with the assigned role of the Congress of Cultural Freedom (CCF) in post-1945 Europe. Notable influences have included such as the former Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger, his understudy Jean-Paul Sartre of France, and that Frankfurt School's Horkheimer, Adorno, Arendt, et al. The same trend was echoed by the dismal image of Bertolt Brecht in Soviet-occupied East Germany. These radical empiricists, these existentialists, as combined in effect with the work of the London Tavistock Clinic and Bertrand Russell's circles, are typical of the leading edge of the post-1945 campaign to destroy the traditions of both physical science and Classical culture in Europe, and beyond.
This development within, and beyond the trans-Atlantic community must be compared with the morally fatal factor of decadence whose influence was expressed as the collapse of a deeply corrupted Athens into the follies of the Peloponnesian War.
Inside the U.S.A. itself, this existentialist corruption was spread from the ideological overlap of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, with the brainwashing campaign conducted by Adorno, Arendt, et al. under the rubric of "The Authoritarian Personality." One of the notable products of those conspirators' brainwashing campaign against its U.S. and other victims, has been, thus, the dupes' now familiar, Orwellian babbling of the cult-phrase "I don't believe in conspiracy theories."
The result is, that, for the victim of the corrupting ideological influences of the "Frankfurt School" and kindred modern Sophistries, the essential thing which is lost as a fruit of that plunge into decadence, is the notion of the existence of that immortal soul which distinguishes the human personality absolutely, and uniquely, from the beasts. The implications of the form of moral corruption which existentialism expresses, are immediate, both inside and outside the churches; however, the fuller consequences of the disease became more and more clearly manifest over the course of time. Implicitly, thus, the idea of God has been supplanted by cults of the genre shared with the childish dupes of the "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter" cults. All of those values which had been associated with civilized forms of life within, and among nations and peoples, were thus placed in jeopardy.
So, came the Autumn harvest called "the 68ers." It came in the Spring of that year, when the vanguard of the Baby-Boomer generation had touched, first, adolescence, and then entered adult maturity. So, now, it has come about, that a new dark age menaces the planet. The time had come, thus, in which a new Pope would see cause to examine the true meaning of immortality of the soul which inhabits the living human flesh.
That is the immediate setting for the reading of Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth.
I Corinthians 13
For example. On the appropriate occasion in 2004, I delivered a relevant address in Talladega, Alabama, commemorating the immortal memory of the Reverend Martin Luther King, as a hero in the exemplary tradition of Joan of Arc.[*] That same specific quality of immortality to which I referred on that occasion, is my point of reference here. So, my emphasis here, is my own persuasion, as in reading his book, that Benedict XVI's emphasis upon the importance of knowing a real-life image of Jesus of Nazareth which would be as accurate as possible, is a key for today's better understanding of the Christian's mission.
Contrary to widespread opinion in the U.S.A., and Europe, today, man is no ape of the sort implicit in the doctrines of the former Nazi Martin Heidegger and his Frankfurt School intimates. We must suspect that not even a mere ape could be thrown into a state of affairs as bestial as Heidegger's man. The belief in the God identified by Christians, as by Jews in the footsteps of the three great Mosesof Sinai, Maimonides, and Mendelssohnhas a scientifically objective basis, as Mendelssohn's Phaedon emphasizes this fact. Nonetheless, the nature of the God of the Christians and Moses, is also, essentially, a very personal, subjective issue.
In the teaching of science, for example, there is usually a gulf separating the definition of "truth" as what the modern Sophist would consider as "what I have been taught to believe, if I wished to earn my credentials." So, most students were brainwashed into dupes of a zombie-like mere "consensus," as in considering Euclidean or Cartesian definitions, axioms, and postulates as "self-evident": thus shunning actual experience of efficient knowledge of a universal physical principle, as Bernhard Riemann, for example, defines true knowledge.
A man who wishes to feel himself important, says: "I believe in God." So, in the case of the legendary Bible of a deceased revivalist, we might read the deceased parson's Bible, where he had written, with flourishes otherwise suited to an impassioned Flagellant: "Text unclear. Shout like Hell!"
An honest man asks him: "When and how did you come to know God?"
The challenged parson, almost choked with rage, replies, stiffly: "I believe!"
Therefore, the relevant question is, simply, are weme and youmade in the likeness of the Creator of this universe? How could we know this? Are we beasts, or are we cast in the likeness of man and woman in Genesis 1: 26-30? So, for the Christian in the time of great spiritual crisis for mankind, as for Benedict XVI on the present occasion, the meaning of the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth, is a most crucial and practical, existential question for all concerned.
Benedict XVI has replied: What is the evidence we know from the life of Jesus of Nazareth? What do we actually know, and how are we capable of knowing it?
If I were challenged so, my reply would be, essentially, I Corinthians 13. Faith and Hope depend essentially on the principle of the Apostle John's Gospel: the Socratic concept of agape. It is a conception which is not captured by merely contemporary use of the English charity, nor the term love.
Nor could we represent the meaning of agape by mere passion. It is a quality which may be referenced by the term passion, but it is a meaning of passion which has no commonplace expression in contemporary writing or speech. I usually associate the meaning of the term agape with the passion of creativity, as creativity is used in the more rigorous sense of the act of discovering an efficient form of universal physical principle, as typified by such actions as Johannes Kepler's discovery of the universal physical principle of gravitation.
The most significant, relevant misuse of the purported synonyms for the agape of Plato and the Apostles John and Paul, for example, is a product of attempted dictionary-nominalist accommodations to the modern philosophical Liberalism in the viciously irrationalist form of Sophist, and implicitly Satanic tradition of the modern magician Sophist Paolo Sarpi: the tradition of his empiricist and Romantic followers such as his lackey Galileo Galilei, the Anglo-Dutch Liberal empiricists Locke, Mandeville, the Physiocrats Quesnay and Turgot, the British plagiarist Adam Smith, and the radical utilitarianism of the British Foreign Office's Jeremy Bentham and his devotees. This is also the mechanistic tradition of René Descartes, and so on, to the present time.
Precise working definitions of the underlying meaning of agape are available. From ancient Classical Greece, the Pythagorean Archytas' solution for the construction of the doubling of the cube, or Plato's exercise in the Theaetetus dialogue, are examples. In modern science and theology, the most significant discovery is Nicholas of Cusa's discovery of the systemic incompetence of Archimedes' attempt at quadrature of the circle, and the consequent application of Cusa's approach to this in Kepler's uniquely original discovery of the principle of universal gravitation. Fermat's discovery of the principle of least action, as the catenary principle was discovered, uniquely, by the collaboration of Gottfried Leibniz and Jean Bernouilli, is an example, as is the outcome of Bernhard Riemann's 1854 habilitation dissertation.
This matter was summarized, late in his life, by Albert Einstein's grasp of the unity of the process defined by the benchmarks of Kepler and Riemann: the principle of a finite but unbounded universe. Or, the related definitions of the qualitative distinctions of the universal phase-spaces of the abiotic, the Biosphere, and the Noösphere, by Academician V.I. Vernadsky. In each and all of these cases from the domain of physical science, a finite but unbounded universe is reflected in the quality of the infinitesimal as that is defined by Leibniz and the work of Riemann, as the reflection of the quasi-infinity of a finite, but unbounded universality as a whole.
This infinitesimal expresses the power which moves the universe. The trajectory of motion, as might be described by finite mathematics, is the shadow of the principle, but not the ontological actuality of that principle.
It is the creative powers which man and woman express as in the likeness of the Creator, the power of the process of the continuing creation of the universe, power expressing the intention of both Creator and created, which reflects the concept of agape. It is the creative love shared with the Creator, and expressed in the human personality's devotion to the realization of this mission, which is crucial. It is the love expressed by contributions to the development of the universe we inhabit; it is a quality of love which expresses such creative power.
It is the love which expresses man and woman as acting in service to, and likeness of the Creator.
Jesus of Nazareth
Let me therefore state the case from the ecumenical standpoint of the same Platonic tradition which I share with Moses Mendelssohn's Phaedon. This is history, but is much more than a mere account of past history; nothing less than that history is required to express the essence of the ongoing process which grips the planet as a whole, still today.
With the close of the Second Punic War, a new quality of an old evil came upon the civilization centered in the maritime system of the Mediterranean: the insurgency of the emerging Roman Empire. It was already an old evil, what was known, generically, as the old oligarchical model, assuming a new form. During the greater part of the following two centuries, there was a great struggle over control of the new empire-in-the-making.
So, the time came, when the putative heir of the deceased Julius Caesar, Octavian, while resident on the Isle of Capri, negotiated an alliance with the cult of Mithra against Octavian's political rivals, Antony and Cleopatra. Octavian crowned himself the Caesar Augustus of the time when Jesus of Nazareth was born. It was while the Emperor Tiberius was resident on the same Isle of Capri, that the Emperor's representative, Pontius Pilate, ordered the death of Jesus of Nazareth by crucifixion.
The Roman Empire, sometimes called "The Whore of Babylon," has passed, but it was succeeded by Byzantium. Byzantium died, too; but, it was superseded by its heir, a new descendant of Rome, the empire over which the Venetian financier-oligarchy reigned through its arrangement with the Norman chivalry. Then, from February 1763 on, came a new successor on the imperial throne, Paolo Sarpi's neo-Venetian, Anglo-Dutch Liberal empire of the British East India Company and its successors, the reign of the imperial usury which dominates the world still today.
So, the evil which Jesus of Nazareth was born to face, the imperial evil which perpetrated the judicial murder of Christ, persists still today. For us, therefore, who live within that continuing span, the mission for the unshackling of man and woman in the likeness of the Creator, thus, remains still to be fulfilled.
Who, Then, Are We?
Who, therefore, are the man and woman, made in the likeness of the Creator, of whom Genesis 1 speaks? If we are immortal, then where were wewhere are we in the simultaneity of eternitywhen Jesus of Nazareth was born? By what agency do we participate in the sweep of the history of the events? Better said: How should we experience that simultaneity of eternity? How are the personalities of the deceased to be justified?
Benedict XVI has written a book which takes the reader through the known aspects of the experience of Jesus of Nazareth. The attempt is made, and it is a persuasive one, to place the reader inside the experience of that Jesus of Nazareth. By means of that attempt, the reader is presented with the opportunity to immerse his, or her sense of being within the mission which that account expresses as the future. That mission must become our passion.
What, therefore, is man's mission? To what outcome of our mortal lives, even far beyond our mortal death, do we, should we yearn? Not what we do for ourselves, but what we do for all mankind. When our flesh ceases, what remains of us which is not a mere beast? Where does that poor soul go to pray? What is our interest in the outcome of the simultaneity of eternity? As immortal beings, what should our passions be?
The passing of the successive reigns of that imperial, oligarchical model of society which Augustus' and Tiberius' reigns reflect is not the goal of our existence, but only an unshackling of mankind for the missions beyond. In the meantime, our duty is not to wait, as if hat in hand, for the evil to be marvelously taken away. The change to be made, is one in which we must participate. It is we, from our place in the simultaneity of eternity, who must participate in all the suitable missions for mankind, acting in our role as creatures in the likeness of our Creator.
[*] "Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., The Immortality of Martin Luther King , DVD: EIRDV-2004-001-STD. Available from EIRNS, $25.