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This article appears in the April 12, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Easter, A Time For Reflection

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

March 29, 2002

On the Isle of Capri, the Octavian who was later enthroned as the Emperor Augustus, sealed a pact with the priests of Mithra. Through aid of that pact, he overturned the reign of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and established the evil which was the Roman Empire. During his reign, Jesus Christ was born. It became the pleasure of Augustus' adopted successor, the Emperor Tiberius, also at Capri, to receive the news of his agent's, Pontius Pilate's judicial murder of Christ.

Augustus and Tiberius have had many imitators in modern times. These have included the paganist, self-styled "Sun King" of France, Louis XIV, and that parody of Louis XIV known as the first fascist regimes, those of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his successor Napoleon III. The continuation of that modern fascist revival of ancient imperial Rome, has included the followers of Immanuel Kant and the first modern philosopher of the fascist state, G.W.F. Hegel. From this same tradition, came many followers, including the so-called Carlist tradition of Hispanidad, the Confederate States of America, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and the fascist legal tradition of Carl Schmitt, Roland Freisler,and today's U.S. Justice Antonin Scalia. This same tradition of the anti-Christ, is recognizable in today's United States, as the utopian military and related dogmas intended to establish an imperial form of universal fascism modelled on the nuclear utopianism of Britain's H.G. Wells and Bertrand Russell. This is the universal fascism typified by the policies of such murderous devotees of Nashville Agrarian William Yandell Elliot's Confederacy tradition, as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samuel P. Huntington, and Henry A. Kissinger.

Now, in a time of great menace to all present and future humanity, Christianity celebrates a Holy Week. On the occasion of that Easter Sunday, how should we view the presently perilous circumstances of the world? How should all peoples, of whatever religious profession, from around the world, view the leading developments of these days? Let them receive the news, that this Sunday celebration is a message to all those people who must be hoping for a sublime intervention against the murderous evil of those universal fascists, who are, at this moment, menacing humanity as a whole?

I am not as a priest, but, rather, a person assigned to simply serve as a hand of Providence. Such are the boundaries of my profession, and so I serve you in this matter immediately at hand, on this day.

My message to you is this; to achieve a sublime result, you must let yourself be inspired by a sublime thought, and combine that thought, as Jeanne d'Arc did, with the will to risk whatever that sublime intention demands of you.

On this occasion, you should focus your attention upon the great work of Johann Sebastian Bach, in his Passion of St. John, and, most notably, the Passion of St. Matthew. These musical services for Easter-time were intended for the participation of the congregation and musicians, to enable them better to relive the sublime experience of Christ's own passion. This treatment by Bach is outstanding for the power with which it conveys the clearest and most loving message any Christian could be capable of delivering to any people, of any profession, in these terrible times, in any part of the world today.

Hear the message of that Passion as the Apostles John and Paul affirmed the meaning of it, from the standpoint of their knowledge of the great, waning legacy of Classical Greece which they knew still in their own time, the legacy of Plato's Socrates, most emphatically. So, relive the Passion of Christ as Bach's settings of those Passions provide a means for your reliving the essentials of the experience of Christ and his Apostles during that time. Through help of Bach, let yourself be transported across millennia, to relive that experience, in your mind, as if you were there, in the historical setting of the time and place in which those events originally occurred.

What meaning shall you then assign to the notion, that Christ came to save humanity from something awful? Consider the awful historical evidence which situates the events celebrated in the Christian's present Holy Week. To discover that meaning, you must set aside the popular misconceptions of words such as "spiritual," and situate the personality of Christ in a way which all of the greatest scientists have taught us to do, by their example, and as I show you, once again, now. They have taught us, as Socrates did, and as the great Moses Mendelssohn has done, that mankind's universe is essentially a spiritual world. They have taught us, that the challenge to each of us, is to see it as a real universe, an efficient reality which unmasks the illusory shadows of sense-certainty.

For a true comprehension of the significance of those events portrayed in, for example, an adequate performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, two conceptions must first be made clear. The first is the functional meaning the term spirituality; the second is the functional meaning of the term immortality. From those two beginnings, the sublime meaning of the Easter celebration then becomes clear.

Man, or Beast?

In the domain of physical science, the essential function of the term "spiritual," originates in proof of a fundamental difference between man and beast. The rigorous definition of that term of science was introduced to European civilization by Plato, who demonstrated the meaning of the term through his Socratic dialogues. All success in the progress of modern physical science, was set into motion through modern Europe's rediscovery of that significance of those dialogues, dialogues which typify what are otherwise known among qualified theologians as "spiritual exercises."

Typical of Plato's discoveries, is the point illustrated by his use of the pedagogical allegory known as "Plato's Cave." He emphasized that what our senses present to us are comparable to shadows cast on the irregular surface of the walls of a dimly fire-lit cave, or, as the Apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 13, as seen in a mirror darkly. Many of those shadows are real shadows, but only shadows. The alert mind is often able to recognize a certain falseness which shows us that sense-certainty is an imaginary world of such shadows. Among the impressions of sense-certainty, there appear certain contradictions which are of the quality which strict scientific method identifies as "ontological paradoxes."

So, the great Seventeenth-Century scientist Fermat recognized the importance of a certain paradox, the character of the contradiction between the reflection of light from a mirroring surface, in air, and the bending of light, as refraction through a medium other than air. The continued exploration of this demonstration proves, that electromagnetic radiation does not follow a shortest pathway, as if in Euclidean geometry; instead, it follows a pathway of reaching its destination in the quickest time. This discovery demonstrates the efficiency of a single principle which covers the cases of both simple reflection and refraction. It is an example of a true spiritual exercise in the work of physical science.

This discovery gives us a principle which can not be seen with the senses, but whose efficiency in practice is absolute, that relative to any object which could be seen by the senses. All true, experimentally demonstrable forms of universal physical principles share this same quality. Every experimentally validated discovery of a universal physical principle, such as the original discovery of universal gravitation, by Johannes Kepler, and every true discovery of a universal physical principle since, has been developed by that same method and means.

As I have just said, no experimentally validated universal physical principle ever was, or ever could be "seen" directly by the human senses. Yet, the experimental proof enables us to know the truth of that principle's existence, and to use it, by our command, as man's increase of his power in and over the universe. It is through the discovery and use of those principles, than man's power to exist on this planet has been increased from the few millions individuals achievable by an ape-like creature, to billions today. It is the transmission and enrichment of such knowledge of principle, as culture, which sets the human species absolutely apart from, and above the mere beasts.

It is the power of discovery and communication of such principles, a power unique to the human individual, which defines the nature of mankind. This power is identified as cognition, or reason, as distinct from, and in contrast to mere deductive logic. Contrary to those superstitious believers in mere shadows, known as the reductionists, those unseen, but conclusively demonstrated cognitive powers, are the efficient substance of the quality of spirituality which sets the person apart from, and above the beasts.[1]

Such is the nature of man, and such must be the ordering of social relations among all persons.

This quality of spiritual power pertains not only to the relationship of the thinking individual to nature in general. It also pertains to those qualities of relationships within society, without which progress in mankind's power over nature were not maintained. Those forms of Classical artistic composition and performance which have the same cognitive quality as valid discoveries of universal physical principles, reflect the same qualities of mind, and require the same degree of rigorous, cognitive truthfulness as physical science.

Admittedly, ignorant persons will protest, that the only real universe is the universality of sense-certainty. The evidence is, that mankind's efficient existence in the real universe, is a product of the cognitive processes by means of which mankind has been able to transcend the inherent fallacies of mere sense-perception. It is only in the cognitive domain, that our species is able efficiently to live and prosper in the real universe. It is our mastery of that real universe which is the only possible proof of the nature of the real universe, as distinct from the shadowy fantasies of mere sense-certainty. It is that spiritual world, thus expressed by spiritual exercises, which is the efficiently real world.

Mortality and Immortality

In the Gospel of St. John, and other Gospels and Epistles, the apparently paradoxical notion is expressed, that the Jesus Christ who would then die, crucified by order of Tiberius' Pontius Pilate, will not only live forever, but already existed at the beginning of the universe. The obvious, crucial paradox, is that of the relationship between mortality and immortality. However, there is a related, still deeper, underlying paradox, the notion of universality itself.

That Passion tells us, that Jesus Christ is both immortal but was about to die for the sake of all mankind. Thus, we are confronted with the need to distinguish the mortality of the crucified Christ from the coincidental, but immortal, universal, spiritual power and personality of that same Christ. We are assured that Christ's spiritual nature on this account, is of the same ironical substance as that of all men and women. So, human relations must be ordered; so, all law must bend before the higher, natural authority of this principle of universal truth. What, then, we must ask, is immortal in our mortal existence?

Is this anything but that spiritual quality, the quality expressed by Plato's Socratic dialogues and kindred spiritual exercises, which sets man apart from and above the beasts? It is the replication and transmission of the fruits of spiritual exercises, which situates the cognitive thinking human individual, within his or her mortality. This power of cognition is an active, efficient connection to all conditions of the universe which precede and follow each mortal lifetime.

Consider the historical setting of the birth, ministry, and judicial murder of Jesus Christ, in the time of such of his great imperial adversaries Augustus and Tiberius. Consider the condition of the peoples of the Mediterranean region over the preceding half-dozen centuries, then, and the more than two thousand years, since.

Until a time proximate to the close of the Second Punic War, the progress of European civilization had been pivotted upon the upward development of the human condition fostered as the emergence of a Classical form of Greek civilization. This was the Classical culture which had developed largely on foundations provided by the legacy of the greatest periods of Egypt's civilization. The progress of science, led by such representatives of Plato's Academy as Eratosthenes, typifies a real, if troubled progress in the human condition prior to the time of Roman supremacy in the region. The Roman murder of Archimedes of Syracuse, thus typifies the onset of successive waves of moral and intellectual decadence which, despite relatively exceptional figures such as Cicero, became the characteristic feature of Roman imperial rule and influence until the ultimate, inevitable collapse of Rome.

The resurrection of European civilization, and birth of the modern nation-state based on the principle of the general welfare, was postponed until the aftermath of the Fourteenth-Century New Dark Age, in the Italy-centered Fifteenth-Century Renaissance of Brunelleschi, Nicholas of Cusa, the great ecumenical Council of Florence, Leonardo da Vinci, et al.

Although great achievements has been made since this transformation within Fifteenth Century Italy, including the France made possible by Jeanne d'Arc, and the England of Henry VII and Sir Thomas More, and including the later establishment of the U.S.A. as a Federal Constitutional republic. However, that progress has been a mixed benefit, dominated by a continuing struggle between the leading role of the Christian revival of the Classical Greek heritage and the opposing persistence of that Romantic decadence typified by both legacies of feudalism and by fascist forces such as those echoes of the Caesars as Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, and the universal fascists, including Brzezinski, of the U.S.A. today. The mission given to Christ in the time of that great evil which was the Roman Empire, is still unfinished business for European civilization in particular, and for the well-being of mankind as a whole.

The business of Jesus Christ remains unfinished.

Consider the trend toward increase of cultural and moral depravity which has gripped most periods of Twentieth-Century European civilization, from the time of the first Sino-Japanese war and the assassination of U.S. President McKinley, to the present day. Consider the manner in which two World Wars were organized. Witness the generally accelerating cultural and moral depravity which has gripped the Americas and Europe, in particular, during the nearly four decades since the first fascist's attempt at assassination of France's President Charles de Gaulle, the missile-crisis of 1962, and the subsequent assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Consider the immediate threat to subjugate the planet at a whole to the perpetual warfare, like that of self-doomed ancient imperial Rome, a style of warfare, prescribed by Brzezinski's crony Samuel P. Huntington, who intentionally parodied the Nazi Waffen-SS.

We are presently gripped by a time, in which an evil modelled upon that of Augustus' and Tiberius' Rome has progressed mightily in destroying much of that which had been accomplished during recent centuries of global extended European civilization. What is afoot is the always lurking legacy of the evil of imperial Rome, but an evil equipped with thermonuclear power.

Yet, we are not lacking in advantages gained during the recent two thousand-odd years. We have the benefit of that spiritual power by means of which the best of modern European civilization was brought into being, and we have before us the image of that Jesus Christ whose image, as reflected in the Bach Passions, has been the continuing influence through which European civilization has been, chiefly, mustered, to accomplish as much good as we have enjoyed since that time. Christ and his Apostles live, as if within us, still, as knowledge, imparted to us, by means of which the living might bring the hopes of the dead to realization, and the hoped-for future into being.

Classical Science and Art

The characteristic of the human species, is not its genetic heritage, but its culture. On this account, there exist no human races, in fact, but only one human race, members of which have exactly that self-same characteristic which sets every person, even a Kissinger or Brzezinski, apart from the beasts. By "culture," we should understand those qualities of the human mind which we identify by means of spiritual exercizes. This is the quality of mind which competent theologians, such as Plato and Moses Mendelssohn, recognized as the characteristic expression of the immortal soul.

This brings us to the last of a series of mysteries to be conquered here. What is the efficient relationship of the individual soul, to the past and future generations of mankind? As I emphasized in all my relevant scientific writings, that the quality of mind, by means of which the discovery of a valid quality of hypothesis is generated, is the expression of a perfectly sovereign quality of that individual. One could not wire minds together, so to speak to increase their powers or to prompt the replication of the discovery of principle made by one mind in another. Such ideas are communicated only in that mode which is associated with those Classical humanist methods of education which have been virtually banned, systemically, from all schools and universities during the recent thirty-five years.

Thus, as all decent scientific practice does, we identify any original discovery by the personality of its discoverer, since that is the only way in which discoveries of valid universal physical principles are known to us, or could become known to us. We know nothing which we have not discovered as an hypothetical solution to an ontological paradox, and which we have yet to prove by appropriate methods of experiment. Thus, in Bach's St. John or St. Matthew Passion, a short summary of the content of that work would be, axiomatically, obscene drivel, for that reason alone. To know, one must experience the act of discovery. One does not audit a qualified performance of the St. Matthew Passion; one lives it! All true physical science, and all great Classical art, which is the only truthful art, is experienced in this way. One must br gripped by the paradoxes, search for the hypotheses, and find the proofs, as in any true spiritual exercize.

It is by such exercizes, in Classical art, and Classical science, that one knows another person's soul, and in no other way. Hence, the importance of Classical art, excluding Romantic, "modernist," and "popular" art, for religious services. So, a glance at a cathedral may betray the truth of what were likely to be experienced within it. If the communication within the religious service does not meet the standard of cognitive truthfulness of a spiritual exercise, it is no better than an empty bagfull of rhetoric.

This has everything to do with serious politics.

All of man's achievements, including the capacity of a society to continue its existence at its present level of achievement, depend absolutely upon the combined processes of transmission and generation of universal principles of science and art, from past to future, and to mankind more broadly. These discoveries of principle have an effect on the individual within the culture, akin to a qualitative genetic change in a lower species. The characteristic power of that society to exist, is increased by acquisition of cognitive reenactment of valid principles of science and Classical art, and lowered by lack of such acquisition. This is the "ecological" characteristic of mankind which distinguishes mankind from all lower species of life. It is in this dimension of experience, in cognitive transmissions of valid notions of universal principle, that the immortality of the individual soul is efficiently expressed in a physically efficient, and scientifically conclusive way.

To sum up the point to be emphasized on this occasion, consider the following.

The doctrine of the immortality of the soul has a rich history, from Plato's Socratic dialogues, through the role of the same Platonic notion of the term agape expressed summarily by Paul's I Corinthians 13, and permeating the Gospel of John. It is the concept, translated as promotion of the general welfare of present and future generations, in the U.S. Constitution, and, otherwise, the notion of doing good in service of the common good. Our concern for humanity is not like a farmer's dedication to improving his breed of cattle; our concern is for the benefit to every soul, not only the living and the future, but also the past, in humanity as a whole. Like the true Christian missionary, he acts not to rule, but to serve in ways which enable humanity to rule itself better, for the sake of all souls, past, present, and future.

The same rule applies to those whose profession is merely to be a hand of Providence. We are motivated by the sense that we are therefore living forever in each moment of mortal life.

Thus, we see the mission from Jesus Christ, shining out from the site of the crucifixion. It is that radiation of agape, as identified by John and Paul, which has been the continuing benefit of an idea radiating throughout the intervening millennia to us today. So, experience the St. Matthew Passion, and leave that experience better people than you entered. Receive the message, and act accordingly. The outcome, and the present and past meanning of your life, and that of your nation, may depend upon precisely that decision made in perilous moments such as the present world crisis.

[1] See Bruce Director's summary of the crucial implications of Carl Gauss's Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, in which Gauss exposes the hoax of the reductionists Euler and Lagrange on the subject of the complex domain.

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