Georgi Stankov, August 11, 2018
first published in German on February 12, 2013
Translation in English by the author
I wrote this sarcastic parable about the young, unripe soul of the resigned pope Ratzinger in 2006, one year after he became a pope, in order to illustrate what old, fear-based behaviour patterns drive such young souls like this man to follow a religious career in the Christian Orion Church. This parable was part of my investigations on the philosophy of Descartes in my gnostic book “Philosophic Sources” (see page 68). In my analysis, I departed from some ingenious elaborations of this greatest thinker of modern Western civilisation on human mind and morality.
This parable was first written in German language and uses some very specific expressions and facts dealing with the life of Ratzinger, which I studied carefully during my sojourn in Freising, where the resigned pope graduated from the local seminary and became a priest in the same year I was born. Due to this reason, the language of this parable is very difficult to translate in English.
On several occasions in the past I have made the readers of this website aware of the fact that my life is closely intertwined with that of Ratzinger and that I have lived in all places that have also shaped the destiny and career of Ratzinger, such as Bonn, Münster, Munich, Freising and Regensburg. In the latter university town I presented officially the new theory of the Universal Law at the annual conference of the German Physical Society in March 1998. Regensburg is not far away, half an hour drive with a car to the north from where I last used to live in Germany.
Ratzinger lived in Regensburg many years as a professor in theology before he became bishop and later cardinal and he has a house there. His brother who is also a theologian still lives there. When this pope first visited his homeland Bavaria in 2006, he held his infamous lecture at the Regensburg university, known since then as the “Regensburg lecture“. In his speech he condemned the ferocity and “bloodthirstiness” of Islam, but omitted to make similar comments on all the atrocities which Christianity has committed throughout its history of 2000 years. I have discussed this lecture in depth in my gnostic-philosophic book “Neoplatonism and Christianity”
He was severely criticized for this speech and was forced since then to adopt a low profile, thus hiding officially his highly controversial, conservative Christian beliefs. But this did not help him improve his already bad reputation as the “Panzer-Kardinal” (“Armour-Cardinal“, another valid translation is also “Tank-Cardinal“). This nickname, which he brought with him to the Vatican initially as the head of the Inquisition, summarizes in a paradigmatic way the mentality of this young soul, who sought refuge in the alleged stability of Christian dogma, as he was so fearful of the pulsating life outside the church walls that he hated being exposed to its imponderables.
This was also the main reason why he gave up his career as a professor at German universities that were in turmoil in the late 60s and 70s due to the rebellious movement of the “Generation 68” that had encompassed whole Europe at that time and in which I also participated as a dissident in Bulgaria and later on as an émigré in Germany.
At the end, the young soul Ratzinger betrayed his Higher Self and compromised his own quest for truth, which he cherished as a young man when he was adamantly searching for the “Proof of God“.
This is essentially the plot of this very lucid parable, which I dedicated to pope Ratzinger in the year of 2006, knowing from my HS that he will resign around the time of my ascension when I will take over the Vatican and the Church of Christ based on a fraud of the gnostic teachings of our PAT predecessor – Apollonius of Tyana – as extensively discussed on this website (e.g. here and here).
The Story of the Young Soul
This is the story of a young soul with priester soul essence and intellectual centering who followed her inherent religious sentiment and spent a lifetime searching in vain for tangible evidence of the transcendent that she could not immediately sense in this soul age, for her fear-based structure prevented her from exploring this soul dimension. But she had no idea of these inner connexion and lived in an innocent, joyful expectation of her future enlightenment.
She has been afflicted with strong doubts since early childhood and was afraid to fail in life. Her frail constitution, which was not well accepted by her peers, contributed to this fear. In order to find a foothold, she turned to theology, for the Church had already existed for 2000 years and the Christians seemed to firmly believe in the existence of God. In addition, her family and the whole environment were strictly religious and supported her in this endeavor.
However, it was not enough for her to become a simple believing soul, she wanted rather to find the impeccable scientific-theological evidence for the existence of God. After all, she was intellectually centered and needed to evaluate everything she heard through intellectual reason. Since she was also unable to experience and express emotions intensively, because her 4th heart chakra of emotions was still closed, she could not handle psychic turmoil and harbored an abysmal mistrust towards all emotional impulses, be they her own or that of others souls.
Therefore, our incarnated soul plunged into the study of theology and, due to her intellectual talent and lack of emotional distraction, quickly became a recognized young theologian who mastered all the important works of Christian doctrine and could recite them very well. Without putting much effort into it, she quickly became part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy in her country, because at that time society became more and more atheistic, so that fewer and fewer people chose a clerical profession.
The original doubts about the existence of God had still not been overcome by our soul, for she had found nothing in the Scriptures or other works that would have convinced her even a little. At the same time, however, she read that many famous personalities in the history of the Church had made such far-reaching experiences with the Divine that had changed them forever and then had processed them into acclaimed mystical or Gnostic writings.
Our young soul was deeply impressed especially by Augustine and his Confessions. So she decided to write her habilitation (a higher degree of doctor thesis in Germany) on this church father, hoping someday to follow in the footsteps of this saint and also being touched by the Divine.
Until then she was inspired by an unbroken spiritual idealism. But, contrary to her expectations, the habilitation proved to be an extremely difficult affair, not because our proficient soul had written her thesis badly – it was of extraordinary precision and Christian fervor – but because all this passionate devotion of our soul deeply displeased her professor who was a disillusioned, agnostic old cynic. As a compensation for his spiritual failure, this professor avenged himself on his students by systematically harassing them under the pretext of high scientific standards when assessing their doctoral thesis or habilitation. At that time the German universities were full of such sadists who were the intellectual remnants of the brown (Nazi) past.
So, for the first time, our soul realized that her theological career was not an upward spiral to the Divine, which could just as casually be moulded into a higher and higher church career on the hierarchical ladder, but that the way to God was sown with countless mines and pitfalls.
She was now at a crossroads. She might choose to leave the church to preserve her spiritual idealism and nurse him in private study or she could stay in the church and advance her theological-intellectual perfection until she surpasses most clergy. In this way, she hoped to overcome her doubts and refused to admit that there was danger everywhere that the endeavored theological scholarship would only prove in the end to be a cheap substitute for the lost divine enlightenment.
As chance would have it, our desperate soul came just at the right time across Descartes’ treatise “A DISCOURSE ON THE METHOD OF CORRECTLY CONDUCTING ONE’S REASON AND SEEKING TRUTH IN THE SCIENCES“. On the one hand, the reading of philosophical works was part of the theological training of our soul, on the other hand, one regarded Descartes with great suspicion in the church. After all, his proof of God was far too much imbued with inner doubt, and the point of departure for his argument was not in the Divine, but in the undoubted existence of his own “Self” (I AM Presence). This Cartesian approach was deeply suspect to the Church, for if it had been applied consistently, one would have to give up the Church altogether as a mediator between believers and God.
“If I would decide now,” contemplated our soul, “to leave the Church forever, then I would also have to familiarize myself with proofs of God outside the Christian teaching.” Because our soul did not want to live without God, no matter what. In the end our soul found a compromise path which Descartes himself had chosen, and which now seemed like a divine providence to her mental distress.
However, our overjoyed soul seemed to overlook in her enthusiasm the fact that Descartes understood this path as a “temporary morality” with which he merely wanted to advance his scientific research, and did not recommend it as a “life strategy”. Thus our soul, being in dire straits, chose to fully embrace the “three precepts” of Cartesian “temporary morality” in her life and wrote it down with minor modifications in her diary as follows:
“My first Precept: To obey the laws and customs of my Church, adhering firmly to the Catholic faith in which, by the grace of God, I had been educated from my childhood and regulating my conduct in every other matter according to the most moderate opinions, and the farthest removed from extremes, which should happen to be adopted in practice with general consent of the most judicious of those among whom I might be living. For as I had from that time begun to hold my own opinions for nought because I wished to subject them all to examination, I was convinced that I could not do better than follow in the meantime the opinions of the most judicious.
And although there are some perhaps among the atheists and non-christians as judicious as among ourselves, expediency seemed to dictate that I should regulate my practice conformably to the opinions of those with whom I should have to live; and it appeared to me that, in order to ascertain the real opinions of such, I ought rather to take cognizance of what they practised than of what they said, not only because, in the corruption of our manners, there are few disposed to speak exactly as they believe (I can’t do this either), but also because very many are not aware of what it is that they really believe; for, as the act of mind by which a thing is believed is different from that by which we know that we believe it, the one act is often found without the other. Also, amid many opinions held in equal repute, I chose always the most moderate, as much for the reason that these are always the most convenient for practice, and probably the best (for all excess is generally vicious), as that, in the event of my falling into error, I might be at less distance from the truth than if, having chosen one of the extremes, it should turn out to be the other which I ought to have adopted…
My Second Precept: To be as firm and resolute in my actions as I was able, and not to adhere less steadfastly to the most doubtful opinions, when once adopted, than if they had been highly certain; imitating in this the example of travelers who, when they have lost their way in a forest, ought not to wander from side to side, far less remain in one place, but proceed constantly towards the same side in as straight a line as possible, without changing their direction for slight reasons, although perhaps it might be chance alone which at first determined the selection; for in this way, if they do not exactly reach the point they desire, they will come at least in the end to some place that will probably be preferable to the middle of a forest.
My Third Precept: To endeavor always to conquer myself rather than fortune, and change my desires rather than the order of the world, and in general, accustom myself to the persuasion that, except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.”
Armed with the Cartesian Precepts of a misunderstood “morality for the whole life”, our soul quickly solved the problem with the professor by accepting without a murmur all his suggestions for modification, which were deeply repugnant to her. She graduated and soon became a professor herself.
The precepts seemed to perform miracles, for at that time the country was in a state of upheaval, and nothing seemed to be safe anymore, neither morality nor customs, let alone faith. Our soul could not hold on to anything except Descartes “Precepts”.
An old man and an embarrassment candidate was surprisingly elected as church leader. Instead of taking care of his tomb in Venice, this peasant pope decided the unheard of – to fundamentally renew the doctrine of the church. After the first shock that hit our soul to the core, she recognized the opportunity that this renewal of the Church offered her to overcome her doubts about the existence of God in practical activity.
“What if I would take an active part in creating the new rules of faith?” Our soul wondered. “Maybe I’ll be able to catch a corner of the divine?” So our soul set out on the way to where “all the ways lead” and where the Catholic faith is known to be administered, and spent several years in meaningless, tedious discussions that focused on the preservation of the church and its unity, but left the religious feeling out in the dark.
The first Cartesian precept helped our soul even in this time of profound change to follow her path without any doubt: she did not judge her peers according to their beliefs, for most of them did not seem to have any, but according to their deeds, of which not a single one really convinced her. The creeds did not seem to matter anyway – what mattered was the preservation of the church, whose future was then considered very uncertain. Following the first precept, our soul took a very close note of this view because it was shared by the most thoughtful of the Church. A bitter aftertaste remained, however, which our soul could not hide from herself.
Back home, she plunged into feverish academic-theological activity, as if to numb her doubts about the existence of God. She chose the most difficult topic in theology, which all prudent connoisseurs of the matter strictly avoided: the eschatology of death and eternal life. One would have thought that with this choice our soul would have betrayed her Cartesian precepts, and some critical voices from her academic environment seemed to confirm this assumption. But our soul remained faithful to her principles and surpassed herself. Even though she had outwardly given the impression that she was reaching for the stars with this transcendental theme, she succeeded to tackle this difficult Gnostic topic, on which most philosophers and theologians before her time had bitten out their teeth, without even falling once in the innumerable theological pitfalls. What fell by the wayside was the transcendental knowledge of the true existence of God; it simply did not fit into this theologically correct, but philosophically very meager work.
The success of her book was notable for academic standards and earned her unanimous recognition. Our soul was intoxicated by this success and, much to her great surprise, noticed that her theological doubts had become quieter in the excitement around the publication of her book. She began to get used to this condition and came to the conclusion that this was the only correct way of dealing with the idea of God: “One should only perceive God with the mind and not with the emotions or, God forbid, with such an insecure authority as human intuition, may Descartes still praise it so much in his proof of God.”, our soul was cogitating: “And what about my soul?”, asked our incarnated young soul the key rhetoric question of any truth seeker with anxious expression as she could not quite suppress her theological curiosity: “Is she immortal or does she even exist before my time as a human being?”
But the concept of the soul was much too suspect to our little, young soul. After all, the pagan philosophers of antiquity had always placed it at the center of their thinking and renounced the Christological God. Even the idea of her possible reincarnation was so scary to our soul that it plunged her into thousand distresses of faith. In short, she refused to think about herself because she had already chosen the Church. To hide these uncomfortable questions from herself, our young theological soul began to consider herself a “tireless, humble gardener on the vineyard of the Lord.”
And that self-portrait pleased her very much. At the same time, our soul decided to distance herself from all the ideas of ancient philosophy which the Church has adopted and made it a Hellenistic religion, and only to accept the Logos – however, not the pagan Logos of Heraclitus, for God’s sake, but only John’s Logos, for she did not want to end up as a heretic soul. The Logos was intended to embody the Christian reason to which our soul was attracted by its intellectual centering, but Christian reason meant nothing else to our soul except to keep the Church together in these troubled and adverse times.
This was because our soul had to experience the social upheaval of that time directly. It was the first time she had really looked down into the abyss of political life – the Nazi repercussions had more or less passed her by unnoticed – and she did not like what she saw. The rebellion of the uncouth revolutionaries of the 60s, who occupied universities, prevented her from holding her lectures and, with their aggressive reformist rage, which they intended to display in a long Mao-style march through the institutions of this republic (possibly also through the church?) in order to turn upside down all these outdated bourgeois structures deeply frightened our delicate, squeamish soul: “Could she allow an external, social chaos to be added to her inner pre-existing theological chaos? No! She could not do that!” She decided to repress once and for all the inner chaos that had arisen from her doubts about the existence of God and to fight the external chaos with the determination of a vengeful Savonarola.
The indefatigable “gardener on the vineyard of the Lord” mutated into an indomitable knight of religious faith, who went in shining armor (Panzer – Ratzinger, the Panzer-cardinal as he was known in Germany at that time) out into the world to defend the purity of Christian doctrine.
Before I conclude my story, I have to make use of a trite literary artifice that with an eye wink reads as follows: “Any resemblance between our fictitious soul and living persons is purely coincidental and by no means intended. If it, nonetheless, exists, the author should not be held accountable for possible slander in our litigious time, because he can not help it. “Now that I am off the hook, I will quickly end the story of our God-seeking soul so that I can turn onto more serious topics.
The Cartesian precepts were worth gold to our soul. From then on, she fervently embraced the Church and rushed through its hierarchy, which earned her much praise from within the church, while she received even more criticism from outside, for she had begun with a promising openness and curiosity that she had unfortunately sacrificed very early to her misunderstood Cartesian precepts. And she ended up as high as one can end up in an institution like the Catholic Church.
But that’s not the end of the story – it’s still open. For if everything is turned upside down and vice versa, then there exists the astral probability that our soul will close her great Arcana Circle and find herself there again, where she started her career – in her pristine state of tormenting doubts about the existence of God. Only this time, our little, agnostic soul can look back on an extensive experience: “Isn’t that the purpose of every incarnation?“, she may ask herself at the end of her life. Who knows? Let’s wait and see!