Catholicism’s Vital Forces: Finally Seeing Reality!

On May 5, La Croix published a survey on the subject of “Why Catholic families have difficulty passing on their religion,” pointing out that in France 91% of Muslims, 84% of Jews and only 67% of Catholics retain their religion from one generation to the next. Admittedly, the minority phenomenon no doubt goes a long way to explaining the high rate of transmission in Muslim and Jewish families, whereas disaffection is more likely to affect a “majority” religion in a socio-political context where Christianity is marginalized.

That said, this “majority” status of Christians is now outdated, with only 25% of 18-59 year-olds declaring themselves to be Catholic, compared with 43% twelve years earlier. The situation is therefore worrying. La Croix notes, however, that some of the faithful pass on the faith far better than others:

“These observant and rather conservative Catholic families successfully steer their spiritual reproduction, carefully selecting the religious socialization of their children (Catholic schools, youth movements, friendship circles).”

And the fact that Catholicism is becoming a minority religion accentuates this phenomenon, notes Yann Raison du Cleuziou, interviewed in the La Croix article:

“In a minority landscape, a religion tends to restructure itself in order not to disappear. This reconfiguration leads to an intensification of the “familiar” around distinctive practices.”

Drawing Conclusions

What’s extraordinary is the incredible contrast between the fairly unanimous agreement on the observation, relayed even by La Croix, a newspaper hardly known for its “conservative” positions, and the total absence of conclusions drawn from this observation! What more will it take for our Catholic elites to understand that what attracts and remains fruitful in the Church is in no way akin to the hackneyed assumptions of progressivism?

These assumptions—ordinations of married men and women, blessing of same-sex couples, acceptance of contraception, softening of Christian morality, etc.—have solved nothing wherever they have been used. Wherever they have been implemented (as in Protestantism), they have solved nothing, if not simply worsened the situation. So why do these demands occupy such a disproportionate place in the concerns of the media and religious bodies? Why do we remain with an overly horizontal vision of the Church, where grace no longer seems to count, where the priest is desacralized to ward off any form of “clericalism?” And why is it that those who, on the contrary, advocate a return to a certain verticality by placing the Eucharist, properly celebrated, at the center of Christian life, the regular practice of confession, the promotion of adoration and popular piety, are given too little encouragement and support by the authorities, when they are not simply persecuted?

“Progressive” Christians are our brothers and sisters, and have the right to express their positions—which should nevertheless be circumscribed by the Magisterium. But is it normal, when they are a minority and far from representing the Church’s vital forces, for there to be such a gap between the power they still wield and the reality of the grassroots of French Catholicism, which is poorly represented at all levels and sometimes even suspected of being too conservative?

Is Vatican II Really Under Threat?

In an interview with the Jesuits of Hungary published on May 9, Pope Francis expressed his concern: “the resistance [to the Vatican II Council] is terrible;” “there is an incredible restorationism;” the fruit of a “nostalgic illness;” “the danger today is the return to the past, the reaction against modernity.” This is how he justifies his motu proprio Traditiones custodes (2021).

Apart from the Society of St. Pius X, whose canonical position means it is not affected by this motu proprio, and a few easily identifiable traditionalist figures, it’s hard to understand who the Pope is talking about! And yet, the Pope’s remarks are unusually violent, targeting a small part of his flock—he castigates his own sons, without ever naming them precisely or demonstrating the validity of his accusations, as if “modernity” were in itself unassailable. He discredits an entire movement which is not homogeneous, and most of whom no more question Vatican II (which they have not read) than ordinary Catholics.

In the present context of the “collapse” of Catholicism (G. Cuchet), is the priority really to punish indiscriminately the faithful who don’t recognize themselves in the description given of them? And thus marginalize a part of the Church that is bearing much fruit, fervently practicing a beautiful liturgy, transmitting the faith better than elsewhere, inspiring vocations? The “tradiyionalists” are not the only ones to have stood firm on these issues—they are part of the much broader conservative orbit evoked by the La Croix survey. Our poor European Church is already far too fragmented, so why exhaust ourselves in vain divisions instead of trying to unite all its vital forces?


Christophe Geffroy publishes the journal La Nef, through whose kind courtesy we are publishing this article.


Featured: Wrisberg epitaph, central panel: Distribution of the divine graces by means of the church and the sacraments, Hildesheim Cathedral, by Johannes Hopffe; painted in 1585.


When Miracles Ceased

One of the stranger ideas that accompanied the Reformation, was the notion that miracles had ended at the time of the New Testament’s completion. Never stated as a doctrinal fact in the mainstream of Protestantism, it remained a quiet assumption, particularly when joined with an anti-Roman Catholicism in which the various visions, weeping statues, and saints lives were considered to be fabrications of a corrupt priesthood. Stories abounded during the Reformation about how this or that well-known miracle had been debunked. What replaced that Medieval world was the sober thought of the Bible as answer book.

Many held that miracles were quite unnecessary after the Bible was “completed,” since everything necessary for salvation was contained within its covers. Miracles, visions or revelations from God were considered not only unnecessary but positively dangerous in that the faithful might imagine such things to carry an authority equal to or greater than the Scriptures.

Various groups within the Protestant world have actually codified this idea into a matter of their denominational doctrine. It is known as “Cessationism,” referring to the “cessation” of the gifts of the Spirit. The Modern Project itself, particularly in its secularized perception of the world, is a version of Cessationism. Indeed, the Cessationist ideas of early Protestantism were a primary force in the creation of the secular concept.

A secular worldview holds that things are just that – things. The world consists of a collection of self-existing objects (some of which breathe and think), that live within the bounds and limits of the “laws” of nature. If God is to be known or perceived, then either He must disturb the laws of nature or become an object among objects. The modern world, in the words of Max Weber, is “disenchanted.” It is as if you found your way into Narnia, only none of the animals speak, the trees have fallen asleep, and magic seems to have ceased.

This is the context in which we live. It is also a perception that, to a great extent, shapes how we ourselves perceive the world, whether we intend it or not. Secularism is the default setting for those born into modern culture. The world is mute.

This is in stark contrast to the traditional (Orthodox) Christian understanding. Only God is self-existing. Everything else not only depends on Him for its existence and continuation but is moment-by-moment sustained only by the will and goodness of God. As such, the world itself is a manifestation of the “divine energies” (the actions and working of God). Those actions and working of God are not something done “at a distance,” for His actions and works are themselves God. He is both essence and energies. And though the effects of His actions and works are not themselves God (the tree that He sustains is not Him), nevertheless, the effects cannot exist apart from Him (“in Him, we live and move and have our being” – Acts 17:28). Cessationism would be non-existence. Miracles not only continue, everything we see is a constant abiding miracle (including ourselves). There is only miracle.

The perception of God and our relationship with Him are inherently difficult for a modern or secular mind. For us, the world is mute, and we perceive God to be equally mute. As such, we think that He either does not exist or doesn’t wish to make Himself known. From the position of classical Christianity, just as there is only miracle, so there is only the action and working of God everywhere.

And so, we read such things in Scripture: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts; heaven and earth are full of Your glory!”

Confessing this to be the case slowly brings a shift in our perception and represents the renunciation of the Modern Project. Another way of describing this would be to say that the whole of creation is a sacrament. The bread and wine of the Eucharist, as the Body and Blood of Christ, are not exceptions: they reveal the truth of creation. The whole of everything is given to us for communion.

The Eucharist also reveals something of the nature or character of God’s divine energies (His actions and will). The God made known in the Eucharist is Christ crucified and risen. It is the Paschal mystery, the God who empties Himself and enters the depth and emptiness of our suffering that He might fill all things with His love. The modern person, upon being told that everything is sustained by the will and action of God often leaps to the many tragic sufferings within the world – as though they contradict that reality or suggest God’s incompetence. But they imagine a God other than Christ crucified, a God apart from His Pascha.

The Resurrection of Christ is the revelation of the goodwill of God, the promise of the final outcome of all things. The world that is being “gathered together in one in Christ Jesus,” is, through His suffering and death (within them), being united to His resurrection.

This is the context in which we pray and worship and in which we come to perceive God (with what the fathers describe as the “noetic” faculty). We pray and we listen and we think there is only silence. This itself is the secular perception. Everything around us and we ourselves exist, sustained by the voice of God. Their existence is the eloquence of His good will.

But what of miracles? If the whole world is a miracle, then what of those things that are commonly described as miracles? First, they do not belong to a separate category. That someone is instantaneously healed of a disease does not belong to a category of exception: it is a miracle among miracles that happen in a way such that we see the truth that might otherwise seem hidden. The danger in miracles for the modern mind is to think of them as exceptional. In doing so, we imagine the world as divided into the miraculous and the ordinary.

When we pray, if we expect the “miraculous” (in the modern sense), we will grow weary with the ordinariness of our experience. We imagine that we hear nothing, for we have already decided that the sound of the ordinary is nothing miraculous. I always caution inquirers and catechumens in the Church to be prepared to be bored. Though Orthodox services can be beautiful and profound, they are no more beautiful and profound than the world around us. The modern mind becomes bored by the so-called “ordinary,” because it has become accustomed to distractions that play to our passions. “Boredom” is what you get when you are not being entertained – it is a modern phenomenon.

Christianity does not begin as a discussion of the inner life. The Christian faith begins with the death and resurrection of Christ. That reality, which spans and unifies all things, is both present as a point in history with abundant testimony of eye witnesses, and as an eternal and ever-present moment that exists before all things and for which all things exist. Regardless of our subjective questions, the concrete reality of Christ’s death and resurrection remains.

Subjectivity itself, the world as we experience it inside our heads, is notoriously changeable and fails every test of reliability. It is the chimera of our existence, and can never be its foundation.

Years ago, when I was in college, I suffered a severe bout of depression. I was hospitalized for a week. After the hospital, I “white-knuckled” my way through the world and found a path back to sanity. One of those paths was to distrust my subjective experience. Nothing “sounded like fun” (that’s the nature of depression). But I reasoned that I needed to have fun and decided to treat fun as an objective activity. My now-wife and I began doing things that were the “kind of things people do for fun,” in an effort to teach my brain and body how to do something they had lost. It was very therapeutic.

It is a great joy when our inner and outer world agree. The tradition describes a pattern of life that strengthens “noetic” perception, and thus our awareness of communion with God. Largely, that pattern consists of the quieting of the passions and the acquisition of inner stillness. But this pattern, or its result, is simply a description of something within the spiritual life that is of value – it is not its basis or foundation.

To a great extent, modern skepticism presumes a world whose “ordinary” existence has nothing to do with the miraculous. Our existence and the providential character of the world are thus reduced to the random workings of chance. The world is inert and opaque and says nothing about God. As such, only the extraordinary, the “miraculous” (in the modern sense), can reveal God. It is a demand that God should agree to be a secular God, to reject His world as sacrament.

The Orthodox life is a consent to the world as sacrament, inasmuch as it is revealed to us in the death and resurrection of Christ. We do not believe in the death and resurrection of Christ because we see the world as sacrament, but the other way around. It teaches us that the fullness of our existence reaches beneath the surface into the providence of God’s goodwill at work everywhere and in all things. That we “see” this is always a gift and a joy. It is also a difficult thing in a world whose self-explanation has been 500 years of unrelenting disenchantment and anti-sacramentalism.

Will wonders ever cease?


Father Stephen Freeman is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, serving as Rector of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.


Featured: Christ healing many diseases. Mount Athos, Icon of the 14th century.


Islam and Psychiatry

In 1965, a book entitled, Sociologie des maladies mentales (Sociology of Mental Illnesses) by Georges Bastide was published. This book, densely written, was hailed, upon its publication, by the ethnopsychiatrist Georges Devereux, by the psychiatrist Robert Castel and even by the sociologist Alain Besançon, who was particularly laudatory: “Vast readings, patient clarification of entangled concepts, sharply critical of the results, confrontation with what is confrontable, bold conclusions as to the substance, modest in expression.”

What is True

But Georges Bastide’s project was anything but modest—he wanted to found the sociology of mental illness. He asked the question with a somewhat technical elegance: “Can we make room for social factors in the etiology of mental illnesses?” And of course, if so, which one?

To do this, he began by “establishing the register” of the disciplines involved in the question of mental illness. This is commendable. It is a question of avoiding confusion or even conflicts between researchers, and of guaranteeing the independence of the various human sciences and disciplines concerned: social psychiatry, which is concerned with the morbid social behavior of individuals suffering from mental disorders; the sociology of mental illness, which is interested in communities and groups—particularly those that form spontaneously or not in psychiatric hospitals; ethnopsychiatry, which establishes correlations between ethnic facts and types of illness.

We must add disciplines (“sciences” at the time, but that was “early days”) that were a bit specialized: “ecology,” which brings to sociology some of the most important aspects of the human condition, which brings to the sociology of mental illnesses the recognition of a particular spatial distribution of organic and functional psychoses (but which does not manage to grasp the causes). And industrial psychiatry, which, as its name indicates, is interested in psychopathologies linked to industrialization, and they are numerous, and sometimes serious.

The sociology of mental illness has a history whose conceptual evolution goes from Comte to Durkheim and from Freud to Sullivan and Parsons. Bastide clearly identified the two main types of theoretical approaches that divide the discipline: some that start from psychiatry and go towards sociology, others that go from sociology towards psychiatry. The sociologist reserves the right to re-establish the communication network between the three fields thus delimited, theoretically and practically.

Let us summarize the hypothesis: we cannot understand mental illness or the mentally ill if we do not take into account the society in which both are integrated. Or do not fit in. If madness can have organic causes—lesions, biochemical disorders, hereditary factors, etc.—it also has social causes, which need to be recognized and which is a matter of sociology: if an old man is vulnerable to madness, is it because he is old or because society rejects the old?

In other words, the influence of the environment must be recognized in the psychogenesis of mental illness, even its “organogenesis.” Today, this is obvious, and even a dogma. But it is still necessary to establish some foundations.

Why is this book, which is more than fifty years old, still of interest to us?

In addition to the fact that it constitutes one of the most accomplished, the densest, the most documented works of the time on questions that interest us—madness and mental health—it interests us because obviously our society presents some clinical signs of pathological features. Not to mention, of pure madness.

The Normal and the Pathological and the Family

All peoples distinguish several types of abnormality and all know what a mental disorder is.

It is society that designates the sick to be treated, and it is up to the psychiatrist to find the causes and the reasons for the illness. In order to distinguish the madman from the healthy man, it is necessary to rely on an external criterion, the consensus that the healthy man meets in terms of behaviors shared with the other members of the group (the normative character of health). Hence the theorization (or paradigm) in terms of deviant behaviors or conformity behaviors—those that make social life possible (and those that can also make it impossible).

But if we admit that society comes into play in the genesis of mental illness, the question that arises is that of the more or less pathogenic character of the societies in which men are called to be born, to grow up, to fight for most often, or sometimes to integrate into when they emigrate.

It is the ethnopsychiatrist Georges Devereux who put forward the idea that there are social neuroses.

Industrial society is one that eliminates waste. The unproductive is waste: it is for this reason that the madman is designated for the social “trash,” and that, in a world dedicated to rationalization and planning, he is the only one who can make a protest heard (like that of Nietzsche or Antonin Artaud). The misfortune is that this protest cannot be heard, because it is formulated in a way that is neither intelligible nor, above all, admissible. What remains is silence; in other words, superb isolation. The mental illness is in some way the translation of this marginalism of the values rejected and repressed by society.

As isolation, or if one prefers insularity, is a general feature of our civilization, and even a real ideology, (with, on the one hand, the wild competition for the improvement of one’s social status which pushes one to seek participation, and on the other hand the cultural norms which push one to withdraw), schizophrenia appears as a perfect model of sociological category offering to men the shell that they must secrete around them to be able to maintain, on the peripheries, the systems of “blocked” values. It is indeed the “norms” and the “values” which constitute a base of references from which a system of recognition (and exclusion) is built.

It is not difficult to admit that if the individual participates in a global society and in a culture of which he is one of the “cogs,” he is more deeply influenced by the groups of which he is a part, rather than by the larger community. And the most profound influence is obviously that of the family. We all know that it is within the family that insurmountable conflicts are set up, which generate psychopathology; overcome most of the time, but not always, unfortunately.

In this respect, the family is also a “group” which has its laws, its norms, its prohibitions, its taboos; in short, a system for defining what is allowed, what is tolerated, what is admissible or inadmissible.

But there are two ways of looking at the family. From the point of view of Durkheim and most French sociologists, it is a social institution, organized and controlled by the State through civil status—or by the Church—which considers the conjugal bond as irreducible. The rupture of the marriage contract is not free; it is surrounded by guarantees; it must be formalized to become valid. From the dominant point of view of North American sociology, it is a social-group structuring, according to certain cultural norms; a set of inter-individual relationships between husband and wife, between parents and children, between brothers and sisters, possibly between the three generations. European countries are increasingly tending to open up to this perspective, which, if not exclusive of the first, can enter into competition, then into conflict and contradiction. Until today, when the anthropologically normalized and normative family institution (one man and one woman), are eroded by recent laws.

There were thus two possible psychiatries of the family, depending on whether one considers it from the institutional or relational perspective.

No need to be a great expert to announce that pathologies will multiply and undoubtedly worsen.

Religion: An Integrative Force

Among the sociological variables of mental illness, we also find religion, or more exactly the religious group.

If this family is Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or Hutterite, it will intervene in the constitution of a healthy psyche, but also in the structuring of psychopathologies, even neuroses or psychoses.

Bastide takes again the hypothesis of Durkheim, who conceived religion as an integrative force and who had established that suicides varied in inverse reason of the more or less integrating character of religion. But he rightly questioned the notion.

“Should we understand it as a simple statistical fact of belonging to a group whose faith one may not live, which simply marks the origin and the fact of being baptized? Or should we give this word its full meaning; that of the mystical experience lived in the depths of the soul?”

Only in the second case does religion retain an integrative function. It would have no effect on those who are not Christians and do not participate in the life of the churches. Bastide rightly points out that France has many atheists who behave in a Catholic way and who live according to the values of their ancestors: they have only secularized Christian ideals without changing their mentality.

Is it possible to establish some correlations between a certain type of mental illness and the various confessions?

Yes, answers the anthropologist, but without much theoretical significance. If the values and norms that constitute the religious culture of an ethnic group dominate in the etiology of mental illnesses, (the family factor being determined by the ethnic-religious cultural traditions, at least at the time), these variables are weighted by the “social class” variable.

Moreover, psychic conflicts resulting from religious identification are rare and in cases encountered, the interest in religious things follows the illness and does not precede it. It is not the religion that is important but the individual’s reaction to it. Clearly, it is the illness or the neurosis that is prior to the religion. “The neuroses can transform religion into a pathological construction and the psychoses into feeding the delusions. But it is not the religion which creates the one and the other.”

It would be appropriate to inform a large part of our contemporaries about this.

In the 1960s, especially in Italy, psychiatrists and members of the clergy collaborated on these difficult questions. It was a question of “saving” religious life from what could jeopardize it (intra-family conflicts, the inhumanity of industrial relations) and which could eat away at it from within and make it fail in neurosis. One sought in the community spirit or the discipline of the Churches—(Christian asceticism)—a ” dominium ” of the affective life—in particular of the impulsive life—a protective environment, an education of the spirit and an orientation towards a healthier world. Even more “holy.”

All this is still very true, in any case for the Christian religion which largely molded and configured the European culture and mentality and thus French. At least until the last forty years.

But then what about Islam in a sociology of mental illness? And what about Muslim immigration, since it is clear that it is with this specific immigration that the European peoples are confronted.

The “Culture Shock”: “The Poplar Quarrel”

A famous quarrel pitted André Gide and Maurice Barrès against each other about rootlessness. It is known as the “Poplar Quarrel” because it uses the botanical analogy. Barrès stressed the harmful effects of rootlessness; Gide saw in it the sine qua non condition of creativity—except that the two cultures between which Gide saw himself divided were those of Normandy and Neustria… There is undoubtedly a more violent duality.

What does sociology say about the question?

Everything obviously depends on the predispositions—robust personalities are enriched by this double culture. And they usually learn to exploit both of them skillfully.

In any case, there is always a crisis and this crisis for some may be difficult or impossible to overcome. Learning new cultural mechanisms is difficult after the plasticity of childhood. The new social environment is perceived as hostile, because one does not manage to master it, even if only symbolically through the shared language. More seriously, the new environment is not perceived as different but as contradictory. Anxiety and hostility are the consequences of these difficulties.

In our case, the “European” social body evolved from a Christian society, with associated values and also virtues (even in counterfeits), the morality sometimes a little narrow and puritanical—to a “secularized” society; then secular one; in other words, essentially atheist. And since a few decades, Europe became anti-Christian and even Christianophobic.

In other words, Muslims found themselves faced with a changing society, with which they had less and less affinity, to the point of no longer recognizing themselves at all in the values displayed. The new anthropological foundation only reinforced their deep aversion for a society that they perceive as perverse, immodest and deeply revolting.

Studies, fifty years ago by Georges Bastide, showed that in the case of mixed marriages, the parent belonging to a different civilization pulled the child towards his culture, which made the child internalize a double system of contradictory standards. The disorders resulted from the conflict of cultures, not from family conflicts.

It is known, for example, that the close relationship of sons to their mothers generally delays Americanization (i.e., integration). However, no one is unaware of the hold of the maternal imago in all cultures and societies, but particularly in Muslim society. It is the male child who allows the mother to finally exist. Many psychoses appear not when there is a rupture of the family or internal tribal bonds but where the abnormal rigidity of these pre-social bonds prevents the individual from freeing himself from the law of his family circle, or his restricted group remained foreign to the social community. This is exactly the situation of the Muslim family, tribal, rigid and especially more and more alien to the society that surrounds it.

In the case of a marriage between Muslim and French (of Christian tradition but most often without any knowledge of his or her religious tradition), the Muslim parent has no need to “pull” the child to him or her. The community force acts. The child will be “Islamized.”

This so-called “moderate” Islam is in reality a dormant, muted Islam. It guarantees a possible functioning in European society, according to schizoid modalities (very widespread, whatever the religion) which allow to live, to have a job. The virus is in a way “dormant.” But in the face of the mutations of our societies, and their deviated ethics, radicalized and radicalizing Islam begins to shake the whole edifice. A very deep violence comes out of it, linked to the anguish of psychological disintegration of personalities which have been structured according to modes of which we know very little. Ethnopsychiatrists have been interested in traditional cultures, but relatively little in the disorders of the Muslim population. The proof is that in 1965, Islam was not included in religious variables, nor in any variables at all.

A Psychiatry of Transplantation and Uprooting?

It is obvious that a “crisis of transplantation” is inevitable, whatever the modalities in which it takes shape.

The migration of Muslim communities is not a migration like any other. The men and women who arrive in Europe belong to a completely different civilization. The basic personality built in a Muslim society obeys rigidities and defines a mentality. The new environment can only reshape a mentality that is “compatible” with the host country, if the person does not live withdrawn in a reconstructed environment. However, it takes months before a person or a family is integrated; in other words, before they have a home, a job, a stability that is not based on parasites. The time to feed many feelings of frustration, powerlessness, envy no doubt. The perfect ground for developing mental disorders.

However, the reality that is ours is striking. “Ghettos” are not the sole responsibility of the host country, but also of the need of migrant communities to reconstitute something of their country of origin.
Even if one emigrates to improve one’s social status, the change is marked by a decline in status. We know that Germany has integrated skilled men and women with low wages and trainee status. If at first, given their situation, these doctors, computer scientists and others are happy about the “chance” they have been given, it is not certain that in the long run their appreciation does not change. However, the descent in the social scale occupies an important place in the genesis of mental disorders.

How can the old European lands, de-Christianized, and having to face attacks of a great violence that aim at destroying the anthropological base which constitutes the only common element with the Muslim community, face without risk of collapse such a terrifying aggression?

Durkheim had provided a still effective framework by distinguishing four types of solidarity: mechanical solidarity, organic solidarity, forced solidarity (which defines colonial and slave societies, and apparently ours), and finally anomie. He analyzed the phenomenon of suicide within this framework that he had elaborated. In societies with forced or anomic solidarity, there is an abnormal increase in the suicide rate. This is the case in our societies. Anomie, by developing anxiety (the ambition without brake, the amplitude of the unrealizable projects, or, today, the confusion between unrealizable dreams and projects), by multiplying the failures is particularly apt to multiply the number of suicides.

It seems to me that what we are witnessing is less a clash of civilizations than a clash—very brutal and very violent—of mentalities.

Christianity used to mediate (in an often anomalous, diffuse, sometimes rather soft way) between the Muslim community and French society. Contrary to the efforts to make people believe that we have the same God, which is not the case; but we had common or similar ethical positions in matters of sexuality, an “altruism” whose roots were undoubtedly not comparable, but which in practice are similar: almsgiving, prayer. But blinded by her internal affairs, by the post-conciliar crisis, by the preoccupation to show the world her brand new modernism, the Church remained blind to the essential.

The retreat of Christianity has left Islam facing an increasingly libertine, impudent and shameless secular society, which is now seen not as different and compatible at least on the essentials, but as radically “contradictory.

And then came Muslim migration.

A Shock of Mentalities

From now on, we have to face a community, which not only does not wish to integrate itself into our society but which intends to “disintegrate” it. The madman does not invent his madness: he uses the symptomatological stereotypes that the society or the community to which he belongs provides him. He needs them to give signs. The world of madness not only feeds on images and signs borrowed from the surrounding world, but it keeps the formal laws of this world. Faced with a European madness, understood as the triumph of pure subjectivity, we have today a new pathological disorder: the “jihadist” madness, the madness of the Muslim world understood as the triumph of the religious group.

What better sign than to blow oneself up, in other words to disintegrate? The jihadist with his belt of explosives gives himself to be seen and heard by two types of audience: the Muslims, to whom he addresses himself to show the strength of his faith, and to the society he wants to destroy. And as well to his instructors.

We have two “matrices” to generate mental disorders.

On the one hand, a society suffering from dementia and suicidal madness, which no longer wants to encourage life, support old age, regulate the aggressiveness of dominant males and look after the weakest. And on the other hand, a society that pretends to freeze the roles of men and women, to control social behaviors, to fossilize effort, to forbid women any public life, to forbid them any social mobility and even any education.

They are two faces of the same unheard-of violence: convulsive fury on one side; ideological lies and mass propaganda on the other.

And between them? Ecumenical dialogue and SREM (Department of Muslim Relations) for the Churches, and for the State, ELCOs (Teaching Languages and Cultures of Origin).

In other words, nothing.


Marion Duvauchel is a historian of religions and holds a PhD in philosophy. She has published widely, and has taught in various places, including France, Morocco, Qatar, and Cambodia. She is the founder of the Pteah Barang, in Cambodia.


Featured: Pelerinage aux lieux dits saints de la ville de La Mecque en Arabie Saoudite—Le Hajj (Pilgrimage to the holy places of Mecca in Saudi Arabia—The Hajj), by Alfred Dehodencq (1822—1882); painted ca. late 19th century.


Save the Notre-Dame!

The reconstruction of the Notre-Dame de Paris is gradually turning into a desecration of an ancient Christian church, which was built in all its beauty to hold the holy Host. But plans are afoot to make the sacred site into a tourist-friendly information-center. The letter that follows is a protest over this Godless make-over.

If you would like to add your name to the letter of protest to the Archbishop of Paris, you may do so here.

An Open letter to Mgr. Laurent Ulrich, Archbishop of Paris

“What the fire spared, the diocese wants to destroy!”

Excellency,

I am writing this letter as president of Avenir de la Culture, an association of lay Catholics who since 1986 have been defending Christian values in French society. I also represent more than 110,000 people who have signed the attached petition asking the Diocese of Paris to refrain from inserting contemporary art inside the Notre-Dame.

The Tragedy of April 15, 2019

Some dates remain tragically engraved in the history of a country. As far as ours is concerned, April 15, 2019 is certainly one of them. On that day, it is not necessary to remind you, the Notre-Dame was set ablaze. Under the stunned gaze of Parisians and people around the world, the flames devoured the cathedral’s centuries-old beams. The spire collapsed, engulfed in an abyss of fire. As the mast sank, who did not fear the total loss of the ship? All night long, the firefighters led a heroic struggle to save almost a thousand years of history, accompanied by the impromptu prayers of the faithful, begging the Queen of Heaven not to abandon the cathedral dedicated to her. At dawn, the rising sun bathed an ocean of ashes with its light. In the midst of it, the towers of the Notre-Dame stood, miraculously intact. The Notre-Dame outraged! The Notre-Dame broken! The Notre-Dame martyred! But the Notre-Dame saved! As is the case with all miracles granted by Heaven, the miracle of the Notre-Dame de Paris invites conversion.

Why this Tragedy?

The cathedral had already witnessed the iconoclastic fury of the Reformation, the impious vindictiveness of the Sans-Culottes, the Prussian machine gun and the atrocities of two world wars. It stood upright through the vicissitudes of history before stumbling at the dawn of the third millennium. Why did God allow the tragedy of April 15, 2019? And why did He spare His sanctuary in extremis? Is it possible not to see in this fire an allegory of the drama our country is going through? Once the commander of Christianity, it is now faltering, eaten away by apostasy and hatred of God. “France, Eldest Daughter of the Church, are you faithful to the promises of your baptism?”—asked His Holiness John Paul II on the occasion of his first apostolic journey to France in the spring of 1980. How can we revive the promises made by Clovis in the baptismal font of Rheims on Christmas night in 496, without being faithful to the centuries of Christianity that are the fruit of these promises, and to the Notre-Dame its most beautiful flower? The tragedy of April 15, 2019 was an opportunity to implore the mercy of Heaven, as the faithful spontaneously understood, with rosary in hand and knees to the ground, begging God on the burning banks of the Seine.

A “Contemporary Touch” Envisaged

Unfortunately, as soon as the blaze was extinguished, the Notre-Dame was threatened with an outrage worse than the one inflicted by the flames. The head of state called for a “contemporary touch” on the occasion of the reconstruction of the roof and the spire of Viollet-le-Duc, destroyed by the fire. Immediately, the so-called “avant-garde” architectural firms competed with aberrant proposals, in brutal rupture with the sacredness of the place. The Dijon-based firm of Paul Godart and Pierre Roussel suggested a glass roof for tourists to stroll through. The NAB studio and the architect Nicolas Abdelkader offered to replace the roof with a botanical greenhouse in order to, among other things, “support professional reintegration by learning about urban agriculture, horticulture and permaculture.” Mathieu Lehanneur, a designer in the 2nd arrondissement in Paris, suggested replacing the spire with a giant, hideous flame that would somehow give the fire of April 15 the honors of time. However, the most obscene and implausible proposal was the one privately advoacted by the President’s companion herself, if we are to believe Roselyne Bachelot. In her book, 682 jours [682 Days], the former Minister of Culture says: “Lunching a few days later with Brigitte Macron, she showed me a plan for a project culminating in a kind of erect phallus, surrounded at its base by gold balls… “

Miraculously saved from the flames, here was the Notre-Dame threatened with assuming the face of our time: atheistic, playful, recyclable and even pornographic.

Head of State Forced to Back Down

Fortunately, the projects of “modernization” of the Notre-Dame, to which Mr. Macron had opened the door, aroused the disapproval of heritage lovers. “You can’t play with the Notre-Dame… you can’t make a ‘contemporary architectural gesture’ on a historical monument like this cathedral,” warned Didier Rykner, historian and director of La Tribune de l’Art. To rebuild the spire identically, “it is the cheapest, the fastest, the most efficient solution; it is the way of wisdom and legality,” added Stéphane Bern, the government’s “Mr. Heritage.” Public opinion was also stirred up. The French Association for the Defense of the Family Property Tradition took the initiative of an international petition addressed to the Head of State and to the Minister of Culture in order to demand an identical restoration of the Notre-Dame. Supported by a dozen French and foreign associations, notably Avenir de la Culture, this petition gathered more than 110,000 signatures, proving, if it were still necessary, the immense influence of your cathedral. Faced with protests from all sides against the “contemporary touch” he had announced, Emmanuel Macron was forced to back down. “After passionate debates, the president sided with the defenders of heritage and public opinion,” noted Le Figaro on July 9, 2021. The Notre-Dame seemed to be saved from disfigurement Alas, this did not take into account the indecent opportunism of those whose mission is to watch over the integrity of the sanctuary.

Notre-Dame Disguised as Disneyland?

As early as the fall of 2020, disturbing rumors began to appear in the press. Le Figaro sounded the alarm against the “controversial project of Mgr. Aupetit” for the redevelopment of the cathedral: “The computer-generated photos give the impression of an airport runway, or even a ‘parking lot’. The development project, to which the daily had access, would be a fabric of “disruptive creations,” which would not fail to break the “secular harmony” of the Notre-Dame. The 14 side chapels of the building would be completely renovated in favor of highlighting works of art: “Old paintings from the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries will dialogue with contemporary art objects.” A year later, when the project was to be examined by the National Commission on Heritage and Architecture, the British press echoed new concerns. “It’s as if Disney were entering Notre-Dame,” denounced architect Maurice Culot in The Telegraph. The specialist added: “What they are proposing to do to Notre-Dame would never be done to Westminster Abbey or Saint Peter’s in Rome. It’s a kind of theme park and very childish and trivial given the grandeur of the place.” Several architects who had access to the file complained to the British newspaper about aberrant innovations such as a “discovery trail” that would take visitors on a journey to Africa and Asia, texts projected on the walls in different languages, exhibits of mediocre taste and the dedication of a chapel to the theme, albeit secular, of ecology. Confessionals, altars and classical sculptures should be discarded. “This is political correctness gone mad. They want to turn Notre-Dame into an experimental liturgical showroom that exists nowhere else whereas it should be a landmark where the slightest change must be handled with great care,” concluded one architect quoted by The Telegraph.

Anti-Christian Artists

Another reason for concern, and not the least, is the diocese’s planned use of artists whose orientations and works are in every way opposed to the Church’s teaching. Among them: Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Louise Bourgeois and Anselm Kiefer. The first is the President of Friends of Humanity, the famous communist daily. A fellow traveler of the PCF for nearly 50 years, he has notably campaigned for the legalization of abortion. In 1974, Ernest Pignon-Ernest posted in the public space drawings of naked women, victims of clandestine abortions to encourage members of parliament to vote in the Veil Act. In 2019, on the occasion of the European elections, the artist was proud to have voted for the list led by Ian Brossat, a Parisian elected official who called for the desecration of the the Sacré-Cœur Basilica of Montmartre! Louise Bourgeois, who died in 2010, was also close to feminist movements. She is the author of pornographic works, celebrating male and female genitalia. Her last major installation, the Steilneset Memorial, is a tribute to witches. The German painter and sculptor, Anselm Kiefer, is notorious for his fascination with the Kabbalah. “The Old Testament has always struck a chord with me because it expresses the cruelty of God,” he says.

Excellency, the very possibility that the diocese would consider working with such characters is a scandal! How could the works of ungodly artists stand side by side with those of the heralds of God in the Middle Ages without defiling them?

“What the Fire Spared, the Diocese Wants to Destroy”

Once again, the plans to denature the Notre-Dame generated a strong reaction from heritage lovers. On December 7, 2021, in the columns of Le Figaro, an article co-signed by more than a hundred personalities from the academic and artistic world—including philosophers Alain Finkielkraut and Pierre Manent, historian Pierre Nora, and filmmaker Jean-Charles Fitoussi—denounced in no uncertain terms the planned alterations: “What the fire spared, the diocese wants to destroy.”

How can we believe, Your Excellency, that such eminent personalities would use such terrible words without having first weighed them? “The Diocese of Paris wants to take advantage of the restoration project to transform the interior of the Notre-Dame into a project that will completely alter the decor and the liturgical space,” the letter read. The signatories denounced “the installation of removable benches, lighting that changes with the seasons, video projections on the walls, etc., in other words, the same fashionable (and therefore already terribly outdated) ‘mediation devices’ found in all the ‘immersive’ cultural projects, where silliness often vies with kitsch.” They begged the diocese to back down: “Let’s respect the work of Viollet-le-Duc. Let’s respect the work of the artists and craftsmen who worked to give us this jewel. Let’s simply respect the heritage principles of a historic monument.” Before this forum, the academician Jean-Marie Rouart had also castigated, with a vehemence unusual for a member of the French Academy, “artistic freaks likely to distort it, to spoil our memories, to damage forever the spirit and soul that hovered in this sacred place.” “The Notre-Dame has miraculously escaped everything. Perhaps not, alas, the reformist pruritus of Bishop Aupetit,” he lamented in the columns of Le Figaro.

Who are the Artists Pre-Selected by the Diocese?

What was the response of the Diocese of Paris to this barrage of criticism? A skillful silence in the expectation that the storm would cease. As soon as the lightning fell, and the clouds moved away, the machination continued, in all discretion. According to Le Figaro, “five artists have been working for two months on the new liturgical furniture and are due to submit their work on May 23.” Among the artists “more or less close to the Church” are Constance Guisset, “a feminist and progressive on social issues” and Laurent Grasso “fascinated by the solar star and its ramifications.” A brief search on the Internet reveals that the artists preselected by the diocese are the originators of ugly, grotesque and eccentric contemporary works, far removed from the sacred harmony and splendor of Christian art. Everything leads us to believe that the Notre-Dame will be ravaged, disfigured, soiled. In the columns of Le Figaro, Mgr Olivier Dumas, rector-archpriest of the Cathedral, tried, not without cynicism, to extinguish the controversy: “We do not ask them (the artists) questions about their spiritual life or their religious practice. We believe him and that is the heart of the problem: entrusting to men without God the care of His house. ” He who is able to receive this, let him receive it,” says Our Lord in the Gospel (Mt. 19: 12).

A Supplication Left Unanswered

Along with the criticisms of the academic world, the faithful, and more widely all the French devoted to heritage, rose up. This time, it is Avenir de la Culture which led the revolt. The association that I have the honor of presiding addressed to the apostolic administrator of the diocese, Mgr Georges Pontier, a supplication in order to beg him to renounce subjecting his Cathedral to the dross of contemporary art. “Mr. Macron backed down by renouncing, for the exterior of the cathedral, the outrage of a ‘contemporary architectural touch.’ And now the diocese is rushing into it,” lamented the 108,536 signatories of the letter. Despite several letters informing him of this cry from the heart, addressed to him by the lovers of the Notre-Dame, Mgr Pontier refused them the charity of a reply. “Clericalism is a perversion in the Church,” Pope Francis said on Italian television in February 2022. “Under every type of rigidity there is rot,” he added on that occasion. Wouldn’t these warnings of the Supreme Pontiff apply to the leaders of the Archdiocese of Paris? Indeed, Your Excellency, how can we fail to describe as “clerical” and “rigid” this implausible contempt of the diocesan authorities for tens of thousands of faithful who turn with anguish to their pastor? Would the virtues of dialogue and “synodality,” so often present in the speeches of clerics, not apply to the faithful who wish to preserve our Christian heritage? As Jean-Marie Rouart rightly reminded us, the Notre-Dame does not belong to the archbishop of Paris, but to the entire nation. It is therefore right and normal that the French, and in particular Catholics, express themselves when they feel that the nature of the Cathedral is threatened. And the least we can do is to answer them!

Only Your Hand…

Despite protests from all sides, on December 9, 2021, the verdict fell: the project to redesign the interior of the Cathedral was validated by the members of the National Commission for Heritage and Architecture, with reservations concerning, on the one hand, the relocation of statues of saints in the chapels and, on the other hand, the benches on wheels equipped with lights planned by the diocese. There is no hand left to prevent the Notre-Dame from being defiled, except yours, Excellency! Think of the judgment of history and, even more, of God, if you allow this irreparable act to take place. The Notre-Dame remains, despite the stigma of the fire, the most beautiful sanctuary of Christianity. The queen of cathedrals is a jewel box of beauty, destined to receive what is most sacred in the world: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Its silhouette makes it immediately clear that it is a ship that leads souls to Heaven. Each of its windows, each of its statues and stones are dedicated to the glory of God. How can we not think, as we walk along its nave, of the heavenly Jerusalem described by the Apocalypse of Saint John in Chapter 21: ” And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk” (Revelation 21:11;23).

Pedagogy of the Sacred

Before it was closed, thirteen million visitors entered the Notre-Dame every year. What were these men, sometimes from the ends of the earth, looking for? A mirror of their time? No, on the contrary, they were looking for beauty and sacredness, which our world without God is so cruelly lacking. They were seeking, often without knowing it, a trace of that blessed time when the “philosophy of the Gospel governed the States,” according to the expression used by H.H. Leo XIII in his encyclical Immortale Dei of November 1, 1885. ” Then it was that the power and divine virtue of Christian wisdom had diffused itself throughout the laws, institutions, and morals of the people, permeating all ranks and relations of civil society,” the Pope wrote of Christianity. ” The State, constituted in this wise, bore fruits important beyond all expectation, whose remembrance is still, and always will be, in renown, witnessed to as they are by countless proofs which can never be blotted out or ever obscured by any craft of any enemies,” continues Pope Leo XIII. Is not the Notre-Dame one of the most marvelous “documents” of this time that bears the name of Christ? The pedagogy of the sacred, desired by the contemporaries of Suger and St. Louis, speaks not only to the intelligence, but to the soul. “I myself was standing in the crowd, near the second pillar at the entrance to the choir on the right side of the sacristy. And it was then that the event that dominates my whole life took place. In an instant my heart was touched and I believed.” How many souls, far from God, have experienced under the sacred vaults of Notre-Dame, the encounter that shook Paul Claudel in these places? Where will these thirsty souls go to drink, if the source were to dry up through your fault?

Where do These Ill Winds Come From?

Your Excellency, where do the ill winds that suddenly threaten to sweep through the Notre-Dame come from? No doubt Father Gilles Drouin, in charge of the liturgical and cultural development of your Cathedral, offers us the beginning of an answer when he declares: “If Vatican II broke with the Latin Mass and turned the altars around to go towards the flock instead of turning their backs on them, fifty years later, part of the work remains to be done. Thus, it would be a matter of deconstructing Notre-Dame to make it a “conciliar” cathedral that no longer honors God, but Man! Alas, so many churches have suffered the same fate! “In the 1960s, the French clergy interpreted the Vatican II Council by implementing a vandalism unheard of since the French Revolution in the name of a dubious modernism,” recalls Didier Rykner. A vandalism that is, unfortunately, not limited to architecture. As Guillaume Cuchet has masterfully demonstrated in his book Comment notre monde a cessé d’être chrétien (How Our World Ceased to be Christian), the Council convened by H.H. John XXIII coincided with the beginning of a collapse, unprecedented in its brutality, of Catholicism in France, outside the period of persecution. Sacramental practice has become residual in our country, priestly ordinations are decreasing year after year, and, as you know, the clergy is plagued by sordid affairs of morality which bring despair the faithful and to which no one sees an end. Your Excellency, it is not only the Notre-Dame that is burning—in fifty years, Christian France has been reduced to ashes. And now, in the midst of this dark night, you are preparing to extinguish the Notre-Dame, the ultimate beacon of Christianity.

Your Excellency, it is not too late to refrain from letting into the Notre-Dame the “fumes of Satan” that stink up the Church, in the tragic words of Pope Paul VI. To hand over your Cathedral to unholy modernity would not only be an insult to those who built and preserved it, it would also be, first and foremost, an offense to the One to whom it belongs. From this touch, inevitable curses will be arise for the Eldest Daughter of the Church, at the very moment when a muted persecution threatens the Catholics of France. How can one not shudder to think that the Archbishop of Paris will write a chapter in this tribulation, by working to desecrate his own Cathedral? Excellency, for the love of God, spare the Notre-Dame! There is still time.

Please receive, Excellency, the assurance of my high and filial consideration,

Paris, March 25, 2023
Feast of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary

Jose Antonio Ureta,
President


This letter appears through the kind courtesy of Avenir de la Culture.


Featured: The Hand of God protecting the faithfful, with a depiction of Notre-Dame de Paris, from the Hours of Étienne Chevalier, painted by Jean Fouquet, ca. 1452-1460.

Has Christianity Evaporated in the Consumer Civilization? Pasolini’s Prophecy

Pasolini, with his usual prophetic gaze, was among the first to lucidly decipher the real scope of the telluric change that society was undergoing ab imis fundamentis. In particular, he understood how the consumer society was not only not founded on Christianity, but had to annul it in order to impose itself as the only permitted religion. When, in 1973, Italian cities were literally invaded by jeans billboards with the overtly desacralizing formula “you will have no other jeans but me,” Pasolini commented on the incident with a scathing article entitled “Linguistic Analysis of a Slogan.

In particular, the photos used for the advertisement showed respectively: a female belly and blue jeans unbuttoned in a provocative way, accompanied by the inscription “you won’t have any other jeans but me;” and a woman’s butt with the slogan, “he who loves me follows me.” Finally, “Jesus jeans” was the name of the product advertised in such a disruptive way for the time. The Christian creed was twisted and manipulated to promote one of the many products of the new atheistic and consumerist creed of capitalist civilization which, precisely in those years, was abandoning its dialectical-bourgeois phase to move on to the absolute-post-bourgeois one. It was moving from a “market” society, still founded on religious auctoritas, to a “market” society, centered solely on the auctoritas of the commodity form which, as such, had to reduce everything—including religion itself—to the rank of circulating merchandise. The original Christian message was not only immanentized, profaned and deprived of its peculiar reference to the sphere of transcendence—with a synergistic movement, it was refunctionalized in a liberal-consumerist sense, evicting de facto the God of the Heavens and replacing Him with the new divinity of the markets and the cornucopia of goods marketed by it in the sphere of capitalist circulation.

In fact, Pasolini’s article does not dwell on the images used for the posters and, therefore, on the properly erotic aspect of the message, although “sexual consumerism” and bourgeois hedonism were undoubtedly themes he treated with precision elsewhere. In this case, Pasolin’s analysis is directed towards the words used in the posters and the messages conveyed by this rhetoric. The language of market civilization is homologized and hypersimplified, since it must be accessible to all in the reified form of a consumer good—the slogan thus stands as a privileged register of the culture industry and the society of spectacle, which reduces language itself to stereotyped and technified expressiveness. Every particularity and every nuance are destroyed for the benefit of an undifferentiated and homogenized subculture, which reduces and simplifies everything in the name of an apparent interclassism for qualitatively indistinct consumers. The civilization of capital justifies and promotes homologation by calling it “equality” while, paradoxically, making society increasingly unequal, subsumed under the alienating homologation of commodities.

Advertising expressiveness coincides with the abolition of all expressiveness. The new violent linguistic model, stereotyped and homogenized, has dissolved any kind of social and cultural diversification, so that it can become universal and usable by all. In the specific case of blue jeans, the advertisement uses, in the form of slogans, concepts and formulas taken from a deliberately distorted and profaned religious imaginary, in which Christ himself becomes a commercial brand, an expressive function of that one God—the Market, precisely—that consumer civilization recognizes and venerates. Although the billboards were quickly withdrawn by the public authorities, after an article of protest by Catholic institutions appeared in L’Osservatore Romano, the tendencies and coordinates of the future development of capital were fixed. The fabula docet has shown that the Church, which initially could have the illusion of being able to stop the advance of consumerist nihilism, would soon be overwhelmed until it disappeared, becoming itself an advertising brand among so many others. In Pasolini’s opinion, the Church was seriously mistaken, deluding itself with the possibility of being able to take advantage of the liberal-consumerist regime as it had taken advantage of the Fascist one. No equivalent of the Lateran Pacts was possible with the neo-Hedonist civilization of consumption. That led Christianity to its dissolution. The liberal-consumerist world, in fact, was ready to found itself on itself, on its own structural nothingness, freeing itself completely from the support of the Church, on which the empire of capital had also been founded up to that moment.

The previous bourgeois capitalism, which found one of its superstructural legitimacies in the Christian religion, and with it established that nexus of mutual recognition and support that culminated in the Lateran Pacts of 1929, was evolving towards a new figure: specifically, towards a post-bourgeois absolute capitalism of “nothing but commodities and nothing but consumers,” which was preparing to “give a free ticket” together with the bourgeoisie, also to the Christian religion. In Pasolini’s words, “fascism did not even scratched the Church, while today Neocapitalism destroys it.”

In the advertising poster for blue jeans, Pasolini was able to recognize one last piece of evidence to add in support of his thesis, according to which consumer civilization was even more totalitarian than fascism: the black shirt inside which the latter constrained bodies, unable to conquer souls, became superfluous in the alienated kingdom of consumerism, where the soul itself is controlled in a totalitarian way. If fascism had had to make a pact with the Church and with Christianity, trying to make use of both and, in any case, unable to get rid of them, the civilization of consumerism could now banish them definitively, profaning their symbols and their messages. Not only did the new liberal-consumerist hedonism of anarcho-capitalism for uninhibited consumers no longer need Christianity—it could easily mock and ridicule it, manipulating its vocabulary and imaginary in advertising form. There was no longer any need for an “alliance” between throne and altar, between religion and power, since consumerist power, intrinsically totalitarian, no longer needed it—it could itself also play the role of religion by “divinizing” its products, just as it had done with blue jeans advertised using the traditional Christian lexicon. From that moment on, the war declared by consumerism against the religion of transcendence and the Church itself was open and unstoppable, destined to pass through profanation and culminate in desacralization:

“In fact, there is no contradiction more scandalous than that between religion and the bourgeoisie, the latter being the opposite of religion… Fascism was a blasphemy, but it did not undermine the Church internally, because it was a false new ideology. The Concordat was not a sacrilege in the 1930s, but it is a sacrilege today, because fascism did not even scratch the Church, while today Neocapitalism destroys it. The acceptance of fascism was an atrocious episode; but the acceptance of bourgeois capitalist civilization is a definitive fact, whose cynicism is not only a stain, the umpteenth stain in the history of the Church, but a historical error that the Church will probably pay for with its decline.”

According to Pasolini’s analysis, the Church is guilty of having underestimated neocapitalism and of having failed to foresee the Epochemachend character of such a change (“a definitive fact”). The new power, in fact, has not limited itself to acting externally, finding a balance and an agreement with the altera pars. On the contrary, it has infiltrated the consciences and the weft of the social fabric, dominating and profoundly modifying them, triumphing where even the repressive and authoritarian power of fascism had failed. Pasolini recognizes in the particular case of the Jesus blue jeans slogan, the prodromal signs of a growing weakening of the institutions of the sacred, which are indignant and firmly opposed to offensive advertising posters, but which no longer really have the power to stop the advance of the new desacralizing spirit of consumerist nihilism.

This advance, which has barely begun, for Pasolini is destined to lead to the complete annihilation of Christianity—the Church seems doomed to lose its relevant role and to survive, in the best or worst of hypotheses depending on the point of view assumed, as a folkloric and ceremonial element, deprived of its own autonomy and capacity to colonize consciences and a society in a phase of de-Christianization. The fact that, in 1973, the blue jeans posters were withdrawn from circulation after the Church’s complaint, was only a momentary setback, in no way interpretable as a possible reversal of trend. The path of profanation and desacralization had already been taken and the coming years would only represent an acceleration of this process.

From another perspective it could be argued, following in Pasolini’s footsteps, that not even the historical communism of Noucentisme managed to eliminate the Church, at least not with the success that the radical atheism of consumer civilization is achieving. Suffice it to recall that Stalin himself, on the one hand, authorized the election of a patriarch in Moscow (demanding, however, the collaboration of the Orthodox Church with the political system) and, on the other hand, openly exploited religion as a national cement. Unlike fascism, which had to seek a compromise with the Church, and unlike communism, which is itself a secularized Church, which projected salvation into the immanent space of classless society, absolute-totalitarian capitalism—and it alone—has no internal or external need for religion and the Church: it has no “internal” need for either, because it is based on a complete relativistic nihilism and is, in this respect, self-sufficient and thus intrinsically hostile to the idea of truth, both in its philosophical and its religious sense; moreover, it has no “external” need, since its power is now so persuasive, omnipresent and unrestrained that it no longer has to depend on the support of other forces that have not yet been subdued.

In accordance with the process already observed by Pasolini, the new nexus that characterizes the regime of capital absolutus in its ultimate evolutions, takes shape according to the inclined plane that leads the Catholic religion itself to desacralization and perverse friendship, and in a subordinate position, with the consumerist regime. “The case of the ‘Jesus’ jeans,” wrote Pasolini, “is a sign of all this,” of how the new power—no longer clerical-fascist, but hedonistic and consumerist—can now discard spiritual power: “Power has no more need of the Church, and consequently abandons it to itself.” In fact, Pasolini writes again, “the world has overtaken the Church;” it has gone even further.

Pasolini saw in action the assault on heaven, undertaken by the market system not only in the jeans ad, but also in the partisan figure of Christian Democracy (CD). In it, the reference to the Church and to transcendence was, in fact, purely nominal, since it was a party totally integrated in the new immanentist order of pragmatically capitalist power. With CD—it is argued in the Lutheran Letters—”the Catholic votes will finally be Christian democratic; that is, no longer guaranteed and managed by the Catholic Church, but directly by the economic Power,” which can still formally, for the sake of convenience, call itself Christian. And Pasolini continues: “deprived of any shadow of political thought, Christian Democracy has governed according to the pragmatic—and therefore evidently mimetic, generic and inert—models of Western capitalism: devilishly mixing these models with those of the spiritual models of the Church.”

In short, with CD and its liquid atheism, a political force becomes operative that uses the call to transcendence as a simple instrument to hide and legitimize its own integral adhesion to the model of capitalism on the part of the masses still educated in a Christian sense. It is according to this hermeneutic key that the so-called “defeat” of that anomaly that was the pontificate of the recently deceased Ratzinger, accused of not assimilating and not being in tune with the new marketing of a Catholicism without transcendence and without a theological vocation, can be interpreted. By way of synthesis, as I have tried to demonstrate extensively in my book, La fine del cristianesimo. La morte di Dio al tempo del mercato globale e di Papa Francesco (2023) (The End of Christianity. The death of God in the Time of the Global Market and Pope Francis), the “crossroads” prophesied by Pasolini are currently embodied, on the one hand, by Ratzinger’s Church, which resists the nothingness of consumer civilization and does so by defending tradition and transcendence; and, on the other hand, by Bergoglio’s post-Christian and liberal-progressive neo-church, which dissolves Christianity into low-cost faith and smart masses, effectively causing the suicide of Christianity to which Pasolini alluded.

In confirmation of Pasolini’s prophecy may be cited, among other cases, a 2012 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. The Court legitimized and upheld the use of religious symbols in advertising. Specifically, a Lithuanian company had used the image of Jesus and Mary to sponsor its new clothing line, receiving a fine for it—this judgment was judged by the European Court as harmful to the freedom of expression of the company itself.

With this, Pasolini’s prophecy can be considered fulfilled: the Christian Jesus has been defeated in the confrontation with the capitalist Jesus. The new spirit of hedonistic and desacralizing capitalism, ready to mutate the divine itself into an advertising strategy, was already implicit in that apparently provocative and easily neutralized slogan, which Pasolini had been able to decipher with prophetic lucidity and which today, in the post-1989 world, multiplies hypertrophically in a kaleidoscopic variety of posters and advertisements, representing in fact the new symbolic system within which Western man moves in integral reification. It is for this reason that, again according to Pasolini’s analysis, the new spirit of power, which at first had shown itself to be “competitive with the religious,” was destined to “take its place in providing men with a total and unique vision of life,” stripped of all sacredness and of all connection with the reasons of the soul and with the regions of the eternal.


Diego Fusaro is professor of History of Philosophy at the IASSP in Milan (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies) where he is also scientific director. He is a scholar of the Philosophy of History, specializing in the thought of Fichte, Hegel, and Marx. His interest is oriented towards German idealism, its precursors (Spinoza) and its followers (Marx), with a particular emphasis on Italian thought (Gramsci or Gentile, among others). he is the author of many books, including Fichte and the Vocation of the IntellectualThe Place of Possibility: Toward a New Philosophy of Praxis, and Marx, again!: The Spectre Returns[This article appears courtesy of Posmodernia].


Featured: Sekmadienis Ltd poster (2012). Slogan reads: “Dear Mary, what a dress!”

The Disturbing Rise of Satanism in France

Impiety does not surprise any more in France. In the name of secularism, Wayside Crucifixes are being torn down and statues of the Virgin are being removed. Alas, there is nothing new in this since the sacrileges committed by the anti-Christian Revolution of 1789. On the other hand, a new and particularly disturbing phenomenon seems to be emerging—the public worship of Satan.

Twenty years ago, the idea that the devil could be honored in our squares and streets would have made people smile in Descartes’ country. Witchcraft and diableries seemed to belong definitively to the past, when the French still believed in God. However, by a ruse of which history has the secret, here is that Satan makes his return, without even bothering to hide his hideous face.

Witches, Ghosts and Demons

This phenomenon began with the spread to France of Halloween, the Anglo-Saxon holiday celebrated on October 31 of each year.

Before the advent of Christianity, the Celts celebrated Samain on that night, one of the four great festivals of their calendar, when the dead returned to haunt the living. Over time, Samain-Halloween has become a dark celebration where all creatures—real or imaginary—associated with evil are honored: witches, zombies, vampires, ghosts and of course demons. It is also the occasion of the most important Satanic Sabbath of the year.

When witches and ghosts appeared in the French streets, most commentators saw it as a strictly commercial operation or the resurgence of an innocent folklore to entertain children in the greyness of autumn. However, it was the first time after centuries of Christianity that the Devil was celebrated more than God in France. The Feast of All Saints and the commemoration of the faithful dead were suddenly eclipsed by a grotesque cult of evil figures from Hell.

The Triumph of Hellfest

After the advent of Halloween came the triumph of Hellfest, a metal music festival that has been held every year near Nantes since 2006. For three days, hundreds of thousands of people from all over Europe flock to Clissons to listen to bands with names that evoke, among others, Behemoth, Belphegor, Black Sabbath, Dark Funeral, Deicide or Impaled Nazarene.

The band Mayhem in the song “A Grand Declaration of War” vomits its anti-Christian hatred: “Christianity. Religion of pity. God of the sick. We don’t declare peace, we declare war.” The group Belphégor incites to kill Christians: “Christians to the lions! Burn crosses. Jesus Christ, son of fetid smell. Jesus Christ, castrated savior.” The band Marduck in the song “Jesus Christ sodomized” advocates the death of priests: “Piss on Christ and kill the priest, follow nature—praise the beast.” The band Dark Funeral pledges allegiance to Satan, whom they take as their father: “Lord of the Underworld, unholy father. Your wish is my command. I will cut the lying throat, Christian blood will fall to the ground.” The group Impaled Nazarene, in the album, In Absence of War calls for the desecration and even death of Christian children: “We will hunt you down one by one. We will destroy all your religious relics. We will set fire to places of worship. We will slit the throats of all your children.”

In 2022, with more than 420,000 paid admissions, Hellfest became the largest festival in France in terms of attendance.

A Circle of Hell in our Cities

Without fanfare, Satanism is insidiously spreading in the urban landscape, as it is the case in Nantes. This year, the capital of the Pays de la Loire region exhibited a series of dark and threatening silhouettes in front of one of the city’s churches, as part of the Voyage à Nantes event. One of them, with hairy feet and horns on his head, seems to lead a little group, with a shepherd’s crook in his hand.

“Unnamed characters escape from a final judgment, bursting into laughter. A mayor of ceremony-wolf and his cane open a ball where animals, humans and hybrids do not know what to do… These characters gesticulate and parade in a kind of last disarticulated and agitated parade straight out of a macabre dance,” we read in the presentation-catalog of Voyage à Nantes.

However, that’s not all—Nantes also hosts Charon’s Wheel, a creation of the American artist Peter Hudson. The work in question is a gigantic wheel in the shape of an eye, with a triangular base—which forms a triangle around the wheel, referring to the deist and Masonic symbol of the eye of providence—around which twenty skeletons wave and hang. The name “Charon” refers of course to the boatman who, in Greek mythology, leads souls to the Underworld by making them cross the Styx. After Nantes, Charon’s Wheel of Hell will be exhibited in Paris.

The ideology of the Enlightenment and that of Progress have made us believe in the inevitable and definitive advent of a rationalist, positivist and atheist society. However, while the death of God is proclaimed everywhere, Satan reappears. Atheism is thus only a bridge that has led, in the space of a few centuries, the Eldest Daughter of the Church (France) to the unthinkable—the worship of Satan. “He who is not with me is against me,” Our Lord warned us.


Antoine Bellion writes from France. This articles through the kind courtesy of Avenir de la Culture.


Featured: Hell, in the Missal of Raoul du Fou, Normandy ca. 1479-1511.

The Church Must Stand Against New Idols

The great ideologies that ravaged the twentieth century were based on the thought of the salvation of man by man, either through the exaltation of a supposedly superior race, or through the revolution that, by overthrowing dominating structures, would bring about peace. National Socialism and Marxism were two versions of the Antichrist in history and two beasts of the Apocalypse. They ravaged the earth and shed the blood of the saints. They were ideologies of redemption against the only Savior. St. John Paul II, who had experienced them in his lifetime, answered them in his first encyclical, Redemptor hominis, that Christ is the only Savior of men and that there is no other Name under Heaven by which we must be saved.

New Idols

In the 21st century, we have entered an era in which new idols are rising. They are even more radical because they are no longer directly opposed to the Savior, but consist in a break with the Creator. The refusal of the Son has been succeeded by the refusal of the Father. The refusal to be saved has been followed by the refusal to be created. Today we want to be our own origin and our own end, like the Phoenix which destroys itself and is reborn from its own ashes. We pretend to be the creators of ourselves in the illusion of a pure freedom, radically autonomous from any natural “given” and from any obedience to reality. The current ideology is that of a freedom which refuses its limit and wants to choose absolutely its life as it intends to choose its death. It is not a question of “becoming what we are,” by consenting to our sexual origin, by accepting to be “qualified in being” by our heritage and our body, but of becoming absolutely what we want to be. We heard it on an astonishing program: “I am not a man. I am non-binary. What makes you say I’m a man?”

God creates by separating. He separates day and night, heaven and earth, man and woman, the fundamental distinction between the human, endowed with God’s breath and spiritual freedom, and the animal world, based on instinct. Not a separation as conflict, but as correspondence. Here we are in a time of extreme confusion where the complementarity of man and woman, naturally open to life, is no longer recognized as a reality that sets a boundary to our inordinate will to power—where, even more seriously, the distinction between man and animal appears to be fallacious among certain minority but incredibly violent “influencers.” These great ideologues obstruct any contradiction, in the United States and more and more in Europe, even in that temple of questioning and debate of ideas that should constitute university research.

These Co-Called Wise Men Have Gone Mad

In Nantes, a festival “to celebrate plural masculinities” opened, with a lot of inclusive writing, where we see not only androgynous and asexual silhouettes, but also hybrid beings, mixing the human body with bird or bear faces. “Let a parish be without priests for twenty years. They will worship beasts,” said the holy Curé d’Ars, as if to signify that man can only survive by way of the High and that without an orientation of his whole being towards invisible Love, manifested in the face of the other, and above all of the smallest, he will lose himself in the abyss of his own navel-gazing. Without God, man fades away like a grain of sand. We must go even further—where God loses His face, where He is venerated only as a “Supreme Being,” a “great architect” infinitely detached from history, men also lose their face.

The French Revolution worshipped the “Supreme Being” and lopped off heads by the thousands. Without the God of love manifested in Christ, the face of man is blurred in the uncertain magma of a freedom gone mad, which, like Rimbaud’s drunken boat, is no longer guided by the winds and descends the rivers impassively, at the mercy of the dominant currents and the most intimidating pressure groups. “If God does not exist,” writes Dostoyevsky in The Demons, “then everything is my will.” And the Apostle to the Romans: ” For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves” (Rom 1:22-24).

The Church Will Have to Stand Up

“Take away the supernatural,” said Chesterton, “and what remains is the unnatural.” Christians will have to be faithful to the earth as it sprang from the hands of God. Those who believe in Heaven must have the vocation of giving an anchor to the uprooting of men. The Church in the West will have to resist with renewed strength “a radical liberal ideology of an individualistic, rationalistic, hedonistic type,” Benedict XVI said to Peter Seewald. We must reread his Epiphany Homily of 2013 where he addressed the bishops he had just ordained:

“Today’s regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant regarding anything that would question it and the criteria it employs. Therefore the courage to contradict the prevailing mindset is particularly urgent for a Bishop today. He must be courageous. And this courage or forcefulness does not consist in striking out or in acting aggressively, but rather in allowing oneself to be struck and to be steadfast before the principles of the prevalent way of thinking.”

No doubt the promoters of the “synodal way” in Germany, the native country of Benedict XVI, who in his testament exhorted his countrymen to stand firm in the faith, should be reminded of this.

Extreme Doctrinal Confusion

In a book to be published as his final testimony, the Pope Theologian writes that the Western world, “with its radical manipulation of man and the deformation of the sexes by gender ideology, is particularly opposed to Christianity. This dictatorial claim to be right all the time through apparent rationality requires the abandonment of Christian anthropology and the lifestyle considered ‘primitive’ that derives from it.” The German priests, bishops and even cardinals who preach in front of the rainbow flag unfurled at the altar or erect it on the churches undoubtedly believe that they are demonstrating the Church’s solicitude and its unconditional welcome. If we can only adopt the benevolence of the Good Shepherd for every man in this world, whatever his life situation, we cannot, without perjuring the logos of reason and the wisdom of Revelation, renounce to transmit, in its time, God’s plan for man and Christ’s call to conversion.

To love every man in his particular situation is to show him the way to the holy mountain and humbly try to climb it with him as a poor brother aware of his own sin, between falling and getting up, between shadows and lights, with the certainty that nothing is ever lost to God. Those who love us always believe us capable of a holy life. It is therefore legitimate to ask whether the “path” of the rich German Church—and more generally of those countries where the Church bends to the most liberal injunctions, in defiance of the small remnant of fervent and faithful youth—is not simply enslaved to a progressive agenda and subjected to pressure groups which, under the pretext of reforming the Church, contribute to accelerating its spiritual anemia and the already spectacular fall in its vocations. It is salutary to ask ourselves if they are not leading souls astray into extreme doctrinal and moral confusion by dint of wanting to please the spirit of the world. “But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men” (Mt 5:13).

To Love the World without Making a Pact with its Darkness

The time has come for humble daily courage and supernatural hope. There will always remain the Spirit of God, through whom our sins are forgiven. After having rejected the Redeemer for the illusion of an intramundane salvation, after having wanted to be his own creator in excess of a pride that rejects all limits, there yet remains for man not to refuse eternal mercy—not to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.

Some will be persecuted, at least in the media, for their fidelity to the faith that comes to us from the Apostles. Courageous and faithful pastors will be mocked and humiliated, even inside the Church. It is through their perseverance that they will be able to bear witness to the infinite goodness of Him who is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). “To God who reveals himself,” says the Vatican II constitution Dei Verbum, is due “the obedience of faith” (Rom 16:26).

The only synodal way is the way of Christ and the attentive listening to His Word, as it is transmitted to us and as it radiates in the midst of men. God alone remains in the midst of a world that is constantly changing, which we must love and join, without making a pact with its darkness. This battle is played out in the depths of our hearts. Christ is with us always, the slain Lamb and the Lion of Judah, the humbled meekness and the invincible strength. He alone remains faithful in the benevolence of His infinite demand, who wants us holy for He is holy (Lev 11:46).


Father Luc de Bellescize is the Curate of Saint Vincent-de-Paul in Paris. This article comes through the kind courtesy of La Nef.


Featured: Via veritas (The Way is the Truth), by Andrea di Bonaiuto; painted ca. 1365-1367.

Being Christian in the World: Refuge and Risk

The present situation makes the Benedictine option desirable and plausible, but it is not without the risk of sliding towards communitarianism. And a Christian cannot run away from his responsibilities to a temporal order, and notably the political.

The present situation of the Catholic Church in our country seems to me to be determined by the following three parameters:

First, the rapid decrease in the social presence of Catholicism since the 1960s—a quantitative decrease that is approaching a threshold where the disappearance of the Catholic fact becomes conceivable.

Second, the irruption of a historically unprecedented factor, Islam, which occupies a growing place, visibly growing, in French society.

Third, the enthronement of the ideology of human rights as the exclusive principle of political, social, and moral legitimacy, installing each “me” in an immanence sure of its right.

On whatever side the French Catholic turns, he sees a threat rising up that can seem insurmountable, coming simultaneously from within, from outside and from himself! The temptation is great to respond to this triple offensive by resorting to the eternal strategy of the weakest party: the defensive, the refuge in a stronghold. In fact, we still have sufficient resources to build a good-looking Catholic fortress: sheltered behind its ramparts, we would no longer be demoralized by the indifference or hostility of global society, Muslims would become external and foreign to us again as they were forty years ago, and by “tightening the bolts” of a Christian life delivered from equivocations and timidities, by forming among ourselves this “Christian society” that France is no longer, we would be able to reorient our lives in the direction of the Transcendent.

Need for Social Support

This last argument must be taken seriously. Indeed, as supernatural as it is in its source and its intimate workings, the Christian life inevitably depends on social supports placed at our disposal by the collective organization of which we are members: places of worship, financial means, competent administrators, respected pastors, and in general everything that contributes to the social authority of the religious institution. It is only when they are subjected to systematic persecution—a situation, as we know, which does not exclude great spiritual fruitfulness—that Christians are entirely deprived of such support.

It is, moreover, the need to find such support that in the past led the Church to ask for help from the political authorities, a help that she obtained at the price of obscuring her own vocation, which caused an incurable wound in her credibility. No one today asks for or proposes such political support. It is unthinkable. That is why the withering of the Church’s social vitality (that social vitality which had allowed her in the first part of the last century to adapt with some success to her exclusion from the political sphere) is such a cause for concern or anguish for Catholics today, a concern or anguish which makes the “Benedictine option” desirable and plausible.

However, if this option is to effect—that is its purpose—of concentrating the forces of Catholics and giving them back a sense of strength, this revival would, I believe, be short-lived. This Benedictine option seems to me to have three disadvantages.

  1. Any defensive regrouping entails the risk of sectarian closure, with the inevitable weakening of intellectual and even moral demands, since we would now be “among ourselves.” As soon as we give up trying to convince, persuade or even interest those who are “outside,” a great source of improvement is lost. Moreover, we would be claiming to be reaping before the renewal of Catholic intellectual life (which is the most encouraging aspect of the present situation of Catholicism) has reached maturity.
  2. Since we need collective or social support, we must not exaggerate their contribution to Christian life. Whatever the political and social situation, leading a truly Christian life remains the most difficult and improbable thing in the world; it remains that fragile miracle which constantly enlightens and renews the life of the world. If Catholics, or Christians in general, are sincere, they admit that our little faith, hope and charity are not responsible for anything other than our little faith, hope and charity. The threshold of the Christian life is therefore not the accusation of the “world” or “society” but penance, “the repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18).
  3. There is no remedy, nor should we seek one, for the situation facing the Christian. It entails a double obligation, of fidelity to the Church and of mission to one’s neighbor, a mission as urgent and perilous today as it was in the time of the Apostles. Let us not covet, but rather fear, the impression of recovered strength that a Catholic “gathering” would easily create. Paul’s authority assures us that there are always enough of us so that God’s strength can be seen in our weakness.

Moreover, our responsibility as Christians is no less political or civic than properly religious. This Europe that turns its back on us, let us not turn our backs on it in turn. If we want to give a generous meaning to what otherwise risks remaining a slogan, the “Christian roots of Europe,” we must hold ourselves responsible for what is happening in Europe, co-responsible with the other citizens concerned about the common fate, but also especially responsible as Christians who claim the unparalleled part—good and bad mixed—that their religion has taken, in the deepening of the European soul.

The Civic Obligation of Christians

This is where the relationship of the Church to herself, to her own life, and her relationship to Europe come together. Christians cannot devote themselves exclusively to the deepening of their sacramental life, however essential it may be. As citizens and as Christians they cannot abandon Europe to its fate. They have an inseparable civic and Christian obligation to preserve what, for lack of a better expression, I call the “Christian mark” of Europe.

Now, the shift imposed by the present pontificate has redoubled the difficulty of this task. On the one hand, ad intra, the sacramental rule is obscured or “blurred,” those thresholds that give meaning and relief to the interior life of the Church are erased. On the other hand, ad extra, religions are equalized, indifference to their dogmatic and moral content is shown, and the religious composition of the European population is shown to be of the utmost indifference.

Thus, the political and religious articulations of the present world are ignored or brutalized. This politically and religiously unformed humanity is the subject and the vehicle of a religion without any other content than emotional or sentimental. In such an involution, the dulling of the religious requirement is one with the darkening of the political view. We see that the urgency for the Christian citizens of Europe is not less civic than religious. For them, it is a matter of preserving or reviving the Christian mark of the European nations, and inseparably of preserving or reviving their political legitimacy. Instead of seeking refuge in a “small Christian society,” accept to be a citizen and a Christian in the greater society, inhospitable as it has always been.


Pierre Manent is a political philosopher at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Centre de recherches politiques Raymond Aron, and Boston College. His many books are widely translated into English, including, Metamorphoses of the City: On the Western DynamicA World beyond Politics?: A Defense of the Nation State, and Modern Liberty and its Discontents. This article appears courtesy of La Nef.


Featured: Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, by Ambrosius Francken I; painted ca. early 16th century.

The Anthropological Problem in Eschatology

The Question of Man

In our time, it is becoming increasingly clear that it is man himself who is in question. And at the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are living at a critical, extremely critical moment in history—and it is possible (and even likely to be so) that we are living in the end times.

Epidemics and wars are mowing down millions of human lives. In the Special Military Operation (SMO) the world is brought to the brink of a nuclear war, which, if started, could end humanity’s existence.

At the same time, the horizons of the post-human future are becoming clearer in philosophy and science. The Singularity theory, the transfer of the initiative to a strong Artificial Intelligence, the success of genetic engineering, the improvement of robotics, attempts to merge people and machines (creation of cyborgs)—all this calls into question the very species of man, proposing to turn this page of history and decisively enter the era of posthumanism, transhumanism.

In such a situation, it is extremely important to address the anthropological issue anew with the utmost seriousness. If man is on the verge of extinction, annihilation, fundamental and irreversible mutation, then what is he after all? What was he? What is his essence and his mission? By approaching the limit, man can better review his own forms, and thus grasp his eidos, his essence.

Such a review can be done in many different ways. It all depends here on the original point of view. Each scientific or ideological paradigm will proceed from its own structures. In this paper we aim to make sense of man primarily in the context of Christian eschatology. But in order to clarify how Christian doctrine represents man, his nature and his destiny in the last times, it is necessary first to make an excursion into a more general problematic of religious anthropology in general.

Humanity’s Dualism at the Last Judgment

The end of the world in the Christian tradition (as well as in other versions of monotheism) is described in some detail. The culmination of all world history will be the moment of the Last Judgment. And here we encounter the main feature of eschatological anthropology: dualism, the final division of humanity into two groups, represented by the images of lambs (cattle, flock—πρόβατον) and goats (ἔριφος). The lambs are the elect who receive a good answer at the Last Judgment. The goats are the damned, doomed to eternal destruction. The lambs go to the right, to salvation; the goats go to the left, to damnation.

Matthew’s Gospel describes this division this way (Mt 25:31-36):

31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
31 Ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ καὶ πάντες [a]οἱ ἄγγελοι μετ’ αὐτοῦ, τότε καθίσει ἐπὶ θρόνου δόξης αὐτοῦ·

32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
32 καὶ συναχθήσονται ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, καὶ ἀφορίσει αὐτοὺς ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων, ὥσπερ ὁ ποιμὴν ἀφορίζει τὰ πρόβατα ἀπὸ τῶν ἐρίφων,

33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
33 καὶ στήσει τὰ μὲν πρόβατα ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ τὰ δὲ ἐρίφια ἐξ εὐωνύμων.

34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
34 τότε ἐρεῖ ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῖς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ· Δεῦτε, οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ πατρός μου, κληρονομήσατε τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν βασιλείαν ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου.

35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
35 ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με, ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με,

36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
36 γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με, ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με, ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με.

This formulation suggests that the division occurs among the nations (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη), but tradition interprets it as a division among people on a deeper—ontological—principle. Sheep are those whose nature turns out to be good. The goats—and here a clear reference to the ancient Hebrew rite of casting out the scapegoat—are those who have moved decisively to the side of evil.

Eschatology thus sees the end of human history not as a unity, not ex pluribus unum facere (from many one), but precisely as a division, a division, a fundamental fork.

Humanity at the Last Judgment is bifurcated, and finally and irreversibly. The result of humanity’s existence in time is its distribution into two sets, which in this very bifurcated state enters eternity. It is no longer a stage, not an intermediate position, but precisely an irreversible end. The end of man is the absolute and irrevocable decision of God at the Last Judgment.

Thus, eschatology strictly states that the omega point for humanity will be its bifurcation, the division into sheep and goats. On the damned—as scapegoats—will be symbolically placed all the sins of humanity, and as such they will be separated from the rest, whose sins will, by contrast, be forgiven by divine Grace.

The Particular Unity of the Church

So, the end of man will be his bifurcation. Biblical tradition begins human history with Adam and Paradise. Man was created as one, and his division into man and woman (Eve’s creation) was the prelude to the fall into sin and further fragmentation. The end result of the entire historical process will be the Last Judgment. We can say that the general vector of history moves from unity to duality.

In this, Christian teaching is based on the fact that in the final stages of sacred history, the process of fall into sin was overcome by the voluntary sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who restored—but on another ontological level—the original unity, uniting scattered people into a new wholeness—the Church of Christ. The unity of the Church restores the unity of Adam and forms the part of humanity which at the Last Judgment will be numbered among the sheep, the flock of Christ. But this unity is not mechanical. It is not the result of adding up everyone. Only the saved are included in the unity and wholeness (synodality) of the Church as emphasized in the Creed (“I believe… in the one holy and apostolic Church”). This is what the Gospel parable about those invited to the wedding feast tells us— ” For many are called, but few are chosen (Mt. 22:14).” After all, the unity of the Church consists of the fellowship of the elect—the saints, the saved, those who have accepted Christ, and those who have remained faithful to this choice until their last breath. Sinners, on the other hand, do not inherit the Kingdom of God; they are cast out of it. They have no part in the “next age.” Their fate is utter destruction, the disappearance into the abyss. Therefore, the unity of the Church does not include those who have voluntarily renounced it.

Unity by Subtraction

This theme of the unity of the Church, which does not include sinners, is saturated with a fundamental metaphysical meaning. Unity is usually understood as an addition, that is, the addition of all the parts, which is intended to recreate some whole. This is partly the meaning of “synodality,” that is, “gathering together.” By putting everything together, we would have unity. But in the case of the anthropology of the Last Judgment, this is not quite so, or even not at all.

The unity of the Church includes the saints, the righteous, and the saved. But—it excludes sinners, or rather absolute sinners—unrepentant and unredeemed by loved ones and saints.

This problem came to a head in connection with Origen’s doctrine of Apocatastasis, that is, the strictly Platonic understanding that the unity (split at the beginning of the manifestation of the world) process will be fully restored at the end of time, including repentance of the fallen angels, and even the devil himself, thus forgiving them. Here, indeed, unity is thought of as first the scattering and then the gathering together of all that is scattered, including sinners and Lucifer.

But this doctrine was rejected by the Church. And this is clearly no accident; rather, a completely different understanding of unity is emphasized. Unity includes the saved and excludes the damned. Unity is subtraction, not addition. Those who go the way of the goats take on the negative side of creation. What is, is affirmed as such, but it involves a kind of purification from what is not. And men and angels who have taken the path of evil take it upon themselves to become bearers of non-existence.

Theology is based on a radical gap between the two natures—the nature of God and the nature of the world He created. Their separation becomes explicit at the moment of the beginning of creation, and is subject to judgment at the moment of its end. That is, metaphysically there is 1 and 1, one God and one creation (as not God). To affirm the oneness of each unit, one must deny the existence of the other. God is so superior to creation that there is, even when there is no creation. Thus, this oneness of God equates the world with nothingness. Hence creation ex nihilo.

But there is also a satanic unity of the world opposed to God. For the world to be one and the same, there must be no God. This is what the devil is going for—and also the entire depiction of the world of the European New Age. The unity of the world is ensured by the nonexistence of God.

In both cases, unity is the result of the negation of the second unity, that is, subtraction. One of the units of the formula 1+1 must be subtracted, taken with a minus sign. To get unity from 2 you must subtract 1. One must gather that which belongs to the unit of God and deny that which belongs to the unit of the devil. Or vice versa.

Hence the main problem of eschatological anthropology. At the Last Judgment, the cursed part of humanity is subtracted from humanity, becoming a collective—cathedral!—”scapegoat.” And it is this condemnation of sinners that constitutes the fullness of the assembly of the righteous. All humanity is humanity minus those who have sided with Satan. And it is the act of subtracting that makes this humanity complete.

In the act of creating something that would not be God in nature, there must be involved both something of God and something not of God, that is, nothing. Something of God mixes with something that is not of God—like soul with body, spirit with dust. And this mixing is not unity. It is only a task given to the subject. In choosing spirit, the subject chooses the Church, unity with God, in His direction. By choosing the opposite, that is, dust, matter, materialism, the subject chooses nothing. The righteous man purifies spirit from matter; the sinner purifies matter from spirit. By subtracting each other from humanity, the two parts build the ontological foundation of eschatological anthropology. The unity of the righteous represents the synodality of being, which surrenders itself to God, the true One and Only. The aggregation of sinners forms the army of the damned, the cathedral of nothingness. A collective of scapegoats.

The Scapegoat

We should look more closely at the Gospel image of the separation of sheep and goats. There is clearly a distinct reference to the Old Testament sacrificial rite in which one goat was separated from the sacrificial animals (sheep and bulls), which became the “scapegoat” (Hebrew for “azazel”— עֲזָאזֵֽל—the expression לַעֲזָאזֵֽל—literally, “for complete removal”). In the Septuagint this expression was translated as ἀποποπομπαῖος τράγος, Latin caper emissarius.

The book of Leviticus gives this description of Aaron’s sacrifice (Lv. 16:21-22):

21 and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.

21 καὶ ἐπιθήσει ᾿Ααρὼν τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν τοῦ χιμάρου τοῦ ζῶντος καὶ ἐξαγορεύσει ἐπ᾿ αὐτοῦ πάσας τὰς ἀνομίας τῶν υἱῶν ᾿Ισραὴλ καὶ πάσας τὰς ἀδικίας αὐτῶν καὶ πάσας τὰς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπιθήσει αὐτὰς ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν τοῦ χιμάρου τοῦ ζῶντος καὶ ἐξαποστελεῖ ἐν χειρὶ ἀνθρώπου ἑτοίμου εἰς τὴν ἔρημον,

כא וְסָמַךְ אַהֲרֹן אֶת-שְׁתֵּי יָדָו, עַל רֹאשׁ הַשָּׂעִיר הַחַי, וְהִתְוַדָּה עָלָיו אֶת-כָּל-עֲוֺנֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאֶת-כָּל-פִּשְׁעֵיהֶם לְכָל-חַטֹּאתָם; וְנָתַן אֹתָם עַל-רֹאשׁ הַשָּׂעִיר, וְשִׁלַּח בְּיַד-אִישׁ עִתִּי הַמִּדְבָּרָה.

22 The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him to a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.

22 καὶ λήψεται ὁ χίμαρος ἐφ᾿ ἑαυτῷ τὰς ἀδικίας αὐτῶν εἰς γῆν ἄβατον, καὶ ἐξαποστελεῖ τὸν χίμαρον εἰς τὴν ἔρημον.

כב וְנָשָׂא הַשָּׂעִיר עָלָיו אֶת-כָּל-עֲוֺנֹתָם, אֶל-אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה; וְשִׁלַּח אֶת-הַשָּׂעִיר, בַּמִּדְבָּר.

On other occasions, the “scapegoat” was thrown off a cliff. This ritual clearly resonates with the Gospel account of how Jesus Christ healed a demoniac in the country of Gadara, commanding the demons to come out of him and inhabit a herd of pigs grazing nearby. The demons obeyed, and the entire herd rushed to the precipice and tumbled from it into the abyss. In this case, the role of the “scapegoat” is played by the herd of pigs, which took upon themselves the sins for which the demon-possessed suffered.

According to tradition, a piece of red woolen cloth was tied to the goat to be sent off to the desert. Part of it the Old Testament priest tore off during the passage of the goat through the city gates and hung it in public view. If God accepted the cleansing sacrifice, the cloth would miraculously turn from red to white.

It is important to note that the scapegoat was separated specifically from the sacrificial animals, which were considered clean, and it represented a special sacrifice. The complex symbolism of the scapegoat, associated it with the fallen angel, Satan, but remained entirely within the structure of Jewish monotheism. In the apocryphal book of Enoch (8:1), Azazel appears as the name of one of the “fallen angels.”

In ancient Greece, a similar ritual was associated with the ritual execution of a criminal who took the sins of the community (φαρμακός, κάθαρμα, περίψημα). In this, we can likely recognize echoes of the ancient cults of Dionysus. [The French philosopher René Girard based his philosophical system on an analysis of the scapegoat figure, in his books, The Scapegoat, Violence and the Sacred, I See Satan Falling Like Lightning].

It should be emphasized here that the final fate of humanity at the Last Judgment divides it into a sacrifice pleasing to God (the sheep, and not by chance the lamb symbolizes Christ himself) and those who are sent away, separated, cut off, fall away from the main flock (humanity). The goats are not pleasing to God, are not accepted by Him, and therefore are rejected—perishing without a trace in the wilderness or falling into the abyss.

Here we may recall the story of the two children of Adam (the unity of mankind), Abel and Cain. Abel’s sacrifice is accepted and Cain’s is rejected. The creation of Eve (the division of man), which led to the eating of the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (again the duality opposite to the unity of the tree of life) and the birth of the two brothers Cain and Abel (the story of the first murder) are all initial prototypes of the final human story, the last sacrifice at the Last Judgement.

Thus, at the end of the world, humanity’s duality, manifested in its irreversible division, becomes fully explicit, obvious, but implicitly this division began already in paradise.

The Division of Angels

However, even before the creation of man, a similar division occurs at the level of the angels. Created immortal, incorporeal and eternal spirits, angels are divided into two halves (Ps. 90/91:7):

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee
πεσεῖται ἐκ τοῦ κλίτους σου χιλιὰς καὶ μυριὰς ἐκ δεξιῶν σου πρὸς σὲ δὲ οὐκ ἐγγιεῖ
יִפֹּל מִצִּדְּךָ ׀ אֶלֶף וּרְבָבָה מִימִינֶךָ אֵלֶיךָ לֹא יִגָּשׁ׃

Here, too, the original unified angelic nature is dissected. Part of the angels are faithful to God and retain their supreme position in creation. The second part, under Danica (Hebrew בֶּן-שָׁחַר “son of the dawn,” Greek ἐωσφόρος, Latin Lucifer) or Satan (Hebrew שָׂטָן—literally, “adversary,” “enemy”) rebels against God and His creation, and as a result of the battle of angels, in which the good angels are victorious, he falls to the very bottom of existence—the realms below the bottom of creation.

Thus, the history of man and his separation echoes the fate of the higher incorporeal entities, the angels, who are also divided into two irreconcilable halves. In a sense, this is the logical result of the freedom that God has fully given to His creation. Every being endowed with intelligence and will, whether human or angel, is capable of consciously making a fundamental choice—to be with God or without Him, and without Him, in the end, means against Him; that is, the way of rebellion and godlessness. Such a choice inevitably leads to the abyss and turns the subject’s being into a rejected victim, that is, a scapegoat.

According to the teaching of the Church, the Last Judgment will determine the final fate not only of human beings, but also of angels. [And the angels who kept not their principality, but forsook their own habitation, he hath reserved under darkness in everlasting chains, unto the judgment of the great day (The Epistle of the Holy Apostle Jude 1:6)]. It is then that Jesus Christ, along with the good angels and saints, will also condemn the evil angels, who shall share the fate of the goats, the “scapegoats,” and finally perish in the abyss.

Thus, eschatological anthropology is inextricably linked to angelology. People and angels have a similar fate—both are given the fullness of mind and will and, therefore, the ontological fullness of freedom. And with the support of this freedom, both determine their own destiny—to become God’s accepted sacrifice or rejected. From indefinite unity, the path of the intelligent creature leads to the ultimate and irreversible bifurcation of the Last Judgment.

The Common Destiny of Men and Angels

The commonality of the destinies of humans and angels is an essential element of religious anthropology. Both begin in unity and end in separation. Both are fully endowed with freedom, intelligence, and will. But they belong to two different dimensions—humans are endowed with a dense body, which angels are not, and are therefore mortal (in body). Angels do not have bodies and do not depend on a dense shell—they maintain their existence from the beginning to the end of creation. Therefore, their choice is not in time, but in eternity—Danica fell in the very origins of time, and falls on the continuation of the entire history of the world and will finally be overthrown at the Last Judgment. Angels have a different scale, but the same ontological problematics as humans.

This scale, in addition to temporality, is also reflected in the fact that the angels, being free from the body, are able to control the bodily elements of the world. Hence their power. The Apocalypse gives a picture of the end times, when angels, faithful to God, inflict world plagues on mankind. And Satan, the fallen angel, is called by the apostles “the prince of this world” (Jn 12:31) and even “the god of this age” (2Cor 4:4), which emphasizes the enormous scope of his power in controlling the processes of the cosmos.

It can be said that the history of man goes from the unity of Adam to the final separation at the Last Judgment in the horizontal—temporal—dimension. The “history” of the angels is vertical. It is organized along the axis of eternity, which permeates creation once and for all. That is why the devil appears already in paradise, and in the end times he takes almost complete power over the world. And they have a common end—the Last Judgment. At the beginning and end of world history, the fate of angels is extremely close to the fate of people, and the eternal vertical of creation with the horizontal of time. And this leads us to be more attentive to both dimensions, the anthropological and the angelological, which can never be completely separated from each other. At the beginning and end of history, the respective moments—unity and bifurcation—unite angels and humans fully. But even in the intervening epochs—as well as in the different slices of the angelic vertical—humans and angels are in close proximity to one another.

Most importantly, human history and the destiny of angels are defined by a fundamental code of bifurcation. In eschatology this becomes fully explicit. It is at the end of time at the Last Judgment that the whole truth about the fall of the angels will be revealed. Similarly, the entire content of man’s being in time will also be revealed—the secret will be revealed [Mt 10:26; Mk 4:22; Lk 17).

The commonality of humans and angels is structured by a fundamental duality: Humans, occupying the middle—horizontal—layer of creation, move to the final separation gradually—in the course of the historical process, reaching its culmination at the moment of the Last Judgement (here human duality is manifested in absolute degree). The fall of angels takes place vertically and instantaneously—in the context of a created eternity, always simultaneous for any moment of historical time. This is why the dualism of angels is permanent. It is always there, from the beginning of time to its end; but the final condemnation of fallen angels will coincide with the Last Judgment.

In other words, the dualism of humanity is implicit in the course of history, while the dualism of angels is explicit in relation to any moment of human history—the choice of people unfolds in time, the choice of angels is instantaneous. At the same time, the dualization of humanity unfolds in the context of the once and for all accomplished fall of the angels. Both dimensions create the volume of the ontological process, which, in fact, is sacred history.

The Anthropology of the Psalms (Avdeyenko ‘s Interpretation)

This fundamental dualism of anthropology (as well as angelology) is brought to sharp focus by the contemporary Russian Bible scholar, philosopher, and theologian Yevgeny Avdeyenko. In his interpretation of the Psalms and the Book of Job, he gives a detailed interpretation of the entire ontological scope of human duality, interpreting the biblical texts in this way. Avdeyenko emphasizes that the Psalter plays such an exceptional role in Christian tradition and liturgy precisely because it presents the fundamental structure of man, and King David appears as the most vivid example of man as such—summarizing the ontological history of Adam and anticipating the new Adam of Christ. The entire content of the Psalms is a narrative of the structure, nature and destiny of man as such. And this is precisely its enduring significance.

Avdeyenko’s contrasting emphasis on the anthropological nature of the Psalms is accompanied by another crucial point: in his reading, the Psalter opens as a fundamentally dualistic narrative where the main content is the opposition between two zones of existence—light and darkness, good and evil, the heavenly realm and the underground hell (Sheol)—right down to its lowest layer, the abyss of Abaddon. God is one, but precisely because He is one and only He is one, being is essentially dual. This will be fully revealed in the division of the Last Judgment, but for Avdeenko this same dualism predetermines the entire content of anthropology and sacred history, of which the Psalter is the semantic mediator.

Anthropological (as well as angelological) dualism for Avdeyenko is not postponed until the final chord of the end times; it operates initially and without interruption and is the main key to comprehending religion as such. Here it is appropriate to recall what we said about the vertical along which the fall of the angels has forever passed, is passing and will continue to pass. Man—Adam, David—is always placed in the middle of this vertical, where the choice is possible in time. The finalization of this choice will coincide with the end of time. But the impact of the two opposing poles man always feels—in every moment of his existence. He always faces the choice of Cain and Abel, the faithful Apostles or Judas, the archangel Michael or Danica. In contrast to the angels, whose choice has always been made and made unambiguously, man has until his last breath the possibility of changing his ontological camp—” Turn away from evil and do good: seek after peace and pursue it” (Ps 33:15). And then he has only to wait for the Last Judgment.

Man’s dualism includes time. This is the core of his moral nature. Man is never mechanically doomed to be good or evil. It is a choice made throughout a person’s life. This is what the Psalms tell us, as Avdehyenko discusses at length.

Children of Light and Children of Darkness

Anthropological dualism is already found in a purely Christian context in the Apostle Paul. In his First Letter to the Thessalonians, he writes:

5 For all you are the children of light, and children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

5 πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς υἱοὶ φωτός ἐστε καὶ υἱοὶ ἡμέρας. οὐκ ἐσμὲν νυκτὸς οὐδὲ σκότους·

6 Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do; but let us watch, and be sober.

6 ἄρα οὖν μὴ καθεύδωμεν [b]ὡς οἱ λοιποί, ἀλλὰ γρηγορῶμεν καὶ νήφωμεν.

7 For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that are drunk, are drunk in the night.

7 οἱ γὰρ καθεύδοντες νυκτὸς καθεύδουσιν, καὶ οἱ μεθυσκόμενοι νυκτὸς μεθύουσιν·

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, having on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

8 ἡμεῖς δὲ ἡμέρας ὄντες νήφωμεν, ἐνδυσάμενοι θώρακα πίστεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ περικεφαλαίαν ἐλπίδα σωτηρίας·

In John’s Gospel, Jesus himself speaks of the “children of light” (John 12:36):

36 Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things Jesus spoke; and he went away, and hid himself from them.

36 ὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετε, πιστεύετε εἰς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα υἱοὶ φωτὸς γένησθε. Ταῦτα ἐλάλησεν Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἀπελθὼν ἐκρύβη ἀπ’ αὐτῶν.

Paul’s division into “sons of light” (υἱοὶ φωτός) and “sons of darkness” (υἱοὶ σκότους) draws our attention to the same anthropological dualism. Those who are with God, with Christ, those who believe in light are the humanity of Abel, Noah, the forefathers, the saints, and the martyrs. They, being in time, prepare with their being the sacrificial animals of the Last Judgment—the sheep, the lambs. This is the humanity of light. But people do not become such by predestination, by birth, or by rigid mechanical conditions, but by their own free will. Only those who are absolutely free can choose between light and darkness. And this is why Paul calls Christians precisely to “become” sons of light, to become them—to be awake, to stay awake, to awaken from the inertia of everyday life. To be “sons of light” means to become “sons of light,” to put ourselves into “sons of light. Jesus Christ himself says the same thing in John’s Gospel—”Believe in the light, that you may be sons of light.” If you believe, you will become sons. No one is born a son of light knowingly. Man always, personally, determines his own nature—placing it either above himself—in the realm of the faithful angels, or below himself—giving himself to the attraction of Danica, sinking into Sheol, slipping into the abyss of Abaddon. And if a man falls, turning away from the light, he becomes a “son of darkness,” a “son of night.” Again, he is not born, but he becomes—constituting his being himself with the support of freedom—mind and will. No one can be forced to become a “son of light” or a “son of darkness.” There is always a choice. Man is this choice himself. This, in fact, is what the Psalms and the Gospels tell us, and what the Bible as a whole tells us.

Anthropology and the Physics of the Resurrection

The Last Judgment occurs after the resurrection of the dead. Christian teaching specifies that “not all will die, but all will be changed.” The apostle Paul writes (I Cor 15:51-52):

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again: but we shall not all be changed.

51 ἰδοὺ μυστήριον ὑμῖν λέγω· [a]πάντες οὐ κοιμηθησόμεθα πάντες δὲ ἀλλαγησόμεθα,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed.

52 ἐν ἀτόμῳ, ἐν ῥιπῇ ὀφθαλμοῦ, ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ σάλπιγγι· σαλπίσει γάρ, καὶ οἱ νεκροὶ ἐγερθήσονται ἄφθαρτοι, καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀλλαγησόμεθα.

The dualism of eschatological anthropology will be fully revealed, after this fundamental metamorphosis of humanity, when the resurrected dead will coexist with the changed—clothed in incorruptible flesh—of the living.

To better understand the meaning of the resurrection of the dead, the expectation of which is included in the “Creed” of the Christian, and therefore is an integral part of all doctrine, we should turn to the phases of creation. The eschatological processes partly repeat the phases of creation in reverse order. Creation comes from God and is directed outward (toward Him). The end of time brings creation back to God, puts it in the face of God—bringing it to His judgment. This return is the universal resurrection, where the entire content of the history of the world is recreated instantly and simultaneously.

But resurrected humanity requires different ontological conditions compared to the world in which we find ourselves. These conditions can be summarized as the physics of resurrection. Other laws are in effect here—beyond the usual time and space. The apostle Paul says this about the physics of the resurrection (I Cor 15:39-44):

39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but one is the flesh of men, another of beasts, another of birds, another of fishes.

39 οὐ πᾶσα σὰρξ ἡ αὐτὴ σάρξ, ἀλλὰ ἄλλη μὲν ἀνθρώπων, ἄλλη δὲ σὰρξ κτηνῶν, ἄλλη δὲ [a]σὰρξ πτηνῶν, ἄλλη δὲ ἰχθύων.

40 And there are bodies celestial, and bodies terrestrial: but, one is the glory of the celestial, and another of the terrestrial.

40 καὶ σώματα ἐπουράνια, καὶ σώματα ἐπίγεια· ἀλλὰ ἑτέρα μὲν ἡ τῶν ἐπουρανίων δόξα, ἑτέρα δὲ ἡ τῶν ἐπιγείων.

41 One is the glory of the sun, another the glory of the moon, and another the glory of the stars. For star differeth from star in glory.

41 ἄλλη δόξα ἡλίου, καὶ ἄλλη δόξα σελήνης, καὶ ἄλλη δόξα ἀστέρων, ἀστὴρ γὰρ ἀστέρος διαφέρει ἐν δόξῃ.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it shall rise in incorruption.

42 Οὕτως καὶ ἡ ἀνάστασις τῶν νεκρῶν. σπείρεται ἐν φθορᾷ, ἐγείρεται ἐν ἀφθαρσίᾳ·

43 It is sown in dishonour, it shall rise in glory. It is sown in weakness, it shall rise in power.

43 σπείρεται ἐν ἀτιμίᾳ, ἐγείρεται ἐν δόξῃ· σπείρεται ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ, ἐγείρεται ἐν δυνάμει·

44 It is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body. If there be a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

44 σπείρεται σῶμα ψυχικόν, ἐγείρεται σῶμα πνευματικόν. Εἰ ἔστιν σῶμα ψυχικόν, [d]ἔστιν καὶ πνευματικόν.

These are the properties of the resurrected body—it is

  • incorruptible,
  • in glory,
  • in power,
  • spiritual.

So also the Second Coming of Christ takes place in power and in glory. Hence the expression Savior-in-Power (Majesta Domini, Pantocrator), referring to the figure of Jesus Christ, the Almighty, seated on the Throne in Heaven. Here incorruption and the spiritual nature of the world are revealed directly as an area of direct experience. The moment of the Last Judgment reveals a special ontological dimension.

Eternal Creation

The physics of resurrection will become clearer to us if we carefully trace the steps of the cosmogonic process.

The main ontological difference in religion is the creator-creation pair, God and the world. God is eternal, unchanging, primordial, uncreated. The world is placed in time, that is, finite, limited, and created. This is the basis of theology and the whole Church tradition.

In addition to this main distinction, however, we should already distinguish at least two levels, two sections—the corporeal and the spiritual. We are talking about the created spirit, not the Holy Spirit, who is God and the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. To this area of the spirit belong the heavenly paradise and the angelic ranks, as well as the assembly of those holy people who, through their faith, their exploits, works and deeds, have attained the spirit, having been transformed into a new nature—have become in the full sense of the word “sons of light.”

The other zone of the created world is the corporeal realms, denser and grosser than the spiritual worlds.

The laws of time and space apply to bodily creation and determine the life, forms, and timing of bodies and bodily phenomena. Spiritual worlds are governed by other laws. There is not what we understand by “time” and “space” as applied to the world of bodies. Spiritual worlds are creation, not God. Thus, in part they are like the corporeal world (they are created and finite), but in part they are closer to God Himself (there is no time and space). This is why Christ himself says, “the kingdom of God is within you.” This realm of the spirit is not subject to the laws of time and space (so it, being all-encompassing, is able to fit inside the human heart). Compared to the totality of the history of the corporeal world, the spiritual realm is eternal. Such are the angels—the intelligent spirits, the “second lights. They belong to this spiritual dimension—vertical in relation to the corporeal cosmos. They can be everywhere at once and at any moment. They are not subject to death and decay. But at the same time, they are fundamentally finite; they once were not and once will not be. It is said that “the heavens will pass away.” In the same way, spiritual creation will pass away. Compared to bodily creation it is eternal. Compared to God’s true eternity, it is finite and relative.

In the process of creation, the spiritual world comes first—it begins with it. Spiritual beings—angels—are created first and help God to order creation. The corporeal world—with time and space—is formed in the next stage. In the cross of creation, the vertical of created eternity is drawn first, and only then the horizontal of the corporeal world. Man is central to this cross—he stands in the center of the corporeal world and in the middle of the vertical of eternal creation—between the good and evil angels.

At the end of time, this process will take place in the opposite direction. First, the corporeal world will be elevated to the celestial-spiritual world and this is the moment of the resurrection of the dead. And then this resurrected—eternal—creation will appear before the Last Judgment. Horizontal time will ascend to vertical eternity.

Thus, the resurrection is not a return to earthly bodily life, but to the structures of spiritual creation. Hence the properties of resurrection physics of imperishability, power, glory, spirit. These same attributes are characteristic of angels. Christ responded to the Sadducees who denied the resurrection (Mk 12:25):

25 For when they shall rise again from the dead, they shall neither marry, nor be married, but are as the angels in heaven.

25 ὅταν γὰρ ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῶσιν, οὔτε γαμοῦσιν οὔτε γαμίζονται, ἀλλ’ εἰσὶν ὡς ἄγγελοι ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς·

This comparison does not imply immortality; but the resurrection body itself will change its nature, becoming a spiritual, heavenly body and imperishable (though finite) in comparison to ordinary earthly bodies.

Eternal Resurrection

Since the resurrection of the dead, or the changing of those living whom the Second Coming will catch on earth, precisely recreates a spiritual, eternal creation, it should be noted that the moment of resurrection cannot be uniquely coupled with the structure of time. Resurrection time does not come as ordinary time does. In a certain sense, it is a special time and accordingly this spiritual world of created eternity is always there—from the beginning of the world to the end. Likewise, there are always angels—spiritual beings. They do not come into the world as corporeal men and do not leave it. They are only visible or invisible. Likewise, there are people who will be resurrected. In order for them to be resurrected, they must already be—be in some sense always. Not necessarily in time and in body, but necessarily in conception, in their sense. In order to be resurrected someday, one must be resurrected always—in this vertical dimension, resurrected in the spirit.

This is precisely what Christianity asserts. Christ will not simply resurrect everyone by his rising from the dead—but has already resurrected everyone, because he has recreated, renewed creation, restored its spiritual structure.

In every human being, underneath the ordinary physics is the physics of the resurrection. Beneath the physical man is the spiritual man, belonging to the resurrection world, the Kingdom of Heaven.

The resurrection, while not an event in time, is an event in eternity, that is, it is always active. And so it is now.

The line between the living and the dead in the resurrection optics is erased. All are equally confronted with the fundamental problem of choice. Bodily life—precisely because of its extreme distance from God—offers unique opportunities to prove devotion to God—despite the fact that the very conditions of earthly existence compel one to deny His existence. But man cannot be completely devoid of mind and will, that is, of involvement in the world of the spirit. Otherwise, he would be a machine or an animal. Therefore, in the depths of every human soul there is an area of fundamental choice. This is the territory of the body of glory, the body of resurrection. It exists not only afterwards, but now, always. It is located—like the original Adam—on the vertical between the Archangel Michael (who is like God) and the fallen angel, the devil, the Danite, the “son of the dawn.” It is this ontological location of his heart—on the line of eternal creation and, accordingly, in the realm of the resurrection—that makes man human.

Eschatological anthropology does not refer to the future in the usual sense, but to the eternal present.

Importantly, the Creed speaks of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:

and will come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead
Καὶ πάλιν ἐρχόμενον μετὰ δόξης κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς

Here it should be pointed out that Christ will also judge the “living,” not just the resurrected dead. But these will be special “living” ones—already “changed” (ἀλλαγγησόμεθα—from the verb ἀλλάσσω), according to the Apostle. What is this change?

It restores man’s “body of glory,” his “spiritual body,” without him having to go through three successive phases—birth in body, death, resurrection. Such a change, albeit as an extreme case, is possible precisely because of man’s inherent nature of “creaturely eternity.” At the deepest level of his being, he is already resurrected, and it is possible to actualize this “resurrection” either through death or bypassing it. Saints, martyrs, and those Christians who have most fully developed their Christian identity are able to approach this state of “resurrection” even before the Last Judgment. Associated with this is the appearance of imperishable relics and other relics. The very bodies of the saints are transformed, falling out from under the material conditions of time. This means that the spiritual man, the man of power, the body of glory, is already in everyone, and this is the way of the Christian—to change while still alive, so as to come as close as possible to the ontological conditions of the Last Judgment. We must try to stand before that Court as early as possible, without waiting for the fulfillment of time. And the very will to change human nature accordingly brings closer the Second Coming of the Savior.

Such a change in life means becoming a “son of light,” awakening and irrevocably separating one’s destiny from the “sons of darkness,” from the state of meaningless and insensitive sleep.

Modernity Through the Eyes of Tradition

Now let us turn to a completely different section of anthropology—to the way modern Western philosophy and science present man, his essence and nature. We practically always start with modern notions, which we take for granted (“progress obliges”), and through their prism we turn to other—for example, pre-modernist—notions. This is done with a certain amount of condescension. If we do this, then any religious anthropology, and especially its eschatological section, will look like naive and arbitrary generalizations. But here’s the interesting thing. If we look from the opposite side and try to assess the anthropological theories of modernity through the eyes of a man of Tradition, a shocking picture will open before us.

If history is a process of splitting humanity into sheep and goats, i.e., actualization through a sequence of acts of free choice of people’s will towards in the sons of light or the sons of darkness, the last centuries of Western European civilization, retreating further from God, religion, faith, Christianity and eternity, will look like a continuous and worsening process of sliding into the abyss, a massive transition to the Danica side, a conscious and structurally verified vector of direct God-fighting. European Modernity is the way of the goats; that is, the compulsive invitation to societies and peoples to become scapegoats at the Last Judgment. From the very beginning, Western European civilization of the New Age has been built on a rejection of religion, first through the relativization of its teachings (deism) and later through outright dogmatic atheism. Man is now thought of as an independent material-psychical phenomenon, a bearer of rationality. God appears as an abstract hypothesis. In New Age culture, it is not God who creates man, but man invents “God” for himself in a naive search to explain the origin of the world. This approach leaves no place at all for spiritual worlds or angels in existence. All spirituality is reduced to the human mind.

In parallel, the very act of creation and created eternity are rejected. The idea of the structure of time and history changes accordingly. Heaven and the Last Judgment are presented as “naive myths” that do not deserve any serious attention. The emergence of man is described as a stage in the evolution of animal species, and human history as a gradual social progress leading to ever more perfect forms of social organization with ever-increasing levels of comfort and technical development.

This picture of the explanation of the world and man is so familiar to us that we rarely think about its origins and the assumptions on which it is based. But if we nevertheless turn to them, we see that it is a radical rejection of the ontology of salvation, a desire to categorically forbid man to create his being in the realm of eschatological sheep. The New Age paradigm turns its back on God and Heaven, and accordingly moves inward. In religious topology, it is an unequivocal choice of hell, a slide into the abyss of Abaddon. And beneath the formally atheistic and secular world order, the image of the fallen angel, which is the true origin of God-fighting initiatives, is becoming increasingly clear. The devil draws humanity to himself at all stages of sacred history, beginning with the earthly paradise. But to the full extent he manages to seize power over mankind and become the true “prince of this world” and “the god of this age” only in New Age.

Postmodernity: The Return of the Devil

The transformation of anthropology in an openly satanic vein is particularly evident in its later stages, in what is usually called the Postmodern. Here New Age optimism is replaced by pessimism, and humanism is abandoned altogether. If the New Age (Modern) rebelled against God, religion, and sacredness, the Postmodern goes further and calls for the elimination of man (anthropocentrism), scientific rationality and the final destruction of social institutions—states, families—up to the rejection of gender (gender politics) and the transition to transhumanism (transferring the initiative to Artificial Intelligence, creating chimeras and cyborgs through genetic engineering, etc.). If in Modernity the movement towards the civilization of the devil was outlined and expressed in the dismantling of traditional society, Postmodernity brings this trend to its logical end, directly implementing the program for the final abolition of humanity.

The program of the final transition to the object as a triumph of materialism is especially and vividly presented in the modern direction of Western philosophy—critical realism or object-oriented ontology (OO). It openly proclaims the demolition of subjectivity and an appeal to the Absolute External (Quentin Meillassoux) as the last foundation of reality. At the same time, many philosophers of this school directly identify this figure of the Absolute External with Satan or his counterparts in other religions—in particular, with Ahriman of Zoroastrianism (Reza Negarestani).

Thus, collectively, Modern and Postmodern represent a single trend aimed at placing humanity on the path of the rejected victim, the scapegoat, and by the time of the Last Judgment, which is denied, let it fall into the abyss of irreversible damnation.

The denial of religious anthropology and its eschatological apotheosis already contains a program of scapegoating, and as secular culture becomes more entrenched, developed and explicit, especially in Postmodernity and Transhumanism, this program becomes explicit and transparent. We can say, in simplified terms, that at first the New Age mocks the existence of God and the devil, rejecting the existence of the vertical as the axis of creation; and then in Postmodernism the devil and the lower half of the vertical return and make themselves known in full. But there is no longer a God (“God is dead,” cried Nietzsche, “we have killed him, you and I”) who could help humanity. He was discarded at a previous stage; this remains unchallenged in the Postmodern. All that remains is the devil, leading humanity down the broad road of damnation, cynically (Satan likes to joke) called “progress.”

The Armageddon of Our Hearts

If we now combine these two perspectives, eschatological anthropology and the conceptions of man in Modernity and especially in Postmodernity, we get quite a comprehensive picture. It will become evident that we are in the final stage of the end times in the immediate vicinity of the moment of the Last Judgment. There is nothing arbitrary or speculative in this statement. If we take the vertical of the world into account, this is the position humanity is in at every moment of its history: the Last Judgment and the resurrection of the dead are always close to man at every moment and in every place of his existence. But in the general dimension as applied to all mankind this event takes place once and for all—when both dimensions, the vertical and the horizontal, meet in the most complete and unvarnished way. And if at the Final Judgment whole masses of people happen to be totally unprepared for this, and moreover have been brought up in the attitude that nothing like this can happen, because only matter and its material derivatives exist, they are very likely to be among those who will be sent into the abyss. This is especially true of those who, succumbing to the hypnosis of progress, will go so far down the road of dehumanization that they will completely lose touch with human nature itself, and thus with the possibility of choosing the good part, which is always possible while we are dealing with humans—however difficult that choice might be in certain circumstances. But when the transhumanist project is fully realized and humanity irreversibly migrates into the zone of posthumanity (this is what modern futurologists call the Singularity moment), severing ties with its nature, the world and history will end, as witnesses will be removed from the center of reality. At the same time there will be no emptiness, but the exposure of eternal creation and the angelic vertical in its entirety—this will be the moment of the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment. Until this happens, the division of humanity into sheep and goats acquires a particularly intense dramatic expression.

The masses are increasingly becoming “sons of darkness,” turning away from faith in the true divine light. They are opposed by the “sons of light,” who remain faithful to God, to the Savior, to the vertical. Both of them, despite the fact that the figure of the angel has long ago disappeared from the holistic picture of the world, consciously or not, find themselves extremely close to the angelic poles, separated from eternity and to the end of the world, as far away from each other as possible. For the goats, this means that they become literally possessed by the devil, turning into his helpless instrument and losing all autonomy. This is what it means to become “sons of darkness,” scapegoats, God’s rejected sacrifice. But it is also extremely difficult to remain faithful to heaven and light in such an extreme situation, and this desperate situation of the “little flock” needs the special support and guardianship of God and the guardian angels. At some point, the everlasting vertical battle of angels coincides with the last war of mankind, in which the “children of light” meet directly with the “children of darkness” in the immediate run-up to the Last Judgment. This is what is described in the Bible as the battle of Armageddon. It is impossible to describe it in purely earthly, rational terms, because it includes the ultimate volumes of theological, metaphysical, and ontological content.

The SMO has the most direct relation to eschatological anthropology. No one knows the exact timeline, especially because we are not talking about an event placed in time, but about that hard-to-imagine state of the world in which time directly collides with eternity, and accordingly, forever ceases to be the time it was before. Here begins the “future age,” facing along the vertical of being. Subliminally all this has already happened and is happening now, but it will be fully revealed in the Apocalypse, which in Greek means “revelation,” “discovery.” The hidden becomes manifest. This is how the mystery of man’s duality is resolved. And every person becomes a direct and immediate participant in it—because the front line runs not only in earthly geography, but strictly through our hearts.


Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.


Featured: The Last Judgement, by Fra Angelico; painted ca. 1435—1440.

Conjuring Satan—False Transcendence and Counterfeit Words in an Age of War

1. The Ukraine War as an Ideological Struggle of Light and Dark

Shortly before she was murdered, Daria Dugin appeared in the documentary, Azovstal on YouTube (hedged with warnings, lest anyone believe its contents), by John Mark Dougan, an American living in Moscow these last six years, and former police officer and marine [a more stable link to the documentary, in case Youtube removes it]. The documentary is about the war that that has been waged by the Ukrainian government in the Donbas for some eight years and which has led to the people of the region joining the Russian federation.

For those who simply repeat the refrain of the Western media that people in the region are awaiting their liberation by NATO supplied and trained Ukrainian troops, and that the election that transpired there in October 2022 was rigged, I recommend they watch this documentary—perhaps they may also watch, while they are at it, another of Dougan’s YouTube presentations. This is a testimony by Maria Lelyanova. When she first met Dougan, she was a vehemently anti-Putin Russian liberal who took her news from Western outlets (apparently it is possible to do that in Russia). They got into a conversation about the war and Russia’s role in it—it was, she said, all Putin’s fault, and most Russians were either ignorant, or like her and her friends totally ashamed of their country and its aggression.

Having met Dougan and having been a liberal and strongly anti-Putin Russian who took her news from Western outlets (it is possible to do that in Russia), Lelyanova engaged in arguments with him about the war and Russia’s role in it. Dougan’s response was to ask her if she would be willing to accompany him to the Donbas region, and see the truth for herself. To her credit she agreed—whereupon she saw the state of devastation of the region and listened to stories that led her to conclude that everything the Western media had told her about what was going on in the Donbas was a lie; the anguish on her face throughout her discussion with Dougan bespeaks the horror she had just witnessed as she roamed and spoke with the people there.

As for Daria Dugin, she knew from the outset that the Western media was lying. Her interview with Dougan was, I believe, her last media appearance before her assassination. She conducted it within the shell of a bombed-out school—and spoke of the terrors inflicted by Ukrainian troops and the ethnic supremacist militia, which Western “journalists” occasionally reported on, prior to Western media owners and government officials deciding that such truths were not in the public’s interest, and the only story to tell was the duality—Ukraine government and anti-Russian Ukrainians very good freedom lovers vs. Russian government and most Russian people completely evil.

That line, combined with the unity of purpose of Western governments (including non-NATO members) in supplying weapons to the Zelensky government and Ukrainian army, and Western media, who supply the propaganda that Ukraine is winning, that Putin will die, or be toppled any second now by a popular uprising, etc.—lends support to Daria Dugin’s claim that this war has become far more than a regional war. And, indeed, given the causal chain that led to it, and given the anti-Russian machinations that convinced the Western public that Russia was seeking world conquest by toppling the United States of America, it appears it was planned to be an international event.

Early indicators of the international machinations by the West are evident in the CIA support for Chechen and other Islamist militarists operating in the Caucasus during the second Chechen War; Joe Biden’s senate resolution 322 of 2005, which acted specifically on behalf of two Russian oligarchs and criminals, and was really the prelude to the Magnitsky Act of 2016 (you know the one named after the martyr “lawyer” [sorry that is the word that the Irish citizen who lobbied for the Act, Bill Browder, deems to be an accurate descriptor for the word “accountant”], allowing for the seizure of Russian assets); the US pronouncement at the Bucharest Summit Declaration by NATO in 2008 that NATO supported Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO.

It was in that same year that the five-day Russian-Georgian war occurred. Having been the recipient of generous military funding and training by the US (as well as weapons from the then pro-Western Ukrainian government), Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili thought he had been given the green light to attack the autonomous republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

This decision led to Russia’s military response and the beginning of what was up until that moment a new low in post-Cold War Russian-US diplomatic relations. Saakashvili, by the way, is now in a Georgian prison doing time for corruption. But before that, thanks to the support of Ukrainian President Poroshenko, he had a stint as a Ukrainian politician in 2015-16, as governor of the Odesa Oblast, only to come into conflict with Poroshenko (with each accusing the other of corruption). He was subsequently kicked out of Ukraine, only to re-enter the country through Poland before he was kicked out yet again. Thereupon, he was granted permanent residency in the Netherlands, until his Ukrainian citizenship was restored a year later by Zelensky. But then he decided to sneak back into Tbilisi, where he was arrested. Funny old world, isn’t it, when such men are heroes?

Certainly, by the time of the Maidan of 2014, NATO and the US government and the EU had made sure, and the media had fallen in line with its reporting of the “Revolution of Dignity,” that Russia was a major threat to the West’s strategic interests; or more accurately the hegemony of values and priorities that suit the tastes and interests, the careers and prospects of the West’s ruling class and those whose professional careers are predicated on serving that class.

So, when Daria Dugin reported that this war was an ideological struggle between globalism, which she depicted as those who have marshalled and stand for the darkness, and its opponents, those who are fighting for light, she was expressing which values she stood for in the context of a war that should have remained regional, were it not for the incessant machinations of the globalist project of the Western world’s elites, and its dependents and enablers, from the government to the media to the universities and to the various covert and overt intelligence agencies, weapons manufacturers and military contractors, and the military itself.

Those who watch Daria Dugin and think that the Ukrainian army are fighting for freedom against the incursions of the evil Russian Vladmir Putin hell-bent on world conquest—first Ukraine, then the rest of Europe—if they were to watch this clip, they would think that this only confirmed how evil and deranged she was that she could have the truth in such reverse, and that she had lies like flies fly from her mouth.

The demonic, as Kierkegaard, was wont to say, is the truth in reverse, and the devil is also the Prince of Lies. The question is: who here speaks the language of the devil, whose mouths are full of (f)lies?

For her part, Daria Dugin had no compunction in using the kind of language that was once routinely used throughout Christendom, but which has now largely evaporated in the West along with the belief in hell or the devil. It is not the preferred language of the Western, ostensibly well-educated liberal progressive metro-cosmopolitan urbane class, which defers to what they consider to be the kind of abstractions that all good, true and beautiful people use, such as rights and morality (of which they are the paragons).

These same smooth-talking progressives now throw their lot in with the president of an oligarchical ethno-nationalist state, from which millions of ethnically impure people fled prior to the Special Military Operation or invasion (according to how you interpret the events since February 2022), that was beholden to its own neo-Nazi styled militia before it became an all-out war state. Its very existence owes much to those same smooth-talking sophisticates who used a combination of media outlets, private/corporate and public finance, and political meddling to assist the channeling of urban political regional interests into a military overthrow of a functioning, albeit undeniably corrupt democracy, which nevertheless was able to maintain the peace between groups that cohabitated and yet lived with deeply divided allegiances and historical memories, by allowing political, regionally different, interests to compete in elections. Given what has transpired in the last eight or so years in Ukraine, Daria Dugin’s language strikes me as reasonably apt, as the country has become a living hell for much of the population—though, as is always the case, those who create hell on earth, often have the resources to live in a better neighbourhood.

While our urban sophisticates generally want to leave God out of it, they purport to be not only the class who knows everything important about the way the world is and what can be done to make it even better, which is to say they not only know what can be done to make it totally inclusive, diverse and equitable, but to be motivated by love. As such, they are compelled to denounce all those enemies of humanity out there (such as Daria Dugin, before and after her murder, and her father, and of course, the least human of all alive today, Vladimir Putin). Their love requires the daily media outpouring of bile and brimstone toward any who do not share the fantasies that they see, or agree with, or who do not use the words, the spells and incarnations, they chant repeatedly to ensure mass psychosis and hypnosis: the defiant must be shut up, abused, dehumanized—or, as we still put it, in spite of our enlightened sophistication, demonized. But ideological language has always been but the secularized use of words to express the depth of faith of the ideologues who are prepared to kill and sacrifice their enemies to get their world and to designate those who are non-human.

In other words, the Western sophisticates agree with Daria Dugin that the war is not just a regional fight but a planetary ideological struggle between the light and the dark. The only difference being which is the force of light: the one that prefers old fashioned traditions like families and churches? Or the one with the rainbow flags in churches (see below), drag queens reading to kiddies in libraries, and proudly designating the pronouns they insist on being called by, as they denounce anyone and everyone as a racist who does not go along with this? Racist? Well, one can always rely upon Creepy Sleepy Joe—as Kevin of Kevin’s Corner has christened him—to let the cat out of the bag (recall him saying how his party had put together the greatest election fraud in history):

“We need to challenge the hundreds of callous and cynical laws introduced in the states targeting transgender children, terrifying families and criminalizing doctors who give children the care they need,” said Biden.

“We have to protect these children so they know they’re loved and we’ll stand up for them and so they can speak for themselves,” he added.

“Folks, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, they’re all connected!” he claimed.

“But the antidote to hate is love,” Biden continued.

And drugs. And surgery. And ensuring that every one of the members of medical, psychiatric, social work, and teachers associations and boards get on board (or lose their credentials and job) with the decision to not inform little Mary, who is a tom-boy, or little Johnny who likes to dress up in little girls’ clothes that this is probably a phase that a lot of children go through, but instead join children in their fantasy whilst locking them inside a destiny laid out by the Big Medical and Pharmaceutical Complex pushing expensive and life-altering surgery and drugs.

Not only that, these same interests are determined to prevent the parents of these children from having any say in the matter. And that’s because, as the President, who could barely get thirty or forty people to attend his meet-and-greets when he stepped out of the basement to campaign before becoming the most electorally successful President in the history of the United States, himself says (albeit in more mealy-mouthed words) to not push for drugs and surgery is not only hateful but racist.

Now, it is true that Joe knows a thing or two about racism—Kamala Harris certainly thought so when she was telling other Democrats and the world why he would not make a fit President because he was a…. (nudge-nudge, wink-wink), and were he alive I am sure his old pal, who also knew a thing or two about racism, Senator Robert Byrd and KKK organizer and member, might be able to set us straight and confirm that if we don’t believe Joe we too are haters, and racists. That is the kind of reasoning and love that preside with the leading forces of the West’s light.

Forgive me, but I spent some forty years reading the greatest minds who have every put pen to paper, and when I try to make sense of the intricacies of the dialectics of imbecility—of which Joe is truly a master—I always need to hammer away at a few thousand brain cells. But the dialectic of imbecility, and the love and reasons, and the words that drive it, is nothing other than fake words, fake reasons and fake love. And those whose livelihoods and power is predicated upon the cultural triumph of the dialectics of imbecility also require ensuring that anyone who thinks what they are doing is as preposterous as it is politically and culturally deadly are to be deemed as haters, and hence to be punished for engaging in hate speech. Yes, indeed—the truth in reverse.

The underlying question of this lengthy and far roaming discussion that links this great evil of our time with the diabolical fakery of words (lies) and transcendence is—to whom and to what is that love directed? That was the great question of Augustine who grasped that our loves are the weights that bear us to where we are in our lives and worlds. There is no doubt the team represented by the Empires of Lies is built on love—for all worlds, all realities to which we contribute are built upon our loves; for our loves are the springs of our action. But while the Beatles in their youthful exuberance sang, “All You Need is Love,” one could hardly expect a pop group to be sufficiently well-versed in Augustine or Dante (though I think Bob and Leonard were, even in their younger days), to explore how love of the self and the things of the world are precisely why the world is the way it is. That’s why love and hate are not merely antipathetical but part of a continuum—to love God, His creation, His laws, and His gifts is to hate the devil and vice-versa (albeit demonic creation is, again as Augustine said, always privative, always negation and defacement).

2. A War Built on Lies and Conspiracies of Liars

Before, though, I dig deeper into the matter of love, and the central love—that of the self—that conjures up Satanic powers, let me just pause further upon the way in which this war has been built on lies—and lies obviously include the use of silence to conceal truth—and the use of force to defend lies, or for those with a more religiously attuned sensibility, let’s observe more of the (f)lies spread by those who serve the Prince of Lies.

As I argued in a previous essay, Putin, sadly, was telling the truth when he called the West an Empire of Lies, run by liars. He was calling out the fact that the leaders of the West were completely indifferent to the truth that Ukraine had been mired in a civil war for some eight years that had provided NATO with the opportunity to train and supply an army, that had long thrown off any concealment of serving the entire Ukrainian population, ready to take that war to another level, as it marshalled in excess of 100,000 men on the borders of the Donbas. The imminence of turning the autonomous regions of Donetsk and Luhansk into a killing field that would have made the previous 14000 or so dead (that is the usual number cited) pale into insignificance compared to what in all likelihood was about to happen as the self-declared autonomous regions were about to face a full escalation of destruction.

But this essential trigger behind Russia’s actions was never reported by the mainstream media or discussed by a political class who spoke as if all of a sudden that imperial itch which has possessed those nasty Russians from time immemorial and Vladimir Putin ever since he was a boy torturing flies and cats, inexplicably seized power of a country that had been doing so swimmingly well, a country mired in a war with Chechnya and its terrorists, subjected to the rapacious brutality of the mafia, oligarchs, and Western grifters plundering Russia’s bargain basement priced formerly state controlled resources.

Inane as the lie was, though, it worked because it was sold to a population who take pride in their knowledge, even when they know nothing (but I am getting ahead of myself for this is the very essence of the satanic), and sold by those who are so caught up in their lies that they generally believe them, too. That is because they have cleverly built a world of mirrors which reflects back the lies they speak to themselves, to each other, and to the population who takes their information from them.

Funny wasn’t it, how the mainstream media predicted the war, even down to trying to identify the exact day of invasion, whilst being silent on the massive deployment of Ukrainian troops on the Donbass, as if that deployment were nothing—but again the demonic specializes in making as much of nothing, as it does nothing of much.

Likewise, Western reporters and pundits, in the main, thought nothing of the fact that the Minsk agreement had meant nothing except as an excuse for doing nothing about people being bombed and killed in their homes—in a recent interview in Die Zeit, Angela Merkel has said, what should have appeared obvious to anyone who thought about what was going on “over there,” that being a signatory to the agreement had just been a way of buying time, so Ukraine, with NATO help, could build up its army.

I do not believe one Western journalist prior to the civil war becoming a war between nations had ever thought that the people of the Donbas region were intending to massacre the majority of the Ukrainian population and were arming themselves to go out and conquer Kiev. The population in the Donbas, because of their historical memories and attachments was, though, not a population in which the government in Kiev had the slightest interest in protecting. But it was a population which wanted to protect itself from a government and the various ultra-ethnic nationalist militias, who were pushing for ever more political persecution, and the continuation of ethnic cleansing that their national hero Stefan Bandera had engaged in when collaborating with the Nazis.

Though, unfortunately for the people of these regions, they happened to live in the “industrial heartland of Ukraine”—which accounts for some 80% of Ukraine’s oil, natural gas and coal reserves, and vast deposits of precious minerals and metals, as well as rare earth minerals essential for so much modern technology, so the option of being left alone was not going to fly with a kleptocratic class that had allied its interests with ethnic purists. Of course, those who blame the Russians claim that these resources are the real reason for Russia’s invasion—the problem with that, though, is everything else we have been talking about. Which once again is indicative of this event being conducted by the West’s appeal to truths in reverse.

The epithet “Empire of Lies” applies as much to the European Union as the USA, with its preposterous claims (deluded self-understanding?) of being a force for peace, a soft-power, when it suits its interests (to spend money on projects that make it an ever-greater imperial force) whilst also being a supporter of other people fighting their wars because it suits the West’s larger program. All of the West’s warehouses, full of human rights research, draft documents, protocols, treaties and covenants mattered not a jot when there was a coup in 2014, or a killing-fields about to happen. If the EU had been useless in stopping the horrors of the Balkans in the 1990s (keeping its hands clean by belatedly coming in to try the war criminals it held responsible and to broker peace deals), on this occasion they were going to be far more proactive, and go all out in support of the ethnic-nationalist state—and the Neo-Nazis, which, of course, for the West do not really exist outside of the diabolical imaginations of Vladimir the evil one and his minions. That is probably why the USA, Germany and Italy are among the 50 countries that voted against the proposed resolution put by Russia opposing the glorification of Nazism. But why would the West care? Ukraine is a democratic state, and its decisions to close down Russian-speaking media and schools, to allow its ethnic militia to infiltrate its institutions and sabotage any change of reassuming more peaceable ties with Russia (that was Zelensky’s mandate), and now just recently raiding and closing down Ukrainian Orthodox Churches (UOC—Ukraine’s largest denomination), are just the kind of realist pebbles in the diplomatic shoes that imperial Western powers have to deal with as they race ahead, dreaming up and filling up treaties, covenants and the like, devoted to “human rights.”

These issues indicate the problems that the West has in presenting itself as the force of human goodness is that there is no consistency other than its right to dictate what “good” and “evil” are in the world. To someone who takes good and evil seriously this is exactly the way that people intending evil behave—they say what suits them when it suits them, rather than inflect their speech in deference to what they know to be true. Truth may shine in its own light, but it is darkness that requires the extinction of speech which would light up what transpires in its coverings.

The war, as in so much that has preceded it in the West, has also proceeded by way of censorship and denunciation—perhaps in a time of open warfare this would be considered a state of exception. But there is no declaration of war by the US or European powers, and the control of speech in the West is no longer anything exceptional. And everything of significance concerning this war is proceeding under cover of darkness—the main stream media refuses to allow any serious discussion of why Russia is at war, and simply ignores news that shows a very different side to the violence committed during the war. Who in the West, for example, would know that Marianna Vyshemirsky, the pregnant woman photographed, early in the war, in the Mariupol hospital which had just been shelled, and whose picture was sent all over the globe as an example of Russian brutality and cruelty, is now a Russian citizen supporting the Russian war effort? At the time the photo was taken, she was critical of the Ukrainian government and army—but her account of events was spun into an attack upon Russia and a tribute to Ukrainian bravery and determination.

Or, let’s pause upon the biggest story of the moment, a story which our media and the US government are attempting to hide/bury—the story of FTX, the biggest case of financial fraud since Enron, and political graft possibly since ever. It is a story that ranges from straight-out fraud and political and media coverup, to corrupting scientific research and influencing public policy, to bankrolling politicians, primarily, though not only, the Democratic party (FTX was the second biggest donor to the Democrats), and its progressive causes, to money laundering and this war. It is a story with a cast of characters so wide that no Netflix Series could do justice to the telling, from Sam the vegan and his parents (his Mum being a Hilary lawyer) and goofy poly-girlfriend Carolyn Ellison and her parents to (gee golly gosh, heavens to Betsy, well I never) the Clintons (and probably their parents), and the Bidens and Tony Blair and…. you and I both want this essay to have an ending, so let’s just say lots and lots of powerful and wealthy people.

In any case, as soon as the collapse was made public, along with the money-laundering, connections to the war and the political loop to the Democrats was being talked about, the factcheckers and Google algorithm manipulators were setting everyone straight that there was no money laundering going on because those who one would consider involved, like members of the Ukrainian government, and the various political recipients of FTX money, and honest Sam himself had said it just wasn’t so. Though back in March of this year, that is before the FTX collapsed and before those who make up the facts that pass their own factchecking set to work on the straight story, there was a story in CoinDesk with the headline, “Ukraine Partners With FTX, Everstake to Launch New Crypto Donation Website: FTX is converting crypto contributions to Ukraine’s war effort into fiat for deposit at the National Bank of Ukraine.” It continued:

“Ukraine Partners With FTX, Everstake to Launch New Crypto Donation Website: FTX is converting crypto contributions to Ukraine’s war effort into fiat for deposit at the National Bank of Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian government launched a new crypto donations website on Monday, streamlining its multimillion-dollar effort to turn Bitcoin into bullets, bandages and other war materiel.

Aid for Ukraine,” which has the backing of crypto exchange FTX, staking platform Everstake and Ukraine’s Kuna exchange, will route donated crypto to the National Bank of Ukraine, Everstake’s Head of Growth Vlad Likhuta told CoinDesk. Ukraine’s crypto-savvy Ministry of Digital Transformation is also involved.”

It will probably take years before anything like the full extent of this particular labyrinth of lies and fraud and endless shell-companies, and players making an incalculable number of decisions involving other people performing an incalculable number of legally dubious to out-right criminal tasks will be sufficiently public enough to be more than a salacious story of youthful folly, gaming and sex, buried amidst a blur of complexity, mostly to be cordoned off, when it gets interesting, into the financial pages.

In the meantime Bankman-Fried has finally been taken into custody in the Bahamas (which some say may well have been done to make sure he does not have to answer harder questions at the congressional hearing he is meant to appear before). And the big question is: will he be suicided like Jeffrey Epstein, or can he just keep his mouth shut in a mid-level prison with vegetables, video games, porn and drugs?

Only a week or so earlier, the New York Times had Bankman-Fried appear along with other illustrious global leaders, including the man of the year himself, Zelensky, and Zuckerberg, Janet Yellen, the actor Ben Affleck, and the CEO of Blackrock, as part of its DealBook Summit. But my readers might be thinking, but this is a heck of a digression from the war and the diabolical nature of our Western world.

Sadly, though, it is only a digression in so far as the entire story the media chooses to tell is to ensure that everything they say about FTX, which is actually very little, is a digression from the real story of politicians being funded by an enormous financial fraud and money laundering scheme that reaches from the globalist party of the US (that also allows for the RINO’s on the take—presently the press is trying to make it look as if Sam gave away donations to all parties equally, lest one suspect that the money was used to push certain liberal progressive globalist causes) to Ukraine and back. And then there is the possibility it just may have been crafted to ensure that there is no way to escape a social credit surveillance society, and the globally regulated digitalization of money that crypto has threatened to destabilize. That this objective and the objective of Russian regime change are mere variations within the greater objective—a liberal progressive globalist world feudal system, as laid out in the Great Reset and Agenda 2030. That’s the big conspiracy—well, actually it is not really a conspiracy—it is openly stated.

The conspiracies are all those everyday meetings, plannings and activities which don’t make it into the light of day, because none thinks their objectives would be better met if knowledge about them were more public. And now that the mainstream and tech media and intelligence agencies have conspired to suppress investigative reporting that reports the “wrong”—i.e., unapproved—”facts,” they can sleep comfortably in the knowledge that even if someone finds out and tells the world, they won’t be heard, though they often involve “lies” and making nothing of much—like people’s life-time savings, efficient energy systems and a reliable food supply—and much of nothing really important—take your pick from all the great “nothings” that are supposed to keep the planet and us safe from extinction—the capacities of solar and wind power to provide all the energy we will ever need, wearing masks and taking vaccines so we will be “safe,” and the pedagogical and institutional commitment to great big abstractions which dictate policy, emancipation, equity and the like. Conspiracies, conspiracies?

Sorry, of course, there were no people conspiring to do such dastardly things as deceive the Russian Federation into believing that NATO would not expand into its environs, or plot and achieve a coup in Ukraine, or start persecuting and killing Ukrainians who identified themselves as ethnically connected with Russia, or tell lies about how Russia had interfered in the US election of 2016 to such an extent that it had created the vilest succubus to ever hold presidential office, an orange haired Hitler no less, who even said he wanted to be able to cooperate with Russia, or to ensure that people would think that the information revealed on Hunter Biden’s laptop was all planted by Russians, or to ensure that people who argued the case for NATO’s role in causing the war be subjected to algorithms making their work appear conspiracy theory/Putin stooge crazy.

Likewise there was no conspiracy to ensure that President Trump would be barred from social media; nor to ensure that others who wanted to use social media to argue against mandatory vaccines be de-platformed or cast out of their profession; nor to denounce, or de-platform, sack, or incarcerate people who think Black Lives Matter is socially divisive and destructive agit prop rather than the truth; or who beg to differ on the claim that every girl or woman who thinks she is a boy or man is really a he, or who might think that the formerly he—now—she should not be in a woman’s toilet, sports-team, prison, or woman’s beauty pageant; or who think that it is not hateful to distinguish between gender and fantasy; or who think free speech means tolerating speech that goes against the new dictates on which words or their use are hateful and are a call to outright violence. For while people may well, spontaneously come up with very bad and mad ideas, to dictate which ideas be stamped as “true,” even ones as crazy as that sexual organs don’t really mean anything when it comes to sexual identity (now confirmed by no less an authority than the Cambridge Dictionary)—when it comes to enforcing and policing narratives, or implementing action within certain institutions, social spaces or media, requires panels meeting to decide which narratives, words, ideas are to be tolerated and which are to be identified as in need of being censored.

No matter how much our ruling classes bandy the term “conspiracy theory” about to shut people up by shaming them for being idiots in believing what their eyes and ears might reveal rather than the corporate media, there have been conspiracies aplenty alright, and they have all involved threats and coercion, misinformation and disinformation. And they have all been done in the name of freedom and democracy. As I write this, the mainstream media hatred being directed toward Elon Musk for releasing the so called “Twitter Files” is only matched by its utter inability to care about the magnitude of the particular conspiring that was going on at Twitter between political stakeholders, state intelligence officials and its management—which also just happened to include some very high-up former state officials—about who and what to censor or shadow ban.

Is this the world—a world in which our political class, our media and the majority of our intelligentsia simply demand they be believed and obeyed, in spite of speaking out of ignorance and/or outright lies—that those warred against Nazis (or spoke out against communists) fought for?

One person who thinks not is Youtuber and journalist Mark Jones, a former British citizen also living in Russia, who reports under the name iEarl Grey. In a podcast with John Dougan, Jones made the salient point that he is continuing the same fight as his grandfather, who fought against the Nazis. I cannot help but agree with him. And with echoes of Daria Dugin, he adds, “I don’t need to be an ideological citizen to see the ideological battle that is being fought. We have the degraded Western democracies of the West, the collective West, with their pronouns, with their trans rights. I call it Godlessness. This to me is the same war my grandfather fought. And simply I cannot side with Nazis. To support them would be to betray my grandfather’s memory and the honour of all those who fought in the Great Patriotic War. So, to me this isn’t about what country you are from; it is about whether you choose the side of light with Christian orthodoxy on the one side, or whether we choose darkness and the satanism of the West.”

I have formerly said that I do not see Russia or China as “saving” the West, for I think the West as such has been devoured by its own darkness. I am less interested in concurring that Russia as such represents the light, than emphasizing that the West is being devoured by its own darkness, by its own satanic conjurings—and this is also what the Russian and Chinese political leadership sees.

3. Why Talk of Satanism—or, Why Even Non-Religious People Can Learn from Religious Language

For those who recoil from such starkly religious language as expressed by Mark Jones and Daria Dugin, or, God forbid, Alex Jones or the writers in the Epoch Times or E. Michael Jones and many others who have devoted their lives to struggling against the West’s self-mutilation and conscious Luciferian decision and descent, I would ask your forbearance and willingness to consider that the deployment of such language is not simply or even exclusively based upon a faith and in a doctrine and teaching which one may or may not have, but a realization that the language bereft of the figurative imaginative power is less able to assist us in grasping reality.

The philosopher G.W. F. Hegel wisely saw the relationship between grasping and concepts—in the German, they share the same stem—and he also, again wisely, saw that conceptualizing follows our figuring through images, rites and the representations of religious belief. But where some like Herder, Hamann, (and my good and humble self) beg to differ with Hegel’s conviction that the concepts of reason provide a more accurate and adequate expression of the real than our faculty of imag(in)ing. Hamann had made the powerful observation that faith trumps knowledge—though Hegel had built his entire philosophy in arguing the opposite against various proponents who had believed they had identified reason’s limits.

But unlike the various targets of Hegel’s criticism (Kant, J.G. Fichte, F.W.J. Schelling, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Friedrich Jacobi), Hamann was not arguing that faith leads him to knowing more important things than what knowledge yields—but rather that faith is the condition of us being able to go in search of our knowledge and mount our reasons. That is why, Hegel’s philosophy requires the very thing that is its own ruin—a total system—while Hamann’s thought is content to pick holes in the metaphysical towers of Babel he saw the philosophers around him constructing, whilst combing satire, irony and a concession of ignorance with a philological and hermeneutical attunement to history and his own environment.

No serious faith is predicated on theology, or philosophical argument—those things come later. A faith informs and forms a life; the life of oneself and the life of those who bond with and around their faith. To understand what faiths do, requires looking at where faith has been a source of action and how it has cultivated the natural habits and sentiments. There is nothing special about faith itself—it is as J. G. Hamann insisted, an essential part of what we are—if you will, it is an ontological condition. The issue is: which faith? (Which is, but a variant on what/who to love?)

All religions—and all the language that finds religious modulation and expression, which is to say all language which not only speaks to but which is bound up with personal and social creation as it is borne by devotion, rite, ritual, incantation, supplication, and the moods of exhilaration, despair, despondency and love—deal with the arc from life to death. This is the case not only for individuals but for collectives who share that language and sense of what is to be revered and shunned, and hence of how that collective and its members live, what it holds sacred.

The tragedy and sorrow of the West today, which is of such a magnitude that anything resembling salvation cannot simply come from politics, but only from a complete redirection of faith, which is the real source of culture and the meaning of our collective and personal lives, comes from the faith that it has adopted. That faith along with the crisis of the West has been diagnosed by countless thinkers, each of whom have identified different aspects of it. To mention just a very small portion—Eric Voegelin, for example, addressed the gnostic roots; Leo Strauss, the scientistic displacement of classical wisdom; Heidegger its preoccupation with beings and technics at the expense of openness to Being; Chesterton and Belloc, the loss that accompanied the defeats of the Church; or Jacques Ellul, our worship of power and its mechanics.

While I have framed the crisis of our time in terms of a geo-political spatial entity, “the West,” the fact is that Western civilization was ever poised between turmoil, destruction, death, and a creative spirit that expanded and conjoined those in search of greater—a universal kind of—solidarity. Crisis is ever with us; or to use religious language, our souls are ever on the verge of being lost, and the devil and sin never far away.

The issue of our time is not so much the ever-permanent presence of the forces of destruction, war, pestilence, and our own tortured and torturing hearts, but the added layer of delusion and deceit that are not just discernible in our practices but in how we speak and (don’t) see what we are or what we do. In such a world of self-delusion and self-imposed blindness my heart breaks for the generation of lost souls of the young so caught up in their wrath and fanaticism that they seriously think that once the weather is under their control and they can have the sex organs of their choice, and that they can enjoy themselves unconditionally—be fully emancipated—all will be well. They are so f’d up and they have been made that way—and they think they can fix up the world, when they would, if I may defer to Jordan Peterson, be better off just learning how to tidy up their bedrooms, and then going and reading a serious book or two, or doing the gardening or something else useful, because thanks to the failure of the last generation so many are not capable of doing anything other than throwing tantrums and pulling down statues, burning books, and buildings and denouncing people for lacking their approved “virtues.” To say that we are in the grip of Satanism is only far-fetched if one has no idea that Satanism is the worship of death and the killing of our God-given or (for the naturalists, natural) potentialities.

Dostoevsky and Baudelaire both understood that the devil is a smooth-talking, urban sophisticate oozing charm and wit. Baudelaire and Dostoevsky’s Ivan Karamazov were themselves too intelligent to believe in God, but that did not stop them being visited by the devil; the demonic—as with the hellfire of war—is like that; he just comes in, irrespective of what we think or believe. And that is the condition we find ourselves in. We live in a world where evil masks itself under the very abstractions that serve to conceal intentions beneath the grander sounding norms we venerate. That is, our kind of intelligence is purchased by sacrificing the most elemental apertures of the species’ intellection—the eye and the ear—and the symbolic imagination, as it combines our most important communal associations of life and death. We also live in a time when we are oblivious to how what we worship and say is an invitation to our own collective and personal demise. We summon the demon who speaks to us in soothing tones, because we think we are so very clever. That faith in our cleverness is closely bound up with the displacement of our daily acts of transcendence in favour of descent into our own appetites and innards of destruction, assisted at every step by the words and formulae that we draw upon to drive us ever further down there.

4. Satanism as a Romance with the Self (and the Warring Members that Make it)

The difference between Paul’s description of the flesh as made up of warring members and Freud’s depiction of the Id is negligible in so far as they both identify our appetites as tumultuous and destructive. But where Paul sees our salvation in becoming members of Christ’s Church, being born anew in Christ, Freud holds out the prospect of a rational cultivation of our most potentially destructive appetites which will make us more fulfilled and complete.

As convinced as Freud was of his intelligence, diagnosis, and psychiatric cure for our discontents, many would say that he sought the impossible—for there is no rational cultivation of our appetites as such, merely rationalizations about why we might succumb to our appetites. That even Freud knew they had to be curbed was the basis of his Eros and Civilization, and that they could be connected to the death drive (the demonic) of Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The great political and social question facing every group is where must they be curbed? And the respective answers to that inevitably draw us into what does the group hold as sacred—which might also be put thus: What do we accept as having unconditional authority over us? Knowing the answer to that question—which can also be formulated as which God(s) do we serve—is essential for identifying why a particular “life-world” (to use the term of Edmund Husserl) is the way it is. The respective answers we can find in the West of a mere few generations back compared to today provide the key to what we have become. But allow me an anecdote that I think provides an important cipher about what the educated professional classes of the West hold sacred.

Last night, I went to a concert given in a Uniting Church. The concert was beautiful—two harpists with glorious voices. On the wall behind the performers was a huge cross, though Jesus was not on the cross—and no image of Him was to be seen in the church. Beneath the cross lay a huge gay pride flag. A smaller version of the flag was to be found on the window as one entered the church. The symbolism was all too evident, though I have zero doubt that those involved in making the decision thought that they were good people making a statement about their commitment to diversity and inclusivity. They may well find aspects of the Christian tradition to their liking, though I am also sure that they find much that is merely the “prejudice” of a more “ignorant” time, and they most likely believe that their faith in diversity and inclusivity is divinely intended. I also suspect that Christ’s absence not only from the cross but this church had to do with the belief that God is beyond gender—and, at least prior to transgenderism requiring a complete overhaul of pronouns, quite possibly a she—though it is hard to spin Jesus Christ in his earthly incarnation as not being a man. Perhaps, for them, the absence of Christ suggests Christ redeemed. In any case, he would be among the supporters of LGBTQ+ because they, in case one had not noticed, are still persecuted; and to deny the right to hang the pride flag in the church or on government buildings would only confirm how much hatred still exists toward members of this community.

That they might not be able to fly this flag in the mosque does not stop the same people denouncing those who would deny that it should be flown in a sacred space as homophobic, being able to swiftly change gear and denouncing as Islamophobic someone who also might point out that Muslim countries are far less tolerant of LGBTQ+ things, and that if they tried it on there, they probably would be getting, at the very least, a very long jail sentence. Comparative cultural understanding—as opposed to blathering meaningless formulae, such as the importance of respecting all cultures—does not figure very highly among the inclusivity and diversity ethic. But this is why the Vice Chancellor at my university can urge all students staff to celebrate Ramadan one day, whilst encouraging all to participate in LGBTQ+ week celebrations the next. He was particularly proud of the drag queen participation to kick off this year’s annual Christmas party.

I also have no doubt that had I spoken up and said I thought the use of a church to fly a pride flag was not only dumb, and a tasteless, political and bullying gesture directed at traditionalists, but an act of sacrilege, I would most likely have been hissed at, and most assuredly asked to leave. The people who made this decision to hang the flag beneath the cross think that it is not only acceptable but a sign of their goodness and their faith that the wall of their church be adorned with a huge flag to a group bonded by its sexual choices.

That the flag itself is one which is equated in its symbolism with the word “pride” is itself indicative of the great importance, indeed as its placement illustrated, the sanctity that is now placed upon our sexual appetites. The way in which sexuality features in contemporary Western culture and daily life is an interesting symptom of the difference between us and previous generations.

Sexuality in itself within the Christian tradition belongs to “mere nature”—although nature is construed as being divinely created—rather than belonging to the sacred as such; and it was only in the holy bonds of matrimony that it took on the form of a sacrament. That is, apart from the fact that Christians (and Jews and Muslins for that matter) have traditionally condemned same-sex practice, there is a more important point that I think is the source of serious social disintegration and civil strife. For my point is not about whether same-sex practice is moral or not, but where sexual appetite itself now figures in the order and scale of values, and in the ordering and configuring of our institutions; also, whether sex is something that is done or something to be sacralized. This is where I believe the real social division around sexuality—in all manner of variations—sits today: there is not a dispute within public institutions about whether people, of a certain age, may express their sexual preference, but whether a particular type of sexual preference should be a source of a certain kind of sacredness. That kind of sacredness is itself predicated upon a particular view of the self, which is itself symptomatic of an orientation to life that defies its “laws”/orders—for it is the defiance of life’s laws, made under the presumption that the self is the creator of its own laws.

The most important poem in the English language, Paradise Lost, took this act of revolutionary defiance as its central theme—the fall as the result of pride; the result of the created aspiring to take control of creation; the angel taking the place of God. Blake, Shelley, and Byron would all see Milton’s Satan as a heroic figure, though while it is indisputable that Satan gets all the best lines in Paradise Lost, Milton’s depiction of Satan is not in the slightest bit flattering. Milton’s Satan is a creature of restless being, and endless suffering. His sole solace is the words he tells himself. They themselves are but the delusions of a self that flies to become what he cannot be; in search of escape from the prison of a self—a prison that is completely of his own making. It is a great fall, to go from being one of God’s favourites to a lowly slithering creature seeking to tempt others into sharing the same ambitious delusions that have made a hell of his own self. There is, in sum, nothing heroic in Satan’s actions—his words are all heat and light, putrid sulfur; and his deeds are nothing more than restlessness, accompanied by words.

For his part, God does not need great lines—His word is creation itself. The modern mind may wish to elevate to a heroic station a being who is a king over nothing but his own torment, and may recoil from Milton’s expression of faith, but the poem is an expression of faith. And while it is also an attack upon the abuse of prerogative political power, and rightly so given how the doctrine of the divine right of kings had so easily become a formula in defiance of Christian duty, rather than a means for delivering it—it is much more a prophetic poem of what happens when man seeks an infinite universe and ignores the finitude and fragility of his own being.

Milton may have been hailed by the romantics, but he was no romantic. Nevertheless, if one wishes to understand the modern soul, one cannot underestimate the importance of the romantic consciousness—and that consciousness would be responsible for valorizing various priorities in what we now value and how we now act, by calling for others to join in the creative ambitions they held.

It was also the romantic consciousness that valorized the demonic on the basis of Satan being the arch rebel, not only against God, but against the order of creation itself. In 1797 the literary critic Friedrich Schlegel noted the “tendency of modern poetry to Satanism.” When Schlegel made this note, Blake had already written the Marriage of Heaven and Hell, whilst Goethe would follow shortly after with the publication of Faust, a work which provides a definitive formulation of the demonic—the spirit of negation—and then Baudelaire and his lyric masterpiece, The Flowers of Evil, with its section devoted to Satan’s Revolt. That is to say, the leading poets of Great Britain (Blake, Shelley and Byron), Germany, and France all made the devil intrinsic to modern “redemption.”

Just as words are the currency in which past and future are inflected via the priorities of the present, poets excel in their ability both to gauge the value and efficacy of that tender, at the moment of its circulation, and to combine those words in ways which elevate our sensitivity to what really is and what thus must also be. Shelley may have been overstating it somewhat, and mistaking the modern poet with the Homeric bards, when he said that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, but only somewhat. For the master craftsmen of the word introduce new coin that when potent enough becomes part of our everyday life and way of living: for good and ill, our priorities owe much not only to the sexual revolution of the 1960s but the modern bards with guitars who have been our pied pipers into this world we now inhabit. They are late pieces of ballast from the Romantic revolution; and I confess I love much of their creation, but I cannot deny that so many of the most creative musical minds and performers of the last fifty years have sided with and enthused those who are making merry hell, and their muddled musings whether coke-baked or merely the produce of narcissistic self-delusion have invariably supported the present ruling class that is creating a world of slavery in the name of freedom. Van Morrison, God bless him, and Eric Clapton have made themselves hated today by speaking out against the hellish conformity that our ruling political class is building. But poets and musicians have contributed to the fueling of the Heroic/Satanic defiance which has made the Self the be-all and end-all of existence.

That defiance was also the defining gesture of an age which had emerged from the first anti-Christian revolution and was limping toward the first openly atheistic revolution—ironically enough given the range of this essay, it is noteworthy that it is that country, having consciously thrown off its atheistic and communist past, that is now considered the source of all today’s evil by Western powers whose attack upon the truths revealed through traditional Christianity is a centre-piece in the strategy of their “world-making.”

Revolution was both a product of an enlightened age wishing to overturn crown and altar and all traditions which were not created by reason’s light, and the romantic age that sought to unleash the vitality of darker powers and passions in order to bring into existence a world that was as sublime as the artistic creations of the geniuses of the spirit. On the surface romanticism was a reaction to the excess of faith in light of an earlier generation; but it was also primarily a family squabble within the modern soul, a fraternal reaction, in which genius was “the middle term,” the genius who could fathom and express all. In the one, the scientists were the geniuses who could plot the mechanics of the world that could be incorporated into medicine and the various physical structures of the world and ourselves to build a better one for our needs. In the other, the world was to be an artistic occasion for those with the vision and insight and knowledge to also build anew. Though, unlike the philosophes many of them seemed far less ready to ditch tradition, for they appreciated it was a repository of experience and knowledge, and they would find sustenance in myth because it expressed knowledge of intimations and things closer to the nether aspects of our being. But in the main, and with occasional notable exceptions of genuine religious conversion, tradition was not itself something that should fetter the genius of the poetic creator; and its more typical legacy was to have fellow artists view traditions as syncretistic aesthetic opportunities. Romantics and the enlightened philosophes were both engaged in building the world out of the vicissitudes of the self as a god in its own right.

Carl Schmitt had astutely observed this in his book Political Romanticism when he wrote of the centrality of J.G. Fichte’s egoic philosophy in romanticism. For Fichte, the world is but the fact-act of the postulating and ever acting I; and the world but the occasion for that act. Having noted how the romantics were “fond of perceiving themselves as members of a higher organism,” Schmitt continues: “Just as in the schism between reality and possibility and between finitude and infinity, the community and history had availed themselves of functions that, in Christian metaphysics, belonged to God, here too they became the true cause for which everything else is only an occasion. Closer examination shows, however, that it is neither of these two demiurges—humanity and history—but rather the romantic subject itself that takes everything as an occasion. Here the opposition of romantic productivity to the activity that Fichte’s ‘ego’ postulates is the appropriate point of departure for the exposition of the romantic character. That is because this Fichtean ‘ego’ became the romantic subject.”

Revolution was another common thread between enlightenment and romanticism. The dialectical character of that relationship, as well as its revolutionary commitment, is visible in the kinds of contradiction that are typical of the modern radical imagination and which are starkly evident in the contemporary mythologizing and “romanticising” of indigenous life, of natural wilderness and of the energy provided by the sun and wind, on the one hand, and faith in science and social and emancipation progress—”I believe in the science”—on the other. It is the contradiction that breeds Extinction Rebellion and a society in which surgical tampering (and hence highly developed science) with genitals and vaccines is seen as essential commitment to emancipation; a society in which an entire population can be forced to wear masks because nature is a threat to our very existence, and one in which all things natural are to be esteemed so that the mere Anthropocene can be seen as a kind of cancer upon infinitely wonderous and sacred nature, a society in which the drive for total emancipation exists side-by-side with the drive to ensure none not comply with technocratic dictates. In sum, it is a society that in wanting to have everything is prepared to leave so many with nothing – perhaps mere organ assemblages to be harvested for the new transhumanist gods, or brain implants that will be able to be programmed to do the bidding of those doing the transplanting.

The revolutionary mindset that united the men and women of clarity and distinctness, of light and mind, and the students of the mechanical parts and laws of existence, with those devoted to discerning and expressing the darker and more chiaroscuro truths disclosed by myth and stemming from heart and passions, as Camus pointed out in his brilliant and important mid-20th century work L’Homme révolté, was above all a metaphysical revolt, a revolt predicated upon the deities of our own mental imaginings responding to the inevitable trials and habitual unfairness that comes with life; not rebellions we undertake against specific injustices.

Camus had rightly also identified the primary importance of the Marquis de Sade within this call for metaphysical rebellion—for de Sade wanted nothing less than the entire annihilation of the world, if that were necessary to satiate his infinite libidinous energy. It was, albeit unintentionally, a position that mirrored the philosopher Kant’s insistence that justice must be done even if the entire world were to perish. Neither was interested in modulating his passions (Sade) or ideas (Kant) to the requisite adaptations of life’s craggy contingencies. The dialectic of the modern satanic and moral purist (as expressed by Kant philosophically, and the Jacobins politically) eventually yielded a mindset in which absolute emancipation and absolute justice were perfectly congruent, and the body and it sexual organs were to provide the point of “indifference.”

Total freedom construed appetitively (Sadean and not-Kantian), and complete virtue unsullied by appetites (Kantian and not-Sadean) has become the West’s sacred temple—which is to say the temple is the self, the self, though as it conforms to what it is supposed to be—virtuous and fully committed to total emancipation, which is also to say a self that is compliant with what the satanic heroic rebels define it to be.

The monument to that dialectical resolution was the totalitarian revolutions of the 20th century, the children of which are the people who seek to completely rebuild the world so that it conforms to their ideas about emancipation. Their intellectual “leaders” invariably recognize the Marxian and post-Marxian “mother” (total critique in search of complete emancipation), but largely ignore (mainly through ignorance or willful decision not to confront inconvenient truths) the absent/unseen fascistic “father” (corporatism and “communities” bound by leadership). To be sure, both built obedience around the cult of the leader; and today’s globalised corporatist powers have retained the primacy of compliance with the decrees of leaders, whilst, quite cleverly leaving the primary leaders to remain rather faceless (though the narcissistic temptation to be loved and seen does afflict many of the more prominent ones).

Thus, just as the modern elite, as I have suggested many times in this magazine, reconciles communism and aristocratism of Marx and Nietzsche by having radicalised foot-soldiers tear down traditional authority in the name of equality, the power of the most wealthy is enhanced by their purporting to represent the interests of their clients, which is to rebel against the existing order of oppression. That representation relies upon those very foot-soldiers, who also seek out vassals (their own clients) amongst those in the lower classes.

Communism did breed a new class of rulers, as earlier dissidents said time and time again; but global corporatist governance has been far more successful in retaining its power over its under-classes and maintaining relationships of dependency, thanks to ensuring, with the help from their foot-soldiers, that they are sexually satiated, even if pornography is the primary means of slaking sexual desire amongst the less well-resourced males, drugged up, and self-satisfied in their “knowledge” about the world; which, given that they are educated into a level of sophisticated stupidity, is nothing but phrases and formulae circulated by teachers, professors and journalists, who pretty much think the exact same thing on any important topic.

If as I have suggested the modern revolutionary disposition is predicated on the hybrid of enlightened and romantic ideas and priorities about us and the world, not only as they are but what they can be, it is also, as Milton foretold, pride that is the fulcrum for the creation of this new world; and that pride is nowhere more obvious when we note how lacking in experience, how young the greatest exponents of revolution are, when they choose to devote their lives to it. Saint-Just was not even thirty when he went to the guillotine, Robespierre not forty, Marx in his mid-twenties when he wrote, feverishly from Paris, that he had discovered the solution to “the riddle of history,” Lenin’s brother Alexander was twenty-one when he was executed for his role in attempting to assassinate the Tsar, which no doubt played a decisive role in Lenin himself, drawn into revolutionary circles before he was twenty.

The notion that youth know so much that they should be politically committed is so commonplace in the West (New Zealand is currently having a judicial inquiry into whether sixteen-year-olds should have the vote) that to suggest that there is a connection between political commitment and pride would be seen by many people to be mere prejudice. We are meant to believe that even a child is not only able to diagnose the causes of the world’s ills, as if the world’s ills are settled and knowable to all, but also knows how to fix them. Of course, “fixing the world” requires believing in the science and the technocrats and corporate and political global (Western) leaders, who fund the science and whose profits are predicated upon the same leaders selling their solutions to the population at large. All of this is pride writ gigantic: from the billionaires and technocrats who believe they alone (hence those who criticize them must be silenced) can save us from oppression, poverty, climate, overpopulation, disease, and possibly even death itself so they and some of us—ermm, I mean them—may live forever, to the politicians, teachers, journalists, celebrities who tell us what to do, and what to think, so the planet and the species can be saved, to the poor idiots who think that they should be proud of their sexual being, and the even poorer idiots who think that all of this should be the priority of the Christian churches.

If I may briefly return to the great big pride flag in that church for the moment. Pride in one’s achievement is something not to be taken too far; for one’s own grasp on reality, being up today may be swiftly followed by being very down tomorrow: fortune is a great wheel. But the brief flicker of pride in a moment of great achievement, the success following devotion to a pursuit involving vast efforts, much time, and many obstacles may well be warranted and briefly pleasing—but pride in one’s mere being, and in a being defined by sexual appetite is something of very recent pedigree, and not something that owes anything at all to achievement. Being proud of one’s sexual appetites is so silly it belongs in comedy, as evident in some of the best jokes by the late great Norm MacDonald. Heterosexuals don’t have a flag, but if they did, that would be as diabolical as it was foolish—and it is not inconceivable that the great new world order might one day require that people bond around some symbol expressing their sexual preference.

Folly is ever the footman of the (d)evil—folly opens the doors and windows of the soul for (the d)evil’s entrance. We have in the West succumbed so much to folly, we think it is a gesture of solidarity and love (and see as hateful those like me who think this is nuts) to embrace this destruction of meaning and this elevation of sexual pleasure that it is perfectly reasonable to hang a pride flag under a cross in a church.

Were one simply to draw on the church wall people engaging in anal sex or cunnilingus or fellatio it would be far harder to keep up the pretense that we were talking about something dignified—but it would at least be honest, an honest way of saying that we want sex—”and when do we want it—now.” But that is only partly true of course; for while that is what the symbolism of the flag really expresses, the fact that this desire is dressed up and decorated and valorized in a way that is as far from actual sex as possible—flags are usually associated with ceremonies requiring strict decorum, while churches are (at least for non-Satanists) not usually the place for sexual activities.

What is essentially a statement about sexual desire and choice, a statement of the sort that satanists would, in more ritualistic attuned times, make by having orgies in a church, is publicly presented as if it were about love. But the Church and traditions more generally have never persecuted people for merely loving each other; the strictures of tradition kick in when it comes to how the love is demonstrated. Early Christian fathers were not romantic—sex was sex and love was love; and given how common it is for people to have sex who do not love each other, and how common it is for people who love each other deeply and not to have sex, it is symptomatic of the triumph of the myth of romantic love (so brilliantly dissected in Flaubert’s Madam Bovary) that we who live in an age that is so hypersexualized want to delude ourselves into thinking sexual attraction is the equivalent to love and that that should be the basis of the family.

Most of the human race until relatively recently would have thought this ridiculous—note this is a very different point from saying that sexual attraction may also involve love, and may even lead to love, but in and of itself it is not love. This is why I would be just as incensed over the stupidity of a flag dedicated to any kind of sexual pleasure or relationship in a church as I am to the pride one. I am incensed not because I find same sex immoral, but because I find the idea of hanging up a flag about sexual preference (and transforming preference into an identity) in a church to be a symptom of the mental derangement and blindness of the modern soul—a derangement based upon a failure to understand what is really sacred and what is simply something people choose to do. Dressing this all up as if it has some kind of historical continuity with the early Church martyrs, who adopted lives of renunciation, is simply an indication that people have lost their minds—and losing one’s intellect, as Dante reminded his readers in The Comedy, is also the price one pays for favouring sin. One chooses damnation, by choosing the particular objective of the moment, in place of fathoming the discernable flow of consequences that follow from damnable choices.

No, the real issue is sex and NOT sex—it is a desperate hunger for the sacred. The fact that the church I visited has thrown out all vestiges of sacred imagery except the centre-piece of the Christian faith, the cross (albeit a Christless cross) does not mean that those who attend it wish to live without the sacred. We as a species are creatures who desperately require transcendence. In a time where we compartmentalize life so that religion is simply a compartment we can enter into or leave alone, it is commonplace to ignore the fact that while religions cultivate us in different ways according to what they deem sacred and what aspects of our selves and lives they prioritize, they do so because of an original disposition which persists even in a purely secular environment. That disposition is natural, which is why the failure to reflect upon our nature is a very stupid and dangerous thing; and the insistence upon our lives being mere social constructs is an extremely unfortunate formulation that shows indifference to the limits of the act of “construction.” Construction, of course, is an engineering term and no one thinks they can construct a bridge or building without the right materials and knowledge—but in social thinking, the term serves to displace the importance of the materiality of ourselves, and to valorize the use of words—which stands in the closest relationship to the way in which false transcendence is bound up with false words.

And that is what this war in Ukraine has exposed—a war that is very much the result of false words entered into by an “Empire of Lies,” which has made of the self and its appetites the true object of worship. To be sure the larger abstractions of freedom/emancipation and equity enable that act of worship, lest the inanity of it be too obvious. But therein is the great diabolical trick—self-worship based upon verbal rites/formulae that are but vapid incantations deployed to hurt and persecute—all done in the name of love.

We are all dependents, at every second; and though the stupid elite enablers like to babble on about their autonomy, our dependent nature is not lost on those who have strategically positioned themselves to decide what the future with our limited resources must be like—which is just another way of deciding who must do what, to ensure their survival and wealth enhancement—which is also to say, who will live, and who will die.

The thing about the devil’s party, as I have said in the book I coauthored with my friend Guan BeiBei on Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin, is that it can never endure, because it is a party of Selves devoted only to themselves and their own appetites. But that too is why the values are so empty—and being so empty must be proclaimed at such volume and with such force and why the cultural war keeps finding new sacrifices to be made: today I read of a lesbian actress being threatened with a three-year jail term in Norway for an act of hate speech, i.e., publicly stating that sex organs define male and femaleness. The Satanic powers feast of our conceits and what we are prepared to give and to say to justify the appetites that fuel them.

Little daily acts of transcendence require that we lose our self in something higher, in an art, a craft, a love, a relationship, a commitment, a way, the depth of our faith and the Lord or God we serve; and that in losing ourself, more becomes of our selves—that is also because it is not a known identity but a mystery to be revealed. When words assist us in that transcendence, they too reveal their potency, through the very reality that they reveal. The Satanic is the promise of the overcoming of mystery, of the obliteration of revelation. Its means for achieving this are delusions, fueled by lies and animated by pride, which is followed by death—death of the soul, and of peoples.

I said above, I do not know if I can unequivocally affirm that Russia represents forces of light in the present war, but I cannot unsee the darkness in the forces that the West has sided with. Turning that around, if indeed it were possible, can only begin with us not being willing to accept lies as truths, and refusing to enter into the satanic church of the modern self’s identities and appetites.


Wayne Cristaudo is a philosopher, author, and educator, who has published over a dozen booksHe also doubles up as a singer songwriter. His latest album can be found here.


Featured: “Sole Morte,” by Odd Nerdrum; painted in 1987.