Dr. Elias Rubenstein – The Power of Rituals
A lecture, translated from German, originally given by Senator h.c. Dr. Dr. h.c. Elias Rubenstein in Vienna Austria (2018).
Today’s topic of my lecture is a very special one. I am going to cover — what I’d say is — a rather controversial subject, namely rituals or the power of rituals.
Some may have already had the experience in childhood of being a member of a church or working as an altar server in some magnificent ritual at church — or may have just taken part in the festivities of some other religious community. And that is more or less the first conscious contact we have with rituals. And they have a fascinating power and seem to mesmerize us like a magnet. Many people are not only fascinated by rituals, but are also of the opinion that these kind of rituals are a privilege of some organizations. And this is the reason I’d like to deal with this subject today.
In our particular culture, we tend to not know very much when it comes to ritual acts, since we aren’t exposed to many ritual acts at school or are even advised against taking an interest in some kind of cult or anything like that. Here, education starts quite early. In the religious and ethics classes at school, we are taught this and we know from the beginning that certain religious acts and cults are per se dangerous. Most people maintain this image during their adolescence and even into adulthood, and stick to it without changing it very much. Then, they keep the idea that certain rites, which they deem rituals, are not only a privilege of specific religious communities, but are rather the reason for their membership in some religious movements. And this is what I am going to address today.
I’d like to suggest that the majority of the Western population considers wedding rituals, burials or baptism for children as the main reason for staying in a religious community, for this is what we primarily encounter as rituals in our cultural area. This means when two adults get to know each other and would like to enter into a union that goes beyond the state requirements and norms, they will in most cases do this in their church or wherever their religious affiliation is — that is a fantastic celebration in the form of a wedding. Only very few know that, ultimately, this has very little to do with religious ritual acts — or even religion, such as Christianity — as these ceremonies originate from within the family circle.
Let’s turn back time, then we will see where these marriages and bonds stem from. The elders of the cultures and communities, the family patriarchs, the grandfathers — they sat together, drew up a marriage contract, and ultimately all celebrated the marriage. Very rarely did this have a religious background! In other words, something has been shifted in a church community that claims this as a religious rite or privilege — even though such a wedding ritual most probably would seen as specifically “Christian.” This phenomenon is relatively new in religious history with respect to the Bible.
Burials. The next point. Some people do not leave their religious community just because they are afraid they will not receive a proper funeral in the event of their death — and of course everyone dies at a certain point. For many centuries, the churches were the owners of cemeteries. That means, unless you were a member of such a religious community, you would’ve been buried someplace else and would not have received a proper farewell. Ok, this might well be a good argument.
If we have a look into the Old Testament, then we will discover a rather startling statement: The High Priest was not allowed to participate in the burial or funeral, for this would make him impure. Burials, as explained in the Old Testament — and we also won’t find much regarding this in the New Testament — are family festivities. These are predefined activities that are carried out in moments of sorrow — and it is a family matter that has no place for a clergyman or priest. However, these ritual acts snuck into religious communities. And probably the much more important question: For what reason?
Then we find a far more important ritual act: the baptism of children or newborns. A newborn baby without any alternative or any free choice as a human being. It is simply baptized as a member of a religious group. In fact, that’s one of the best systems for enlarging a religious community, because if you persuade parents to also bring their children into a religious community — without asking them — then your organization grows on its own without any need for proselytizing. This is a highly clever move and is the sort of thing we don’t normally find in most religious groups. When we think back to the time of Christ, Baptism was reserved for adults only.
Or let’s have look at John the Baptist: there are no stories that tell of a child ever being baptized, as it was only adults or of-age individuals who went to him. From a modern perspective, it’s quite interesting to ask how the baptism of children or babies came about, emerged or expanded.
To sum up — we have three distinct ritual acts and all of them appear to be different: one ritual act adds a new member to the community, and the other two acts were simply taken out of their original family context and placed in a new context. It then become a taboo for anyone to practice the rites of death and marriage in a different manner.
There was a huge split and a great war between church and state, because for many centuries, it was only the church that was permitted to unite people in marriage. The church just assumed the right to decide on its own: “Whom shall I unite in marriage?” And — moreover — the church also assumed the right to issue the final farewell blessing, which included the issuing of inheritance — meaning the church had the final say in this matter. This is one of the reasons why the church has such large assets. If I approach a dying person during his last seconds, who is at death’s door, and threaten him with damnation in hell, there are many opportunities to abuse this power. And there have been countless documented scandals dating back centuries.
Fortunately, secularization took place: the separation of church and state. This means, people regained the right — which is actually a human right — to choose whomever they want as their partner — regardless of age, culture, social class, or anything else — and to do this independently of any religious authority. Some might almost take this right for granted. However, this kind of right is not as old as is widely believed in our culture.
Let’s address a, perhaps, even more important issue: How dangerous is an organization that prevents us from marrying the person we love? How dangerous is an organization that would kick you out of a community, just because you love your partner? And what does this mean, such an expulsion? In the rural areas, this clearly means bullying. If you are not part of this community, you will be bullied. There are innumerable accounts of this throughout history. That which obviously doesn’t work in cities, will work perfectly fine in the rural areas, because education, schooling and way of growing up are all entirely different, here, and the communities are bonded differently and are more tightly knit. And so this means that behind ritual a special power is hidden. And some organizations don’t want to allow this power to be taken away from them.
Now we come to a much more important ritual in the church — which is, in some cases, performed daily, in others, yearly: The Last Supper. This is based on a tradition from Christ with his disciples, a Seder evening, Passover Seder, a meal before the Passover feast, which is a celebration of the Exodus from Egypt, that is celebrated together and includes some kind of sacrificial animal, such as a lamb. Here, this purely a communal feast. This is a family celebration and there is no place for a clergyman! It is very important to understand this! The family comes together, and together they read the passages from the Holy Scriptures related to the Exodus from Egypt. Together they read and study these passages and commemorate this meal in a ritual setting. So wine, bread, and food are all blessed according to a certain ritual process and is practiced in a rather mystical matter.
This has nothing to do with a religious exercise nor does it involve a clergyman or priest! Anyone can do this; any patriarch of the family can do this. In the Jewish culture, every father of the family does it. It is an absolutely commonplace and a right of every family.
Amazingly — but this less than 2000 years ago — this feast has been standardized with certain tendencies — namely the tradition of the New Testament — into this pompous, puffed up ritual, which actually has its roots in this Passover Seder meal — with one small change: after the meal, something extraordinary happens. In the Christian tradition, this is the Resurrection.
If you examine the New Testament, you will find that there is no mention of priests. You will not find any explanation of what the tasks of a print would be. You will find no explanation of what makes a priest a priest. You will find absolutely no explanation of how to build and set up a church or an altar; and in reality, you won’t find anything regarding the exact procedure for the Eucharist. None of this in the New Testament. Of course, Christ offers a few words on this topic, but we can find the exact same in Judaism. It’s nothing special.
Now comes the crucial issue: Christ has never intended to found a new church or a new religious movement, but rather to implement his convictions about the reformation of the system of religion from which he came. His intention was to correct mistakes, but never to bring a new religion into the world. This is also the reason why there is no mention of priests or an explanation of a priest’s tasks: what he has to do, what his role as a clergyman is. None of this is mentioned because Jesus never intended to bring about a new religion. This is why we do not find it there. It is crucial that we know the historical relationships between all of these factors: Family celebrations turned into rituals offered as a privilege by so-called priests. Why? Because it vests with a great deal of power.
Now, I’d like to address what is concealed behind rituals. For many people, rituals command a great degree of fascination and have a magnetic power. This is the difference between the Catholic and Protestant Church, for example. The power of the Catholic Church in relative to the Protestant Church is the act of ritual! What was incorrectly removed from the Protestant religious movement — which is the better way to refer to it, as you cannot actually refer to it as a church — was the religion’s underlying essence: the power of the ritual. If you take this away, then you are left with crusaders walking through world without weapons. What’s more, this leads to an over emphasis of just one pillar, which is a scripture that they, in most cases, cannot correctly interpret nor properly pass on. Then, you end up with dangerous fanaticism.
Now we come back to our primary topic! Where do we generally find rituals? I briefly mentioned the ritual of baptism. This ritual is something that is particularly special, which can supposedly be traced back to John the Baptist. Well, of course, he, too, saw it somewhere and received it from somebody, and did not himself introduce it into the world. For thousands of years, such rituals of baptism could be found in the mystery tradition. Simply look at ancient Egypt, the Essenes, or even back at Babylon and the like. Everywhere, even in the ancient and primitive traditions, can this ritual of baptism be found. Even in the tradition of other religions, you can encounter these kind of rituals. We can look all the way to the East, at the entirety of eastern civilization, and everywhere you will find baptism being performed as a process of purification. Amazingly enough, it is also mentioned in the Old Testament and is also a fundamental part of Judaism: this process of washing and, thus, purifying yourself. In other words, after periods of impurities you walk into pure water, submerge yourself deeply within it, emerge from this water this water born again, and are thereby purified. Do we need a scribe, a clergyman, or a priest for this? No! Not for such a spiritual act, not at all! So, what is the role of John in this tradition? He prepared, and one could even say initiated, Christ. There is no account of Christ having ever baptized anyone. Fairly amazing considering there are a myriad of religious communities based on Christianity! Nowhere in the New Testament will you find any people who have been baptized by Christ. There is no such account of him, “I have baptize you in the name of…” or the like. So whom, then, did he baptize? It was only afterwards that there emerged the mystical statement “in the name of Christ.” Fairly interesting, as Christ did not baptize anyone.
This means, a ritual conceals a great power. And you can also make mountains out of a molehills by taking basic needs of human beings away from families — and this is the misuse of power — and then pretend that this ought to be the work of a certain privileged class in society. But of course this is not so!
Our attitude to these matters in Central Europe needs to be uplifted a little. Let’s have a look at the US. There, you can simply register and found a religion overnight — a religious community, absolutely accepted, no need for government authority. You can officiate a marriage, register it by mail, and you’ve got your legal marriage. Just go to Las Vegas and within a few minutes you can be married by law. There’s no need for a government or religious authority, just some sort of formal permit from the state to perform this act. So, where is this great mystery about marriage? Where is this mystical secret behind it? It simply doesn’t exist on this level!
It’s quite interesting that some religious institutions have seized this right for themselves and then enforced it with the threat of the most powerful weapon — that being death — in an incredibly overbearing and intimidating manner. If such a community had the power, meaning the physical power, and if that community was the only one who had the ability to spare you from an eternity in hell, and everyone in your immediate surrounding believed this to be the case, how dangerous would one such community be? Not only do they subsist on fear, but even foment fear and hatred. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that there is a path of salvation. And by no means — and this is a critical point — do we obtain any sort of guarantee of salvation. Where is this guarantee? There is none. What is the difference between this sort of behavior from particular religious communities and dangerous cults — or any psychotic group? Nothing. These promises of salvation, all of them are terribly dangerous!
So when it comes to matters of distinction: what we criticize one group for, the other does to a far greater extent, but they just do it from behind a veil — let’s call this veil socially accepted norms, as people are taught to accept them, at school and the like.
Let’s turn to rituals. Of course there are religious rituals in nearly all cultures. Even Christmas is a religious ceremony. The way we celebrate it nowadays in our Western culture doesn’t really have anything to do with a Christian feast. It’s a rather pagan feast that’s been loaded with supposedly Christian symbolism. However, these symbols actually have very little to do with Christianity. Nonetheless, this is a ceremony, practiced by people who don’t really aware of what they are doing. As a result, this ceremony has the spark of a ritual — it is so powerful! And of course, such a thing cannot be taken from the people. But this is also the reason why the past church fathers adopted this feast with great enthusiasm — because it was powerful! You can’t take rituals away from people that have practiced them for generations. There is power concealed within these rituals.
Then, we find something entirely different among indigenous people, Western people, and in all — let’s call them — hidden communities: initiation rituals. So, without building this up in a very mystical way, what is an initiation ritual? It is the entry into a new community. You could probably say the baptism from John was an initiation, meaning the admitting of an equal member into his community. Seen from this point of view, John was a great teacher and Christ was his disciple. Though it is hardly mentioned, you can see in the New Testament that the great teacher was John. This is why many mystical traditions have their roots in John and the radical teachings that were concealed in the background and distanced themselves from these sloppy outward appearances. But, nonetheless, the power was in his ritual — in this case, the ritual of baptism. And this means a mystical act was performed.
Then we find a term that repeatedly is associated with rituals — and I wonder why, because this hardly has anything to do with rituals — which is occultism. Somehow certain communities have stayed away from such a benign term. Yet, what is occultism? Occultism is a hidden teaching, it is the practice of a hidden teaching. Well, we should go one step further — if somebody understands Eucharist as it takes place in the church in this sense — then occultism is being performed there. Meaning the manifestation or incarnation of something spiritual. This is occultism, meaning the implementation of a hidden teaching.
In almost the same breath, the media will link occultism with Satanism. That’s even more serious, as the one has hardly anything to do with the other. But you can make a connection. For this we need to know what is Satanism? Satanism is the belief that a satanic force, an adversary, could confront God with almost equal authority, and could do something contrary to God’s will. Amazingly enough, we also find in some Christian movements this exact same erroneous belief — the belief that there is an capricious God on one hand and an adversary of equal power on the other. Fortunately, in Jewish belief system, we do not find this sort of separation. This is why the Jewish religion looks upon the roots of Christianity with such disdain, because Judaism recognizes this adversary as being sent from God. It is this one power that sends and brings about this adversary. This adversary is the temptation that Christ experienced. This isn’t something separate. Nobody came and tempted Christ in the desert, but rather this power, this adversary, this satanic was provided by God in order to test man and to lead him to the next stage of development — or to further his connection with God.
So what, then, is Satanism? Any belief that perceives itself as being separate from this Creator. And we can indeed find many such beliefs. I’d rather not say that there are a lot of psychotic groups practicing Satanism. The number of groups can probably be counted on both hands, and there might be a few hundred members. But at the same time there are millions of people who are members of satanic cults without being aware of it. If they only knew what Satanism truly was. And if only the so-called clergymen, these “satan clergymen,” truly knew what they were doing: building up an adversary who has the same power and authority as God, and to whom we are all subservient — meaning that it is not God who is tempting us through this adversary, but that this adversary is some other power, sufficient in and of itself, and independent of and yet within the rest of creation (which of course does not exist). This is the inverted pentagram.
Actually, this inverted symbol should be hung in every pseudo-church to make all those who visit truly understand exactly what kind of place it is they are visiting. In the view of the western mystery tradition, this is a purely capricious belief. Even though none of this is found either in the New nor the Old Testament, these misinterpretations have been spread by the uniformed over the course of time.
So, in building up the terms satanism and occultism in this way, there is this attempt to immediately put any ritual act performed by other religious communities into these simplistic categories — because people fear that these are dangerous rituals.
Let’s have a look in the history. There have certainly been some psychopaths in the world, and these are found in every organization. And, repeatedly, there have been communities that were extremely harmful: be they criminal organizations or organizations that pursued truly evil ends or that were brought about by mentally ill people. Yes, these are certainly dangerous! There’s no need to deny that they are dangerous, harmful, and they can use any name they like: be it an esoteric name, be it the name of a mafia, be it a religious or even Christian name. Does this mean that these names have anything to do with what these organizations do in the background? No!
But let’s make a comparison. Let’s just say there are not even a thousand people worldwide who believe in pursuing truly apocalyptic goals —in a truly negative sense— and then choose to commit suicide as a result. What is this in compared to the 10 million victims of the Inquisition, who were deliberately murdered? There is no comparison. Yet, you can certainly make a big deal of it. Thus we have to maintain a sense of proportion between one and the other and draw our own conclusions.
Of course, it is incredibly easy to exaggerate and mock some community of insane people who believe in some crazy ideas. However, we should not walk into the trap of assuming that this is occultism. This has nothing to do with occultism. Occultism concerns hidden teachings and has nothing to do with mentally ill people. Mentally ill people require therapy.
This takes me to the next topic: therapy. Again and again — and this is really sophisticated propaganda — we find, from those who have simply dropped out of society, reports of rituals and ritualistic acts. When you really read or analyze these stories, you can see that these people would have been much better helped by therapy. Very often, there are deep-rooted problems: family problems, interpersonal problems, financial problems, career problems, or whatever the case may be. These are then sanctimoniously projected onto the organization. But in most cases, these problems don’t have anything to do with the organization. These people simply need therapy, or a mediator to help solve interpersonal problems or problems in their relationship. No organization can take responsibility for that.
When certain problems surface — when someone, for example, suddenly joins a yoga group, then comes home and, then, certain interpersonal problems emerge, that doesn’t mean this is because of the yoga group. The same problem may have emerged if that person went to play football and then returned back home. This is a family problem and does not primarily have anything to do with the organization, be it spiritual or occultist or otherwise.
It is also very important that we learn to distinguish between these mostly pseudo-scientific and far-fetched statements made by so-called whistleblowers, or by those who have simply retreated from society. These people need therapy. They need help. Most often, this is the result of interpersonal problems. And I would say far more people need therapy than need any kind of spiritual organization. Luckily, there are mediators, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists in all facets — and, there, such people are far better helped. And we should really keep this in mind: these stories from those who’ve retreated from society. We can view these as strange writings that are the result of interpersonal problems. Yes, please, get professional help.
We can actually find this in any organization. It’s the same as if we look at a Christian movement and we were to find an instance of someone being responsible for violating a child. But in an organization with millions and hundred millions of members, yes, this occurs. But then we must ask how often does this occur in political parties or in other large organizations? Is such an occurrence really only limited to a single particular religion — when we find one or two or ten or even a hundred such instances compared with hundreds of millions of members? This only reflects society as a whole. This doesn’t mean that I approve of this religious community, but I just want to make it clear: religious communities, as well as occult movements, reflect society. As many psychopaths as we find within society, is how many will we find within these communities. This is just a reflection of the cross-section of society — this is just how it is. Can you fight this? No! Why should you? It simply doesn’t work. You would have to eradicate the whole of society. That’s the thing.
Then to the next point. Let’s get to the core issue: ritual. We needed this introduction to understand that behind rituals there is an enormous power and force. This is also why the western mysteries also so strongly rooted in this pillar. As was already mentioned: study — that is the teaching, we have to understand what we are doing; meditation — that is the peace, we must establish the inner contact; ritual — that is the power and that is the strength. And on the mystical path, all organizations the have ritual as their main area of activity are not only discredited publicly, but certain people, organizations — which I will not name — use a lot of their time waging a war against their reputation, a dirty campaign.
There is one person I would like to name — not that I am sympathetic to him, but I think he is a perfect example. Let’s look back in history, 100 ago, 70 years ago, there was a man, Aleister Crowley. Again, I am not particularly sympathetic or unsympathetic toward him — let’s just look at this neutrally. There is no —what we could say— “occult personality” of the past century who has been so inconsistently talked about in the media. There is hardly any literature by anyone who actually knew him — and maybe that should tell us something. We cannot refer to any ex-partner, as we all know how an ex-partner can talk about their ex-partners; we also cannot refer to his enemies, whom he might have owed some money; and we cannot refer to people with whom he had interpersonal problems, because he may have thrown them out of his organization. We can only refer to absolutely neutral parties: perhaps a baker where he shopped, or a friend with whom he played chess. When we listen to the accounts of these kinds of people, the picture of him is entirely different. But ultimately we’re not able to get a complete picture because we were not there. You should judge people by their actions. Look at the actions of this person.
I’d like to just briefly explain something: first, this person was initiated into the mystery tradition. For whatever reason, he was admitted and guided through all stages of initiation. For some reason, he did manage to do this. Following a dispute, he split with his organization and was then selected as the head of another organization of German origin. For what reason, no one knows. But there is something impressive about the magnetic aura this person radiated — some charisma.
In any case, he was there — at a foreign organization. And you really have to imagine how it came to be that he was chosen as the leader. And these people weren’t quote-unquote “idiots” when you look at the history of the other people they chose. They were not corrupt at this level: that some person could just pay a certain amount of money and become the leader. Nobody would do this freely and willingly. Therefore that means, there must have been something about him in this regard. And the field of occultism and Satanism are primarily associated with this person. Regardless of which books which we read on this topic, which educational pamphlets, which encyclopedia we consult, this person comes up again and again.
And some may find this to be an amusing side-story: he lost part of his fortune suing someone who publicly accused him of being a Satanist. This means he was a person that did, in fact, care when someone accused him of being a Satanist — a person striving for the Higher. So, yes, you can rummage around in the history of it all, but why would someone invest a part of his fortune to sue a person who accused him of being a Satanist? If he truly had been a Satanist, at this point in time, then he would’ve taken advantage of this publicity in order to grow his organization. Anyone who reads his early writings about magic, occultism, the spiritual laws, will see contained in these writings much of what he experienced as a student of his former organization. He discusses in his own words all of the teachings that he received while at the theoretical level in this system of the Western mystery tradition. Nowhere will you find mention of a satanic cult or the like.
Also interesting is this false assumption that the mere discussing of satanic forces is necessarily a negative thing. If this were so, Christ would have been an extreme Satanist, for he had the confrontation with Satan. Is there anything negative about being confronted with Satan? He did not succumb to the temptation. He obtained mastery. So is Christ a Satanist? Well, if we look at history, we will see that he worked with Satan, and exorcized people countless times. Countless times — you just need to read through it. Where does this knowledge come from: how to exorcize someone, how to dispel evil spirits? Where does this knowledge come from — how to heal others? But it’s quite interesting that modern church movements immediately discredit people that do exactly as Christ did — or at least claim to do as Christ did. And if this doesn’t work, they are simply labelled a narcissist.
Unsurprisingly, that’s how these smears are spread. Rudolf Steiner was another target. If there’s no religious argument that can be used against you, then you simply get labelled a National Socialist. This is the last resort of all argumentation in the West. In the US, if you were to say such a thing no one would even bat an eye. This is not an argument, but in our society it works. And people just believe it. If we were to turn back time, certainly we would find the some of our ancestors (in Austria) were National Socialists. This is just how it is. They grew up in this cultural environment, our ancestral origins come out of this cultural environment, and at this time there were many National Socialists. Nearly everyone in this cultural region has such relatives somehow. In culture, we share in this kind of fate. There’s nothing we can do about it. But if you want to argue that this person’s grandfather or great-grandfather was a National Socialist, then that is just a weak form of argument.
And in connection with this, it’s interesting that — concerning Crowley — he was expelled from the country. How on earth could this happen? He was obviously so popular that he was finally banished, personally. Occultism and, in particular, rituals cause a great stir. Anytime such things take place outside of ecclesiastical organizations or outside the confines of the church, this is seen as a great mishap — which is remarkable for this cultural area. In many other cultures, most of these rituals are just family celebrations.
Now we come to a topic that’s a little difficult to touch upon, and requires a little more background. Occultism and Satanism are related to each other, yet there comes the third term: magic. Very often magic is confused with wizardry and satanic cults and the like — which is also one of the reasons why I wrote a book about magic and, as a result, made some very unpleasant friends, who deliberately took this as a personal attack, rather than as some sort of clarification. It comes as no surprise that people usually rebel against books that attempt to uncover and to reform.
Finally, we even find magic mentioned in the New Testament: The Three Wise Men or the Magi of the orient, well, we even find this in the Christian religion. It’s rooted in that. The first contact Christ has is with magicians, the Magi. These were not just any, let’s say— in the negative sense — carnival magicians. They were Magi. That means a religious community is actually rooted in these theories. Highly interesting! Nevertheless, this is somehow obscured in history, but magic is not negative. Maybe, if it happens outside the church, it might change into something was allegedly negative. What then is exorcism? Maybe, it is magic. What is initiation? That is magic. What is the baptism of John? Magic. These ritual acts, where the Holy Spirit descends: that is magic. That is magic. This means that John — in this sense — was a magician. This means a baptism took place and then the Holy Spirit descended. And that is magic — ceremonial magic.
And we see — as highly awakened as Christ may have been — that without this ritual act he would have never become the Christ. He needed his teacher John and this ritual act. Now, we can understand the power of rituals. You cannot lift yourself up on your own. That doesn’t work. You cannot elevate yourself. You need a second hand that holds you, helps you, and pulls you out. And so it is with ceremonial magic. We need this intermediary, Hermes, the great jester in mythology. Hermes, he is indeed the greatest trickster that exists. For he can both pretend to be the great jester but also creates the greatest connection, and power through magic, which is the bridge between heaven and earth. Magic is fairly dangerous territory. However, you shouldn’t fall into this trap of throwing magic, Satanism and occultism together in the same pot. These are three different things and have nothing to do with each other. There may be some points of intersection, just as you could say that flour has something to do with cooking. Well, yes, maybe — you can cook with flour. But these are still two different aspects: flour and cooking. Yes, you can create a connection. But these are not really the same thing.
So, let’s just say, it is in this place in culture that we come from.
Lastly, the great knowledge of mystery school is based in ritual. There might be some mystery schools practicing great methods of meditation and the like, but, ultimately, the great treasure is ritual. It may be that their teachings are profound, maybe ancient, but we don’t really care about this because we can create new ones on our own, in all areas of our mystery school: be these new publications on the teachings of symbols, on the different areas of Astrology, Hermeticism, Kabbalah, and so on. We could redesign these teachings at any time. They are not set in stone. Depending on the culture and the members and their needs, we can just create these teachings.
The situation is similar with ritual: depending on the culture, a ritual system is also created that is intended specifically for this group. The original symbolism, of course, has always been passed down since antiquity. Ultimately, it is about these tools, this path, the rituals in mystery schools being properly preserved and passed along from person to person, over many years — over centuries, over millennia. So is there any authority for this? Would I say there is any kind of organization with the authority to do this, just because there have been many people who’ve come before some other people? No. Presence is presence — it’s not about where someone comes from, it’s about where they are going. This means it doesn’t matter how many predecessors or initiators someone has had today — in this day age. This example should serve as a reminder, no matter how many people “bishops, priests, or pastors” have blessed doesn’t necessarily give them the authority to be bishops or priests. Not at all. That doesn’t mean anything.
We also have to look at this on all levels. This is not the power. This does not confer any authority. Yes, okay, you can invent a religion which is limited to a few rituals, then you may come up with such rules. This, however, doesn’t bear any relation to the Old or the New Testament and — to come right to the point — this also doesn’t have anything to do with Christianity. Christianity, as we understand it, is the inner teaching, the mystical teachings, the gnostic teachings that are hidden in the background, of which — we are convinced — Christ himself was a disciple. Not the last and not the first — in this sense — but the first one who demonstrated something absolutely magnificent.
And I’d like to conclude this speech with these words. Examine every movement critically and ask who wants to pass on this information. Then you will find that much of this information that circulates in these areas — particularly propaganda and smear campaigns — trace back to either competing organizations or to large religious communities. They have just shifted their activity into the world of media and propaganda, but they continue to do as they did in earlier times. Here, the population should stand up and ask: “How fair is it being part of such an organization?” Have we entered a New Age? Are we in an age — to move to a political topic — where all human rights prevail? In my opinion, a large portion of the rules of some religious organizations contradict the path of human rights. And, in this sense, we must not tolerate this.