A Genealogy of Love Power: Marsilio Ficino, Jacques Maritain, and Gandhi with Special Guests: Tears for Fears and the God of Surprises

maritain.gif

 

Dear Reader,

Do you believe in the power of love? Me neither. But once upon a time I did. I believed that humans could bring out a radical transformation of world society through the changing of the emotional state of grouchy reactionaries. If we moved from a hard hearted pharisaical and cruel society to a kinder, gentler, one the world would be a better place. We could shed our hang-ups about sexuality, religion, ethnicity, and even table manners, and be a happier freer people. This idea of returning to a Golden Age in which we were free from restraint is as old as Hesiod and is a recurring notion throughout Western history. Since the Renaissance or early modern period, humans have attempted to bring about this radical transformation, and one of the methods has been the idea of “love power” or the notion that if people just became nicer and gentler the world will be a better freer place. This method has even entered the Church through Pope Francis’s “revolution of tenderness” and is found not only in the sewers of 20th century modernism and trashy pop culture, but also in the occult.

It should be no surprise that such ideas can be found in the notorious pseudo-Thomist, Jacques Maritain, who was even “outed” as a leftist in recent EWTN documentary on Maritain’s good friend Saul Alinksy. In his poisonous blueprint for Catholic liberalism Man and the State (1951), Maritain, the former adept of the vitalist philosopher Henri Begson, refers to a “vital energy” of the people (65).  Maritain writes that Christians would do well to draw from the wisdom of Hinduism, writing that there is an “order of means “of which our Western civilization is hardly aware, and which offers the human mind an infinite field of discovery—the spiritual means systematically applied to the temporal realm, a striking example of which has been Gandhi’s Satyagraha” (68). Thus one of the manifestations of this vital power for animating post World War II society will be a Hindu love magic. Christians in their process of transforming the world into the new political system that Maritain is peddling should employ Hindu spirituality as a “means of spiritual warfare.” As Maritain himself points out, “…Satyagraha means ‘the power of Truth.’ Gandhi has constantly affirmed the value of the ‘Power of Love,’ or the ‘Power of the Soul,’ or the ‘Power of Truth’ as an instrument or means of political and social action” (68). Thus we have an idea of love power, which instead of Catholic militancy and martyrdom, should be utilized in the war against the reactionary regimes that blight the earth.

Maritain does admit that “…Gandhi’s theory and technique should be related to and clarified by the Thomistic notion that the principal act of the virtue of fortitude is not the act of attacking, but that of enduring, bearing, suffering with constancy (68). This is a very ambiguous and misleading statement, and is not the only time that Maritain attempts to baptize incompatible ideas as being Thomistic. Maritain even goes so far as to say that Satyagraha can be used to aid Christians in their “struggle…to transform civilization making it actually Christian, actually inspired by the Gospel” (70). This is a radically variant idea from traditional Christianity. The idea of love power did not build Christendom: Christian fortitude and a zeal for souls did—not to mention this idea of “love power” is a pagan not Christian idea. Maritain’s notions of Christian politics as a subdued and gentle kindness contributed to the climate that produce Vatican II’s awful Dignitatis humanae and has crippled Catholic political thought for almost a century now. This effeminate idea of passive resistance has led to the erosion of Catholic influence in world politics and the destruction of any idea of the Catholic state. It is a thoroughly diabolical idea—even the pagans say so.

This idea of using love power to transform the world has an old pedigree. The idea of the transformation of the world into a new Golden Age is at least as old as the Roman poet Virgil who wrote of it in his Eclogues. It is also present in the tradition of Neoplatonic occultism.

Eclogues.png

In his work On Love, Renaissance Neoplatonist Marsilio Ficino writes, “the whole power of magic consists in love.” Ficino’s love magic involves a transformation of the world through science and philosophy and love to create a new, better world.  In this tradition, love is integrally tied to the magician’s craft of reforming the world and bringing about a new Golden Age. It is not surprising that such ideas would be found in Hinduism, but the same ideas were part and parcel of Maritain’s blueprint not only in Man and the State but in Integral Humanism, The Person and the Common Good, and other writings in which Maritain attempted to craft a new political Pentecost in the ruins of World War II that would transform the world.

Well, dear reader, where does 80s pop group Tears for Fears fit in this alchemical stew of lies, heresy, and Satanism? I would like to direct your attention to the band’s 1989’s “Sowing the Seeds of Love.” The video has been analyzed several times, but I want to take a quick look at it again, for it provides us with a visual of how pervasive this ideology of love power is. The video begins with a rocky man with his eyes closed–an obvious symbol of a hard stoic or serious Christian whose heart has not been warmed by the love power of Ficino, Maritain, and Gandhi. The man’s eyes open and a door to his head also opens. On the doors of the man’s head are the alchemical symbols of a sun and moon. As viewers, we enter into the mind of the man that is now a bright sky with Tears for Fears singing about love. The video is loaded with occult symbolism tied to the idea of world transformation through magic. We an eye of Horus on top of a pyramid, a clear reference to the return of Saturn and the creation of a new Saturnalial age of love and freedom. There are levitating bodies in some sort of trance—the body of Roland Orzabal floats near his girlfriend’s in a clear reference to sex. There is also a peacock and sea shell—clear homages to the mother goddess Juno and the goddess of love Venus who road on a sea shell. We also see the Egyptian Ankh, the symbol of life as well as the symbol of world transformation in addition to Buddhas, but, sadly, there is no Gandhi. The lyrics of the song also are loaded with a clear attacks on Christianity and the idea of a transcendent God. Roland Orzabal ridicules the idea that those who are hungry “Look to the sky for some kind of divine intervention.” He laments that the people are without a “love and a promised land.” Orzabal and Curt Smith also urge the viewer’s to read about it in a book that appears containing the alchemical sun and some jumbled modernist paintings. The video ends with Orzabal planting a seed, which grows into a giant sunflower that is imposed over the entire world. Thus the alchemical transformation from a hard hearted and serious world.

It is perhaps not strange that the same occult ideas can be found in Ancient Greek and Roman poetry and in 80s pop. What is strange but not so strange is that these same ideas are contained in the writings of one of the most influential Catholic philosophers of the 20th century, Jacques Maritain, an architect of the United Nations declaration of Human Rights. The height of weirdness is that these ideas are now the MO of our current pontiff, Pope Francis, who spends his days sowing the seeds of love power.

2 thoughts on “A Genealogy of Love Power: Marsilio Ficino, Jacques Maritain, and Gandhi with Special Guests: Tears for Fears and the God of Surprises

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s