Quest for Mysteries: The Masonic Background for Literature by Heinrich Schneider

By Heinrich Schneider

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I wished to do what the heads of the ecclesiastical and secular authorities ought to have done by virtue of their offices . . and I wanted to do it because they neglected to do it. . " This should be added in fairness to Weishaupt. (See J. Bach, "Adam Weishaupt," etc. in Historisch-Politische Blatter, 127 (1901), 94 ff. For an attempted though unsuccessful reform of the original Illuminati, see p. 114 f. 24 Chapter II THE RELIGIOUS SITUATION IN GERMANY IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY T T WILL BE evident now that before proceeding we must first of all arrive at the fullest possible com prehension of the religious situation in the Germany of this period.

51 Every separate part, every smallest part, became a mirror and an expression of the whole, and the all was the unfolding of the divine. 52 There was the further discovery that the inner world of the soul is likewise infinite, and that mind and spirit are possessed of a distinct autonomy. This autonomy pertaining to the religious sphere seeks to experience its relations to the divine no longer by means of the latter's objectivation through historical revelation, miracles, sacraments, inspired Scripture, and the authority of the church, but rather by the deepest inner kinship with the divine.

While historically developed confessions of faith were rejected, the so ciety's own fundamental convictions were only in general and ambiguous terms. expressed In Germany it was unavoidable that the existing gulf between the nobility and the awakening commonalty should soon reassert itself, even though in a secret so ciety it might be bridged for a time. The strongest modifying influence, however, proceeded from peculiar conditions in church and religion, not only from the sharp division and rivalry of the established churches but also from currents and movements often teeming with magical, theosophical, mystical notions.

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