The Light of the Renaissance part 8

A New Ray Energy:

When a new ray energy begins to manifest it inevitably creates a conflict with any existing ray expressions. But often conflict will produce innovation. This was the case when the third ray inspired souls encountered the long held beliefs built up by the sixth ray quality of idealism and devotion, and along the second ray line of religion. The sixth ray had been the dominant force in manifestation for well over a thousand years, even before the time of Christ. As a result, many idealistic and even fanatical thought forms had been built up by devotees upon this ray. Once anchored, such strong ways of thinking are hard to ignore or change. So they tended to dominate the thinking of the time, especially among the clergy of the Church. Church doctrine and orthodoxy became the dominant ruling ideal, and so became the accepted rule of the uneducated people. This build up of power enabled the clergy to initiate practices such as indulgences which had nothing to do with the simple core teachings of Christ. This veil of glamour created by ancient thought forms became an impenetrable shell.

On the positive side, however, idealism—the ability to perceive a deep spiritual idea and develop it into a workable ideal—is a necessary quality which humanity needs to cultivate and especially to refine. The ability to idealize is the great gift of the sixth ray. The challenge is: this quality needs to be qualified by universal Love, the all-inclusive love as expressed by the Christ, to overcome the tendency to separateness too often expressed by glamourized devotees. To make matters worse, this tendency often builds the ideal into an idol, a thing or person to be worshiped. And this is what Martin Luther was up against. Luther, in his 95 theses simply questioned many of the fixed practices that had become standard and accepted doctrines of the Church. It was Luther’s strong first ray style of writing that was needed to start the process of breaking down those established practices of the Church. The questions he posed soon fired the thinking of many others at the time. And the word spread through the social media of the day—discussion groups, public lectures, printed pamphlets and books. Until this time, what was called public opinion existed only among the clergy and a few intellectuals; but after Luther, as the public became more educated they became more involved in the discussions. Out of this “dangerous, heretical” thinking arose the Protestant Reformation.

Prominent among the reformers was John Calvin (1509—1564) who laid out a more strict approach to daily life. He was trained as a provincial French lawyer and was also a humanist scholar. As described by Barzun: “Calvin’s achievement was to combine in practice Luther’s two statements about the Christian’s liberty: individual salvation through faith, and subjection to society as antidote to anarchy—meaning the control of morals and manners by the state…”.11 While traveling through Geneva, Calvin was urged to stay and work for a reformist minority group in the city government. His influence grew and he was soon acting as a prime minister, often fighting with municipal authorities. In the mid 1550’s he established an Academy or college to train ministers of the Protestant faith. It eventually became the city university and made Geneva a European center of learning, attracting young seekers from all over Europe. The strict morals and discipline in daily life advocated by Calvin became the basis for the Puritanical movement in Europe, in Scotland and soon spread to the New World.

11 Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence, p. 34

(to be continued)



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