“Father Seraphim Rose (Eugene Rose):
His Life and Works.”
(By Hieromonk Damascene)
Despite the intellectual elitism of his youth, Eugene was the first to admit that everything he had ever learned with his mind meant nothing beside true wisdom. What he called the “vision of the nature of things.” “The nature of things is non-intellectible in essence, can never be known by the intellect ,” he said, “it was Rene Gueron who taught me to seek and love the Truth above all else, and to be unsatisfied with anything else.”
Gueron believed that intellectual elite was needed to restore meta-physical knowledge to the West. In his writings Eugene found things he had always felt without being able to understand, having never had a clear perspective on them. He had always felt that there was something wrong with the modern world; but since that was the only world he had known, he had had nothing by which to judge the matter; and had thus been inclined to think that there was something wrong with himself. Gueron taught him that it was in fact not him, but the modern world that was abnormal……. In essence, Gueron convinced him that the upholding of ancient tradition was valid, and not just a sign of becoming unenlightened, as the modernists would claim. Whereas the modern mentality viewed all things in terms of historical progress, Gueron viewed them in terms of historical disintegration……. Without a traditional worldview to bring all into a coherent whole, modern life becomes fragmented, disordered,
confused, and accordingly the modern world heads towards a catastrophe.
In his book “The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times,” Gueron explained how the elimination of traditional spiritual principles had led to a drastic degeneration of humanity. He showed how modern science, with its tendency to reduce everything to an exclusively quantitative level, has corrupted man’s conception of true knowledge and confined his vision to what is temporal and material. In his journal Eugene wrote: “our age has been taught to believe in nothing higher than the human mind, and in the ideas of the mind; that is why the conflicts of our day are “ideological” and why TRUTH is not in them for truth is only in living communion with Christ; apart from him there is no life, no TRUTH.”
In his writing, Eugene wanted to do more than confirm his new-found faith. His conversion (to Orthodoxy) was not only a finding of the truth, but also an emerging out of untruth. He came from a society built upon apostasy, the historical “stepping away” from the revelation of Christ the God-man. As a result of this apostasy, he saw everywhere signs of the deterioration of culture; of humanity reverting to a kind of “sub-humanity,” of noble values being replaced by crude materialistic ones….
Eugene, then. did not deny the truth contained in non-Christian religions; he only indicated its incompleteness. He took a similar approach when comparing Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism: “the Catholic Church, however much it has capitulated – and continues to capitulate – to the modernist mentality, has remained in contact with the Truth…. But what has been transmitted with imperfect understanding in the Catholic Church has been transmitted in full by the Orthodox East, which has even to the present day preserved intact that whole truth from the fullness of which the Catholic West departed in schism nearly a millennium ago….. Orthodoxy has preserved the authentic mystical Christian tradition…. Modernism, indeed, was no sudden arbitrary movement, but had roots that reach far into the character of Western European man. It is in the Orthodox Christian East alone then, that it is to be found the whole standard wherewith to measure the denial of Christian truth that is modernism.” ….
In the political sphere one wonders whether the collapse of the iron curtain and communist power in Russia and Eastern Europe correspond s to the “withering away of the nihilistic State” described by Eugene, after which there is to be a “world-order” unique in human history. Communism has done its job: it has effectively destroyed the OLD ORDER. Now there can be an “opening up” to make way for the next stage of the nihilistic program, directed by the international forces. As Eugene wrote. “the final epoch will not, after all, be characterized by national disputes and the communist stifling of man’s spiritual needs, but by a superficial unity and a fulfilling of these needs by means of clever (untrue) substitutes.”……
Precisely three decades before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Eugene wrote the following words, sobering in their prophetic import: “violence and negation are, to be sure, a preliminary work; but their operation is only part of a much larger plan whose end promises to be not something better, but something incomparably worse than the age of nihilism. If in our own times there are signs that the era of violence and negation is passing, this is by no means because nihilism is being “overcome” or “outgrown,” but because its work is all but completed and its usefulness is at an end. The REVOLUTION, perhaps, begins to move out of its more violent phase and into a more “benevolent” one. Not because it has changed its will or direction, but rather because it is nearing the attainment of its ultimate goal which it has never ceased to pursue. ; fat with its success it can prepare to relax in the enjoyment of its goal.” …..
In 1989, during the era of glasnost and perestroika, immediately preceding the fall of the Soviet Union, General Secretary of the communist party Mikhail Gorbachev mad a revelatory statement that chillingly echoed Eugene’s predictions from the early 1960’s: “having embarked upon the road of radical reform,” Gorbachev said. “the Socialist countries are crossing the line beyond which there is no return to the past. Nevertheless, it is wrong to insist, as many in the West do, that this is the collapse of Socialism. On the contrary, it means that the Socialist process in the world will pursue its further development in a
multiplicity of forms.” (CMQ Note: Be it the European Union, The United Nations, The World Court, The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, The European Central Bank, The World Bank, The Federal Reserve and NATO).
(C) 28th. August 2012 Christopher M. Quigley. All rights reserved.