Now history shows an absolutely different picture. It shows that there was a strong conf lict between Orthodoxy and both Pietism (“spiritualism,” as it was often called in that time, in the ecstatic not the occultistic sense) and Enlightenment together against Orthodoxy. And that is still the situation. Don’t be betrayed by words here.

The subjectivity of Pietism, the doctrine of the “inner light” – which became important not only for movements such as Quakerism, but also for many ecstatic movements in the territorial churches of Germany (and I think also of the Calvinistic countries) – everything which is done in the name of the Spirit against the authority of the church has a character of immediacy, of autonomy. Or, in order to make it sharper: modern rational autonomy is a child of the mystical autonomy of the doctrine of the inner light.

The doctrine of the inner light is very old; we have it in the Franciscan theology of the Middle Ages, in some of the radical sects (especially the later Franciscans);in many sects of the Reformation period; in the transition from spiritualism to rationalism, from the belief in the Spirit as the autonomous guide of every individual, to the rational guidance which everybody has for himself, by his autonomous reason. Or again, in another historical perspective, the third stage of Joachim di Fiore (12th century), the stage of the Holy Spirit, is the producer of all thinking of the Enlightened bourgeoisie in terms of a third stage which they called the age of reason, where every individual is taught directly, and ,the one as well as the others go back to the prophecy of Joel, in which every maid and servant is taught directly by the Holy Spirit, and no one is dependent on the Spirit of anybody else.

Now this is one line of thought – from Spirit to reason. So we can say that rationalism is not opposed to mysticism-if we call all this mysticism, namely, the presence of the Spirit in the depths of the human soul; rationalism is the child of mysticism. And both are opposed to authoritarian Orthodoxy. We have the same situation today. But I come to this immediately.