BOOK: The Trouble with Magic: Our Failed Search for More and Christ’s fulfillment of our Desires

A priest friend of mine has published an interesting book about magicwitchcraft.

The Trouble with Magic: Our Failed Search for More and Christ’s fulfillment of our Desires
by Fr. Cliff Ermatinger

US HERE – UK HERE (newly added)

I haven’t read this yet, but I look forward to it.  I’ve been talking to the writer by phone while he has been working on it.  It’s intriguing.   Here’s the description:

The original temptation of Adam and Eve is often depicted as a trivial thing, with our first parents gaining more than they had lost – the ability to choose for themselves good and evil. In this book Father Cliff Ermatinger shows us how what was lost, was far more precious than realized, what was acquired far more reaching in its damage than suspected, and the lengths that God would undergo to restore His lost creation more majestic than imaginable.

The reader is enjoined to come along on an examination of everything that brought humanity to this point in time: from a tree in the garden long ago, mankind’s tendencies towards superstition and turning to gods that cannot save, to the modern shaman in the corner shop that goes by other names: Tarot reader, Yoga guru, , Healer, Social Engineering Overlord. In the end, it is all the trouble with magic.

But this is not the end, for, as Father Ermatinger lays out, God’s ways are not our ways, and He will make straight that which we have broken while bringing the broken human person beyond the lost Eden into perfect communion with Himself.

His other titles are also worth your time! For example:

Rescued from Satan: 14 People Recount their Journey from Demonic Possession to Liberation

The Devil’s Role in the Spiritual Life: St. John of the Cross’ Teaching on Satan’s Involvement in Every Stage of Spiritual Growth

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Mail from priests, REVIEWS, The Campus Telephone Pole and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Angelo Tan says:

    Father, I think your post is quite providential. Please pray for an acquaintance of mine who’d delved into the occult. She’s now being featured in a TV Magazine Show, to my shock and dismay.

    I am grateful for your ministry and service for God and His people.


  2. Lurker 59 says:

    This sounds like a fascinating read. I picked up “The Devil’s Role in the Spiritual Life” a few years ago. I got to skim it quickly before it suddenly moved on to someone who had a greater need for it. It was a good skim and I think a necessary addition to what floats around out there in terms of spirituality. Too many people think that growing in holiness means not facing the cross — or temptations of the devils. But degree of holiness often relates to degree of temptation overcome. The spiritual advice of the early Church Fathers is never ‘to not have temptations’ but rather to ‘have the grace to weather the temptations’.

    I suspect that in the Trouble with Magic, that Fr. Ermatinger will likewise point at something being missed today. The Occult/Magic often brings to mind what is in, say, any such red horned demons that one sees at the movies, rather than the stuff that one sees on their corner strip malls, or the upteenth youtube ad hocking snakeoil solutions to better health and life all at the expense of getting one’s soul wrapped up in the idol of bodily health and longevity.

    The eschatological dimensions of the book sound like a real treat as that is way too often left out of like discussions.

  3. omgriley says:

    Will there be any mention of Harry Potter?

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  5. Semper Gumby says:

    Lurker59: Great comment. “The spiritual advice of the early Church Fathers is never ‘to not have temptations’ but rather to ‘have the grace to weather the temptations’.” An excellent point.

    Here’s a bit of an interesting 2019 post from “Dark Tides” (a paranormal website) about the Pope Leo XIII Institute in Chicago:

    “Although the institute offers a two year course in exorcism, the upcoming conference has all the clergy talking. From August 4 to August 9, the Pope Leo XIII Institute will host its summer conference, geared towards bringing a large group of clergy and laypeople together to instruct them in the intricacies of exorcisms. The conference will be centered around Fr. Cliff Ermatinger’s book, The Devil’s Role in the Spiritual Life: St. John of the Cross’ Teaching on Satan’s Involvement at Every Stage of Spiritual Growth.”

    “Many priests believe that a revived interest in magic and witchcraft is to blame for the increase in demonic possession.”

    “The good news is that the programs offered by Pope Leo XIII Institute encourage collaboration with medical specialists and psychiatrists.”

    An interesting positive perspective from a paranormal website.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    omgriley: Good question. In the meantime, here’s a helpful Fr. Z post from December 2019 on JK Rowling:

    If I could, a brief excerpt from my comments to Fr. Z’s post:

    “As for JK Rowling’s banner on her Twitter account: take a close look at the sword on the left. The Greek letters on the blade spell “Thelema.” Thelema is Aleister Crowley’s diabolical religion that, among other things, mocks the Catholic Mass and the Eucharist. “Do what thou will shall be the whole of the Law.”” (Apparently she changed her banner since then.)

    From Patrick Madrid’s blog a 2010 post: “Michael O’Brien’s Warning About Harry Potter and “Spiritual Nausea””:

    Below that post in comments there is an interesting exchange between Patrick Madrid and Eric Sammons.

    Here’s Michael D. O’Brien at Life Site News in 2007: “Harry Potter and “the Death of God””:

    “All told, it [Harry Potter] is the grandest trans-cultural event of epic proportions in the history of mankind, rivaled only by the Bible.

    “I use the word rivaled with some consideration, not only because of the impact of the series on the modern world, but also because of the worldview it so powerfully implants in its devotees.”

    Certainly, there is a difference between Harry Potter fans who enjoyed the series for a while and “devotees.” That said, here’s a quote from the “Liturgy and Life” website:

    “I thought I’d share my conference offering [referring to the annual academic Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill College]: a digital paper [“Eucharistic Themes in the Potter Saga”] on the way all the many food images in Harry Potter point to the Eucharist.”

    A 2019 post on “Liturgy and Life” is titled: “Mary, Muggle-born of God.” Then there are the various groups who have Harry Potter “worship services” and Harry Potter “liturgy of the hours.”

    One more item. There is a booklet and PDF circulating of 35-36 pages titled “Harry Potter and the Stations of the Cross.” A brief excerpt:

    “Read through these Stations alone or with others in your sheltering place. Reflect on the
    dark forces that JK Rowling calls ‘Dementors.’ Pray the prayers. Enter the story of Jesus’
    love for the world and let that story enter your life right now.
    I pray that the Harry Potter passages help you connect YOUR passions and experiences with the
    passionate love that God has for us. Peace be with all of you.”

    In this booklet and PDF each “Station” has a “Harry Potter Meditation,” and Bible verses are presented as “Petronus Charms.” For example:

    “Proclaim. CAST YOUR PATRONUS!(say this Bible verse LOUDLY while you throw the spell bean bags at the

    Huh. Er, no. Apparently Michael D. O’Brien was on to something with his criticism back in 2007.

    Well, for my soul I’ll stay with the Catholic Church, and for my time and money I’ll stay with the superior epic from Merrye Olde Englande: Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

  7. Kent Wendler says:

    “Will there be any mention of Harry Potter?”

    Rowling, perhaps unfortunately, used the word “magic” to label the extraordinary abilities of her characters. A great number of people seized upon this word and conflated it with strictly diabolic forces in our non-fiction world. In her writing, however, the way she treated these abilities were very much like what we refer to as gifts of the Holy Spirit – like artistic or musical ability, etc. Her characters used them for either good or for evil. Another fictional series gives the characters a “mutant x gene” which empowers them pretty much the same way, but nobody bats an eye.

    There are a number of unusual abilities that saintly people have exhibited; e.g., levitation, bilocation, reading of souls, empiry over nature, et al; which might be akin to “magic”, but no one seriously claims they are from diabolic sources.

    I have been thinking about this for a while and I suspect that otherwise completely non-material spirits may be able to exert what is called the quantum mechanical observer effect.

  8. GregB says:

    Union is a primary characteristic of the Holy Trinity in the union of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Being made in God’s image and likeness we humans were created for ultimate union with God. But it had to be a loving free will union. During the fall Adam and Eve destroyed their Original Innocence. Their nakedness was a source of shame because they were no longer clothed in righteousness and had breached their union with God and each other. After the fall there was no longer any harmony in Eden. Adam and Eve took their spiritual direction from the serpent and not from God.
    There is an article on the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology that gives a presentation on the demonic by Adam Blai a demonologist with a mental health background. It is titled “What to Know About Catholic Deliverance and Exorcism” He also has videos on YouTube.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    GregB: Thanks.

    Kent Wendler: In JK Rowling’s books there is a witch named Cassandra Vablatsky, who wrote a “divination textbook” for Hogwarts pupils titled “Unfogging the Future.” Numerous Harry Potter fansites and discussion groups state that Vablatsky was inspired by Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891), co-founder and leader of the Theosophical Society and author of “Isis Unveiled” and “The Secret Doctrine.” Briefly, Theosophists believe in Ascended Masters, reincarnation, and “soul liberation.”

    Blavatsky eventually moved the Society to India, and upon her death in 1891 Annie Besant (a Marxist who also influenced Margaret Sanger) took over the Society. Besant raised and groomed an Indian boy, Jiddu Krishnamurti, to be the World Teacher. Krishnamurti eventually rejected his role as “World Teacher” and the “Order of the Star in the East” (the organization meant to prepare the world for Krishnamurti as the Messiah).

    In 1912-1913 the German Theosophical Society was led by Rudolf Steiner (a Freemason, and personally appointed by Besant for Germany). However, Steiner rejected Krishnamurti and the fixation on Eastern occultism. He broke with Theosophy and founded Anthroposophy (roughly, the Spirit world can be mastered through Science). Among other things, Steiner had something interesting to say about vaccines and the soul.

    As for magic and Harry Potter, experienced exorcists such as Fr. Amorth and Fr. Ripperger encourage avoiding those books (several “Harry Potter unofficial spell books” are also on the market) and movies. Sounds like good advice.

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    Addendum: Rudolf Steiner visited Ascona, Switzerland on more than one occasion.

  11. IaninEngland says:

    @ Semper Gumby
    I find your mention of the “Order of the Star in the East” interesting: the “Order of the Eastern Star” (OES) is the female branch of Freemasonry.

  12. Semper Gumby says:

    – Annie Besant was a key figure in expanding “mixed-gender Freemasonry” and “Le Droit Humain” prior to WW I.

    – Rudolf Steiner was a Freemason, a Rosicrucianist, and was chartered by O.T.O. (see Aleister Crowley and “sex magic”) to establish the lodge “Mystica Aeterna.” However, Steiner was not necessarily a member of OTO. Steiner participated in the “Rite of Memphis-Misraim” (a Rite influenced by ancient Egypt and Hermeticism), and received the charter for his lodge via Theodore Reuss (among other things Reuss was a Gnostic bishop) on 3 Jan 1906.

    – Within the chartered lodge Mystica Aeterna, aka Mysteria Mystica Aeterna, Steiner gathered elite occultists from France, Germany, Italy and other countries.

    – Steiner, after his break with Besant and Theosophy in 1912-13, founded Anthroposophy and developed a “Goetheanum” in Dornach, Switzerland prior to WW I. The Goetheanum was a meeting place for various artists, spiritualists, intellectuals and educators. This first Goetheanum was replaced by a second in Dornach after WW I.

    – Steiner’s break with Besant over his rejection of the “World Teacher” does not mean their break was complete and permanent regarding other matters of mutual interest.

    – Rudolf Steiner lecture at Dornach, May, 1920:

    “There were always some clergy who worked to bring about freedom in Catholicism. I say quite frankly that in the 1860s among a number of the Catholic clergy seeds of development of the “Catholic principle” were present which, if they had passed over into a free science, might in large measure have led to a liberation of modern humanity.”

  13. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The sad and insidious thing about Crowley is that he stole good things (like Catholic ceremonies, quotes from St. Augustine, and the Septuagint/NT use of the word “thelema”) and turned them into bad things by misrepresenting them, and melding them with evil things.

    “Thy will be done” uses the word “thelema.”

    People have made blasphemous and/or imprudent “devotionals” and “prayer services” out of all kinds of things, including sports teams.

    Rowling is more to be pitied than anything else, because she is blown to and fro by all kinds of winds of doctrine. She obviously thought she was doing a Christian, Calvinist series of books, and then she gloms in all the trendy leftist silliness — and then the leftists turned on her.

  14. KateD says:

    Hi Kent,

    The word “magic” (involvement in which is strictly forbidden by God) is not misapplied in or for the Harry Potter series.

    Talents such as musical and artistic ability are rooted in the natural world. These traits have been found to be heritable, that is to say, it is encoded in one’s DNA. One can’t get any more natural than our very biology.

    In contrast, the phenomena described in the Harry Potter series are super natural. They defy the natural laws of the universe.

    Phenomena that are supernatural have one of two sources. When that source is God the supernatural phenomena are “miracles”. Any supernatural event not from God is called “magic” and has its source in the demonic.

    The Creator drives the action of a miracle for His purposes and not arbitrarily, not on a whim. The saints frequently complain about their miraculous “gifts”. They are a hassle, embarrassing and frequently painful. God gives these gifts to whom He chooses in order to accomplish His Holy Will. It’s not something that was sought out or even considered by the saint prior to it’s “bequeathment”. Most of us are not made of the material that would be suitable for the purpose. For instance, when God wanted to turn around planes about to bomb Italy, He sent Padre Pio up into the clouds. Padre Pio, unphased, authoritatively directed the planes to turn around. And they did turn around and the bombings did not take place. God knows what the man is made of. He didn’t send someone like me. I would have freaked out, flailed around and instantly died of a heart attack like a frightened bunny. The pilots would have passed by, said, “huh. THAT was weird.” and delivered their payload. God’s will would have been subverted.

    God knows what He’s about. The gifts He gives to saints are not sought nor acquired through training nor practice. Magic requires study and mentoring and forming a relationship with a demon.

    As opposed to the divine origins of the miraculous, magic is driven by the creature. The individual seeks to supplant God’s will with their own.

    The very fact that these children are in a school to acquire the knowledge and skill to perform the supernatural phenomena, the central theme of the series, IS proof positive that it is magic they are engaged in, which always has its source in the demonic.

    Because the action is driven by the practitioner and the source of the supernatural is a fallen angel, and angels cannot read our minds, it is necessary for the practitioner of magic to communicate the desired outcome, hence the need for the use of objects like wands, color coded candles and audibly vocalized spells.

    That’s not to negate the fact that demons are great apes. They ape what God does. They see that the sacraments of His Church require form and matter and so they require the use of those things, too…but it doesn’t hurt that they also serve to communicate and coordinate the supernatural phenomena between the practitioner of magic (witch/warlock/sorcerer) and the familiar.

    One element of magic that I have noticed at work in the Harry Potter series, especially the movies, which is seldom discussed, beyond “there are demons attached” is the use of enchantment. (As a non sequitur: What do we do with objects attached to the demonic? I suggest you treat each volume of this series in that manner.)

    Witches, sorcerers, occultists, et al “enchant” objects. It’s magic 101. The first types of spells that are taught are love spells and enchantments which go hand in hand, because the age of introduction/conversion to magic is usually adolescence (girls traditionally, but now more boys as they are effeminized by the absence of fathers in the home due to the destruction of marriage). And the introduction is mild, treating magic like a fun game/entertainment. Enchantments are put on objects to make them seem more appealing and alluring. (Who doesn’t want to be more alluring and appealing?) For instance shiny large pieces of jewelry are often enchanted, to fascinate, distract and draw in the intended target. It’s like using a lure in fishing.

    This element seems to be at play in the Harry Potter series. The books have greater appeal than the writing and subject matter would naturally inspire.

    If that’s true, one has to ask, to what and why are our children being lured into this world of magic? Is it simple entertainment? No. It’s like the main character in Brave following the will o’ the wisps (there’s an interesting turn of phrase!) to the place where the young person can be tempted to and eventually entangled in magic.

    At any rate…I’m looking forward to reading this new book by Fr. Ermatinger and the previous ones as well.

    There are huge numbers of individuals who have become entangled in the occult after having been led to believe it was innocuous due to the treatment of the subject in such forms of “entertainment”. These individuals are in desperate need of hearing from those who from expertise speak and write candidly about magic and the wiles of the demonic.

    This is terrifying stuff that should NOT be trifled with, NOT be the subject of children’s entertainment and should be given a very WIDE berth.

    Is exposing young Christians whose roots are not yet developed in the faith to entertainment promoting magic consistent with teaching them in the way they should go? If their imaginations are filled with magic and sorcery are they learning to love God with all their heart and all their minds and all their souls, to know love and serve Him in this life so that they might be happy with Him in Heaven forever?

    We should not teach them to delight in that which will destroy them.

    As parents, or any adult responsible for the welfare of children, it is our primary obligation to make sure we give successive generations everything they need to successfully navigate the tumultuous waters of this life so that they might find safe harbor in the next. Magic sinks their boat.

  15. Kent Wendler says:

    Semper Gumby and KateD:

    You are both doing precisely what I criticized in my second paragraph: conflating two different things that have the same name. Like those two priests. And fan fiction is irrelevant, beyond Rowling’s control. I suppose that “real people” being unable to distinguish between reality and fiction might be problematic, but that extends way, waay beyond Harry Potter – it is apparently saturating the whole “real world” also.

    And again, neither of you accuse Marvel’s “mutants” of diabolism.

    You do distinguish between the sources (in the real world) of the effects, the miraculous (from God, thus good), and the diabolic. Sometimes they can be hard for an observer to discern.

    You also understandably miss the implications of my last paragraph, which I address in a little more detail at a Catholic forum .

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    Kent Wendler: At ease with the Vanity.

    “You are both doing precisely what I criticized in my second paragraph: conflating two different things that have the same name.”

    Nope, you’re wrong. As for your “criticism”: it’s irrelevant- particularly since you are interested in flogging your pet theory about quantum mechanics.

    “Like those two priests.”

    Careful there Mac, they have experienced and know far more about this topic than you.

    “And fan fiction is irrelevant, beyond Rowling’s control.”

    You misread something. Note that fansites and other sources are not the same as fan fiction.

    “I suppose that “real people” being unable to distinguish between reality and fiction might be problematic, but that extends way, waay beyond Harry Potter – it is apparently saturating the whole “real world” also.”

    Thanks, now you’re getting the point. Note that for some fiction is indeed their reality. Bit of a problem, that is. One of the many legitimate criticisms of Rowling and Harry Potter is precisely that.

    “And again, neither of you accuse Marvel’s “mutants” of diabolism.”

    So what. I also didn’t accuse Rocky and Bullwinkle of “diabolism,” or Sonny and Cher. Furthermore, it is permissible to have little or no knowledge of your “Marvel’s mutants” or care about those things. Your casual mention of “Marvel’s mutants” with no explanation says something about yourself.

    “You do distinguish between the sources (in the real world) of the effects, the miraculous (from God, thus good), and the diabolic. Sometimes they can be hard for an observer to discern.”

    Ah, but the skilled and crafty Kent Wendler is always discerning, and in his Great Generosity is willing to toss a Bread Crumb from Atop the Lofty Perch.

    “You also understandably miss the implications of my last paragraph, which I address in a little more detail at a Catholic forum.”

    Nice try. You seem not to have outgrown your affection for Harry Potter, and perhaps that mutant thing you mentioned. Immaturity, and dismissal of two experienced exorcists, speaks volumes. The suggestion here is that if you want others to take an interest in your quantum mechanics musings, disagree and debate all you want, but lower the vanity.

    One more thing. Pay attention to valid concerns of parents. Read Kate D’s comment again. Cheers.

  17. Semper Gumby says:

    IaninEngland and Suburbanbanshee: Good points.

  18. KateD says:

    Hiya Kent,

    I’m sorry, I’m not all that familiar with the XMen.
    But if their abilities are derived from genetic mutations, as you said, then wouldn’t that make those hypothetical capabilities part of the physical world? So we would be talking about natural talents, not supernatural phenomena.

    Human beings are rather unique in the fact that their minds are not fully formed at birth, but rather continue to grow until the age of 22. During that time the mind is very maleable and the younger individual is not as capable of making as concrete of analysis of events and circumstances as an adult is. And younger children do indeed have difficulty differentiating between fantasy and reality. That’s why it’s so important for those responsible for the healthy development of young minds to be careful as to what anchild is exposed to.

    Do you have a FSSP parish near by? Perhaps they have a bible study or men’s group you might join? If not my teenage son does a thing that I think is kind of cool and would like to try to do myself some day…Every night before he goes to bed he reads just 10 minutes of the bible.

    I’m sure there has been discussion in here before about what’s the best Catholic version. We use the RSV, but we also are using a homeschool catechesis program that explains things about the language and culture that aren’t intuitive to the modern reader. By doing this and attending Mass frequently and keeping up on confession, we allow God to speak directly to us via His Word. Also if you have the big green Catechism of the Catholic Church…reading a bit of that, especially the bit about the virtues, each day is also helpful in properly forming one’s conscience.

    You seem to be really interested in the spiritual life and the super natural…may I recommend the Anne Catherine Emmerich books? They are loaded with super natural stuff…but miracles not magic. I have found reading her accounts of things she’s seen in visions has helped me to feel closer to the Holy Family and live a holier life. The lives of saints in general tend to be good reads, because they have been there and done that…successfully. Also, the saints give us a good example of how we should treat the topic of the supernatural.

    I guess what I’m getting at is…everyone loves to get into a good book and with the limited time one has available to them, it can be filed to overflowing with some great works that also help to form a solidly Catholic conscience.

    I’d love to hear your feedback as to what you think of Anne Catherine Emmerich.

    In the mean time…God bless and good luck.

  19. KateD says:

    In my opinion Harry Potter targets children and it encourages them to dive into the deep end of the p…..ACIFIC OCEAN….like the Mariana’s Trench and to swim with Leviathans and Megalodons when they are not yet ready to be even in the kiddie pool with out floaties and an adult nearby.

    It’s reminds me of what happened to the men of the USS Indianapolis.

  20. GregB says:

    Demonologist Adam Blai has a video on YouTube titled “EWTN On Location – 2016-01-02 – Exorcism In The Modern Church And How To Keep The Doors To The Demonic Closed” where he goes into demons manifesting physical phenomena.
    He says that demons were given various abilities at their creation by which they were to serve God before they rebelled and fell. He addresses many of the points raised in the comments.

  21. Lurker 59 says:

    As to the question of Harry Potter being in the book — having received a copy, the answer is no. Fr. Ermatinger does not look at magic in fiction but magic in real life. It is a good book, people should read it.

    @Kent — Not sure if you are up on your X-Men/Marvel Superhero/Fantasy as you assume you are. Not to derail the conversation, one has to make a distinction in fiction between 1.) natural abilities 2.) technology so advanced that it appears to be magic 3.) arcane magic. In Harry Potter, there is a genetic variance between magic users and muggles, but the magic that is done is arcane/occult is origin, not from the exercise of natural abilities.

    It is also sort of important to be able to distinguish from extra ordinary things of the saints (bilocation as an example), the gifts of the Holy Spirit, natural abilities, and attempts at using spiritual abilities that don’t belong to you (magic).

    As to your last paragraph on QM, angelic beings don’t gain knowledge about the material world through “observation”, so their turning their intellect to a particular instance of the material world, isn’t going to impact the quantum state of the particular instance.

  22. Semper Gumby says:

    GregB: That is an interesting video. Blai mentions that other religions such as Hinduism and Islam have exorcists. He tactfully states that the most difficult cases among non-Christians and Protestants are referred to Catholic exorcists. About ten minutes in Blai mentions the EWTN website, this is to what he is referring:

    (Also if I recall from viewing this some time ago, Blai mentions “Thomas” several times, he’s referring to Thomas Aquinas.)

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    A few more items relevant to this topic and Rudolf Steiner (see above).

    – Rudolf Steiner, Lecture IV, Dornach, 29 September 1922:

    “I have been speaking to you about the secrets connected with the mummy and with cult and rites, indicating how the mummy enshrined secrets of antiquity before the Mystery of Golgotha…”

    “If you were to ask people today whether they have ever seen Spiritual Beings weaving and streaming through rituals and ceremonies in Churches or Lodges, you would find that this is never the case. In these ritualistic enactments today there is no more spiritual life than there was life in the Egyptian mummy of the human being who had been mummified. But inasmuch as these rituals were preserved, as the form of the human body was preserved in the Egyptian mummy, inasmuch as human enactments and rites were preserved by tradition- “mummified”, as it were- something was preserved that can and will be wakened into life when men have discovered how to bring into all their deeds the power that streams from the Mystery of Golgotha.”

    “Thus we can point to the Mystery of Golgotha as a glorious climax, just as teaching in days of old culminated in the revelation of the ether-body assuming the shape of a mummy and then immediately changing into a form resembling that of the human physical body. But I have emphasised over and over again that man will have to re-establish his connection with the spiritual world if the earth is to attain its goal. Just as the predecessors of the Egyptians, perceiving the breath and its expansion in the organism, inwardly experienced a nascent mummy-formation and its immediate re-transformation, so, in the future, men must perceive in the out-breathing process, in the passing of the out-breathed air into cosmic space, the communication to cosmic space of what takes shape within the human organism, the spiritualisation of the environment through the human being himself. The ancient Egyptians said: The mummy represents a form which the human being strives inwardly and spiritually to assume with every indrawn breath. Initiates of the future will say: Every out-breathing is a manifestation of man’s striving to become a cosmos, a whole world.”

    – “Sabine Bernschneider-Reif, head of Corporate History at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, remembers finding a glass box encased in wood on one of her first days on the job in Darmstadt in 1999. “Crammed into the box were two heads, a bandaged of feet, and a single uncovered foot,” she recalls. She was not shocked by this discovery. Thanks to her degree in pharmacology and Ph.D. in the history of pharmacology, she was familiar with its label, Mumia vera aegyptiaca. “Mummy parts from Egypt were used as medicine until the early 20th century,” she explains. As late as 1924, a kilogram of mummy powder cost 12 gold marks, according to the price list of Firma E. Merck Darmstadt, Germany.”

    – Rudolf Steiner, Lecture XII, Leipzig, 14 September 1908 (“The Christ Impulse”), with its reference to the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead (more accurately: “The Book of Coming Forth by Day”) and Spell 125 (“The Negative Confession”):

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