Tomberg on the Idol of Power

Bruce Michael

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Valentin Tomberg in his Meditations on the Tarot has some wise words to say on this subject:

"Amongst esotericists, occultists and magicians there are many- be it openly or secretly- who aspire to the ideal of the superman. In the meantime, they often pose as masters or high-priests worthy of the acclaim of the future superman. They are, at the same time, singularly in agreement in that they raise God far, very far, to the heights of Absolute Abstraction so that he
does not discomfort them by his too-concrete presence, and in order that they have room for themselves to be able to develop their own greatness without the rival grandeur of the Divine to discomfort them. They build their individual towers of Babel which fall, as a rule, according to the law of all towers of Babel, and experience, sooner or later, a salutary fall, as is the teaching of the sixteenth Card of the Tarot. They do not fall from a real height into a real abyss; it is only from an imaginary height that they fall and they fall only to the ground, i.e. they learn the lesson that we human beings of today have all learned or have still to learn.

The worship of the idol of power conceived of as the superman, above all when one identifies oneself with it, is relatively inoffensive - being, fundamentally, infantile. But this is not so with the other category of power worshippers, namely those who project this ideal onto God himself.
Their faith in God depends on the power of God; if God was powerless, they would not believe in him. It is they who teach that God has created souls predestined to eternal damnation and others predestined to salvation; it is they who make God responsible forth entire history of the human race, including all its atrocities. God, they say, "chastises" his disobedient children by means of wars, revolutions, tyrannies and other similar things. How could it be otherwise? God is almighty, therefore all that happens is only able to happen through his action or with his consent.

The idol of power has such a hold on some human minds that they prefer God who is a mixture of good and evil, provided that he is powerful, to a God of love who governs only by the intrinsic authority of the Divine - by truth, beauty and goodness - i.e. they prefer a God who is actually almighty to the crucified God."
Not everyone believes in the Doctrines of Calvinistic Predeterminism. Some of us believe that while God is powerful, He is also very patient in using that power. When Peter cut off the servant of the high priest's ear in the Garden during the arrest of Jesus, did not Jesus tell him, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt 26:53)

The only way for God to rid the world of wars and atrocities is to wipe out the world, for as long as there is unregenerate man, sin will reign. The fact that He has waited this long is a sign of mercy and patience. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

Chastisement does not come in the form of wars, revolutions, tyrannies, or tragedies, as Jesus in Luke 13:1-5 teaches us:

"There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

Rather God chastens each child individually in the confines of the human heart, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit ("...Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts" - Zech. 4:6). Granted, He might use tragedies to bring people to Him, but He is not out to get people, as some after 9/11 would suppose. Take the example of Job. Though God allowed those things to happen to Job, it was Satan's perogative to cause the destruction, but even then he (Satan) was limited in what God allowed.

I don't worship power. I thank God that He is all-powerful, but it isn't His power that attracted me to Him. It was His Love that did me in.