The Post-Conciliar Theater

Mr. Kotlarczyk's book The Art of the Living Word (in Polish: Sztuka żywego słowa)has got a foreword by the Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla, written in Rome in November 1974 when Cardinal Wojtyla went to Rome for a synod of bishops on "new" evangelization in the modern world. The above foreword begins from the words: " writing these words at the beginning of the three-part work of Dr. Mieczysław Kotlarczyk, I wish to repay the debt of gratitude that I owed to the Author from a young age ... I have known him as the pioneer of the original theater in the noblest meaning of that word...

As Cardinal Wojtyla continues: "a living Polish word has always remained a central task and a central achievement of Mieczysław Kotlarczyk's theater" because "only such a word has a lasting power in creating culture and educating the young generation".

Let us see then what "living word" was propagated by Mr. Kotlarczyk in his book promoted by the successor of St. Stanislaus the martyr. The third part of the book The Art of the Living Word Kotlarczyk entitled The Magic - in a way that has nothing to do with Catholicism, quite the opposite. That part includes statements of the theatrical mentor of the future Pope John Paul II smelling of syncretism and gnosis e.g.

“Secrets, arcana and mysteries are one of the attributes of the magic of the living word. Their gradual disclosure is the subject of this book. There is a distinction between the magic of the word - old, new and the newest. Far and Middle East has had such magic since the most ancient, distant times and it still has it today. Christianity has had it..."

Christianity, as you can see, is presented here on the same level with other "magical traditions", including much older ones. The supposed "magic of words" is also juxtaposed with local, folk "magic". The use of the term "magic of the living word" in relation to Christianity, which is based on the revelation of the true living Word, seems not only bizarre but also blasphemous. Moreover, Mr. Kotlarczyk explains that the above various traditions of "magic of the word", including the Christian one, have their common beginning. Such beginning in his book Mr. Kotlarczyk sees in eastern "yoga":

“The archetype of such magic is most likely the Vedic magic of the word, the Vedic concept of the magic structure of the word. The prototype of all the magic of the word is, let's say, the Indo-Tibetan Mantra Yoga - the Yoga of sound, the Yoga of words, or the mystical union of the microcosm with the macrocosm through the word. What does it mean?
Yoga is a perfectionist system. It is a method of human moral improvement. It is a technique, that is a set of exercises and practices that develop the spirit and lead to the achievement of the highest goal, which can only be liberation, still during this mortal life, from the labyrinth of three-dimensional existence, from the labyrinth of the great Illusion of Maya and the unification of a human being with a divine being."

Further words indicate that Mr. Kotlarczyk perfectly understands that such "yoga" is based on beliefs and principles radically different from Christianity, including pantheism:
At the basis of Yoga understood in this way, we clearly see the principle of the indigenous identity of the individual soul and the All-Spirit. The Upanishads summarize this canon in three famous words ... "You are it," that is, the Absolute to which man should strive, to which he should approach throughout his earthly life, and to which he should be continuously uniting and finally unite. The New Testament proclaims almost the same in the Gospel parable on the prodigal son who, after years of wandering and being blinded by matter, returns to the home of the longing and waiting Heavenly Father (cf. C. Bragdon, Joga, Madras 1955). Mantrams - in turn - are sacred and mystical sounds, syllables, words, sentences and stanzas from the Vedas or Upanishads, expressing the reality of the highest All..."

Mr. Kotlarczyk further explains the role of voice and tone as "energy" allowing for "magical power not only over matter" and their "sacred" character:
"Vibrations, sound waves and tones emanating from mantrams are forms of energy with incredible magical power not only over matter. They conceal a mysterious power of sacred formulas and spells, and thus an evocative power that releases hidden supernatural spiritual forces of a person; the power that releases the resonance of the highest strings of the human psyche, which opens the gates of Infinity to this psyche. "

As an authority in the above-mentioned field, Mr. Kotlarczyk mentions the theosophist and occultist Helen Blavatsky:
“H. Blavatsky, the initiator of the Hindu-based theosophical movement in the world, writes: 'The language of spells or chants, or mantrams as they are called in India', their sound is 'the most powerful and effective magical factor and the first of the keys opening the gate of communication between mortals and Immortals' (Secret Science, India 1957)."

For the author of "The Art of the Living Word", the yogi mantras are the equivalent in terms of their character and effect, i.e. the sense of the "cosmic spiritual Proto-tone" - the impersonal and pantheistic "absolute":
“The Mantra Yoga or the Yoga of sound is the unification of man with the Absolute through sound. Through sound-word and sound-word complexes or mantrams. It is the unification of the microcosm with the macrocosm through the word, the unifcation of the microcosmic word with the macrocosmic Word. The fundamental principle of Mantra Yoga is the mysticality and magic of the word... In a modern book on mysticism and magic, we read: 'Mantra Yoga teaches penetration into higher spiritual spheres by focusing the self on the powers of sound that, as a reflection of the divine Logos, are living and acting in man'... The purpose of such concentration, meditation or contemplation, practiced by adepts and masters of Mantra Yoga, is reaching the Proto-vibration that sounded before centuries; to hear that elusive, yet powerful, cosmic, spiritual Proto-tone within your, in your self and to experience in your spirit the 'thrill of the word' flowing from the above. The contemplation of the word, the holy mantram: AUM (OM), which means 'all that was, is and will be', which is the name of the Absolute, the way to know the Absolute and the Absolute itself, plays an extraordinary role here. The names-symbols of this mantram are: Pre-Cause - Power - Rhythm - Being - Life - Law - Light - Love - Eternity - Divinity. The vibrations of this mantram (the equivalent of the biblical AMEN) are at the same time the key to the secrets of the genesistic, creationist Proto-vibration (cf. J.G. Pawlikowski: Mistyka Słowackiego, 1909, Lama A. Govinda: Grundlagen tibetischer Mystik, 1957)"

Mr. Kotlarczyk in his book also draws attention to the role of "chakras" in that "magic of word and sound" and "energy" "from outside of the physical world" associated with them:
"On the wings of this mystical sound-mantrami, like on a radiant chariot, the yogi can rise as high as possible, above the peaks of Everest, fly 'where the Creator and nature border' and peer into the Infinite, to meet there, in a moment of trance and extasy, to touch and to unite with the Proto-vibration, with the Proto-tone of the Universe, with the ancient, macrocosmic Fiat... In the process of picking up vibrations of the highest scales and with the highest dimensions, an important role - according to the Hindu esoteric tradition - is played by certain points-centers located in the invisible part of the human body, in the etheric body. These centers are called chakras. They act as receivers, transformers and transmitters of cosmic, astral, solar and planetary energy. In the above case, as receivers, transformers and transmitters of the Pre-vibration. Radiation of such vibrations from above the physical world, their emanation from the ecstatic recitation of mantrams is precisely the magic of Mantra Yoga."

According to the book of Mr. Kotlarczyk, with the favourable foreword by the future Pope, the Japanese esoteric theater No is also "a gift for... the world's religious culture", worth transplanting into Europe :

“Moving from India to the Land of the Rising Sun, we encounter on the way of our quest, first of all, the No. That sacred, temple, esoteric theater is Japan's most beautiful gift for the poetic, mystery, and religious culture of the world... The actors-priests of the No theater prepare themselves for the performance-rite with fasts. On the mystery stage, they cease to exist as individuals. They must forget about themselves. They strive not to be themselves, they strive to lose themselves, their ego... The radiation of the No theater, especially through its choirs, was understood by the exceptional enthusiast of this theater, Paul Claudel, like hardly anyone in Europe. For him, the psalmodic choirs of the No Theater were magnetic fields, from which waves of high, highest tensions spread to the audience, enveloping auditories in a trance... This was the word in the sacred, esoteric theater of the Japanese. This is what one of the greatest modern creators of European religious theater wrote about his aura. And these are the secrets of the magical power of the Japanese No theater."

From the sphere of Japanese esotericism, Mr. Kotlarczyk, in his Opus takes us into the world of the miraculous "magic" of Islam:
“The recitation of the Koran, performed either by muezzins, the 'callers' from the minaret, or by the faithful in a mosque or outside a mosque, plays an extremely important role in the ritual of Islam. Every Muslim is obliged at this point to face Mecca, a place not only most sacred to every follower of Muhammad, but also one of the seven magnetic centers of the world. In Mecca there is an Arab sanctuary, the Kaaba temple, and in it the famous black meteorite stone with miraculous, magical magnetic power, able to magnetize the prayers of faithful pilgrims. Those pilgrims, according to the canons of the Prophet's faith, should at least once in their lives visit this holy place, and, in the highest concentration and exultation, not only recite in the procession around the Kaaba, the verses of the Quran, but also, falling on their faces, utter in a trance 99 mystical names of Alla .

This liturgical spectacle and play make an indelible impression on Europeans. It impresses them, captivates them with its magnetic, magical power of expression. It fascinates with the experience that faithful to the worship of Allah succumb to. The expression of the highest power and might of Allah, His greatest work is the Word, the pre-existent: "Become!". Everything in the Quran - 'the cathedral of the word of God', is also the word of Allah. All angelic choirs sing its suras (chapters) on solemn days in heaven."

Note that from the recognition of the Quran, in certo modo - I will quote the favorite modernist reservation - as "the chair of the word of God", there is only one step to adore and respect it as the source of the "energy" uniting with God. And to show such respect and adoration perhaps by kissing 'the cathedral of the word of God'.

From Islam, Mr. Kotlarczyk takes his readers into the realm of Christianity - juxtaposed as one of many similar realities with other religious and esoteric systems:

"Just as the Indian mantrams reflect the archetypes living in the vast expanses of the Akasha, just as the No theater is a reflection of the invisible spheres, and the reading of the Quran is a reflection of the reading of its verses by the hierarchies of angels in heaven - likewise according to the most ancient tradition - the liturgy of the Eastern and Western Church is a reflection of the heavenly liturgy constantly taking place in the afterlife. This is her mysticism, and from here comes and flows her magic... The Greek: 'Kyrie eleison' - Old Slavic: 'Hospody pomyluj' - in the Eastern liturgy serves as a key mantram-spell. It is supposed to draw fountains of grace to the altars and prayers, making and exerting a moving impression on the audience..."

As we can see - Mr. Kotlarczyk treats the above prayer bluntly here as "magic" and "spell", which is supposed to make "a moving impression on the audience".

Mr. Kotlarczyk also reaches for Polish "romantic" occultism and esotericism of the 19th century:

“A peculiarly Polish form of magic was the Vilnius Radiant movement. Mystic, magical idealist and Mesmer enthusiast in one person was the initiator and creator of this movement, its program and direction of activity... He called magnetic fluid, magnetic fluids "promionki", understanding them as forces that 'play the role of invisible networks connecting individual individuals . They are like invisible wires through which the spiritual current runs from one individual to another. And this is where Zan enters the field of spiritualist magnetism'... The promionki in this interpretation are sparks from the ray of divine wisdom, elements of the world of ideals, the world of spirit. Their emanation is the atmosphere-aura surrounding a given unit... Who knows, Was the name of the hero of 'Dziady' written in Dresden not intended to commemorate this very 'Arch-Radiant'? After all, Kepinski wrote recently: 'Let us note that the name Konrad-Conradus can be understood as Con-rad'us and Conradius, and the radius element hidden in it - the ray - defines him as a human, which is perfectly embedded in the biography of young Mickiewicz' ... There was another mystic, endowed with an extremely suggestive power of influence through the word, which exerted a unique influence on the spirituality of our Romantic culture. This time it had a huge impact, both on Mickiewicz and on the last period of Slowacki's work. The test of these suggestive powers of the word was both the flame of the Paris lectures, as well as of Father Marek, Samuel Zborowski and the King-Ghost. Connected with the Bible, with the Apocalypse and with rabbinical and kabbalistic writings. A. Towianski was a fascinating man..."

Here - when it comes to the unfortunate influence of Towianski and his sect on the Polish "romantic seers" and their work - we must agree with Mr. Kotlarczyk.

Summing up his "holistic" lecture about the "magic of the living word" in different religions and cultures, Mr. Kotlarczyk emphasizes the role of the artist - the actor who interacts word in a magical way, within the framework of one or another religion, and at the same time by using the "magic of the living word" is a mystic - again regardless of one religion or another:

“All the examples quoted in this chapter, from the Far and Middle Eastern, Christian and Polish art of the word, testify to the action of the word. They fall within the scope of the magic of the living word... A word that works magically, a word experienced as the most effective point or field of spiritual strength - never comes from the mouth of a random person. The artist of such a word is a deliberate, designated and marked man, called and chosen at the same time... He becomes, he is, a messenger of the Word... One of our most outstanding aesthetes of the interwar period wrote: ' Thinkers of the great fame like Platon, Plotinos, Hegel, Schelling, Schopenhauer and, in a way, Kant, see the artist's work as a symptom of some extraordinary, mysterious, almost divine strength.' .. It's hard to say whether the trance and ecstasy are a consequence of inspiration, or the inspiration is a consequence of trance and ecstasy; or whether trance and ecstasy are higher degrees of inspiration, or is inspiration a higher degree of trance and ecstasy; or else whether trance and ecstasy are the pinnacle of inspiration, or the inspiration is the height of trance and ecstasy. Anyway, all three phenomena act as a set of necessary coefficients of the magic of the living word...
Trance is a magnetic state, a state of magnetic sleep that sometimes turns into a state of somnambulism, and somnambulism is in turn a state of magnetic sleep, a magnetic state that can sometimes take the form of a trance... Ecstasy is a state of the highest spiritual tension, a magnetic, metapsychic state .... The symbolic peak for Christian mysticism is often Mount Carmel, and for Hindu mysticism - the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest... "

The fact that Christian mystics traveled to Mount Carmel to meet God, and the Himalayan peaks were the seats of false, pagan gods identified with these peaks, did not, as can be seen, for Mr. Kotlarczyk, who was looking for similarities of different "phenomena", had no meaning.

Instead the summary of this text I would like to link the video which, in my humble opinion, is a valid example of "art" or "magic" "of the Living Word" theory at work (Madison Square Garden, New York, 1979):