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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not reason, but faith, 23 May 2012
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is a great text about the human condition, but the proposed solutions are in no way `human'.

The way of the world
J. Comenius sees in the marketplace of the world that all people wear masks. `In place of Justice, Injustice reigns; your Watchfulness is Suspicion; your Affability is Flattery; your Truth is mere Appearance; your Love is Lust; your Diligence is Slavery; your Piety is Hypocrisy'.
All professions are thoroughly scrutinized. J. Comenius finds only delusion and deception: philosophers `diverting form and substance, until only being remained'; politicians `say one thing and do another'; the ruling class `obtained their seats by bribery, begging, flattery or force. Look at the corruption!'; the clergy indulge `in lechery and wantonness, stuffing their purses, (they are) fathers of revenue'; the Christians `drank and vomited, fought, defrauded and stole.'

Death
`Even standing in the face of Death, all behave as if certain of immortality.' But, Death, drawing arrows, shot young, old, poor, rich, learned and ignorant. `She strangled and suffocated the rich with their chains; she poured poison into the delicacies of the hedonists; she threw down the famous so that their skulls cracked.'

Freedom, Puritanism, communism
For J. Comenius, faith is `complete freedom of the mind' and `freedom is not to be self-willed'. `Faith alone is sufficient for all certainty'.
J. Comenius believes in the theory of the original sin : `the flesh by its natural disinclination toward the good.' He is also heavily influenced by Puritanism in sexual (`that their marriage was not much different from chastity') and social (for the working class, `the less drudgery the more vice and fraud') matters.
His ideal is pure communism: `among themselves they all treated their possessions just as those sitting at a common table all use the provisions with equal right.'

His solution: escapism
`Whatever the world does, says, threatens, promises, commands, begs, advises, or compels, (the enlightened Christian) does not allow himself to be moved.' `If the powerful of the world wrangle and quarrel over crowns and scepters, which lead to bloodshed and the destruction of countries and lands, the enlightened Christian is not troubled about this. He considers it of little importance who rules the world.'

Fundamental contradiction
But, who made this rotten world? J. Comenius says it himself: `there is only One who is higher than we - the Lord, our Maker.' (!) `I saw that all people, whether good or bad, live and move and have their being only in God and by God, for their every motion and breath proceed from God and his power.' `All things, from the greatest to the smallest, happened only through his will'.(!)

John Comenius wrote a harsh and merciless dissection of the way of the world with images worth a Jheronimus Bosch. He forgets, however, that, according to his vision, this world was made by his own God. Moreover, a totally irrational ostrich behavior is in no way a medicine for the sicknesses of the world. But, J. Comenius is a fatalist, because for him man is infected by the original sin.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend this astonishing text.
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