Secret Movements of the Heart of Man

Translated from Letter to a Friend, or Political, philosophical, and religious considerations on the French Revolution by Louis Claude de Saint-Martin. (French title: Lettre à un ami ou Considérations politiques, philosophiques et religieuses sur la Révolution française.

Here he points out that the Truth must be first found in the spirit and heart of man, by introspection; this Truth is anterior to the traditions, and confirms what he is taught in Tradition. This comes without effort.

[25] So the elements, air, sound, time, weather, languages, math, the close alliance which is found among the good and base customs of natural and civil society, the political institutions whose invention belongs to us less that we believe, since we can create nothing, history of the human race, the same scene of his prejudices and his universal errors in which one would have probably found a fixed residue, if one gave himself the necessary time and attention to let its volatile and the heterogeneous parts evaporate, the inexpressible and secret movements of the heart of man, especially that type of holy veneration by which he is seized when he contemplates his own grandeur, and which, in spite of his crimes, darkness, and deviations, reveals it to himself like a naked God, (allow me the term) like a God ashamed, who blushes to find himself exiled on the earth, who weeps from the inability to show himself in it in his true and sublime form, and who is more reserved and more embarrassed again in the face of virtue. Here are the paths in which the thought of man had been able to find as many religions, that is, as many of the means to unite to himself his intelligence, his spirit, and his heart as the only source from which he descends, and without which there is no peace for him; because while carefully roaming over these paths, he could not fail to meet the one who belongs to him, and who would have led him infallibly to his end.

[26] I warn you, my friend, that with so many gifts which are offered to the observers to support their religious principles, I am pained by never seeing them employ any of them, and abandon them all to resort to books and miracles. The sacred books that they quote to us, are naturally at such a distance from the belief and thought of man, that it is not astonishing to see them miss their target with identical weapons. The verities which he is concerned about are anterior to all books: if one does not begin by teaching man to read these verities in his being, in his mysterious circumstances in opposition to the thirst of his heart for the light, finally in the movement and the play of his own faculties, he grasped them poorly in his books: instead that if, by the active inspection of his own nature, he already saw himself as what he is, and foresaw what he can be, he receives without effort the confirmations that he can find of them in the traditions, and which serves only as the support of an already existing fact and recognized by him.

[27] All the more, it is also like that with miracles: I believe that it is a word that one would never have pronounced before man without having previously begun to attempt to discover the key to his being. One can never repeat it too much, it is in him, and in him alone, that man can find the understanding of all miracles; because if he had once glimpsed the miracle of his own nature, there would no longer have been anything about them which can surprise him.