segunda-feira, 28 de dezembro de 2015

Bô Yin Râ, by Rom Landau, em 1935

Rom Landau, discípulo do Divino....
Publicada em 1935 esta pequena apreciação e biografia de Bô Yin Râ num capítulo do livro "Deus é a minha aventura", no qual R. Landau descreve os seu encontros com alguns mestres ou sábios, de Gurdjieff a Rudolf Steiner passando por Keyserling e Krishamurti. Há tradução francesa....
From the book "God is my Adventure" (1935) by Rom Landau, (Romauld (Rom) (1899–1974). «He was born in Poland, but later became a British citizen whilst serving as a volunteer in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He was a sculptor, author, educator, Foreign Service officer, and a specialist on Arab and Islamic culture. His particular area of interest was Morocco. He was also an art critic and book reviewer for several newspapers and periodicals»

CHAPTER II
EPISODES IN MODERN LIFE
Stefan George and Bô Yin Râ
(...)
«The editor of a newspaper to which I was a contributor one day handed me a slender volume, bound in red paper, and asked me whether I would care to write a review of it. He thought that I might be interested in 'that sort of thing* (Esoteric, having a secret meaning. Esoteric teaching is only given to initiates or specially prepared disciples). One or two other people in the editorial office had refused to write the review, and the editor himself felt that he could not deal with it. The book had been sent personally to the editor by its author, Felix Weingartner, the celebrated composer and conductor. The editor had a greater admiration for Herr Weingartner's musical gifts than for his spiritual and literary activities, which left him slightly bewildered. The book was called Bô Yin Râ, and I took it home to read.
The three syllables Bô Yin Râ meant nothing to me at the time, but Herr Weingartner's name was a guarantee that some quality might be expected. The book contained the story of the conversion
to a new creed of one of the most distinguished musicians of the day, together with an enthusiastic account of that creed and of its founder, hidden behind the exotic name Bo Yin Ra. Even before I had finished the book I knew that I should not forget it easily, and I bought several of Bo Yin Ra's own books. Instead of writing the usual notice I asked the editor if I might write a review of four
columns, though even that length I thought at the time inadequate, and I was therefore not surprised when within a year after I had first come across the name of Bo Yin Ra I learned that his books
had become best sellers.
Most people were intrigued by the exotic name, while others were puzzled by the semi-mystical and very modern pictures with which some of the books were illustrated. It was plain from these pictures
that the author was also a painter of some distinction. It was impossible to verify who he was, and though Herr Weingartner wrote to me at great length he would not disclose anything about the
identity of his hero.
There was no school, Church or movement that bore the name of Bô Yin R. His message was contained in his little books, read with eagerness by thousands of Germans. The Book of the Living
God, The Secret, The Book of Man all of them were variations on a theme. They were meeting more than halfway the spiritual needs of a disillusioned nation, eager to forget the misery of daily life.
Bo Yin Ra's gospel might not have been accepted so willingly had it not contained various statements that suggested in his case the posession of esoteric knowledge. The promise or even the possi-
bility of such knowledge never fails to interest people. The more serious student hopes to find in it the core of certain teachings, hidden from the layman but apparently in existence since time im-
memorial; in the masses it evokes visions of supernatural power.
Bô Yin Râ claimed that his store of knowledge came from the same source as did some of the most ancient wisdoms. In several publications he was referred to as a 'Master', and he was supposed to be in constant spiritual communication with certain other 'Masters' who transmitted their secret knowledge to him. These 'Masters' were referred to as 'Sages of the East' or the 'Inner Helpers'. Though it was impossible at the time to understand fully what all such claims entailed, Bô Yin Râ at least seemed an honest man who believed in the truth of his statements.
His teaching was neither new nor startling, but it was sound, and it contained certain fundamental truths. Its main thesis was that we can find true and lasting happiness only within ourselves, and that
we must abandon the search for it in the world without. The moment we begin to listen with greater attention to ourselves we uncover those spiritual powers that create happiness. Although happiness was a definite command in Bô Yin Râ's doctrine, he did not base it on any asceticism or self-denial, but on a sensible and deliberate acceptance of life, on honest and decent living and on the absolute elimination of fear.
Bô Yin Râ did not consider himself a new prophet or messiah, but the 'mediator' between higher powers and man, who cannot find happiness in life. His object was not to persuade people but merely
to stimulate those faculties in them that are needed for the establishment of an inner harmony.
Bo Yin Ra's success was not surprising. In an existence with little material security and with just as little hope for immediate improvement, his gospel was bound to find many adherents. Most of the
other new gods Freud with his sublimations and complexes, Keyserling with his 'sense of life' and 'replacement of accents', Einstein with his incomprehensible relativity, Spengler with his intellectual pessimism, George with his poetic visions, Steiner with his startling scientific perceptions could not be enjoyed without intellectual preparation. Bô Yin Râ was easy to understand. The style of his books was almost that of books for children; no religious or intellectual conversion was required; his kind of happiness could be achieved by the rich and by the poor. Above all, he appealed to the emotions. In a way Bo Yin Ra did for many Germans what Dr. Frank Buchman tried to do ten years later for certain sections of the British public.
It did not come as a surprise to me when I found out later that Bo Yin Ra was a Bavarian painter with the prosaic name of Herr Joseph Schneiderfranken. 


Joseph Schneiderfranken was born in 1876 at Aschaffenburg in Bavaria. After various manual occupations he found the means to study painting in Munich and in Paris. He lived for a while in Greece, married, became the head of a large family, and settled down in Switzerland. He did not begin writing till he was forty, and he based his whole teaching solely on personal experience without any relation to existing doctrines or religions. He claimed that his name was not arbitrary, but that it was given to him by his ' Masters' for reasons connected with its esoteric meaning.
Though the majority of his admirers suspected behind his name a rather picturesque mystic, they responded in the first instance to that honest and unsophisticated ring in his words that never fails to
appeal to the expectations common in all men. Even in his appearance Bo Yin Ra inspired confidence. He was big and heavy, rather rough cut, of peasant features and yet of gentle expression. One easily believed that he loved few things better than climbing high mountains, planting trees in his garden, or performing manual work.
In the artificial, hectic life of post-war Germany the simple message of Bô Yin Râ was like a refreshing breeze. It satisfied certain emotions that had not found realization in any of the other creeds. We all have a first awakening in life when we turn away from our youthful egotism and feel the desire to be decent and unselfish, to help others and to create harmony within. Bo Yin Ra appealed to those instincts.
But such instincts soon lose their power if the foundations of the  message that satisfies them are solely emotional. After a period of enthusiasm I felt, like many others, that Bo Yin Ra's doctrine was
of too general a kind and that it did not satisfy the intellectual thirst, An inner transformation that touches the emotions without affecting the intellect cannot last. Nevertheless I was grateful for the laziness of my colleagues which brought me into touch with the Bavarian peasant painter Bô Yin Râ.»



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