Garbage In, Godless Out
All I hear is pounding inside the garage. I go in, and he’s torn a hole in the wall with a sledge hammer, looking for the “murphy bed.” Needless to say, we don’t have a murphy bed in the garage -- or anyplace else, for that matter -- but Dupree is confused and agitated, because he thinks he’s back in the last place he stayed in Baton Rouge, in our great auntie Cile's basement. So now I’ve got an extra window in the garage, and meanwhile, I have to attend another all-day seminar today while atheists flock here liked rodents to an offal dump. Now, I hardly blame rodents for being attracted to offal dumps, but the problem is, they don’t know the difference between that and a banquet table, and in so doing, turn the latter into the former.
Just what is the militant atheist's claim? It is not quite accurate, is it, to say that he knows something we don’t, for he specifically claims to not know what we do know; and furtherless, that his metaphysical ignorance represents a superior form of knowledge. That ignorance is not knowledge -- let alone truth -- let further alone Ultimate Truth -- eludes them entirely, even if one can be sympathetic to their view that authentic ignorance is preferable to what they necessarily regard as false knowledge (which, were that true, is no knowledge at all).
The atheist believes that reason obliges one to deny God, but this represents a most limited and facile understanding of reason, since reason can only work with sources that are not supplied by reason in its narrowly construed understanding.
There are two distinct forms of ignorance, an active variety and a passive one. As it so happens, tolerating one’s not-knowing is an indispensable step on the way to genuine knowledge of any kind. However, it cannot be a permanent phase, for the simple reason that generative “not-knowing” in any discipline is guided by a telos that will eventually fill out this unsaturated container with content.
Put it this way: an a-theist is no different than an “a” anything -- for he is a self-confessed ontological adolescent, in the sense that human beings (analogous to, but also very different from, other living things) point toward their own completion, whereas the atheist forms his identification around what he is not: a theist. As any parent of a two year-old can tell you, it is very easy to no! what you are not.
Now, knowledge is a grace, which is to say mercy. It certainly does not have to be, and yet it is. That there exists a primate capable of knowing absolute truth absolutely is proof enough for me -- albeit, a preluminary truth -- that any materialistic philosophy is hopelessly self-refuting. Again, the hiatus between the most lofty animal and the lowliest bacon-loving atheist is nevertheless absolute, which is why we may say -- insist, even -- that his every blasphemy only praises God. He is his own doorway that leads straight out of a crude and reductionist Darwinism, for while human beings may easily comprehend the truth in natural selection, natural selection can never comprehend the truth that is in man--that is man.
Naturally, there was a time that I did not know. Like our militant atheists, I was ignorant of my ignorance, and instead knew that I knew. For me, the key out of the closed world of my own nervous system was to encounter a being who did know, and to tolerate the considerable gap between his knowledge and my ignorance. This gap is known as “faith” in its dynamic and generative aspect, and is the critical component in acquiring metaphysical knowledge that is rooted in being, not just the “head.”
It must be jarring to a pork-loving atheistic renaissance man to be the proud possessor of a triple digit IQ and therefore absolute knowledge and truth, only to stumble upon a community of souls who reject his facile pseudo-philosophy as the commonest stupidity. What? How can this be! My MENSA friends assured me that my superior intelligence was the guarantor of absolute truth!
In reality, there are by definition as many ways to prove the existence of God as there are human beings. One could say the same thing about the unconscious, which no other human being can discover for you. Therapy can naturally help, but only to assist you in making the discovery yourself.
But the atheist is an egomaniacal control freak who refuses to see that we do not control the unconscious. Rather, he is just like the obsessive-compulsive patient who attempts to colonize the unconscious mind with a grid of mere conscious knowledge. It can accurately be described as egoic imperialism, and it works both ways, above and below. For the ego can “comprehend” neither the unconscious “below” nor the Spirit “above” (this is a simplification, for many aspects of the “unconscious” are highly conscious and “above,” for example, the dreamer who dreams the dream). Instead, the idea is for the ego to be conquered by the divine. To the extent that we do not participate in this profoundly mysterious process, we are all the poorer for it. Or, let us say, the proud ego becomes wealthy while the spirit goes begging for crumbs of bacon.
In order to grow spiritually, we must become supple and receptive, and yield to powers that are largely unpredictable and beyond our control. This is something the hypertrophied ego of the atheist cannot do for whatever developmental reason, if only because the humility is intolerable and readily slides into shame. Thus, they cannot know what it means to abandon oneself to something infinitely higher and greater. In maintaining the postmodern superstition that they are the sole authors of their own lives, they miss out on the adventure of a lifetime. As one can see, the spiritual impoverishment radiates (as if darkness could radiate) from their very manner of expression. They exalt in their own misplaced egoic exaltation, which amounts to the most unsophisticated form of idol worship.
As I predicted several posts back, the atheists cannot stay away from this site for the simple reason that the atheist necessarily projects his religious “shadow” (to employ Jung’s terminology) into the theist, where he may engage it through proxy. You might say that they see in us a pneumagraphic negative of themselves--a shadow of their own inner fire. Naturally the image is distorted through repression and projection, which is why none of us recognize to the crude and childish religious image being projected onto us.
The crudeness and childishness most certainly exist, but in the projector, not projectee. This is elementary. It is also alimentary, rooted in the most primitive oral and anal psychodynamics. This is a topic for another post, but those who have been following this debate and have ears to hear will most certainly know what I am talking about. You are what you feed.
Sadly, as Jung understood, one of the reasons why “shadow work” is so critical to psychological development is that the alchemical gold is found in the shadow. Is this not obvious? The atheists project a part of themselves into us, but in so doing, reject their most vital and precious aspect -- something of great beauty and value, now rendered ugly and worthless. Pity, really.
Now, there is a proper form of projection that is required (not always, but generally) for spiritual development. That is, we all must find the mentor -- living or “dead,” it does not matter -- who represents the projection and the attractor of what we are to become. He or she is your unrealized self, projected onto someone who has realized it. There are many forms of realization, and I imagine that this blog specifically appeals to people who share similar “spiritual histories.”
For example, I did not know my Minister of Doctrinal Enforcement before he staggered in from the cold into our warm little inn a number of months ago. And yet, what is so remarkable is the close correlation of our beliefs, not just the broad strokes, but many fine and subtle details. This, even though we arrived at our respective deustinotions through largely divergent paths.
And yet, here we are, all of us, shaking hands atop the mountain, while at the same time regarding with sacred awe the even more towering peak that stands before us.
Naturally we cannot help seeing the valley dwellers below, who seem content to live with their noses to the ground, occasionally pausing to look up and remark about the cloud cover that obscures the mountain top. We have no quarrel with the contented valley dwellers. However, more than a few remind us of a bucket of crabs who instinctively pull down any of their brethren who try to climb out. To call such a crabbed existence “philosophy” is to celebrate the state of being a raging animal inside a dying carcass, as one metaphysical wag put it. I can’t say I really blame them for being drawn to this site. There is no envy like spiritual envy.
This I know: beauty enters as the ego falters. The cosmos is a circle that opens in man and closes in the Divine Being, however you understand it. We are the two-way mirror through which the sacred projects itself, and which stimulates the spontaneous response of adoration, devotion, and yes, submission. But if you align yourself with these forces of your own destiny, you will discover that the sub-mission of the ego is a super-mission of the Self, as -- surprise of surprises -- you pull the sword of life from the stone of death. For we do not merely dream to live, but we live to dream, and we build by day the dream body we shall wear when the sun has set and no man can work.
O mighty atheist, knower of all, you are already whole! Why dost thou need this asswholier-than-thou-physician?