What We Have is a Failure to Communicate
In fact, that's the hard part. We're not just talking about the distinction between "facts" and "prose," or information and rhetoric. Rather, especially when writing about spiritual matters, one must always pursue the impossible task of trying to make language conform to the object -- or Subject -- under discussion, an inexhaustible subject-object that must always elude exact description, even though it can definitely be described with exactitude.
This presupposes an ability to clearly perceive an object that transcends the physical senses. But once perceived, there is still the matter of avoiding using language in such a way that one distorts, misleads, or misinforms. Much "God talk" is just so much worthless and annoying pneumababble at best; even if technically "accurate," it is undermind and certainly heart as a result of the absence of radiance, beauty, rhythm, harmony, majesty, and other linguistic categories that transmit knowledge of God in a more direct and unmediated way -- very much in the manner that music conveys information about the very same object that it is.
In other words -- or notes -- a great work of music is at once a profound object and profound information about the object: ultimately, there is no describing the music outside its own unfolding description of itself. Thus, the musical object simultaneously elucidates and demonstrates, as do all objects.
That is, objects always "stand for something else," and are therefore language even before they are objects. No, they are objects because they are language, a language that may be read and understood by subjects. Put another way, if objects were merely objects, not only would knowledge of them be impossible, but there could be no subjects in the cosmos. There would be nobodies to say nothing about anything, just like a leftist humanities department.
This is what proper language of God should accomplish: to make spirit experientially "present" even while discussing or describing it. To the extent that words fail to do this, then they will remain on the plane of mere mental knowledge, or of (k). When writing or thinking about God, we should always be in the mode of O-->(k). (An important exception apples to revelation, which is a form of "special k" that we will discuss later.)
Especially when commune-icating with and about God -- one might add, "obviously" -- there is the spirit and the letter, and one can never do so without being especially mindful of the former. For example, this is why atheists are not only wrong about God, but not even wrong, for it cannot be ungnosised that their coarse language is inadequate to the lofty subject it can never reach. Truly, they are like the tone deaf person who dismisses musical beauty just because they can neither hear nor express it.
Put another way, if one truly understands and appreciates the capability of language to store and convey immaterial spiritual qualities, this poses an insurmountable obstacle to atheism, if only because there is no materialistic/Darwinian theory that will ever account for this mysterious property of language. The moment a Darwinian struggles to express his ideas in an elegant and aesthetically satisfying way, he is no longer a Darwinian. To the extent that he believes that truth is what one is ethically bound to believe -- just as good is what one is obligated to do -- he is no atheist.
Let us stipulate what is not a tautology -- that Truth is truth, and that it is mankind's unending task to make the one conform to the other. Whenever anyone -- even an atheist -- says anything, he is presupposing a universe in which a thing called "truth" may be encoded and passed from mind to mind through a medium called language. These are huge presuppositions, and only serve to re-emphasize the crudity of the atheist mind. Unless an atheist is an abject nihilist, then he doesn't have the courage of his absence of convictions.
For example, what can it mean that a thing called truth may be encoded in vibrating air molecules or squiggles on paper in such a way that they "cause" a state called "understanding" in the consciousness of another? What kind of causation is this? And is there any materialistic philosophy that can account for it? When you deeply comprehend a profound truth, is it really no different than kicking a can, or is this just so much philosophical cant that should have been given the boot long ago?
Consciousness is the interior of the cosmos. Like the exterior, it has form, structure, content, laws, levels, and modes. You might say that these more or less stable (but subtle) characteristics are the "exterior of the interior," just as the platonic realm of pure mathematics (or biological archetypes, for that matter) represents the "interior of the exterior" cosmos. Ultimately, both the interior and exterior converge upon, and are reflections of, the One.
In other words and numbers, there is a reason why the equations that describe the deep structure of the physical world are beautiful -- and in fact, could never be ugly, or "less than beautiful." Such a thing would be strictly inconceivable in any ponderable universe (which any universe must be), just as accurate information about God could never be ugly (one a priori reason why we know that the Islamists, Chopras, and Sharptons are so misgodded).
The philosopher of science Stanley Jaki refers to the problem of "a facile acceptance of phrases and perspectives which are imposed by the consensus as starting points with no further questions asked." In the end, one way or the other, the philosopher "will have to bring in through the back door the very objects the use of which his starting point failed to justify" -- e.g., objects infused with truth, and a consciousness that ardently seeks to understand truth and cause it to exist in other truth-loving subjects.
Most philosophies are intellectually closed systems, the conclusions of which are truly "foregone," as they are packed into the hidden assumptions with which the philosopher has started his errant quest. Needless to say, the growth of knowledge can only take place in an open system, in which truth is conveyed from mind to mind in the manner described above.
Or let us say that the mind is either an open system or a closed one; if the latter, then knowledge and truth are impossible; if the former, then knowledge involves "truth calling out to truth." It would also mean that the "book of nature" is indeed just that: it is full of truth just waiting to be unpacked by minds steeped in truth -- no, that are truth.
To emphasize the point: either the mind is truth (among other things, including beauty) or it is nothing. And either nature has an Author whose hands are all over it, or nature is an atheist who conveys nothing to nobody, so who cares?
The first and last Truth is that truth inheres in both objects and the subjects who understand it and cause understanding in others. As Jaki points out, "This truth cannot be evaded, let alone refuted, because the refutation itself is an act of communication, an implicit falling back on [the] objective means whereby alone can other [minds] be reached."
Damn, I was just about to finally stream into my linguistic deustinocean, and now Future Leader is stirring. I'm still trying to find the time to find the words to rescribe what they are, to say the most. Mañana. In betweentime, don't let the headbugs bite!
The jazz musician goes onto the stage hoping to have an encounter with music. He knows that the music is there (it always is), but this meeting depends not only on knowledge but on openness.... It is a discrimination against mechanical pattern, against habit, for surprise, against easy virtuosity, for saying more with less, against facile emotion, for a certain quality of energy, against stasis, for flow.... [It is] an attempt, over and over, to reveal the heart of things. --Keith Jarrett