Atheism: You Can't Get There From Here
First of all, I hadn't noticed the repetition, except perhaps in the way that a musician is aware of certain scales that structure the musical space. However, if my improvisions sound repetitive, I suppose that can't be improovised, the reason being that I don't plan anything ahead of time and simply write what rolls down into my cabeza that morning. I only have a vague idea of what I've written in the past, and whatever I write is more or less new to me at the moment I'm writing it. Therefore, it may not be what you need to hear, but it is apparently what I need to learn -- or at least give due coonsideration.
Not to make a big deal out of it, but I'm simultaneously writing and discovering, and I'm pretty sure that my posts must be read in the same adventurous spirit. I hate to tell people what to do, since I know you're as busy as I am, but in order to get anything out of these posts, I sense that they must be read slowly and pondered. They cannot be skimmed without missing the reproduction of the essential experience of "where they're coming from," so to speak. I just don't see how they could possibly be read for mere "content," or by trying to quickly get to the "bottom line."
Needless to say, trolls are only capable of squibbling with the letter, since they concede at the outset that the spirit is inaccessible to them. There's something happening here, but what it is ain't exactly clear to them. In short, they are buffaloed. These tone-deaf clancys don't know why the caged bluebird sings on its way home. I don't claim to be Mr. Soul, but that's my opinion, for what it's worth. Indeed, I am still a child neiling, and a young one at that.
And as I've repeated before, there is definitely a cyclicity to the process. I can tell when a blogging cycle has ended and when one has kicked in, but I have no control over it. That's too deep for me to presume to have any jurisdiction over it. It would be like trying to control the seasons or something. Only Al Gore can do that.
But burnout? No, that's not a problem. In the words of the great ministrel Reverend Hillary, Ah ain't noways t'arred yet, Amos. The only problem is not having enough time to really get into the proper mode of deep receptivity. It takes awhile to penetrate into that space -- I have to kind of work my way into it (or perhaps vice versa). But then Future Leader wakes up, and that pretty much breaks the spiel. I wish I had more timelessness, but that's life.
For example, at this moment, I still have no idea what's ahead -- or below. What shall I write? Let's see. How about a continuation of yesterday's post on the nature of man? Okay. Where shall we start?
Did you hear that? That was F.L. kicking his crib, and it's only 4:55. No, he's not awake, but that's a bad sign. Ideally, we'd like him to sleep until 7:00, but lately he's been getting up at 6:00.
See what I mean? Distractions. A race against my son's biological clock. A metaphor for life, which is also a race against the biological clock... which is one reason we know life is not the same as biology.
Hmm. I see that an atheist commenter registered a complaint last night which I do not understand. Nor do I understand why an atheist would have the slightest bit of interest in my blog. I mean, I certainly have no interest in something as intellectually shallow and fatuous as bonehead atheism. The only reason I write about it is to try to help rescue people from its dreary clutches.
Anyway, the commenter wrote that he disagreed with paragraph four from yesterday, in which I said that "in reducing himself to matter, the secularist covertly elevates himself to God, since nothing is higher or lower than anything else -- thus, with a single metaphysical error, the humanist makes a God -- and an ass -- of himself." What I meant to say is that there is nothing lower -- or higher -- than an atheist. Not even -- or especially -- nothing, which is to say, everything.
In response, anonymous wrote that "I just don't see how when somebody doesn't believe in God they 'covertly escalate' their status to God level. God is a not a rank, God is supernatural, and if you don't believe in God that doesn't make you supernatural."
Yes, it does, since belief and rank are both supernatural. The human ability to think is ontologically distinct from matter. To be specific, it is higher. I don't know how it is possible for someone to not know this unless they've received a pretty thorough secular brainwashing.
Therefore, hierarchy exists in the cosmos. Again, a thoroughly banal observation, and I apologize for being repetitive. Hierarchy may only be known because it inheres in light of the Absolute, in the form of degrees of being. In other words, one cannot derive the greater from the lesser.
Specifically, one cannot derive thought -- much less, truth -- from matter. Quality is not just another form of quantity. Nor can semantics be derived from syntax. That is, Truth is not merely the correct arrangement of words. Rather, especially when discussing the deep metaphysics of the cosmos, it is the Truth -- or the Word -- that arranges the words, from the top down. Yes, you could say that I am typing in tongues right now.
Now, if a series of things is hierarchically ordered, it is conditioned from top to bottom and cannot be what the good Hegel called a "bad infinite." Or, if it is horizontally infinite, it cannot be conditioned from top to bottom, and there can be no higher or lower.
It is like the difference between pouring milk into a glass vs. pouring it onto the floor. Because there are archetypal degrees of being -- or evolutionary stations -- when God pours out his creative grace in the form of his involution, the cosmic glass "fills up" -- both personally and impersonally (i.e., whether you are discussing "matter" [which is simply "frozen" or congealed mind] or "mind" [which is an echo of the divine shakti, light, or conscious force]).
Thus, it is not a matter of whether or not you think you believe in God. Rather, to the extent you believe in man -- that man exists and is something clearly distinct from matter and from mere animals -- then you necessarily believe in God. It's just common sense. As Schuon points out, "The very word 'man' implies 'God,'" just as "the very word 'relative' implies 'Absolute.'"
Man is intelligence, the same intelligence that is woven into every corpuscle of this living cosmos. If you want to know what a living and thinking cosmos looks like, you are looking at one. If it were not a living and thinking cosmos, you wouldn't be living here thinking about it. Truth and Life must be nonlocally anterior to their local manifestations, or they would be a strict impossibility, an absurdity -- even a ghastly monstrosity, a cancer on the body of nothingness, as one fellow put it.
And if man is intelligence, he may know truth. Or, to put it another way, if man cannot know truth, then he is not very intelligent, for he "knows" only error, and error is no knowledge at all. If such were the case, man really would be a know-nothing nobody, no better than nothing else.
Now, do not confuse the words I am using with the truth I am conveying. God is inexhaustible, and always transcends any of our formulations of him -- just as DNA could never exhaust Life, nor is there a single mathematical equation that could exhaust mathematical truth -- much less, explain how it is that mathematical truth can be woven into the cosmos, just waiting for our minds to discover it.
Religious truth must be experienced, not just known. Therefore, it requires an irreducible cosmic category called experience or conscious being. There is no atheistic philosophy that can account for being, let allone, conscious being. There can be no conscious being unless there is a Conscious Being. Religion is simply the "scientific" inquiry into (and return to) this Conscious Being.
It's as simple as that.
However, needless to say, approaching this Conscious Being is very different from the study of matter, in which case we may create a bright (but artificial) line between mind and matter, or subject and object. But there is no such bright line in religion, since it involves a subject attempting to understand its own source -- like an eye trying to "see" vision, or a hand trying to grasp grasping. Therefore, in the final analysis, God is both the subject and object of religion. He is what is known, but he is also the knower. To paraphrase Eckhart, "the same eye with which I see God is eye with which God sees me."
As such, a big part of spiritual development simply involves "getting out of the way," something that the postmodern, egocentric narcissist has a great deal of difficulty doing. Why? Because he is proud. And why is he proud? I have no idea. You'll have to tell me, for there is no reason for a meaningless clump of matter to feel proud of itself. Unless -- unless it covertly thinks that it is God. Then atheism makes total sense, for it proves the existence of God.
Look at it this way. As Schuon writes, "To say that man is the measure of all things is meaningless unless one starts from the idea that God is the measure of man, or that the absolute is the measure of the relative, or again, that the universal Intellect is the measure of individual existence; nothing is fully human that is not determined by the Divine, and therefore centered on it. Once man makes of himself a measure, while refusing to be measured in turn, or once he makes definitions while refusing to be defined by what transcends him and gives him all his meaning, all human reference points disappear; cut off from the Divine, the human collapses."
Does this lucid paragraph require any further explanation, or would that simply be repetitive?
Perhaps just a little. After all, there are always new readers, people coming and going, for whom this is not the same old same moldy sayings.
Three things you must know about man on pain of not being one: that man may know truth; that man is free; and that man may transcend himself by dispassionately discerning good and evil. And if we can know the truth or will the good, then we must do so, no?
Another way of saying it is that man is made of truth, will, and virtue; or knowledge, freedom, and beauty. The point is that our knowledge frees us from matter; that our freedom liberates us from animal instinct; and that our beauty frees us from meaninglessness.
There is nothing more beautiful than God, and in fact, nothing so beautiful could possibly be untrue. But only if you experience the truth of this beauty in the depths of your opened -- or possibly broken -- heart. You will know this is happening if you shed tears of joy upon hearing it, which occurs when we touch the divine plane, and are thereby touched -- or when the prodigal subject returns to the loving embrace of its Subject.
That's it for today. He's up.
To say that man is made of intelligence, will and sentiment, means that he is made for the Truth, the Way, and Virtue. In other words: intelligence is made for comprehension of the True; will, for concentration on the Sovereign Good; and sentiment, for conformity to the True and the Good. Instead of "sentiment," we could also say "soul" or “faculty of loving,” for this is a fundamental dimension of man; not a weakness as it is all too often thought, but a participation in the Divine Nature, in conformity with the mystery that “God is Love.” --F. Schuon