The Absolute Science of the Center and the Darwinist Religion of the Periphery
And all of these categories are reflections of each other: center, interior, whole, intelligence, eternity, absolute. They can be combined in various ways to disclose other categories; for example, interior wholeness is none other than psycho-spiritual health. Eternal intelligence is Truth. The Absolute center is God, or at the very least, where God is known, i.e., the non-difference of atman and brahman. The absolute whole would be the cosmos (albeit in its relative sense), while the interior whole would be the microcosmos, Man (again, in a relative sense, being that only the Absolute is truly absolute).
In turn, God is the center of centrality and the interior of interiority, while man is the interior of exteriority and the subjective center of the material periphery. This probably sounds abstract, but it is meant to be as concrete as can be, in such a way that even the bonehead Darwinist must acknowledge its a priori truth.
For example, Darwinism is a theory that addresses constant change of outward form, but the theory unifies exterior phenomena on a noumenal interior plane known only to man. This subjective horizon where we live, love, and know truth, beauty and virtue is beyond the reach of Darwinsim -- at least in any deep or consistent manner. Shakespeare will always have more to tell us about love than Darwinism, just as Joyce will always have more to tell us about language.
In other words, like all science, Darwinism attempts to unify multiplicity on a "deeper" or more interior plane, even while it can never account for such things as interiority, depth, and unity -- let alone interior depth or absolute unity. This is why whatever truth Darwinism is able to disclose fits easily into the paradigm of perennial religion (one could not say a particular religion, for that is a matter of faith, not intellection per se), whereas Darwinism could never account for those religious truths that "cannot not be," since they abide on on eternal, interior and archetypal plane that obviously transcends Darwinism. Darwinism cannot address this plane without maiming and ultimately destroying Man: again, reductionistic Darwinism is a form of nonviolent resistance to transcendence, or intellectual fascism.
I don't want to gloss over an important caveat in the above paragraph. When I say that the existence of God can be easily proven through intellection and metaphysics, I do not mean this or that God, but God per se. It is like proving the existence of love or Beethoven. One can easily do that, but it is hardly the same as falling in love or deeply understanding Beethoven's music.
In fact, even hearing Beethoven is (apparently) a rather trivial thing compared to truly comprehending him. I'm not saying that I do, but I know that others do, for example, J.W.N. Sullivan in his little classic, Beethoven: His Spiritual Development. This book had a profound influence on me at the time I read it some 25 years ago, as I was easily able to transpose its perennial insights to the keys of psychology and spirituality. After all, anyone can practice a religion, whether it is Christianity, Darwinism, Atheism, or Materialism, but that doesn't mean they understand their religion in any deep way. For an atheist to reject religion means only that he has failed to understand it, precisely. A confession of atheism is simply an honest confession of ignorance of any realities that transcend the human ego, nothing more, nothing less. And why argue with a man who not only clings to ignorance, but is proud of the fact?
When we talk about metaphysics, we are talking about very basic truths that are adequations to divine/human realities that cannot not be, such as "Absolute," "being," "truth," etc. But just as one cannot generate a cosmos using only the equations of math, one cannot "generate a religion" using only the abstract symbols of metaphysics. As I was at pains to point out in chapter four of The Coonifesto, metaphysics is a way to "know" these truths, whereas religion is a means to realize them. This is where faith comes in, for one must leap into a revelation, just as one must eventually "fall in love." In both cases, we are putting flesh and bones on the skeleton.
Of course, some people forget about the skeleton altogether; actually, it seems an unfortunate fact that few non-Raccoons even know of its existence, which is quite sad and disturbing. Among other problems, it causes people to confuse the truth of their religion with the eternal truths it is there to disclose and deepen.
In short, many people essentially reduce (n) to a kind of religious (k), which immediately places religion on the same empirical plane as science. This then causes silly disputes between, say, young earth creationists and Darwinists. But the Darwinists are obviously correct on the plane addressed by Darwinism. Darwinism only becomes incorrect when it attempts to apply itself to domains that far transcend it. When this happens, again, it necessarily misunderstands and ultimately destroys what it would attempt to explain.
Likewise, when religion inappropriately impinges upon the prerogatives of science, silliness or mayhem result. Look at it this way; Darwinism looks silly when it attempts a reductionistic explanation of a quintessentially human reality, say, love, or truth, or beauty. But the religionist would essentially be engaging in the opposite fallacy if he were to insist, for example, that the earth is attracted to the sun because it is in love with it. When Dante spoke of "the love that moves the sun and other stars," he was obviously talking about something much deeper than mere empirical reality. Otherwise Dante would be an ass instead of the singular spiritual genius that he was.
Being that humans are "in the image of the creator" we possess powers that are potentially godlike and divine. But if we attempt to utilize these powers divorced from their sacred and the holy source, then again, mayhem results. To say that truth is divine is not to "mix church and state," much less to try to impose religion on science. Rather, it is a simple fact, regardless of whether or not the person realizes it. Science deals with a world of quantities, while religion deals with the higher world of archetypal qualities, such as truth. To reduce truth to a quantity is again to do untold damage to man, for it is to reduce the subject to an object and to confuse method with ontology.
The axis around which the mind turns is freedom, an intrinsically spiritual freedom that can never be explained on any materialistic basis. In a sense, the intellect is freedom, the freedom to know truth, to love beauty, and to be conscious of virtue. In this regard, I was very much influenced by the philosopher of biology, Hans Jonas, whose The Phenomenon of Life was very helpful to me back when I was lost and coonfused in the bewilderness of my "higher" education. His essay at the start of the book was like an insoluble but fruitful koan that kept me occupied for years, and wasn't really resolved until I encountered the works of Robert Rosen (both authors are difficult, so I can't say I would recommend them to a general audience).
Let me go back to that essay and see if it even still resonates....
"The organic even in its lowest forms prefigures mind, and the mind even on its highest reaches remains part of the organic. The latter half of [this] contention, but not the former, is in tune with modern belief; the former, but not the latter, was in tune with ancient belief; that both are valid and inseparable is the hypothesis of a philosophy which tries for a stand beyond the quarrels of the ancients and the moderns" [or one could say to stand beyond the quarrels of science and religion, which is the Raccoon position].
"Both scales culminate in the thinking of man and there come under the question: which is for the sake of which? Contemplation for action, or action for contemplation? With this challenge to choice, biology turns into ethics."
"If mind is prefigured in the organic from the beginning, then freedom is. And indeed our contention is that even metabolism, the basic level of all organic existence, exhibits it: that it is itself the first form of freedom.... it is in the dark stirrings of primeval organic substance that a principle of freedom shines forth for the first time within the vast necessity of the physical universe -- a principle foreign to suns, planets, and atoms.... the first appearance of this principle in its bare, elementary object-form signifies the break-through of being to the indefinite range of possibilities which hence stretches to the farthest reaches of subjective life, and as a whole stands under the sign of 'freedom'.... even the transition from inanimate to animate substance, the first feat of matter's organizing itself for life, was actuated by a tendency in the depth of being toward the very modes of freedom to which this transition opened the gate" [this is very similar to Aurobindo's conception of involution followed by evolution].
Interesting. If metabolism is the "process" of freedom, then the metabolism of Truth would be the way to God. And to practice a religion is again the effort to metabolize truth in order to deepen one's relationship to the Absolute. It is along this vector that the real cosmic evolution is taking place, which is to say, in and up.
The cosmos is whole and intelligible, and man is deeply free, because God is One.