Where There is No Vision, the People Need their Third Eyes Examined
Or, you could say that faith "essentially consists in an ability to see what God chooses to show and which cannot be seen without faith." In fact, this very much reminds me of Polanyi's theory of scientific vision, only transposed to a higher key. The messy book of history is lettered with little divine hints and clues, but "the spirit searching for meaning requires a higher light of grace in order to synthesize the signs" (Balthasar).
This is something I discussed on page something or other of my book. It seems that non-believers begin with the idea of trying to rationally prove the existence of God -- which they fail to do -- and then conclude that he doesn't exist. But this makes about as much sense as me taking a few awkward hacks against a major league pitcher, and concluding on that basis that home runs don't exist. Plus, Babe Ruth was a liar. No one can hit a ball out of the yard.
Forget about God's existence. That's for God to worry about. If he doesn't exist, only he knows it. Rather, our job is simply to develop that "part" of ourselves that is capable of initially "detecting" and increasingly understanding the divine. After all, we don't speculate about realities for which we don't have the requisite sensory apparatus to detect. For example, humans -- at least since the 1960s -- don't bother thinking about the sound of red, or what music looks like.
As far as I am concerned, it's just flat out strange that we are able to understand the divine at all, much less to deepen and expand our understanding. I mean, if God did not exist, we couldn't say that this person over there has a childlike understanding, while that person over there has an exquisitely subtle understanding. Nor would there be any "inter-rater reliability," which there surely is, especially the further one ascends up the sacred mountain (cf. the Spiritual Ascent for mountains of evidence of the mountain).
The point is, as I put it on page 194, "Even if we assume that scripture is a revelation of God, it seems axiomatic that it still has to be revealed to someone," so that the meaning will vary widely from person to person, partly depending upon their capacity to receive it.
In a way, it is analogous to physics, which is way beyond the point that it is dealing with any ponderable human reality. Rather, it must employ elaborate particle accelerators that span several miles in order to create very special circumstances for the desired reality to make itself manifest. In short, change the experimental situation, and a novel reality emerges -- or, features of reality emerge that would otherwise go undetected.
Why should it be any different with the study of consciousness? Obviously, strange things occur inside an atom smasher. But even stranger things occur inside an ego-smasher -- and perhaps for similar reasons. After all the ego is a cluster of energy, a "knot" in consciousness, something like a virtual molecule. Blow it apart, and what happens? Well, usually the neutron bomb of psychosis, which destroys the mind but leaves the body standing. But splitting the atom can also result in heating your home. Is it possible that splitting Adam can result from bleating the Om? So we have heard from the wise.
To a certain extent, the nonlocal God "requires" us in order to manifest locally. Or, you could say that God is not known unless we do the not knowing. And we must not know what we think we know in order to begin unKnowing the unknowable One, that's for sure.
So, as Balthasar says, "the signs of revelation crystalize about a center which becomes visible in the light of faith." This, I think, is a key point. Just as in science, as one synthesizes more and more, the resulting "center" becomes deeper, more interconnected, more robust, more enduring. Once this begins to take place, then you cannot isolate just one component, because you appreciate its part in the whole existentialada.
But how does one begin to coonfur this vision upon the willfully blind? I just don't see how it is possible unless they leave their ego at the door and surrender to B'ob. Why? Because I'm trying to show you what I see, and you won't see it if you don't drop what you're doing and see things from my perspective.
Obviously, I don't mean that in any grandiose way. I only mean it in the sense that it is true of any philosopher or artist. In order to understand any metacosmic vision, one must abandon oneself and deeply enter into it. Only afterwards do you return to yourself, so to speak, and reassess.
This is what I do, whomever I am studying. That is, I extend the courtesy of plunging heartfirst into their world. If it is a valid world, several things will become evident. At the very least, it will be both internally and externally consistent. Also, it will have a "richness" and "texture" that will only be present if the guide in question really knows what he is talking about from the inside out. In other words, "second hand" theological writing will lose this fineness of detail [you could say that it becomes (k) rather than (n)]. The life is drained from it.
Another thing that becomes evident is a communication of the light necessary to "see" within the given structure. No divine structure can be seen without a source of divine light. All pneumanauts are aware of the fact that this Light is every bit as evident as the light that illumines the physical world.
Here, I didn't even see this coming, and Balthasar confirms it: "The interior light of faith and the external historical revelation confront, recognize, and strengthen one another." Indeed, "the active synthesis of the signs of revelation and the light that makes them possible" are both understood "from the spirit's perspective of self-realization in its striving toward God as he is in himself," but also "the genuine expression of the divine Being." This is again none other than the ascending spiral of (↑↓), as the divine glowtons bang up against (¶).