Sniffing Out God
I know. Brilliant observation.
Part of this may have to do with limitations on human bandwidth. For example, our olfactory capabilities, which were once presumably as acute as any other average mammal, have been displaced by other modalities. More generally, it seems that the advanced shoves aside the primitive -- although the pattern can be reversed, as indicated, for example, by sightless people who compensate with touch.
But if psychoanalysis teaches us anything, it shows that man is always one in body and mind, or unconscious and conscious. Should these two become too divided, so that communication between them is stifled, then pathology arises, because the left brain has no idea what the right brain is doing, or the neocortex is out of the limbic loop.
This same wholeness is emphasized in orthodox Christianity, what with the intrinsic unity of body, mind, and soul -- or soma, psyche, and pneuma. To lose contact with any one of these is to live an impoverished life.
We all know about horizontal amputations, but to live without awareness of soul and spirit is to exist in a state of vertical amputation. There are millions of near-people who have been victimized by pneumectomies. They are the legions of walking dead -- of psychic zombies and spiritually autistic flatlanders.
The infrahumans like to flatter themselves with the cliche that Christians despise and reject the soma, but this could never be the orthodox view, unless the Incarnation means nothing to you. Indeed, I think this is why, for example, Catholics have better sex. It makes perfect sense in a context that emphasizes the unity of body, mind, and spirit. You might say there's more to love.
(The inverse mirror of this would be the attempt to elevate sex itself to some sort of liberating spiritual principle, which apparently ends in Miley Cyrus, or maybe I just can't imagine anything lower.)
Marriage itself is a higher spiritual unity, so it is no surprise whatsoever that the left is and always will be anti-marriage and anti-family. First of all, they don't want anything getting between their spiritual eunuchs and the state. The left has always understood that loyalty to other human beings -- both local and nonlocal -- poses a fundamental threat to its power. Thus, Obama's archetypal "Julia" and her lifetime commitment to Mr. Perfect, Leviathan.
Back to our original question, which touches on the inept marketing of religion. For Voegelin, much of the problem revolves around the loss of experience -- or even the loss of capacity for experience, similar to how most of us have lost our ability to smell a wild boar from a mile away.
Thus, in some way, this alienation from oursoph needs to be reversed, so we may recover experience "as against doctrine." Along these lines, Voegelin speaks of the need for a "restoration of mystical experience and its reality."
This modality quintessentially involves participation. There is no mysticism by proxy, no second-hand unity with God. Fundamentally it is no different than the truism that it is impossible to imagine the consciousness of a bat.
Likewise, it is not possible for the atheist to understand a mystic without reducing the experience to something it is not. Me? I mostly just enjoy the crumbs. But I don't deny that there's a cake.
"It is fantastic, this Light which empties, annihilates, fulfills you; and how true the Upanishads are! But to discover them is a mortal blow, because you only discover them in yourself, on the other side of death!"
So, how is the be-nighted atheist supposed to confirm or refute such a statement about the light of be-ing? He doesn't. He just insists that the bat's -- or b'atman's -- consciousness is no different from his own consciousness, and reveals nothing inaccessible to it.
"The mystery of Christ and of the Father is beyond words, more even than that of the atman, the Spirit. You can only speak of it in parables, and the meaning of the parable is beyond the words used. No word [can give] you the experience of the word of the not-born."
More orthoparadox: "[W]hat is important are these 'flashes,' the lightning, the bursts of light, the break-throughs which open the abyss -- not a gulf which would separate, but the abyss of yourself.... The saving name of Christ is I AM. And the deep confession of faith is no longer the external 'Christ is Lord,' but I am he. The Father in relation to the Son -- to me -- to all.... everything is a mystery of the face-to-face and the within" (emphasis mine).
And "The blazing fire of this experience leaves nothing behind; the awakening is a total explosion."
That would be the fourth big bang, after matter, life, and mind.