Think about that for a moment: a human being without truth to orient and guide him would be like an animal deprived of instinct. Take away the animal's instinct, and what does it do? I suppose it would just blunder around for awhile before dying of stupidity. It wouldn't know what was important, what was dangerous, what to ignore, whom to mate with.
In short, such an animal would be no better than the average college student.
Truth and certainty are related, in the sense that truth is what is certain.
However, the relation is not symmetrical, in that certainty does not necessarily equate to truth. But certainty always borrows from truth, in that there is no reason to be certain about anything unless one implicitly believes it to be true. Thus, certainty is -- or should be -- a kind of reflection of the inwardly perceived light of truth.
Which it often isn't. For example, people who believe in the redefinition of marriage are conspicuous in the moral certitude that theirs is the only possible correct stance. No one doubts their certitude, but do they have the truth? Likewise, no one doubts Michael Mann's certitude about manmade global warming. But if he's so certain, why does he have to lie about it?
But let's get back to the truth to which man is entitled. To say man is entitled to it is to say that he doesn't have to seek it out and acquire it in the usual sense, just as each generation of birds doesn't have to learn anew why it might be a good idea to winter in Florida. You might say that the bird is entitled to such knowledge by virtue of being a bird.
We've discussed in the past how the human infant has a number of genuine cosmic entitlements, such as a loving and committed mother and father, secure bonding and attachment, ministration to his needs, mental stimulation, etc. But do our entitlements end at the age of five? Or might there be a new set of entitlements?
Even public school advocates pretend to believe a child is entitled to an education, which is another way of saying that the child is entitled to truth. Mrs. G informs me that she heard Dinesh D'Souza yesterday on Dennis Prager, discussing his new book on what a world without America would be like. In the interview he mentioned that victims of public school indoctrination are not only deprived of truthful history, but are systematically abused by inculcating them with crudely false histories, or deeply flawed maps of reality.
To return to our animal analogy, this would be like teaching birds to fly north for the winter, which I'm sure is against the law in liberal states. To answer D'Souza's question, a world without America would be a world with far less light and truth, or at least truth and light will have lost their main protector. Truth would have to go completely underground, as it does in Islamic nations or elite universities.
The above thoughtlets have been inspired by The Book of Certainty, even though I would not recommend the book unless you have a specific interest in Sufism. There's a lot I didn't relate to at all, but a few useful nuggets here and there.
For example, Lings writes of how in all parts of the world there exist traditions that speak of a time when man lived in paradise. Thus, it seems that this is again analogous to animal instinct, since it is an archetypal idea which man seems to be born with. But what is an archetype? I would say that it is for humans what instinct is for animals. Instinct, of course, takes place on the terrestrial plane. As such, an archetype might be called a "psychic instinct," of which there are many.
For a psychic instinct to be worthwhile, it must conform to truth -- just as the animal instinct must obviously be in conformity to the physical environment in which the animal lives.
However, the demonic relativists who rule the educational establishment deny that man is conformed to truth, which is to say, the Absolute. In William Gairdner's excellent Book of Absolutes, he shows what absolute nonsense this is. In it he has chapters on the many universals of human life, the constants of nature, universals of moral and natural law, and our seemingly "hardwired" human instinct-intuitions.
The question is, exactly what are these archetypal stories of paradise intending to convey? Or, what is the principle they transmit?
Lings suggests that, at the very least, they imply two very different spiritual stations that conform to different degrees of certainty. Within paradise there is the Truth of Certainty (see yesterday's post), whereas outside paradise we usually begin with the Lore of Certainty -- or what might be called rumors of God.
I'm guessing that religion isn't strictly necessary in paradise. Rather, it comes into being after exile from paradise, what with its Lore of Certainty.
Now, if man is the microcosm, it must mean that this paradise is a state of mind, or better, a station. "The kingdom of heaven is within," and all that. We do not say it is a mere state of mind, because this implies something subjective and fleeting. It is more like telling the bird: "the kingdom of Florida is within. Just pay attention to your instinct, and you will find it." It does not mean: "just imagine you're in Florida, and you're there."
There is paradise, and there is the fall. What is this latter all about, and why does it keep happening? How does this corruption enter paradise? Lings suggests that a man with the Truth of Certainty cannot be deceived. I suppose it's like the old saying that you can't cheat an honest man.
Only a person who is already drifting from the Truth of Certainty can be seduced with likely stories, false promises, counterfeit truths, fairy tales of the tenured, ontological forgeries, and extended warranties.
So, let's just agree that man is susceptible to shiny and attractive lies. That being the case, just as in a market economy, Satan comes forward to fill a genuine need. Seriously, he's only responding to the constant demand for comforting or exalting Lies, so he is is without question the most merciful humanitarian. He -- whoever he is --
"ceaselessly promises to show man the Tree of Immortality," and in so doing gradually erodes "the highest and most central faculties into the outer part of the soul so that he may imprison them there in attachment to the counterfeit objects which he has forged for their perception."
Furthermore, "It is the presence here of these perverted faculties, either in discontent in that they can never find real satisfaction or finally in a state of atrophy in that they are never put to their proper use, which causes all the disorder and obstruction in the soul of the fallen man."
Which goes to the old crack that "the best when corrupted becomes the worst." Thus, fallen man is a beast at times and a wuss at times.
If there were no devil, we would have to invent the DNC. Or the ACLU. Or Marxism. Or radical feminism. Or Islamism. For there is only one way to stand, many ways to fall.