Organic Religiosity, with No Added Ingredients
I agree with your assertion that deification is the purpose of man.... I would also be interested in your take on the situation, as you perceive it directly, without input from other minds.
For instance, Jesus is first encountered by reading about him or hearing him discussed. Imagine you had never touched a book or discussed spirituality with anyone. You are clean of human influence. What were/are your self-discovered intuitions on the matter of God?
I've been sitting on this question, waiting for an opportunity to weave it into a post. This may be that post, since the next chapter in Gnosis is conveniently called Is There a Natural Mysticism?
The short answer is that there is and must be, given the nature of cosmos and man, which contain and reflect one another in both preverbal and transverbal ways, mysticism being an "extra-linguistic" phenomenon.
In other words, mysticism is a direct apprehension of, or encounter with, the divine presence that bypasses language. So, it seems there is a common nonsense available to all. Let's see if Schuon agrees with that characterization.
"The concept of a 'natural mysticism'" goes to "forms of spirituality that do not enter into the framework of a given religion..." That being the case, it can ascend only so high, being that it "remains enclosed within the created... which it can in no way transcend" in the absence of a direct intervention from God. If you recall the symbols I used in the book, it may be thought of as the apotheosis of what man may attain via (↑) alone.
Nevertheless, as I believe we shall see, there really can be no (↑) without (↓), being that they actually constitute a continuous spiral and not broken or independent lines. Our ascent is already God's descent, just as our knowledge must be a "drawing out" of something that is already implicit in the phenomena we know. Obviously the intelligibility of things must be prior to our intelligence; it was there long before man arrived on the scene.
Recall Ibn Arabi's gag describing mystical union as being "alone with the alone." Well, in reality it is being "together with the together." And as the Fathers often remarked, all truth comes from the Holy Spirit. Put them together and you understand that all knowing is a two-gatheredness with the divine mind. Either it has roots that go all the way up, or it is nothing at all.
Time out for a cryptic word from our Aphorist: Any shared experience ends in a simulacrum of religion.
Likewise, God's informal grace falls on the world long before it formally rains dogmas and catechisms. However, such general graces will "have an 'irregular' and quasi-accidental character," because... how to put it... It reminds me of something Chesterton says... Which I can't locate at the moment, but I did find this: in his early writings, Chesterton "was intuiting Gospel truths from within life itself, 'without much help from religion'" (Chesterton as Mystic).
Later, "His faith in Christ raised these truths to higher dimensions," but "the root truths of the Gospel about the nature of reality were already present in his experience" (ibid., emphasis mine because That's What I'm Talkin' About).
"Chesterton was already living in two worlds, but it was Christ who revealed to him the true nature of both. Many truths in the Gospel were not so much discovered as confirmed for him" (ibid.). That too is What I'm Talkin' About.
I can't find the quote I'm looking for, but it has something to do with digging channels for flash floods (of grace). But the following is also helpful, for it goes to the absolute need for humility -- of humbly receiving and not eagerly grasping:
"There is a relevant story from one of the desert fathers who had a vision of an angel, who said to him: 'The Lord has sent me to you.' The humble little father answered: 'I don't know any reason why the Lord would visit me.' And the devil left him."
What was said above about Chesterton "living in two worlds" is very helpful. For there are always and inevitably these two worlds, no matter how you cut it. Try as you might, you can never confine things to one and eliminate the other. I would say that Gödel's theorems are a "merely" logical reflection of this deeper ontological reality: that your world can be consistent or complete, but not both.
I also believe we have our "two brains" for just this reason. Just as our two eyes permit us to perceive depth, and our two ears allow us to have a bitchin' stereo, our two brains disclose a world far richer than just one or the other alone would permit.
And in the final analysis these worlds are "rational" and "mystical." They are also "fundamentalist" and "ironic," but that's the subject of a slightly different post. But if you are a Raccoon, everyone you disagree with is being a fundamentalist where they should be ironic, and being literal where they should be mystical. And they are often being mystical in a totally untutored way, with no channels at all, just a downpour on a featureless plain.
However, it has gotten to the point that the people with whom we disagree are becoming frankly satanic in their confusion of the worlds. Here again, this is the subject of a slightly different post, but it comes to mind because I'm reading another book by Wild called Jousting with the Devil: Chesterton's Battle with the Father of Lies.
Maybe we'll vary the scheme and discuss this on Monday. Suffice it to say that one would have to be spiritually deaf and blind -- not to mention tasteless -- to not see that the country is in the midst of a hysterical demonic attack. To put it another way, the left is making it very hard to not believe in satan.
"Devil" is cognate with division and discord. Conversely, intelligence "brings back to unity." There is one view of the world "that is intellectual and unitive, and another that is existential and separative: the first envisions everything in relation to unity, even Existence," while "the second sees everything in relation to separativity, even Intelligence" (Schuon).
But guess what? The separativity dwells within the unity, or we couldn't even know it as separate. Thus "it is a matter of combining these two modes of vision, for each is valid in its own way" (ibid). Doing so reveals the depth of the cosmos, in that we see the mystical in the every day, the supernatural in the natural, the whole in the part.
So that's about it. I can think of no reason why the Lord would visit me today.