I imagine that being a shut-your-trappist monk in an ashram can do that to a guy. Without an interlocutor to occasionally squinch up his face and go dude, whaaaaa?, you might not get the feedback you need in order to know when you're starting to sound chopraesque, which is to say, either too vaguely gaseous or too idiosyncratically solid. You need to have some meat in the muddle and be able to speak with a pliable substance that is neither too unyielding nor falls apart as soon as you chew on it.
Davie speculates that instead of just the usual distinction between primitive Palestinian-Jewish and Hellenistic stages -- or layers -- of Christianity, we need to supplement them with a third. Primitive Christianity could have ramified in different directions, and did ramify in different directions, hence all those early struggles to define orthodoxy and exclude heterodoxy.
Speaking of tossing, we may need to coin a neologism, "orthoheterodoxy," for those elements of Christianity that are considered outwardly heterodox but are inwardly -- which is to say esoterically -- necessary in order to make sense of the faith.
I would suggest that this whole book is exploring such orthoheterodox territory -- things that must be acknowledged as true, but which the authorities would prefer to keep quiet due to the danger of misunderstanding. I can't say I blame them. Milk and meat and all that.
Meister Eckhart, for example, might be the most important orthoheterodox theologian, and it is quite easy for the illwilled or smallbrained to make mischief with him. The best defense for this is to understand orthodoxy, and to always place what he says in that context. He's definitely not trying to venture outside the faith, but simply providing imaginative ways to explore it.
Same with Davie. He is quite clear in affirming that he is not trying to challenge orthodoxy, but illuminate it with some novel pneuumatic tools.
Here's the deal: the Christ-event is, yes, an event, but it is first and foremost a non-event, in the sense that it transcends history. You might say that it is much larger than history -- indeed, is the source of history -- and yet, must play out in time.
Therefore, whatever we might say about it is always attempting the impossible, like trying to describe a three-dimensional reality in two dimensions. If we forget this, we are inevitably drawn into a form of concretized mythological idolatry, worshiping a god of our own invention.
Davie suggests that there is a kind of implicit dialectic between Judaism and Hinduism, as if they represent two tendencies of the religious brain. Indeed, this idea converges nicely with our recent series of posts on the differing worlds of the right and left brain. Naturally, it is not a matter of either/or, but both/and (and more!), and Davie suggests that Christianity is precisely this both/and original synthesis.
Remember, you can just play with the idea. You don't need to believe or disbelieve at this early juncture.
Truth is one, of course. But it is also uncontainable (by man) in the sense alluded to above. Thus, Davie speculates that two major halves of this truth are emphasized by Judaism and Hinduism (also remember that neither is absent in the other; it's just a matter of emphasis).
Let's begin with the Creator/creature distinction. In Judaism the stress is on their differences, while in Hinduism the stress is on their identity, i.e., Atman is Brahman. The Ultimate is present to both, one via identity, the other via difference:
"This apparent opposition will in turn reflect the inability of the unaided human mind to think them both together," at least until encountered in the form of "the Incarnated One." Then the inference is that Hinduism is in fact true, albeit for one person. But in any event, this is a stumbling block to the left brain.
In Judaism you might say that the emphasis is on God's transcendence, while in Hinduism it is on his immanence. In the case of the former, "the only way in which [God's] transcendence of the world can be demonstrated is by divine suspension of, or irruption into, the processes of nature, and by divine acts of intervention in human history" (Davie).
Conversely, with the immanentized deity of Hinduism, we have the perception that "Nothing is external to God." Creation here is a kind of "self-projection" or emanation, as opposed to a distinct act of separation (and some would say "divine withdrawal," or tsimtsum, just to emphasize the God/world distinction). In Hinduism continuity subordinates discontinuity, but this also brings with it the potential danger of pantheism that Judaism so jealously guards against.
Which, as the crock ticks down, reminds me of a story
Schall Turner tells in his On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs Thomas Aquinas: A Portrait. I'll just summarize. Regarding the seeming opposition between God's omniscience and our free will, he suggested to a friend that Protestants are "either/or" while Catholics are "both/and."
However, his perceptive colleague reminded him that if this is the case, then it's a choice between either "either/or" or "both/and," so either/or wins.
Therefore, it must be a choice between "either/or," or "both/and," and/or "both/and and either/or," and only the latter is fully ortho-hetero-paradoxical.