Saturday 5 November 2016

Faith and knowledge in this 'perfect' world

A walk at dusk by Caspar David Friedrich (c1833)

People sometimes talk as if faith were the opposite of knowledge - but faith is based on knowledge: knowledge of the nature of God.

This knowledge is made possible by the fact (the perceived fact) that God is both within us as well as outside us - that is how creation has set things-up. It means that we have a direct communication with God as externally active, and also that we have inside us a divine guidance system: a spiritual compass which (if we can read it, which isn't easy) always points in the right direction.

(From this we can know that God is both real and Good; and by 'know' I mean know - as much and with as great a certainty as we can know anything.) 

Why isn't it easy? The short answer is that it isn't meant to be easy - and to understand why life isn't meant to be easy we need to go back to our inner-outer understanding of what God wants for-us.

What God wants is for each of us to be an unique individual divinity - and that is the secret of this world and this life; and why there is no single answer to the problem of living. Each person's life is an unique journey, and unique experience - we start out different and we are meant to end up even more different - yet united in Love.

For this to happen our life has to be - mostly - our own; we cannot be helped to the point that we are no longer in control - we have to make our own mistakes and learn from them; and learn from the mistakes of others - learning all over the place!

How to hold-together such a multitude of differences? Well, by faith based on knowledge and confirmed by experience - that is how.

There is no point in trying to understand the unique destiny (or life path) of everybody in the world, or of large masses about which we now little and care less - but we can understand our own situation and at least some of those we know and love; or at least we can understand it up to the point at which we need to learn from our own limitations.

This world is designed for our learning; our own specific world situation is also designed for our own needs - I am not saying that either is 'perfectly' designed for there is and can be no-such-thing as perfection in these matters - or, to put it another way, the 'perfection' is in the learning and experiences - including suffering and other unpleasant and horrible experiences; but not confined to the negatives!

So in terms of doing the job it is meant to do, at the level of our immortal souls - we would be wise to assume that this world is as near to perfect as makes no difference - it will suffice.

The question is what we (and our loved ones, that circle or group of souls with whom we are intimately 'concerned') make of it.

See also the William Arkle talk here - esepcially the discussion towards the end, over the last 10-15 minutes, which is a distillation of great wisdom from a great modern spiritual teacher:

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