Originally, Men simply perceived and believed the suprasensory reality - they saw and heard the voices of spirits, gods and demons...
Then the world became more confined to perception by the five senses. The spirit reality could only be perceived as a result of special rituals. First there were shamans who specialised in contacting the spirit realm, then there were priests...
Now the spirit reality is so remote to us that we cannot perceive it at all, except in altered states of consciousness such that our consciousness, our self of self awareness, is suppressed - by drug intoxication, disease, in sleep... When we are awake, alert and in clear consciousness we live in a world of five senses merely, from which spirits, gods and demons are absent.
But we are supposed to be aware of spirit reality by a different means - not by passive sensory perception but by active direct knowing.
Instead we live in an age of passive delusion: people do, in fact, believe without sensory evidence, they believe in what is Not actually perceived or/ or is contradicted by experience. That is the delusional 'virtual world' of modern mainstream reality - enforced by officialdom, mass media and large institutions...
But what modern mainstream people believe is not merely false because self-contradicting, but also frequently changing; this being sustained by an incoherent brew of metaphysical assumptions of 'relativism', individualism, biological reductionism, abstract imprecise principles and imperatives (Justice, Equality, Diversity...) and the inaccessibility of real-reality and true-truth...
The one thing moderns know they know, deep down - is that they do not really know...
Modern man is therefore, and rightly, alienated from the world, from other people, and even from himself and his own thoughts: he doubts everything, including his doubts - and he fears.
(Alienation is our friend - it is the divine inner guidance system telling us we are on the wrong track utterly - not merely unhappy but living under false assumptions and in false delusions.)
Modern Man's only release is in seeking un-consciousness: oblivion in distraction or pleasure. His great 'hope' is therefore to cease to be a Man, to revert to animal un-self-consciousness...
In principle, modern Men are right to live in 'delusions' - in the sense that we are meant to know without external evidence; to know by direct apprehension. That is the evolutionary destiny.
But we must live by 'true delusions' - that is, by the intuitive insights of our own real selves - not those fake delusions of multiple, contradictory, labile and socially/ media created selves...
Man's destiny is to be free and agent, like God: as a god. To know everything, incrementally and asymptotically, from our selves thinking. Because true thinking is reality, because it is divine.
We must know by active and true thinking; not by passive absorption.
A hunter gatherer walked through life seeing and hearing spirits, they took this for granted; and were passive in relation to the spirit world; they assumed it was 'out there' and its meanings were 'out there' - not knowing that spirits are not just out-there but also in-here, and we participate in them.
(Man is necessary for reality.)
Modern Man cannot see spirits, and assumes that because they are not merely out-there, then they are nowhere! - yet he also assumes that what is believes is not really real. Modern Man is trapped by his metaphysical assumptions in a loop of nihilism and despair.
We are meant to walk through life not perceiving but directly knowing the reality of spirits (and many other things out-with sensory phenomena); knowing more-and-more of the reality of things without any ultimate bounds to that knowledge - while aware of our real selves; alert and in clear consciousness.
SO - do not expect to see spirits and other 'supernatural' phenomena out-there and 'objective' - instead expect to know spirits, angels, demons, God: know directly; that is simply by thinking properly, from our (true) selves.
And in such thinking we will (quite naturally and spontaneously) know for ourselves and by direct experience what is real and relevant.
Knowing is the right word. Both in and out if the church it is confused with feeling and "irrational" thought. It has more in common with sight. I believe the gospel works like this, people hear it and if only briefly "know". For the materialist man this has to be misclassified as a feeling to explain it and preserve the illusion of materialism.
It also does violence to emotion to view as merely a biological storm in the brain. John Eldredge correctly identified the heartless nature of modern Christian practice. Rightly ordered there may be strong emotions in times of spiritual sight, but their source is in a direct response to the sight.
The church itself is right to be concerned about emotional currents that have their source in fancy as opposed to knowledge but has over corrected. I think we suffer from a unique blindness brought on by hearts that have been deadened by our refusal to see what we see and know what we know. I can't tell you the number of times in my own life and the lives of Christians I know where they sensed something was very wrong, but other Christians have been at the forefront of telling them they don't see what they see or know what they know.
@Michael - I'm very pleased that you understood what I was getting at - I find it difficult to make myself clear on this.
It has to be our real self which knows - but when it does, then we know that we know!
On the other hand, I suspect that some/ many people never get this; because they never get behind the false selves to where their real (and divine) self is to be found.
One thing I get from this thinking is that there really is a way-out from the current world situation, the apparent triumph of evil in the spiritual warfare - and the 'answer' lies on the plane of experience of real knowing and the consequences.
I can't be more specific - but it gives me a solid basis of hope.
I feel that you re correct, but I am part of the mass of people who don't know how to access the spirit reality, even thought I want to. But wanting to doesn't seem to be enough. I am alienated from the world as it is in the every day 'reality' that we inhabit. I don't belong, and I don't want to belong. I loathe most of my fellow human beings, or at least, I loathe their herd behaviour, and at the same time I pity them. I'm not a child, this is not teen rejection and a mass of hormones. I've felt like this since I was young, and now I'm getting old. I.never.belonged.to.the.world. Sometimes escape happens when I least expect it. An act of goodness, a walk in the sun, some chance happening that lifts me up for a moment. It never lasts. But it is times like this when there seems to be purpose, direction, and a plan, and I know that I am in it somehow, and that there is a standing invitation to participate more. There is a magic door that if only I could find it, would open to me easily, but I never find it. An image that demonstrates what I mean is when Dorothy opens the door from the black and white film Kansas house, and sees the technicolor world of Oz for the first time. The feeling of utter awe and intense joy I felt as a youngster watching the film for the first time is the sort of feeling that sometimes grips me as an adult. And those are the times that I feel real. Why can't I feel this all the time? If I could feel it permanently, I would know that I had come home.
@JW - My point here is that we all have within us that divinity which can cure our alienation - at least for some of the time; but at this phase of our destiny we should not expect to re-live the enchanted but passive world of childhood. We have already done that.
We are intended for a different, more active spirituality in which we knowingly (instead of unknowingly, as in childhood) participate in the creation of reality - not arbitrarily, but participate consciously in accordance with universal reality.
(Terminology from Owen Barfield.)
We need to stop regarding reality as something out-there that we merely perceive with our senses; and start acknowledging that it includes our-selves; and reality to be found in real-true-divine thinking, not in perception.
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