Thursday 2 November 2017

Why are people so blind?

The main reason is that they lack an underlying metaphysical system which would not merely notice things, but regard them as significant exemplifications of reality; then they lack the religious imperative to do anything about it (when doing anything would probably lead to short-term suffering with a high degree of probability).

So the blindness of modern Man is not difficult to understand - he has no reason not to be blind.

But what is God doing all this time? Modern Man avoids reality - yet reality is truth beauty, virtue in unity - unreality is evil... How come nearly everybody is living in a state of evil, and yet regarding themselves as Good?

Well, of course they don't really regard themselves as Good all the way down to the core of their true being - however their delusion does go a long way down; probably far enough that they would choose to reject Christ even if 100% convinced of his reality and truth - they want damnation - want to reject eternal life in Heaven, because ultimately they prefer it.

But again why? Or, how could it be expected that people be better in a society of such pervasive corruption? When all the leaders of all the institutions are corrupt? When the mass media, and the linked bureaucracy of government, corporations, law, police etc... are all corrupt. When the mass media and bureaucracy are united in propagating corruption, pushing surveillance and micro-control, punishing deviation...

Why has God allowed such circumstances to develop - and at the same time be 'invisible' to the great mass of the hedonic-utilitarian soul-denying populace?

We are being pushed back and back, being stripped of all valid authority, the churches are doing more harm than good, we have nowhere to turn...

Until we recognise that we have everything we need, available to us each and personally. And that is the point.

We need to be weaned of passivity, dependence, secondary-ness - we need to know all directly, for ourselves, by experience. And we are being forced-back into exactly that situation...

Eventually we will be confronted by stark reality, and the reality of our own capacity, our adequacy, the adequacy of Life for its necessity - and will choose then either to live by reality, or against it.

Note added: My assumption is that God ultimately intends for us to become like him in nature, which means an evolution (theosis) towards autonomous agency; towards knowing directly and for-ourselves, rather than indirectly from others via communications. This is more a question of shifting the balance between ways of knowing, than it is a matter of either/ or, all-or-nothing. But part of becoming spiritually grown-up is the transition from immersion-in and child-like passive obedience to external communications  from God - towards active-knowing-of Reality based on that which is divine-in-us; and conscious choice in-favour-of working-with God. A move from unconsciously participating in God's creation; to consciously participating in the work of God on creation.

Further note: We really must hold-onto the fact that the reason why people are so blind is Not that they don't know; the answer is not that people be shown - the answer must go much deeper: the answer must go as deep as revising our primary and most fundamental assumptions. Only then will seeing lead to knowing.  


David Balfour said...

Personally, I find that I am stuck in a cycle of 1) being tempted, 2) resisting with some level of genuine sincerity or effort for a short period of time and repenting/petitioning for support from God, from Jesus, from Angels and unknown support mechanisms I can faintly percieve but barely understand and tend to naturally doubt (There is usually a hopeful sense that maybe, just maybe I can be strong enough this time!) 3) the temptation accelerates in its urgency until breaking point (at which, in the 'heat of the moment' I usually suddenly think something like 'who cares' or 'what difference does it make? I need to stop being so strict with myself! Hardly anyone else cares about this temptation X, which most people would not even consider a sin anyway, so why fight it off?! You know from experience you cannot resist for long anyway, you are too weak! Etc, etc.) and it is at exactly at this breaking point that old nihilistic or darwinian habits of perceiving the world break through and determine my choices 4) I thoroughly and fleetingly enjoy the experience of having given in to temptation and it feels like a great relief/deeply satisfying, quickly followed by 5) Guilt, a sense of having let ones higher self down and also God, Jesus, everything good that I aspire towards 6) A feeling of erosive hopelessness that no matter how hard I try to overcome my weaknesses I just keep coming back to where I started with no progress 7) I am sorry, please forgive me, I dont really feel like I deserve it but I need help! Why cant I do it and stop being so weak/pathetic? Etc. Etc. 8) I can do it this time, It is my destiny! I must strive again 9) Back to step one!

After going around this loop countless times since recognising that becoming a Christian seems like my only hope, it is cyclically a groundhog day-like source of despair, to bang my head against this stumbling block over and over again! Is this really as good as it gets for a spiritual aspirant?! After a while, the feeling is, I've tried that and perhaps it is futile to continue treating X as such a big deal. How frustrating it is to try and become a better person! :-)

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - Well, if we were meant to be perfect already - then God would not have made us the way we are, nor placed us in the world as it is. Life is not an impossible task, it is a series of learning experiences - challenges and encouragements both. What we need to do is discriminate, know what-is-what. In a deep sense, repentance is no more than knowing/ agreeing-with creation: with what is really-real (really true, beautiful, virtuous) - and repentance is the main point.

David Balfour said...

@Bruce - That's right, of course. I am in step 8 today so its a good step - what can I learn today to grow?! I agree with creation, as you put it, and sense a deeper wisdom guiding those who will listen to it. I hope that Gods great plan for us all will unfold as planned for as many souls as are ready to join it. That feels like a very hopeful and good starting point for any day I can imagine. Step 8 is an opportunity to learn and to humble oneself to ones limitations while striving to grow beyond them.

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - The other thing, which I was trying to emphasise in this post, is that we can (and should) assume that 'God knows his business', and therefore that we personally were placed here-and-now because it is the place and time when we had the best possibility of learning what we specifically most need to know. I find this fact very encouraging!