Monday 12 March 2018

Paradox equals Polarity - because reality is personal not principles

 Painting by William Arkle

We get ourselves tangled in knots about dilemmas of all sorts... we get to believe that Reality is 'paradoxical'; that is, we get to believe that life does not make sense (or that we are incapable of understanding the sense of it).

But I have never seen a paradox that wasn't the consequence of false - or at least unjustified - assumptions.

Especially the assumption that Reality ought to be capture-able in principle, laws, rules that (ought to) apply to all situations (and that the alternative would be chaos, or self-gratification).

No amount of counter-experience is capable of dislodging this assumption; which gives away that it is a very fundamental, primary and thus metaphysical assumption... we are assuming that Reality Just-Is organised by principles; and that persons must fit-into the principles.

But what if Reality is organised by Persons, instead of principles - what if the bottom line form of organisation is life and consciousness and the relationships between living-conscious individual entities?

This shouldn't be difficult to grasp - because it is, after all, pretty much what we all began by thinking, as young children. Suppose, then, that we were correct then and are wrong now? That Reality is about Persons and not Principles?

Is that so hard to imagine?  It shouldn't be - unless you are blocking this understanding... but the fact is that you (like me) probably are blocking exactly this... Are resisting it, pushing it away because it seems childish, naive, simplistic, wishful... (like William Arkle's painting above seems to be).

Yet, as Christians, we have the incarnation, teaching and the example of Jesus that - in many, many ways - implies we should be doing exactly this. The fact that Jesus was incarnate God, that he taught with parables and animistic symbolism, that he had a family and gathered persons, that he loved and cared about people...

Focusing on the Fourth (and most authoritative) Gospel (the one written by The Disciple who Jesus loved); the whole thing, pretty much, is Personal - there is nothing much in the way of abstract Principles. The more important the teaching, the more Jesus seems to animate it or personalise it - make explanation a matter of relationships.

Our big problem is our alienation from our True Selves - that-which-is-divine in each of us... and indeed our actual hostility and opposition to our True Selves...

One who is alienated from the divine within exists is a state of profound self-distrust which extends to a fear of others who do trust their True Selves - the typical response is to imagine and seek a System of Principles to regulate everybody in all important matters - to regard this as ultimate morality. The Law becomes greater than any Person - only abstraction is really-real; and even God (the presumed author of that presumed Law) therefore becomes absorbed into abstraction...

Like most bad things (not all - but most) we bring disaster upon ourselves by our wilful, unrepentant, arrogant foolishness.

The True Answer is clear, simple, easily understandable - but, for our corrupt selves - that is exactly the problem with the True Answer!

1 comment:

Jared said...

Reading some of your previous blog posts this evening has been extremely rewarding. Especially this one. Going against how our true selves and God and others whom we know deep down that we love want us to act really does bring disaster.
I really like how you identified that we come to this realization of the personality of goodness as children, and then we go against it because we don't want it to be that clear and simple.