Wednesday 18 December 2019

Can spiritual insensitivity be physically caused?

The Romantic Christianity that I espouse depends on a person's ability directly to know by experience, that is to intuit, the primary and deepest things about this Life that he needs to know.

Yet some people claim to be unable to have spiritual experience, they claim to be utterly insensitive to intuitive knowing - as well as to the more 'old style' spiritual phenomena such as visions, voices, contact-with or channelling of spirits and whatever. They get nothing from divination, nor from reading or viewing material about mysticism. If they sit and pray or meditate, the experience is utterly everyday and mundane. They may enjoy the arts, but never in a sublime way...

Is this true; are some people 'made this way' or socialised and trained to be spiritually insensitive such that they cannot escape the routine factuality and superficiality of everydayness? Yes, I believe so; because I have-been and still-am like-that, for considerable chunks of my life - and therefore I find it easy to imagine being like-that nearly-all of the time.

This is particularly apparent to me because I have a cyclical form of chronic migraine extending across about a week; during which I have phases of creativity and spirituality lasting many hours, and and other phases of exactly the kind of spiritual deadness I described above. During these dull phases, it is flogging a dead horse to try and force any spiritual contact.

Furthermore, there were long periods in my young adult life when I experienced this spiritual dullness for many months at a time, or years - with only short periods of relief which was more of a forgetting (a temporary intoxication or frenzy) than any elevation-above or transcending of my chronic dull state.

Both of these are microcosmic instances of a more general phenomenon.

There are two things I want to say about spiritual insensitivity.

The first is that it is to some extent inevitable, since - to some extent - it is a part of our mortal condition. As mortal Men we are subject to change, and cannot maintain any state on a long term basis - because this mortal life is primarily about learning, and learning requires change.

There is a process of habituation (of getting-used-to); there is disease, decay and ultimately death. Nobody has ever lived at the heights all of the time, apparently not even Jesus.

But the second thing to say is that chronic spiritual insensitivity is a symptom of spiritual malaise.

Those times when I experienced the most, and most-sustained, spiritual insensitivity; were the times when I was furthest off track in my life - when my metaphysical assumptions were most wrong. And the consequence of false basic beliefs was that I made choices that took me further and further away from being able to live intuitively.

This took a while to unfold, there was a lag - a few years in fact; and I was at-first sustained by the sheer vitality and development of late adolescence; so that I continued to have spiritual experiences even though I had begun to live by anti-spiritual, materialistic assumptions.

But over time, incrementally but inexorably, the wrong assumptions worked-through to poison my life,  including my ability to see beyond the dull mundane everyday 'reality' of modern existence - just as they have done in Western Society.

So my advice to anybody who suffers form spiritual insensitivity is first - do not be satisfied with your state. You need to make changes such that you can directly know matters beyond the material - and need means need. In other words; that ought to be your priority.

Secondly, do not expect spiritual experiences to be permanent and unchanging. At best you will have be enabled to have spiritual experiences some of the time; but never all of the time. Asking to live in continual and lasting contact with the divine is asking the impossible.

But that 'some of the time' is the most significant experience a mortal can have; and a foretaste of what is possible to you permanently after death, if you  choose to follow Christ through death to resurrected immortality in Heaven.

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