Thursday 26 March 2020

Why didn't God 'communicate' by direct knowing in past ages?

I have deliberately asked this question in the opposite way than usual.

The usual question is along the lines of wondering why the supernatural has receded, why people disbelieve in deity, why God does not communicate with modern Men using visions, dreams, voices and by the 'channelling' of scriptures and other revelations?

Of course, one answer is that God still does all of these things - because some people do continue to experience them. However, plenty of people do not, and cannot, have such experiences; furthermore, those who do have such experiences do not seem to be transformed by them in the way they were in the past. Modern supernatural experience sometimes seems more like a lifestyle choice, hobby, or a way of making a living.

However, what is less often remarked is that these are all 'communications' - I mean, these are indirect means by which God may transmit knowledge to people. All require the use of perceptual, sensory information - which may be defective. Furthermore, these sensory inputs must be interpreted in order to be understood.

Whereas now - it seems - God communicates by directly implanting understanding into the mind, into the stream of thinking. This cuts-out the need for potenitally faulty, errorful perceptions; and cuts-past the problems of misunderstanding.

When God makes himself known by direct means, he goes straight to the limit of capability of that individual. However, this isn't 'perfect' because each person's capability is limited and also distinctively biased. Plus there are the same (usual) problems about communications between people.

Nonetheless, it might reasonably be assumed that direct knowing is superior to the older modes of 'communication'.

If so, why then did God 'bother' with what seems like a worse method? Why did he persist with it for so long?

The answer is apparently that this is related to the evolutionary-development of human consciousness. Men in the past quite naturally and spontaneously perceived God and the spiritual realm.

Then, as development proceeded through the ages, this spontaneous capacity diminished.

Why? Because the divine intention was that Man could be independent of the divine and spiritual - could become able to disbelieve and deny in order that he could freely choose to align with God's creation.

Thus, in his personal development, each Modern Man becomes detached from the spontaneous immersion in the spiritual and contact with the divine of young childhood; and then is able freely to choose to join with the divine plan, to become a divine friend of God - not only a child of God, but a grown-up child of God.

And then, but only then; Man can directly know, can (sometimes, but not in a sustained way) align his own thinking with God's thinking; have his thinking be also a part of the divine thinking.

Can potentially participate - consciously and by choice - in the creative work of God

Note: The above ideas are derived mainly from Owen Barfield, and to some degree from William Arkle - as I understand and have developed them.


William Wildblood said...

This is exactly my understanding. Having, if I may say so, experienced both methods, I would say experiencing the supernatural in visions, communications, mystic trances etc is a passive thing while direct knowing is the soul actively engaged with God, and starting to become godlike itself. It's something like the difference between floating along on a current and swimming.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - "It's something like the difference between floating along on a current and swimming."

Thanks, very helpful.

Perhaps I should have added something to the effect that God most wants us to meet him half-way, so that the process of contact is active on both sides, chosen on both sides.

This is why contact with the divine does not *happen-to* people any more (or only seldom); and also that when it does it is of a different nature.

However, people often want and expect old style 'communications', and fail to recognise or explain-away the adult, voluntary, freely consented contact that happens nowadays to those who seek it with a valid motivation...

But far too many people seek contact with God for assistance in pursuing worldly schemes for personal gratification! And are disappointed Not to get such help! *That* was me at various stages in my life. It was a lesson I needed to learn and it took several cycles of experience before I learned it.