|As I Was Going To St. Ives...|
I read the comments that you linked to in my comments section.
First, to get it out of the way, let me say that if you have thoughts you wish to express that are in any way inspired by this blog and its subject matter, please feel free to do so to your hearts content. I won't edit or block your comment. The choice belongs to you.
Regarding your comment at the Christian blog, and your comments on Gnostic Maroon V, I hope the following thoughts are helpful or at least interesting.
To begin, I reflect that according to my own philosophy there is nothing at this blog, nothing I have written or said, indeed nothing about my existence at large, that has any fixed or absolute value. I express my Adventures in Gnosis because it pleases me to do so, and because sharing that joy with others is the source of increase. My system of reckoning, however, does not allow me to attach "specific" importance to anything I do or say. Here is why, and in this explanation, I think you will find the key to a perspective I enjoy. From there, it belongs to you.
When I was a kid, I was exposed to the idea that a full and meaningful life must include travel, education, and the appreciation of culture other than one's own. I liked this idea, because I wanted power and wisdom and a good time too, but I was nevertheless troubled by what I perceived as a flaw in the notion of enlightenment by way of knowledge and experience...
Namely, that if one has to learn, travel and become cultured to be wise and be happy, then it follows that this wisdom, this happiness, this salvation, may be permanently unavailable to countless people restricted by class, intelligence, geography and history. By this evaluation, I concluded that such salvation must be innately false. I became convinced and so remain to this day, that truly abiding wisdom and peace must be available to all and any who seek it, and without artificial, social and hierarchic hindrances.
This attitude allowed me to pursue a strictly thought based pursuit of my quarry--Total Gnosis.
The question of God, as a creator and as an absolute value, is the real challenge here, and what I have learned about this subject is the basis for my perception of reality.
I am very much faithful that there is a God, One God, and that this God is supremely, indescribably, even impossibly good. Because of my Catholic upbringing it is convenient to express this faith in terms of the Christian Mystery, and in a very real sense, I consider these observations to be cosmically and gnostically valid--factual. They may also be absolute, but it really doesn't matter if they are or are not, because there is no way I will ever know for certain.
Thus, I report that a mature Gnosis is the attempt to balance perfect doubt and perfect faith.
It must be understood that the faith I invoke is completely void of particular detail. It is no more and no less than the unshakable optimism that in spite of the awful facts of our botched existence, that somehow, someway, it is all for the best. Indeed, not merely the best, but the very best our hearts, souls and mind can conceive, and more. Clearly, such faith is completely beyond reason, which is exactly why it must be freighted with vicious and unyielding cynicism and doubt, not only in one's beliefs, but in the validity of one's own most cherished experience.
Let us examine a simple practice of such a faith doubt, and the results it must produce.
Consider the paradoxical axiom that is the banner to my blog: Nothing is Impossible and So is Everything Else. Apply this idea to your present situation, however ordinary or awesome it may be. Any honest meditation upon one's own experience, prosaic or profound, is bound to its limit by a simple fact: it is IMPOSSIBLE. There is not a single thing in human history or in the cosmology of quantum reality that is at all possible. Reality is IMPOSSIBLE.
Thus, we see that whatever is happening, wherever it happens, it is in fact a total miracle. When this hits you full on, double rainbow, so to speak, it is the permanent installation of Gnosis and the seed of Ultimate Faith.
Fantastically, the same model can and I think ought to be used as the standard for Divine Doubt, and here is where I shift into the direct address to your own questions as reflected by your comments here and at the Christian blog.
The real God never talks to or influences the behavior of human beings. In fact, this legitimate Super Being could not do so, and would not, even if it could. Here is why.
Consider the conundrum of Hamlet's Father. A ghost appears to Hamlet in the guise of his father, but there is in fact no way for Hamlet to know this to be a true representation. The finest intuition must fail the identification. There may be a force or even a technology at work that is beyond Hamlet's comprehension but that could nevertheless be very different than God (the Father) and very counter to the motives and unimaginable operations of that God.
The philosopher Jacques Derrida puts it nicely when he claims to "pass as an atheist". Doubt, holds Derrida, is the only way to access the sacred, because the sacred must be inherently beyond comprehension, intuition and temporal reckoning.
Another fine example of this idea emerges from the interpretation of 10th Century Christian Mystic Meister Eckhart, given by Andrew Davidson, in The Gargoyle...
'...Meister Eckhart would not even admit that God was good....Eckhart's position was that anything that was good can become better, and whatever may become better may become best. God cannot be referred to as "good", "better", or "best" because He is above all things. If a man says that God is wise, the man is lying because anything that is wise can become wiser. Anything that a man might say about God is incorrect, even calling Him by the name of God. God is "superessential nothingness" and "transcendent Being"..."beyond all words and beyond all understanding". The best a man can do is remain silent, because anytime he prates on about God, he is committing the sin of lying. The true master knows that if he had a God he could understand, He would never hold Him to be God.'
Needless to say, Eckhart was called a heretic and tried for blasphemy.
A great lesson is given in a Chinese proverb. God finds a man of excellent virtue whom he wishes to reward, but realizes that such a reward may in fact spoil the man's goodness. God decides that the solution is to allow the man, should he desire, to bring goodness and joy wherever he goes, but to also deny the man knowledge that he possesses such a power. God is so pleased with this gift, it is given at once to EVERYONE. The model also shows that after this initial contact, God must never intervene in creation again.
Now, I don't proffer any frontal attack upon those who insist they have spoken to or intuited a communication from God or divine consciousness, although I reject the sensibility of such claims. Hell, I don't even credit well founded claims of common sense and empirical evidence--least of all these to solve the mystery of mystery!
These are very strange times, heady times, times on paranoid alert for the institution of a Grand Illusion of self importance, and from every angle imaginable. The irony is that real down-to-earth seekers like yourself are the most susceptible to this pressing delusion. I do not judge. In the summer of 2001 I fell prey to such self-delusion and it nearly killed me, and completely destroyed my already tenuous social reputation.
Ces't la vie, my friend. It is all in the game. We are all a little crazy here, and more than a little sick. The finest, funnest people are those that know it, the monster yearning from within, the terrible, horrible magick of it all, and find beauty anyway. From your comments, I deduce that you are on the horns of the same beastly dilemma. Doubt is the way Out of delusion and into Total Mystery. You will find God only in the midst of consuming disbelief. You must doubt yourself to find YourSelf, and in all likelihood, You Will.
To close, here is a fairly well known quote of dubious origin, but that sums it all up to a tee.
"Seek the seekers of the Truth. Avoid those who claim they have found it".
Trust the machine, and just keep rolling.
Pax Owt for Now