By: Wendell Krossa
Wendell Krossa is a regular contributor to this site. The following are some of his thoughts.
As they dissect the background of the new pope as a Jesuit, called God’s Marines to combat God’s enemies, and employed to extend the authority of the papacy around the world. They (the Jesuits), were part of the Counter-reformation to fight back against the Reformation and ensure the continuance of the Catholic church. Yet the real threat to Christianity was not Protestantism. That was just a hiccup along the way.
The real threat, the deadliest threat of all is….. are you ready….. Jesus. That unconditional message of the Palestinian secular sage is a death blow to Christianity and to all religion. It is a time bomb sitting ticking right at the core of Christianity’s holy book, ready to blow the entire structure apart.
When the Wheaton elite sat to discuss the need to embrace evolution….and discovered to their horror that embracing a mythical Adam would undermine the Romans 5 parallelism (as death came by Adam and the gift of life by Jesus), when they saw that undermining the Adam part would render the other side meaningless (salvation through Jesus), well, they jumped out of their chairs and ran out of the room and back to their classrooms to reaffirm Christian basics. Yikes, that was close.
But that was nothing compared to this core message of Jesus as unconditional treatment of all others. This is the real threat, the deadliest idea ever to confront religion. Watch it blow.
One of the articles I sent on this, stated that the meeting point between the material and mind was a real problem for dualism. How could mind influence meat? How would this work? Eccles suggested an exchange not of energy but of information. It did not clear up anything. But there need not be any meeting point between matter and mind because there is no matter as we once thought. Quantum mechanics killed that entirely. We are still working through that revolution in thought. We have discovered that it is not material but it is all mind. So there is no problem for dualism. It appears monism may be right- it is all one substance- consciousness or mind. As one early quantum theorist said, the universe appears to be more a great thought than a machine. It is a dream from which we wake up one day. But hey, enjoy the dreaming.
Like the historical Jesus who pointed to nature to affirm that there was goodness behind all life and reality (grass clothed, birds fed, rain and sun given to all alike) I think the IDers also get this right in pointing to all the evidence supporting intelligence behind all. And this, they say, is good evidential science.
On love behind all, again, as the Historical Jesus did, I would point to natural reality. Look at the cosmos and its progression from chaotic hot beginnings to cooling and organizing with profound fine tuning toward something habitable and generous, to our planet also developing from something more chaotic toward something more ordered and habitable for conscious life. Civilization and its progress toward something better or more human, is in all these great emergences and long term trends. It reveals a transcendent Love inspiring and sustaining it all. This is just reason and rationality employed in the search for meaning and purpose which is the human impulse behind all this. In all these things we are dealing with the very essence of being human and using human mind. Part of human curiosity and desire to know and learn is that forbidden thing Adam engaged in.
As Bob points out, what we know about ultimate reality comes from what we know about humanity. As we discover unconditional love in ourselves we then naturally project this out to ultimate reality, as people have done all through history in humanizing their gods. This is another strand in the process of human discovery and learning. Kindness in the pharaohs is kindness emerging in the gods also. We don’t make the gods something separate and above humanity. So there is this preventative thing of keeping the focus on humanity. It’s the fact that you will never rid humanity of God awareness but how to handle that in the safest and most humane manner. Keep it located in humanity.
Bob’s comment on what authority we appeal to sparked a bit along this line. Let me approach it thus- if you can imagine something better than what is, then that is true and good and right; for instance, love, forgiveness, mercy and other human ideals. We use unconditional love to point to the highest and best of human ideals. If we can imagine something better, it is true and the truth of that thing is even infinitely, incomprehensibly better than the best we can imagine.
We get this in such things as love is better than hate, peace is better than war, and so on. We have learned to find better things by such reason. And by reasoning such we know this to be the true nature of ultimate reality. This gets us to the real TOE, Theory of Everything, and in doing this we avoid the darkness and despair of Hawkings’ TOE which has taken an apocalyptic turn, as has Martin Rees and others. Part of their darkness is in a misapplication of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Julian Simon dealt with this in his Grand Theory in Ultimate Resource).
If we can just begin to imagine that better thing, then the actual reality is far better than our best imagination. The NDErs are trying to tell us these things, at least the ones that experienced unconditional love. They can’t even find human words to begin to point to how much better it is.
Materialism was not just about science in the last century- it was a dark, despair-generating dogma of nihilism. It was anti-meaning, anti-purpose and therefore anti-human. It missed the essence of being human and this quest for meaning. Yes, it had elements of good critique of religious irrationality and mythology, but it went further into dogma and hate and despair. It became apocalyptic myth just like the religious myth it decried. Watch Martin Rees, Dawkins and Krauss in this regard.
But I am trying to point to your personal authority as the ultimate authority in life, your sense of the human thing and your sense of something better as pointing you in the right direction. The actual reality of goodness and love everywhere is far beyond our weak comprehension and expression of such things. That is ultimate reality and it is right within us all. We don’t go searching to the ends of the earth, or to the skies or universe above to find this, it is in each of us, in our personal human consciousness. It is our true selves as many have been telling us (Nolan, Armstrong, Schwartz).
You may find at times some residual concern over some past belief from your past religious system; something that makes you uneasy or causes some emotional restraint from some old fear or whatever. It may be some powerful idea like a threatening God or threat of hell or whatever. You can counter that with your own personal authority; you can as Tom Petty sings, stand up at the gates of hell and not back down from anything, not even from the old punishing God. You can know that what actually is, is far better than the best you can imagine, that unconditional love is infinitely beyond the best you can conceive or express. And that is true and anything less than or counter to that, is false and not real.