Gagdad Bob was recently talking about how sometimes propositions can seem to set off depth charges with the mind, not so much for what they say, but for what they cause you to begin mulling over within your mind. Speaking of depth charges, yesterday at One Cosmos, in replying to another commenter who seemed to have the idea that I or others only voted for Bush because we liked his church, I said “First, I'm not religious (reverent, but not religious…), not a Christian and belong to no church” And it's been bugging me ever since. This used to be my standard reply to anyone who accused me of being a religious whacko for believing in right and wrong.
Problem is… I'm not certain that it is true any longer. This is odd, very odd for me.
I suppose that technically it is factually true, in that I believe in no copyrighted religion, belong to no church, am not a Christian. I do believe that a proper, fully this worldly, sense of right and wrong, ethics, can be shown to derive from the nature of Man qua Man. And that no law should be derived from anything else. But....there has been an internal… um, space opened up within me, which is difficult – if not impossible – to define, which seems to have connection to all levels of thought and experience, yet defined or limited by none of them. This, on one level, is a problem for me, since to say something is all things, is the same as saying it is no thing. However this … space, this… openness is there, and if not itself contained, seems fully capable of containing all within it. My best stab at it is to identify it as a spiritual “One”, similar to saying that Truth is One – but more so.
While I don't believe in a literal bearded God or Goddess(beard optional) sitting on a throne somewhere micromanaging the fall of sparrows and setting up political races to usher in the apocalypse, I do no longer have the sense that I, my spirit, am separated and hermetically sealed into and off from the universe at large. When I consider scripture, poetry, dogma, myth, consider it deeply, there is a sense of having grasped with the hand of the Soul multiple Truths, or rather portions of One Truth at different levels, sort of like playing a chord on a cosmic guitar that on being strummed, resonate through me and I seem to sense harmonies from somewhere within-that-is-withoutside there...where is the sound chamber it is reverberating through?
Seems as if it is more outside than within (I’ve touched on this here before).
While I am not religious in the copyrighted sense of believing that the bible or any other tome, is the literal word of God, as transmitted to earth directly from the pen of the almighty, the bible (and others) enable me to find much wisdom through poetically interpreting them, through drawing truth perhaps out from within, through it and its dogma. There is much wisdom to be found in their pages, providing that you avoid literal-ly killing it's spirit. That I do revere.
While although I am quite sure that my set of beliefs do not make me a literal Christian (I don't believe that he was THE son of god - in Trinitarian form or otherwise, or literally walked on water, rose (or raised) from the dead…etc), I know of no other religion or myth, and I know a bunch, whose form (together with the Old Testament) is so well suited for prism-ing my intuitions through (the symbolic trinity(Thought, Concept, Word), the need to be reborn from above, Christmas, and of course Santa Claus, etc).
And as far as Church goes, I don’t go & don’t want to go, but the sense I have of it is a meeting place where people of like mind and understanding of the spirit of their beliefs go to consider refractions of Truth through their (perhaps unwitting) poetic interpretations of their text, and commune together – I can say nothing against that. In fact, that is near to what I do at One Cosmos. People, depending on their interest & grasp, find a vehicle for filling their realization of the spiritual vision they have – some do that through church, some in other ways – each in the fashion which clicks with them best. Depending on the intellectual inclinations of the individual; some folk look for mythic story, some for theological interpretation, some for literary content, some for philosophical depth – as long as they aren’t seeking to impose their understanding on others through law, what problem should be had with that? The alternative is a people with no synthesizing vision of what is Right and what is Wrong, and to my mind, the rudderless, arbitrarily self justifying sort (read eco-green-hippie-wackadmeic-leftist) are a far more frightening group of people.
So where does that leave me?
Somehow confused and clear at the same time.
I have an Objectivist inspired belief that to speak of physical & philosophical knowledge, you must have verifiability, bust be able to show it’s foundational trail down to tangible reality, or you are only speculating. And I do believe that - urging someone to act on your unfounded assertions is irrational for both the urger and the urgee(if they act on it), but what is the status of knowledge which has verifiability - but only within your own consciousness? In other words, I can repeat these sensations (i.e. the spiritual strumming of a chord) and such findings within myself - to the extent that it is a known known which, though unknown in source, is not unknown in fact - within my mind. However, absent being able to take someone by the hand and show them this experiment within the anteroom of my mind, I can in no way, in good conscience, say that "This is true, believe me", and in Truth if I were I to, I think that it would kill the truth they might have found, had they went exploring for themselves.
So I am someone who demands objective proof that is verifiable to others, who has discovered truths which are only attainable within myself, and as such not directly verifiable and available to others for examination. I'm a non-religious person, a non-christian user of christian dogma who belongs to no church yet thinks that church is valuable.
Perhaps that depth charge is still going off.