Friday, February 9, 2007
The dilemma of religions: The facts are not easily communicated; people have to be at a high enough level for them to understand and absorb what they cannot understand and absorb at a lower level though they might think they do. So — what to do in the meantime? Ignore them? Leave them on their own, to find meaning as best they can, or perhaps to find some charlatan to sell them meaning? Let them try to live without meaning? Worse – some of them need to be protected from premature exposure to a certain kind of meaning.
You wind up, every time, with an esoteric core and an exoteric penumbra. How else can it be? The “how else” is easily answered, and Christianity answered it: the language of feelings, emotions, direct connection, rather than of thought, intellect, abstract understanding. Hence, the age of faith. But in our time — the past 500 years in fact — the tension was drawn too tight, and the connection snapped. It became faith or reason, feeling or thought, connection or understanding — and neither side was whole.
It moves back toward the question of faith, belief, knowledge, and the sliding scale.
This is a quote from Chris Nelson’s manuscript novel “The Dreaming Gods,” page 122:
“I’m not like that. This is where my academic nature comes in. When people tell me strange things I dismiss them that… I tend to go more by what I think is possible rather than what people tell me they’ve experienced.” He laughed. “Saying that makes me realize how absurd it is. It’s backwards. It’s not even good science.”
Monday February 12, 2007 8:30 a.m.
It struck me that an aspect of our culture’s problem is that it really has a dissociated personality — either that, or it is trying, so far unsuccessfully, to absorb and integrate masses of new data. The stuff The Secret is about would be terra incognita to political types. The Gurdjieff work, terra incognita to scientists of many persuasions and specialties. But this could be a hopeful sign.