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Whose are the Reins ?
THE MEETING OF
IN THE SPIRITUAL CLUB FOR CONTROVERSY
OF DIVERSE QUASI-DEITIES
The Australian February 19, 2009 (cf. *3)
There was a meeting. It was a consortium. All had been prepared. On the left were the gods of naturalism, the physical types, on the right, the gods of psychic extension, the more spirited sort, and at the front was the Chairman, Professor Fuzzy Thought. On his right, was the Secretary General, Mme. Fitzwilliam and on his left, the Public Relations officer, Miss Chief.
The meeting was called to order by the Professor, who seemed to be the only one through whom one could not look, for there was in the rest a peculiar diaphanous quality, so that they seemed like a darkening of the afternoon light rather than actual bodies, but then when you come to gods, what would you!
There was a feeling, it was found in the physical god grouping, that they were too much taken for granted. There is far too much talk, said one, of belief. Even in the most nether quarters of our court, you find people saying that what you need above all is self-belief. What is the ground for such a proposition ?
In reply, one from the psychic extension brigade answered shortly. We find, said she, that if you believe in yourself, you tend to be unembarrassed, cool and to the point. You get on with things and do not mess or muddle about with self-doubt which tends to beg the question, and inject the (inappropriate) disturbances from within to the events outside, and so cloud the consequences.
WE want to win.
The Chairman, seeing that here was just one more of the endless arguments between these two goddish factions, intervened at this point. I think, he enunciated carefully, that one has to believe in something. I am sure that many of you gods quite ... ahem, naturally, if I may use that term without offence, feel that your own particular dimension is paramount, but since this is less than obvious, it might be best perhaps, if only we could agree that there is SOMETHING that must be believed, that belief therefore DOES have a place, while the alternate question, WHAT is it could be left to another time.
At this, the whole assembly, partly to be free from the boredom of endless strife on party lines, agreed.
Still, said one of the goddish delegates, you know, we DO have to face all things eventually: I mean, if we are gods, what do we do if we don't deal with what mortals want: we might then just as well just be members of the human race, keep with the pace and abolish ourselves when outdistanced, as now ...
Uproar, predictably, ensued.
The devil, who had been an honorary member for some time, now arose to his full height. People, he said with that combination of grim grimace, saucy effrontery and bold dash which so often seemed part of his very character, there is NO need to settle such questions as this. People NEED to believe in themselves, for even if that is like believing in a wave to save you when you are adrift in the ocean, it gives them a focus and minimises the inessential. Only the other day, I found someone believing, or trying to believe in God. You see when this sort of thing can lead.
At t his, the self-belief god bowed profoundly and emitted the idea that this was a good point.
If, he added, you cannot believe in yourself, what can you believe in, your arm, your neighbour, your world, when you can not totally control any of this. Start where the action is centred and do the best that you can. Further, I personally am willing to help ANYONE doing ANYTHING which brings results that impress ME, by faith in this or that, yourself included; for it is all one, people needing to have an hypnotic preoccupation which blinds them to the light which is so penetrating these days.
Indeed, it is found that if you believe in something, even your Walkman radio, or the pitter-patter of text messages to keep your lonely soul in a company which at any rate is better than that of God, then there is a certain cool look and embrace of something that dulls the thoughts of divinity and spurs the heart and spirit into more apt action than that would portend.
Prolonged applause met this statement.
Quite, said the leader of the gods-physical division. I believe, quite freely in matter.
That is no matter, said the leader of the gods-psychic division, it is YOU who do the believing.
True, but then, replied the other, I DO have something definite to which to address my faith.
Definite ? argued his counterpart. Do you realise what you are saying ? Matter is a theory of mind, and we are continually being told what it REALLY is, by MIND, as it investigates its alien ways, for it is neither agile in thought, imaginative in disposition, set to test, being disposed merely to endure tests, nor does it ever show any power to invent: and while it has a certain bucolic, or better inert form, yet it is about as useful to believe in it, as to believe that cows will turn into princesses!
Why ? responded his counterpart.
DO YOU EVER SEE cows turn into princesses ? asked his foe.
Not really, replied the controversialist.
Do you ever have record of verifiable character to present to me that matter turns into information by itself, without the intervention of intelligence ?
Of course you don't*1, that is one of the nicer features of matter.
Nice feature or not, take your pick, came his respondent's retort, what it can't do, given whatever help FROM intelligence, it can't produce; and since it attests itself as a mere repository of form and law and order and specifications, it is better to look for what has specified these specifications.
Like your mind ? old chap. I say, forget this self-believe sort of claptrap. YOU cannot avoid death and your prized mind is as much a gift to come as a gain to lose, for all your vaunting.
It is not MY mind which is the point, came the reply.
Then WHY trust in it, in your self of which this is an investigable and vital part ?
Because - and then he shrugged and looked for a gleaming moment in the direction of the devil, and visibly looked somewhat apprehensive - because, ahem, ah! yes, he continued, because it is all I have and it IS better than matter.
In what way ?
Well it can understand matter and achieve more and more understanding of the way it works.
Where did it come from ?
Goodness knows. People try to have it come from nothing, and that failed, being a contradiction in terms, and then they simply assume it, begging the question and ignoring causation*2, which is contrary to scientific method, which specifically insists on giving causes and reasons in rationally defensible models, though it more rarely provides them these days in these fields, being pre-occupied with a variety of impossible and innovations; and it is bringing itself more and more into disrepute; but that is just like mind. They are always trying to say things which don't come to be, or to assume things that are just operating on a delimiting basis, as if they had some sort of divine right to be, and needed no ground for their containing laws, forms and structural limitations ... a sort of magic wand situation.
And just ONE of the things they say, came the response, is your grossly materialistic, deterministic*3 position, which if all they say is so evanescent, is simply one MORE remove from reality than we are.
The Chairman blushed. One thing a chairman is supposed to do is keep the place looking reasonable at least, and by this time no reason seemed to have the boldness to exist at all. It was clearly time for the devil to act; but he was feeling a little shut-in, a trifle unbalanced, and was wondering if perchance he had some spiritual version of Menieres disease.
This being a strange development, the Chairman called the meeting to order, for if there is nothing to be ordered, the general concept of order may sometimes serve as a reminder of the potential for order that would exist if there WERE anything to be ordered.
Matter, came a voice, is merely a utensil of thought, gifted with visibility, available for scrutiny, given a physical format for building, like building blocks.
Blockhead! shouted the leader of the psycho-gods, it is a utensil of thoughtlessness when it comes to the endless formulations of whatever it is supposed to be by our so learned brethren.
Wait a minute, thoughtfully added one of his colleagues by him. It evidenced thought but does not think. That is, it is a mere servant of psych-gods, who think.
Rubbish! retorted an associate on the other side, it is no servant. Did it serve Hiroshima when it was destroyed by it ?
No, but it DID serve the USA, came the reply.
Well then, it is serviceable and hence good, replied the other side once more.
Good! good to destroy ...
Well, said the devil, when you come to think of it, for he was beginning to get new hope, it CAN be good to destroy, for example viruses out of place, an excellent destiny to accord them.
But someone has to do the agency work, to get the destruction done with the instrument, said the Chairman, himself at last getting involved.
True, and that is where mind comes in, said the Psycho-Leader.
But it needs SOMETHING to do it with, said the Physical-Leader.
True, said the Chairman, now feeling he could contribute something that seemed more impartial in the impenetrable fog of pushing bits about, and he proceeded in this way: none of these are able to explain themselves, their composition or even their own existence, so we have a certain dichotomy, duality. On the one hand, mind acts, and on the other, matter follows.
Follows! fumed a psycho-squad member, follows - does it follow when diseases like Aids wreak havoc in the earth. Are not the pathogens material! I do not see them thinking, or becoming accessible to disposing thought.
Ah! mused the devil, there you have it boys (and girls! shouted Miss Chief).
Corrected! smiled the devil, always alert to gaining dominance over a meeting by utilising division and making parts of the company so pre-occupied with other parts that the point of it all was missed; for he knew too well from past experience, that if the point were NOT missed, he was in for havoc.
Matter is not really a thing to worship, and mind is not really a thing to trust, but if you use your mind suavely and take hold of matter aptly, then you can simply choose your own morals, build a world to convenience, remould to taste, and enjoy the prodigious energies this world possesses, courtesy ...
Courtesy! thundered a Psycho-Member, I should like to see something of courtesy in this world. It is all DO THIS OR ELSE, or OMIT THIS BECAUSE ... We are about as free as smoke from a fire.
The devil, who for all his wickedness, did have a sort of smouldering conscience, visibly winced at this reference, since his own destiny had been so often and so clearly told and validated in this direction.
Fire, he insisted, is not really so very important. It is a destruction agency, and some things ... well some, need destroying.
Freedom, said the Chairman, were it not present, would make all this discussion pointless. We would all be uttering moulded words from a control system which would not be accessible to mere agencies who are so disposed that they follow its orders; and so our follies in so acting would be all the more ludicrous. If we were not free, why dig ? Do you want to dig post-holes forever, and talk forever, when you are merely creaking as you push, and the creaks are verbal utterance in our own sight.
Order! thundered the devil. Of course we are free, to worship me for example. I grow so weary of people trying to be bound and then becoming inert when I give summons for action. If you are free to follow a devious path, or to avoid it, and guilty if you do, then what is the use of pretending that you are not. You can weigh whey and find it light, or follow flame and find it hot, or reject both courses because of an evanescent dream, or accept them despite it, by the will to follow this or that consideration which fits with our psyche, or stirs, stimulates or constrains, draws or entices it. You can reject the enticement as one not willing to be enticed, or accept it as one charmed by it. Freedom has wings, and enables us to argue discursively on any topic, to assess evidence and to pursue our pleasure IF we will, or sink into defeat in delirium, IF we won't.
This remarkable speech from the devil left the Chairman speechless for once, but one of his deputies responded.
Free ? I thought the whole point of having gods like us was that people could engage in psychological determinism or physical determinism, and so give reverence to whatever bit or bits of their ideas best accorded with our plans for them, and so become subjects which we bought for nothing, agents achievable by mere subtlety. Indeed, how else do we plan to pay for ourselves ? We are free to pursue profit or to die. What then do you want ? If you are not free to think, do not respond, for we want no gods who are as bound as we would have mankind to be. We want AGENTS to control, not servile subsidiaries as we seek to make of man something productive for us, this mankind who when controlled, can be very useful.
So spake he.
You are in error! pursued the Physical-god leader.
In error! countered the Psycho-Specialist, how then is this determined. If he HAS to say it, what is the very meaning of 'error'! If you are governed, how would you KNOW it ? If there is no absolute truth, how could you find it ? If we are reactors, how would you discover it ? If you blame him for 'error', how could it even be a meaningful statement, for error is what is committed where options exist, not what is wrought by program, in precise accord with its designations, which it CORRECTLY follows.
In the confusion which followed, there was a mounting feeling that since all their views were inadequate, they should disband.
The devil, seeing the uselessness of it all, moved accordingly. Always move when you fail, quoth he, so that you may succeed somewhere. With this God up there (the devil is a fervent believer in the EXISTENCE of God, but not in being subordinate to him, having a desire to ravage, or to rampage, or to confuse, and somehow, somewhere, to achieve rule, if not of himself, then what is far easier, that of others*4 - James 2:19), the point, he mused, is to keep moving and try to avoid being hit.
COMING BACK TO EARTH ON THE WAY TO HEAVEN ...
OR OPTING FOR THE OTHER
Well they dispersed, but we can now regard this point. Moving ... to try to avoid being hit!
That is why, in the long run, he never hits it off too well with others, likewise scurrying, but in their cases, on this earth, and not in ruminative rebellion over it. Many however are they who act as if they could hope to achieve this - perhaps with a little help from some infernal source (as illustrated in Christ's temptation, which in that case would have been a come-down from deity to disciple, where in many another, it is a temporary rise from insignificance to fitting power). Their dreams inform their thoughts, dynamise their hopes and the ludicrous becomes lordly, and men so very often, bow, bow to all of such things.
Man coming to blows on the impossible is an earthly outcome, participant and objective for such spiritual rioting in rebellions domains. It is unwise to be available.
Man's spirit living in its own light, is subvertible, of course. W see this constantly and Christians seek to avoid such conduct in ourselves and those whom we love; but as a race, mankind is also subverted in advance (Romans 5, 8:19ff.), since it did not begin yesterday. In this domain, the important point is not to be involved in vain discussions about the impossible, but to face the necessary, and to make peace with God before there is none left to have (II Corinthians 6:1ff., 5:10ff.).
In fact, as all insist on error on those who oppose their thinking, or else say no one knows, which is impossible to know if knowledge of truth is unavailable, then they act on the notion that man is free; and indeed he is, ultimately, though his pathology oppresses not only his neighbours but himself.
For man to escape the misuse of the liberty he always assumes, even when he denies it, he has to seek not the Chairman of some convocation of ideas on legs, perverse in prejudice and ignorant of truth, far less those who deny its existence while affirming they know this to be true, but the Maker of one of the ultimates amid such created wonders, that is, of the freedom to think, to rebel, to love and to be inconsistent, mutinous or obedient. Man has NOT been given the power to reject God by means of not having liberty; and when he presumes to use it so, then he is assuming liberty, so that truth might be found and acted on, even while killing it in concept. You have no abiding liberty if you do not know truth, since you do not even know what you are doing. You may have responsibility FOR not knowing truth, but not for using what you do not have: yet men continually act on the basis known within, that liberty indeed active, and THEREFORE responsibility. You do not cane a stone for being hard.
By himself, then man is susceptible to almost any disease you might care to name; and this is because he was not made to be by himself, for in and with and by himself, he neither knows his Maker, nor His laws, nor his own end, nor the ends for which he was created. Being what you are not made to be involves ACTION TO GET OUT OF THIS, if it is available. Not using it is a fatal and fateful error.
Instead of wordy or silent repose, as he is, man has instead to seek God where He may be found (Isaiah 55); for liberty does not mean lordliness. You have to look where the action is, where demonstration exists, where verification is profound, and cease pretending that you find troubles with it all*5. The trouble is not within the revelation of God in Jesus Christ; it lies rather in its rejection, for here alone does the rational, the scientific method's zenith of discovery, the valid and the verified find investigable existence.
The kingdoms of this world are not only political, military and social, but philosophic with exponents lording it over students and public alike, with incredible and fantasising effrontery, like adolescents never come to life in the world of reality. Their replacement by the kingdom of heaven is not only current, in that here alone does truth lie, in the Lord, who lives and in whom the Christian lives (John 15, 8:24), and this being demonstrated (cf. Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer, SMR, TMR). It is also simply and continually attested ion itself as is fitting, and reaches its consummation in the future. Thus, when the testing centuries are done, and the times to manifest all things to all are over, and salvation has finished its summonses to mankind, and its liberations of mind and spirit in truth, then there will be no more contest, for to eternity it is over. Evil has its day; it loves to rejoice in it because it has no other. When it is done, its nature has been exposed both intimately and monumentally, both in episodes and in the swathes of surges and resurgencies of ideas and their discords, perspectives and their ruin, lust and thrust and their deadening.
In the kingdom of heaven, when its statuesque superb salience is finally experienced in the culmination, what is it then like ? Then all phases, spheres and functions are so inter-penetrated with the light of truth and reason, revelation and immediacy of knowledge, that the obliterative and obfuscatory mists and dreams of division, which have placed traffic blockades and belligerent tanks on highways of communication, competing feuds blindly harassing both sides, having passed, reality rejoices. The evils and connivances, deadly dynamics and acute testings being removed, the relationships borne of God into creation, will appear as does a view from a vast mountain, when the littleness of it all on the one hand, and the contemplation of its inherent grandeur mixing, there is a profundity of peace (Revelation 21:23, John 8:12).
Those who would like something to the point in kingdoms, might examine:
1) Christ Jesus: the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 7
2) Little Things Ch. 5
3) It Bubbles ... Ch. 9
4) Repent or Perish Ch. 7
5) SMR pp. 348ff.
6) Scaling the Heights ... Ch. 5
7) Deliverance from Disorientation Chs. 7 and 8
8) Swift Witness 6
9) Ancient Words and Modern Events Ch. 9
10) Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13
11) History, Review and Overview Ch. 5
12) Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation.
The Desire of the Nations Ch. 2 Epilogue.
Rather astounding is a new report in The Australian, February 18, 2009,p. 7 of The Nation, in which the Director in Teaching, Learning and Leadership in The Australian Council for Educational Research, a body of no small standing, makes strong and strenuous protestations in a field allied to this.
Indeed, as to the area of which he speaks, it is an example of one phase of the whole clanging chaos of the deterministic position, whether psychic or materialist, whether making unknown and uncalibrated minds coming from what is not assigned on such models, and going where it is not known, nevertheless to be the arbiter of all things, or else the theory of such minds concerning a particular oddity called matter, to have the same post. The partial is proposed, but the inadequacy disposes. In all this, whether it be the psyche or matter which is the god-for-today, the latter is merely removing by one step of dependency, the already non-existent plausibility of such knowledge on such a basis. The validity of mind is the birth of the thought of matter. Derivation is not dictation.
Indeed, such minds have ALL KINDS of theories; but it is only when logic is remorselessly applied, and found in total conjugation with the revelation of God in the Bible, and indeed pointing to it as a necessity, pursued to it conclusion, that the resolution of the theories about each part of creation is to be fully found. In this way, you leave on the one hand, the twisted mass (as in a multiple automobile accident, on a freeway afflicted with slippery ice) that such inadequacies in themselves constitute, and find on the other, the beauty of integrity which reality provides, when you follow reason to God, and by faith receive Him. See above as linked for more detail.
In SMR, we find the contrast between secular and partial philosophy and logical fruit when reason is followed to revelation, and the RESULTS are assessed. This is most apparent when one compares the practical results of anti-theism with biblical Christian theism, as in Chs. 3 and 5, and then considers the frontiers that evaporate for the mystic materialism and the psychic proponents likewise, in Chs. 4 and 10.
Every movement from dead-ends is desirable, provided it has the discipline of reason, and the energy of heart to seek truth without relenting.
A CONTEMPORARY EVENT
Thus it is pleasant to see the above-named Research Director in the nation's premier research institute in the field of education research speak as did Professor Steve Dinham.
He was asked concerning the Rudd government's plans for extensive investment in the equipment, buildings for 'disadvantaged' schools. In reply, he stipulated that socio-economic (SES) status was a 'red herring' and that the funds should be put into 'low-performing schools and low-performing students.'
His point ? It is not the case that environment and heredity and such things are a determinant in potential. "There's a mountain of research," he proceeded, indicating the errors of so many deterministic fads, "post-modernist claptrap, things like learning styles and categorising students in various ways," as he attacked the view that students' backgrounds determined their potential at school.
"What students can achieve in their education is not predetermined by heredity, where they live, their socio-economic background or family circumstances," he is reported to have declared.
Focussing on indigenous children in particular, those from non-English speaking backgrounds, he indicated that some teachers or schools seem to consider that the best they can do is "keep them off the streets, give them social skills and boost self-esteem."
What of such views ? He held that such prognostications, such low expectations for students tended to make a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is not all low SES schools which need special help, he indicated, but those whose PERFORMANCE is low. It is an empirical, and not a philosophically pre-determined matter which is in view. 'Dumbed down' courses are a special adversary for this man of some perception.
In fact, when one was doing one's own Diploma of Education, at Melbourne University, in a special course where we were encouraged to do our own research, write a thesis and so forth, there was only one Staff member who was NOT a determinist (so she told me), and as to her, she was to leave at the end of the year, evidently at their instance. Such low views of determinism - whereby those allegedly determined for a) what they are to think and b) what they do are supposed to know, yet 'know' that this is the case, instead of being ACTUALLY determined - make such a hotch-potch of self-contradiction as to suggest the illusionist magicians.
It is of great interest how the determinist, the psychic determinist, position here, one in which what happens for and then in the mind is the point, is meeting such a mountain of contrary research. Indeed, you do not have to be a genius to observe how many have come from such disadvantage as to be almost impossible to conceive their getting anywhere in development of the mind, but they do; and how many come with stultified psyches, and yet come to life and grow and become something freed from the bonds of habit and environment, in ways startling to the mind, a rejoicing of the heart. The acme is being 'born again', even though the term is so misapplied, misused, contorted, inverted, reverted to psychic follies, that it is a case of assault by definition!*6 .
The practical point forgotten, is not merely the logical clash in the model-making itself in such views as the Professor attacks, on such premises of determinism, but that part of the environment is the Maker of validity, who by having the truth, which THEREFORE CAN be found, provides a path for man to think without self-contradiction, so that discussion is not a nonsense based on nothing to the point, an engine of self-contradiction, but rather an instinct borne of what has borne us into being. It follows in due confirmation of sanity for mankind, that it has been given, granted us not a mere logic chip, from manufactured enterprise and perception, but a logical capacity to OPT to be logical or NOT! (cf. SMR Ch.1 ). The grant being from the Competent Creator, whose work transcends our own to a limitless degree, the validity has both basis and testing ground worthy of testing, and being tested, worthy of reception.
God as shown in SMR and the others, is the ultimate environment, indeed more than a mother, the basis for conceiving, or a father, the thrust that uses the basis so that something is begotten, more magnificently and cohesively equipped than anything man has ever made, that is a baby; or indeed than what he even knows how to make.
To ignore the nature of SPIRIT, which has great resilience because of the inherent strengths which He has accorded it, and the Author of human spirits, who can bring to them needs not available from the hand of mankind, is simply to make blindness a fashion, the empirical an illusion, while reality is left lying on the streets. To teach it, and expect it to be reproduced, is to require examinees to speak as if they saw, when blindness is the model's own pre-condition for sight.
See James 2:19, Revelation 12, Ezekiel 28:14ff., Matthew 4:9.
DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS.
See for example, James A. Adair The Old Lighthouse Moody Press, Chicago 1966.
Noted in SMR Ch. 4, concerning this work is the following.
Another fascinating and more recent record with something in common with the above delightfully sensitive and effective personal work, is found in The Old Lighthouse, a record by James Adair, a spiritual chronicle of sudden, and indeed sustained transformation of life. Like the work of Dempster, it closely documents the transformed lives and shows their sustained character in numbers of cases, with reference especially to careers, in spiritual work, sometimes of real distinction.
The many works of the Anglican clergyman, Dempster, are an empirical and careful account of the action of God in making changes in people so deft, so strong, so based in the Bible, that it provides reading rather like that of research, but this - it is personal. The discoveries here are not new principles but new persons, made into something that had simply not been before (cf. II Corinthians 5:17ff.).