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THE SADNESS OF SECULAR LONGINGS
AND THE SATISFACTION OF SPIRITUAL REALITIES
What is the matter with the matter ? she asked him that morning. It isn't thinking. You would think digital computing had not been invented.
What has that to do with it ? her husband replied.
Everything, she retorted. Everyone knows today that matter can see ahead your customary needs, anticipate your normal wishes, and do things to meet need.
I had not heard of it, he replied.
Are you off your mind ? his non-compliant wife complainingly asked.
No, it's just that the digital computing device that we use, one made by intelligence and mind, with matter to help out to enable it to be put it into form and format, does not happen to be turned on.
I thought it was all matter, she pursued.
Thoughts have no length or colour*1. They are not matter, but they can be set into the form of orders, by programs, which can be built in configurations and conformities, systems and significances known only to mind, so that the desired things may be done. It is just an extension of personality, set in some kind of constraint and control, by mind.
You and your mind! But I suppose, come to think of it, this is true. Matter ...
Does not think. If it did, there is plenty of it, to test. It is not difficult. Experiments do not reveal it. Tests to do not warrant such a concept. Matter has properties, many of them, with many parts, laws, constraints, formats, contents not at first to be suspected, internal to itself, and has its parts going down to minute units, such as mesons, and even to fragments.
It can be broken in parts and evacuated of much ready energy. The capacity to do work is in that energy, but WHAT work depends on directions, either part of its constitution by construction, or from man, who can use these powers to perform within limits, what he wants. In wanting, he knows what he is wanting; in knowing, he can formulate; in formulating he has led mind into the domain of words or their equivalent; through mind, by words or symbols, he directs within the available handles for manipulating matter, or is directed if he inadvertently misdirects, or does not care. By mind, he can MAKE matter destroy life on earth.
Or assist it.
Because there is a person behind his mind. It not only thinks, but blinks, blimps, backs down, asserts, loves, hates, enjoys, relishes, envisions, has vision, is destitute of hope and so on. It varies in spirit. Indeed, it is frequently called his SPIRIT. It can use mind as a carpenter uses wood: it brings desire to conditions for fulfilment, and impels their implementation...
Or forbids it.
Correct. Here lies the desire, as with the account of David Deutsch, noted for his book, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World.
I saw something about that in Journal of Creation, 28(1), 2014.
His spirit appears to have been impacted by two major features, one positive, one negative. It leaves a strange new world which has everything except evidence; and if desire could create, it would be an ungainly monstrosity with some interesting features added, almost a wish list for the secular to fulfil itself, beyond itself.
Didn't he have some idea about elegance and excellence, and some distaste for what he views as a preoccupation with mediocrity, that has come with Darwinism and reductionism ?
Something like that. And he had a new universe, peeping from beyond the clouds and past all current means of observation, confirmation and reification, except to the imagination; or that was the gist of it to my mind. Everybody can choose what it is that is around the corner.
That was nice. You can have the sort of world you want. It reminds me of Dr Johnson, who in reply to a mind emphasising philosophy, remarked that a stone still hurt when you kick it. Everything has a place, and places not found to have anything, including location for actuality in any assignable, in some definable or preferably designable domain, are but empty words. As presented in the Journal article noted, if you want to have every sort of thing coming in a cornucopia of emergence into actuality, a sort of limitless inflow somehow, then this does not fit with the stress on the virtual singularity ascribed to man in his consciousness and rationality. Man is to be upgraded, but without ground. The concepts clash.
It appears, my dear, that here is someone in scientific pursuits, not at all without talent in his field, who is verbalising out of it and of its methods, to try to capture in unevidenced material and pseudo-spatial dimensions, such things as eternal life, beauty, absolute truth (though this being said to be imperfectly understood, and so in this form no guide for all the verbiage in the case, it stifles knowledge, rather like Kant*2). There is even focus given to the virtual presence of elegance, or ultimate simplicities and indeed, it comes reasonably close to being simply a grab from the spiritual world, the power and assured place of God (cf. SMR, TMR), but without the ground for it.
I see. So a longing
person calls for what he has without the bother of first finding Him, whose
reality is multiply and blatantly attested, but
rather stripping without reason, ground or anything categorically more than a
sense of absence, he fulfils his desire where reason does not lead, empirical
evidence does not attest: only a sense of loss, as with people slain in battle,
remaining to attest the deficiency of his basis. Import from imagination is the
stuff of dreams, the basis for myths, the aversion to science and the decline of
reason. You have to test, check comparables, watch symptoms, symbols, signs,
consider rational accounting,
ponder alternatives, follow the only rational path left, attest and verify it once it is chosen,
debar it if the theory fails to satisfy any ingredient of data, test the realities involved for the testimonies of existence.
That is a path for reason that no treason can replace. Reason for faith, whether in God or goblins, the unknowable or the well-attested, is not a matter of mirthful abandon, or mere longing, for that matter. As to the unknowable as in the Deutsch-Kant case (they have this in common), to know it is there, the sort of thing it is, the work it fulfils is far from ignorance, and being a species of knowledge, simply constitutes a contradiction. You cannot constitute an explanation with an unknowable, for then it is not only NOT available for knowledgeable depiction, but incapable of it!
It is indeed quite a good liaison with loss, and attestation of failure in what omits so much, with so little, for such degradation of understanding: the secular reductionism leaves longing, rushing from reality and missing it! He is like a spy reporting on the foul condition in the State of Denmark, to put in the domain of Shakespeare, and wishing for acknowledgement of many things neglected in normal materialistic reductionism (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Ch. 2). He appears to be, to my mind, pathetically seeking the return to much that is rejected in pseudo-science, and this via a bridge that is not there, hoping that qualities of spirit can be brought into matter, without personality as their criterion, base, and origin.
Well it helps to know that some of the things omitted in secularity, and his apparent pining is pitiable, are valued by those who want them but cannot place them in their chosen model; but he seems to be trying to have some sort of atom bomb type thrust - not destructive but productive - into our world from some other that is in some unexplained world in his eye, that allegedly exists in some still utterly inexplicable fashion. This cannot be stated because absolute truth in this, his model, is still not available, and because it cannot be found. Looking in the wrong place realistically has that result. Only the GAP in the current world view of secular science (or its major dimensions) is felt acutely: that is the pathos.
That is always the trouble with idolatry, such as the modern world massively has, as predicted for it by Paul in II Timothy 4. It does not matter how much knowledge they gain (in the chosen and strictly limited fields popular), the spirit of man is still largely preoccupied with what omits most of the data, trying to 'explain' things by opposites, jump gaps by weak limbs, where logic is as dismissed in the final account, as is the evidence.
That, his wife responded, has this sense of disappointment and irrational innovation precisely because its monistic blindness, and lazy omissions do not even HAVE an account of wonder, marvel and splendour, though it is there continually; but these are waved away, the actualities waived as by a languid hand, together with the due scope of education of the children, truncated far from truth. These are taught the same defective theories, not lacking in detached lore and filled with ludicrous accounts of beginnings, of spirit, if at all, the same contradictory accounts of mind. Starved, they grow weaker in spirit; dogmatised, they tend to professional direction, dissatisfied with untruth, or distorted by it. Social problems abound from their unsurpassable profusion of confusion. Untruth takes its toll. Wildness increases, some actually believing the myths immersed in matter. Small wonder you see longing, as in this present case, or cynicism or disillusion. What matter does not hold, is discounted, discontinued (if it were possible), slain in the mind that yet shows it!
Indeed, in this kind of conceptual kingdom, though man comes from nowhere with no significance, yet mind has precise laws which, breached, invalidate thought, disintegrate truth, and ruin representation. It is not merely that this is unworthy of thought, far from logic, a sort of tragic perversity of spirit and abuse of the very mind USED to declare it, but it divorces it from truth in the beginning, or marries it off to irrationality. With this decease, it is left without ground even to talk coherently. Yet it talks. Make meaninglessness the master and the account is no better. It has neither basis nor support even for valid articulation.
With what spirit, man denies the observable realities of his spirit, and with what loss he rubs his reality into space garbage, magnificently adorned for no creative reason, yet capable of presenting reality, while unable to plumb it. With what loss the secularism of many scientists, contrary in basis to logic, empty of much of empirical reality, ignoring the most pointed data, requiring all sorts of splendid biological machinery present from first observation in time, sustains its wilful path. This it does, even when woe, in competitive militarism, blindness in battling, in exclusivistic monopolisation in educative span and scope and contrary ethics pushed as if to confirm the nonsensical nature of the theories so popular, make an eventual purge of such pretensions a certainty.
That, of course, is precisely the end of it in that same Bible which predicted this pathology, and condemned its fantasies. It is fine to imagine; but not to imagine it real. There are certain tests, even in scientific method, a specialty, and in data coverage and in non-contradiction, in feature and in essence, and if in the process, you contradict yourself, who else needs to do so.
See It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 8.
See Predestination and Freewill, Section 4.