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SUMS, SUMMITS and IN SUM
Adding Things Up, and Getting Things Down
Spirit, Conscience, Confidence and Conquest
Do you really WANT to know God ?
Do you instead prescribe to Him what He must be for you to believe in Him ?
Yet how can you prescribe for a child, what will be born, much less to Him who bore our race and made them, what He must be!
It is time to be realistic and to believe in the Lord who is there, and in all integrity either receive or dismiss Him. But you need to know this, that if you dismiss Him, the One who made you, it is like destroying all service stations for cars, and congratulating yourself as you drive on in your increasingly derelict vehicle.
And why do you do so ? Is it because you do not like the colour scheme on the garage's walls ? or the confident way they address you, or some other feature of focus in psychic distaste ? Is it because you really do not want a father, one being enough, or that you want to be a prince in wisdom, subject to no one, not even to your Creator ? Or is it for this reason, that you conceive yourself so much above sin, simple old-fashioned sin, that you could not conceive of yourself in the race of the saved, those who quite unequivocally admit, because it is the truth, that they needed a Saviour, were delighted in God as the due and true One, and received Him with relish, the reasonable Owner, whose friendship has been a warmth to the heart, inspiration and delight to the spirit and occasion for service worthy of the Creator of all!
There is about the truth, not some academic staleness, as in old buildings, or some sadness, as in grievous old stuff, but a certain incandescence, vitality of vigour, relish of reality, insistence of intimation, and with this, in man, despite his sin, there is all but always to be found a flirtatious (at the worst) or a substantial and enduring desire for it, so that it might be realised, adjusted to and held in view continually. This is not always allowed to move the heart, since often the sails of the yacht of life are purposely down, lest one be carried where one ought to go, because there has developed over a time a self-satisfaction, a life-satisfaction, a kind of contemplative inertia, so that really, whatever the truth, it is better not to know, or fuss, or to be found or anything else, as one surges, or schemes, or is seduced to the grave without grace, hope or ground of life.
There is a SPIRIT OF TRUTH. Christ spoke of this, and it implies many things, not least this, that there is about the one with this Spirit, a restlessness in deviating in anything from it, a desire to follow it like a bloodhound, a sense of naturalness and rightness, integrity and vigour of heart, not valium of spirit, a thrust as in the cock crow at the dawn, which awakens. It is this Spirit which Christ promised to His disciples as you see in John 16:13. It is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, whom He undertook to send from the Father (John 15:26), that Spirit which "proceeds from the Father."
To have this Spirit, you need to be emptied of vying competitors, prying invaders and proneness to false pride, ambition, desire, pleasure-seeking and deviousness, to be open and ready, and for that you need to repent of living either simply without God, or complexly with gods of your own construction, vague things or idols, like white dwarfs in the sky, or black holes in your mind.
You also need to be at peace with God, for friction can make sparks and fires in the woodland of life. For that, you need to be received by Him, and for that you need, repenting to life, to accept His salvation bought on the Cross of cancellation and transfer. Cancellation ? that of sin's guilt to Him, through faith in Him, and transfer ? that of His vital righteousness, as in II Corinthians 5:17ff.. Covered, you are then a focus for the Spirit. When He, the Spirit of truth lives in you, which He does in all Christians, as in Romans 8:9, Colossians 1:27, John 6:56, then you are re-attached to God, as this race once was, but more securely yet, for now being bought with a price, you have peace without price.
Frank had been listening for some time. He roused himself and simply said 'yes'. He was like that. He would hear, consider and respond without any apparent tempest or truculence, abrasiveness or storm, fuss or bother. His yes was yes and his nay, nay.
'Yes,' he replied.
Now as I had been seeking to win Frank for Christ for years, that amazed me.
'Yes, it is true,' he proceeded after due rumination. 'I like that, and think it right.'
'Are you a Christian then ?' I asked.
'Not today,' he replied.
'Let's go then!' I pursued.
'All right,' he replied.
'You have to come as a sinner - do you ?' I asked with some trepidation, since he had never admitted
to any sin.
'That's the easy part,' he replied.
'Do you come as a sinner to Jesus Christ, the Lord's Christ, the Saviour who died for sin, so that we might live to God ?' I queried.
'How else ?' he replied. There is no other attested on earth, with reason, evidence and over time.'
'Are you coming or have you come, then ? ' I asked.
'I have come!' he replied.
'By faith ?'
'Not without it!'
'Do you believe in the resurrection: because His body did not rot, when God did the experiment - as far as man was concerned - of history, and raised the battered, the ruined relic of the blighted body of the Saviour, through that power with which He had first created ?'
'That,' he said smiling, 'is what God does. I said I believed, didn't I, or at least that is what I meant, and I am not in the business of making up gods, leaving the Creator crippled, a corpse or any other figment of the imagination, but instead, I have received the One who is there, who came, was killed and did precisely as He so often foretold, forbore to have His body rot and rose from the dead, just as He had Himself raised others.'
'I have just been looking at the Lord Jesus Christ, as foretold in Isaiah 11, and would you like to share this, then ?' I asked.
'Sure,' he replied, it is good to know more about Him.'
So I turned it up and read it out, showing it to Him in a Bible handed to him.
"There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:.
"The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
"His delight in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge by the sight of his eyes,
neither reprove by the hearing of His ears;
but with righteousness shall He judge the poor,
and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.
"He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of his reins."
'Who is Jesse ?' he asked.
My reply took a little while.
'He was King David's father, and here the focus is on David's background, real, straightforward ancestry.
'However,' I proceeded, 'though this is the human background, we meet here someone called the Branch. You see Him in Zechariah 6:12, where He is presented as King and Priest both, whereas no one could be both; and in fact, one King, Uzziah, was given leprosy for presuming to act as a priest - you see that in II Chronicles 26:16ff..
'Thus, you find the Messiah very distinctive, different to the point of uniqueness. What does Zechariah say of Him, the Branch ? It is this. "He shall bear the glory" - his prohetic words very meaningfully continue. Here is the omni-competent Messiah, the Son who is given as in Isaiah 9, also called from His spiritual home, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, set on earth like a jewel flashing with light, and accordingly, 'He shall bear the glory', priest, king, filled with grace.
'Indeed, Frank, Jesus, when He came to earth, was even said to be 'in the bosom of the Father,' in John 1:18. Whatever the Father does, He declared, the Son does in the same way, on a bit in John 5:19ff.. That is of course, because He IS God's Son, born through a virgin as foretold and noted in Matthew 1, since that is the only way in which God can become man, in order to do for man what he could not do for himself, bear his sin and shame, and overcome the consequences in death. Choose the vehicle and travel to the destination in it: in this case, the format of a man, functional, actual, achieved by birth through a virgin, the everlasting Father the father, the eternal Saviour the Son. In Psalm 2, you smell the reek of His being riotously rejected, and yet see the power of His salvation, that none can quench it. This earth will not have the last word, but only the lost word.'
'So this is a prediction of what the God of creation will do when He vindicates His only begotten Son on this earth, after history has belched its way to disaster, and He comes to verify His virtue and show His vigour, when the trial being past, the truth is made manifest ? is that it ?' he asked.
'You see that in His striking the earth with the rod of His mouth, Isaiah 11:4 - the work of the Word of God who as in John 1, became flesh and lived amongst men. You see the advent of this rule in Isaiah 59, more in 66, as in II Thessalonians 1, Psalm 1, 110. There is no let up, no compromise, no qualification, just as the same scene and scenario appears in Psalm 72 where He reigns or in Revelation 20.'
'It says a lot about the Spirit upon Him, doesn't it ? What do you make of that ?'
'First I am delighted to hear from God, what few university courses seem to bother with - the fact that man has a spirit and of course, when God becomes man, this is a highly special fact. It is the Spirit of God which in trinitarian splendour rests on this man, who though as man He has His own spirit, yet as God is intimately and inextricably involved with the Spirit of God, who brings truth to man and delight in it as well, where there is peace with God.'
'Yes,' I was reading about the trinity in your last Chapter.'
'In Christ, the Spirit of God was given without measure, we read in John 3. There are no limits with God Himself. As to man, in Glory, Vainglory and Goodness, Ch. 1, one traces consciousness for its causal nexus, what it implies to be there: to be conscious as a person with all the realms of rationality, personality, physics, chemistry and astronomy open for research, like hand in glove, but what a glove! With this feature, its analogue, the reality of conscience is pondered. They are twins, the one in perception, the other in morality. Incidentally, I have a small section of that with me, and will let you have it*1.'
'Yes, I have often thought of that, the moral part in its spiritual setting. The fact is that we all tend to congratulate, in heart if not in word, deeds of kindness, thoughtfulness, accurate perception and care in avoiding offence, careful productiveness, noble deeds, sacrificial devotion, watchful public spiritedness, foresight for good, and to reject or despise or grimace at foxiness, craftiness, self-centred pre-occupation and the like, as a mere weight on the system, ungluing of what makes man a viable proposition, to say no more. It is inherent in our race to desire so to praise or to blame.'
'As to blame, the other side: to rule, abrasively, direct, condemn selfishly, deceive, corrupt, this can have a temporary following, rather like a dog with rabies infecting people. In the end, however, it is cheap glamour, always spurious, often furious. It is a substitution of vainglory for God, tasteless, a spending of spiritual capital, or moral worth, an excursion on ice in felt slippers. It is not just that we see the point in being good, but there is something like a relief, a realisation, a rejoicing of heart in seeing members of our own race involved in things which relate not to vainglory but to glory, not to mean ideas but to realism, which come back to our beginning and do not cut off our end as a race, as if determined, in squalor of spirit, to bury the race.'
'Yes, consciousness and conscience alike are from God, to whom by reason they point irresistibly. I do agree with your SMR, and all the other pointers, and that one, it says it roundly.'
'It does, for it is good to give a reason for the faith to those who seek it. Beyond the function, is the agent. There lies the spirit of man, and beyond that is the Spirit of God, and from Him comes wisdom and might, understanding and perception of spiritual things, ability for agility and the glorious vitality of reason, leading to revelation and explaining it.'
The Parallel Text
'Yes, I was reading Proverbs 1, the other day. It is great the way it invites man to FIND from HIM the truth, and not to be dismayed at his own littleness. It says something like this, for I took the trouble, at least I tried, to learn a part of it ..."Wisdom calls aloud outside;She raises her voice in the open squares.She cries out in the chief concourses,At the openings of the gates in the cityShe speaks her words:
“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?For scorners delight in their scorning,And fools hate knowledge.
Turn at my rebuke;Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;I will make my words known to you.
""Because I have called and you refused,I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,Because you disdained all my counsel,And would have none of my rebuke,I also will laugh at your calamity;I will mock when your terror comes,When your terror comes like a storm,And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,When distress and anguish come upon you.
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.Because they hated knowledgeAnd did not choose the fear of the Lord,They would have none of my counselAnd despised my every rebuke.Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
Yes, that's the NKJ version of Nelson's isn't it ?'
'It is based on it. There is the OFFER, TURN. Certainly it is as the rebuke of wisdom, to leave foolishness in order to do so, but what is that ? If you don't want to do wrong, you need to turn to what is right.'
'And what a beautiful offer: TURN at My rebuke and ...
'I will pour out My Spirit on you, I will make My words known to you ...'
'I have been dwelling on that in the last little while. I do not have to teach myself, for if I so turn, then HE will teach me by His Spirit. It is ultimately very like I John 2:27.'
'You cannot lose, except
the squalor of sin,
the ambiguities of virtue and vice,
the instabilities that nations show, of delusions of grandeur and desperation's response,
the thrust to do good or bust, on the one side, and then
the delinquencies, to fulfil oneself as so many sense they must,
to be praised or seem good, on the other, extravagant extremes,
while the love of God lies in abeyance.
'Hence is made
a morass of self-deception that blights the earth,
populates the psyches of mankind and astounds the hearts that watch,
as the race destroys itself with pride and presumption,
fallen assumption and a ferocity of non-faith
that at its worst, does not hesitate to kill, blind, maim.
In all of this, there is a savvy ignorance of confusion, which becomes intemperate in meaningless extremes, like an ill-tuned adolescent, askew, astray and yet trying to hold up the head!'
'What a relief that for the individual as for the race, there IS somewhere to turn, and that there is no room for pride in that. And what a testimony human history makes to the truth in its inability of heart, its fecklessness of spirit, its solemn farces and misguided thrusts. It all attests the good it left, the God without whom it cannot live, and the destabilising results of trying to do so, anyway. So man has moved from his first sad fall, through contests, complacency and decimations, all mixed, sprouting like flowers and weeds abundant in the same garden, to this current preoccupation with being in thrall to anything at all, moods, fashions of philosophy, violence, peace at any price, hollow noises resembling morality and utter disregard of morals'
'Well, that says it. I too have been reflecting on the current course of the current of mankind. Abuse of God, neglect, efforts to reconstruct Him, to undo His rule, to substitute for it, to writhe in desperation to seem good, to relent in derelictions, wavering, wandering, man affirming himself, squirming in that self. In fact, man without God is like a mountain shrivelling to a dust-hill, amid endless eddies and ignominy.'
'It is of course only by the grace of God that you DO turn, but He has all that assessed from eternity, having foreknown His own, just as He has sought for all.'
'Delightfully true. It is useless to be too pre-occupied with the race's diseases, for they have a solution, a cure and there is a hygiene of holiness freely available, not from philosophy, but from Jesus Christ. There is the focus, the worker, the One whose travail availed, whose Gospel does not change, whose coming to rule on this earth, before it is dismissed, grows nearer.'
'It is as well that while the pathology in man is complex, as persistent wrong-doing ensures, and Jeremiah really announces and indeed denounces this in 17:9-13, the path is both simple and straight, out of it.'
'Indeed it is! When all is said and done, the offer is simple, TURN. You do or you don't; but woe betide the hypocrite who pretends for some imaginary reason that he cannot when he knows he can and in fact has no such desire in his heart. Then he blames God, when he has only to call, cry, turn and there He is.'
'How it all adds up, sums itself, expresses itself, when once one comes to the Lord as Saviour.'
'I am so glad that you have come, because what you say is utterly true. Now let us look for a moment at that Isaiah 11 passage, knowing that God is ready to pour out His Spirit as we seek, and it is not limited to the initial thrust. We need patience in gaining knowledge now, but this passage in Isaiah 11 is wonderful.'
'Yes, let's do that.'
Spirit, Conscience and Conviction
'It is ... "the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD,"
which is to settle in this vast and majestic way, like an enormous cloud resting on a mountain top. To know is one thing, to have wisdom is another.
'To have the spirit of wisdom is a third. Here it is not only a perspective, like doctrine and settled priorities of things, which is in view, but the very spirit of it. It is the animation, the drive, the delight, the thrust and vitality, even the vivacity at times. It is the resurgence of reality in spiritual understanding which drives into the heart of the God-redeemed Christian, and can ennoble his thoughts, enliven his grasp, lead him with delight into the truth, yes whether it be for man, woman or child.'
'To think that this Holy Spirit of God, leads His people to rest in this full measure on the Christ, through His gift of eternal life as in Romans 8, for you cannot be a Christian, I read there, without having the Spirit of God in you ... '
'Colossians 1:27 says virtually the same ... as does John 6:56 which tells us that whoever eats this bread of life, which is He, whoever consumes, receives with relish and faith, has Christ IN him! As Christ indicates in John 4 and 7, it is like a spring welling up, and like a fountain splashing abroad from oneself as a centre of operations. It directs its refreshing operations to many, through whom it passes, challenging the needlessly thirsty, with a work of vital peace and wholesome thrust, pointing back to its source in the Lord. You know, as in Ezekiel 47, the river comes from the altar! Its flow is free, because of the blood of Christ, its beauty of holiness freely passing because the way is now open to find Him, who has sent it from the Father, from whom it issues.
'You see that in John 15:26 don't you ?'
'Yes, and indeed, it is a marvel, but with Him, in Christ Himself on this earth, the Spirit was given without limit! That is the testimony of John 3:34, and the thrust of Isaiah 11. There we find that it is not only the Spirit of wisdom and understanding - for there IS a spirit in understanding which adorns the heart, elicits life and fulfils thrust. It moves, surges, or streams, seeking advance like a river about a floating log, impelling it, holding it, bearing it along. It is also the Spirit of counsel and might. What to do is upon Him, how to do it, why, when, where; and it extends as when He cast out demons BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD. It is, moreover, the Spirit of Knowledge and of fear of the Lord.
'Frank, one cannot have knowledge without the fear of the Lord. Knowledge may be partial, about what happens when and if this or that is done; but this is, by comparison, almost trivial, little more than perception. To KNOW you have to be founded and grounded in the truth, to grasp the scene, as when one looks from a high mountain and understands the lie of the land, the horizons and the components, and to be borne along by His Spirit, awakening, enlivening, illuminating, teaching you according to His word. In Him, we are gifted to help each other, a work of grace in love.'
' What do you make of Isaiah 11:3 at the first of it ?'
'In the Hebrew we find, moving in from verse 2 to 3, as we have been discussing, the Spirit of God resting upon Him in these ways, and then after speaking of the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD, it relates HIS response to this. That is at the outset of verse 3.
'Thus, Frank, in verse 3, there is a sense of intimate reciprocity. In this way, the SPIRIT of might is upon Him, and that is from on high; but as to this One, the Messiah so equipped with irresistible power, wisdom and righteous judgment, He Himself will breathe in as a fragrance, literally, the very fear, the reverence of the Lord. Thus, love rains down these things, and the Spirit so anoints Him, while He in relish rejoices to the innermost and uttermost, in the hearty reverence for the Lord who sent Him, as in Isaiah 48:16 and John 3:16, 5:19-23, 8:29 alike.
'That is so fascinating, that each Testament says just the same amazing thing: GOD comes on venture, comes on mission, with commission, to crush the evil and build the truth on this earth, and to take man one by one as in Isaiah 44, and bind each to Himself as in Isaiah 55. Through what He does in great deeds, with great compassion, He acts to verify, as Isaiah 29, 35, 50, and as in Hosea 13:14, He moves in great love to pay the transport cost from sin and its guilt to life and the restoration of its innocence through redemption, as in II Corinthians 5:17-21. It is as if He removes in this way the spiritual arthritis which troubles the bones, and makes supple once more the mind to His guidance and grace.'
'That's the sort of dependency I for one, like to be: sustained by a divine dynamic, enabled by divine grace, received by divine bounty.'
'Yes, and it all depends on WHO He was, WHAT He did, and is shown in what He will do, as seen here in Isaiah 11, the companion of Psalm 73 and Revelation 20. It is so much obtained by so much: but then being deity, He passed every test, and having come as man, He FELT those tests, and not on the Cross only, but in the whole quality of holy living that led to it, the payment counter for sin, not His own.
'Frank, it is as in John 8:29, where He declares this, with obvious relish:
"And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone,
for I always do those things that please Him." '
'Yes, ít is so; for there is the source of liberty, the criterion of love and the experimental verification of His identity, a focus for faith and you could say, in Him is the visa for liberty as in John 8:34-36, which comes just a little later in John.
'It is in Him, because of His cross as passageway and by His Holy Spirit as personal dynamic, that man really comes together as one in his spirit, which is like a hug and embrace, which not only makes him one being, as in Psalm 86:11, but gives the sense of that one. This is NOT the case, however, if he divorces himself from the Holy Spirit, by denying the word of God which rules all, whatever his imaginations and hopes may bring in terms of response for a time, as in Matthew 13:20-21! The mind works in the spirit and the spirit on the mind, and the conscience, a remnant of our creation, works in our minds and spirits and our consciousness works to bring it all on the screen of understanding, except that without our Lord, it is the screen of misunderstanding, equipped with various glamours for a time, but a plain, trivial thing by comparison.'
'I for my part simply love to be made whole, to have mind and spirit, consciousness and conscience, the word of God in my heart and the Spirit of God anointing my spirit, so that in Christ, I am complete. Far from perfect, like an old car, yet I am in operational order, maintained ready for flights as it were, wherever sent. In fact, that's what it is teaching in Ephesians 1:6 with 2:6 and Colossians 2:10: we are accepted in the beloved ('engraced'), sitting in heavenly places with Him, and complete in Him.'
'Well that will do for one day! Praise God it is today.'
Below are two notes taken from Glory, Vainglory and Goodness, Ch. 1, which deals with consciousness, conscience and indeed the investigatory modes of man, the domains that reason finds and the inevitability of finding God, if you follow reason, not bypassing causes but facing them. Its special field is as noted, but it surveys many references in applying these things to the scope and field of reason and discovery in man, and what it takes to have a mind on the one hand and a universe on the other when it is rationally investigated, on the basis of reason's validity.
What a prized to find with all the rest of the inter-locked worlds of cohesively intimate universe and man's mind, the very word of God which explains all!
For a list and consideration of methods, see The Defining Drama Ch. 2; and consult SMR pp. 316A, and What is the Wheat to the Chaff Chs. 3 and 4.
For convenience, a short excerpt. slightly extended, from the first of these references, follows.
It behoves us then to consider some of the ways in which we think out and discover, and to place these together in their overwhelming testimony, here simply structurally, to the truth.
Such ways include the following categories:
As to the first, the CAUSATIVE, it is an inescapable pre-condition of thought, such that even those who wish to argue against it, use it in their grammatical formulations, conceptual interaction and speech-depiction, in communication and argumentation. In order to invalidate it rationally, you have to become irrational therefore, and hence exclude yourself from effectual argument. See SMR pp. 3ff., 17ff., 81ff., 1113ff., the indexes on causation, and Causes 1.
Reason relishes causation, and irrationality in the muck of incoherence, eschews it futilely.
As to the second method of seeking, the HEURISTIC, it involves the act and attitude of keenly seeking out, eliciting, even soliciting, finding by watching, discovering by looking, considering by estimating and involvement in the world of the empirical, not necessarily material or immaterial, but without bias: whatever has effects.
The third, the STRUCTURAL, goes beyond this. It seeks for the apportionments, the appointments, the structure, in what the coherence consists and has its being.
The fourth, the RATIOCINATIVE, refers to something slightly different from the rational, but inclusive of it, practical with it. It means that you look for the reasonable associations, the inferential, the implicative, the course of procedure: in a way, it is rather like the distinction between structure and function, this being the function aspect.
The PRAGMATIC refers to an attitude in discovery which looks for the results as they impact on oneself, one's tribe, nation, society or fellowship, with perhaps scant regard as to WHY this is so, and with maximal concern THAT it is so. Explanation, in this attitude, can wait until eventuation occurs, is made to occur, or is conserved and activated for the purpose in hand.
The SCIENTIFIC is a structured approach, but not only to the structural. Its view and concern is this: that one STARTS with what occurs, and then in an orderly domain of reasoning, PROCEEDS to WHY this might be so, working in the meantime with due care on systematisation of data, depiction of developments and various devices to help highlight aspects of occurrence, in order to facilitate the operation of reason in seeking an explanation. It now also involves the structural intercourse, intercommunion of past findings with present ones, and all with reason. Not satisfied with this approach yet, it insists on finding what are the implications, the results, the projected consequences of the explanation (called an hypothesis initially) which it makes, and then checking these where the thing is testable (and it normally insists that it BE testable, though at times in prejudice against its own approach, refuses this or that SORT of test).
It then finds the explanation verified, since the thing happens, or not verified, if it refuses to do so.
IF it is unverified, and the projection from the hypothesis is clear, then the theory is wrong, abandoned on site, and another invented, preferably with more data carefully exhumed first, ordered, classified and prepared for thought. In this case, it is always possible that the classification of the data will be based on a theory, and so make one blind to some of it, or it may even lead to falsification, either purposely or through a blind spot in the desire-reason duo.
This is what SCIENTIFIC METHOD ostensibly is, but in practice, as in organic evolution (cf. SMR Ch. 2, TMR Chs. 1, 8, Earth Spasm... 1, 7, Secular Myths ... Chs. 7, 8, Spiritual Refreshings 6, 13, 16), repeated anti-verifications, where the projected not only does NOT appear, but the opposite, or something wholly dissimilar, may come to be disregarded. This has NOTHING to do with science, and is mere myth, the insistence on a robust desire enshrined in the emotional structures of the mind, without credibility ACCORDING TO THE METHOD.
However, such intrusive vexation of the Method,
which is itself a good one as far as it goes, a worthy contribution to thought, while it can and often does so debase science as to make it a laughing stock at which not so many join, since this failing is usually mystically covered up,
should, and need not do so.
It is not the method but the meddling which brings ill-repute to those ensnared in this cultural invasion of science.
In such cases, it is scientific method which errs, but the anti-methodologists who import their naturalistic religious desire into the realm which excludes it, by anti-verification. It is this which becomes a cult of the forbidden, an irrational desire to exclude the explicatory force of one particular arena of investigation, because of a hallowed religious desire, vested in prejudice, unannounced, irrelevant to truth, except as its enemy. What is true needs no such apartheid, but values competition in open field. Why should it worry: it will win because it has the facts. That however is the trouble: those who disesteem the facts for religious reasons, however repressed these may be in some cases, because of philosophic pets, cannot find.
What, says Proverbs, is the good of money in the hand of fool for wisdom since he has no heart for it. In the Bible, the 'fool' is the foolish one who ignores or rejects God (Psalm 53, cf. Proverbs 17:16).
Quite to the contrary, some of the most famous names in science have used this method duly and truly, men like Maxwell, Boyle, Newton, van Braun, Faraday, Babbage, and in so doing, have contributed vast advance by their invasive ingenuity, in discovery. Their reasonable expectation has become a valued consummation, as they find what they sought, believing that reason has its place where reason dwells, in this universe, that there is reason for this affinity of reason to this other phase of creation, and using it with all diligence, they have found and discovered with a buoyancy bred of well-grounded desire.
Next we come to a somewhat different method, one nevertheless worthy of some esteem.
This is the MAIEUTIC METHOD, roughly that of Socrates as exhibited in Plato, and it has an appealing variation from the above, because it is so different; and yet still it relates to one aspect of the reality to be investigated. It is a matter, here, of eliciting from the mind of the one in conversation, this and that principle of procedure, assumption, inference, and so engineering the discussion that it becomes virtually unavoidable to make certain admissions, and to proceed with these as a basis, to certain consequences. There is with this, at least in the historical case of Socrates from Plato, a trend to seek to establish vast currents of thought, making inconsistencies of principle a butt in the process, if by any means some construction which endures may be found, immune to dismissal, and soundly based. As a contributor, such a method has a place.
Lastly, there is the PERSONAL METHOD. In this case, man as a person acts in the integrality (not by any means always the same as 'integrity'!) of his being, and finds what he may. Matter of course is a mere theory of mind, depending for its validity on the latter, while mind is in some ways a dependency of spirit, that power to dismiss its findings, or on the other hand, to endorse them and demand further esprit in a tour de force of some kind or other. In this case, there are intimations, illuminations, realisations, events at the level of individual personality per se: there are conscience, mental and psychic dynamics, disarrays, remedies and the like, for the entire being of man as a personality. What it portends can be considered rationally, and what it does not may be excluded.
These human methods of discovery are not to be confused however, with the domains into which they may proceed. Let us then now list some of the latter.
Correlative with these methods of thinking and discovery, are the domains of discovery.
These are another excerpt from the same Chapter, and follow. Both should be seen in situ
for their full treatment.
DOMAINS OF DISCOVERY
This, then, is as distinct from FUNCTIONS of REALITY. This is where it is, not what it is, except for the measure of meaningful designation. Here we have a surprisingly long list.
There are some 16 of these readily apparent, and these we shall seek to arrange in an acronymic format, to aid memory.
First let us simply look for them
There is such a list as this.
3. INTERPERSONAL (including friendship, hostility, and the political, social, economic)
10. NOETIC and INTELLIGENT
12. IMAGINATIVE (including both the creative and creativity itself)
14. DESIGN DOMAIN
15. MEMORY FIELD
The order of the listing above is in some ways a functional one,
enabling one to trace the more readily a series of actions leading to results.
Thus varied indeed are the domains of discovery as are the valid methods of discovering; and if in the hauteur of any one, at any one cultural epoch, the others are disregarded, this merely minimises the richness of human culture, aggravates man's fallen condition, and the better serves the aim of stultification.
See News 19.
The objectivity (cf. Barbs... 7) of moral focus enabled by the fact of God (cf. SMR), becomes the ground of man's empirical responses (cf. News 19). Without this, it is inexplicable, since man is not so mad as to be hoodwinked systematically over all generations, following leaders and thinking their collective resultants to be GOD, or their designs to be 'goodness' so creating the concept; nor so maniacal as to internalise their most varied ideas of oppression into a faculty of subjective slavery. The driving rain of the concept of goodness is not to be associated with a quirk of the fallen, any more than with the ire of the rebel. Its abuse as with the other strengths of man is the point; and as in any other slavery, it may be wrought by direct oppression or by guile.
All kind of reactions to power, merely misused or purely selfish occur; and one of the chief is the offence at the concept of fallen justice, abused truth or crushing disregard of the nature of man. These tend at last to over-ride even where custom conditions and lust devises.
Man does not create the faculty of conscience or the thrust of the desire for goodness (in someone else or in oneself) by periods of intimidation; but rather whether in the rebel, the sloppily acquiescent or the weakly deliquescent, he may abort its leading to avoid peril, increase temporary comfort or secure a place; yet in all this, it is the faculty which is so abused, and not created.
The facility for dysfunction does not arise from nothing, but from an inward awareness, a consciousness of right and wrong, good and bad, which however distorted by confusion or manipulated by foxes, is still the reason for man's vulnerability. To twist an arm, you need an arm, and to twist man's concepts of God and goodness, you need the raw material of awareness in these domains. Otherwise, all attempts would be laughable, except what truth requires and reason attests. A thousand fantasies would collapse if reality were not available both in and beyond man, for imaginative reconstruction, as man flees truth and finding no rest, receives impressions from the impacts of spiritual impresarios, becoming gullible followers of this or that.
In practice, truth and reason are often the enemies of erratic belief systems, as in organic evolution (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!), or Communism (cf. News 37, 98, SMR pp. 925ff., Repent or Perish Ch. 7). Indeed, as in the fall of the USSR, disenchantment attested so well in the journalistic report preceding it (The Games War, Christopher Booker), the recrudescence, the restoration of these more apt inward desires may bring down at length the harassments of such fictions. Their claims and names may at first enthrall as other fiction, but less so when reality cuts, immorality soars and clandestine motives become more apparent.
While deludable, man is not left after his dream evaporates, with anything less than a conscience that asserts itself, reason which obtrudes like glowing eyes, reality which insists on verification and an awareness that vile jaunts or virulent dreams alike are to be judged in the light. This is the continual reflex, that beyond mere relief, of duty to truth; and it comes to the many, however much with cloaks of society or army, priests or prelates, attempts may be made to hide the spiritual sun and to blur its reflections in reason. It may yet be resisted; but the vulnerability of that anomaly, man as devil, is vast in the domain of his various gifts and graces, all subject to operation of truth, contrition, morality, equity and justice.
Man is not so easily duped, and despite his fevers, it is a moral reality which he seeks, to which he alludes, as well as spiritual; and it is this which is so readily derailed, not destroyed, as he jaunts into this or that substitute, easier on the heart, less exacting for the spirit, more pleasant for the prospect of self-will, self-direction and self-fulfilment.
Rather, man equipped with consciousness of God, however much this be perverted, diverted or misdirected, invents gods at times to cover the case, repositories of his philosophy, emblems of his desire, projections of his aspirations or butts of his wit, sanctioned into existence by florid joys, bewildered hope or evil intentions: and there is no essential difference in this respect between the rambling nebulosities within Buddhism (cf. SMR pp. 925-1026), Nazism, Communism, New Age humanism (cf. SMR pp. 867ff.) or the re-inventions of the Bible found in liberalism (SMR pp. 68ff., 367ff.).
Gifted to invent, brightened with imagination, man not only creates in the full joy of his constructions before the One who created both him and his gifts. He desecrates also, as a miscreant; and sometimes, in his jaded spirit, takes joy in rampaging against truth, as did Nietsche, who however became literally insane.
Man's gods of forces (cf. Daniel 11:38), or strongholds, of features or passions, animated whether by hope or by despair, gain hold not because man is mad - for in much mankind remains of sound mind, but because the diversion of reality and its corresponding detectors in man, is an attestation of estrangement from God. The one feeling jilted, because rebellious, readily becomes the spiritually wilted, and this, subject to disease.
This being a twist from truth, becomes an instability in life, like the motion of a car with one tyre missing. One may wonder how so much that is excellent could be so diverted so far; but when thought arises, it is easy to see that it is precisely the power in the product, the car, and the error in the method of running, the missing tyre, which creates the virtually predictable havoc!
The distortions of mental motion, the riots of imagination, these come with a force which in its basic thrust, rushes into whatever is around: irrationalities abound, obfuscations ferment (cf. SMR pp. 422Eff., 422Qff.), often in societies as well as individuals.
None stand up to reason, or are warranted by it; but all have their inventory of desire or their repositories of concern. For this reason, and because God is not the subject of human invention, but man the object of divine creation, these mislead. Indeed, these foul up man's ways with considerable facility, and it would be beyond even the amazing, such are the unfounded nebulosities irreconcilable with reason and evidence alike to which man in religion and philosophy is prone, if it were not that man is gullible because he rejects the God whom he will not bear. So is he diverted, like fast traffic, into some other lane. There he speeds, often without concern, except to escape into a liberty which is not thus to be found; for the ditch leaps to his field of vision, as his erratic steering and desperate avoidance comes to its due grief.
This is the simple but most adequate answer to those who ask how anyone of any intelligence could possibly even consider seriously many of the philosophies, and any of the sects. In this is verified, in this stunning instance of the embracement of the erratic, the ground of the action, accounting not only for the degree of folly, but the extent of it in those willing victims of such harassment.
It is because inward being and outward attestation alike are overwhelming in their attestation of the true God (cf. SMR), that perversion of these functions is man is so easy, so disastrous and so much like fermenting wine in the result. Without a stomach, food has little appeal; but when it is present, amazing fare may be consumed when appetite becomes passion.
Despite such errors, even at that, man's conscience is not to be so confined. Compunction and anguish still move, and revulsion does not at once lose its way in man, even in the worst of the irrationalities or the most lurid of the sacrifices to be made. Hard do some work to continue the harassment and to further foster the asininities of much of mankind.
There is in man an insurgency for what is right, readily seen when others do not meet this implicit standard; and there is a quest for goodness of which cynicism is largely the frustrated resultant (cf. SMR Ch. 3). How this is so is correlative to all the other spheres of enquiry, and hence confirmed empirically and logically! For this, see SMR Ch. 5.
How rabidly are all brakes thrown away in many for a time, and in more for eternity" This is the contrary labour, and it is a measure of the passion for autonomy, for which read slavery, and for the love of flight from God, as if speed with anodyne and saviour jointly.
Yet while billions are swallowed up, millions do not return to their vomit.
Conscience is correlative to consciousness. Both aspects of the spirit of man in its functionalities are derivative from what enables the one, requires the other and both categorically and collectively explains both, both in their institution and their pathology.
Some of the positive outcomes and incomes with the negative, will be pursued, DV, in the next Chapter.