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The Face on Mars
the fashion and form of imagination
and the manner of fact
The Advertiser, Saturday May 19, p. 53
ERUPTIONS, IRRUPTIONS AND CONTRAPTIONS OF THOUGHT
It is almost pretty, but then, there is another case to which we will come shortly, which is poignant.
It is a little like a
wistful face, this exhibit on Mars, and a distinguished scientist has avowed it
a human product - at a distance of many miles from a space relay. Another in
NASA dismisses such a claim abruptly.
Thus we read also this: "It is quite true the photos appear to show a human face and other interesting phenomena but they are just piles of rocks," says a senior NASA source. How distinguished is the distinction of science, so often to be distinct about the indistinct, in the eyes of some of its fellows!
How personal is the thought of man! He is personal, thinks like it, acts like it, composes his talk, invests his speech like it. As the monkey cannot abstract into symbolic innovation, based on analytical thought, so man CANNOT stop doing it! It is ever so: what you have, you do or die, or rather it dies. Brains prepared for grammatical and other symbolic notation, invent it, this way or that, like an irrepressible stream, never stilled by minor obstacles (cf. SMR pp. 13ff.)
Not signs or signals, but ideational symbols, personally contrived: this is the make of man, his nature. This is the sports car he drives, the robot forgotten in a heap by comparison: for man, transcending device, but using it, as it is given to him at birth, also makes it, with a liberty all but unrationed, but the more so the less it is rational!
Man has not only this, but
the marvel of
being as he is, the grammar inventing,
the ideationally organising,
person who he is:
there it is, some of the functionality of this product, called 'man'.
Indeed, in a delicious but deranged folly, like kids too young, intoxicated at a party: WITH what he is disposed to ignore, decry and ditch, he proceeds to give grounds for it!
With this trend in view, it
is hardly surprising that the pure irrational pathology of it rebounds, so that
he is forever making personal that which is in fact impersonal, in astrology,
in numerology, in 'common thought' which he contrives to invent the better to
have some basis in imaginary unity;
in life on Mars, in faces in the sky, and so on. It is rather like children - and it is quite impersonal in this, that it is a racial symptom of a common racial fault - if you do not give them outlet, they may make their own in pure fantasy.
This disease of man, then,
towards personal constructions of impersonalism, debasing with elevated talk,
his status, and determining himself with free thought as prone to error as the
clocks forever being repaired by their inventors and allies, and as checkable
by logic as theirs by plan: it is far more common than foot and mouth disease,
and has endless variants, as befits a being which IS personal. Assessing
and arguing in terms of error, to be assessable in debate, for determinism
which cannot have error, since what is cannot be wrong when that is all there
what is it like ?
It is like being made floral judges, on condition that you have no nose.
All this man does, with imagination as unbound as you would expect from someone made in the image of God, and dismissing it. We find man, in his all but unlimited mental antics, having philosophic vogues for a season, then, obviously wrong - his former fascinations boring as old 'flames' to a roué - and as ludicrous in such errata, flitting and flirting with fantasy in the ludicrously inadequate clothes of fancied fact, incessantly making new muddles about himself, and calling them thought, till after a little they too die. This is precisely as you would expect from someone not at peace with his Maker, rejecting His word, and making little of His provisions, even to the point of denying what he himself is! He MUST invent, and he CANNOT have it right, since the right is the problem!
All this is superb verification of what he is, for the FUNCTIONALITY this displays is precisely that double edged sword, with the sides of massive liberty and massive rebellion, which cuts into the tissue and fabric of fancy and fantasy, and ends illusion. What he does thus verifies what he is, explaining all; and the more he denies, the more he illustrates his antinomies! (Cf. SMR Ch. 5.)
It is WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT ON SUCH A BASIS. It explains it to perfection, both the ability so to err, and the nature of the error. Here is verification in its summit conference! Praise God, He is not left for one moment, one second of any day, without His witness...
then, just as man often forlornly projects foolish thought into reductionist
materialism, and invalid relativity (cf. SMR 422Eff., TMR Ch. 5), so he yet - like a lady bulging
from vainly constraining clothes, too small, or a beer bellied man afflicted
with far too obvious an overhang -
is for ever seeing the personal. He is it; and it will not be denied. If he is like it, he looks like it; and the more he tires to hide his stomach, the worse it is.
THE IMAGINATION OF THE CHILD
SPEAKS OF HIM WHO IS NOT SEEN,
BUT FOUND IN RESULTS
Thus the author, without real conviction when young, but with that indomitable imagination with which childhood reeks, has most frequently seen 'the man in the moon', and discovered his moods. Most often, 'he' has a tooth problem, causing some swelling at one side of his cheek; frequently he is rather sad and a little bleak at the sight of what goes on, in the earth, which not unexpectedly, he views with a look rather withdrawn, and somewhat apart.
Almost he can be genial, at other times, and sometimes his gaze is almost scientific. Again, he may be entirely abstracted, and the configurations of 'his' face can be all but appealing.
However, he is not there.
Even childhood would not have endued 'him' with a reality beyond the imagination, or a 'life' past that of appearance, vitally enacted into thought by the labours of imagination, flitting like a bird, with joyous ease, creating the personal which is its homeland, structure and nature, now playfully, now with caprice. It cavorts, but it also aborts.
Thus, if someone had said, when one was seven, 'You know there really is a man in the moon,' perhaps one could almost have believed it; but even then, really not quite. The blood supply ? the reality of the teeth in a bodiless head, adrift or even traffic-like, directed in the sky ? If the material is the evidence, it does not fit its own ways! It would be like that other de rigueur 'interpretation', that it was becomingly composed of green cheese, or the other, more modish nowadays, that it all came out of a hat, called the universe, and that it came out of another called nothing. This last is that according to the vagaries of that wholly discredited piece of spiritually induced childishness, equipped however with aplomb, called organic evolution*3.
With what pathos, delicacy, meaning, one can imbue a piece of rock, or dust, or chemistry! but it is not even personal. Man is that, and his Maker is beyond that in capacity, as the donation source, the donor, surpasses the thing endued; for man's personal liberty, imagination, logical symbolism and soaring thought, all of one character and style, are adequately and justly based both for existence and for meaning, on adequate grounds, those creative of the creative. It is based on the imaginative logic of the Creator, aloft beyond all perception; for God is invisible*4 by nature, having made the visible as an excursion: that limited, bounded, devised, wait-for-it construction which is such a test, a trial and an adventure for one of the parts of it, called man, made in His image, so far beneath His necessary powers, and so wonderfully placed as a management construction.
an excursion BY MAN then, as to credit to rocks, and such fantasies, whether in
fun or temporarily unduly moved, these are man's apportioned domain. If he errs
in this, as in other things, however, it is necessary to come back,
distinguishing the worlds he 'creates' from those already created! You can
make, to some extent, what you want; yet it is deadly to confuse it with what
has already been made!
Tests never fail to rebuke
the trespass (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri (ASP) Chs. 1-3, 8), and our point is this: it is a
systematic thing in power, and there is a systematic reason for it happening in
ONE DIRECTION, so frequently (Ephesians 4:17ff ., Romans 1:17ff.). The confines of space are vast,
and their magnitude a thing of splendour (cf. Dr Werner Gitt, Stars and
Their Purpose, TMR Ch. 7);
but the thing called man is on earth, not sprawling in the heavens, and the
image of God is provided not by accident, but by donation, and put in its
place, however often it would leave that!
(as Psalm 115:16, Genesis 1-2:4 so clearly attest*5 ).
Small wonder then that as to man, he exhibits just that sort of constructive imagination which he has, and having, is created to have, by that acme and original of all creation and creativity, God by whose Spirit man can be touched, by whose words advised, by whose grace delivered.
Yet man usually chooses NOT to be so delivered, being proficient at this, as personal and created - though with many controls by which his systems work, yet for all that, without mere dictation to his spirit*6. It is this in which he works, in that invention categorically beyond ALL man's inventiveness, which constitutes his capacity so to act, and by which indeed, he invents (cf. Little Things Ch. 10). He does not invent by incapacity, but by capacity, and the capaciousness of that capacity is discursive, equipped with overview, comparisons of symbol with symbol and of each with fact, integration of conception, correlation of integrations, power to err and to rectify and to give a reason for the same, with internal logical validity and potentially, essential validity, when but only when it is able to find the source of validity, and hence surpassing its powers, find release in rationality itself, the basis of all thought by which, from objective source, it can reach ANY objective statement.
Alas, without it, logically, it cannot even say, I cannot know! about its meaning and nature; for that is to declare the possible and the impossible, to invoke conceptions and rationality, which move remorsely to God, and without Him, to self-contradiction, in asserting without assertorial basis, unbased propositions.
IF you know even this, then you must have both absolute truth, its revelation, and its personal revelation, since without this, you are merely presenting your limitations into the assertion, and your viewing into the result. If however you do have this, then you not only CAN but DO know, so aborting your denial!
If therefore, and accordingly, you may know, and there is no impediment to logical pursuit; then, in this sphere, to avoid alogism, and to have something to say, you must find out, and proceed by the logic such as given in SMR Chs. 1-3,10, Repent or Perish Ch. 2, to what reason requires, and this, in particular, it is logically found to be the word of the living and self-validating, constantly self-verifying God, the Bible and His Salvation Action Site and express and definitive, eternal and incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. (On this see also, Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer, with Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ.)
This you do, not as if intruding, but as dumping the illusion that you could legislate and not discover, by mere caprice, or retain a logical agnosticism: for how can it be a fact that you do not know, if you cannot know what knowledge is, being merely a relativistic reaction box, unendued with a reality meter! and are you even that, in that event ? and if not anything, how say anything!
When however God is found, then the antinomies cease, possibilities recede before actualities, requirements are met, and reason rejoices, while the heart also finds its matrix, not in fancy but in fact, not in ideas alone but in their source, not in surmise but in spirit. Obsessive omission must yield to openness and this in logic, to discovery, and this to reality and this to propositions which are valid, and these are found, by this very process as shown in the above references, only in the Bible as to basis and source. There is of course more to this finding of reality, than following reason; but reason inveterately so performs, that it leads you to where it is, in the Bible. It shows you how to find God, from His own self; and this ... leads you to where you are to go.
The way is shown. The feet ... that is another matter (see Repent or Perish). Perish the thought that you resent not finding, because you will not take the path! If however, you do not, you will perish in that inimitable style which is the ontological occasion of man. It is called everlasting destruction; it has eternal results, correlative to man.
indeed, he is inventive, and not always wisely, especially where God is
concerned, and indeed, he often has tried his hand at inventing gods, as if his
basis could become his function, and his construction, his implement!
FACING FACES - THE WORK OF GENERATIONS
Yes, he invents a face now on Mars; and imagines that God has not bothered, perhaps even to exist, or to speak; and especially not to tell it like it is*5!
Man ? He tends to
imagine, contrive, and repeatedly allege, these centuries; and yet again, now
for himself, and in that, forgetting who he is, to kill with liberty, abuse
with spontaneity, despoiling himself, his world and his future. It is all one
liberty; and it is all one result. It endears, but it alienates where the love
counts! (Ephesians 4:17-19), when man transgresses the word of God! By creation
there is a covenant in our very bodies, which ordains what we are; and by
salvation there is one which ordains how we live.
But what does the Lord say,
and Romans 1:17ff. says more.
There are levels of this transgression, but the trend is one! Alas that this is LIKE MEN! LIKE MAN!
Again and again man with his personality, his essentially personal being, ignoring the spiritual necessities back of his life, of which he is composed, and which alone explain him (SMR Chs. 1-3, 10), invests the mere mechanical or material with ill-fitting personality. It is as if a child should think that an organist was part of his organ, because he knew it so well, and upon this played so skilfully, and that is all worked along the lines of a pianola (which really was a remarkable invention, of that person called man, though it actually HAD no person IN it - only back of it as man, the inventor, not an inhabitant, but a donor by BEING personal cf. SMR pp. 413, 419ff., 315Aff., 316Cff.).
So does the imagination of man move and act to create in accord with its creativity, even when, as in the case of the moon, it is his imagination that we see, not his products of hand (cf. ASP Chs. 1-9, esp. 1-3, Barbs, Arrows and Balms - BAB - 1-3). In its fervour, imagination repeatedly displays but itself!
It is not that man lacks intelligence, but that when he lacks God, where alone he is to be found, intact with meaning and ground, basis and causation, the product from the Producer; and when he lacks likewise that perennial book, the Bible, having dismissed its propositions from his mind, that book which alone is God's authorised written word to mankind; and when, with the utmost peril of thought and life, he lacks His incarnate, unique Son, only begotten, Jesus Christ: then like uncoupled carriages, he careers on, following the incline of his own momentum, on the tracks produced for very different use. It is then he tends to project meaninglessly, at his own level what he rejects as his cause (SMR Ch.3). Then it is that the wreckage of rejection allied with the mobility of creation causes a rampancy of the imagination, a recklessness of the mind, and never satisfied, he invents ever new, but essentially old theories ... which never work, so keeping alien philosophy witlessly busy, never rewarded (I Corinthians 1).
With many it becomes or appears as an obsessive compulsion merely drafted in academic sounding terms, but never meeting the most elementary of the tests and criteria of scientific method (cf. TMR Chs. 1, 8 , SMR pp. 140ff.).
Flogged mercilessly like retired cart horses, these endlessly refurbished theories, like the renewed season's hats of the poor a few decades later, collapse in ruins (cf. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, pp. 352-353, 271, 288, 109, SMR Ch. 2 and *1 below). Though irradiated with hopes, as ever new as the results are ever old, before their time, such is their objective record and realised result (cf. SMR pp. 422Eff.).
Such evolutionary and naturalistic theories, even in infancy, can have the face of hags, but these, lacking life, were never young.
What is it like ? It resembles those fallen companies which, though doomed for billions in debt, yet fling parties, ignoring the reality of their performance, play with obliteration, as oblivious of need as the wind moving the ripples and mounds in the desert. They move; yet overall, they remain largely the same. They lack life.
So the glamour and clamour of that false god, organic evolution, and its many partners in sociology, psychology and politics, comes continually under the wrecker's hammer, its degrading expositions echoing in explosions of worse and worse fruitless scenarios, as it falls, disintegrating to the earth. For no reason, nothing made it all! it despairingly cries, scarcely able to show its face in the crumbled dust of endless rejection slips, that lie mingled with its destruction (TMR Ch. 7).
But what is it like ? The appealing silence of its overthrow, like that of Babylon and Nineveh, yes and Petra (Jeremiah 50-51, Isaiah 13:19-22, 34:12, Nahum 3:15-19), is invaded by the harsh and repetitive laments, vain hopes and programs, of those who cannot make its tower stand, because it is fallen before it was ever constructed (Jeremiah 2:27-28, Isaiah 57:6, 44:20 ).
"Among the smooth stones of the stream,
Is your portion:
They, they are your lot!
Even to them you have poured a drink offering,
You have offered a grain offering.
Should I receive comfort in these ?" (Isaiah 57:6).
Ancient words have long ago depicted modern deeds, their dereliction, ones such as these, and their sting is in their tail - modern events, laments and that ghastly deliciousness of imagination at war with its source, yes and with its very self:
Thus, In Me is your help! Indeed, as we see in Hosea 13:14, that help is palpable, God as Saviour, making Himself as if culpable, and man as if sin were in divorce, guilt in ruins and innocence were newly wed (II Corinthians 5:17-21, Hosea 13:14); and death ? Destroyed.
The ancient words have never altered. This solution is always the same. To it, reason must always revert (BAB 6 - 7, Little Things Ch. 10, Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Chs. 13, 16); but not the will of man.
He can be very determined. He is not determined, in character, except in the grip of sin, which commands him (John 8:30); but in purpose, he is, until he repents (BAB Ch. 14, Repent or Perish Ch. 2, Licence for Liberty Ch. 4), meeting with just dismay, in the alerts of mercy, such ancient words as these (Hosea 14), unchanged, that speak to modern deeds:
"O Israel, return to the LORD, your God (Isaiah 55),
For you have stumbled because of your iniquity:
Take words with you (I John 1:7ff.).
And return to the LORD.
"Say to Him,
'Take away all iniquity;
Receive us graciously,
For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips ...' (Romans 10:9-10).
"I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him (Romans 3:23ff.),
I will be like the dew to Israel... (John 4:14)
"I am like a green cypress tree:
Your fruit is found in Me (John 15:7).
"Who is wise ?
Let him understand these things..." (James 1:17-18).
See also SMR pp. 316Dff..
*5 cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 3, at the apt place provided here, on this topic of beings in space.
See Genesis 1:1-2:4. The last verse indicates that "thus the heavens and the earth were finished, all of the host of them" - thus, and not in some other way was the entire gamut generated; and thus and not something else, it was. As specified, man is on earth by divine fiat. The character of the entire creation, so that it might be called creation, is as specified.
There was not some other creation, mode or fashion; style or series; sequence or provision in this way or that. It was this in extent and intent. Genesis 2:4 protects the statement, precludes intervention and invention. Inventiveness is a great thing; but it loses its lustre and its place when it applies itself to the words of ANOTHER! and when it is the case that this is God, there is even less fascination with its miserable deployments, which become intrigue. On the Biblical utterance on creation, this is it cf. Isaiah 45:12ff., 46:9-11, Colossians 1:15ff., Rev. 4:13, John 1:1-3, and it never varies in His word, from this, or in any other surveyable scene or scenario! The categories mentioned, the situation as unveiled: these are as stated in Genesis 1.
This is the way with God:
He speaks, and it is done, and unless He acts, that is the way it is.
When He finishes, it is finished (Hebrews 11:1ff.); and when He redeems it is redeemed - it is eternal (Hebrews 9:12ff., Romans 5:1-12, 8:29ff., Ephesians 1:4, John 4:14, John 10:9). He KNOWS what He is doing. What He says relates to knowledge that stays, is perfected, incorrigible because correct, infinite because unbounded.
*6 See SMR pp. 348ff., 1-70, 611ff.,
620ff., Ch. 4, Sections 1-2, BAB Appendix 1; LIT 5;
JJ 5, 6;
News 71; Joyful Jottings 25-26 (man
as encapsulated spirit ), Licence for Liberty 4,
News 111, 122, 153.