Epignosis

14 11 2009

bowlby's monkeyIf I had not known better, if I had to look at this world without the aid of scripture and verse, I would have likely been sucked into the brainwashing influences of atheistic public education.  Then again, perhaps not.  The complexity of life on this Earth is amazing.  It screams of an intelligent designer, especially when disorder is the juggernaut that trumps all.  I do make arguments for the existence of a Creator, but it is not a very intellectual pursuit.  I might as well make arguments to show that the sky is blue.  It’s what I write about when I have a bad case of writer’s block, but I feel the need to put something down.  It’s too easy.  Evolutionists have inadvertently resurrected the old mythologies, that the Earth spontaneously formed out of chaos, that life just happened to appear all by itself.  This is all fine for a work of fantasy fiction, but it doesn’t belong in any serious text about real life.  My finger is far more sophisticated than the computer that it types on.  Both demonstrate design.  There’s no getting around it.

 If I had not known better, if I had to see this world without any Christian background, I would have seen that humanity has a need for a god, or God, whichever the case may be.  Seemingly every culture throughout all time has worshipped something.  In desperation, they have even carved out gods from wood and stone, just so that they could have something to which they bow down and worship.  It’s not unlike a man stranded on a desert island, so desperate for companionship that he draws a face on a soccer ball and talks to it.  In the absence of the real thing, we forge a pathetic substitute.  Even the atheists, who claim to have no god, waste so much good paper to write about how Evolution “designed” the eye, or what “purpose” it had in “making” colorful feathers on a tropical bird.  If I were a new observer, I might wonder who this Evolution god is.  He sounds very much personified.  With time, he might evolve into an idol.

 A scientist named John Bowlby cruelly experimented with macaque infants, giving them wire mothers to cling to.  The young monkeys desperately needed the affection of a mother, so they sought this relationship even from a cold inanimate substitute.  This is remarkably similar to the creation of a cold lifeless god of stone.  What becomes abundantly clear is that we have a desperate need for God.  If we can’t find a real god to worship, then we make a sorry imitation of one and bow to it.  However, every need has a solution.  We hunger, because there is food, and we need it.  We thirst, because there is water, and we need it.  We need friendship, because there are other people in the world, and we benefit from being with them.  Not one single human need is without some means of fulfillment.  Truth is, we need God so badly that we’ll foolishly worship a mannequin, if need be.  We need friendship so badly that we’ll talk to thin air, if it comes to that.  We need food so badly that we’ll eat a boot, if nothing else is available.  We needed our parents so badly that we would have clung to a wire mother draped in terrycloth, if that was all we had.

 Our need of God testifies to his existence.  Our intelligent design testifies to an intelligent designer.

 If I did not know better, I would say that God had abandoned us.  In some respects, the deists are not at all unreasonable in their claims that God does not interact with this world.  This world, ingenious as it is, is winding down like a spring-loaded toy.  Entropy is only increasing.  No external source of life seems to be entering this world.  All of nature is busy cannibalizing itself, one animal devouring another, scraping up every last available source of life and burning it for fuel while it lasts.  God apparently loved the sparrow enough to make it with a stunning complexity and the ability to sustain itself in an environment not made for that express purpose.  The seed was meant to become a plant, but the bird was equipped to use that for food.  Unfortunately, the hawk was equipped to use the sparrow for food.  Every creature, as it exists, is a marvelous creation, made with loving care, but God seems to sprinkle no flakes into our fishbowl.  We are left to devour other life forms, until the system burns itself out.

 There exists an unmistakable chasm between God and us.  Whatever activity God had in the world in times past, it appears to be a one-time event.  The colossal act of creation appears to have stopped.  Forget what they taught you in school; we are not evolving to a better state.  In fact, we are gradually accumulating genetic flaws, and none of them have ever improved us.  The very fact that priests of old had to make idols in the first place is a minder of our want.  People who have chicken sandwiches don’t eat leather boots.  The problem with any need is that we cannot let it remain unquenched without disastrous consequences.  Bowlby’s monkeys were so maladapted and insecure, owing to the uncaring nature of their false mothers, that they were terrified of other monkeys.  It’s like us, spiritual beings, trembling at the sight of an angel, or quaking at evidence of a demon.  The monkey screams at the approach of its peer, as if to say, “Oh, my gosh, it’s moving!!”  Take away its wire mother and it curls into a ball and hides its eyes.  Without affection from its mother, its emotional state is permanently in ruins.  It cannot cope with life.  So, too, without God, we suffer our own consequences.  Our behavior is massively affected.  Our development is thwarted.

 The atheist asks why there is so much evil in the world, and he concludes that there must be no God.  In a sense, there must be some truth to that.  God, apparently, has cursed this world and turned his back on us.  However, the atheist fails to acknowledge that, while God has clearly forsaken this world, he evidently had a hand in its creation, and we desperately need him.  Buddhism, on the other hand, fails even to recognize the problem, while attempting to provide a solution.  It gives us some eight-fold path, tells us to live right, and sends us on our way, without addressing the real issue.  Islam sees the problem, but fails to provide a solution.  In the end, we are still cut off from God, and we have no idea if we will ever find our way back.  We can’t even know if we’re good enough Muslims.

 Every philosophy (they say) seeks to answer these questions:

 Who are we?

 Why are we here?

 Where are we going?

 We are children lost in a crowded shopping mall without our mothers.

 We are here because our mothers brought us here for one reason, then lost us before fulfilling that reason.

 We are slowly going insane.

 If I didn’t know better, I would say that we have a supernatural soul.  It’s one of those things you don’t need a Bible to know.  My body is a machine, and nothing more.  There is no earthly explanation for why I am living life through a machine.  If I could explain that, then I would know what it is that prevents me from living life through some other body, yet enables me to live life through this one.  Therefore, we have something, or, at least, I have something that goes beyond the physical world, something that is the most defining characteristic of my identity.  I have a supernatural soul.

 We are physical beings with a spiritual essence.  We are cut off from God.  We need God.  We were created by an intelligent mind.

 I applaud Christianity for addressing all of these issues.  It sets the stage with a divine creator.  It quickly identifies the pervasive problem that leaves us groveling before teachers, priests, statues, televisions and rock stars.  God created us, and we turned against him.  Our sin separated us from him, and he cursed our world.  It satisfies that need by providing us with the Holy Spirit and communion with God.  It also gives hope of future reunion with God.  To go even further, it identifies the supernatural human spirit, which continues to exist even beyond the grave.

 Who are we?  We are the children of God, made lovingly in his image.

 Why are we here?  We were separated from God at birth, and we need to use this scarce time to find our way back.

 Where are we going?  To Heaven, if we succeed in finding him.

 In the meantime, the world self-destructs through wars, greed and silly superstitions, progressively losing its collective sanity in its efforts to fill the gaping hole that gnaws at it.  But I do know better.  I do have the complete picture.  I have epignosis.

troubledsig

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