Ode to a Sophist’s Idyll
Abundant spring becomes luxuriant summer
Pastoral hills and valleys fill with greener greens
This place, this time, this is my home, my refuge
I breathe its airs, gulp its glistening waters
I sleep on soft pillows in the cool stillness of night
The cries of the hawk and the coyote fill my ears
The deer bound effortlessly across our fences
As the brown stallion gallops through the field next to the house
Doing so out of the pure joy of running
A majestic display of strength and beauty as one, undiluted, natural.
The ‘Natural Order’, so highly esteemed and rightly so, as God has made us so. Yet it’s a misunderstanding to idolize Nature. Don’t misunderstand this, I LOVE Nature! What is not understood, what is incomplete in our picture of nature and evolution is the ‘mechanism’ or engine that powers evolution. This incredible diversity and fantastic adaptation we see all around us in nature is best explained and I believe can only be fully understood if one can suspend one’s ‘scientific’ prejudices about nature, the belief that it’s explained completely by ‘natural selection’, and consider the possibility that a spiritual ‘agency’, a spiritual imperative, not just propagation, is the driving force behind the path life has taken on this planet. The idea that what is traditionally referred to as nature is’ natural’ and therefore ‘right’, i.e., ‘what come naturally’, since Darwin, has become the end-all and be-all of those who believe it explains away the Evil of our world, as in when a lion, strong and more powerful kills and eats a smaller, weaker animal no evil has been done because of the ‘natural law’ of ‘survival of the fittest’.
Consequently these Apologists, Empiricists, Pragmatists, Scientologists, Atheists, Rationalists, Darwinians or whatever they would call themselves, seek to ‘logically’ (Oh yeah, I forgot Logical- Positivists) extend this ‘natural order’ to include and define the issues of human morality, and social order, and economic justice.
The Church of Reason dictates that the strongest or the ‘best’ must be so by right of ‘nature’ and therefore deserve all that their strength allows them to take from the weaker, the poorer, the ‘meek’, and most importantly, tragically, each of these ideologies dismiss as superstition the idea that there could and should be a higher order, a better model for human, social, and political behavior. The highest aspirations of the human soul, after a million years of refinement are diluted and polluted in the primeval muck from which thousands of generations of our ancestors poured out their sweat and blood, and endured countless hardships and untold suffering that we might one day rise above it. That we all might one day free ourselves from the shackles and domination of oppressors, usurpers, and corruption.
Now, one thing I do know is that neither I nor anyone have all the answers, but if anyone truly has an open mind, ‘scientific’, if you will, they must seek, as earnestly as they would to find the truths of physics or mathematics to discover what if any truth is behind the ageless traditions of belief in 'extranatural', i.e., spiritual phenomena, and ultimately God.
Why must I, you may ask? Admittedly this type of research into perhaps often suspect evidences takes much effort and time to sort the wheat from the chaff. Yet I know, from my own work, and studies of those who undertook this ‘quest’ before me, (Notably Carl Jung) that such efforts will not be in vain. I can testify firsthand as to the reality of ‘spiritual’ truths and the proofs for these noumena are there to be discovered, acknowledged, and their value recognized by any who seek the Truth. The most profound indisputable proofs of all are polarized and complementary, each offering astounding revelations and undeniable evidences of the spiritual dimensions we all inhabit. One is physics (and mathematics) and the other is the Bible. From opposite ends of the spectrum these sources, if adequately pursued, provide the seeker with proof after proof of the existence, efficacy, and exigency of the spiritual. Why must we know? Simply, the fate of our children, our heritage hinges on the fulcrum of these proofs and these truths, for without them we are mere dust and everything is meaningless happenstance, mere evolutionary imperative.
Propagation…Adapt… Survival of the fittest…Darwin’s Origin of the Species. True, without a doubt. Yet as stated above something is missing. It is incomplete. It tells how this came about but not why. The scientific prejudice against any hint of metaphysics (the spiritual dimensions) is an irrational reactionary impulse born of the persecution science received at the hands of the Dark Age church. This atheism is enshrined in the concept of scientific rigor, which excludes anything that can’t be measured or experimentally repeated as false, unfounded, or nonexistent. The idea that perhaps our procedures and instruments are simply too primitive to detect extra-dimensional phenomena is entirely ignored by most scientists. They would have us believe that all the marvels and mysteries of life, consciousness, mind, and the highest aspirations of the human soul are derived from a spiritless vacuum of accidental chemical interactions and therefore all our creativity, hopes, dreams, our loves, our sacrifices for our children, our altruism, charity, caring, our tenderness, our forgiveness, our faith, our lives, all the goodness, and truth, and beatific wonder and joy of the human spirit, the human heart, all are meaningless machinations of the imperative.
I rebuke those who deny God, and at the same time I forgive them their blindness and ‘smallness’, for alas, for now we all but see in part until the day of the fullness of revelations, and we all are so small in this mysterious divine universe, on this minute speck of stardust.
Scientific skepticism (atheism), the ‘rigor’ of the ‘scientific method’, has enabled the human consciousness to discover and retain externally in books, and now computers, a vast amount of physical knowledge which has consequently resulted in the creation of our increasingly amazing technologies. These ‘magical’ devices are truly ‘wonders’ for which we should rightly take pride in the achievements of the human mind. Yet they have also been borne at a terrible price.
These essays’ purpose is to create awareness of the damage, the ‘injuries’, and hopefully to fuel the debate with positive ideas as to what we can and should do to stop this downward spiral and reverse directions. I will focus here on the spiritual damage to the psyche, and the cultural gestalt, or ‘weltanschauung’ of our time by ‘scientific’ thought. (I will leave the equally important issues of the physical damage to our fragile planet’s ecosystems for another essay). Then after defining the extent of this catastrophe and explicating the causes thereof I intend to propose the basis of a new holistic philosophy. In the course of these dissertations I will introduce new interpretations of old ideas, especially biblical ones, and will synthesize new ideas to express truths we are just beginning to perceive, here at the crack of dawn of a new millennium and of a new age of revelation and enlightenment.
©2007 Thomas Theodore Welborn
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