18 January 2008

God is knocking. Open your mind.

We construct our image of reality, but it is necessarily incomplete, because there is more to reality than our mind can hold. We paper over the empty places with prejudices that enable us to feel good about ourselves in the face of our own mortality. We defend ourselves by fighting those who threaten to tear through our prejudices. Including God. That's why we crucified him. That's why we crucify each other. That's why we crucify parts of ourselves. In the modern world, with its crisis of meaning, that's why we make war.

Religion has already provided time-tested tools to help us deal with all this. But it takes all the insights of science and human experience to use them with care. If we pick them up without thinking, we just use them to confirm our prejudices. They become intellectual weapons to fend off ideas, rather than spiritual windows to God. And we need to use our sense of humor to live with ourselves in the face of how often and how far we get it wrong, despite our best efforts.

What to do? Realize that the most common approach to Truth is by successive approximations. Each time, we make errors, which we strive to reduce with our next effort. And that some fine day, the Truth will reach us. Or as the Apostle Paul wrote, "Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face."

There. Does that help?

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