Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A collapse of 'faith'

Aha! My religious faith has collapsed again. What metaphysical castles I like to create, only to tear them down. My crisis this time is not about the coherence of some theistic claims ( I think some types of theistic claims are coherent, though not theistic claims approaching those of classical theism. The latter is incoherent i.e full of inherent contradictions or obfuscations and vagueness). My crisis this time is epistemological. I have concluded there is simply insufficient evidence to believe that even coherent theistic claims are true. One can only be an 'agnostic' who is inclined toward believing in theism...but not actually a theist in the sense that I believe there is a God. Oh yes I want there to be a God, or rather I would like to believe the world is heading for some ideal state or I have some subjective immmortality and so do my loved ones. But I have insufficient reason to believe any supernatural reality exists. The mystical experience and intutition sometimes seems to fill the evidential 'gaps' by providing some kind of 'gnosis' to believe in some kind of absolute spirit, but I can't rationally get beyond this very basic intuition to develop a 'theology' on anything like a sound footing. And the mystical experience itself cannot be shown to be more than a querk of the human brain, a state of consciousness.

This leads me back to being interested in  only a) naturalistic or humanistic paganism b) archetypal psychology c) pure mysticism, which is contentless and not noetic  d) parapsychology

c) is significant, because until a few days ago it sustained a unitarianism or perennialism, a kind of belief in an 'unknown God'. However all I can rationally say is that 'I have a certain state of mind', not that this mystical experience actually provides any factual information about the meaning of life, the universe and everything. I am intuitively inclined to sense a 'divine power' acting through creation. I have always called this the 'is-ness' of 'pure being'. And of course for me, spirit is being or essence, life or vitality and (states of) consciousness. Spirit may be metaphysical but it need not be supernatural. What I can't have is any confidence that this 'spirit' is a mind or person or that a 'person' or 'mind' as we know it is behind this sense of a 'divine power'. Or indeed that this intuition is not more than the working of my own digestion or particular firing pattern of neurons

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