By: Jay Dyer
One of the most difficult things for people to readjust to is the counter-intuitive (or seemingly counter-intuitive) worldview in modified Platonism that I often refer to. This reorientation shifts one’s entire perspective on the outer, external world, rendering it again a sacred space, infused with the Divine, as opposed to a brute, “material” realm dominated by chaos, entropy and death. It is understandable why people prefer this grand narrative (and a depressing narrative it is), despite the protestations of those who opt for this paradigm that we in the other camp are “weak” for choosing older “fictions” like souls, angels and God. To be sure, the materialists and servants of delusion of brute “matter” have their own deity – the impersonal “forces of nature,” but we’ll set that aside for the moment.
It is crucial that the psyche undergo this repentance, metanoia in Greek, and reorienting, as the attitude mentioned is that of fallen man, viewing his world as one devoid of the supernatural under the guise of “science.” While the scientific method is certainly a useful tool (I read scientific material frequently), the lack of philosophical education on the part of that community is appalling. It is precisely the hubristic impetus of fallen man that impels the hardcore dogmatists of the brute, impersonal forces of nature cult to stamp out all such ideas – even the slightest inkling by any of their ilk, tending toward the idea the psyche or mind may not be reduced to chemical reactions, must be swiftly punished.
This is why the discoveries and theses proposed in quantum physics are so disturbing to advocates of scientism, despite their good faith in future science to resolve all questions with strict rationalism. Never mind the fact that “reason” itself is nonsensical in the deterministic paradigm of Darwinian naturalism, the crusaders of modern empiricism are committed adherents of the Holy Inquisition of Scientism, and no manner of logical argumentation can persuade them otherwise. Those aware of an alternate version of human history, the Biblical narrative, in which man is a fallen creature in rebellion against his Creator, have a perfectly rational (indeed, the only rational) explanation of these events – and can even explain why man himself prefers his own self-imposed servitude, to quote Kant, rather than submission to the doctrine of Creation.
Creation is crucial because of the implications for the entirety of how man views and operates in the world. Our worldview will determine the way we act, showing the old adage of lex orandi, lex credendi to be correct. If the universe is a created reality, then the implications for how things like electrons, matter and other natural processes work will have vastly different meanings. For example, if there is no Creation, and the universe is either eternal or illusory, the way we operate will be dictated accordingly. We can look to history to show us cultures where such a fundamental presupposition dominated, such as Hindu India or ancient China. In these cultures, the dominance of the Absolute as an impersonal reality, with a multitude of lesser deities to be supplicated created a vast array of self-destructive practices amongst those populations. Starvation in India, while cattle roamed free as divine, and a “divine” emperor in China, where individual subjects had no personal identity. These are merely examples of basic philosophical presuppositions that undergirded a culture and resulted in a praxis consistent therewith.
Precisely because these cultures were suffused with the notion that time and the universe was eternal, it became a trap from which the wheel of time and “materiality” had to be escaped, through meditation, radical asceticism, or some other form of mystical gnosis. If, on the other hand, “material” reality was a created reality, and not a self-subsisting eternal principle of its own, and the fundamental framework of the “stuff” of reality was designed and began at a point in time, the implications would be vastly different. The creation account of Genesis, for example, presents a very different narrative of history and beginnings than these other accounts. Although it has been fashionable for the last few hundred years to dismiss the Genesis narrative as a fictional mythology of numerous blended Ancient Near Eastern cosmologies, the fact is, the Creation account of Genesis presents a vastly different theology than any other religious account, aside from even the Egyptian account, which comes close.
This difference cannot be overstated: The biblical account posits that time and “matter” are not evils, traps or the source of any fundamentally oppositional principle, but are rather goods – inherently good, due to being created in time by a good God. God, being good, does not “create” evil, as if it had any substantial or ontological being. All being, in the metaphysical sense, in this sense, is created being, and created with the potential to receive the higher divine energies or powers of God. In other words, creation was such that it was placed in a state in which it might be raised to even higher goods, but this does not mean creation was therefore “bad,” because its initial state was a lesser good. There is no opposition or dialectic between the good being many, as later western philosophy, and in particular Platonism would posit. This opposition of the good necessarily being absolutely One (the simple monad), was a Platonic idea that would have its precedent in ancient far eastern thought.
Even the Hermetica and the Egyptian accounts from the Memphite narrative, for example, include the idea that creation was spoken into existence by virtue of a divine Logos, yet ultimately, even in the Egyptian narrative, the overall principle, the ultimate Absolute, is not personal, but an immaterial force. Thus, at the outset, we are presented with only two possible options for this question – is the Absolute ultimately (supra)rational and personal, or is the Absolute ultimately an impersonal, chaotic force? There are only two possibilities here, and once we consider this basic philosophical question, we can extrapolate Darwinism as clearly a manifestation of the second. Though most Darwinian adherents would be at pains to insist there is no ultimate guiding principle, the worldview still tends towards the notion of Forces of Nature determining. This determination, however, is ultimately irrational and impersonal, aside from the appearance of order, telos and design. (Note that I am not making a classical teleological argument, but a transcendental version of a teleological argument.)
But there are many, many more problems for positing ultimate reality or the Absolute as an impersonal force. If ultimate reality is impersonal and chaotic, then all localized events, phenomena and objects are also devoid of any ultimate meaning. Language, mathematics, logic, etc., are thus also annihilated as merely mental fictions, or at best some cosmic force we do not yet understand (yet still impersonal!). These servants of chaos and abyss are like a cartoon character, sawing off the limb he’s sitting on, to spite his opponent. If ultimate reality is impersonal, then the thread that links all facts, ideas, objects, patterns, etc., is not real. It is a fiction of man’s chaotic, impersonal mental chemical reactions. There is no order or pattern actually out there in external reality, and the so-called regularity of nature upon which science is built, induction, is merely a mental projection or interpretation. Such devastating questions, of course, are the very reason “science” (or scientism) has chosen to discard philosophy as “useless.” However, these questions do not go away, nor does science determine reality by some will to power dismissal of philosophical questions. The mere fact that “scientists” dogmatically mandate that no one can ask questions about why or what happened before the so-called Big Bang shows how ridiculous they truly are.
When this is considered, Creation becomes the only logical and philosophically coherent position, as it makes perfect sense of the very principle of coherence itself – as an objective reality. Despite the Darwinian/scientistic rationalist insistence they alone hold the keys of reason, they have dug a pit they themselves have fallen into, to quote Psalms. Reason, coherence, pattern recognition, mathematics and logic are not mental constructs, but undeniably operant principles in the objective, external world. This is how bridges are built, words bring about communication, and the principle of induction makes science possible. This is also how geometry is math in space, and music is math in time. Precisely because these principles work in the world to build amazing logic machines, like computers, we can see the basic presuppositions of the reductionistic naturalist are false. And this point cannot be left unstressed either – the problem at work between someone who espouses such views and, say, myself, is that we have fundamentally opposed beliefs – presuppositions – from the outset. My presuppositions govern my worldview, as do the presuppositions of the naturalist. However, we cannot both be correct, as our basic beliefs are fundamentally at odds.
This is why I continually return to the question of objective metaphysical principles as the means by which to engage the opponent and modernity as a whole. Our disagreement begins with Creation and what the world is. For me, it is guided by an Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent God, and all the stuff of reality has its ground in a single Divine Mind. Reality is, at base, rational, although that rationality is infinite, so it transcends my finite reason. Regardless, it does not make God irrational, it makes Him supra-rational, which means there are plenty of things I must learn analogically. In contrast, for the opponent, reality is ultimately irrational, with no meaning, telos, or guiding principle. It just is, and that brute nihilism is something he must continually confront as he seeks to make reason, science and math function as a supposedly mental fiction in the external world.
The world, for this person, is not something to be ruled as a steward under a good God, but a dark, chaotic, nihilistic, empty place upon which meaning must be imposed, not discovered. This is precisely why scientism has so often succumbed to brutality and the rape of nature, despite its never-ending claim to worship Nature and exalt “environmentalism.” It is the impetus of social Darwinianism to ultimately seek the destruction of nature, as nature is not a sacred manifestation of the Divine Mind and Beauty, but a harsh ruler to ultimately annihilate and “perfect” (through transhumanism and the synthetic rewrite). However, if we in theology are correct, this grand plan is doomed to fail because man is not a god who determines meaning and objective reality. Man is a steward of God, made with the plan to be made divine and immortal in God’s way, and not in fallen man’s rebellious way.
The recent discoveries of quantum physics are a bright sign, however, as the theses that consider the fundamental substrate of reality to be information, as we see in DNA research and in quantum perspectives of subatomic reality. Discoveries about the “holographic” model of reality are merely confirmations of the platonic models of psyche and idea as the fundamental substrate of reality. We are witnessing a revolution that runs completely contrary to the empirical British Royal Society narrative we have so long been fed, and it truly represents the fall of the old Enlightenment empiricism. However, the new agers and the think tanks have already jumped on board, and already we have a plethora of new age bologna seeking to hijack quantum physics for all manner of nonsense. As you might already imagine, I would simply remind readers that the critiques applied to absolute impersonalism equally apply to the new agers hijacking quantum physics. The fact that the fundamental substrate of humans and “matter” are information, and to be more specific, energetic information speaks to a worldview in which we need an infinite, omniscient Mind to string together all the facts, if you will. Without an infinite Mind linking all the particulars, the connections we make are illusory. But for metaphysics and philosophy and science to work, we need a rational, linking principle for all of reality. We need something to hold all this substrate, all these patterns, all these principles together – and the human mind is not enough, since it is finite.
However, there is an Ancient Tradition in Genesis, a Creation narrative, that explains reality as the Creation of a loving God, and as a reflection of eternal principles and archetypes in His mind – called logoi, that are all one in His Logos, or Word. In Genesis 1, the universe is spoken into existence, through divine fiat, and contains within it, a fundamental meaning. That fundamental informational meaning, exemplified in something like DNA, is grounded in the eternal, and from thence derives its meaning. Man, as a creature of God, can thus make advances and learn about the world, even though he and it are fallen, as they progress back towards union with God, and the eventual renewal of all things in God. Only in this paradigm, with these presuppositions, are science, reason, meaning, logic and mathematics even possible and coherent. In this sense, our minds are little mirrors of the Divine Mind, a little world, that can contain the many. For more insights along these lines, see the recommended video below by Johanon Raatz.