Here is the final chapter of the book:
THE PLIGHT OF THE PARTICULAR
A very sagacious cocoon for emergent life was spun on Planet Earth by Mother Nature. However, her main concern seems to be the fostering of species, and ensuring their perpetuation. Nature patently ignores the trials and tribulations of the particular. Nature is clement toward her family, but obdurate toward its individual members. Small wonder, then, that an analysis of the human situation reveals wholesale anguish and anxiety as the forerunners of despair and hopelessness.
Such forlorn attitudes are quite prevalent in contemporary society. The atheist-existentialist, for example, moans about the vacuity of human existence. There is no logical explanation for the inanity of man’s being. In fact, it appears that nature played a cruel hoax on its supreme product, man. It endowed man with an intellect, with which he was enabled to perceive the utter futility of his own essence.
It is not easy to suffer the awareness of a meaningless existence. No organic specimen, other than man, has been inflicted with such a prepotent imposition. It hardly inspires a zest for life when one observes nature smiling broadly upon the species as an entity, and favoring the biologically superior product, while brusquely turning her back upon the tortured human psyche. Why was man chastised by being granted a brain that may apprehend all this?
Has man’s superior mental apparatus brought him greater security or happiness? An ego-awareness faculty, such as man possesses, becomes a hollow mockery in face of the emotional torment it causes him to endure. His intellect weighs upon him like a burdensome albatross. It would have been a far better thing for man to have been deprived of such a keen, discerning thinking-equipage, because as a simple biological creature, he would never have comprehended the sordid plight of mortal existence. If man were nothing more than a menial biped, he would have been spared the voluminous psychological stress and emotional sorrow to which he is presently subject.
Now that man, through his superior intellect, has unlocked a Pandora’s box revealing the gross human condition in all of its misery, to whom may the pitiful individual turn for comfort, solace, and sympathy in the dark hours of isolated suffering and loneliness? Shall he call upon Mother Nature? But Mother Nature could not care less about his pathetic predicament. If the distressed subject persistently squints at the world through a constricted, agnostically dominated vision, then, indeed, there is no one to turn to but himself. Life, as seen by the atheist-existentialist, is an absurd carousel. It comes from nowhere and it goes nowhere, all to the accompaniment of a garish musical clatter. Existence is a kaleidoscope of crazy-quilt patterns; and because it makes no sense, being may be equated with nothingness.
Accordingly, the atheist should not misrepresent the fact that in the eyes of Mother Nature, the plight of the particular evokes little sympathy. Once nature’s callous demeanor toward the particular is acknowledged, the atheist becomes hard-pressed to offer a sensible explanation for the evolution of a unique human ego. If man, as a biological product, is nothing more than the chance eruption of a peculiar specimen, whose only function as a particular is to interlink another element of the human concatenation for the simple perpetuation of an irresolute species, then what is the purpose of endowing him with a faculty for self-conscious awareness?
This question becomes an especially thorny issue for the Darwinians and contemporary behaviorists, who conceive the cosmic cycle of nature as operating through a doctrine of “natural selection,” so that nature only produces that which is required for the survival of the species. If such is the case, the highly developed brain of species Homo sapiens serves no valid purpose. In fact, in view of his marked penchant for fratricidal demolition and global suicidal behavior, modern man represents a blatant antithesis to the law of “natural selection. “
There was no biological compulsion on the part of the evolutionary process to produce a rationally minded, egoconscious, and self-analytical specimen. It would have been more within the operational design and function of nature to generate an emotionally sterile and rationally supine creature bearing the same image as man. Such an anthropomorphous being could adequately populate a planet through the instinctive procreation of a subintelligent, but psychologically tranquil, species, “Homo simpleton.” A species “Homo simpleton” would have been the logical Darwinian progression beyond the higher primates, and endowed with an appropriate set of animal instincts necessary to conform with the survival pattern of nature, it would have made a logical capstone for the evolutionary process. Not Homo-sapiens, but “Homo-simpleton” should have populated this planet, because nothing more than an exceedingly shallow-minded folk should have appeared at the end of the long, Darwinian chain.
The facts of life, however, are otherwise. Modern man emerges as a paramount prodigy of the extensive cosmic scheme of nature, and this poses a baffling situation. In the eyes of the atheist-existentialist, man’s appearance is inexplicable; in the sight of the honest scientist, he is an anomaly. Furthermore, the human acquisition of a high-grade intellect discredits the theoretical structure dogmatically developed by the Darwinians and the latter-day behaviorists.
Why should a universe emerging through the rigorous throes of pure accident and sheer chance evolve an intelligent specimen of matter who has the ability to analytically contemplate his own ego structure? As a product of mere coincidence, the formulation of an advanced, rationally equipped entity makes little sense. Even from an orthodox pantheist’s point of view, the chief purview of nature suggests a desire to activate a biologically thriving universe, which requires nothing more elaborate than a variety of creatures endowed with instinctive awareness for survival and propagation. An emotionally turbulent, psychologically complex, and intellectually superior human species should never have appeared on a cosmic menu, if it is assumed that the Master Chef is nonexistent. Under such conditions, man is not only unnecessary, but in contrast to rationally deficient and mechanically or instinctively motivated matter, he appears to be an incongruous absurdity.
The absolute emergence of rational man, therefore, indicates that the cosmos is not the consequence of an accidental cataclysmic catastrophe. This conclusion, however, does not yet explain the circumstance of the disaffected particular. The impersonal, mechanistic disposition of nature toward the individual embodiment of a species remains a disturbing enigma. Why does nature hardly exhibit any concern for the destiny of the specific particular? Her only interest is to preserve a particular so that it may service and perpetuate the species.
Nature’s lack of interest in the particular is quite evident in the area of propagation. Nature disperses its seeds in such generous proportions that one may chide her for exercising impetuous wastefulness. For every seed that takes root or that germinates, there are many dozens, hundreds, and thousands that are scattered uselessly, and their fruition never sees the light of day. Furthermore, man is appalled at nature’s indiscriminate exercise of her powers. Her destructive fury may strike forth against the wicked and the innocent alike. Why, indeed, does Mother Nature display a heartless amoral attitude toward the struggling particular?
This brings us to a vexing dilemma that determines the entire outcome of man’s personal relationship with God. Since the Divine Personality radiates its message through nature, does the lack of biological concern for the welfare of the particular, as found in the cosmic scheme of nature, reflect the divine will of God? If it does indicate the divine attitude, then the abyss between man and God can never be bridged, and the human endeavor to address the Supreme Being is hopelessly futile.
An understanding of man’s position as a particular must be two-fold. On the one hand, man is nought but an innocuous particle of nature, and in this respect his particular identity is of slight consequence. However, man is also something else; but this supernumerary status depends upon the point of view man, himself, assumes toward the cosmos.
If man decides that he will occupy only the biological lowlands where the law of the jungle prevails, then his particular existence fades in importance and diminishes in its specific significance. Neither Brute Biological Man, nor Domesticated Biological Man, nor Civilized Biological Man can file a claim for meaningful existence, because they choose to identify solely with the base biological thrust of life, where the particular survives in an impersonal atmosphere of dispassionate instinctive awareness.
In the valley of selfish biological survival, man fails to perceive a higher ego identity. It is when man arrives on the Theological Plateau, and certainly on the Prophetic Summit, that a distinguished ego consciousness comes into view. Lower Biological Man, however, is so busily engaged with matters of the flesh that he ignores the opportunities to reach the higher spheres in life. Resolutely, he prefers to occupy his sordid environment, where the chief occupation is to satiate crude biological appetites and, principally, the sex drive. Lower Biological Man swings with nature-in-the-raw, and in so doing, he slips to the nadir of existence. As a particular in that realm, he commands an insignificant status.
Despite its shortcomings, the domain of Lower Biological Man appears to be exceedingly popular. It attracts vast numbers of the global population to its banner, and they render it homage fit for a deity. Formal philosophical schools of thought have been devised to accommodate the mass penchant for a life-style extolling the biological motif above all else. Atheist-existentialism stands out as a notable example.
The atheist-existentialist relates the particular to the en soi category of biological instinctive awareness. For this reason, the atheist-existentialist deems life to be a futile struggle. Human existence is confined to the biological valley of the three lower biological specimens: Brute Biological Man, Domesticated Biological Man, and Civilized Biological Man. The upright two-legged creature is conceived as nothing more than an educable beast. Man must struggle along for survival with all other instinctively aware creatures in nature. As a consequence, despair, anguish, and futility prevail.
In a broader sense, man is more than an instinctively aware creature. Man has developed the unique ability for self-conscious cognition. With the inimitable capacity to identify his own ego, man advances to a higher status of existence. He becomes superior to the common category of organisms who thrive through instinctive awareness. Simply stated, man, alone, knows that he has an ego. Only man is cognizant of an ego within himself and within his fellowman. An important facet of ego-cognition is the aptitude to perceive that, within a fellow human being, there also resides the power for ego-cognition.
The intellectual expansion of man through his power for ego-cognition inspires within him an intrepid resoluteness to identify his own particular being as an essence of vital significance in the universe. His self-knowing skill convinces the individual that he is endowed with a sense of special importance and purposefulness.
If the outlook of man is a criterion, then an ego-cognizable specimen finds existence unbearable unless the particular is invested with meaning. If no purpose is evident for the creature blessed with ego-cognition, then life becomes a harrowing drama of grievous anguish and wearisome despair. To the atheist-existentialist, who nullifies all raison d’être, existence becomes a burdensome exercise in futility. Man finds it difficult to endure a situation whereby his particular essence is merely meshed into the survival pattern of non essential flotsam floating along a stream of cosmic residue. Man cannot abide the existence of an en soi if life is to convey even the slightest apparition of meaning. Unfortunately, the atheist-existentialist, in directing man toward a pour soi essence, fails ignominiously to provide the human specimen with a worthwhile prescription for achieving a valid goal in life. The pour soi directive of the atheist-existentialist is as empty, vapid, and nugatory as is his otiose en soi.
A creature possessing the potential for ego-cognition represents an extraordinary breakthrough in the normal functional pattern of nature. Heretofore, all existence was either inorganically automated, or if organic, instinctively motivated. One could hardly anticipate the emergence of a human specimen with the power to rationally analyze and influence nature’s organic and inorganic operation.
Man is indeed an anomaly. In one sense he is a biological product with hardly any redeeming features to warrant special notice. In another sense, however, he stands squarely above all nature as a regal and supremely intellectual giant. As a percipient persona, man cannot sustain a limited state of simple instinctual awareness. He feels impelled to generate an essence that may transform his existence into a meaningful adventure.
Although the psychological essence of human ego-cognition is biologically dependent, it nevertheless encourages man to assume that he is the proprietor of a unique being, and therefore, he is vastly superior to the diverse miscellany of nature. Man asserts that his particular essence does qualify for a distinctively respectable status of incomparable significance. Because he is equipped with such a highly proficient intellectual talent, man makes bold to declare that his particular being arises as a purposeful event in cosmological history. In fact, man knows that he does relate meaningfully to the stars, the galaxies, and the universe.
Ultimately, it dawns upon man that the special endowment of a profound intellectual capability is not merely a fatuous license for his own sophisticated, biological amusement; rather it is an imperious mandate charging him with the obligation to search beyond nature for the source of all things. Man’s ability to postulate the query “wherefore” imposes upon him an imminent responsibility to seek the “Who.” The process of this search for the Grand Master is marked by a somewhat devious route. Man must first embark upon a penetrating, introspective ego analysis before he may acquire a discerning revelation of the universal absolute.
The circuit to the Divine Personality commences with the unfolding of the mortal “I” ego. Through ego-cognition, man may assume that he holds a more valid status in the cosmic identity. His existence exudes the quality of a vital essence. His particular ego occupies an eminent category in the unfolding destiny of the universe, because man knows that he relates historically to the first proton. By reason of this primary awareness, he recognizes that he shares in some small fashion in the determination of cosmic eschatology. Man discovers a unique relevance in tracing the source of his own being. By further extension of the faculty for self-conscious cognition, man is able to discern a meaningful premise for his own identity.
How does man proceed to certify his endorsement as a meaningful particular in the cosmos? He records his biography from generation to generation, and he ratifies his book of existence as an important volume in universal eschatology. In fact, he believes that each individual record in his encyclopedia of life is an essential text in cosmic history.
Man concludes that his existence does leave a mark upon the world. He is convinced that the consequences of his own particular adventure stamp an indelible imprint on the destiny of the cosmos. His being is a microcosmos reflecting the macrocosmos. His life is not a mere shadow flitting from insignificance to nothingness, because through the remarkable identification of his I/mortal ego, he can postulate the divination of God. Indeed, through the awareness of his own “I” ego, he can infer the presence of a Divine “I” ego. Authentic existence is thereby within the reach of man. To qualify for authentic existence, the self-conscious cognition faculty expands its comprehension of the particular “I” ego, and eventually, it becomes possible for man to conceive God as an “I” Divine.
Man’s particular being, therefore, is vitally significant, and the diminution of his “I” ego through his passing is a tragic event. Moreover, if man ever becomes extinct as a result of his own malevolent disposition, no front-page headline type will ever be large enough to justifiably herald such a horrendous catastrophe. Of course, no typesetters will have remained, anyhow, to record such a disastrous event.
It is therefore reasonable for man to consider the emergence of his ego-cognition faculty as an indication that such a largess is a special grant from a power beyond the instinctual, automated operational design that is so clearly manifest in nature. There is no doubt but that the species Homo sapiens arises as an unusual phenomenon in the universe. Here is a strange particle of matter of the cosmos that developed the skill to comprehend its environment; the ability to contemplate itself; and the proficiency to search for its source in time and space. Could such a being be the quite accidental consequence of an impersonal, natural occurrence? The rare thinking organism could only conclude otherwise. Man’s appearance had to be the divinely inspired and divinely ordained consummation of a cosmic scheme.
Rational man refuses to credit a blind, coincidental interaction of impercipient atoms with the competence to formulate its own paradigm for the emergence of a specimen able to contemplate itself. The appearance of a self-conscious awareness factor in nature must have been conceived through the grace of a higher intellect. On the entire horizon of nature within the periphery accessible for human analysis, man alone stands out as a specimen who may study his “I” ego. No other organism known to man can recite the apparently simple first-person pronoun, “I,” and comprehend its significance.
The special human capacity for ego contemplation opens the intellectual gateway for the postulation of a Divine Personality iridescently resplendent within the sacred folds of its own Supreme “I” Ego. In taking this bold step forward toward a more personalistic identification of an Eternal, Immutable God, man presumes to impart a distinctive and meaningful quality to his own particular being. No other creature exhibits a personalistic analysis of its own ego. No other living specimen known to man discerns the concept of God, let alone a Divine Ego. The exclusivity of this profound eruditeness achieved by man is reason enough for him to assume a superior posture of purposefulness.
With such a keen analytic aptitude, man rises above the vortex of nugacious biological existence and invests his individual appearance with meaning. He refuses to accept the nondescript designation that Mother Nature customarily imposes upon her offspring. Man substantiates the claim for individual pertinence by endowing each particular with its own characteristic name. The particular’s importance and singularity are confirmed by assigning each individual member with a personalized nomenclature. This practice certifies the distinctive identity of the I/ego. In a similar vein, man assumes that God must also be known by name, so that His all-meaningful being may remain supreme in the eyes of His creatures. Subsequently, the custom of name-calling is applied to the rest of organic and inorganic matter, but this measure is undertaken by man merely for the sake of establishing a convenient means of description and identification by which they, too, become part of a universe of meaning.
The fact remains that man, alone, communicates through the process of names. Man, alone, resists nature’s impersonal attitude toward the individual specimen. Man defies nature’s callous disposition toward the particular by providing the persona with purposeful significance through a historically applicable relationship involving the cosmos and the Creator.
Man may take pride in the fact that his unique cognitive ability is withheld from every other earthly, organic creature. The singular manifestation of ego-cognition accorded to man, therefore, marks him as a distinguished and purposeful existent being in nature.
A more profound revelation of ego-cognition occurs with the enunciation of the divine Decalogue’s first commandment: “I am the Lord, thy God....” God is identified as exhibiting a self-conscious awareness faculty. Inasmuch as self-conscious awareness is evident only in the intellect of man, its parallel source must be located in a superior realm, namely, in the domain of the divine. It is therefore considered to be a divine gift to be able to enunciate the word [. Man has been so blessed, only because he reflects the image of the Divine Personality. The revelation of a divine ethos in the universe becomes possible when God’s identity is formulated and expressed as Supreme “I.” The I/mortal may then relate to the I/Divine, following which, man may proceed to perfect his intellectual prowess so that he may discern the universal moral directive within the design of a divinely inspired universe.
The unfoldment, then, of the I/mortal leads to an apocalyptic unveiling of the I/Divine. When man discovers that he is an “I,” he feels impelled to adduce a similar transference of ego manifestation to the Divine Personality. If man displays an “I,” then God must surely exhibit the Supreme “I,” and it is through the omnipresence of the Supreme “I” that man may experience a divine revelation. Thus, the divulgence of the I/Divine enables man to perceive the will of God in the universe.
The quintessence of authentic existence resides in the essence of divinity. God’s being is the purest and most perfect form of existence. If man could reflect some aspect of the Divine Being, he possibly may acquire a modicum of authenticity for his own mortal being. If man gains even a whit of authenticity in his life, he may justly claim a token of special respect and meaning for his particular identity.
In what manner, then, may man demand to be distinguished from the ordinary existence of a commonplace substance whose particular is of little interest to Mother Nature? How may man garner the appropriate esteem so that he may claim a meaningful measure of relevance for each single human specimen? Such a role is fulfilled when mortal ego-cognition basks in the resplendency of the I/Divine. Since the I/Divine formulates the basis of all authentic existence, the I/mortal, by emulating the divine essence of ego-cognition, justifiably may conclude that in the Divine-mortal ego-similitude, human existence acquires authenticity. When man, in enunciating “I,” perceives that he is afforded the awareness of his own humble mortal ego only by virtue of the beneficent grace of the supremely Divine “I,” then he may infer the unfoldment of such similarities in personality structure as being a coadunate concomitance of authentic existence.
God emerges from His role as the transcendent composer of the glorious cosmic epic, and reveals Himself as the supreme I/Divine, whose particular essence manifests a unique singularity and individuality. By emulating the ego cognition evinced by the I/Divine, the I/mortal, although trivial by comparison, nevertheless, through the privilege of imitatio deus, assumes for its own mortal particular a singular quality of unique identity and significance in the cosmic drama of the universe.
As indicated, an interpretive analysis of the self-conscious awareness faculty encourages man to conceive himself as bearing an I/mortal ego that is a minute reflection of the I/Divine. Man should not be too harshly criticized if, subsequently, he boastfully announces, as is recorded in an early Genesis passage, that he was made “in the image of God.” Indeed, if both man and God exhibit ego-cognition, then an imagery parallel between them is not too facetious a pronouncement for the ancient biblical scribe.
A sharp contrast becomes evident as life casts its flickering shadows across the screen of existential reality. Whereas in the broad sweep of nature the particular is of little concern, on the Theological Plateau and on the Prophetic Summit of man’s domain the particular is never regarded as blithely expendable. Nature exercises a cold, impartial attitude toward the particular. The single specimen is of interest only as it serves to sustain the propagation and continued survival of the species. On the higher plateaus of man, however, the particular enters into a covenental relationship with God. The particular speaks to God; the particular considers the mysterious personality of God; the particular ponders on the problem of life’s purpose, and therefore, searches assiduously for the divine message. This rapport and communion that the I/mortal endeavors to establish with the I/Divine helps to convince man that he is granted the privilege of considering his ego-being as engendering a meaningful significance. Man cannot help but conclude that he is a vital link in the chain of cosmic destiny as outlined by the recondite master plan of the Supreme Being.
The enlightenment that man derives on the upper intellectual plateaus in relation to the identity and aspirations of the ego, fills him with a true sense of worth. He deems it valid to pursue the enigma of life, and in this metempirical search, he hopes to gain authentic existence. Man is convinced that authentic existence is within his reach. Where, however, does it seem most propitious to encompass it?
The lower Biological mode of subsistence offers small hope for capturing the authentic in life. Little wonder, then, that the particular on the lower Biological levels is so ruthlessly ignored and so harshly disdained. One must climb, therefore, to the intellectual plateaus, and particularly to the Theological and Prophetic heights, if one is to discern authenticity. In the rarefied atmosphere of the upper Intellectual realm, the distinctive recognition of the I/mortal ego, and its relation to the revelation of the I/Divine, invests man with a noble posture for living.
As man descends from the upper Intellectual spheres along the incline leading to the Majestic Biological Plain, he feels that his life is filled with a sense of meaning; his singular appearance is important; and his particular identity has purposeful value. A basic element in man’s search for authentic existence, therefore, is the appropriate identification of the I/mortal ego, so that it may fulfill its function in the establishment of a meaningful relationship with the I/Divine. The I/mortal must strive to reach the plateau that is most promising for a rendezvous with the I/Divine.
In a frantic desire to reach God, man has applied his creative talents to the maximum, hoping thereby to arrive at the proper formula. As a consequence, a plethora of ritualistic doctrines were developed over the centuries, and these were designed for the purpose of making available to man a prescription for divine communication. The rituals established in the course of many generations as a means of reaching God now possess the distinguished characteristic of tradition. In addition to his many other traits, man is a decidedly sentimental creature, and an identification with tradition, therefore, promotes a more favorable psychological climate for intrepid living.
Assuredly, both ritual and liturgy are important elements in man’s search for authentic existence. They are essential as expressions of his determination to reject the stigma of expendability that nature stamps upon the individual specimen. By pridefully addressing God, and this is usually accomplished through established ritual and liturgy, man asserts that he is not expendable. He declares in stentorian tones that his particular ego identity is not a passing fancy in the wind. His essence, although mortal, has value, significance, and purpose.
Man, however, recognizes that he is weak, both physically and psychologically. He therefore requires the gracious guidance of a higher power to aid him in securing a significant essence. In order to win a seal of meaningful approval for his own humble status, man suppliantly turns heavenward and implores that his own “I” ego—his own I/mortal-may relate in parallel conjunction to the I/Divine. Just as the I/Divine is unique and supremely indispensable in its particular identity, so does man beseech that his mortal “I” may reflect a spark of this uniqueness, a spark of this indispensability—in short, a spark of meaningfulness in the dispassionate cosmic panorama of the universe.
The classic outcry of the Psalmist, “Bless my soul, O God!,” well reflects this notion. It suggests through implication: “Exhibit Thy awareness of my essence; of my egoidentity; because only through my relationship with Thee, O God, does my life assume extraordinary value. Grant unto me the privilege of being acknowledged as a significant particular. Do not cast me into the melting-pot of estranged biological phenomena. Do not relegate me unto the meaningless maelstrom of lower biological subsistence, where the particular is measured only in terms of its pragmatic biological efficiency. I implore Thee, O God, bless me with a more meaningful cognizance of Thy Being, so that my own being may thereby acquire a greater degree of authenticity.”
Thus, by pleading for a demeanor of worthiness, man hopes to find the way to perfect his own existence so that it may be authentically developed. The alternative is to float aimlessly along the broad, impersonal stream of purportless, particular matter scattered throughout the universe. Man, however, is impelled to presume that his being is different, because he is the only identifiable specimen possessing the rare quality of ego self-cognition.
Man’s particular identity, therefore, is important. His unique essence has significance, and somehow, man concludes, his being does affect the destiny of the cosmic drama. Man interprets his appearance as the crowning-point of nature; and why should he not assume such a regal stature? Consider, in all of creation to which man has access, there appears no other creature endowed with the unique capacity to conceive through a self-conscious awareness of a mystifying, mortal personality, a glimmer of the ineffable I/Divine. As a fitting climax to such a profound revelation, may not man boldly presume to endow the whole universe with meaning?
Therefore, man should not be branded as being overly arrogant when he concludes that nature produced a whole cosmic panorama of matter, so that one of its products may look in on itself; analyze its own condition; declare its independence from the apparent absurdity of the en soi; identify itself by name; perceive the Divine Being; and furnish its own particular entity with meaning by relating in a personalistic manner, through confrontation and dialogue, to God.
The problems that arise at this point become quite profound and abstruse. How near can man come unto God? How much of the Divine Personality can man truly discern? How involved a dialogue can the human persona develop? The analysis of these enigmas calls for the most concentrated application of human rational perspicuity.
In order to comprehend the futility of any mission, it is necessary to attain a high level ·of knowledge in that specific field of endeavor. The incongruity of advanced mathematical equations that have no solution can best be understood by one who has achieved the astute sagacity of an expert mathematician. The futility of the quest to discern the ultimate secrets of nature that lie beyond the reach of the human finite mind can best be appreciated by those who explore the domains of the higher plateaus.
Technological Man gains a modicum of awareness of the formulation of nature through a patient, persistent, and thoroughgoing analysis of the universe of relational knowledge. He finally learns “how” nature operates. Although he does not learn the “why” of things, because he lacks the inspiration to know the “who,” Technological Man nevertheless makes an extremely valuable contribution to the storehouse of human knowledge by developing man’s ability to compose the necessary question—to arrange the puzzling equation that has no answers.
In his “how” research, Technological Man peers into the complicated strata of nature, only to discover that the configurations and the aspects of relational knowledge eschew any semblance of personality. Within the limited accommodations of a “how” investigation, Technological Man may find an “it,” but never a “who.”
Philosophical Man, in his search for “why,” finds that the answer points to the mysterious “who,” and identifies this being as “He”—the hidden Divine Personality—or more appropriately, for Philosophical Man, the Supreme Being. Technological Man never confronts a personality, and therefore, he can never perceive a “He.” It is a concept beyond the most advanced cognitive faculty with which Technological Man is concerned on his domain.
Theological Man, searching for a Divine Thou, soon learns that man can never attain the answer to the ultimate “who.” At best, all that Theological Man can hope to achieve is a proper phrasing of the question. The essential significance of the Personality Mysterium is beyond human comprehension.
In view of the fact that his quest is so hopeless, shall Theological Man succumb to a mood of despair? Decidedly not, because a knowledge of certain aspects of the personality of the Supreme Creative Intellect may be derived from finite nature. The perception of the glittering rays of the Divine Intellect sparkling within the bosom of nature like precious gems is reward enough for the soulful human rational faculty.
Although the Master of the Palace seems to be beyond the pale of immediate recognition, nevertheless, the aura of His Divine Presence pervades its stunning, elaborately designed chambers, which exhibit the grandeur of elegant accoutrements. Consider the experience of entering a magnificent, yet strange mansion. In the owner’s absence, one may strive to ascertain aspects of the owner’s personality through a visual assessment of the architectural design, decor, and furnishings. The excitement of recognizing within each artifact a reflection of the taste and possibly personality of the owner becomes an intriguing task in itself.
So is it with God. As the Supreme Creative Intellect, the Divine Persona may never be known; and it therefore appears that a direct confrontation is impossible; nevertheless, we continue our search, and we are delighted when we discern a fresh facet of the Divine Personality emerging from our scrupulous analysis of definitive clues in nature.
Ultimately, we find that not only is a normative structure visible in the universe, but a unified communion of matter becomes more logically evident. A single strand of causal relationships appears to flow from the atom to the far-flung galaxies—in the refrain of the learned astronomer: “ ... the existence even of stars and galaxies depends in a delicate manner on the force of attraction between two protons”—and the radiant glow of the Divine Personality emerges. To such a Personality, we may find it possible to relate.
An ensuing dialogue between two personalities—one mortal-and One Divine—becomes not alone a possibility, but moreso, a human responsibility; and again, the strain of the learned astronomer resounds: “A remarkable and intimate relationship between man, the fundamental constants of nature and the initial moments of space and time seems to be an inescapable condition of our existence.”
From this “remarkable and intimate relationship,” there arises a discernment of moral law and order. It is the consequence of an exercise of extraordinary cognition between the I/mortal and the I/Divine. Man communicates with God, and majestically rises to the Prophetic Summit, from whence he may carry away divine tables of testimony inscribed with a meaningful ethos; as the lyrical prose of the learned astronomer avers: “Human existence is itself entwined with the primeval state of the universe and the pursuit of understanding is a transcendent value in man’s life and purpose.”
As man regards the grandiose panorama of his universe, and struggles to fathom its meaning, he is struck by the innate apperception that one of the great miracles of man is his ability to comprehend. Physiologically, the human rational organ consists of a complicated myriad of nerves, tissues, and brain cells. It has no rival on this planet in its capability for conscious awareness. Man is so greatly impressed with his own thinking mechanism that it appears correct for him to assume that his cognitive apparatus is a keystone target of the universal design. Through this faculty of prodigious perception, species Homo sapiens is able to postulate meaning for existent matter and life.
Under the spell of sentimental romanticism, literary artists have assumed that God created an impressive universe for an awe-inspiring apprehension by man. They ponder: To what avail is the glory of creation and the imposing majesty of nature, if there be no other aesthetic consciousness to appreciate its splendor besides God? Empty, cold, and foreboding is the vast spectrum of starry space, if no conscious mind other than God perceives its ineffable beauty. Furthermore, man’s appraisal of nature yields significant principles for conduct. It will be a tragic moment in the universe when human consciousness disappears, for then aesthetic judgment subsides, moral apperception fades into oblivion, and the comprehensible schema radiated from nature is lost to mortal awareness.
The learned astronomer taught that “the pursuit of understanding is a transcendent value in man’s life and purpose.” The measure of man and his status in relation to the universe and the Divine Being depends upon the manner of understanding that he seeks.
Biological Man achieves existential awareness of the crudest sort. He knows that things exist. Technological Man gains existential consciousness. He comprehends “how” things exist. Philosophical Man cognizes abstract awareness. He acknowledges a “why” in the universe. Theological Man attains moral perception. He searches for the “who” beyond the universe. Prophetic Man conceives moral discernment, for he discovers a Divine omniscient deontology operating behind the facade of the natural universe. He discerns the ultimate “Who,” the Divine “I.”
Finite man eventually comprehends the futility of seeking knowledge beyond the limits of human cognition. Although man becomes resigned to the hopeless situation of “never to know,” nonetheless, he is ever impelled to set forth on the quest for the ultimate source of all knowledge time and time again.
It is important that a perversion of the distinctive levels should not occur as a consequence of careless behavior. Such an event betokens a pathetic absurdity within the ranks of human existence. When Philosophical Man cavorts in the manner of Brute Biological Man, he distorts the human image and may be chastised for succumbing to idiotic behavior. When Domesticated Biological Man presumes to determine policy and practice for Theological Man, he may be castigated for appropriating unto himself an arrogance of license.
In a logical situation, from both a personal and communal standpoint, the higher plateaus should inspire and direct the lower categories so that they may endorse a humane and beneficial subsistence. However, when a superior sphere is subjugated and controlled by a lower level, a travesty of rational behavior may result. Life, then, becomes meaningless, and a fearful absurdity of being overwhelms the human population. Man cringes under the burden of existential insecurity; his survival is imperiled; and all hope for the future subsides. An illogical hierarchy convulses the stability of human development. The dire consequences evoke a mood of deep anguish, leading to futility, despair, and inauthentic existence.
What is the key to authentic existence? How shall man overcome the ominous threat of anguish and despair? Man must determine that all is not futile and hopeless; that it is possible to “apprehend the ethos of the evening star”; and that this noble task may be accomplished by drawing ever closer to God.
Man must seek to relate to God in a personal intimate fraternity. If intimacy suggests a romantic affair with God —so be it. Indeed, man has the capacity to indulge in an affair of intellectual romance with the Divine Personality, and he should not overtly evade this splendid opportunity. A romance-experience with God directs man to his finest hour of authentic existence. There are, however, certain prerequisites.
The Divine romance-experience cannot be fulfilled on the lower Biological Plain; nor can it be consummated on the Intellectual Plateau in the regions of Technological and Philosophical Man. Lower Biological Man sees only his own ego; with him, narcissism is possible, but not romance. Amour is futile on the Technological Plateau, because it is absurd to establish an affair of the heart with an “it.” Philosophical Man is deficient, because one cannot enter into a reciprocal love affair with a “He.”
The first meaningful opportunity for a Divine romance occurs on the Theological Plateau. A liaison becomes possible when God is envisaged in an “I-Thou” relationship. On the Prophetic Summit, where man exercises his maximum intellectual capacity by aspiring for an “I/mortal—I/Divine” encounter, the Divine romance-experience blossoms into its fullest expression.
Where should man seek his rendezvous with God? The atmosphere of the research laboratory is hardly conducive for such a demanding encounter; nor is the marketplace any better; nor is the mystic atmosphere of a guru parlor propitious for such a courtship. Where, then, indeed shall man turn? The answer is remarkably simple.
In view of the unique nature of the human aesthetic character, the most desirable appointment for a Divine meeting occurs in the House of Prayer. Man’s ability to experience and express deep-felt emotions makes it appropriate, as well as practical, to identify with a respectable and a well-established theological discipline. The individual passion for Divine adoration is best suited to the milieu and format of formalized religion. A more meaningful religious experience may be developed in a theologically dominated environment. Although a Divine communion may be consummated almost anywhere, God seems to be more readily accessible in a respected place of worship.
Plainly stated, the gateway to God is available to all. To reach it, one need only seek the Divine Thou as echoed by the fervent cry of His dedicated servant, the prophet Jeremiah. In a historic hour of deep anguish and despair, he implored with heartfelt simplicity: “Turn us unto Thee, o God, so that we may return.”