Divine Collaboration

The Mind of God

Idealism, the Reality of Creation

Disaster Looms

You’re embroiled in conflict. Maybe a personal or domestic spat, or a clash with neighbors or co-workers. Maybe you’re in a battle with municipal or state officials, or perhaps your conflict is unfolding on the national or international stage.

As hostility escalates, you consider possible consequences—they appear dire or even cataclysmic. So you summon a mediator, a peacemaker, a reconciler…

The Peacemaker Arrives

The peacemaker, brimming with curiosity, wants to know: What happened? What drives this conflict? Who’s involved? How do you view this clash? What’s at stake? What do you stand to lose?

Many questions are open-ended, some are direct, others are more subtle. You wonder, what does the peacemaker really need to know in order to help me?

In a perfect world, the mediator would slap on virtual reality goggles and scan a feed that let’s him experience how you view the conflict and how you view Life—The Big Picture.

In other words, he will want to assess your worldview—the beliefs that color your perceptions, assumptions, and decisions. A skilled mediator will conduct…

Reality Checks

The mediator will seek to discover what you consider real or unreal. They will seek to map the playing field or battle ground on which your dispute unfolds. They will want to know what the world looks like as seen through your eyes and as seen by the other disputants, those who oppose you.

Peacemaker Preparation

With any luck you will have chosen a peacemaker who has acquired a good grasp of their personal worldview. Perhaps they will have reflected on the nature of reality and truth during periods of spiritual formation. They might have spent time in contemplative hermitage. Thus, they will be prepared to accompany you on your reflective journey.

Philosophy and Theology

Two disciplines inform spiritual formation and contemplation: philosophy, the study of “What Is,” and theology, the study of the nature of God and the nature of Divine relationship. They work hand-in-hand, as the Supernatural comprises an important aspect of reality.

For further clarity on this tandem pursuit of knowledge, I highly recommend FIDES ET RATIO, a papal encyclical that advocates for the marriage of philosophy and theology.1

Reality Truncated

However, you will no doubt discover that some people deny the existence of the Supernatural. They’re not concerned with a relationship with God. As far as they’re concerned, they exist solely as a biological entity in a universe comprised solely of material conditions.

Nonetheless, the peacemaker pursues the Reality Check. He or she proceeds, even though advocates for materialistic atheism typically encounter difficulty explaining observations of “lived experience,” making it difficult for them to craft coherent responses. The materialistic image of Reality that emerges can be unsettling, incoherent, or illogical. It may seem the worldview precludes peacemaking.

Thus, the Reality Check turns out to be more difficult than first anticipated. The disputant, however, may recognize a need to engage the process at a deeper level. A process that started out as an inventory of views may subtly come to resemble spiritual direction. The party may be willing to explore paths others have taken…

The Contemplative Path

Marrying theology with philosophy is not a new idea. Early theologians found a compatible marriage partner in Platonic-Neoplatonic Idealism. Classical Idealism posited Platonic Forms emerge from Intellect-Thought-Mind. This concept is consistent with the Christian belief that Creation emerged from the Mind of God.

The offspring of this marriage of philosophy and theology is Christian Idealism. Scripture reveals the essence of Christian Idealism in the words of the creation story, “Let there be light, and there was light.” The foundation of all material forms issued forth as a command from the Mind of God.

The Prologue to the Gospel of John brings Idealistic Creation into focus: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.”

Theologians such as Origen and Augustine provided a path for us to follow when they married Platonic Idealism with Christian theology. Augustine, for example, was influenced by Plotinus, a Neoplatonist who explained Idealism in a manner that invited its integration into Christian theology (though Plotinus was not a Christian).2

For those who wish to explore this topic in further detail, see Chapter Three of Peace Be With You: Peacemaking and the Theology of Benedict XVI.

Christian Idealism, Today

While scripture, philosophy, and theology are not “hard” science, the truths they express encompass all scientific inquiry, which is the effort to fully understand our Created world.

Over time, as a culture, we drifted from the truths of antiquity to a faulty view of reality, Materialism. However, recent scientific discoveries and advances have reversed the trend. The universe, it turns out, more resembles “mind stuff” than it resembles stand-alone matter as posited by Materialism. Particle physics (quantum physics) continues to force revisions of scientific theories of reality; those revisions bring science more and more in line with Idealism.

Christian Idealism, the Original Matrix

In Christian Idealism, space, matter, energy and time emerge from Consciousness (Divine Consciousness, Spiritual Consciousness, Creative Consciousness, or Supernatural Consciousness). In other words, material conditions emerge from the Mind of God.

Furthermore, individual spiritual consciousness, the essence of a soul, merges with Supernatural Consciousness during “mystical union.” These “mystical” experiences bring about an awareness of Divine Relationship. The existence of the Divine becomes a matter of direct experience, not mere conjecture.

When we participate, via spiritual consciousness, in the Mind of God, one might say we participate in the Original Matrix. The programmed Matrix of today might be considered a simulation, a copy, of the Original Matrix.

Idealism vs. Materialism

In Christian Idealism material conditions emerge from Divine Consciousness. Philosophical Materialism argues the opposite: consciousness emerges from material conditions.

Thus, in Idealism, the original or primary condition from which Creation emerges is Mind or Consciousness. In Materialism, matter-energy is the primary condition that gives rise to Creation. The clash between these diametrically opposed worldviews is a major source of conflict, which is to be expected, as the views concern our origins and true nature.

Idealists and Materialists treat people differently. A Christian Idealist views the other person as an immortal soul; they honor the other person’s inherent Free Will.

Materialists, in contrast, view people solely as biological entities to be treated as herd animals. Materialists use “survival of the fittest” power to manipulate and control others.

Idealists nurture self determinism while Materialists seeks to dominate the other, overwhelming them with power.

This viewpoint clash is particularly intense at this time. The struggle between Materialists (who conceive man to be a herd animal) and Idealists (who see man as an immortal soul endowed with Free Will) permeates our culture and our institutions.

Christian Idealism vs. The Matrix

In this age of mind control propaganda we might consider we are “living in the Matrix.” In other words, we’re immersed in a programmed reality that dictates our beliefs about What Is. In order to counter this unreal condition, you will want to acquire a deep understanding of Christian Idealism. You will want to nurture spiritual consciousness that leads to peace in the ground-of-all-being, the Mind of God.

The Original Matrix of souls living in union with God will replace the cynical Programmed Matrix that permeates our culture. “Living in the Matrix” will give way to “living in the Mind of God.”

A peacemaker’s Reality Check may prompt you to explore the deepest realms of Life where you will find “calm seas” that provide a foundation from which you might defeat the (programmed) mind-control-matrix that distorts your view of Reality. Eventually, with practice, you’ll be able to quickly discern traps—the programmed “worlds” designed to enforce the covert intentions of those who seek profit and power.

Life in the Programmed Matrix

Souls trapped in programmed matrix illusions suffer from unanchored thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions that float in a “zero gravity” state giving rise to “reality vertigo.” The life of a trapped soul becomes unpredictable and frightening.

Trapped, fearful souls are ripe targets for propaganda and mind control. They’re vulnerable to “virtual wranglers” skilled in the influence arts, bad actors who herd them into pre-programmed “identity corrals.” There they languish, enmeshed in a false self, divorced from their divine self.

Thus, while a Reality Check is a vital tool for the mediation room, especially for disputants with mismatched worldviews, the Check is also a gateway into the work of spiritual direction and formation. Once you begin to assess your worldview and begin to examine your assumptions and beliefs, you can find a roadmap to philosophical and theological understanding in the axioms of Christian Idealism.

Clergy Call to Action

In this age of attacks on faith, priests and pastors, preachers and ministers of all types are being called by their flock to deliver more. Christians are hungry for deeper religious experiences and more robust understanding of the faith. Often they are rendered silent in the face of attacks on their faith. They lack the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual weapons required for battle.

For much too long, Christians have failed in their role as “Docents of Reality.” They have failed to master the spiritual weapons required to defeat a mind-control-matrix designed to shutter the Church and foreclose on mankind’s freedom.

Robust Reality Checks informed by Christian Idealism are the final defense against totalitarians determined to snuff out Free Will. The clergy must now step up and deliver spiritual formation that arms the faithful to minister to family, friends, co-workers, and others with Reality Checks on a daily basis.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fides_et_ratio []
  2. See Plotinus: An Introduction to the Enneads by Dominic J. O’Meara, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993 []

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