New Times Survey
Wishing our Readers a Blessed Holy Week
The Wholeness of Nature
It was earlier last century that Norman F. Webb in “Social Credit and the Christian Ethic” explained his life-view for Christians. “Christ was a realist, the greatest that ever lived by my definition of Realism, which is a concern with the immediate present, with facts as they are.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” said Christ, and that to my mind is an eminently realistic statement. It was Idealism that shoved Heaven up into the sky, and that has persistently postponed human blessedness to any time and place except the here and now; when just here and now are all that we really possess to work on. It is surely a devil’s trick to rob us of the present, the only possession we can really call ours...”
“The Christian task, as I see it, is to attain the right attitude towards life, to understand and carry out its laws as disclosed. What follows, follows; and it is here that faith comes into operation. It seems to me an astonishingly foolish mistake, and one very frequently made, to confuse faith with blind belief; they are in no way related…”
An Organic Connection
What did Douglas mean by ‘organic’? After all, written over 70 years ago the meaning of that word may have changed. But even moderns would agree it contains the meaning of ‘dynamic life forces’.
The Organic Unity of Reality
“The most complete statement of Charles’s worldview is his 2010 book Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World, co-written by Tony Juniper and Ian Skelly. In its opening line, England’s future king declares, “This is a call to revolution.” Against what? Nothing less than “the current orthodoxy and conventional way of thinking, much of it stemming from the 1960s but with its origins going back over 200 years.”
“According to the prince, modernity occasioned a loss of vital wisdom that had been discovered, developed, and preserved in a number of ancient civilizations. The essence of this wisdom lay in seeing the world as cosmos - characterized by order, hierarchy, and intrinsic meaning. Moreover, the cosmos has a spiritual dimension, the existence of which is intuitively present in natural man.
These principles are denied by modernity, which recognizes no meaning in the natural world aside from what man imposes on it, and the empiricism of which marginalizes “the non-material side to our humanity. The paradigm shift ‘effectively shattered the organic unity of reality’.”
See everything as the Father means it
“What was the Lord’s place of prayer” he asks, and answers: “Not the temple, but the mountain-top.” Where did Jesus “find the symbols whereby he spoke of what goes on in the mind, and before the face of his Father in heaven? Not in the temple, not in its rites…”
Jesus Christ finds them “in the world and its lovely-lowly facts; on the roadside, in the field, in the vineyard… in the family, and the commonest of its affairs – the lighting of the lamp, the leavening of the meal… even in the unlovely facts of the world, which he turns to holy use… As the Son of the Father he must see everything as the Father means it.”
The Enigma of Consciousness
“In the 1920s, the physicist Werner Heisenberg (and other founders of the science of quantum mechanics) made a discovery so strange that the world has yet to completely come to terms with it. When observing subatomic phenomena, it is impossible to completely separate the observer (that is, the scientist making the experiment) from what is being observed. In our day-to-day world, it is easy to miss this fact.
We see the universe as a place full of separate objects (tables and chairs, people and planets) that occasionally interact with each other, but that nonetheless remain essentially separate. On the subatomic level, however, this universe of separate objects turns out to be a complete illusion. In the realm of the super-super-small, every object in the physical universe is intimately connected with every other object. In fact, there are really no "objects" in the world at all, only vibrations of energy, and relationships.
“What that meant should have been obvious, though it wasn't to many. It was impossible to pursue the core reality of the universe without using consciousness. Far from being an unimportant by-product of physical processes (as I had thought before my experience), consciousness is not only very real - it's actually more real than the rest of physical existence, and most likely the basis of it all. But neither of these insights has yet been truly incorporated into science's picture of reality. Many scientists are trying to do so, but as of yet there is no unified "theory of everything" that can combine the laws of quantum mechanics with those of relativity theory in a way that begins to incorporate consciousness.
“All the objects in the physical universe are made up of atoms. Atoms, in turn, are made up of protons, electrons, and neutrons. These, in turn, are (as physicists also discovered in the early years of the twentieth century) all particles. And particles are made up of... Well, quite frankly, physicists don't really know. But one thing we do know about particles is that each one is connected to every other one in the universe. They are all, at the deepest level, interconnected…”
The Gospel according to Saint John – Prologue
A man came, sent by God.
The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.
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