The Existence of God
In scientific procedure, when a theme is presented, there is generally either a demonstration by an instructor or the student is required to do his own testing in the laboratory or field. When one embarks on research, he not only investigates in laboratory and field, he acquaints himself with earlier work, he consults available literature, he calls on his fellow craftsman and in every way tries to assure himself before writing his thesis.
There is no reason why similar procedures should not be accepted in the world of Religion and indeed there is today a successfully operative, “Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.” In other words Religion may and is being studied scientifically and not solipsistically dialectically. And those of us with scientific background and training are among the most eager to support any religious studies in the same universal basis.
The term “universal” in the hands of dialecticians is not universal. The type of thinking required in biological classifications leads, more or less, to a clarification of the “genus-species” approaches of Aristotle and Kent. If it is not rigidly followed, the dialectician will fall into the errors pointed out in Lord Russell’s “confusion of types” (he himself committed the same tort).
Modern religion, studied scientifically, would therefore require both investigation and logistics. Romain Rolland in “Prophets of the New India” has pointed out that the presumable God-experience of these men has its parallels in modern Mathematics.
While the great Leibniz has given us Fluxions and Integrals, he does not seem to have applied the same kind of reason in his philosophical thinking as in his mathematics. The whole modern trend of Russell, Whitehead, Frege, Peano and their colleagues climaxed in Cantor’s “Transfinite Numbers.” This caused a marked reaction because Cantor’s thinking seemed to support the existence of a vital infinite, and thus “God,” verifying Rolland’s claim.
The point of departure from Leibniz and even more from Dialectics comes in James’, “Variety of Religious Experiences” and even more in Walling’s, “The Meaning of God in Human Experience.” Science differs from Dialectics in demanding human, verifiable experience. And Religion, following James and Walling can do the same, is doing the same, within the processes of “Society for the Scientific Study of Religion” and kindred, allied organizations especially in Great Britain.
So long as we employ the word “universal” as a particular in syllogisms or constructs, we are drawn into confusion of types and more. But applying universal processes, especially as derived from James and Walling, automatically opens up new vistas.
Rolland supports the statement of the late Sri Ramakrishna, “I see God more clearly than I see you.” The abandonment of this possibility to Asians is one of the fundamental reasons for the Hippie community turning to the East. But following James and Walling, one finds that an unusually large portion of the community has had God-experience (not limited psychedelic awakenings) on a large scale. This can be verified by consulting the human beings involved and never by resorting to books, traditions, blind-alley dogmas and a priori rejections.
We have today established in the United States The Temple of Understanding, both an organization and structure being built in the city of Washington, D.C. The support for this temple comes from every active religion. Blessings have been given for it from two totally different kinds of persons such as His Holiness the Pope, and Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul, President of the World Buddhist Federation. These two persons are both friends of each other, have audienced each other and Mrs. Dickerman Hollister, Founder of the Temple. And one of the chief supporters is Dr. Radhakrishnan, retired President of India who fulfills Whitman’s “Song of the Answerer.” Whitman himself claims to have had the divine experience and it went to Horande Trabel in much the same fashion as Plotinus’ “awakening” went to several of his well-known disciples.
The refusal of traditionalists to accept living experiences is causing a great division within culturaled circles. But within the past century the same obscurantism stood in the way of accepting the transmutation of metals and other scientific discoveries. Science and Religion have never been at war; Dialectics and Pragmatism have been, ever will be.
None of these advances nullify St. Thomas Acquinas. Universal experiences are hard to verbalize (e.g. Cantor). “God” as one or a multitude of thoughts in man’s mind has little nervous of living significance. The blanketing of the possibility of revelation is itself a nihilism.
One cannot “prove” a dialectical God by ruling out the experience of artists, poets, musicians, as has been unconsciously done. Skeptics invariably assume prowess in psychology and psychiatry not warranted by law or education. The neo-Realist Spalding presented the “egocentric predicament” and this remains. God being “universal” can only be “proved” or “disproved” universally.
The Indian “samsara” could explain much and has been presented in a vague (or not so vague) way by the late Aldous Huxley. This could help explain even Viet Nam. (The whole Viet Nam procedure and complex has resulted from the a priori rejection of eye witnesses by the State Department and press. Why bring in “God?” People in authority still persist in a priori rejections of eye-witnesses and numerous examples could be given. No one seems to have fully blamed the a priori rejecters.)
The psychedelic revolution is going to compel us to reevaluate what is clearly shown in the Scripture, e.g. St. Paul, of the existence, the functional existence of the “psychic” and “pneumatic” bodies. Once we reintegrate the Scriptures in our culture, the warfare, so-called, between Science and Religion will disappear.
Once we recognize not some subjective “universal” but the living transfinitudes of Mathematics, Artists, Poets and even effective Prophets, then the “existence of God” will become clear and fundamental. No one is his own universe. How much less can all of us be any one’s universes?