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From Cause and Effect to Meaning

Also in this study is seen that we tend to absolutize and deify what we perceive as being the truth, or in this case what can lend sense to our existence. Instead of keeping ourselves in balance, by adhering to the various aspects of our being and by honoring our God-given characteristics, we keep idolizing some aspect of life and of ourselves. Both the nihilist and the Puritan has an absolutist attitude. The first would vehemently deny this and the latter would deny that he is playing god with holiness. He would consider that an insult to the divinity and he would respond to it with what in his mind would be 'holy anger'. But only God is the absolute One and we are exposed as liars in that we keep trying to put ourselves on the throne, no matter if we deny this consciously.

Solomon: "Even though a (very) wise man might claim that he has found out what God is doing; yet it is not so." "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than yours."

Paul: "If somebody seems to be wise in the midst of you in this age, let him become a fool..."

"...that he may become wise."





Every cause has an effect (matter, energy & health. "... oppression works perseverance, perseverance works approvedness and approvedness works hope ..."

According to the law of non-contradiction, or antithesis, a=not non-a (objective thinking/ theory). Obviously Paul is not the same person as Barnabas.

De gustibus non est disputandum (one must not argue about taste); to everybody his/her own feeling (subjective relativism/ personal ideals/ experience). Paul was a tent maker and Peter was a fisherman and both saw value in their occupations.

True meaning is a spiritual thing. "Those that seek God, must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those that seek Him." (absolutes)

Meaning is a rational thing that pervades everything; feelings are less important; God is an intellectual idea.

Idealistic feelings provide the sense of life; rational thinking is relative; God is the sustainer of my emotions.

Everything is relative; meaning must be sought in yourself.

In the end most things are absolute; God is absolute, humans are relative. Holiness is the only thing to go for.

Life is nihilistic matter and energy; the body is animalistic; meaning is a leap of faith.

True life is a matter of black and white; only God provides absolute meaning.

Satan is light, life and love; everything else is there to be used and abused.

In the time of Augustine Christians became increasingly influenced by the ancient Greek idea that the universe is primarily rational and that through thinking we can come to a universal understanding that encompasses everything. This against the warning of the apostle Paul against philosophy, which he called empty deceit. This approach and quest for the universal philosophy, in deference to people like Aristotle and Plato, lasted till the days of enlightenment, when a beautiful girl was carried through the streets of Paris in worship of and belief in reason. As a reaction to this the period of Romanticism set the stage for modern man. Reason did not bring what man had hoped for and one had more and more the feeling of being trapped in a dark room. Before people came to realize that, there was a general period of sobering up. 'Everything is relative'; with other words, we must not claim anymore that we can understand the universe fully.

Modern man has lost hope and has given up on this proud endeavor that began with an overemphasis on reason and that had ended in the abolishment of religion and the last attempt to embrace and to worship the ratio. To escape from the dark and hopeless state of the reality of our own making, people like Kierkegaard attempted to cling to life through a leap of faith. Life is felt as sheer nihilism and one must be saved through the discovery of an indefinite feeling or connection to a higher reality that must be out there and deep in yourself. Conscious life makes no sense, but one must not give up on putting sense into it.

However people like Tertullian were dissatisfied with the prevailing rationalism (perhaps we should call it rationalisticism; or if this does not make it clear, read: rationalisticicism) and opted for a mystical approach to life. Both sides, those that believed in reason and those that believed in mystique, thought that the monastery life could help us attain to a worthy Christian life. Years later people like Ruysbroeck, more or less under the influence of the Neoplatonists of those early beginnings of the Catholic church, chose to believe that one can come to salvation through obtaining the unio mystica, the becoming one with the divinity. Through the help of saints and angels one tried to climb up out of the sordidness and despair of life. Holiness of emotions was exaggerated.

The Puritans, no matter how sincere in their search for virtue, sought the absolute in a holy life and through their attitude they proclaimed that that is all there is for us. Where the rationalists believed that reason is absolute and the mysticists that idealistic emotions are absolute, there the Puritans absolutized virtue (and people like Marquis de Sade, one of the forerunners of satanic sadism and the belief in absolute hedonism, abused their theories for the opposite end).

Some Christians go even further and in their hearts they play god with an attitude that says 'I am an absolute man in that I am connected to the absolute God'; as if man, who is relative, can be like God in absoluteness! Such people, according to Solomon, make themselves too righteous and too wise and the result is destructive. With their exaggerated holiness philosophy they see, or try to see, everything in black and white. 'God is absolute and so our lives should be absolute.' According to the apostle Paul also this is empty deceit.

The untenable tension of the rational position so-called lies herein that the absolute simply cannot be found in reason, but alone in the transcendent deity. This is idolization of the ratio and of oneself, seeking to play god. The inconsequence of the position is the negligence of other aspects of the human being, such as feeling and the spiritual. To solve this tension one can withdraw further from the truth into the position that everything is relative and that one must discover the absolute in something relative, either within or without yourself. But then one finds oneself between a rock and a hard place, between the desire to exercise one's mind and the animalistic desires of the body. Between the innate and subconscious awareness that there must be morals and values that are more than just relative; and the rash and uncontrollable impulses of the body. This tension goes hand in hand with an inconsequent and ambiguous wavering between exercising one's mind and giving in to the impulses of the material body. To escape from this one can withdraw even further into the belief that everything is in fact without meaning and therefore nihilistic. All one can attempt to accomplish is to attain somehow to an undefinable experience of some kind through a leap of faith. Here everything is not just relative in meaning, but has become meaningless. Everybody has to rely on his or her own kick about which one cannot really talk and which one cannot really share. Also here nobody can remain consequent. There will always be a gap between your individual and idiosyncratic kick and the demand by general life, as based on strong ties to creational orders, to behave in a fashion that is recognizable to others. Many people of this position are split between their working lives and hobbies and their animalistic impulses in (wild) parties. The quest for the absolute here has become incommunicable as far as the mind is concerned. One is darkened of mind here and seared of conscience. The bible calls such people irrational animals that corrupt themselves even further in the things they understand naturally.

The more emotional position that seeks the absolute in some kind of mystique is also at odds with the deity and the inconsequence here is that reason is neglected and that one is naive about the bodily desires and needs and one is once removed from common sense. To escape this untenable tension and inconsequence one can opt for an exaggerated holiness that supposedly answers to God's absolute demands. But values and morals are here even more narrow-minded than in the emotional position. For there there exists still some balance with understanding. But here also one is between de devil and the deep blue sea; between emotional needs and far out asceticism. Again, to such people Solomon says that they should not be wise overmuch and not righteous overmuch lest one is destructive. Also about such people he states that he that separates himself (too much, I may add), it is to seek his own desire (or, paraphrasing: 'it is to seek to please himself') and he butts his head, (some translate: snarls) against all sound understanding. Too bad that such people have so often butted their heads that a callous layer prevents them from feeling it any longer. Such people sit on an island and they are out of touch with their surroundings. They cannot really, like the apostle Paul, be inoffensive to Jews and Greeks and the Church of God and they miserably fail in becoming under the law for those under the law, and free from the law to those that are free from the law. To them that would be like becoming a thief for the thieves and godless for the godless. They fail to be the light and salt of this world. Such people are sectarian Pharisees from which Paul says that we must turn away. Some people, out of dissatisfaction, go to the mutually opposite position and they become Sadducees and prevaricating Herodians. And some go even further into the extreme and they become (too) ascetic and they organize cults that are full of teachings of demons. Such cults ignore bodily needs and neglect reason. They exaggerate some selfinvented holiness and in their hearts they are as absolute as the divinity. Whereas the holier-than-thou Joes still can exist within society, though only through their sectarian group, there the cults are three times removed from common sense and they sooner or later rebel against the establishment. In this they are like the revolutionaries on the mutually opposite end, the nihilistic anarchists. Also here self-deification takes place.

From nihilism to Satanism is only one step. This may seem strange. But it is seen in heavy metal and death metal. All of a sudden people recognize God's existence, but they see Him as the enemy. Where the nihilists could still hide behind their individual kicks and their idols, here the Satanist advances and openly blames the Creator. They discover in their consciousness the crux of the problem. God thrones beyond the universe, but we hate Him and deep in our hearts we have always hated Him. Some people, like Aleister Crowley, chose the devil as their liberator from another position. Crowley grew up in a Christian home that came from the Plymouth brethren. He did not go through the process of nihilism to death metal and deicide. This shows what lives deep in our hearts. However 2000 years ago the bible already stated that the Lord died for haters. The Lord Jesus, who came in the fulness of time (everything and everybody had failed; man's sinful state had become clear, also of Jewry): judged the world through His dying on the cross of Golgotha. He condemned both the world and me. I have been crucified to the world and the world has been crucified to me. Satanists seek to manipulate demons and to acquire power through them. Polytheists can come to do the same thing with the gods (that are in fact demons). But the result is the opposite; the demons acquire even more power over them and manipulate them like slaves for their own ends. But God extends His loving hands also for these people and offers them the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom there is eternal salvation.

What is the way from here? As always the increasing unlearning of self-deception by the purifying and hallowing power of the Scriptures. The absolute is absolutely only to be found in the Lord and one should have the Scriptures dwell richly in one's heart, mind, soul and spirit and also in the will and the conscience; while controlling the fleshly desires of the body that war against the soul. This means not to live by a self-selected or group orientated arbitrary choice of bible verses, but by the whole counsel of the Lord. The bible is rich enough to cover all the aspects of our lives and sufficient enough to guide us in our endeavors no matter how complicated or indiscernible they may be for some people. "The heart is more crooked than anything, yes it is mortally sick; who can know it? I the Lord search the heart and test the reins, so as to give according to a man's ways and according to the fruit of his deeds." The ultimate game the heart is playing since the Fall of man, is to play god; to deify some aspect of himself; so as to seat himself on the throne of his life at odds with the Creator and at odds with one's fellows.



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