The Impossibility of Intellectual Proof in Spiritual Matters – Part2

This essay continues where the last one left off. We are discussing the impossibility of proving spiritual realities to the intellect and to someone who is submitted to his intellect. And we will also examine how genuine knowledge of spiritual realities is actually attained.

Click to go to the previous essay (Part 1) and read it first, if you have just landed on this page.

Sensory blindness

Imagine a person who has shut off all his senses (through some means), except for his sense of hearing. This person can only hear sounds. He cannot see, touch, smell or taste.

OK, now try to prove to this person that life is more than just sounds. How could you prove it to him?

You could never truly prove it to him so long as he can only hear, since the true proof lies in his opening his other senses and experiencing their reality for himself.

The demand for proof

Such a person might say to you: “you tell me there is a whole world of experience I am missing. Prove it to me first so that I will have the desire to try reaching these experiences. How do you expect me to put in the effort if you don’t first convince me?”

What this person means by proof is that you should prove to him, exclusively through the sense of hearing, that these other senses exist.

He means you should exert an effort to come up with a flawless set of arguments that will miraculously convince him that these other senses exist; when all he has to do to experience these senses is open them up and experience them for himself.

The intellectual’s demand for proof

The above analogy is very similar to those who are submitted to their intellect.

They want proof that another world exists. What kind of proof? Intellectual proof.

They want you to exert a monumental effort to convince them intellectually that another world exists, when they don’t even want to make the effort to seek the Truth of this matter for themselves.

The error made by servile religionists

The intellectuals feel so self-important and inflated due to the abject efforts of some religious people to “convert” them to a religion. This has gone so far that some intellectuals consider it an honor for you if they condescend to allow you to enlighten them. That’s how conceited they have become.

When the scope of the intellect is limited only to the world of gross matter, how can anyone possibly prove the existence of something that is beyond gross matter, through gross material means, through the intellect?

Perceiving vs understanding

Let me say something that I did not clarify when I first wrote this essay.

Opening your spiritual senses will allow you to experience the existence of spiritual realities by sensing these realities clearly with the intuitive perception, but not necessarily to understand the Laws governing them, or to attain conviction of the Laws governing them.

Just as opening your physical eyes will allow you to see physical objects and know that they exist but will not give you full understanding of their nature, which requires careful observation, study, intuitive perception and reasoning.

Full understanding of spiritual matters can only be achieved through enlightenment from the one who made Creation; the Creator himself, which knowledge he gives through his Living Word.

So when I said that opening your spiritual eyes will give you proof of spiritual phenomena, this refers to proof of the existence of such phenomena, which are sensed clearly by the intuitive perception, not the full understanding, knowledge and conviction, the proof referred to below

The proofs of a subject lie in the subject

Would anyone accept a child’s demand that Einstein’s theory of relativity be proved to him, or would anyone accept the child’s claim that the theory is false, when the child has never studied physics?

Yet it seems perfectly OK for us that an intellectual who has never sought the Truth or spiritual knowledge, would demand proof of spiritual realities, or even have the presumption of passing judgment on them.

Only a person who is thoroughly and intimately familiar with a certain subject beforehand or has lived through the requisite experiencing needed to oversee the subject spiritually, has the conceptual tools and inner readiness to be given or to attain important insights into that subject.

This is an absolutely logical fact that is apparent to every scientist when they deal with scientific subjects. But they would like to treat spiritual subjects as somehow inferior, not requiring even the respect of being taken seriously, and instead permit themselves to dismiss and judge these subjects and insights with disdain.

For spiritual knowledge, thorough familiarity with the subject matter and inner readiness means a person who has earnestly sought the Truth and spiritual knowledge for a sustained period of time.

He who has never sought the Truth earnestly, genuinely and humbly, is not qualified to receive anything of worth, just as one who has never studied physics is not qualified to understand the theory of relativity.

The spirit as key

To understand and receive proofs of spiritual phenomena one must use the faculty that is homogenous or similar to them; that is the intuitive perception of the spirit.

As I said in Part 1 of this essay, spiritual phenomena will withdraw when the intellect is directed at them.

By awakening, developing and keeping alert the intuitive perception of the spirit a person gains greater and greater understanding of spiritual phenomena, till one day complete conviction of the Truth and Laws of such phenomena is attained.

Then in knowledge he will see the ludicrousness of those who demand clear-cut proofs without ever bestirring their souls to attain the level of spiritual development which makes such proofs possible.

The demand for effortless proofs

As I already said, no one would accept the assertion of a very young child, still in primary school, that because a certain law of science had not been proved to him, such a law was invalid.

What every intellectual would tell such a child is that you first have to complete your education and gain thorough understanding and experience in science before you are qualified to make assertions of this kind.

However almost every such intellectual considers himself qualified to pass judgment on spiritual matters without ever having bestirred his spirit to acquire genuine knowledge or experiencing on such subjects.

Do genuine teachers also need to study?

Doubtless many intellectual persons would like to use the argument I am espousing here against me, to state that also genuine spiritual teachers are not qualified to pass judgment on scientific matters, since they have never studied science.

So in this reasoning, these intellectuals would like to assert, even Jesus or Abd-Ru-Shin themselves would not be able to understand scientific phenomena since they have never studied them.

When I say a child has never "studied" physics and so is not qualified to understand it, I use this term because it is commonplace and accepted in scientific thinking.

This does not in any way imply that intellectual investigation, study and learning is the only way to knowledge. In fact this intellectual way of seeking knowledge is the most restricted and limited way to knowledge. As Abd-Ru-Shin has described it "it is a spiritual crawling on the ground and groping for knowledge from below upwards".

Thus all true and highest knowledge, even if it is knowledge of material things, has its locus in energy. The finer one's energy capacity and receptivity, the higher the knowledge; since a finer energy capacity, endowed by a higher core, can penetrate closer to the Divine source which is the starting point of all Truth, wisdom and highest knowledge.

However finer intuitive perception in a spiritual being, is not achieved by intellectual study but by free and open experiencing.

Occult and psychic science as invalid

So this makes clear that genuine spiritual knowledge is not, for example, to be found in occult teachings and psychic science, which do not contain genuine knowledge, but instead often try vainly to apply scientific methods, the same groping from below upwards (which sometimes give rise to knowledge in the physical domain) applying this groping to spiritual matters, in a non-objective and often irresponsible and reckless way.

Genuine spiritual knowledge, which alone can be described as true knowledge, is the result only of genuine spiritual development, which results in spiritual ascent. Genuine spiritual development and ascent in turn require, and arise from, full experiencing; and it is such experiencing that ultimately gives rise to genuine spiritual knowledge.

A person who hasn’t fully experienced the prerequisites, in all their height and depth, that are needed to understand and oversee a certain phenomenon from the inside out, from above downwards, cannot attain genuine knowledge of that phenomenon.

The greater depth of simplicity

It is not a coincidence but contains a profound principle, that the majority of the great innovations, discoveries and inventions of previous eras were made by lay people, and did not arise from academia.

This is in no way intended to disparage scientific or academic knowledge as such but merely to point out that only the spirit can attain true understanding of any phenomena.

All the scientific and academic disciplines are deeply valuable but desperately require the insights of the vital spirit, to impart genuine depth and conviction to them, and to rise above intellectual speculation and material erudition.

It is stated by many academics that deep scientific truths often have an elegant beauty and simplicity to them. But they should then take a cue from this when judging the ponderous rickety edifice they call intellectual knowledge.

Learning is the responsibility of the student

With regard to genuine spiritual knowledge, making the effort to learn or understand correctly is the primary responsibility of the student not the teacher.

A genuine teacher will always teach correctly and in a clear effective way, but with that given, it is up to the student to mobilize and focus his intuitive perception to assimilate the knowledge effectively. This constitutes work, without which no valuable knowledge can be attained.

This is especially pertinent with regard to the high spiritual knowledge, which simply cannot be absorbed passively like some intellectual knowledge.

The process of spiritual learning

With high and difficult spiritual subjects, a true teacher needs to provide analogies and metaphors to human beings, from what human beings already know, to symbolically depict to them the existence and nature of what is beyond their origin.

Since the scope of earthly words is limited to the realm of gross matter, it is not possible to freeze what is beyond the earthly, let alone what is above human origin, what is radiant, mobile and alive, sufficiently in order to capture it in earthly words.

Therefore a genuine teacher can only convey single aspects of higher phenomena, one at a time, to gradually bring the students closer to understanding the whole.

A teacher must often use analogies and metaphors as a spiritual hint, which the student needs to trace intuitively to spiritually experience the reality that the hint points to. The student thus brings it to life, in order to grasp the living spiritual principle being taught.

But no spiritual teacher can convey the entire whole, so to speak, because no spiritual being can oversee the whole.

The teaching of Divine Envoys

With the Word of Divine Envoys, as Jesus and Abd-Ru-Shin, their words are alive, "Living"; they had to transform earthly languages and conceptions and stretch them to their highest and furthest boundaries in imparting the entire whole through the Living Word.

It is the Divine power anchored in their words that gives them Life. And because they could see the entirety of existence concurrently, thus seeing the entire whole in their intuitive perception, their teachings therefore at the same time anchored the whole in the Word they gave.

Since human spirits and all spiritual beings for that matter, cannot grasp or see the whole, Divine Envoys must also reveal the whole one aspect at a time, opening up these aspects before the spiritual sight of their students, so that an eventual conception of the whole can be attained.

Only the conception of the whole is achieved, not the seeing of the whole itself, which no spiritual creature is capable of.

So to summarize, the Divine Envoys opened up, step by step, new knowledge that anchored the whole, in words that were at the same time alive, containing Divine life power. This is what is meant by the Living Word.

This is something even the greatest spiritual teachers cannot accomplish.

Do not throw knowledge to the unworthy

The fact of the matter is not that the doubters honestly want proof in order to believe. The reality is that they want to sit comfortably entrenched in their intellects and watch you demean yourself trying to convince them. That is their real secret desire.

The fact is, no argument will ever convince them, no matter how brilliantly conceived.

He who does not seek will not find

All the doubters have to do is seek the Truth earnestly for themselves, and they would then be able to answer all their own questions, nothing could be simpler.

But they are not really looking for answers, rather they are looking for excuses, that their false and indolent way of living is fine.

Undying are Christ’s words: seek and you shall find!

Only in seeking earnestly can anything worthwhile be found. He who claims he has not found the Truth is at the same time confessing before the whole world that he has not sought.

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