Speaking of God

Inner Christianity Glimpse of Truth Different Knowledge Darkness of the Psyche
Inner States Consciousness Retold Speaking of God Seeking Self
Inner Identity Civilizing Knowledge    




 

"Prayer is conversation with God."

(Bishop Jean of Saint Denis.)

Many people know the things that happen within them which the early Christians recognised as divine, but cannot describe Him or even connect the reality with the names we give Him.  Many people today seem to feel that the difficulty we have when we try to speak about God - even writing books and TV programmes to tell us that they do or do not know what He is - these attempts or disprove 'His' existence. In fact, all they prove is that we cannot define the existence of the divine or spiritual by using descriptive language, because the nature of description is to describe something in terms of properties of some other thing, and God is not a thing. At the same time, He may act at a certain time or in a certain place or a certain way, and so acts of God may be described.  But those who have been taught to believe in a God who can fit some description based on His likeness to some thing have always been disappointed.  Since this is how we have been taught to think, when it fails to describe God, why then we no longer believe in God.  In fact, when we say that we no longer believe in God, what we do not believe is simply an empty description!

In the early Church there was a way in which people could actually know God.  This is the way introduced into human life by Jesus Christ, and mentioned by Saint Paul in his speech to the Athenians. This reveals to us the God who was said by Saint Gregory Palamas to be known by His energies or actions. These can sometimes be perceived and even described in analogy and parable - and it is this other way of knowing God that gives valid knowledge about which Saint Paul could say: 'Faith is the certainty of things unseen', for there is another kind of knowledge that knows truths not perceived by the senses or inferred by the intellect. The objective reality of this knowledge can be recognised within us, even though we cannot perceive it with our outer senses.

To trust this awareness in 'senseless recognition' is to have faith. 'Faith is the certainty of things unseen.'

There exists - or once existed - a science of religion, but it is based on this recognition knowledge.