The Inner Vision

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 8: 3-4

 


In 1919 a man named Wilbur Daniel Steele wrote a remarkable short story called “The Man Who Saw Through Heaven.” In the story Steel tells us of a newly married, newly ordained minister who is on his way to Africa to convert the heathen.

In the course of the day I think I had got him fairly well. As concerned his Church he was at once an asset and a liability. He believed its dogma as few still did, with a simplicity, “the old time religion.” He was born that kind. Of the stuff of the fanatic, the reason he was not a fanatic was that, curiously impervious to little questionings, he had never been aware that his faith was anywhere attacked. A self-educated man, he had accepted the necessary smattering facts of science with a serene indulgence, as simply so much further proof of what the Creator could do when He put His hand to it. Nor was he conscious of any conflict between these facts and the fact that there existed a substantial Heaven, geographically up, and a substantial Hot Place, geographically down.

So, for his Church, he was an asset in these days. And so, and for the same reason, he was a liability. The Church must after all keep abreast of the times. For home consumption, with modern congregations, especially urban ones, a certain streak of “healthy” skepticism is no longer amiss in the pulpit, it makes people who read at all more comfortable in their pews. A man like Hubert Diana is more for the cause than a hundred. But what to do with him? Well, such things arrange themselves. There’s the Foreign Field. The blacker the heathen the whiter the light they’ll want, and the soldier the conception of a God the Father enthroned in a Heaven of which the sky above them is the visible floor.

But before the Reverend Diana reaches Africa, he makes a side trip to visit an observatory where an astronomer shows him a view of the heavens as seen through the eyes of a scientist. Diana is a changed man from that moment on. He leaves his wife behind and embarks on a new mission to convert the Africans to his new cosmic religion. After four years have elapsed, Diana’s wife hires a man to help her find her husband. Wherever they go they find traces of Diana’s new religion in the form of little mud heathen idols. And finally at the end of their search they find Diana’s grave and his last mud sculpture.

“From here, Mrs. Diana, you husband walked out—“

“He had sunk to idolatry. Idolatry!”

“To the bottom, yes. And come up its whole history again. And from here he walked out into the sunshine to kneel and talk with ‘Our Father Which—‘

She got it. She caught it. I wish you could have seen the light going up those long, long cheeks as she got it:

“Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name!”

We went downhill in the darkness, protected against goblins by a vast rattling of gourds and beating of goat-hide drums.

Daniel read the handwriting on the Babylonians’ wall, and so did Wilbur Daniel Steele read the handwriting on the Europeans’ wall. We as a people looked at the world through the eyes of the scientist, and we lost our faith. There are many different levels on the mountain of the scientized Europeans, but all the European people, with very few exceptions, are on the scientific slippery slope that leads to hell. You cannot be halfway up the mountain and maintain your position on the mountain. You must go to the top, struggling against the galvanized forces of hell pushing you downward, or else you will continue to descend toward the bottom of the mountain where the slime pits of hell await you.

At the end of Steele’s story the Rev. Diana is on his way back to Christ. But in order to return to Christ he had to go through all the lower stages of religion; he had to hit rock bottom before he could start the arduous ascent back up the mountain. This is the fact of existence that the Europeans must grasp before they can fulfill their destiny as the Christ-bearing people. The pride of science is not an ascent to the heavens, it is a descent to paganism. The battles between the factions within the European nations – Labor vs. Tory; Republican vs. Democrat; conservative vs. liberal; traditionalist Catholic vs. Novus Ordo Catholic; Protestant fundamentalist vs. liberal, evangelical Protestant – are all battles between men who have staked out territory on the ‘Pride of Science’ mountain. The mad-dog liberals have left the mountain altogether and, unlike Diana, seem quite content to live in the slime pits of hell, but the other factions will continue to slide closer to the mad-dog liberals so long as they try to blend Christianity and science.

The Europeans’ ascent to the top of the mountain during the Christian centuries of Europe and their descent into hell in the 20th and 21st centuries has shown us that you can’t have just a little bit of liberalism. You can’t keep a purely intellectual concept of God around for special occasions and for the hour of death, while making science your lodestar for all the really important decisions of your life. Science is a false messiah; it deals with the natural, biological world, nothing more. To scientize man is an outrage. And to scientize God is blasphemy. The modern European is much more afraid of being labeled stupid for speaking out against science than he is about blaspheming against the living God by making Him an object to be studied and played upon as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tried to study and play upon Hamlet.

HAMLET. ’Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages with your finger and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.

GUILDENSTERN. But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony. I have not the skill.

HAMLET. Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. ’Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.

It is all, this pride of science, from the God-less polemics of Freud, Marx, and Darwin to the scientized theological blasphemies of the intellectual Christians, a devil’s brew that poisons our hearts and leaves us at the mercy of enemies who have no mercy – Satan and his liberal minions. I am convinced that the Europeans’ descent into negro worship is the result of the scientizing of Christianity. Diana discovered that his cosmic religion needed some human conduit, so he reached out to primitive idols. And that will always be the result of Einsteins’ and Teilhards’ cosmic, ‘higher’ religion. Its adherents will reach out to the lowest forms of humanity in their flight from the God of pure intellect, which the ‘pure intelligence’ men created.

Kill the European’s heart and his faith dies. Satan’s formula was simple – syllogize, philosophize, and scientize Christianity until there is nothing left of the Christ who enters human hearts. How can we love an end product of a syllogism or a psychological manifestation of the yearning for God that is in all men? We must believe in the Christ story with our whole heart, mind, and soul. If we do not believe, or if we hedge our bets and only partially believe, we will not respond to God’s love with loving hearts. We will flee to the heathen gods and bestow our love and devotion upon them. Are there any modern Christian clergymen who love Christ with the passion with which they love the negro?

The God who lives is the Christ that St. Paul encountered on the road to Damascus, and that same God was the inspiration for Western civilization when it was a civilization. It was a passionate love, grounded in His passion, that motivated St. Paul, and that same love motivated the antique Europeans. We can’t make the European people believe again by any rational argument. Maybe, like Uncle Silas, they have lost the heart for the love of Christ. But what if the delusion of science was attacked and destroyed? Would the lost European sheep return to the fold? We won’t know the answer to that until we attack the liberals’ Holy Ghost, which is science.

In my early twenties I had many discussions with a Roman Catholic priest who taught at the University I attended. I sought him out because he was said to be a conservative, but he was only a conservative compared to the other professors, who were mad-dog liberals. The priest taught a course in the Gospels that was a course about the word of God as interpreted by the ‘higher’ form criticism popular at that time. In short, the love of Christ was put in a golden scientized bowl and His holy word was put in a sliver scientized rod. When I asked my friend if such ‘study’ was harmful to people’s faith, he replied, “They think we are afraid of scientific inquiry; we must show them we are not.” But why must we “show them we are not afraid”? Are they really open to reason? Do they really care about the truth? No, they, the liberals, do not care about the truth. Why should we honor their attempt to place God and man in a biological dung heap? To leave any momentous religious question to a scientist is no different than going to a highly competent garage mechanic for a heart transplant.

The highly competent garage mechanic, Albert Einstein, summed up the liberals’ religion in his essay on “Cosmic Religion”:

It is easy to follow in the sacred writings of the Jewish people the development of the religion of fear into the moral religion, which is carried further in the New Testament. The religions of all the civilized peoples, especially those of the Orient, are principally moral religions. An important advance in the life of a people is the transformation of the religion of fear into the moral religion. But one must avoid the prejudice that regards the religions of primitive peoples as pure fear religions and those of the civilized races as pure moral religions. All are mixed forms, though the moral element predominates in the higher levels of social life. Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of the idea of God.

Only exceptionally gifted individuals or especially noble communities rise essentially above this level; in these there is found a third level of religious experience, even if it is seldom found in a pure form. I will call it the cosmic religious sense. This is hard to make clear to those who do not experience it, since it does not involve an anthropomorphic idea of God; the individual feels the vanity of human desires and aims, and the nobility and marvelous order which are revealed in nature and in the world of thought. He feels the individual destiny as an imprisonment and seeks to experience the totality of existence as a unity full of significance. Indications of this cosmic religious sense can be found even on earlier levels of development— for example, in the Psalms of David and in the Prophets. The cosmic element is much stronger in Buddhism, as, in particular, Schopenhauer’s magnificent essays have shown us.

The religious geniuses of all times have been distinguished by this cosmic religious sense, which recognizes neither dogmas nor God made in man’s image. Consequently there cannot be a church whose chief doctrines are based on the cosmic religious experience. It comes about, therefore, that precisely among the heretics of all ages we find men who were inspired by this highest religious experience; often they appeared to their contemporaries as atheists, but sometimes also as saints. Viewed from this angle, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are near to one another.

That is the glorified heathenism of the ruling liberal elite of the Western world. And the European ‘Christians’ of the 21st century have tried, by incorporating psychology, sociology, anthropology, and the worship of the natural savage into their faith, to prove that Christianity is compatible with the ‘intelligence’ of the men of science. It’s significant that Shaw, the most thoroughly demonic liberal who ever walked the earth, gave his personal endorsement to Einstein and the men of science: “…these eight men of whom I am about to mention were makers of universes and their hands were not stained with the blood of their fellow men. I can count them on the fingers of my two hands. Pythagoras, Ptolemy, Kepler, Copernicus, Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, and I still have two fingers left vacant.” What do Shaw’s heroes have in common? They are all scientists and scientistic philosophers. And one man in particular, Aristotle, was used as the conduit for the entry of intellectual Christianity into the heart of European Christianity.

Is it too late to recover from a scientific dagger to the heart? No, it is not too late, because we are not mere creatures of nature. A dagger to the heart kills the body, but we are more than the physical body, as individuals and as a people, we are of the spirit. We need to look to the top of the mountain and see our Lord and Savior. He is the summit, He is the beginning and the end. The halfway point on the scientized mountain, where the conservatives who want to conserve moderate liberalism tell us to make our stand, is not the place for a European. For us, it is all or nothing; we must achieve the summit or else we will perish in the slime pits of liberalism awaiting us at the bottom of the scientized mountain.

In order to prevent his father from committing suicide (in Shakespeare’s King Lear), Edgar must convince him that “his life’s a miracle.” So it is with the European people. When we believed in the miracles of the fiery furnace, the lion’s den, the fiery chariot, and the ultimate miracle of Christ’s birth, death on the cross, and resurrection, we believed that our lives were a miracle of God. We believed in the fairy tale vision of the Bible and the European poets. But when the European people replaced the fairy tale with science, they lost everything. When science becomes the miracle, what happens to man? He becomes a small, insignificant speck of dust staring (if a speck of dust can stare) at the vast, spiritually barren, natural world. His soul is overwhelmed, and he lives in despair, seeking in vain for some refuge in a world without miracles.

Science has left us naked to our enemy, the archangel who prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls. If we reject the cosmic scientific vision for the vision that is in our hearts, we will see the truth; we will see life from the mountaintop where the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord resides. +

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