Do you do what do you do do you put your mind into two watertight compartments one of which you’re abreast of science in the modern world and all that kind of thing in the other compartment it’s again nothing to do with that is it completely cut off think all religion where you believe in absolutely ludicrous propositions. A lot of people do that but a lot of people want a religion which is difficult to believe in because that’s a kind of a test of faith but you can swallow it. It’s like the story about Abraham being told to sacrifice his son Isaac and he was about to do it because he wouldn’t do what you’re told to testify if. You. Are people like the security. Of a definite religion I mean you’ve got to believe in and this is the truth I was once having an argument with a Jehovah’s Witness. And he said Don’t you think that if there were really a loving God who was concerned about the human race that he would provide us with an infallible textbook that would tell us how to live and I said he would do nothing of the kind it would completely destroy the human mind. You know you never have to think that was the case. And so. While there is that there is then this possibility is it to be no god is a life just this trip around the maternity ward to the crematorium. And that the issue of religion is to improve that trip. That is to say through social concern. Through getting rid of poverty and war and exploitation and disease is that the whole business of religion or is there something else. Those who take this field which we will call the secularist position and reality are parts strongly. Influenced by contemporary philosophy especially in that form which is called scientific imperialism. Or logical positivism. Which maintains that the idea of a god is not a fantasy. But is a meaningless idea. That in other words the proposition that there exists god. And that God is the origin and Creator and governor of everything that is happening they maintain that those sentences are utterly devoid of meaning. As much so as if I were to say everything is up because they will say no logical proposition can be made. About all processes whatsoever because all propositions are labels on boxes. And you can’t have the box containing all boxes because this box would have no outside and therefore it wouldn’t be a box.
So all propositions all words must refer. To classes of some kind. And you can’t have a class of all classes. And also they would say the notion that there is a God is meaningless because. It doesn’t help you to make any prediction. Or they were going to ask it in this plate what evidence supposing somebody could bring it forward would completely satisfy you as disproving the existence of God and no believing in God can think of any evidence. That would conclusively prove that there wasn’t a god. Just like psychoanalysts are completely incapable of thinking of any evidence which would. Prove the existence of the Eat at this complex. So they on logical grounds take this position. And so since many theologians are in fact influenced by modern philosophy. Take these arguments seriously. They would like. To move secularized the whole conception of religion or to put it in Bonhoeffer’s words have Christianity without religion. Right now. When. You might say there is nothing to life except the trip between a maternity ward incriminatory and that’s what Prince I have heard something like that before. When I asked What is the Buddha. The Chinese master replied It’s windy again this morning. Another Buddhist master on his deathbed wrote the poem. From the bath tub to the bath tub I have added stuff and nonsense. The bath tub in which the baby is washed at birth and the bath tub in which the corpses washed before burial. All the time between he said I was going yackety yack. Now what about those poems do they mean what they say well not quite. They are something different. Because they are based on. A life devoted. To the discipline of a very particular kind of meditation. Culminating in a complete. Shattering experience. Which is very difficult to talk about. But generally. Speaking. It is the encounter with eternity with the eternal not necessarily in the sense of that which goes on and on on through time but. The A tunnel is the timeless. That which transcends time is beyond measurement in terms of hours and days. And when a person who is. In that state of consciousness or has been through it looks at. The ordinary everyday world it’s true he sees the ordinary everyday world as we see it but with a very very extraordinary difference. And if we would have to put that different into some sort of Western Christian influence language he would perhaps a Don’t you realize that sitting around here in this room. With our ordinary everyday faces and clothes and personalities. We are sitting smack in the middle of the Be it if it vision. And that this sitting here in this room. Is infinity and eternity precisely it is it and this is could be a terrific vision. This has got. And it feels that way too. When it does. Something like it. But in this kind of religion. They still have temples they have borders and they chance of tourism after incense and long. I like them. But they’re always saying that the highest religion that can get really to get there you have to kill the border. Exposing a clergyman got up one day in court but. And said. Every time you say Jesus Christ you have to wash your mouth out. Or if you meet God the Father kill him. If you meet God the Son killing me God the Holy Spirit killing you meet the pope kill him if you meet St Augustine killing you meet your father and mother kill him. Kill them all right away all right what I’ve been saying this simply translating into Christian terms a Buddhist. Teacher. Are talking about the eight hundred eighty. What he said and he put it but it’s names and where I put the Christian Munden. But I don’t think this is what is happening in the movement of the new theology. I think that what’s happening there is that they are just getting rid of God. This is not this other thing I’m talking about which could be called the religion of no religion. You see. If you you could take this right into Christianity because it to the extent that every Christian is a Jew. You see we use the Jewish scriptures as the Old Testament so every Christian is that do. You are supposed to believe in the Tenth Amendment among them says. Thou shalt not make to thy self any graven image of anything that is in the heavens above or the earth beneath or the waters that are. Under the earth now shalt not bow to them nor worship. And that is what this thing I’ve been talking about is it is a destruction of idols because the most dangerous graven images are not those which are made of wood and stone they are those which are made of ideas. And it is well known to the great mystical tradition of the world all over the world. That they have a sort of supreme vision. Can only come. When you have got rid of every idea of God whatsoever. It would be like as I’ve often used this image cleaning a window. On which somebody has painted blue sky. Well to see the sky you got to scrape up the paint. Well you say my goodness you shouldn’t take that nice blue painting up it’s very good it was done by a great artist see up at the clouds or you mustn’t do that because we won’t have in the blue sky anymore. See. So in that spirit the great mystics have always ceased to cling to God that is because the only god you can cling to is the idea of God. In order to discover God you have entirely to stop clinging. Unit you see why does one cling to God. For safety of course. You want to say something you want to save yourself I don’t care what you mean by saved whether just means feel happy or feel that life is meaning or you know there’s somebody up there who cares. So one claims and if you don’t cling to God You cling to something else the state. Money Sex yourself. Power bases are all false gods. But there has to come a state when Kling’s stops. And only then does the state of faith begin people who believe in God don’t have any faith because they want something to hold on to. So real faith is when you do not hold on to anything anymore. In the Christian tradition this is called the Cloud of Unknowing. There is a book of that written by a fourteenth century British monk. Nuns. And he got it from down ISIS the area up a guide. Who assumed the name of St Paul’s Athenian convert. He was a Syrian monk living in the sixth century. Those Meister Eckhart and Thomas Aquinas Johns go to Sedona and many other great medieval theologians started down ISIS the very opposite. He wrote a book called The theologian Mystica. In which he explains. That in order to come to a full union with God. You must give up every conception of God whatsoever and he in human rights. Don’t think that God is one of three enters or unity or spirit or any kind of anything that the human mind can conceive he is beyond all that. In it what is called This is called Apple phatic theology. This is a Greek to contrast it with cattle that. When you speak at a phatic. You say what God is like. So in this man down I see us wrote two books one was called The Divine Names and that was can’t affect acknowledging the other was called a mystical theology which is Apple. Cat of phatic what God is like according to analogy he is like a father. We do not say God is a cosmic male parent. But God is in some respects like a father like spirit. Like we say not is like minutes. It’s like it’s raining you know as an relativity to that statement. So this is the the cat of Atlanta the apophatic says what God is not. And all those theologians in the following of down ISIS said the highest way of talking about God is in negative terms. Just as to use done ISIS’s own image when a sculpture makes sculptor makes a figure he does it entirely by removing stone taking something away so in the same way son Thomas Aquinas said because God by. Is infinity. Exceeds every idea to which the human mind can reach that best way to speak of him is by remote. That is to say by removing from our view of God. Every inadequate concept. This is what the Hindus call neti neti saying of the Brahman of the supreme reality it is not this it is not this. But this intellectual operation. Of destroying concepts must go hand in hand is a it was shall we call it psychological operation. Which is ceasing to cling to any image whatsoever or simply so. You seem to click. Now why. Well because there’s no need to. There’s no need to claim. Because when you were born you were kicked off a precipice. And it was a big explosion and a lot of other things are falling down with you. Including some pretty large lumps of rock. Once called the Earth. And. It won’t help you to cling to the rocks when you’re falling off the presidents may give you an illusion of safety. About everything is falling. It’s falling apart. That’s what the ancients said when all is transient. Plan to pray or flows in the weather had a cloud. And you can cling to anything it’s like grabbing a smoke with a nonexistent hand. That’s all that clinging will ever achieve only does it make people anxious. So when you come to the realisation that you cannot think of anything that there is nothing to cling to their transpires an inner change of consciousness which we can call either faith or letting go. And then suddenly they think it’s. In Sanskrit they put it this way to add to the Massey means literally that after the hour or as we would say you’re it. And if you are God. Then you can’t have an idea of God any more than you can chew your own teeth. You don’t need one the sun doesn’t need to shine on itself. Nice don’t need to cut themselves. Your eyes don’t need to look at themselves. What color is your head. To your eyes. Doesn’t black as it. Can’t see anything. Matter of fact the way it feels inside your head is what you call what it looks like outside. All these things you see outside our states of the nervous system in the brain. That type peels that’s how it looks inside the head and you said what I thought that was what was outside. True. Same way. When the Zen master suddenly discovered that carrying the pail. With water and it was a miracle he discovered that. You realize there isn’t anything except God. And boy you don’t if you really know that you see you don’t need to have a religion. But you can have one because it’s a free world I mean if you want to. Try and express this in some way and all religion is pure gravy after that see any outward manifestation of religion. You know it’s like a man with lots of money making some more. And it’s quite unnecessary. But so in according to the very best the logins it was never necessary for God to create the world. Didn’t add anything to him. He didn’t have to do it he was under no compulsion. So he did it out of what. Dinosaurs the area up a guy calls. Eat but please. We wouldn’t and besides it hyper Cleary’s super fullness. In other words for kicks. I mean you know we don’t we don’t like using that language but it’s completely contemporary because exactly right. That’s what the Bible says. And it puts it in a mass a date way it says you His Majesty did it for his pleasure. And that’s the way you talk about somebody it was a can’t. It’s critic talk it said you know we are not amused. And. It says in the book of the products that where the divine wisdom speaks. And speaks you see as an attribute of God standing aside from God. Sort of primitive polity as I’m. And wisdom says that in the beginning of the world how did light was to play before the divine presence. And it’s specially to play with the sons of men the word in Hebrew is play but in the King James translation it is rejoice because that is a more sedate. You may rejoice in church but not. You may not have fun but you may rejoice. See the difference. So then. The part of the matter is then there was no reason to make the world. And it was done for making celestial Whoopi that’s why the angels a laughing. They just splitting their sides only when you hear it in church or everybody’s forgotten what alluvial means. It’s lovely. Don’t you see Al alone. Hallelujah. It’s like but to be you know it’s just verbal and it’s like birdsong. Birdsong isn’t about anything it’s just for kicks. Why do you sing. Why do you like dancing what’s music for. That’s what this hallelujah it’s. So when nothing is being tantrum when one gets to that point. Everything blows up. This is what’s meant by subtle in Zen sudden. Awakening and you suddenly got heavens. What was I making that up. Because here we are so what we’ve been looking for old. That’s right. And. That’s it that’s the thing. And you realise that if you any you basically through and through are all this. Only you got into a kind of a funny illusion. I think when we get into that a room. In rather a complicated way. Through our upbringing as children. Because of that many little children know from the beginning what it’s all about and if they haven’t got words to put it in. The that’s the whole problem a child psychologist. What the child psychologist is ideally looking for is an articulate baby who. Can explain what it’s like to be a baby you know never get there by the time you teach by teaching the child to speak to you for you to mess it up you give it this language and you can think big thoughts like that with this funny limited language nationally with the words they start children out with. And then finally when they’ve got the poor thing completely get the tires. They tell it. The most preposterous things they tell it that it must be free. They say to you a huge child are an independent agent and you’re responsible see now therefore we can manage your. Lovett’s. And. In other words we require that you do something which will please us only if you do it voluntarily. Now if you want to people of it. So. But I’m afraid you see that the new theology isn’t on to this. The new theology really is serious about there not being a God and that the universe is therefore. A rather pitiful predicament in which we caught had some compensation but what all this is a continuation of the nineteenth century philosophy the fully automatic model which is that. It is an essentially stupid universe it’s an it’s a mechanism it is a gyration of blind energy in which human intelligence and values happens to be a fluke and a rather uncomfortable one because nature doesn’t give a damn about us. And so we have to fight it and all that is pure mythology is grossly unscientific. And. But most people believe that it’s common sense for today. But what an opportunity that what there is in the new theology and in this whole ferment going on to get them to see this other point of view. And realize that. When you get rid of God. You are all you are doing is you’re destroying an idol. And all idols must be destroyed respectfully. Not like those wretched. Puritans who went around destroying all those saints figures in the stained glass in the medieval churches that was disrespectful iconoclasm respectful I. Gods and would be for example every Easter Sunday the Bible should be ceremoniously burned. Because if Jesus is truly risen from the dead you don’t need the Bible anymore either run. They’ll. Leave the books or burn it up ceremoniously with great respect because certainly God doesn’t take himself seriously if he did. I shudder to think what would happen.