I am still attempting to finish my series of posts on ‘chance’ – if there is such a thing – but I am still thinking about how to end it. In the meantime, here is something I just read that is very thought provoking. Also, as we have just started Advent, the following can be subject good to consider. We should be at this time asking ourselves whether or not we live our lives according to the Truth or do we remain within a world of illusion and contradiction. If we do not ask ourselves these questions then we will not be ready when our Lord returns.
First a little background: he is here talking about mankind’s search for the infinite. In examining our own lives we can see this desire at work. We desire the infinite, but if we do not know where to find it then we try fulfill that desire with finite things of this world. What happens when we do this? We enjoy the novelty for a while and then tire of it, put it down, and move onto the next thing that catches our interest. But if we step back from this never ending process, instead of moving on to the next thing, we will see that there is no finite thing that will ever fulfill us. Only the infinite can do that. If we are honest then we have to admit the truth of this experience in our lives and can then recognize that it holds true for all mankind. But when we are confronted with the infinite – God – we can feel threatened because we want to be the masters of our own domain. (And this is connected to the fact that we are born into Original Sin.) Therefore, many people reject God because they want to be ‘free’ to pursue their own idea of happiness, thinking of God as nothing but the ‘fun police’ – only there to squash mankind’s happiness. As a result, those who reject God end up living their lives in a contradiction because they deny the very thing that they are seeking. With this result the following question must be asked: if there is no God then why do we have within us this desire for the infinite? If the finite is all there is and at the same time we desire the infinite, then we are find ourselves in an unintelligible universe. To this Fr. Clarke responds in the following manner.
It can be shown…that there is a lived contradiction between affirming theoretically that the universe or myself is unintelligible and continuing to live and use my mind as though it were intelligible–which we cannot help but do. Thus it is finally up to each one of us either to accept his or her infinite-oriented nature as meaningful and revelatory of the real or as an opaque, illusory surd. But what good reason can one have for choosing darkness over light, illusion over meaning, for not choosing the light? Only if the darkness is more intelligible? But this does not make sense! Why not then accept my nature as a meaningful gift, pointing the way to what is, rather than what is not?
The One and the Many, W. Norris Clarke, S.J., p. 228
You cannot have it both ways: either there is a God, which gives sense to our desire for the infinite; or there is not a God, which makes the desire we find within us into non-sense.