Divine Illumination and Revelation 


Section Two

THE CREATION OF KNOWLEDGE 


                                                                                                    

 

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Part Three

THE THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE CREATION


Of the two distinct sub-problems which emerged from the analysis of the problem of idea innovation, the first, which concerns the definition of the psychological processes through which knowledge is achieved, has been discussed above. The second, which concerns the explanation of how new ideas are created, is the subject of this part.

The Cosmos appears as a set of problems of experience which may be solved and understood. The solutions to the problems are given by an Inner Resource, consisting of creative and logical entities and psychological processes, which lies beyond the bounds of the intellect. The psychological processes lead to intellectual enlightenment through understanding. This process of enlightenment is seen as one of cause and effect where the understanding of the problem and the requisition of the solution through the solution specification are the cause, and intellectual enlightenment in the form of the solution is the effect.

It is found that the process of enlightenment involves an interaction between the intellect and an anonymous Source from which ideas and understandings come. The character of the Source of new ideas is no more than another problem and as a problem it is open to attack in the normal problem solving manner. Its essential character is found to be unlimited creativity which may be seen as a definition of God. It would be an easy step to equate the Source with God. Not all understandings are true. Some, and perhaps most, are plain false. The idea that God gives false understanding seems to contradict the idea of a moral God.

The source of knowledge is defined as a system of God. The nature of a system is that it works to rules. When the rules are understood and obeyed knowledge follows. The system cannot be separated from God. God deals systematically with all requisitions for understanding and knowledge.

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The Creation of Knowledge 

The Theory of Knowledge Creation


Chapter One

THE ACCOUNT OF THE CREATIVE SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE 


The intellect grows from nothing at conception to the level of a competent operating system able to model reality as it is understood from the processing of experience. The evidence for the intellect indicates that there is nothing innate within it that would account for the ability to create new ideas. The probing of the creative facility shows that another intelligence is at work and interacting with the intellect. The external intelligence is here labelled the Creative Source of new ideas.

In normal individual experience the Creative Source is simply the point of origin of new understandings. The Source does not intrude itself into the conscious but deposits new ideas into the subconscious to be discovered intuitively by the conscious. A study of the Source starts from the assessment of the nature and value of these new understandings, and since all understandings were once new, the assessment of all human understandings. In this, all false, as well as true, understandings have to be considered.

From the study two questions emerge. The first is epistemological and concerns the correct method for consistently obtaining true understandings. Epistemological theories are a normal case of theory creation, and follow from an understanding of the epistemological problem and its solution. This book reflects answers to such questions. The second objective is to find out more about this creative entity. This second project makes use of the methods discovered as the result of the first question. The problem-solution methodology by which understanding is gained can be applied to achieve understanding of the Creative Source.

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Investigating the Creative Source

The conclusion that the Source is creative power can be reached by a straightforward analysis of the recorded output of the human mind. The examination of the work of a few individuals is sufficient. For example, William Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein were all creative thinkers. However, the problem solving method produces an equivalent answer in a more useful form since supplementary questions may be asked to enable further exploration of the reality behind this source.

Questions regarding the nature of the source may be put to the Source. In other words it is possible to get the Inner Source to explain its own character, by approaching it with the right understanding of the problem, and a carefully designed set of questions. Some understanding of what these terms mean is necessary since terms which are meaningless to the inquiring intellect have the effect of invalidating the question and preventing an answer.

The basic formula for achieving understanding of the Source is the problem solving method. In the formula 

THE PROBLEM DEFINITION...> THE SOLUTION SPECIFICATION...> [SOURCE]...> THE SOLUTION 

the area under examination is the "Source". The Source may be seen as a function of reality and the study of this reality is not different from other aspects of reality. The first step towards problem definition is, therefore, to overview the record of this source in experience and define in outline its power to innovate and its method of operation. 

PROBLEM = NATURE OF INNER SOURCE...> PROBLEM SOLVING METHOD...> [Inner Source]...> SOLUTION.

Diagram 2.3.1 illustrates the place of the Creative Source in the knowledge creation process. The understanding of the problem of the Source can be used as the problem definition on which to base a question in the form of a solution specification.

THE CREATIVE FUNCTION 

Diagram 2.3.1

There are two cases to be considered. One is the general case which attempts to explain the coming into existence of the whole set of ideas which have entered the consciousness of humanity. This includes the set of cultures, all knowledge constructions, the corpus of literature, and speech. The second case covers specific instances of problem solving taken from the experience of the researcher. Specific cases should be pursued in the endeavour to determine just how the solution is produced from the requisition.

The specific model takes the required idea set, as determined by a typical problem definition and solution specification or other equivalent template, and the solution or answer that follows from this, as the starting point, and the problem is to discover how the new picture of reality, which is the solution, is produced. Having determined that the solution does not originate in the intellect the problem then becomes that of discovering what the Source is, and how it operates. In the detailed investigation problem solving examples drawn from the personal experience of the researcher are preferable since all the terms of the problem definition are already known within the inquiring intellect. Cases of false answers should also be included in this exercise.

As in all studies the full understanding is built progressively from a series of solution specifications in which the evaluation of earlier responses shapes later questions. Each intermediate solution is assimilated into the general problem understanding and widens and deepens that definition. Probing the mechanics of new idea formation leads to the idea of creative power, and attempts to find the limits of this power result in the understanding that it is unlimited.

A possible problem for advanced students of metaphysics is the natural tendency to import their prior theological knowledge into the study. Where this knowledge is in every way true there is no bad consequence, but importing error into the modelling of the field can result in failure to progress. False problem understandings provide no basis for truthful answers. Certain questions, asked in advance of a basic understanding, may result in confusion. For example, to ask either of the following questions 

1. Is the inner source a purely human power? 

2. Is the inner source the human interface with God? 

does not produce answers since both are in effect attempts to alienate God and therefore fail the tests of logic and truth. God is all there is and from the point of view of the Source these questions may seem to limit or even to divide God, both of which are impossibilities. Such illogical questions do not proceed to solutions.

The right approach is to follow the guidance of the Source by careful consideration of intermediate answers, and to identify the grounds of existing belief in retrospect. The Source of understanding may be relied upon to guide the honest inquiring intellect.

The answers that emerge from the study are 

firstly, that the Creative Source represents unlimited creative power, 

secondly, that unlimited creative power cannot be further analysed, 

thirdly, that this creative power has no purposes of its own except to supply knowledge and understanding. In pursuit of this purpose the Creative Source functions as a Teacher in situations where the individual has the purpose of learning. 

fourthly, that the conditions under which knowledge and understanding are given, are items of knowledge and understanding and may be discovered, 

fifthly, that the rules for discovery are the ability to understand the answer, and the confidence to requisition it, always subject to moral rules, 

sixthly, that the creative power is an aspect of a wider reality and can only be understood fully from within a model of that reality. By other studies it is found that the Creative Source is a function of the Holy Spirit. 

Lastly, it is given that the Creative Source represents the fulfilment, in part, of a moral obligation to human beings.

The creative entity recognises no name for itself a priori. All the terms and labels used in a solution specification are relative to the inquiring intellect and their bases in experience. The labels "God", "the Holy Spirit", and even "the Creative Source", can only be recognised by the Creative Source as referring to aspects of the Infinite Spirit if they are based on personal experiences, and the meaning of those experiences as given by the Holy Spirit. The interface of the intellect with the Infinite, for the purposes of knowledge and understanding, is the Creative Source, otherwise called the Light of Reason and the Inner Light. Experience of the Creative Source is gained by this study and this experience as understanding provides the student with a place to stand in subsequent researches into the reality of God. Effectively, the seeker after truth warrants the Creative Source as the justification for his understanding of God at every stage of the study. The result is that the Creative Source, or the Holy Spirit, and the student share a common understanding of ultimate reality and truth.

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The Functions of the Creative Source

The theory of the Creative Source explains the rules which govern the communication of understanding and truth between the Source and the intellect. The thesis is that all ideas, understandings, concepts and theories originate from one source and appear in the human intellect as completed constructions. The Creative Source, as a function of the Holy Spirit, is an entity which can, of Her own power, create the solution to any problem. The Source is the point of origin of all new ideas ever thought. The Source is the only possible origin of all future ideas and future possibilities for individuals and for the culture.

All new ideas are created by the Source as the immediate response to the requisition of understanding in the form of problem understandings and solution specifications, and are communicated as complex meanings to the intellect. The Source also supports intuition as the informal use of the problem solving method. The Mind of God is the forum where the individual intellect and the Creative Source meet and interact. This creation of ideas takes place within the Mind but is external to the intellect. The special creation of ideas satisfies the epistemological problem of intellectual innovation which must explain not only true understandings but the vast set of false understandings. False understandings are more useful than ignorance or confusion of the intellect since further experience reveals their errors. They are therefore a stage in the progress towards truth.

The practical rule by which the process works is that the Source can impart answers to any question, providing both the question and answer can be understood. This is a requirement imposed by the nature of the intellect. Answers that cannot be understood are useless and understanding the problem is the way to understanding the answer. There is no understanding which is directly obtainable from sense data, but all new sense experiences, as problems, are processed by the problem solving method and the solution is returned by the Source as understanding.

The Source has access to the intellect and draws from it the specification of the knowledge that is wanted. The Source therefore answers the purposes of the problem-solver, and this is equivalent to co-operation. The development of the intellect is a function of its relationship with the Source and proceeds most efficiently when it is viewed as a cooperative interaction. The Source will assist with the formation of the questions as well as supplying the answers, since the definition of the question is a problem in itself. In this the Source is guided by the individual's purposes. Since the Holy Spirit knows which way the intellect wants to develop She can prepare the ground in the same manner that a teacher plans and orders lessons. The Source fulfils Her obligations, at least initially, by giving answers that provide opportunities for further questions. These answer-question links are found to move logically from basic understanding to the more advanced. By this procedure the Source takes the role of the Teacher.

The Creative Source understands the individual's meaning perfectly, which may be interpreted as a denial that it is possible for the individual to hide or misrepresent thoughts and understandings. However the Source always views the inquiring intellect as honest. No judgement to the contrary is ever made. At all times the Source assumes the truth of the problem understanding as encapsulated in the solution specification. The Source does not judge nor correct unless the solution specification demands the truth and can define the meaning of the term. For an intellect with no understanding of the truth and a non-rigorous method of working the answers given by the Source can be false. This provides the incentive to consider purposes and methods carefully. If the Source is approached methodically and truthfully, She will always give the correct solutions. A simple unqualified requisition for truth, as the expression of an unqualified purpose to know the truth, is the only requisite. The understanding of truth given as the response is related to the stage of development of truth within the intellect, moving from the simple to the complex. Progression in learning is the normal case.

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The Relationship of the Source to God

An Entity of unlimited creative power may be identified with God. The identification of the Creative Source as a system of the Holy Spirit, or God the Mother, corroborates St.Augustine's theory of knowledge by Divine Illumination. All knowledge, sensible, rational, and spiritual arises from the one Divine Source. The relationships of the Holy Spirit to the other Persons of the Holy Trinity, and the functions of the Holy Spirit in the scheme of fundamental reality are described in the next section. St.Augustine's ideas concerning Divine illumination of the intellect are reconsidered in the following chapter.

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The Creation of Knowledge

The Theory of Knowledge Creation


Chapter Two

THE OLD CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE TRADITION


The old Christian knowledge theory knew nothing of psychological processes but does have something to say regarding the creation of new ideas. According to St.Augustine, the starting point for knowledge lies in our own thoughts. The basic claim is that the intellect is enlightened by new understanding after some thought concerning a problem. The intellect is unable to create, invent, or otherwise to discover the truth from within itself. It cannot look out over a field of ideas and abstract or otherwise annex the truth. The truth as understanding is placed within the intellect from an external source. This agrees with common experience among problem solvers that after a period of thought concerning a problem, its solution simply appears within the intellect. How it has been formed or where it came from are not usually clear to the newly enlightened intellect.

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The Augustinian Paradigm

The old Christian knowledge tradition concerned itself with how God may be known. It is re-examined here to bring into consideration the old explanation for the problem of how new ideas are constructed and deposited in the intellect.

The old Christianity saw reality as having three forms. The most immediate reality was the world of ideas. Its basic model was that of the thinker, as intellect, engaged in a programme to understand reality. The most significant reality was that of the Creator whose purposes and actions must be understood if the programme was to be brought to success. The least significant reality was the world of matter. The real existence of the material world was accepted but the universe, however, had no contribution to make to the programme since it offered no path to truth or ultimate reality. The old Christianity was therefore content to dismiss knowledge of the world as irrelevant to its objectives.

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The Principles of the Old Epistemology

St.Augustine, who was for nearly 1000 years the pre-eminent theologian of the Church, set out the method by which the ultimate reality of God may be known. The epistemological method defined by St.Augustine may be outlined as follows:-

1. Belief in God is a prerequisite to knowledge of God because the intellect cannot give serious consideration to matters which lie beyond its belief. Those who did not believe in God were in no position to discuss matters pertaining to God. This seems to divide the intellectual world into two incompatible groups, believers and non-believers, but it rests on a sound understanding of subjective epistemology.

2. Knowledge of God and Truth could not be gained through the senses. It would be generally acknowledged that direct knowledge of God could not be gained through the senses, but this principle is interpreted as disqualifying natural theology as a means to knowledge of God. St.Augustine acknowledged the possibility of sensible knowledge but declined to take it seriously as an avenue to the truth.

3. All rational knowledge, including knowledge of God and of Truth is dependent on revealed Truth. Rational knowledge requires revelation as its prerequisite. Serious thinking about ultimate matters, as opposed to the knowledge of the world, can only be done within the Christian tradition which is based on revelation.

4. Knowledge of God and of Truth are gained through intellectual illumination. The event of the emergence of the new understanding or solution to a problem happens suddenly. New ideas simply appear to the intellect and the intellect is thereby enlightened. This is a common experience of problem solvers and other thinkers. Knowledge of God is gained in this same manner.

5. Meditation was traditionally linked to the practice of the paradigm. Intellectual illumination commonly took place in meditation when the intellect was turned inwards towards God. For novices the practice was a requisite; for rational intellects it was an assistance. Meditation is a subjective method that concentrates the mind and assists the growth of understanding and it was well suited to theology as it was practised in monasteries. Its chief virtue in the eyes of its practitioners was that it established an unhindered interface with God.

The process of intellectual illumination is controlled by structured thinking. Reason forms or orders problems to provide the structure for the meditation. Reason in this sense is a methodology learned through education and other experience and is not an innate intellectual faculty.

6. The righteousness or morality of God, which motivates and governs the acts of God, cannot be perceived through the senses, but is understood through reflection. The individual must be sufficiently interested to pursue the matter through serious rational thought. This agrees with common experience that there are no exclusively moral experiences but moral experience is an aspect of sensible experience which must be separated out in reflective thinking.

The Augustinian tradition generally agrees with experience in that knowledge in the form of solutions to problems of understanding, occurs in the intellect in a manner which might be described as illumination. The Eureka effect is a matter of common observation but the many small gains in understanding made during the working day may similarly be seen as enlightenments of the intellect. St.Augustine interpreted these enlightenments as originating with God but this claim is not so clearly demonstrated in common experience.

St.Augustine has little to say about intellectual development as the result of solving the problems of experience. He was an educated man talking to other educated men in terms of the thought world of the Roman Empire. The Augustinian tradition found itself completely adrift in the thought world of medieval Western Europe. This new intellectual reality was philosophically materialistic and more analytical in its approach to knowledge.

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The Problems with the Old Theory

Christian knowledge theory was formed in the intellectual world of the later Roman Empire. It was an advanced system of knowledge with developed rational and spiritual constituents. However, it had no useful theory of the material universe. In the Roman world this deficiency did not matter. In 11th century Western Europe it amounted to a significant inadequacy and Christian doctrine, seen as a system of knowledge, was therefore defective.

Diagram 2.3.2

Diagram 2.3.2 illustrates the Christian picture of reality, and the undefined philosophy of the Cosmos. This inadequacy created the need for an additional system of knowledge to explain the world. That knowledge system might have been complementary to Christian knowledge if it had been constructed in the Christian era. As it happened, a philosophical system, already 1500 years old and therefore predating Christianity, was imported to meet the needs for knowledge. That system was both incompatible with Christianity and far better organised to support debates.

The medieval situation was defined therefore by two competing systems of knowledge. It was not, however, the conflict of like with like. Each system occupied a different part of the knowledge spectrum and they could be regarded as complementary. Christianity was concerned with ideal reality and supernatural knowledge and materialist philosophy was concerned with knowledge of the world and the two systems in combination accounted for all significant medieval human experience.

The philosophies of the competitors were different and non-overlapping. Christianity was interested in ultimate reality and truth which are fundamental to knowledge. Christianity saw life as a stage on the path to eternal beatitude in the hereafter and its purposes were concerned with morality in this life as a preparation for eternal life. Materialism was interested in the physical universe. The medieval expressions of materialism seem to amount to little more than interest in improving the understanding of the universe. Its best definition is found at the end of the Middle Ages when Bacon described it as the philosophy of adding to man's estate. Materialism can have only material ends.

The effects of two competing systems of knowledge within Western culture were that there were endless disputes and the culture began to fragment. With the establishment of the cathedral schools and universities a second problem with Christian knowledge theory became apparent.

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Explaining how God is Known

The reform in education had removed theology from the oversight of the monks. From the beginning of the second millennium theology, as an independent discipline, underwent radical changes. The world of Christian learning was based on idealism and Western culture in its philosophical immaturity was completely materialistic. In increasing numbers theologians abandoned the traditional idealism for materialism. Christian idealism came under competition from materialism to the point where idealism was a minority understanding in the schools and universities.

This led in turn to another change. Christian knowledge theory had no method for objective knowledge. Christian knowledge methodology was subjective, and did not lend itself to group participation and supervision. Dialectic, as used by the philosophers, seemed to offer a suitable solution and theologians adopted it in preference to meditation and Divine Illumination as their method of advancing knowledge. Dialectic had been known and used from Roman times. Its chief uses were in teaching, exegesis, and in the development of arguments, and was more useful than meditation in the objective situations of the classroom and the debating hall. The change was resisted by the meditatives but without success. By 1130 theology in the schools was subject to dialectical method exclusively.

A further epistemological change followed logically. The long established Augustinian paradigm was well-suited to monastic methods. In the more objective environment of the schools with the atmosphere of debate the paradigm was found to be difficult to use, and foreign to the materialist mind, and was abandoned. Theology as it was conducted in the schools and universities was not the same discipline that had existed in the monasteries.

The epistemological changes that were made quickly brought the reformed discipline into trouble. Theology in the schools relied on the Christian canon for its knowledge of God and on the authority of that canon for credibility. While the Christian canon was beyond dispute the exclusive use of dialectic had no obvious disadvantage. When this knowledge was subjected to critical analysis its truth could not be justified by dialectical methods alone. Dialectic is not a method for the investigation of reality. Critics would not consider the canon as knowledge unless and until they were satisfied it had been achieved by valid methods. The ultimate question in critical analysis was how dialectical theologians knew about the God described in the writings.

Augustinian knowledge theory was offered as the explanation for Christian knowledge of God but theologians in the schools and universities did not use the method and never really understood it. In the separation of academic theology from monastic methods the link between theory and practice had been broken. In all disciplines research and scholarship are complementary activities, practice giving experience and increasing knowledge. In the Christian system that practice was based on meditation and the Augustinian paradigm. In a situation where research in the disciplinary field has been abandoned only scholarship is left. This situation has persisted in academic theology for 800 years.

The problems caused by the radical and arbitrary changes of method in the schools and universities eventually brought the corpus of Christian knowledge into doubt. Theology was divorced from its supernatural reality and increasingly irrelevant in the world of learning. Kant and the Positivists in the 19th century carried this criticism to its conclusion which was that Theology could not, and did not, know of a supernatural God. Theology, using logical methods alone, was epistemologically discredited. Christian doctrine was not therefore knowledge. In the days of St.Augustine Christian knowledge thrived in competition with secular knowledge, including the philosophy of Aristotle. In the Middle Ages theological incompetence prevented the adequate defence of that knowledge.

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Explaining the World

In the Middle Ages the task of explaining the world was the function of Natural Philosophy. The method of philosophy was dialectic. Dialectic relies on a canon of knowledge and initially this was supplied by the Scriptures. However, the Scriptures did not explain the world. As Aristotle's writings became available they were increasingly preferred by the philosophers until they, and not the Scriptures, provided the canon for dialectic. The new approach quickly led to conflict with Christianity since Aristotelianism recognises neither a personal God, nor the act of creation in time, nor the eternal survival of the human soul.

The development of a synthesis of Christianity and Aristotelianism using logical reasoning was seen as the way to an integrated system of certain knowledge. The problem that then confronted the philosophers and theologians was that while Aristotelianism was a logical system Christian knowledge was not. Aristotelianism could be fairly easily integrated into a unified system but Christian knowledge posed major problems. The problem was solved by rejecting the existing form and content of Christian knowledge and proposing a new natural theology which would rewrite Christian knowledge according to the rules of reason and logic. By reasoning from experience of the world the natural theologian would arrive at proofs of the existence of God. Unfortunately no proofs of the existence of God have been found.

In the light of Postmodern criticisms of logical reasoning and the claim that this method does not give knowledge of reality as it is, the medievals made a major error in knowledge theory and practice. This error deprived the Western tradition of its foundation in absolute reality and truth, and constituted the first cause of the present difficulties of Western culture.

For five centuries after the Aristotelian debacle Christianity retained its status in the culture as knowledge of ultimate reality until Kant told the world of learning that there was no way that God could be known. Christianity became myth and the idea of God was no longer admissible in learned discourse about reality and knowledge.

The old Christian theory of knowledge defined how God is known. Divine illumination of the intellect is not a special case but is the only way human beings gain knowledge. Through Divine illumination of the intellect God reveals knowledge of Himself to the student of ultimate matters. The next section discusses how the Holy Spirit supports inquiries into the truth.

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The Creation of Knowledge

The Theory of Knowledge Creation


Chapter Three

THE AUGUSTINIAN PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE


The history of Augustinian knowledge theory reveals two major problems with the old paradigm. They are:- 

* The inability to explain the material universe. 

* The lack of an objective knowledge methodology.

These problems were, in the Middle Ages, serious deficiencies in Christian knowledge theory. St.Thomas Aquinas defined the necessary changes to Christian method to enable it to account for the world of experience. The Augustinian paradigm is entirely compatible with science, which remedies the other deficiency in Christian theory by supplying a method for objective knowledge.

St.Augustine did not give a precise definition of the method of Divine illumination of the intellect and such explanations as exist have the appearance of being rather sketchy and superficial. The difficulties of the Franciscans in the Medieval debates about the methodology of knowledge stem from this imprecision. It may be observed that knowledge of the human psyche was not well developed at any period of the Middle Ages and a detailed psychological explanation of the Augustinian paradigm would not have been possible. St.Augustine and his immediate successors would have seen the matter as one of practice and not of theory. The importance of practice may be emphasised by comparing the method to swimming or riding a bicycle, where all the theory in the world is of no help to the novice, and is entirely superfluous to the expert. It is the demand of objective knowledge for an explanation of the method that makes the theory necessary.

Meditation, as the path to Divine illumination of the intellect, was a common practice in the monasteries, and the meditative was keenly aware of the nearness of the Presence of God. The method of meditation may be described within the context of the psychological theory outlined above. The system of consciousness has two distinct functions which are concerned respectively with experience of reality and problem solving. The conscious intellect is, at any time, either observing or thinking. In meditation the intellect avoids thinking and concentrates exclusively on observation of experience.

Observation is controlled by purpose. The purpose to observe the inner spiritual environment brings the intellect into a state of deep concentration and peace in the vastness of logical space. While God may not be observed the Presence of God is observable at the level of individual spiritual awareness. The turning of the intellect to God, and the ensuing sense of the Presence of God, brings the intellect to the point where interaction with God becomes a reality, and spiritual experience is the result. This interactive experience may take the form of learning. Meditatives in the tradition of faith seeking understanding would expect to be intellectually enlightened by this experience.

The method of learning directly from God was used by several religious sects in the Middle Ages, and by the Quakers in modern times. The Quaker doctrine of the Inner Light does not differ in any important way from the Augustinian paradigm.

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Knowledge as the Gift of God

Neo-Augustinian knowledge theory sees all knowledge as the gift of God. As developed by St.Augustine, Christian knowledge theory was based on Divine teaching. This teaching comprises both experience and intellectual illumination.

The revised paradigm states that all knowledge is given by the Holy Spirit. St.John states the teaching of Jesus that "The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything". (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit teaches by experience. The Spirit gives the problems of experience and also gives the solutions to the problems in the form of understandings. The combination of problems and solutions is necessary to intellectual development. The Cosmos, which is the creation of the Holy Spirit, is a source of the problems of experience, and the Creative Source, which is a function of the Spirit, is the origin of the solutions or understandings.

The forms are:- 

HOLY SPIRIT = REALITY---> EXPERIENCE---> PROBLEMS 

The Holy Spirit, which is reality, gives experience which appears to the intellect in the form of problems. 

HOLY SPIRIT---> CREATIVE SOURCE---> SOLUTIONS 

The Holy Spirit, through the system of the Creative Source, gives the solutions to the problems upon simple requisition.

In the problem solving process the problems of experience, as understood by the individual, are processed psychologically to achieve understanding and knowledge. This process is the interaction between the individual, as the problem-solver, and the Holy Spirit as the giver of understanding. The solving of the problems of experience results in understanding, or in greater understanding where some understanding already exists. This process accounts for all human understanding, both of spiritual and secular matters.

The Source, otherwise called the Interior Master, the Teacher, the Inner Light, and the Light of Reason, is the creative power capable of solving any problem and answering any question. The Source will assist in the formation of the questions as well as supplying the answers, since the definition of the question is a problem in itself. In this the Source is guided by the individual's purposes. If the Source is approached methodically and truthfully, She will always give the correct solutions. A simple unqualified requisition for truth, as the expression of an unqualified purpose to know the truth, is the only requisite. The understanding of truth given as the response is related to the stage of development of truth within the intellect.

The process of enlightenment therefore involves an interaction between the intellect and the Divine Source from which ideas and understandings come. The source of knowledge is defined as a system of God. The system as an intelligent and creative process cannot be separated from God. God deals systematically with all requisitions for understanding and knowledge. God is actively involved in the intellectual and spiritual development of every individual, and the acceptance of God's help leads to the understanding of God's purposes in the Cosmos.

The understanding that God has designed the Scheme of Creation carries the implication that it is perfect. This Perfect Order must apply to the individual's personal state of affairs in so far as this can be governed by the truth. The spiritual individual therefore sets out to realise this perfect order in his or her own life. The religious method requires the individual to conform to the Will of God. If the Will of God is perfect, the individual who wills the primacy of the Will of God in his or her life in effect wills God's perfect order. It is not necessary to know the Will of God but only to will it. In practice, God gives assistance in the best way to achieve the most desirable ends. While the individual holds firmly to the determination of his will to trust the Will of God spiritual progress is achieved.

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The Development System

The world is a development system which functions for all individuals everywhere, and is designed to produce self-creating spiritual individuals. The physical body produces individuation as the initial condition, and the system of experience and understanding produces intellectual and spiritual development. The right choices must be made and this can only be done on the basis of true understanding which is knowledge. Starting from almost nothing, the human individual is expected to define him or herself, selecting from an initially unknown but infinite set of possibilities. Not every individual achieves the state of conscious self-development. Most human beings exist in the neutral material reality and their development is externally driven by problems which compel modifications of understanding. The neutral reality is the world of animals, human and non-human.

The individual may, however, purposefully attempt to understand the overall situation in which he finds himself, and select his own path into the future. Awareness of the fact and rules of the development system can result in greater progress of the individual towards self-determination.

Diagram 2.3.3 illustrates the Development System and its relationship to the Kingdom of God.

The Development System 

Diagram 2.3.3

The system initially generates experience which is neutral with regard to the interests of the individual. As the individual becomes rational, which implies knowledgeable and moral, the flow of experience becomes favourable to his interest, within the constraints of the physical reality. The quality of experience improves across the spectrum of models of reality given by the extremes of the sensible creation and the Kingdom of God. The improved experience parallels the differences between the experiences of the champion and the loser in a game such as tennis where both players share the same physical reality but the flow of experience results in success and happiness for one and failure and dejection for the other. Since the character of reality is determined by human experience of it, consistently good experience implies a Good reality.

Through self-development the individual becomes a more powerful being, and this achievement rests on greater intellectual power. The integrated intellect is a prerequisite to full intellectual capability, and it is the basis on which self-determination becomes a possibility. Diagrams 2.3.4 and 2.3.5 illustrate the fragmented and integrated intellects. The fragmented and compartmentalised intellect is the norm for immature and irrational individuals. The intellect is integrated by the fundamental theory which supplies the framework for the understanding of the human experience. In the Christian system this understanding is given by the theology of the Holy Trinity of God.

The Structure of the Fragmented and Compartmentalised Intellect 

Diagram 2.3.4

The Structure of the Reconstructed Rational Intellect 

Diagram 2.3.5

The choice to progress requires understanding. What is not understood cannot be chosen. Self-determination demands rational understanding as the condition of true choice, and the rational understanding must therefore precede the spiritual. The progression in the control of the self and its circumstances starts with self-understanding, seeing oneself as a being in process of development. From this position the individual may achieve self-management in the rational stage by controlling his or her development towards truth and morality. Self-management may become self-determination, depending on the subjective philosophy and purposes. A typical objective is to understand God's purposes in the Creation and to make choices within that understanding. Self-determination falls short of self-creation, since the development system imposes constraints in terms of the physical universe which override attempts to exercise full independence of choice. True self-creation starts with spiritual dissociation from the physical universe which occurs at the death of the physical body.

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The Kingdom of God and Self-Determination

The theory of the powerful and benevolent God is common to the monotheistic religions. Christianity also pictures a new and closer relationship between the individual and God. Christianity has a message which originated with Jesus that it seeks to communicate to every individual. Jesus revealed the existence of the Kingdom of God on earth, for entry to which the personal attributes of love and morality are the only requisites. The relationship between the reality of the Good and the Kingdom of God appears to be one of degree. The beneficiaries of the Good are religious individuals living a normal life on earth, but free from the disadvantages of the neutral reality. The candidates for entry into the Kingdom are spiritual individuals for whom God is the only Power.

According to T.W.Manson, the ideal human life which Jesus describes is life in the Kingdom of God on earth. The moral teaching of Jesus is an integral part of his conception of the Kingdom of God. It is the way of the Kingdom, the way in which God's will may be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

The conditions for entry into the Kingdom are stated in the Great Commandments. The relation of the great commandments to one another is a simple one. The first presupposes that man has discovered God as his Father. Only the Father who cares for his children can be loved in the way that is thought of in the first commandment. But the discovery of God as Father carries along with it the discovery of neighbours as brethren, and to see them in this way is to love them. It is a new relation towards men, created by a new relation to God.

The manifestation of the Kingdom appears to be gradual and directly related to the development in the individual of the attributes of love and morality. Individual human progress into the Kingdom starts with the first step of purposefully trusting God. Intimations of higher and better realities manifest in the experience of the individual and these become more pronounced as the intellect wills the Will of God, where the Will may be seen as the Divine Plan for creation as it applies to the individual. Visions of the Kingdom of God, seen as the leadings of God, act as the motivation to achieve personal participation in the Kingdom on earth.

The Kingdom of God is the highest form of given reality and represents that reality that the individual would wish for himself, if he understood all the possibilities for choice, and all the possible consequences of his choices of behaviours. Every individual may choose whether or not to opt for entry into the Kingdom and for eternal survival, and this choice is made on whatever understandings can be brought to bear on the problem. The achievement of the purpose of eternal self-continuity in the Kingdom involves intellectual effort as a minimum condition.

Conformity to Augustinian knowledge methodology, the willing of the Will of God, and the recognition of the leadings of God through the enlightenment of the intellect lead, therefore, to the fulfilment of God's purposes with regard to the individual.

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