Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blind Man's Bluff

The other day I was taking a walk and enjoying the blossoming of spring. I was seeing the colors, hearing the sounds, and smelling the scents of the awakening earth. Then a realization awakened in me. I was looking at the wonders of God's creation, and it dawned on me how differently God sees this universe.

We perceive the world through the filters of our senses. But science tells us that our senses give us only a partial picture of the world. We see only a small range of available light. We are blind to infrared and x-rays for example. We hear only a fraction of the sound waves. Even dogs hear more. Our sense of smell is almost nonexistent compared to other animals. Our senses of taste and touch are similarly stunted.

These are the only ways that we have to perceive the world. There are millions of other ways to perceive the universe - ways that we cannot imagine. Even our five senses are distorted by our interpretation of the data. We are normally too preoccupied to really notice what we are seeing, hearing, tasting, touching or smelling. Our brains are too small and slow to fully receive or process the information we receive.

But God has no physical body. God does not have physical senses. God is spirit. He perceives every aspect of the universe directly without the intermediaries of physical senses or the editing function of a brain. He knows things as they are. We perceive a rough approximation. It is probably more accurate to describe our perception as a gross distortion.

In other words, the world we perceive is a delusion compared to what God perceives. Our world is a composite picture put together from distorted data using flawed analytical equipment. We have no idea what reality is really like. We are lost and blind, navigating the world in complete ignorance.

The closest thing we have to sight is admitting that we are blind. The nearest thing we have to knowledge is knowing that we cannot know. This is the extent of our human wisdom.

The blind man healed by Jesus said, "One thing I know. Once I was blind, but now I can see." The one thing I know is that I don't know. The one thing I see is that I can't see.

And yet there is a seeing beneath the senses and a knowing behind the knower - not with the mind or body but with the spirit. Seeing the world with the eyes of God, knowing the world with the mind of Christ ... at least in part.

"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I am fully known."

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