This post, surfers, I will start you with an analogous story. When I was first learning to drive a car we had an automatic transmission and a manual transmission, in our family. The first time I drove I was learning on the automatic. I didn’t have to think about the transmission function, because the car did the thinking for me. When I learned to use the manual transmission I had to think about each of the functions of the transmission and move my arms and legs at the same time. It didn’t come easy, and there was some disorientation with stall-outs and grinding gears. Keeping one eye on the road and another on shifter was tough. With practice I stopped stalling and there were no more grinding of the gears. Eventually, I could feel the shifter hit the gears without having to look. The more practice I took the better I became. One day, without realizing it, the manual transmission became second nature. I could anticipate the movement of other drivers and down shift to slow the car. Clutch, shift, first, second, third… The car and I were working together as one, and my muscle memory was all I needed to know where I was in the driving process. I jut knew without hesitation that I was doing the right thing. Perhaps you have that experience also?
“God uses his creatures in two ways. Either he makes them act on their own initiative or he himself acts through them. The first requires a faithful fulfillment of his manifest wishes; the second, a meek and humble submission to his inspiration. Surrender of self achieves them both, being nothing more than a total commitment to the word of God within the present moment.” Jean-Pierre de Caussade.
Alright, surfers, we have been discussing the future of belief in God from the perspective of current orthodoxy. In the future this orthodoxy will be replaced by something. What will it be? I can hear the cries of foul. Why must the orthodoxy change? Why do I say there is a change impending when after some 2000 years the orthodoxy still persists? Well, with an orthodoxy as entrenched with world leaders, as Christianity is, it takes time. Does Galileo Galilei mean anything to you? Wikipedia tells us that Galileo published his support of Copernicus in 1610. It took time to be allowed to start the scientific revolution. Have you seen images from the Hubble Telescope? Hubble was sent into space in 1990, and images from deep space have been shared around the world. From Galileo to Hubble it took time. What you will notice, however, is that as time moves forward more and more people have access to information that they never had before. When the Christian orthodoxy was adopted information was scarce and only selected people had access. This is the information age and you can’t continue to push for concepts like heaven and hell when science clearly refutes these claims. Based on this progressive movement, albeit slow, in time belief in God will be forever changed. This is my opinion, and I cannot predict just when the change will be complete.
Do not take my word, dear surfer, as fact. You need to check for yourself and come to your own conclusions. I see future trends, but you may disagree. I am good with that. I am not here to convince you to see things my way, but to open a discussion. As part of my social network we have a dialogue, and that is perfect.
Now, back to Jean-Pierre de Caussade and his spiritual direction. I have said that it will take practice to hear the word of God. In the future it will be easier, because new tools and techniques will be developed to help people through the process. Those do not exist today. In the future these methods will be available to people from a very young age, and they will just grow with them. Today it will take practice and you might experience fear and disorientation as you move from what seems like firm ground to quicksand. St. John of the Cross talks about it. Jean-Pierre de Caussade talks about it. Meister Eckhart talks about it. I have to admit that you are at a disadvantage, but in the future people will think that the fears of today were silly. What were they worried about anyway?
“All that remains for you to do is passively to surrender yourselves, offering no resistance, without thought, aim, guidance or direction, acting when it is the moment to act, ceasing when it is the moment to cease, losing when it is the moment to lose; and thus, active or passive, eager or indifferent, reading, writing, talking or silent, never knowing what is going to happen next.” Jean-Pierre de Caussade.
When you practice these methods enough, one day surfer it will be second nature. Subconsciously you will act on behalf of God, or God will move you to action. The hardest part is letting go of your thoughts and allowing God to work through you. Your conscious thoughts, sometimes referred to as Ego, will not want to let go. Your local Priest will continue to want to be in control, and cannot be trusted to give unbiased opinions. Despite these roadblocks you can learn to surrender with practice. Jean-Pierre de Caussade was a Jesuit Priest, and highly respected by his peers, and he did it. I know you can.