Me: I accept that all my experiences are grounded in the chemical and electrical, which is to say material, processes of the brain. In fact, I’m willing to strip the experiences–the presence of Jesus, the personal demons, the Satori moment–of all spiritual implication if the topic is; what is the stuff in Dan’s brain. Is the biological material that forms an over-active imagination any different from the biological material that perceives God? (careful, atheists, it’s a trick question)
What is not material in the brain is consciousness. Thoughts cannot be material: they are “information”. Information, physicists tell us emphatically cannot be lost or destroyed. (even Steven Hawking got a C – on this point). The instant you have a thought you have “created” information inextricably bound to your consciousness, only to be “released” with your physical death.
Skeptic: Sounds kinda New Age-y for a Christian. What does all that have to do with the truth or bogosity of your Spiritual “encounters”?
Me: Just this. In each of the encounters my subjective experience was of absolute authenticity. I believed I was in the presence of Jesus, I was frightened by the demons, awestruck by the communion of Christ in an aged woman’s face. And in the genuineness of those moments thoughts were created. Thoughts of joy, thanksgiving and love. Those thoughts can’t be un-thought.
As a Christian, I believe my purpose is to align myself with God, to try in a doomed-to-failure way to put on His mind. To turn all my thoughts toward him. If the encounters weren’t “real”, if I have misconstrued a physiological glitch and invested it with meaning, I’ll find out soon enough. If it was mere ego with a saint complex, that will sting too. But either way, in the end, God will call me into the Glorious Light of His Love.
Skeptic: Hold on there, fella…you’re shifting some rhetorical ground here…let’s talk about this…
Me: I’m beat…can we pick this up tomorrow?