Hard Going and Simply Rational discuss verse 4 of the verses ‘The Five Natures’ (blog entry 71) which translates: I’m intuition’s son, there’s depth to my course; / we’re the sons and daughters of God, the children of virtue; / we must be obedient, loving and honouring each other.

Stones on Orkney
(Photo: Scott Murray)

SR: So, you said when you wrote these verses, you looked on the aspects as an ascent towards God. So ‘intuition’ would be the fourth stage as it were. Is that right?
HG: We discussed this last time, I said I had changed my mind. Although, honestly, as I explained, I believe my mind was changed for me. That’s the difference between a person like you and me. For me there’s a spiritual realm which interpenetrates the world of temporal reality and which can affect it. The heart is the point of intersection, as Dooyeweerd pointed out, between time and eternity.

A universe governed by natural laws
SR: I find it fascinating how a reasonably intelligent person like you can be taken in by such nonsense. It must be obvious to any reasonable person that the world, our universe, is governed by natural laws, very firm regularities called cause and effect. The most obvious case is the ageing of the animal body, including the human, and its eventual dissolution. You can’t argue with that surely. And then there’s the theory of evolution and all the associated sciences. You can’t deny all the evidence.

Avoiding holism, subtlety and nuisance facts
HG: I’m sorry SR, but the problem with people like you is that you have swallowed the propaganda of the liberal and naturalist schools hook line and sinker. Also you like everything clear-cut. Three things you avoid like the plague, holism, subtlety and nuisance facts. And that’s where intuition comes in, although, of course, it’s not the whole story. Remember your own metaphor of the liquid solution with its different substances. There is intuition, and as we have seen there are other ‘substances’ colouring the solution. For some people intuition is the main colour.

Bird's nest, Orkney
(Photo: Scott Murray)

An intuition of unity
SR: You’re incredibly conceited! You think you know it all! Let me tell you, your tiny little mind is not going to overturn the work of the great scientists, biologists, neuroscientists, astrophysicists and a hundred other disciplines which have exploded the myths you speak of. You are very fuzzy. What, for example, do you mean exactly by intuition and how can it lead you to any kind of truth?
HG: I’m glad you asked that. I can be quite precise in my explanation of intuition. Its something everyone has to a larger or lesser degree. It’s basic to being human. Remember Dooyeweerd’s 15 aspects, numerical, spatial, kinematic, biotic and so on. They are a unity in the self. Everyone is born into that unity and everyone has an intuition of that unity. That is a basic knowledge which everyone has.
SR: So that’s intuition, that’s all you mean.
HG: Not quite, there’s a lot more to it than that, for some people.
SR: How do you mean, I thought it was basic to everyone?

Rocks on South Uist
(Photo: Scott Murray)

The self in its particularity and transcendence
HG: It is, but some people go through life without being aware of this amazing ability that they have; to hold everything they have ever experienced or thought about in their self or heart and hold it as a unity. That’s what gives the self its particularity and its transcendence. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you can take a thousand hints from different experiences you’ve had, things you’ve read, people you’ve met, music you’ve heard, church services you’ve attended and hold them in your mind in a unity and from all that you make your world-view. In some people this ability is highly developed and they have a more authentic world-view, because they have taken account of more data.

Faith and reason
SR: I agree that everyone has this ability and I think my world-view is just as authentic as yours. Your world-view is guided by faith, mine by evidence and reason. By the way, what did you mean when you said I avoid holism, subtlety and nuisance facts. I don’t, I take things as I find them.
HG: I don’t mean to offend you, but perhaps you have never experienced anything outside of cause and effect.
SR: You’re right, I haven’t.

HG: I and many other people have, so, to have integrity, I have to accommodate these facts to my world-view. That’s what I mean by nuisance facts. Surely you can’t just ignore things which go against your world-view.
SR: But these so-called facts are not public facts, they’re anecdotal. And anyway what has any of this got to do with religion?

The relevance of intuition to religion
HG: Quite a lot. In Hebrews 11:3 it says: ‘By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.’ For me, intuition is part of the equipment we have been given to see the hand of God in things. Remember the three pillars of the Bible, the natural world and personal experience. By studying the Gospels, my intuition tells me that what they say about Jesus is true. It couldn’t have been made up. The same applies to the natural world. My intuition, in the crucible of the self, tells me it’s of divine origin. Then personal experience, through the intuition I’ve been talking about, reinforces the conviction of the divine origin of the self.
SR: Is there a link between intuition and the Holy Spirit?

Seaweed, Vatersay
Photo: Scott Murray)

Is Christianity democratic?
HG: I wasn’t a Christian believer when I wrote those verses. Now I would say that having faith is a work of the Holy Spirit. But remember everyone has intuition. It’s part of being human. But although it gives everyone the chance of seeing God in nature, in themselves and in the Bible, not everyone takes the opportunity.
SR: I’ve been listening to you over the weeks. There’s a question that’s been bothering me.
HG: What’s that?
SR: I’m wondering how democratic Christianity is? If only some people can have faith, it doesn’t seem very fair, does it? Should everyone not be equal?
HG: Could we discuss that next time?
SR: Okay.