Teilhard de Chardin wrote that evolution
is a process of convergence
in which new qualitative differences spontaneously emerge
as matter intrinsically evolves from matter toward spirit.
Qualitatively new things emerged
after the fall of the Roman Empire –
the Church unified all things
and preserved civilization from Barbarians.
For centuries civilization fared well under church rule
until the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation.
Then, because of intrareligious wars – Catholics and Protestants
slaughtering each other
and previous interreligious wars – crusading Christians and Muslims
slaughtering each other
the Big Four – science/art/ethics/religion
did not progress together – religion was ridiculed as inherently violent
and left out of the progression to modernity.
But eventually new gods emerged:
divine authority lost control
to the self-determining individual who –
even as ‘master of the universe’ –
found he could not bear the weight of the whole
and so surrendered personal autonomy to the new gods:
and the whole world was at war – twice!
The new gods led many to doubt God.
On the road to total doubt
one tries to keep one’s spiritual life alive
by clinging to traditions and convictions.
But if doubt continues one jettisons traditional religion
without surrendering one’s convictions
and carries on until total doubt/despair of truth
takes over and in a post-truth society
you lose your religion entirely:
in post-Christian countries people are
In the post-religion/post-truth world
you can still grow spiritually
if you open your heart and mind
to the constantly changing nature
of yourself and reality
which creates never-ending loss/grief/struggle
and a capacity for compassion
love for others and the desire to not water
the seeds of prejudice and aggression.
It is true the old Gods were genuinely giving –
the Father gave his only Son
and Son Jesus gave us his life/death/resurrection.
Therefore, the post-religious need constant analysis
of their motives for giving
because spurious altruism may be egocentric
with hidden unconscious motives for
Through pure spirituality people often find God
despite living in a post-God culture.
For Bernard Lonergan conversion of heart and mind
reaches its climax with ‘religious conversion:’
‘being-in-love with Being’
which is the foundation of mystical theology.
Lonergan agrees with Thomas à Kempis:
the Imitation of Christ has one exclusive purpose:
to guide us to a deeper love of Jesus for his own sake
not for desire for heaven or fear of hell.
Being-in-love is being-in-God/union-with-God –
Sacred Marriage – which has been central
to initiation rites in all religions because in it
sacred masculine knowledge (Logos) is united with
sacred feminine relatedness (Eros).
Faith in God understood non-dualistically
as union-with-God/divinization is not
blind assent or even reasoned assent
but rather the subtle work of the Holy Spirit
within our hearts and minds.
And so we eventually come full circle:
faith/loss of faith/doubt
leads to despair/spirituality/conversion –
the love of God at a deeper, broader level –