Thursday, January 30, 2014

Being, Consciousness and Bliss


David Bentley Hart chooses to use three terms from the great theistic traditions, to describe the experience of God: Being, Consciousness and Bliss. These are not only metaphysical explanations of God, but also describe key ways in which we all encounter God. He says:
"For to say that God is being,consciousness and bliss is also to say that he is the one reality in which all our existence, knowledge and love subsist, from which they come and to which they go,and that therefore he is somehow present in even our simplest experience of the world. . . (p 44 The Experience of God). 
Hart thus claims that encounter with the reality of God is inescapable, even if many are oblivious to it or deny it. There is a kind of "ubiquitous natural evidence of the supernatural. 
These terms also describe three regions of experience that cannot be accounted for adequately by atheism. The three realities are "the three 'supernatural' forms of the natural - prior conditions of the natural. The medievalist called them the "transcendentals". To stop and acknowledge these mysterious underpinnings of the natural is to be confronted with the question of God.
Hart is making the same kind of argument used by C.S.Lewis and others. A reflective honest consideration of life will point our the inadequacy of naturalism. "Atheism" he contends, "is a kind of obliviousness to the obvious".


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