THE veil between heaven and earth seems to be sometimes lifted, but usually only for a moment.
Paul the apostle talked of humans seeing life mainly “through the glass dimly’’. He said there would be a day, not in this world, when we would see ourselves, each other and God very clearly.
But he said the full clarity was dangerous to unprepared hearts and minds, so, on this side of heaven, we could only sense the reality of God.
“Humankind can not bear too much reality,’’ T.S. Eliot observed. Or, as John Lennon said: “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.’’
The creed of modernity is that man can understand anything and everything through rational inquiry and therefore master the world.
But the wise know that our constructs of reality can only point to the truth.
An Oxford study a couple of years ago concluded that belief in God is part of human nature. We are naturally predisposed to believe in a divine power and that some vital part of us survives death, according to the wide-ranging three-year international study.
The theory is that human thought processes are “rooted” in religious concepts rather than ideas simply learned from experience because they provide some social benefit.
The co-director of the project, Professor Roger Trigg, said the research showed that religion was “not just something for a peculiar few to do on Sundays instead of playing golf”.
“We have gathered a body of evidence that suggests that religion is a common fact of human nature across different societies,” he said.
“This suggests that attempts to suppress religion are likely to be short-lived as human thought seems to be rooted to religious concepts, such as the existence of supernatural agents or gods, and the possibility of an afterlife or pre-life.”