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Proof of the Existence of God?

Proof of God's Existence

The Age of the Sage Home Page is about the Faith vs Reason Debate but features a major section that effectively offers some Proof of the Existence of God ~ content that we have decided to abstract and present separately on this page.


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Many commentators have claimed to have discerned a "Perennial Philosophy" of central agreement about "Divine Truths" between the Great Religions of the World across the Ages!

An highly relevant question that could well arise from this central agreement between such major religions as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism (aka Vedanta), Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Taoism is:-
Is it appropriate to view ~ Comparative Religion ~ agreement between the Great Religions of the World about Core Spiritual Truths as being Telling Evidence, if not Actual Proof, of the Existence of God?

Evidences from Comparative Religion
Aldous Huxley and The Perennial Philosophy


More than twenty-five centuries have passed since that which has been called the Perennial Philosophy was first committed to writing; and in the course of those centuries it has found expression, now partial, now complete, now in this form, now in that, again and again...
...the Perennial Philosophy has spoken almost all the languages of Asia and Europe and has made use of the terminology and traditions of every one of the higher religions. But under all this confusion of tongues and myths, of local histories and particularist doctrines, there remains a Highest Common Factor, which is the Perennial Philosophy in what may be called its chemically pure state...


Taken from an introduction, written in 1944 by Aldous Huxley, to an English language translation of a principal holy book of the Hindu faith.
In his own celebrated study into the central agreements about "Divine Truths" between the Great Religions of the World, (first published as The Perennial Philosophy in 1945), Aldous Huxley accepted the proposition, deriving from Leibniz, a notably eminent scholar who was an early investigator into the Common Ground shared by The World Religions, that Religions concern themselves

"with the one, divine Reality"

and that

"the nature of this one Reality is such that it cannot be directly or immediately apprehended except by those who have chosen to fulfill certain conditions, making themselves loving, pure in heart, and poor in spirit."


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The results of exhaustive studies conducted by ourselves at Age-of-the-Sage.org into The Perennial Philosophy were such as to lead us to also accept that "the one, divine Reality" is better discerned by those spiritually endowed with Charity, Purity of Heart and Humility. However, we came to believe Meekness to be another spiritual endowment which may well tend to contribute towards heightened powers of discernment.

This suggestion that Meekness is of immense spiritual value may not surprise.
More unexpectedly, perhaps, the outcomes of our comprehensive researches into the mysteries of Deep Spiritual Truth were also such as to suggest that it is appropriate to fully associate A Disdain for Materialism (compared to the Spiritual), A Distrust of the Intellect (compared to Divine Inspiration), and A Yearning for Divine Edification (or A Thirst for Spiritual Enlightenment), with the centralities of The Perennial Philosophy.

Towards a Proof of the Existence of God:-

Some truly extra-ordinary wisdoms ~ a brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sources closely followed by another brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources are set out below ~ to be again closely followed by what seems to be a comparable selection of "Central Poetry Insights".

A selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" ~
gleaned from Christian sources

These Christian quotations have been selected based on their inherent Spiritual Impact, (rather than whether they might be deemed to be Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox), and come from The King James Bible and from the 'Of the Imitation of Christ'; a fifteenth century devotional work that has long been the second most widely read Christian book after The Bible itself.
A Disdain for Materialism
Some have Me in their mouths, but little in their hearts.
There are others who, being enlightened in their understanding and purified in their affection, always breathe after things eternal, are unwilling to hear of earthly things, and grieve to be subject to the necessities of nature; and such as these perceive what the Spirit of Truth speaketh in them.
For it teacheth them to despise the things of the earth and to love heavenly things; to disregard the world, and all the day and night to aspire after heaven.

Thomas a Kempis - Of the Imitation of Christ Book 3 Ch. 4 v. 4

A Distrust of Intellect
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

St. Paul

A Yearning for Divine Edification
It is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
...the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

St. Paul

Charity
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

St. John

Purity of Heart
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke ...

St. Paul

Humility
Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whomsoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Jesus

Meekness
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

St. James


"Central Spiritual Insights" ~
drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources

A Disdain for Materialism
Chuang Tzu put on cotton clothes with patches in them, and arranging his girdle and tying on his shoes, (i.e. to keep them from falling off), went to see the prince of Wei.
"How miserable you look, Sir!" Cried the prince. "It is poverty, not misery", replied Chuang Tzu. "A man who has TAO cannot be miserable. Ragged clothes and old boots make poverty, not misery".

Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)

A Distrust of Intellect
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment; Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition.

Rumi - (Islam)

A Yearning for Divine Edification
The intelligence of the mean man does not rise beyond bribes and letters of recommendation. His mind is beclouded with trivialities. Yet he would penetrate the mystery of TAO and of creation, and rise to participation in the ONE. The result is that he is confounded by time and space; and that trammelled by objective existences, that he fails apprehension of that age before anything was. But the perfect man, - he carries his mind back to the period before the beginning. Content to rest in the oblivion of nowhere, passing away like flowing water, he is merged in the clear depths of the infinite.

Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)

Charity
He that does everything for Me, whose supreme object I am, who worships Me, being free from attachment and without hatred to any creature, this man, Arjuna!, comes to Me.

Bhagavad Gita 11:55 ~ (Hinduism)



And my soul is absorbed
In the Love of My Lord.
Bow humbly to the saint
That is a pious act.
Bow to the ground before him
That is devotion, indeed.

The faithless know not,
The joy of the love of the Lord;

From Sohila-Arti ~ a bed-time prayer
This section of which is attributed to Guru Ram Das - (Sikhism)

Purity of Heart
The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Solomon - (Judaism)

Humility
Would you become a pilgrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes.

Ansari of Herat - (Islam)

Meekness
Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth! Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.

Dhammapada - (Buddhism)




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The Great Poets have also won many profoundly instructive insights.
The following "Central Poetry Insights" quotations could be said to "somehow encapsulate" the same Truths just presented from Christian sources, and from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources.
These same ~ secular ~ insights can be seen to yield implicit evidences supportive of the validity of the Christian and non-Christian ~ Comparative Religion ~ insights already presented and thus also tend towards a Proof of the Existence of God.

A Disdain for Materialism
Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.

Shakespeare

A Distrust of Intellect
The intellectual power, through words and things,
Went sounding on, a dim and perilous way!

Wordsworth

A Yearning for Divine Edification
God guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone;

Yeats

Charity
That best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.

Wordsworth

Purity of Heart
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.

Shakespeare

Humility
The best of men
That e'er wore earth about him, was a sufferer,
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
The first true gentleman that ever breathed.

Thomas Dekker

Meekness
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish her election,
Sh'hath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast been
As one in suff'ring all that suffers nothing,
A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast ta'en with equal thanks; and blest are those
Whose blood and judgement are so well co-medled,
That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please: give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.

Shakespeare




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The fly-leaf to the first (1946) UK edition of Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy begins:-

picture of fly-leaf text
Beneath the revelations of all the great world religions, the teaching of the wise and holy of all faiths and the mystical experiences of every race and age, there lies a basic unity of belief which is the closest approximation man can attain to truth and ultimate reality.
The Perennial Philosophy is an attempt to present this Highest Common Factor of all theologies by assembling passages from the writings of those saints and prophets who have approached a direct spiritual knowledge of the Divine, and who have recorded not only the method of that approach but also the clarity of soul they derived from it
.

The World Religions &
their Spirituality Quotations

The following linked pages are intended to more fully demonstrate a degree of Common Ground between the Inner-most Spiritual Teachings of several major World Religions on Charity, Purity of Heart, Humility, Meekness, A Disdain for Materialism (compared to the Spiritual), A Distrust of the Intellect (compared to Divine Inspiration) and A Yearning for Divine Edification (or A Thirst for Spiritual Enlightenment).
These quotations are presented on a series of very brief pages where each faith is considered individually.

We have seen it as worthwhile to add another category of quotation ~ where recognition has been given "by the wise and holy of several faiths" to the possibility of Mystical Communion with God ~ as this addition may rather directly tend the range of agreement from Comparative Religion studies about "Core Spiritual Truths" already demonstrated towards actually becoming real evidence of the existence of "Spiritually Discernible" aspects to the one God or Spirit which is central to Mystical Faith.


World Religions Spirituality Quotations


Buddhist       Islamic       Hindu


Christian


Sikh       Taoist       Jewish


Alongside our efforts to demonstrate extensive profundities in Christian spirituality we also have great respect for the spiritualities that exist at the cores of the Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh, Taoist and Vedic-Hindu faiths and have laid out the above table of links in a manner consistent with our aspiration towards promoting a mutually respectful co-existence of The Great Faiths of the World.

A more extensive gathering of such proposed Central? poetry insights ~ from such celebrated poets as Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Cowper and Dryden ~ is available here

A representative collection of the Spiritual and Poetic wisdoms as recently presented is available to download from this page



The Huxley family and Evidence, or Proof, ~
of the Existence of God

Aldous Huxley's grand-father, Thomas Henry Huxley, is the person who coined the term "agnostic" to describe a form of skepticism about religious matters.

In 1880, Thomas Henry Huxley (a scientist and contemporary of Charles Darwin who supported Darwinism ~ as he himself understood it ~ to the point of becoming known as "Darwin's Bulldog") wrote :-
Some twenty years ago, or thereabouts, I invented the word 'Agnostic' to denote people who, like myself, confess themselves to be hopelessly ignorant concerning a variety of matters, about which metaphysicians and theologians, both orthodox and heterodox, dogmatise with utmost confidence.
In 1889, after a Reverend Dr. Wace, Principal of King's College, London, had, at an high-profile Church Congress in 1888, poured scorn on agnostics as being "infidels" and "unbelievers" Thomas Henry Huxley's published response included this:-
... Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle ... it is the great principle of Descartes; it is the fundamental axiom of modern science. Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable. That I take to be agnostic faith, which if a man keep whole and undefiled, he shall not be ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have in store for him. ...



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In the Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy Aldous Huxley explicitly asserts that:-
"Knowledge is a function of being."
In other words, if you are not suited to knowing something, you can not know it.

From time to time we hear people sincerely describing other persons as being, or having been, "Wise and Good".
"Wisdom has its root in goodness, not goodness its root in wisdom."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson, (who has been described by one of his biographers as having become "the leading voice of intellectual culture in the United States"), included this passage in his Essay "The Over-Soul":-
..."After its own law and not by arithmetic is the rate of the soul's progress to be computed. The soul's advances are not made by gradation, such as can be represented by motion in a straight line; but rather by ascension of state, such as can be represented by metamorphosis, ~ from the egg to the worm, from the worm to the fly. The growths of genius are of a certain total character, that does not advance the elect individual first over John, then Adam, then Richard, and give to each the pain of discovered inferiority, but by every throe of growth the man expands there where he works, passing, at each pulsation, classes, populations, of men. With each divine impulse the mind rends the thin rinds of the visible and finite, and comes out into eternity, and inspires and expires its air. It converses with truths that have always been spoken in the world, "...
Huxley concludes his Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy with these words:-
"If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing one can do, in the field of metaphysics, is to study the works of those who were, and who, because they had modified their merely human mode of being, were capable of a more than merely human kind and amount of knowledge."



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"We need a worldview grounded in science that does not deny the richness of human nature and the validity of modes of knowing other than the scientific. If we can bring our spirituality, the richness and wholesomeness of our basic human values, to bear upon the course of science in human society, then the different approaches of science and spirituality will contribute together to the betterment of humanity."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
(In a comment on "War of the Worldviews: Science vs Spirituality", a book written by the scientist Leonard Mlodinow and by the prominent spiritual writer Deepak Chopra.
Leonard Mlodinow has previously co-authored with Stephen Hawking on scientific subjects).