In that post, I put forth the notion that God’s perceived unresponsiveness was likely a matter of miscommunication -- that we, as Christians, were the likely source of the miscommunication. I argued that God’s unresponsiveness boiled down to a lack of co-respondence:
By co-respondence, I am not referring to an exchange of letters, but rather to the notion that perhaps God's seeming unresponsiveness to us has a great deal to do with our unresponsiveness to Him.
I cannot believe God has ceased communicating with us. What I can believe is the notion that perhaps our communications with God - those tried and true, good, solid Christian methods of communication that served so well in earlier times - have become inadequate and insufficient in the here and now. By the same token, our adherence to these tried and true methods of communication might very well be making us deaf and blind to God's communication. Simply put, perhaps God does not appear to be responding to us because we are not properly responding to Him.
I believe God is our loving father, and that he desires what is best for his children. Like all loving fathers, God wants his children to grow up and mature. This entails different approaches to and different levels of communication. God has taken this step forward; we in turn, have not. Put another way, God is trying to talk to us like adults, but we continue to talk and listen to him like adolescents (and fairly apathetic adolescents at that).
Respondence is both a reply and a reaction to stimulus. I am increasingly convinced that God is responding to us, but we are simply not reacting to the stimulus of these responses.
Similarly, God rarely responds to the stimulus of our tried-and-true, conventional communications – not out of callousness or disregard – but because he yearns for us to go beyond these conventional forms of communication and respond in a different way.
I have heard many Christians argue that we do not and cannot know the thoughts of God.
At the same time, I have heard very few Christians suggest that God does not and cannot know the thoughts of man.
Yet that might just be where the root of the problem lies today, especially in terms of communication between man and God.
Dr. Charlton has written extensively about primary thinking -- his own term for what Owen Barfield called Final Participation and Rudolf Steiner called the Imaginative Soul – which he explains in the following way:
I regard the attainment of primary thinking to be the main task of modern Man - but clearly, since the state has been so widely noticed, and is experienced by so many people - merely experiencing primary thinking is ineffectual.
This is because primary thinking is firstly nearly-always brief and very intermittent, and secondly the experience of primary thinking nearly-always misunderstood by normal every day consciousness when that state resumes.
Primary thinking ought to be understood as an experience of the divine way of thinking, intrinsically Good and valid - and superior to other and lower types of normal existence. In primary thinking, we know - and we know directly - truth, beauty and virtue; and in this state we are intrinsically creative; because primary thinking is that which is divine in us, active within the realm of universal knowledge.
Although I have been reading Dr. Charlton’s posts on primary thinking with keen interest over the years, I have struggled to grasp the profundity of primary thinking. In fact, Dr. Charlton’s posts on primary thinking have been similar to my experiences with Berdyaev’s ideas about creativity and the creative act.
On the one hand, I am thoroughly convinced by the percipience of the idea. On the other hand, I find it difficult to comprehend how primary thinking can be accomplished consistently. Furthermore, I often waver when it comes to the “usefulness” and “applicability” of primary thinking in the “real world”.
One of Dr. Charlton’s recent posts on the subject was a bit of an epiphany for me in this regard. Concerning the “usefulness” of primary thinking, Dr. Charlton states:
Thinking is potentially our most complete and valid form of knowing. Therefore, the big question becomes: How this knowing is related to 'reality' - to divine creation?
If thinking turns-out to be in a direct relationship with reality - and not merely having some kind of indirect, 'translated', representational or linguistic 'communication' with reality - then this is of the greatest possible significance.
. . .
Most thinking is in words, it is language - therefore secondary; therefore either a means to an end, or perhaps illusion.
(This is the level of all public discourse and most private conversation: language responding to language - and nothing more. Our secondary thinking is no better than this.)
But some thinking may be primary, and not in words or any other symbolism; but thinking 'in' the primary creative essence of reality.
This kind of primary thinking is indeed itself reality.
Thus we can come to know reality.
I connected Dr. Charlton’s distinction between primary and secondary thinking to my post about miscommunication and the perceived unresponsiveness of God. The second I did, the “usefulness” of primary thinking became undeniably clear.
Christians continue to communicate with God almost exclusively at the level of secondary thinking --which is symbolic, ritualistic, representational and, most significantly, language-based. At the same time, God appears to be communicating with us almost exclusively at the level of primary thinking, but we cannot perceive the communication, let alone respond to it.
To return to my earlier point about God not knowing the thoughts of man, I am certain God understands and knows all the thoughts we have at the level of secondary thinking, but He does not know and cannot know our thoughts at the level of primary thinking for the simple reason that so few of us have engaged in it.
God does not know and cannot know the thoughts of man the primary thinker . . . yet!
God and Creation is reality and reality exists at the level of primary thinking. When people engage in primary thinking, they are relating to God and Creation in a direct way, without the need for symbols, language, and all the rest of it. More significantly, primary thinking provides God the opportunity to relate to the “reality” of the primary thinker.
In terms of communication, primary thinking offers the potential for reality to meet with, engage in, and relate to reality. God no longer wishes to communicate with us at the level of secondary thinking. He is waiting for us in reality, but our connection to that reality depends solely on our ability to become primary thinkers.
In this sense, primary thinking is akin to a revelation, but man cannot look to God to supply the revelation. It very much appears that God is patiently waiting for to us to supply the revelation ourselves.