God is black.
If you read translated source material that theological beliefs are built on, or read theologically foundational, authoritative writings like those of early Christianity’s so-called “Church Fathers”, or Augustine, Aquinas, Pseudo-Dionysius, etc., you’ll see that “God is black” is no more incredible or baseless than so very many of the statements made about God over the centuries: cryptic, ambiguous, unsubstantiated, and intentionally so.
(Although I picked on Christian writers here, since I’m more familiar with them, I haven’t seen a significant difference in this respect in the Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, or Taoist writings I’ve read, either.)
Assertion is not actuality. Cryptic, ambiguous, and unsubstantiated claims made in authoritative tones implicitly (almost automatically and imperceptibly) create occult spaces in which people can perform all kinds of quite persuasive conceptual alchemy that serves as the basis for further occult claims.
I’m not implying that occult spaces are necessarily bad things. Cryptic, ambiguous, and unsubstantiated realms of fancy are the stuff of mystery, love, paradox, and the curiosity that incites learning. The occult can frustrate our obsessions, wrench us out of our ruts, and open our minds.
Problems don’t result simply from creating occult spaces and working in them and from them, but problems do result by making claims about the evident world on the basis of privileged knowledge derived from occult roots. The occultic nature of the situation becomes suspicious when the roots of beliefs remain perpetually obscure, especially if persistent obscurity becomes a feature that we accept as justified or even necessary. “Oh, of course it’s a mystery, and it always will be!” Pardon me, but how do you know that? You don’t. You couldn’t possibly.
When we make no attempt to find out if occult obscurity makes some sense and isn’t just the result of deliberate obfuscation, our acceptance of mystery becomes indistinguishable from the blind belief of cultism. And when the proponents of occult beliefs invest in promoting and defending chronic obscurity — like much New Age thinking tries to do by continually undermining the value of thought, reason, and language, as if the only genuine knowledge possible were the unthinkable and inexpressible — we can be quite sure that their game is deliberate obfuscation, also known as obscurantism.
As one ancient writer put it, there are those “… who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness … But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” Real revelation leads to decreasing obscurity: mystery revealed, not institutionalized and petrified as the basis for “enlightened” life. There will always be a horizon and an obscurity that lies beyond it; but if it’s always the same horizon and the obscurity beyond never gets clearer, you’re stuck on an island in a vast, black, occult sea, essentially imprisoned in unchanging, terminal ignorance.
Having gotten us into that position, those who pretend privileged, occult “knowledge” can “prove” whatever the fuck they want, even though it’s all based on ideas no more substantial or well-founded than “God is black.”
God is black? God is love? God is to be feared? Says who? And how did they find out? And who or what informed them? Maybe their sources were others who rested their thinking on “divine revelation” originating from the unknown and unknowable. Or maybe their sources’ sources’ did. Or maybe it’s just an elaborate charade of experts citing experts citing experts who cited someone who just made it all up. How did any of them know? Usually, they don’t say. They just sound so convincingly, backed up by so many other convincing experts, that we find ourselves believing them — especially if thousands or millions of others do, too.
It’s really hard to discover the historical facts that might disclose whether a belief results from an overly complicated round-robin of mutual delusion or from sound thinking based on reliable evidence, but fortunately there are easy, simple ways to distinguish real revelation from bullshit, regardless of its supposed source or the claims it makes.
(If “revelation” is an uncomfortable concept, remember Newton’s apple and the fact that scientists have epiphanies and Eureka! moments, too — and many of them were wrong, even delusively so. Earth isn’t flat and the sun doesn’t revolve around it. Knowledge progress, especially revolutionary progress, is strongly epiphanic, no matter what kind of knowledge it is. Science doesn’t distinguish itself by lack of epiphanic revelation, but by the fact that scientists don’t stop thinking once their epiphanies occur. 🙂 )
- Real revelation happens in space-time. Recipients can tell you what was going on at the time, where they were, the time of day, what happened, and especially what the revelation and the experience of receiving it felt like. Always suspect someone who can’t or won’t say how it felt. Bullshitters rarely take the effort to embellish their crap with the kinds of experiential detail that come easily and naturally to people who actually experienced them, and few who embellish manage to stay consistent over time. Skyhooked theory is just theory until testing grounds it. Experiential details don’t help us distinguish revelation from delusion, but lack of convincing experiential details can usually separate bullshit from honest description of genuine experiences.
- Real revelation primarily applies to the recipient of the revelation. Revelation comes because recipients were so engrossed in a matter that they become ripe to receive insight, having long been in personal need of it. If the first thing a recipient does is turn the revelation around onto others as if it primarily applies to them, you know he’s full of shit. The foremost interest of a sincere recipient of revelation is what it means for him and what he can do with it — not what it means for others and what he can get them to do by means of it.
A knowing, powerful revelator (God, Source, “Higher Self”, the Universe itself, or otherwise) is perfectly capable of communicating directly with its intended audience without needing middlemen. Prophets of old were sent to people who were stubborn and hard of hearing, implying that plenty of direct one-on-one attempts had already been made. If a revelation applies to others beside the recipient, its authority rests on the fact that either they already know it’s true and need reminding and motivating, or that they can verify that it’s true independently and should do so before accepting it, just like the recipient should have done.
- The authority of a real revelation lies in its truth, not in the mere fact it occurred — no matter how spectacularly — because delusions can occur in just the same way. As soon as someone uses the supposed “fact” that they heard from God as the reason you should believe that they heard from God, you know they’re full of shit. And illogical, too.
- Real revelation can and should be tested. It can be an earth-shaking epiphany or a growing realization that gains serious credibility over time, but only a fool would accept it as truth just because it made an impression and made eminent sense initially. Brain farts can be quite impressive and make all kinds of sense for awhile, too. Expecting you to accept a revelation’s truth simply because it seemed true at the time and packed a punch is expecting you to be as much of a fool as the one delivering it is.
God might be black. God might be green. God might have no color at all. God might not even be there. None of that is certain, but this is certain: No one else has a right to tell you what you should decide for yourself. And if they do, you know by virtue of that simple fact that they aren’t speaking for God. Otherwise they’d know better than to tell you what to believe when God is well able to tell you himself.