THE WORD WAS THE TRUTH, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT ACTUALLY WAS TRUE, AND TRUTHS THAT WERE NOT CONTAINED IN THE WORD WERE SEEN AS IRRELEVANT AT BEST AND AT WORST AS QUITE SIMPLY UNTRUE. SUCH HAS BEEN THE SPIRITUAL CALAMITY OF OUR RECENT TIMES. SUCH WAS THE DENIAL OF THE SACRED IN THE NAME OF THE FROZEN WORD. SUCH WAS THE DENIAL OF TRUE SPIRITUAL MEANING IN THE NAME OF LITERAL MEANING.
The scientific revolution of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, and of course subsequently, led to an undermining of long held religious beliefs, as the scientific methodology and its extraordinary consequences in terms of understanding our world and then manipulating our world through scientifically based technologies, seemed to make a mockery of long-held and long-cherished religious beliefs such as communion wine actually turning into Christ’s blood, or heaven being a real place that existed just above the clouds, and hell being a real place somewhere deep underground. Accidents were invariably seen as divine retribution. Pagan superstitions were still rife. Complementing the scientific revolution was the protestant revolution. With the old certainties gone, faith and trust were invariably placed in the ‘so-called’ Word of God. The great swathe of traditional church teachings, that were not grounded in the Word of the Bible, even though they might actually have touched on deep spiritual truths, were swept away. There was only the Word. The Word was the Truth, regardless of whether it actually was true, and truths that were not contained in the Word were seen as irrelevant at best and at worst as quite simply untrue. Perhaps it was only with the 18th Century Romantic movement, itself a reaction to soulless science and a stifling Word, that spiritually inclined ‘adventurers’ began to look for spiritual inspiration in the experience of nature rather than in the dissection of nature or the dissection of the Word. An overly mechanistic view of the universe, linked with an overly literal view of the divine, gradually began to give way to an appreciation of a universe that was in some way sentient and thereby actually more human.