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Indication of the Interior Sense of God: #1 – The Numinous Experience

Magis CenterThe Numinous Experience is the first of eight indications of the interior sense that each and every human being has of God – but what is the Numinous Experience?

An eminent American psychologist, William James (1842-1910) and a distinguished German scholar of comparative religion, Rudolf Otto (1869-1937), initiated the first two comprehensive studies of our internal experience of the divine. Rudolf Otto showed that the vast majority of human beings have a natural sense – or feeling of spiritual mystery – that he called the “numinous experience.” He delineated several elements of that experience, including:

  • A sense of a mysterious power – which is beyond us, and incomprehensible. Though it could be overwhelming, it also feels “inviting – as if it is drawing us towards itself.”
  • This mysterious, overwhelming and inviting power is both fascinating and enchanting – it interests us and holds our attention at the deepest levels (children are frequently mesmerized by religious pictures, symbols, and architecture).
  • Sometimes our spiritual awareness presents a sense of a “ghost-like” presence – which can be haunting or scary.
  • This mysterious, fascinating, uncontrollable, and inviting presence within us and outside of us seems to hold the key to our ultimate purpose in life, and to our ultimate dignity and destiny. We don’t know how, but it feels like it has the power to do this, and this makes us search for the spiritual and the religious in the world around us.

This complex feeling of spiritual and sacred presence is common to most people throughout the world, and it is thought to be the reason why over 90% of the world today (and almost 100% of the world a century ago) is conscientiously religious. This leads to the second indication of our awareness of and desire for God.

Our next blog post will explore the second of eight indications of mankind’s interior sense of God: The Awareness of the Sacred in the World.

January 4th, 2017|Categories: Is There a God|0 Comments

The Human Desire for God

Magis CenterAround the world there is a consistent awareness of and belief in a deity which stands at the foundation of the world’s religions. Most people seek a connection with a higher or transcendent power which has made itself known to us internally and externally, because of the internal spiritual or mystical awareness of and desire for God that each individual has.

Throughout history, philosophers, theologians, and psychologists have written extensively on this internal awareness of a higher power which most religions call “God.” They identify eight major indications of this “interior sense of God”:

1. The Numinous Experience.
2. The Awareness of the Sacred in the World.
3. The Awareness of a Cosmic Struggle between Good and Evil.
4. The Awareness of and Desire for Perfect Truth.
5. The Awareness of and Desire for Perfect Love.
6. The Awareness of and Desire for Perfect Goodness.
7. The Awareness of and Desire for Perfect Beauty.
8. The Awareness of and Desire for Perfect Home.

Our next few blog posts will explore each of these topics in detail, using excerpts of Father Spitzer’s book, From Out of Nothing.

January 3rd, 2017|Categories: Is There a God|0 Comments