Thou canst not prove the Nameless, O my son,
Nor canst thou prove the world thou movest in,
Thou canst not prove that thou art body alone,
Nor canst thou prove that thou art spirit alone,
Nor canst thou prove that thou art both in one:
Thou canst not prove thou art immortal, no
Nor yet that thou art mortal—nay my son,
Thou canst not prove that I, who speak with thee,
Am not thyself in converse with thyself,
For nothing worthy proving can be proven,
Nor yet disproven: wherefore thou be wise,
Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt,
And cling to Faith beyond the forms of Faith
Do I speak to myself? Does a "Nameless One" speak to me in a voiceless voice that troubles my soul and
unsettles my mind? Perhaps it is just the mature introspection of one who always felt that perhaps there was more to life than what meets the worldly eye. Or perhaps there exists, shall we say, a spiritual dimension.
A "spiritual dimension" ... am I kidding? "Show me that," the skeptical rationalist would no doubt say.
And I can't.
So why even bring it up or even attempt to talk about it?
Well, for one thing, as long as we have had recorded history we have had evidence that humans have experienced a transcendent reality. That isn't proof a transcendent reality exists, but it is proof that those of us who feel we may have encountered it aren't alone. We may even be the majority. It seems to me the best argument for such a thing is experimental spirituality. Of course that won't satisfy the hardcore empiricist, but so what? One has to live his life where he is.
Also, I'm content with the idea that this transcendent reality is hypothetical. If I accept certain assumptions the whole matter can be dismissed as so much illusion and misperception. I can't prove that view wrong, nor do I feel a need to attempt to.
But if I allow myself to cleave to the "sunnier side of doubt" and "cling to the "Faith beyond the forms of Faith" I am free to indulge myself without the burden of proof. Those who have experienced it (or experienced what they though was it) stand with no need of proof.
Nineteenth century theologian John Caird made a striking remark in his An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion that suggested:
The more completely our notion of the unknown reality is purified from earthly analogies, from anthropomorphic conceptions and images—the more, in short, we approximate to the state of simple awe before the altar of the Unknown and Unknowable, the nearer do we come to the perfect ideal of religion.
Such talk is sheer foolishness to the persons who go by their five sense alone. And I hate to appear foolish in front of a segment of my fellow creatures. But the sunny side of doubt leaves me room to question if the five senses alone are enough to tell me all there is to know about reality.