Below are my thoughts as shared with a few friends in our discussion group, sent when one of them began to talk about how he is sure God loves him, as if God were a bosom buddy.
I do not think we can know, absolutely, that God loves us. We can only say that we feel God loves us. To rebut that we know the mind of God strikes me as a stretcher, as Huck Finn described all exaggerations and fibs. Maybe even blasphemy.
As for feeling God?
I believe there is some sort of divine principle at work in the universe that humans cannot “know” directly, but can feel, or respond to, intuitively.
My reasoning for this belief is the bare fact that we have no credible theory or facts to otherwise explain the existence of the universe. It is a mystery. To say that it is primarily comprised of “dark matter” and “dark energy” is only to deepen the mystery.
The reason that “God” is a more credible principle is that the universe cannot create itself, for to do so would mean it had to precede itself in existence (an impossibility). People rebut: so, doesn’t this also apply to God? And the rebuttal to that is, no, because God is eternal and ens causa Sui – the cause of himself. Which just means he is the only entity in which essence and existence are one, and so is eternal.
My metaphor for this is grounded in a theory of emanation.
As follows: I have nice coffee cups in my cupboard, sitting beside nice wine glasses. If you strike a tuning fork and bring it near them, the wine glasses will begin to sing in harmony with the vibrations of the fork. But the coffee cups will not.
I believe there are millions of humans being attuned to the divine in the universe (however murkily “known”) who resonate, or vibrate in tune with it. They are the human wine glasses.
There are also millions who are not attuned to, in fact who reject or mock all possibility of attunement with the divine, and these are the human coffee cups.
The different drinking vessels and different human vessels serve the same practical purposes: to hold 9 ounces of liquid for drinking, or to live well, but they are very different in their attunement to the emanation (of the fork, of the Divine).
When I was doing research for my essay on one of the greatest logicians of all time – J.S. Mill – I discovered that he had an emotional crisis over the wasteland of mere logic in his early twenties, and turned to Romantic poetry as a new source of feeling.
From there, he went deeply “spiritual”, and in retirement, built a garden bower where he would walk for hours or sit in contemplation.
He called the bower his “vibratory” and claimed that feelings derived from such as poetry lead us to a higher truth than reason ever could.