“These Ideas, however, this Divine Mind, is still not the highest principle of all. For in this realm duality remains. Since the Ideas are distinct from each other, there is multiplicity. In knowledge there is always a subject and a predicate, a knower and an object known, and hence duality. But duality is secondary to unity. Therefore it still remains to climb the steep ascent of heaven to the source, the One. The climbing of the ascent and the resting of the summit, let it be noted, are not the same thing. The rational process of philosophic dialectic demonstrate the necessary existence of the One. He who has felt the urge to unity can never rest in plurality, and is forced to posit a source superior to all diversity. But if we are to know that source and not just infer it, we must experience the One in mystic trance…the ordinary conditions of consciousness are suspended and, having become oblivious of self and the world, the soul sees the One alone. The soul no longer knows whether it has a body, and cannot tell whether it is a man, or a living being, or anything real at all. …The vision is a direct contact with the One, a divine illumination. All knowledge is rather like our sight of sense objects on a cloudy day; in the vision we see the Source of the light which made knowledge possible, and we see it directly in all its brilliance. ..This experience is not abnormal, it is but the exercise of a faculty which all have though few use…The experience itself cannot be written down, it can only be experienced ”[Truth as Encounter]. pg. 229-230
Clark, Gordon Hellenistic Philosophy (Appleton-Century-Crofts: New York, 1940)
The Romanist view is that we are saved by faith (a part from ceremonial works and faithless works) but in accord with our demonstration of that faith through our works. What they are saying is that saving faith is me in and by and for and through Christ in a synergy. [A faculty which all have but few use, thus Plotinus] So on this view God is working in us what we are working out with fear and trembling. So then the faith is qualified by its psychological and experiential nature not its object. [the ordinary conditions of consciousness are suspended and, having become oblivious of self and the world, the soul sees the One alone] The East, some Reformed and confused Evangelicals and the Liberals assert that truth is not propositional but experiential, relational and practical. [The experience itself cannot be written down, it can only be experienced] In so doing they quote John 3:21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” Dr. Clark says,
“This use of the word truth, however, gives no support to the dialectical notion of truth as encounter; nor is it far removed from mind, knowledge, and intellect as the opponents of knowledge and intellect could wish. (pg. 61) Admittedly a moral command is not a proposition and cannot be either true or false…One cannot separate moral principles from the logical principles on the ground that the latter are intellectual or rational and the former are not. Moral principles, to be followed, must be known. While then a command as such cannot be true, it is a proposition and a truth that God commands men (for example) not to steal. [The proposition is inferred from the command] Therefore, there are no anti-intellectual overtones in speaking about doing the truth. (pg. 62)…There is no personal truth that is not propositional. Statements such as, Judas was a thief, and, Jesus was the messiah, are as personal as anyone can rightly demand; but beyond these statements of intellectual or cognitive content, there is no meaning to the word truth.” (pg. 64) The Johannine Logos
On Plotinus’ view the Divine Ideas were not the ultimate principle they were simply arbitrary vehicles to get to the One. On Clark’s view the Divine Ideas are the ultimate principles. In this case a Scripturalist says that the doctrines and the theology are the salvation (See my article The Logos; What is Truth? by Drake). On the Plotinian view one can hold to many different theories of theology but still attain the enlightening experience of the One. Why? Because the One is not something intellectual. The object of faith in this case, or the object of salvation is the One and the saving condition of the one being saved is qualified by its psychological and experiential nature not its propositional object. Let the reader then take into account who is teaching Christianity and who is teaching Neo-Platonism.
Is this not indicative of the American view of Ecclesiology where everybody believes different doctrines but they all have the same salvation? Why is it that the people who think that the Truth is the ultimate priority of a Christian over the unity of the bureaucracy is accused of being Schismatic while the Bureaucrats are the ones that are considered faithful? It seems the latter are under serious Plotinian influences while the former are under Christian influences.