Christianity and the New Age by Christopher Dawson

By Christopher Dawson

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But it is dangerous to conclude that the point on which attention is focussed is the whole field of consciousness. The high gods are often conceived as too far from man to pay much attention to his doings, and it is lesser powers—the spirits of the field and the forest, or the ghosts of the dead—who come into closest relation with human life, and whose malevolence is most to be feared. Consequently primitive religion is apt to appear wholly utilitarian and concerned with purely material ends. But here also the confusion of primitive thought is apt to mislead us.

It is driven back upon the lower type of religious experience, which primitive man possessed when he worshipped the daimonic powers that seemed to rule his life. And yet, even so, Lawrence's position is not wholly consistent, for even the lower type of religious experience is in a real sense spiritual. It is the result of a spiritual intuition, even though that intuition is, as St. Paul says, in bondage to " the weak and beggarly elements " of nature. The religion of the blood of which Lawrence writes, the religion of pure sense and animal instinct, can only be attained by the unreflecting animal soul.

I draw my life from His Living Life . . ; I am, I understand, I will, I act, I imagine, I smell, I taste, I touch, I see, I walk, and I love in the Infinite Being of God, within the Divine Essence and substance. . " God in the heavens is more my heaven than the heavens themselves; in the sun He is more my light than the sun ; in the air He is more my air than the air that I breathe sensibly. . " * Or again, to quote Cardinal Bona, God is " the Ocean of all essence and existence, the very Being itself which contains all being.

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