Perceiving Reality and the Logos
Our existence was meant to be lived in complete, infinite fellowship with God, growing in wisdom and knowledge, living in absolute peace, and having a higher understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and of reality. God created us to be filled with the unlimited light of His truth, to enjoy a loving relationship with Him, and to be the stewards of the earthly paradise. This purpose is the meaning and direction of everything that happens in our universe; it is all to help us meet our created end. All natural law and spiritual law are grounded in this purpose for humanity. Even the things that are painful, and the attacks of the Adversary, are all used and/or directed at that purpose.
Since the fall, our existence has been corrupted. It has become worldly. The Hebrew word for world is olam, coming from the root word alem, meaning 'hidden, unknown'. In a sense, to say one's lifestyle is worldly is to say that their created nature and end is hidden from them due to their own rebellion. This also means that our existence is now one of functional ignorance of spiritual reality. This is certainly the case when you consider the fact that we don't have any sense, under normal circumstances, of spiritual realities, but only sense the natural reality. The way in which we perceive reality is faulty, as it is through a corrupted sense perception. A helpful illustration is to think of yourself as a computer, with five disk drives. These disk drives correlate to our five senses. When an exterior experience enters one of the disk drives, that drive (that sense) interprets what that thing is and what it means. While the drives, under healthy conditions, do a good job of interpreting natural experiences and things, spiritual things are difficult. So when a spiritual thing is entered into the disk drives, they're unable to properly read the data, because the disk drives themselves are corrupt. As a result, the interpretation of the data gets reduced to the natural, since this is all the computer is able to comprehend. Whatever data this computer gives us, based on the five disk drives, becomes our reality. So the spiritual object entering the drive isn't understood as it really is, but we develop an illusion, a corrupt perception, instead of the reality. The interpretive program in the computer is what we can call the self-centered aspect of fallen man, or Egoism. This is the part of us that is only concerned with what advances our desires for pleasure. It looks at the data and asks, 'How does this impact me?' As a result, spiritual reality is often quite different from the perceptions we have of what is real. Now this problem would keep us from understanding spiritual things at all, if we had nothing else to rely on. We need an additional sense that permits us to comprehend spiritual reality. We can't ever begin to approach spiritual reality as long as we're firmly trapped in Egosim-the what's in it for me approach, a constant focus on receiving or taking to satiate the appetites of the five senses for material objects and experiences. This isn't to say that we aren't created with the will to receive or take. We are, and that will is an integral part of His prevenient grace, helping us respond to spiritual data He has revealed. It is the reason we search for spiritual reality at all. An illustration is helpful. Wherever you are right at this moment, when you move, change position, get up, take a drink-whatever you do is motivated by the fact that you've become in some way uncomfortable and a need has arisen within, so you move to achieve a more comfortable or pleasurable situation. Through previent grace, this natural desire can be used to bring us to a point in which we're no longer comfortable with the corrupt data we've been receiving, no longer content with the purely material desires of this world, and we're moved to find something more comfortable or satisfying-spiritual reality.
Most people start off with the most basic of desires (food, shelter, etc.). These desires relate to eating, sleeping, mating, and defending what is ours. These are desires we have in common with animals. Once these desires are met, we generally progress to a greater desire, which is for wealth. Once achieved, we no longer need to worry about the basic desires, since wealth affords us those in plenty. And whether or not wealth is met, most will move on to the desire for power, which is greater than the two desires before it, since it encompasses both, having the ability to control the means for all the lesser desires. Then another even greater desire pops up: the desire for knowledge. We attend college, study hard, get our degree, but discover that the knowledge of this world doesn't fulfill us, because all it offers is mechanistic answers as to how things work, or history, etc. There are no answers related to the existential questions. Who am I? What am I? Why am I here? Is God real? Many of us, having experienced these lesser desires come to a point in life where we find there is still a yearning, an ultimate desire for something beyond this world. This yearning, working through our desire to receive pleasure, is God's prevenient grace working in our very being. It is itself a spiritual reality you can perceive clearly, and unlike the lesser desires, it grows eternally, bringing us closer to God, if we abandon ourselves to its call. It calls us to know and experience the eternal satisfaction of our innermost yearning, the Logos. Once we embrace the Logos (Christ), we have engaged in receiving, which is according to our nature, but now we find another desire has been planted within us-the desire to give selflessly! God is motivated by the desire to give His children all the blessings of His infinite wisdom, and to receive our love, adoration, and worship. His desires form a perfect symbiotic relationship, whereas ours, as a result of the fall, are imperfect and self centered when blindly focused on material desires and appetites. They're a negative Egoism. However, through the Logos, we have access to the Holy Spirit, and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we find a desire to give selflessly has formed that isn't conditional upon what we receive, but purely a desire of agape-unconditional loving.