Should we trust our senses and believe the information our optic nerves send to our brains? Should we believe our brains as trustworthy to process the information sent through the optic nerve? Do we interpret the information according to our conditioning, or are we capable of surveying the physical world and arriving at correct conclusions? Even if we scour the physical world for knowledge, information, and evidence to point us toward a "spiritual reality", we are setting ourselves up for failure: for perception of the world through epistemology alone has a false base.
Merriam-Webster Online defines
the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity - click here
Reality doesn't need you to exist; regardless if you perceive it, it is objectively real outside of you. And the cognition of a subject is not in flux - but must accept or reject objective truth. Thus the congnition of a subject can be false.
In light of this, ontological speculation doesn't preclude objectivity.
Merriam-Webster Online defines
a branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and
relations of being - click here
Could it be possible that "normal" human congnition is designed by GOD, and isn't custom crafted by our own experience (everyone who sees red, sees red the same)? Scientific fairness must allow for human fallacy. Some people are right, while others are wrong.
Take as a hypothetical example, it is an exceptionally warm summer day, the humidity is relatively high, and you being thirsty decide to go to a restaraunt. The waitress approachs you with a glass pitcher filled with orange liquid and icecubes floating on the surface - tinkling together. The waitress proceeds to pour this strange liquid into a cup and offer it to you as a refreshment. Do you trust your senses? You would not even question the substance in the cup. You wouldn't attempt to analyze if it exists or not - nor if it is authentic orange juice. You simply accept it.
On the same subject of cognition, would you die if the waitress secretly placed cyanide into your orange juice? Do you need to know of secret reality for it to be real? Must you perceive the reality for it to be? Can events happen to you without your believing in them?
The man who drinks a cup of orange juice, expecting it to be refreshing and nutritious, and instead gulps a slurry of toxins will certainly die even though he believed it was good.
The man who partakes of seemingly benevolent spirituality, expecting it to be wholesome and beneficial, and instead partakes of idolatry will certainly die even though he had faith it was good.
Reality doesn't need you to philosophically prop it up for it to exist.
First of all, without a basis for understanding nature's corruptness, you cannot arrive at an accurate knowledge of the spiritual realm.
Secondly, without understanding the fallenness of humanity, you cannot arrive at an accurate knowledge of the spiritual realm.
Thirdly, without recognizing our inability to see and perceive GOD with our senses, you cannot arrive at an accurate knowledge of GOD.
And just what litmus test would you suggest for testing a spiritual reality?
The Apostle John wrote:
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
John didn't pull punches - he knew there are millions of malevolent spirits whispering many seductive philosophies. But how does he suggest we try or test the spirits?
1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the
Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the
flesh is of God:
1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
There you have it! There is a realm of spiritual wickedness masquerading as benevolent, yet seeking to steer you away from the truth. The only way to know the difference, and guage what the origin of the spiritual experience/manifestation is, is to test and try the spirit according to John's perscription.
All tinkering under the car of spirituality will enevitibly bring confusion. Just how is it you expect to know the difference between the true Spirit of GOD and a false spirit seeking to deceive you?
Are all spirits that one may interact with benevolent?
Could it be that the Bible is true about the war which rages on for the souls of men?
If so, then this cosmic battle in the heavenlies over the eternal destiny of humans advances and yet many men are oblivious to the danger. And these agents of Satan would have you believe spirituality is like a buffet table. Eat all you want - take it or leave it - for it's all good.
They know full-well that any and all spirituality apart from loyalty to the one true GOD is a heinous sin - Idolatry. These devious spiritual entities know if they can persuade you into rejecting the one true GOD, they have succeeded in their mission - snickering in delight as you damn your own soul.
But that's not the end of it - GOD doesn't allow us to simply be swept away in spiritual deception - he sends his own messengers to expose the clever devices of the fallen angelic realm seeking to destroy man.
Could it be possible you are wrong about spirituality?
Could it be possible there is an insidious global deception blinding the minds of mankind?
Sensory perception alone is grossly insufficient for obtaining knowledge of the invisible spiritual reality. To insist it is not real is yet again committing the falacy of applying a physical test to something spiritual. The unseen waitress has tremendous power over life and death, if she so decides to secretly poison you. First realizing we are not in control of reality, but are instead subjects of reality, frees us from ridiculous skepticism.
If there is a lake which burns with fire and brimstone, just as the Bible warns, could sinners find themselves irreversably thrust into such a hopeless predicament? If reality doesn't need us to prop it up, it would exist if we like it or not. It would exist whether we praise or protest.
The horrible scenario of men being summoned to Judgment after they have spent their lives foolishly and in rebellion to their Creator, only to awake face-to-face with the harsh reality that they are not masters of their own destiny. What is, is. Once that juice has been consumed, how is it be possible to rewind, and remove the deadly cyanide? So also reality cannot be rewound, edited, and altered to suit our fantasies.
Just as wishful thinking will never create reality, by simply not wanting it to be true cannot make it so. The same skepticism many have is never fairly applied conversely. The strong desire for the Bible to be proven wrong is something skeptics must admit. Friendly and positive ideas are selected over actual reality since it paints a rather grim picture.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Though this world estranged from GOD revels in their utopian plans for peace, their false reality cannot change what is destined to happen—and they will not escape.