The Theology of The Numinous Way:
An Examination of The Numinous Way, Christianity and Islam


The Numinous Way is a complete and unique Way of Life - or Weltanschauung - with its own ethics, based upon empathy, and with its own Theology, based upon what is called "The Cosmic Being". This Being is not the same as the God of Christianity, nor the Allah of Islam.

This present work will attempt, briefly, to outline the theology of The Numinous Way, and show how it differs from Christianity and Islam.

I have tried to avoid using the term "religion" in discussing both The Numinous Way and Islam, since I believe it to be not only inappropriate, but inaccurate, since they are both complete Ways of Life, and there has been a tendency in the West - an erroneous one in my view - to separate "religion" from such things as government, "The State" and the community. For Islam, the Muslim community (incorrectly, "The State") is but a means of manifesting, or making real in the world, the truths contained in Islam, while for The Numinous Way the natural ideal of a small rural community replaces the concept of The State, with The Numinous Way regarding The State as an artificial, abstract, construct which denies true freedom and therefore has no place in this particular Way of Life.

I have also used the term Allah to describe the supreme Being of Islam, and the term God the describe the supreme Being of Christianity, for in my view - despite many recent attempts to equate them - they are theologically distinct.

The Origin and Meaning of Life:

The essential starting point for a Way of Life is to pose, and answer, the questions about the origin and meaning of life - or, more specifically, about our lives, as human beings on this planet we call Earth.

According to The Numinous Way, life evolved naturally on this planet, from finite beginnings we as yet do not precisely understand. The essence of the The Numinous Way perspective about our origins is reason - or rather, what used to be called Natural Philosophy: through observation, experiment and the use of reason, or logic, we can understand our world, the Cosmos, and ourselves. Thus, The Numinous Way is a rationalist, and empathic, Way of Life which accepts: (i) that the Cosmos (or Reality) exists independently of us and our consciousness, and thus independent of our senses; (ii) our limited understanding of this 'external world' depends for the most part upon our senses - that is, on what we can see, hear or touch; that is, on what we can observe or come to know via our senses; (iii) logical argument - reason - and experiment are the best means to knowledge and understanding of and about this 'external world'; (iv) the Universe is, of itself, a reasoned order subject to rational laws; (v) our faculty of empathy is a means for us to know the nexion we are, and how we can discover our correct relationship to all other life. Thus, practical reason - Natural Philosophy - enables us to comprehend the external, physical, causal, Universe, while empathy enables us to comprehend, and appreciate, Life itself, in all its variety and forms.

According to both Islam and Christianity,  we, our world, and the Cosmos, were created, by a Supreme Being.

For The Numinous Way, the meaning, the purpose, of our lives is know and appreciate The Numinous; to develope our empathy so that we can do this; and to aid and develope The Numinous by being empathic, compassionate, and honourable. This meaning, this purpose, arises from an understanding of our true human nature, which is of us as but one nexion, one connexion, one causal incarnation of the Cosmos, of the Life of the Cosmos, of The Cosmic Being itself, which Life and which Cosmic Being are source of The Numinous. Our very life, as a living mortal being, is an expression of the life of the Cosmos being presenced in and through our physical bodies, and this life - like all life - has the potential to change and evolve.

We can, by our life and our individuals deeds, make a difference: aiding evolution, or not aiding evolution. That is, the perspective of The Numinous Way is the perspective of Nature, and the Cosmos beyond. There is thus in The Numinous Way a Cosmic perspective as distinct from the individualistic perspective of both Islam and Christianity. For both Islam and Christianity see our lives as a means for us, as individuals, to attain Jannah (Paradise) or Heaven. The main motivation of Muslims and Christians is to do what their Ways of Life inform they should be because then they, as individuals, will be rewarded with Paradise, and Heaven.

In contrast, The Numinous Way is ultimately supra-personal and thus an evolutionary Way of Life: enabling us as individuals and as a species to evolve, which we can do by being empathic, by using and developing our faculty of empathy, and by doing compassionate and honourable deeds. Thus, by so changing and evolving, individually, we are aiding the change and evolution of Life and of the Cosmos: bringing-into-being more of The Numinous, and becoming the sentience of the Cosmos itself.

The Cosmic Being:

One crucial difference between Islam and Christianity is the concept of incarnation - of the supreme deity being, or possibly being, incarnate in the world, and in human beings. According to Islam, Allah is not and never can be incarnate in His creation: He is totally separate from, and totally untouched by, all Creation. Whatever happens, in the world, in the Cosmos, has no affect whosoever upon Allah. According to Christianity, God became incarnate in Jesus, who is thus described as His Son. Furthermore, according to some Christian theologians, and some mystics (such as Francis of Assisi), God is incarnate in Nature just as some maintain that Jesus exists within us.

The Quran - which Muslims accept as the literal word of Allah - has this to say about incarnation:

"Say - He is Allah, The Unity;
Allah - Eternal, Infinite;
He has no children, and neither was He born.
And there is no-being, no-thing, comparable to Him."
(Surah 112)

Both Allah, and God, are regarded as being infallible, and perfect: completely evolved, and not subject to change.

In contrast, the Cosmic Being of The Numinous Way is regarded as the Cosmos in evolution, with Nature representing one manifestation, one incarnation, of the Cosmic Being on our planet, Earth. Thus, the Cosmos Being is not complete, not perfect - but an evolving, changing, being - just as we ourselves are the Cosmic Being in evolution, and just as Nature is this being in evolution. That is, there is a symbiotic relationship between us, as individuals, as members of an ethical community, between us and Nature, between us and the Cosmic Being, and between Nature and the Cosmic Being. Nature is also a being: that is, some-thing which is alive, which changes. Nature is thus that innate creative force in the natural world of our planet which causes, or is the genesis of, and controls, living organisms in certain ways. All life - on this Earth and elsewhere in the Cosmos - is regarded as connected. That is, the Cosmos is a Unity, a matrix of connexions, which affect each other. This Unity can be understood, apprehended, by the concept of Acausal (see below).

In one sense, our consciousness - our awareness, our rational apprehension - may be likened to the awareness of the Cosmic Being, just as honour and compassion are regarded as practical manifestations, a presencing, in us and our world, of empathy and thus of our evolution: of those forces which enable us to live in a noble, ethical, way. That is, honour and compassion are ways in which the Cosmic Being is incarnate - or can be incarnate - in us, as human beings. In a very simplistic way, the Cosmic Being is an increase in order from random chaos - or, more correctly, an increase of the acausal, a manifestation or manifestations of the acausal in the causal (1). Thus, is there an increasing of numinosity.

As to the origin of the Cosmic Being, and the Cosmos itself, we simply do not know, at present - despite the many surreal (and in my view, irrational) theories advanced in the present century in an attempt to explain such things as the origins of the Cosmos (2). All we do rationally know is that we exist in one star-system in one Galaxy among many millions of Galaxies, and that Galaxies change over causal time. Until we begin to explore our Galaxy, and possibly other Galaxies, and thus can make first-hand, direct experimental observations, we simply will not know, for sure - and possibly not even then.

Crucially, there is no concept of "sin" in The Numinous Way, just as there is no need for, and no concept of, "praying" to the Cosmic Being for guidance, for intercession, for forgiveness. For The Numinous Way, there are only empathic, compassionate, and honourable or deeds - or unempathic, uncompassionate (inhuman) and dishonourable deeds (see The Ethics of Empathy and Honour, below).  There can be no such thing as prayer, in The Numinous Way, because of nexions; because of the matrix, The Unity, the acausal: because the Cosmic Being is us, and Nature, in evolution, and not separate from us when we are honourable, compassionate, empathic, fair, rational. We only have to follow the ethics of empathy - to be reasonable, just, fair, compassionate, honourable - to access the Cosmic Being, to presence this Being in our lives. This presencing is thus natural, and does not depend on prayer, or rituals, of any kind. In this sense, The Numinous Way is quite different from other Ways of Life, from other "religions" and philosophies of living.

Prophets and Revelation:

Both Islam and Christianity are revelatory religions, or Ways of Life. That is, they accept that Allah, and God, have sent Messengers and Prophets to guide us, and reveal truths, such as about how we should live, and what our laws should be. Thus, both Muslims and Christians accept that we must turn to a supreme being for guidance, for the final answers, for the truth.

In addition, these revelations of a supreme being are believed to be contained in Holy Books - the Quran, and Sunnah (3), for Muslims, and the Bible, for Christians. In the case of Muslims, the Quran is regarded as perfect, while in the case of Christians, it has come to be accepted that scriptural exegesis, and interpretation, may be and often are necessary to discover the meaning, the true message, of God.

For The Numinous Way, there is no revelation from a supreme being, and thus no belief in Prophets or Messengers, and no Holy Books. There is only empathy, and a reasoned apprehension, an acceptance that our human nature depends upon being empathic, that is, upon us accepting the ethics of honour, and empathy with, Nature, and the Cosmos. The Numinous Way accepts that we - as Aeschylus wrote - learn through the experience of suffering. That is, that we are slowly, painfully, learning, and slowly, painfully, creating a better way of life, and that while what we create may not be (and cannot be) perfect, it will be - if we adhere to honour, reason, compassion and fairness - what we might term cultured and "civilized", and better than what existed before. As Sophocles wrote, some two thousand years ago (my translation)

There exists much that is strange, yet nothing
Is more strange than mankind:
For this being crosses the gray sea of Winter
Against the wind, through the howling sea swell,
And the oldest of gods, ageless Earth -
She the inexhaustible -
He wearies, turning the soil year after year
By the plough using the offspring of horses.

He snares and captures the careless race of birds,
The tribes of wild beasts, the natives of the sea,
In the woven coils of his nets -
This thinking warrior: he who by his skill rules over
The wild beasts of the open land and the hills,
And who places a yoke around the hairy neck
Of the horse, taming it - and the vigorous mountain bull.

His voice, his swift thought,
The raising and ordering of towns:
How to build against the ill-winds of the open air
And escape the arrows of storm-rain -
All these things he taught himself,
He the all-resourceful
From whom there is nothing he does not meet
Without resources - except Hades
From which even he cannot contrive an escape
Although from unconquered disease
He plans his refuge.

Beyond his own hopes, his cunning
In inventive arts - he who arrives
Now with dishonour, then with chivalry:
Yet, by fulfilling his duties to the soil,
His oaths to the customs given by the gods,
Noble is his clan although clan-less is he who dares
To dwell where and with whom he please -
Never shall any who do this
Come to my hearth or I share their judgement.....

Thus, for The Numinous Way, there is that natural discovery which is an empathic awareness of what is, as it is, with this empathic awareness enabling us to dis-cover our true human nature, as one nexion among a Cosmos of related nexions.

The standard used by both Islam and Christianity to judge a person, their deeds, and other concepts and ideas, is based upon what is or is believed to a revelation from a supreme being, whereas for The Numinous Way such judgement depends upon the ethics of empathy, and upon reason.

The Ethics of Empathy and Honour:

The foundation - the essence - of the ethics of The Numinous Way is empathy: empathy with all life, human and otherwise, on this planet; empathy with Nature, and empathy with the Cosmos. Empathy, as explained elsewhere, is manifested in a practical way through compassion and honour, and is only and ever individual, based upon a direct, personal, knowing. Empathy - like honour - cannot be extracted out from what is living (an individual empathic human being) into some "ideal" or into some abstraction, and attempts to do this negate empathy and thus remove the numen. That is, all such ideals, and abstractions, are lifeless, devoid of numinosity, and thus do not re-present, in any way, Life itself, nor the Cosmos, nor The Cosmic Being. Instead, they are the cause of, or they perpetuate suffering; they are manifestations of human hubris.

The ethics of Islam and Christianity derive from their Holy Books, which are studied for principles, with those people mentioned in such books considered as examples, for good, or bad. For The Numinous Way, the example is the individual of honour, reason, empathy and fairness.

As a practical manifestation of empathy, honour is thus the basis for the laws of The Numinous Way, and thus the basis for a community living according to The Numinous Way. There are nine fundamental principles of law for such a community (4) and these laws are very different from the laws of both Islamic and Christian societies.

An Islamic society is one ruled according to Shariah, which Muslims regard as the way to Allah. Furthermore, for Islam, only Allah's laws are right, and these have been given in the Quran and the Sunnah, with the perfect society - the ideal to follow - having been created by the Prophet Muhammad in Medina.

The ethics of empathy - and thus the ethics of personal honour - determine the behaviour of each and every individual who upholds The Numinous Way, and thus determine how those individuals treat other people: in a fair, just, empathic way, regardless of the beliefs, the race, the culture, of those other people.

The Concept of the Acausal:

The Numinous Way gives us an awareness of several types of living being which other Ways of Life ignore or consider irrelevant. This ignorance is especially true of modern materialism. These beings include Nature, other life, and the Cosmic Being.

These types of being derive their life from The Numen itself. That is, they possess a certain quality which is a-causal; which is beyond the bounds set by causal Space and causal Time, and it is this quality which empathy makes us aware of, as it is empathy which enables us to sympathize with and identify with, other life.

For convenience, this acausal quality which all life possesses is called acausal energy, and thus all that lives - all living beings, sentient and otherwise - are manifestations of the acausal in the causal world. To understand The Numinous Way is to understand this concept of the acausal, and thus the matrix, The Unity, which the acausal is. It is the acausal which is numinous, which we apprehend through great Art, literature, music, and which is the essence of "the sacred" itself. It is the acausal which is the essence of life, which is the matrix of connexions which unite all cosmic life, and it is a rational understanding, and empathic awareness, of the acausal which enables us to place our own lives in the correct, Cosmic, context, and which provides us with the insight of how all life, causal and acausal, is connected, dependant, inter-related. Thus, when we harm other life we are, in effect, only harming ourselves, and reducing our own potential to change, to aid the change, the life, of the Cosmos.

An awareness of the acausal gives us a modern understanding of what the Ancient Greeks called hubris - that it is unwise to go to great extremes, unwise to be too arrogant, unwise to be dishonourable, or tempt "Fate". For such things upset the natural balance, and this balance will, inevitably, be restored, in our own lifetime, or beyond. This return to balance can and does bring misfortune to those who commit hubris - or their descendants, or their community, or those around them, or to Nature, for such a restoration, such a balancing, is a natural act, implicit in life itself: implicit in the nature of acausal energy.

This concept of the acausal as a rational and empathic apprehension, is in contrast to the submission and faith required by both Muslims and Christians.


It should be clear that there are fundamental, and irreconcilable, differences between The Numinous Way, Islam, and Christianity. The Numinous Way is a complete Way of Life - independent from, and different from, other Ways. The Cosmic Being of The Numinous Way is neither God, nor Allah, and no comparison between them is possible or required. The ethics of empathy and honour establish laws, and communities, which differ from those of Islam and Christianity. The Numinous Way concept of Nature and the Cosmos as living, evolving, beings, are not important for Islam or Christianity. In contrast to Islam and Christianity, there is no concept of sin, nor any need for prayer or ritual, in The Numinous Way. 


(1) The acausal is outlined in Acausal Science: Life and the Nature of the Acausal.
(2) See Surreal Science.
(3) The Sunnah is the example - in words and deeds - of the Prophet Muhammad, recorded in books of Ahadith, such as those of Bukhari.
(4) See my The Principles of Numinous Law. The ethics of The Numinous Way are described essays such as Cosmic Ethics and the Meaning of Life.

It should be noted that these ethics have several practical consequences, as outlined in essays such Some Practical Consequences of Cosmic Ethics.