(4) THE RELIGIOUS SENSE. The instinct for the luminous, the holy, something to be worshipped; shares the basis and independence of the other three.
The concept of God answers human needs of every type. Some of these needs are those of reason; some are not.
Reason seeks God by the road of orderliness and thought.
Instinct (the religious sense) seeks God by the road of love. It looks for a relationship with Him.
Proof of God's existence, like that which was offered by the philosophical systems of Descartes and St. Thomas Aquinas, appeal to man's reason. Modern science and philosophy will accept as proof only those capable of being tested by experiment.
Mystics, like Pascal, respond to the religious sense along the channels of the innate impulses and the inner witnesses. Pascal writes: "Of God's existence, man's heart has proofs his brain wots not of." [Rise of Wisdom in Europe, v.2, p. 18]
Will Durant: "Religion is a natural matter, born directly of our instinctive needs and feelings."
Dr. Alexis Carrel wrote: "The mystic sense is the stirring deep within us of a basic instinct. Man, just as he needs water, so likewise needs God."
In the 1920's, Dr. Rudolf Otto affirmed that the elements of reason are paralleled by the elements of fitrah. The two, he said, are partners mutually assisting each other. All the attributes of God (like Omnipotence, Holiness, Sovereignty) must be understood as separate entities. Thus "Holiness" is an independent concept. It is not the result of any other idea. It is not to be reckoned the same as any other concept of the human being, whether a concept of reason, or of instinct.
We live in what we call "the Space Age". We have added the fourth dimension of outer space to the three terrestrial dimensions of length, breadth, and depth. So also this age adds to the three basic concepts of "Truth, Goodness, and Beauty"; "Holiness", the fourth dimension of the human soul. It is possible that this fourth dimension is the foundation of the other three. The fact that in every age a minority has propagated materialistic ideas in no way invalidates the claim of the religious sense as limbic. Materialist atheism is a speciality of a small, though vocal minority. They are an exception to the rule incarnated in the vast majority of mankind. Metaphysical views are natural. And there are exceptions to every rule.