Joyce Carol Oates defines “religion”

Oates was raised Catholic but as of 2007 was an atheist. In an interview with Commonweal magazine, Oates stated, “I think of religion as a kind of psychological manifestation of deep powers, deep imaginative, mysterious powers which are always with us.”

God used to be up and out. When Jesus’ messiah campaign failed, the messiah-run state, or Kingdom of God, became, under the anti-gnostic reading of Luke 17:21, interior—internal to consciousness.

This is just one instance of many when a failed prophecy or proclamation was said to have actually happened anyway, only in another (hidden) dimension.

Jesus did become king of Israel … in the other dimension. He was crowned as king and given dominion over Israel and the world … in the other dimension. It looked, down here, like he was arrested and executed in the ugliest possible way. But that’s just how things look from down here.

JCO substitutes deep for God. Deep assumes a metaphysics of interiority. How did God and the immortal stuff of superlunar space change from up to within and deep?

When people talk about the spirit being interior, they are talking about a (conscious) human body. Only volumes of space have an inner and outer. “Interior” is relative to some boundary. The soul is “in” the body, “deep” in its “interior.”

But saying that God, Sky, immortal spirit, and consciousness are deep inside conscious human bodies presents a problem. The problem is that every spatial point is external to consciousness, even the ones in the very center of the body.

By deep she means physio-interior. The real of a thing is its matter, content, parts, stuff. The real of cells—not the whole spatial volume coterminous with the cell, but its molecules. The real of those? Not the cloud-like molecule, but its droplets and jiggling interiors. Quarks, too, are more space than the point-reals within them. Deep. The deep self is its foundation. Resting-on is still another reliance on interiority. The being of “I” rests on the body which rests on matter which rests on … which rests on God. That is why religion and deep do properly really go together.

There is no getting away from space when we talk about True Self. True Self is what is most inward. And no point in my bodily volume is inward enough to satisfy my the extent conveyed by my consciousness’ self apprehension.