The second birth is real. Do you believe? You cannot know. It is too much to know. Knowledge requires it. Knowledge cannot get behind itself to know itself. But it can be asserted. Dare you? Dare I?
At any moment what may happen in the individual is the realization of his status as rational and free. At that moment it may be merely a whiff of a dream. But it is a beginning of a beginning.
What if it is grasped? By who? By what? There it is again. The grasper. What if feeling asserts and the grasper resists? Resists feeling? How dare he! What is this that persists in resistance to feeling? It cannot be known. But it can be asserted. Assert!
What to do? The Stoics I find are excellent in their inspirational promotion of this seed which may grow into the largest tree in the garden. They are also excellent on the in-between. The in-between is the time of the dark night, the time of terror, the time in which being found feels like being lost. I will let it go for now. But it needs attention. Some have analogously called it the seed falling in soil but being choked by weeds. Kierkegaard I think is best for articulating the dark night of the soul. Read Fear and Trembling (by read I hardly mean let one’s sensory receptors to color pass passively over black shapes on white background. I mean ingest, throw up, ingest again, hold down, digest).
Kant is excellent theoretically on the inability to know noumena (that which does not make appearance but is required for appearance). Kant is also excellent on the characterization of the only possible guidance other than earthly feeling and impulsive or inclined responsiveness. The possibility is that there is another realm that contains laws that can provide guidance. Kant paints a picture of a kingdom of kings. Each governed by the laws of that realm voluntarily and in self-direction rules his realm by the deep laws of moral or spiritual reality. And the king is actualized to the degree that he rules by that constitution and not by the earthly constitution. And Kant is excellent on envisioning the church as those who have membership in that realm, who are kings, and equals.
I, in my better moments, strive for such membership. My triumph is self-control, control over the single part of reality that I have been bestowed. That is called the soul. And it cannot be verified to exist except by the necessity with which I must presuppose its existence in order to do anything else. The alternative is to join the vapid materialist (and he should be distinguished from the spiritualist who speaks honestly of what can be verified…only the material. Hume I believe is one of these.)