When you step back and take a long look at the Bible narrative, you find there are ways you can summarize or outline things from our modern perspective without doing violence to the original meaning. It’s nothing more than translating it into another language and culture, seeking to say the same things in terms of what morality demands of us.
Living here inside the space-time continuum is, in essence, a spiritual prison sentence. We aren’t designed for this and could never really understand how we got here, but rejecting this symbolic imagery guarantees you won’t escape it. A critical element in escape is realizing the path lies through a complete shift in our frame of reference. Our net cultural legacy has put some significant distance and obstacles between us the exit. My mission as prophet includes daily blather in which I try to offer clues to the outbound path. This post is no different.
The fundamental concept of morality has two threads. One is giving due reverence to the Creator. All the prescriptions I can offer on that could never be more than my personal experience, because communion with God on any level is entirely one-on-one. You might find that elements of my experience can offer useful clues, but you and I cannot pass through this thing the same way. There may be some overlap, surely some common human territory, but the real core of things cannot possibly be exactly the same for each of us. In essence, you are on your own. It’s between you and Him. Worship is all symbolism, because an experience with the divine is totally beyond words.
However, far more easily discussed is one particular element of that reverence, which is how we relate to each other. In this, we discover a necessity of seeing how we hold far more in common. In that we share the limitations of this spiritual prison, there is plenty of room for discussion in human terms. This particular thread of morality can be summed up in the goal of social stability.
Not the sort of Utopia any number of intelligent people can dream up, but we need the social stability which is actually possible as a grant from the Creator. There are limits simply because of the limits of our existence. Social stability is a constant give and take, a living thing, not some objective reality the mind can encompass fully. There is some limited overlap of our unique individuality before God in the eternal sphere and our numerous differences between each other on this plane below. Morality arises from what is in each of us, but is not simply an issue of what is inside each of us. It is in how we negotiate the shared space and time. It’s a matter of commitment to something living and dynamic. While each of us has a unique mixture of strengths and weaknesses, that simply guides how we implement individually the broader goal of stability. We are juggling, with inevitable failures, something too complex for any real human.
So a primary issue is preparing for the failures, our own and those of others. Social stability is not stasis, because for each improvement any of us makes, there are a dozen failures either coming out or simply touching us. In other words, precious few of God’s Laws are a matter of “how to” but of “give these results.” You are smart enough to estimate a reasonable how-to when you understand some basic issues. This is why, for example, I spend so many electrons hammering the myth of feminism in particular and Western Civilization as a whole. The fundamental assumptions are all wrong; if we don’t correct them, social stability is entirely too hard to manage.
Part of the solution is conceptualizing three fundamental human weaknesses.
One is our entirely unreasoning appetites. The body is wired to demand certain things, which bubble up into our awareness with a powerful emotional quotient. Unrestrained, such demands guarantee neither we nor our social context will last very long. Rightly so; civilization is all about learning restraint and practical ways of meeting those demands without social instability. Mind your manners, fool.
Two is our unrestrained curiosity. If we fail to realize there are sane limits, that there are some things we can experience which are inherently damaging to us, we are guaranteed to lose any hope of social stability. The mind is not endlessly resilient. One wise psychologist referred to psychic burglary, taking unjustified shortcuts into things which we cannot ever own. Instead, they will own us. Ask anyone with psychic scar tissue if they would be willing to go back and do things differently and not have to experience certain things. All of us have a trigger which reacts when someone asks if we wished we could forget certain things.
Three is our god complex. It’s built in at birth. You can call it pride or arrogance, but it is the fundamental assumption there is nothing we can’t do, nothing we can’t handle, nothing we can’t understand if we try. This is how the other two keep getting us into trouble, because humility is so repugnant. Arrogance is the default and learning that you aren’t a god is painful. It’s built into the tears of childhood, for example. There are some things we’ll never control and learning that is the foundation of human maturity.
These three elements of our human nature militate against social stability. Notice: You cannot fix other people. You can make yourself odious enough they’ll try to isolate you, but you can’t make them want what you want. The only thing you can fix is some portion of yourself. You most certainly do have the power to commit yourself to social stability, knowing before you start it will mean a measure of inevitable loss. The question is not whether you’ll lose anything, but how much. You have to balance between differing types and levels of loss; you must learn what you cannot afford to give up lest you lose your own humanity. Morality is balancing your humanity against that of others you encounter.
Critical to the path is having a reason to move along it. The one best way to structure the competing demands and costs of escaping the prison is realizing and embracing your mission, a conceptualized reason for trying. It’s a way of taking account of your unique mixture of talent and folly. It’s the better answer to the question of what you are; your individual identity is your collection of commitments. Without some focused drive to escape, you most certainly will not. You have to eliminate things you can’t do to find those you must do. Escape itself is not a motive or mission; there has to be some place to which you need to go.
I’ve fulfilled my mission for this post. Got peace? I do.