As a philosophical statement, Radix Fidem teaches that reality is a living being — variable and personal. There is no such thing as objective reality; there is only experience and perception for each individual human. Reality is external to us, but we have to approach knowing reality as knowing a person, and it’s a person who relates to everyone differently.
People can change. Most people do change simply as part of the aging process. Throughout life, the various influences upon us can close some doors and open new ones. However, what’s really going on is a change in perception; some doors were only imaginary, while others were ignored.
The ultimate degradation is attempting to actually control someone else’s perception. It destroys others as it destroys you. Evil men have sought such control since the beginning; we learned it in the Garden at the Fall. Satan succeeded in deceiving Eve about the nature of the Tree of Knowledge, and humans have been trying to copy the Devil’s ways ever since. In doing this, they serve the Devil’s purposes. We were driven out of the Garden for that. Outside the Garden, people strive to steer the behavior of other life for their own benefit. There’s a good and bad side to that.
There is an honest way of changing the perceptions of other humans. It begins with humility and compassion, an enlightenment from God. We look in the mirror of truth and realize what a mess we are, and from this understand that such is the nature of fallen humanity. Human perception is chaotic at best; any attempt to improve things is a monumental task. Knowing how hard it is to change our own perceptions, we don’t suffer the false assumption that we can easily move others. It’s this recognition that is the foundation of honest efforts.
Instead of struggling to control the perceptions, and thus control behavior, of others, we seek to establish boundaries in terms of paying a price that discourages harm. We shouldn’t imagine that we can stop all harm, only that little bit of harm that is actually our business. That’s the teaching about dominion and feudal grant from God. He gives us a limited domain and limited authority within that domain. We use the tools He grants for the purpose of His glory. We protect what He delivers to us as our mission on His behalf.
This humility teaches us that, since we can scarcely control our own behavior, the best we can hope for with others is a limited measure of keeping them from harming what God has called us to do. We realize that, for the most part, there is darn little we can do for ourselves, so there’s even less we can do for others. If they place themselves knowingly within our domain, we can exercise some useful authority in their lives, whatever and however much they actually embrace our feudal dominion. This all assumes we are striving to play the shepherd role in bringing some sense of order to the chaos in our own souls.
The only real change in the human soul arises from within. The final ultimate redemption includes in the mix a volition to accept redemption. It’s utterly false to imagine that a sense of order can be precise and static; that’s a bad lie. Order is defined as tentative peace between individuals, a living thing that must be tended and nurtured. It’s dynamic and alive and always personal. There is no static ideal; our definition of “perfect” includes variability. We define as morally good whatever works to bring a sense of peace and affection between parties. That includes the functional recognition of multiple parties within us.
Everything is a parable, a way of bringing the perception closer to experience. We don’t have to account for everything that is or might be, only what we have experienced. But that experience includes any revelation from God, be it ever so subtle, of things that are and are not yet. We hold forth the teaching that our direct experience of God Himself is the only truly sure thing we have to go on. Revelation corrects our perception of the collected sensory experience in all things. This teaches us that His created reality is amenable to friendship but not leverage. Reality is far more intelligent than we are, and certainly more powerful. Yet it has a commission from God to yield to us in certain ways.
This why people who are deceived can get certain results from arcane arts that might fall under the term “magic.” Those people are seldom seeking communion with reality; they typically seek control over things. This situation has a dark side and it’s often a matter of degrees. This world is not black and white; that’s a lie of the Devil. It’s an oversimplification that seeks to drain the life from everything and force reality to conform to very childish demands. Some things people seek and do are worse than others, and no one is perfect. God’s revelation is alive and active and personal in itself, so the image of static perfection is itself a bad lie. It’s black magic of the darkest kind.
And your answer to any question about such things remains your answer. What God demands of us is by no means uniform, any more than what He grants to each of us as feudal domain. It is your burden to discern what you should include and what you must exclude, how you draw and guard the boundaries, and for how long. There are markers, but no concrete checkpoints. It’s more art than science, if you will. The most powerful thing you do in this life is not a single goal, but keeping peace with God as your relationship with Him swirls and moves around in a very living reality.
Demanding that every question be settled once and for all is a mark of the Curse of the Fall.