The Propensity of ‘Man’
The proposition is that the propensity of ‘man’ is to take simple truths and then bury them in a debris of complicated, academic, ritualistic thinking and debate that usually erects a dense fog around the matter that makes for more difficulty in others reaching understanding of the fundamentals and can also and often lead to disagreement and conflict.
It does however allow the perpetrators of the process to gain control and then to gather kudos for attempting to interpret the interlocking and underlying truths contained in the proposition. This is aided by the truism and generalisation that ‘man’ is lazy in applying the effort required to reach an individual and personal understanding and the general preference to rely upon others to interpret what the meanings are and what and how we should think about the matter.
Then add to the above that the various interpreters can have disagreements and different opinions which in turn present a dichotomy as to which version one should believe. The resulting confusion caused by this overcomplicated procedure often adds little to the central truth but does result in conflict of both ideas and, on occasion, to physical violence.
A classic example is the central and very simple core message of the teaching of Jesus. This is — ‘that what we choose to hold in our minds determines how we live our lives and the wise choice is to choose love.’ Love of God the creator, love of our fellow ‘men’ and love of our environment!
What would our lives be like if this was adopted by all?
What and how we choose to think has a direct effect upon our health and our general happiness. What is more the control of this gift is in the hands of each individual. Choose love and enjoy happiness and good health or the alternative with the ensuing opposite results. In addition this proposition is easily proven by every individual by using the criteria ‘does it work’? The reality is that what we think has a direct bearing upon our glands which in turn affect our health. Thus what we think has a direct physical effect. A very simple example being — when we are sad we cry and our eyes actually shed tears.
‘Man’ has a knack of making life more difficult than it could be when just a little forethought and application could improve the quality of life considerably. Emmet Fox has suggested;
“The natural man is lazy and always takes the line of least resistance. It is only a change in consciousness that outer conditions can really be altered [for the better]. Changing one’s consciousness can be hard work calling for unceasing vigilance and the breaking of mental habits”. He also said, “We as ‘mental beings’ make the mental laws under which we live; and we have to live under the laws that we make.
The truth is that the Will of God for us always means greater freedom, greater self-expression, wider and newer and brighter experience; better health, greater prosperity, wider opportunity of service to others — life more abundant.” My experience is that this is true and I may say, well worth the effort required to experience this truth.
Some suggested situations and suggestions are set out below:-
- Failing to seek for and find the core truth in situations and therefore treating symptoms rather than ‘causes’. Thus the need to always seeking a cure for the cause rather than using a ‘sticky plaster’ approach and allowing a repetition of the problem to reappear.
- Many wait and prefer to be told of the action they should take rather than thinking things out for themselves and questioning the veracity, as far as possible, about reported events and facts.
- Over complicating things unnecessarily instead of searching for and sticking to the simple core truth. It is always wise to remember that for every so-called ‘expert’ there is often one or more other ‘experts’ taking a contrary view or opinion.
- Flying to conflict and argument and being persuaded by the media or others, to indulge in disagreement rather than listening and understanding where others are coming from without either agreeing or disagreeing. Many in the media seek out disagreements and foster conflict to inflame emotions rather than focussing upon the factual content.
- Failing to vote in elections (I believe voting should be required of all citizens of voting age by law) and, also in particular then complaining about or criticising the result.
Rather than waiting to be told what to do and how to behave the ‘Instruction Book’ (the Bible) is clear, “Seek and Ye shall find” we are told — and the best place for guidance in all things is to refer to the ‘Instruction Book’!