Sunday, May 12, 2013

Panic Button: The Way of the Will (3 of 4)

"His will is the safeguard of a man against the unlawful intrusion of other persons.

"We are taught that there are offences against the bodies of others which may not be committed, but who teaches us that we may not intrude upon the minds and overrule the wills of others; that it is indecent to let another probe the thoughts of the 'unconscious mind' whether of child or man?

"Now the thought that we choose is commonly the thought that we ought to think and the part of the teacher is to afford to each child a full reservoir of the right thought of the world to draw from. For right thinking is by no means a matter of self-expression. Right thought flows upon the stimulus of an idea, and ideas are stored as we have seen in books and pictures and the lives of men and nations; these instruct the conscience and stimulate the will, and man or child 'chooses.'

"An accomplished statesman exhibited to us lately how the disintegration of a great empire was brought about by the weakness of its rulers who allowed their will-power to be tampered with, their judgment suggested, their actions directed, by those who gained access to them.

"There is no occasion for panic..."
No, no, by all means, panic.  Now is a good time.  If "the government" can't even get the design and function of gas cans right (without vents, they don't pour properly), are you going to trust "them"** with the design and function of anything more important? 

Christian readers, don't get me wrong--yes, I know life is not so much up to "us" as it is up to God.  But like the Israelites who returned to Jerusalem and got busy building walls, there's also the need to safeguard what is ours, ours personally and ours that we are responsible for--like our children.  All the returning exiles were expected to pick up tools or at least carry rocks.  (Some, if I remember correctly, just guarded the ones who were working.  Is there a thought there about the need to pray for those with the heaviest jobs, in the line of fire?)
"Realising how much is possible to Mansoul and the perils that assail it, he should know that the duty of self-direction belongs to him; and that powers for this direction are lodged in him, as are intellect and imagination, hunger and thirst.

"These governing powers are the conscience and the will. The whole ordering of education with its history, poetry, arithmetic, pictures, is based on the assumption that conscience is incapable of ordering life without regular and progressive instruction. [BUT] We need instruction also concerning the will. Persons commonly suppose that the action of the will is automatic, but no power of Mansoul acts by itself and of itself, and some little study of the 'way of the will'––which has the ordering of every other power––may help us to understand the functions of this Premier in the kingdom of Mansoul."

**And who are "they," anyway?  "They" are, to some extent, "us."

1 comment:

amy in peru said...

this part struck me too. sometimes i feel like i need to become a political activist. and then i remember where i live and who i am. but, something must be done!!!

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