“Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.” [Edmund Burke]
I believe that the “humanist or secular culture” is, in our time, busy with a process of inverting, corrupting or perverting Jesus Christ’s statement “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.“[John15:13] … into a very dangerous imitation – Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a “greater good”, or for a “great cause“, or because the “lack of the goodness, worth, or value” of the human species makes him dangerous to our environment.
The “Upside Down” life, or “How to breathe underwater”.
“As soon as philosophy separates itself from the life of people it begins to lose its vitality and is heading in the wrong direction” [Paul Johnson p193]
“Socrates spent his life resisting “the denial of independent thought by individuals”. Institutions rest on consensus and when every individual distrusts their received wisdom, and even reject the possibility of their being a correct and incorrect answer to problems, then getting consensus, especially the “right consensus” proves difficult indeed, if not impossible.” [Socrates by Paul Johnson p93]
“Destroy personal freedom, and ultimately the state destroys itself. No state succeeds in the long run by taking away freedom from individuals, other than those strictly necessary for guaranteeing individualism. And unless the state recognises this established fact its destruction will be both certain and brutal. Alternatively, a state that steps back from the edge of collectivism and reinstates individual freedoms will survive. This is the theoretical advantage offered by democracy, when the people can peacefully rebel against the state, compared with dictatorships when they cannot.” [Friedrich von Hayek]
The problem for every individual though remains – the moment I think some people’s interpretations, of the Bible or anything else, are authoritative and some aren’t I am being subjective in my discernment, it is unavoidable. And Paul tells me to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” [Phi 2:12] then at what point does my personal discernment or my personal “individual subjectivism” surplant Christ and “my god become me”?
“Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than ones-self or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than ones-self.” [Viktor E Frankl]
“Real spiritual need and change, it must be emphasized, is on the inside, in the hidden area of our life that God sees and that we cannot even see in ourselves without His help. Indeed n the early stages of spiritual development we could not endure seeing our inner life as it really is. The possibility of denial and self-deception is something God has made accessible to us, in part to protect us until we really begin to seek Him. Like the face of the mythical Medusa, our true condition in separation from God would turn us to stone if we ever fully confronted it. It would drive us mad. God has to help us come to terms with it in ways that will not destroy us outright.” [Richard Rohr]
“Neither happiness nor success can be end’s, they are the “means” to an “end”. To live unhappily because happiness is an “end” or objective, actually makes the “end”/happiness unattainable simply because happiness is a state of being which is an unintended side-effect or by-product of devotion to something/someone other than happiness itself.”[Viktor E Frankl]
Jesus says, “My son give Me thy heart”; your heart must be fixed in and on the right Substance – Me.
The moment you have fixed your heart on Me we have a vision – My vision for you; we have the means for you to reach that vision (the Holy Spirit, Me and your ‘self’) and all you need to do is repent and, giving your utmost for My highest, intend to reach Me with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. I am the Door that was opened, I am the Kingdom on the other side of that door, and I will, not only help you through that Door but help you stay on the other side of that door in the Kingdom.