From Fear To Love
What has been the principle motivator for our development through the ages? The answer, from the humanistic perspective, may very well be the unanswered question. The more questions we seriously asked ourselves, and found answers for (not to say that our answers reflected truth), the faster our movement to stimulating and complex cultures occurred. We now find ourselves in an age of knowledge that is growing in exponential proportions. Yet we can sense that the answers to two of the most important of all questions have not been heeded. In the absence of following the direction that these answers would afford, our liabilities are accumulating at an alarming rate. These two questions are; why have all great cultures failed and what truth is in our human makeup that so often leads us to dismal personal ends? These questions have been answered, to a degree, in each generation and have led some to peaceful and productive lives. But why haven’t those answers been able to be used for the general welfare of mankind?
Broadly speaking, can’t we simply say that our self-serving ways are at the root of our social inadequacies? We have a pervasive lack of ability to just get along with each other. It’s a human thing to have trouble in our relationships; it’s universal. Yet we are dependent upon amiable relations between nations as well as between our relatives and neighbors for our common good.
Before we can be expected to make any progress toward a culture of harmony we must have a common set of do’s and don’ts. But there is something else that drives us to the ever-increasing conflict besides not having common rules or a common law. I have come to conclude that it has been a sense of insecurity, no matter how brief it may have occurred insecurity has been the driving force that results in our human nature. The sense of “insecurity” may truthfully be understood as producing a sense of “fear”. God has clearly given us the rules to live by but he has also told us that our sense of fear HAS TO GO.
1Jo 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We may conclude that there are two things that are imperative that are the result of this statement. We have to find out what true love actually is and we have to become aware of the distinct sources of our fear.
What then is the relationship of love to all the creation in its true or purest or highest expression? What is truth, and by association, what is true love? These are the questions that must be answered before our mutual well being can be experienced. These questions have been pondered on by most all of us. Men and women have written beautiful and inspiring words about the passions of the triumphs or tragedies in our personal lives. Those gifted writers have mirrored our soul in all of its emotional experiences, but they haven’t given us the foundational understanding in why we treat each other in ways that cause so much unhappiness. They haven’t shown us how we ALL may grow, in a mutual existence, toward the fully satisfying experiences of life that we are in so great a need of.
Religions and governments offer their way to well being, but none have really become the recognizable answer. The results of psychological reasoning’s have been vague and have not given us the direction toward a level of behavior that would produce a state of universal peace and harmony. We truthfully don’t know much of what love is about. And, if you ask a number of people to define their understanding of love you would get multiple ideas. We are plainly uncertain about the subject. Do we have to remain this way? I think not. And hopefully you may judge me to be correct.
At this point I would like to provide some information that would help us understand a foundational development that leads us to this human nature that is so self-serving and oriented to social disorder. It is acknowledged by God and recognized by man that the first years of life for an individual represent the time when that part of the personality, which is moldable, has been shaped and set to forever remain a powerful influence. If there has been any concept of personal development among societies that one has remained unchanged throughout time.
Therefore, each of us must consider the importance for seriously studying our beginning moments, months and years. It is difficult though to know the beginning moments when our thought processes begin. We have learned that there is an ever-increasing mental activity, including reaction to external stimuli, beginning long before birth. The unborn baby who tries to shield it eyes from bright light entering the womb gives us a glimpse of the complexity of a babies’ prenatal growth. And, I’ve never been shown that any specific changes in mental processes take place at the time of birth. So by the time the child is born, a rather well endowed mental development already exists.
During the time of gestation we had been living in a most unusual state of comfort. There is no doubt that our accumulating thoughts, at that time, would have no reason to object to this comfortable state of being. But, birth really begins our career in becoming, hopefully, an acceptable member of society. So, the inevitable occurs. We are thrust into a hostile environment. And, for all too many, are brutally brought into this world. The birth process is trauma enough, but add to it openness, coldness, brightness and loudness. For some, birth is achieved by a mechanically induced treatment that has gone as far as producing severe physical and the ensuing physiological damage.
This all represents one of the most profound experiences we will ever have and dramatically sets the stage for the evolvement of our very common natures. As an indication of the degree of trauma, it takes the average baby weeks and sometimes months before it begins to smile. Yet, it is known that a child has the ability to show satisfaction through the smile before birth. Using special conditions, babies have been born not crying, but smiling within moments after their birth.
What we normally do to a child in the first hours of life is to me truly a tragedy of the greatest proportions. Next, follows another most distressing event, that being an awareness of our first pangs of hunger. It can be seen that our experiences with this world so far produces one basic criterion for a newborn, namely that the essence of insecurity is deeply and forever rooted. Then, as the days and weeks follow, we are confronted with a variety of need all producing an experience of insecurity to one degree or another. A period of time of distress, even though it may be subtle, is related to any need. This is how we begin life, but thankfully, the child at this point doesn’t begin to enter any permanent psychological repressions. All is not lost for the little one, for between the parents or nurses’ normal desire to fulfill the needs of the child, and the child’s limited ability to communicate, the adjustment and growth into the new environment begins.
I would like to begin to show how a particular mental process is started in the child, in order to cope with the experiences that have already been encountered. This process then continues to grow in inventiveness and subtleness. It is of the greatest importance to see how our adaptation to our first needs begins this thinking process, which then becomes the overall approach to life.
In essence, we became quite aware of a control that WE had over OUR needs.
It actually had the beginnings with eye shielding among other things prior to birth. And, it is interesting to see that it took very limited instinctive responses to launch us on our journey to “adulthood”. Only two distinctive actions were all that were needed. We could cry and we could have a satisfied or smiling expression to certain stimuli. Between these two responses we soon became aware of a positive control we had over our environment and specific needs, and we quickly used that control.
AS THIS AWARENESS GREW, SO GREW A PREOCCUPATION WITH MAINTAINING AS SATISFYING AN EXISTENCE A POSSIBLE. VERY SIMPLY, WE LEARNED FROM THE START OF OUR LIFE TO HAVE FAITH IN OURSELVES TO BE ABLE TO CONTROL THAT WHICH WAS NEEDED TO PRODUCE OUR OWN SENSE OF WELL BEING.
We certainly had enough motivation to try to keep distresses to a minimum. But, the mother doesn’t quite see things developing this way. Almost always she looks upon her baby as a warm lovable, sweet, precious being. She also sees its innocence and dependency and responsiveness so it would be natural for her to relate all this as reflecting the nature of the child. This may be true in part but there is more to it than that. There is no question that the baby is soft and warm and dependent and responsive, but little effort is made to understand the baby’s thought processes that are beginning to take form; the significance of which is of enormous importance. A problem is that those peaceful, wide-eyed looks and smiles mislead us into thinking that the child is only registering favorable responses from our best interests. Very little effort, on our part, is taken to recognize its self-satisfaction is an uninterrupted manner regarding its life. We don’t think of how this preoccupation will shape the rest of the child’s life and consequently, thinking in collective terms, shape the condition of values on a worldwide scale.
This preceding picture did not take into account the special challenges that occur with those babies that have a high degree of continuous discomfort for one reason or another. For those children a greater degree of wisdom and understanding is needed to deal with their unique needs.
It must be seen that a baby, from the beginning, is a self serving creature, reacting for its best interests all of the time as a response to elements of insecurity. Or in terms that get to the root of our condition we are motivated by a sense of insecurity, which generates an actual level of fear.
We may fool ourselves with actions that seem to have selfless motives, but we have NEVER learned any way, or done any thing, that would not fulfill ourselves in one way or another. And this is related to a conclusion I came to long ago. It was most perplexing and disturbing to me at the time. I realized that we could NEVER “give” of ourselves without “receiving” a benefit in one form or another. So, in my mind there could be no pure form of complete giving. This may not have bothered many people, but it did bother me. This distress represented a distinct level of ignorance that was later put right. That correction came in the recognition of the understanding of the following instruction.
Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
We love ourselves PERFECTLY. We are instructed to love our neighbor PERFECTLY. For an in-depth consideration of this subject you may link to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.
We may have learned ways that society thinks are good, or ways it thinks are bad. It doesn’t matter. If there seemed to be good in it FOR US we accepted it and used it. We are that susceptible to a “sense” of personal well being. It is obvious that our personal development was subjective in nature. In the peoples of the world we see that they have all found individual ways to well being. And of course it is a common thing for us to enhance our sense of “well-being” at the expense of others. The following are a few verses that reflect Gods evaluation of mankind. For a full description of God’s point of view you may link to The Naked Man.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
But, there is though, a part of our nature that really feels a certain inherent goodness. Maybe we can recognize aspects of errant ways within ourselves, but there are times when we experience some kind of relationship with goodness. What could that be in the face of the Biblical description of mankind? Essentially, it begins with the satisfactions of those first needs that produced such an impact on the virgin mind! We have experienced this “goodness” and have associated it with being an intrinsic part of our over all character. What is the difference between feeling good and being good to a young child’s mind. I don’t believe there is any. Then we are taught that we will be a good boy or girl if we do this or that thing. So we mature with an idea of one kind or another that we have a part of us that embodies an essence of goodness. But this is not so. Even Jesus didn’t consider himself as part of any elite group by stating, “Why do you call me good, There is none good but one, that is God”. Being a human being, Jesus knew that all that he embodied was the result of what he received through the physical environment provided by his mother and step father, and the spiritual guidance given by his Father. Jesus knew that if he were left to himself with only what his earthly parents gave him he would have gone astray as quickly and easily as any of us. From this knowledge we should understand that our dependence on God’s Spirit for living a life in “true harmony” with others is absolute.
I would like to offer three definitions that I believe would be very helpful. They actually are truths rather than definitions. They are the foundation of the meaning of all the creation.
GOODNESS IS THE SATISFACTION OF GOD GIVEN NEED
LOVE IS CONCERNED GIVING THROUGH THE SATISFYING OF TRUE NEED
HUMILITY IS ONENESS WITH TRUTH
For a development of the significance of these truths please refer to: The Indispensable Purpose of Need
God has created EVERY aspect of the physical creation in a state of need. We have learned that even the smallest microscopic elements, to function properly, have their specific need. Even the solar system and possibly the universe (as it relates to mankind), is all in a state of need of one kind or another. With the need that has given to mankind God has included complete instruction on how all our need can be satisfied. But, it is so obvious that at best we have thought that it is to our advantage to do our own thing and at worst have decided that God doesn’t exist.
I believe that what we have seen so far gives rise to the following statement.
OUR WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN A RESPONSE TO AN ELEMENT OF SOME KIND OF NEED. PRIOR TO ANY NEED BEING SATISFIED A LEVEL OF INSECURITY IS THE NATURAL RESULT. THAT LEVEL OF INSECURITY CAN BE RELATED TO A SENSE OF FEAR.
We are all fundamentally fearful in nature. As humans we all have this in common. There is though the great spectrum of ways that we learn to use to satisfy our need and associated fears. This is actually how we relate to family, business, entertainment, drugs, insanity, and even suicide. In fact, we USE everything to moderate our fear-promoting needs.
It is both interesting and disturbing to see how some people understand our nature enough to use it for their own purposes. The advertising community takes the fullest advantage of our nature, but only to try to satisfy the ongoing insecurities in their own lives.
Adolph Hitler was able to work with this human nature of ours in general, and the German peoples nature specifically. His life’s work is well documented and in studying it you will find one of the most effective salesmanship jobs ever to be produced. So then, fear, born out of need, has been our prime motivator.
There is another important element that we should consider. Need is the “eternal” essence --- satisfaction of need is the temporary essence of things. As humans we have a continuing need for air, food, warmth, etc., which is temporarily being satisfied by every breath, meal, or fire. Created as we have been, we are given continuous opportunities to experience goodness because the effect of the satisfaction is present for such a relatively short period of time.
This leads us into another consideration. We have learned from childhood to be satisfied with the quickest and the easiest “satisfactions” for the needs God has given us. If the quick and easy ways were most often the best ways we would all possess a wondrous level of success. But that’s not how the intrinsic reality of the nature of things works. Never the less, we use the quick and easy. And God condemns us for it. “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?” Because of our adherence to the short-term solution, we are, and I believe correctly categorized as being simple minded.
I think it is interesting that we are completely needful of our senses to experience and communicate goodness, but not able to put trust in the messages of our senses for true and lasting goodness. Our only hope for goodness, as a human, is through the senses; yet it has been our senses that have led us astray. God very plainly shows us He planned it this way from the beginning.
Rom 8:20 For the creature “was made” subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also “shall be delivered” from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
The word “creature” is better translated “original creation” and the word “hope” should read “earnest expectation. Adam and Eve represent that “original creation”. It is imperative that the context that the “original creation” is placed in, be fully acknowledged. It is God’s earnest expectation that the humanity that is the result of the original creation become the “children” of God. I have never seen any teaching in the Bible that any animal or tree or rock may become a child of God. Mankind, brought about by Adam and Eve, was made by God, “subject to vanity” or subject to that which has no value.
Conversely, if we could know true need and if we could be willing to SACRIFICE our dedication the satisfaction of our own senses (self love) and give evidence to those we come in contact with that we are desirous of satisfying their need, trouble between each other would eventually vaporize. But what is our true need?
We now come to the subject of “TRUTH”. One of the most important questions asked of Jesus was recorded in John 18:38.
Joh 18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
What a question. From the humanistic perspective, I would have to say, it’s whatever a person uses for evidence that would support their individual journey to a sense of well-being.
That sense of well-being is nothing more than having our ever present needs satisfied one way or another. Truth is very often discovered in the world of science because there are natural “laws” that have dictated the avenues of inquiry. In the world of politics we have all witnessed the supreme flight into pure subjective reasoning where the use of truth is as rare as “peace in our time”. It is a common thing to lie, or to believe a lie, or to follow after a lie. We have become, as a society, lacking in the ability to recognize a lie, or a false way to personal fulfillment. To have that level of affinity with “truth” takes a certain amount of work. And more importantly, a certain level of humility (the ability to know truth and be at one with it). It would be helpful to always be in remembrance of two things: we are continuously motivated by need of one kind or another which gives rise to a sense of insecurity (fear) and we use the quickest way we can to satisfy those insecurities --- the easy way.
The quintessential example of subjective reasoning comes in the form of religion. It has been the fountainhead of discourse and strife that has resulted in some of the most hideous examples of “righteous justice” one can imagine. Also, there is no limit to the number of groups of peoples that believe in different “truths”. And God has something to say about that.
Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;
Truth does exist !!!
Yet we have an enormousness problem. Being made subject to vanity we have a built in deficiency that affects body and soul.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who
can know it?
We are perfectly able to convince ourselves of just about ANYTHING that would serve our personal needs and ambitions.
Unfortunately the culture of the Church of God reflects a level of disagreement to a considerable degree. It is so interesting that truth exists, but God’s church has a very difficult time discerning it in some important areas. Doesn’t this indicate a significant lack in the church today? Yes, but that lack may have an important purpose. Many of us are learning to love one another in spite of our differences. The priority of learning to love is supreme among all the needs of Gods human creation. Will we be united in doctrine before the return of Jesus? We may not be, but that doesn’t seem to be that high up on God’s list of priorities. What is important is that we “casteth out fear” and be made perfect in love. Also, that we “love others as we love ourselves”. That instruction is repeated seven times.
As we put less dependence on the satisfaction of our own need, we put more and more distance from the insecurity that accompanies need. As we put more and more emphasis on others need, we become more and more aligned with the master plan of God. In doing that we are moving from fear to love. Yes, it is a matter of sacrifice.
When we understand that we ALL experience life through an undercurrent of fear we can then have a real empathy for virtually every other person. Our patience and desire to serve now has a more specific reason to be developed. Our knowledge and understanding can be truly enhanced. We can see that our need for God’s Spirit to guide us in the way of truth is essential. The awesome gift of the Spirit of God abiding in us is the ONLY way that we may experience our creator’s realm of righteousness. Through that Spirit we may become more useful to God in bringing about His “earnest expectation”. That would truly be a wonderful thing.