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Minding Minds, Mindless Minds,
Marijuana and Psychosis
Mental Conviviality, Oblivion and Obfuscation
Committing the Deeds for Committal
ABC TV March 7, 2005
On ABC TV, Monday March 7, an unusually good program appeared.
It provided not only thought about thoughts, but some good graphics to enable one to form an impression directly, in terms of some well-chosen personal interviews. Here pathos, obtrusive wilfulness and devastation were mixed, heroism and ruin.
The topic was incipient paranoia, then schizophrenia, with voices as an option, wild sprees that could lead to death, disorientation and depravity on the one side, and courage and consistency on the other, that might appear on the part of those who mind the minds which are in danger of becoming mindless.
That bane of modern society, that murderer of mentality, marijuana, appeared on the screen. At this, some might wince or wail, for it might be maintained that in moderation and with care, the delicious joys which some may feel to be theirs with the social use of this drug, are by no means of this type.
It is similar in speeding in cars. You may for some time, if you choose your moments be able to have the dubious thrills of having steel carry you through air in the midst of dangerous objects, which are not always about to declare themselves in advance, and yet not be injured one bit. You may be able to glory in your risks, skills, real or imaginary, until the day comes when your habit takes you a little further, or some operation of which you were unaware takes you by surprise, or some of the frailities of your boastful flesh suddenly strike you without notice, and behold, your whisking becomes woe!
With experimentation on your mind, by means of marijuana, it is, if possible, a worse case. The scenario is one of multiple risk and many unknowns. Such was an implicit or at times rather explicit message from this program.
Some have susceptibilities of genetic pre-disposition (which with something approaching inanity, some seem to imagine to be the same as a drab drive of fate which cannot be resisted, despite the fact that many with this or that gene of disposition, do overcome the weakness, just as others do poverty and so forth), and this means that various results will be stirred, activated, stimulated and implemented within you, sooner or more readily than in some others. Thus the social side of things can be delusive, as far as danger is concerned.
Again, the habit, be it alcohol or loosing your temper, or self-esteem rather than the right estimation of facts, or taking drugs, becomes a causeway for crossing to the island of disregard for life, DE-LIFE ISLE.
This is delife! it cries, playing on the misuse of 'de' which is down, as if it were 'the' which is imposing!
The tilt comes in the form, for some readily, of imagining that they are possessed of powers of which there can be no doubt, they are empty; and since all contrariety with fact is perilous, this can mean instant and early death. When you see the loving concern of parents, as in this TV production, the courage and tenacity which may be required in seeking to deliver a DE-LIFE ISLE inhabitant, a drug addict, it becomes poignant. Our current society loves to allow people to perform imbecilities of many kinds, and to pretend that this is that great Mother Freedom at work. In fact, liberty is lovely, but insanity is not.
Being free to do what you will is one thing; willing to destroy yourself is another.
Thus in a democracy, where you can get this or that in this or
that State which has this or that attitude, there is much scope for
understanding to be exercised. Without it, however, the society becomes self-immolative,
a vehicle for destruction. What then ? is freedom to be denied ? Not at all,
only the needless means of removing it for oneself or for others. For others ?
What freedom is there for those who have to slave to seek the restoration of
those who wilfully imbibe drugs which first of all reduce their accuracy
of perception, then make this a muddle, then a madness, with unknown times of incidence of the symptoms ?
A nation is as strong as its people are wise, and their trust is where it belongs; and wisdom is not to be found in experimentation with your life, to find at what point you have so damaged it that it becomes a case of expensive hospitalisation and liberal woes, merely for the sake of sensation.
Is it social sensation as well ? What then is this social sensation, this sense of mutual belonging which the drug may be occasion to produce, in that you are all doing this wonderful and exciting and rather dangerous thing ? It is merely an indifference to responsibility and an occasion for destruction, a playful vaunting at inhibitions which can lead to partial death, in which many operate for years, to palliate the result.
In one case, a young man of some intellect was the topic of the TV documentary. He had a strange sort of glee, of directness, and seemed in some ways engaging, as the testimony of one of his minders made clear. His own testimony, as that concerning his ability to complete year 12 despite increasing symptoms of surrealism in his perception and distortion in his orientation, was in some ways impressive; but the drug's powerful impediment prevented his completion of what he was doing at the university, perhaps ending a professional career.
He indicated that one of the symptoms was this: that the inner man and the outer man, his inwardness and his interface with society, this appeared to dissolve into one. He was on the outside what he was on the inside. Now this may at first appear an exercise in Alice in Wonderland; but it is not so. One could see by watching him what he meant. It was this very engaging directness and sense of glee which, while appealing in its seeming innocence, as if inhibition and reserve, care and concern were distanced, held thought of superficiality.
On one occasion, the topic was his continuing, though largely healed after prodigous efforts of various kinds from various people, to use marijuana sometimes, a little. The question was asked him, Is this playing Russian roulette ? His formerly almost playfully intense words suddenly sobered. A sense of personal direction of his life suddenly supervened. No, he said, it is not. One could sense in this statement an assertiveness which before that, had been almost absent. Here lay a decisiveness, a resolution which was no mere superficial experience occurring in his mind. Here was WILL.
What of this, his relatively minor but continued dalliance with the drug ? WHY would it not be likely to lead him to find, or at least to become unpleasantly and perilously close to, such an end: to resumption of more acute symptoms, and so worse loss of power and performance criteria, and to more pathology ? No reason appeared, but the presumed capacity to estimate the wind on the sails, and to know at what point it might tear them, and up to which point it would not do so.
Thus a personal estimate, based on some experience and knowledge of results, despite the genetic liabilities of unknown but relevant proportions, and the degree and kind of damage already done, and perhaps in some measure irrevocable, as appears in some, short of miracle: this was the slender contrivance, apparently, to keep him from relapse. Why ? It seems that despite the utter havoc wrought in him by the drug, and despite the wonder of significant recovery over years of labour, there was an appeal in the original use of the drug, which merely meant more caution, but not abstinence.
To what extent, then, is this a cure ? and what of those who are not cured, becoming permanently demented to this or that degree, filled with poignant remorse, often short of repentance, watching their wasted lives in various degrees of witlessness, perform their strange antics of disorientation of perception and perhaps of conception also; for the simple horror is this, that psychosis, sometimes permanent, is one legacy of the drug.
Yet what of those who in the interim labour, whether with tax money, or parental money, with parental lives or those of desolated friends ? What of their sacrifice, and what of its needless character ?
The use of such drugs is thus unwise, and their legalisation is most unwise. It could be said that alcoholic beverages are not different, and these are not excluded. This is true, and it is equally true that the capacity to moderate such things is in both cases, similar in this, that the taking of SOME increases the likelihood of an inability to use restraint, for the drug operates on the means of restraint. In this, both have a similarity: they upset your brakes, while you are driving, and this to a degree which, while sometimes predictable in the short run, is not predictable in the long run; nor are the results of the actions which are taken while these drugs make fools of their imbibers.
In the case of marijuana, however, the onsets are more insidious, their aftermaths more coercive more deeply, more disorientative by changing the means of perception, and psychosis seems more probable to the still so young, with many layers of rehabilitation in view. One report was that of 10 cases of psychosis seen by a psychiatric worker in one week, 7 would be found related to early taking of marijuana. It is however the principles of its pathology which are the most impactive.
Impressive as this is, and all related features of this insidous and multiple disablement and disruption of the human means of recovery, the drug is more than tolerated. So does man, on vacation from morals and regarding realities as inhibitions, act the playboy with his own destruction.
However, despite these exhibitions of man's toleration of what makes him for many intolerable, and of his use of means to change his mind from its best perceptions and most able usage, to unpredictable consequences, such as may readily come either because the drug has unexpected effects on restraint, or because unexpected situations stimulate unusual usage of a drug now already part of life's habits, and so lead to ruin: there is a more edifying aspect.
It is this. There is in man a capacity to ruminate, ponder, assess critically, even oneself. The degree of subjectivity and the state of the psyche in terms of subtle self-regard, or its opposite, may make this relatively inaccurate; but the power is there. Some tend more to use it, some less. Some tend more to abound in reactivities, others in response. Yet all have it.
When drugs, be they mental or physical, pharmacological or physiological, emotional or delusive in philosophic muddle: when these affect man's inward state, with whatever degree of willingness, or in some cases, passion, be it of exuberance or depression, wildness or defeat, there is a focus on that facet and feature of man. What IS this inward capacity ?
It is nothing less than a review panel or board or authority or facility, which enables comparison of one's own actions with those of others, of society, of cultures, of things past, or imaginary things to come, with principles, precepts, with morals and mental machinations, with ideas and ideals. Carefully used, it is both brakes and it is direction-finding equipment. It allays mere reaction and turns it into response; it prohibits or at least inhibits deception and helps prudence; it enables appearance to be reduced to a phase of reality, and distances superificiality. It includes conscience, conceptualisation and oversight.
When drugs, specious or obvious, inward or chemical, passions of flesh or mind, yes or of one's spirit, when such things produce distortion, confusion or a surrealistic imagination, acting on parts of the psyche in a way which makes its full facility dysfunctional, there is a loss which makes a person to that extent depersonalised, demented or even simply deluded. It can also bend principles by rationalisation, until it is only later that they show their teeth.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE AREA
It is exhibited well in Shakespeare's Macbeth. When the nobleman Macbeth is overmastered by the desire and ambition to be king, it impacts at first with horror on his morals; and then, his mind insidiously and with feminine aid, relenting, such repugnance becomes mere flotsam and jetsam of the psyche, while the heart is changed. Delusion overmasters orientation, ambition kills mercy and rationality, and blind ambition, the name of Dean's book from the Nixon era, becomes king long before there is any realistic hope for the same, on the part of Macbeth. He publicly cries this: “yet do I repent me of my fury that I did kill them”, or if you will, How I wish I had not slain them!
This occurred in the context of king and two groomsmen being all dead, and Macbeth quickly turns it to mean this, that seeing the grooms evident murderers of the king, as he pretends to have been the case, in sacred fury, he dispatched them at once. Thus came the words from the soiled heart of the murderer: words, of confession ?
No, it is merely dramatic irony, for what it is he slew, royal guards in the interest of the king's safety, or the king himself, is not immediately apparent in the setting of characters, before his explanation of his outburst. To us, the audience, who know, however, who slew whom and why, since Shakespeare has shown us the antecedents to this action and its occurrence, it is clear what he means. Macbeth is wishing he had not slain the guards as part of the murder of the king scenario, worked out, or imposed by events. Did he also mean that he wished he had spared the king ? Did his emotion give momentary honesty to his tongue ?
Perhaps at that early stage, it merely enabled him to speak ambiguously, in a torrent of horror, which the images of delusion were later to exemplify as he looked upon a ghost that was not there, and even publicly addressed it, as the inner man explosively escaped from oversight, in his outraged heart.
Remorse is active, regret, but repentance is not! His mind in disarray is vaunting and taunting at one and the same time, tensions mounting like restless tsunamis, while this relic of a man becomes more brutal in quality, as his chosen mode surpasses censorship, and his ways merge into forbidden horizons.
Already, from deep within himself, comes a sigh. It becomes a horror, as honour is protected by lies, as friends become revolted, as suspicion mounts, as his actions change, as his unruliness has no limits, as another noble's children are slaughtered, as this and that occurs. With a vengeance, does it occur ?
It has all the habiliments of vengeance, ON Macbeth, from within and from without. Lady Macbeth, in her masterful and domineering push of her spouse to the initial murder, becomes a mental waif, a walking wraith, a demented piece of pathos on legs. OUT damned spot! she famously cries, to the imaginary blemish on her hand. All the waters of the ocean could not sweeten that little hand! Watching medical attendants see the implications, and her lonely life continues to its extinction.
That is a case of spiritual drug, with mental participation for ambition. The effect of other drugs, physical ones, is not in many ways dissimilar. There is a time of disorientation, as principles and paths of former life become distorted, disordered through misuse, and horrors, contempts, self-immolation, immersion in woes, both rationally discernible and the results of increasing irrationality because of mental disorder from mental and moral abuse, grow into weedy life.
Thus the internal board of review, the conscience which is far beyond any merely social aspect, but inward and personal as man is, relating to the nature of his construction and his image, his capacity and his responsibility, and all the resultant species of aggregations of psychic habit, imagery, desire and procedure, are at risk. Various forms of dementia, madness or mischief are then all afoot.
The reason why the very concept of what is GOOD, is never resolved by any superficial reductionism is simple to find. Man is not a product of his own experience, of society's provisions or the environment's contributions. All these things relate to him; but they are not all.
His very design is involved. A car with its progress is not the product only of the driver, the traffic rules and the destination plan. It is also a product of the manufacturer, which makes it a distinctive which, though environment gradually erode its special features as is normal in created things, and specified in the Second Law of Thermodynamics (cf. News 94, Swift Witness Ch. 4, Wake Up World! ... Ch. 5); and thus what it becomes relates most closely to what is made BY, and FOR, in the first instance.
Man's conscience is indeed manipulable, whether as
with Macbeth, or by society or environment, provided only he is willing! "Good"
is no good as a byproduct of desire, since then it would be a meaningless
imposition, which would deceive no-one; but rather, just as so many form
counter-cultural ethical concepts, or prefer those of so many centuries ago,
others make their own. The term 'goodness' refers to a concept which is as far
from the mere manipulations of naturalism, as is desire from morality and a
hollow from a spring.
(Cf. With Heart ... Ch. 11, End-Note 1 , SMR p. 584, News 19.)
To account for it, you can assume man mad, which while having some merit for many, is scarcely a workable proposition in any analysis, which is thus preluded from rationality at the outset (cf. Bright Light Ch. 7). With what you invalidate, however rashly, you cannot logically contend! Otherwise, of course, there is a correlate to man which is super-cultural, and though capable of defilement in concept, a leading edge in his moral life.
Thus we come to man's origin, which is not in non-adequacy, from insufficiency, by definition, but from adequacy; which in turn is not from nothing, or non-mind or non-spirit or non-will, but what is adequate for the integral synthesis of all in an ordered system, which is yet not lacking in capacity to understand and will accordingly. When you eventually realise that God is (cf. SMR Ch. 1), then it is clear that this is why goodness is. This is also why it is so distorted in the permutations and combinations of man's sinfulness, general and specific; for God is not normally believed in, though it seems some sort of correlative concept may be. The living and actual God has left here one more witness that cannot be disclaimed rationally (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 5); and it is this, the conscience derived
1) from the design correlates in man, being what he is and not another thing
2) from the Designer, who is who He is and not another,
It is this which in turn is heeded or distorted, by man.
Beyond this, there is the whole answer to the schizophrenic propensities of the young man exhibited in the TV session noted at the outset. His situation, by his own cognisance, is that the drug has helped to make the inner and outer man to dissolve into one. That is his expressed concept of the eventual result. In other words, it would appear that the inhibitive, restraining, morally overseeing, rationally coercive and ethically intrusive work of the innermost depths of his being, the concepts and controls are now redefined in such a style as this, and that they are merging with action, reaction and reactivity. It appears then that their function is if not deleted, then impeded. There is far less noticeable in this case, it appears, the inward counsel and circumnavigation of his spirit, by which the mobile expressions of living are first assessed and rendered subject to review. What he does, he is; and what he is, he does.
That at least is the appearance from the evidence given.
Leaving now the particular case, and considering the question, what do we find ? It is this. In man there is an interface with
3) other creation
4) with God.
In this, there is room for contrition, self-condemnation, principial impact, review, so that there are depths far from the surface which need consultation, or from which either stimulus for action or inhibition may occur. These depths relate to what one IS, so that what is happening is merely an aspect for consideration, whether it is death threat, legal or illegal, or promotion, denotation or any other thing.
When these depths are anaesthetised, or sufficiently distorted, or dismembered, then there is a residual human being who, depending on the severity of the case, is operationally dishevelled, or functionally defunct. If that seems nearly repetitive, so is the nature of such living.
It may be wrought by spiritual, psychic, or chemical drugs, for any of these may also be able to achieve something disruptive and dispersive like this; but when it is chemical, the decision to use drugs with such propensities implies a spiritual and moral beginning to the matter. Thus as to what is called paranoia, it may be a discernible condition, but it may be no more in the case of some in acute parallel to it, of failing to realise or accept one's design, so that madness rules. This appears the case exhibited in the treatment of some of the Iraqi prisoners, as in that of the Burma railway in World War II, that not so delightful piece of Pharaoh-like squalor provided by Japan's military for those who they had captured, as in Belsen and so on. Are they 'mad' who do it ?
If by mad you mean, lacking in man's designed depth, no, not necessarily. It may be simply a case of distortion of it, as with Macbeth, of substitution of philosophy for fact, and surrealism for reality. If the beings concerned are capable of speech, of sketching out their plans and implementing them, there is no certainty that the term 'mad' is applicable. It is not a mere mental condition. It is a spiritual distortion which is not necessarily impeding the power to use the mind. If you prefer 'moral madness', yes, this appears a trustworthy description.
In fact, man being a unitary construction, with varying functions of mind and body, spirit and soul, life and ideal, when there is a sufficient distortion of his spirit and conscience, there may be a degree of mental decline, not in mere intellection, but in a perspective which bears any relationship to reality. To the extent this makes social interchange ineffective, such may be called medically 'mad' by some; but that is only one of its facets. The divorce from conscience, from design, and from Designer renders such beings dangerous to themselves and to others; but madness is not necessarily the result, if this be mentally construed.
It is badness, not madness; but the coincidence of the two becomes more apparent when as with Hitler, the grotesque misconceptions of conscience and ideology, make such a distortion even of operational reality, that 300,000 soldiers are needlessly sacrificed at what was then Stalingrad, because there is a concept of never going back. Strategic interplay then loses its touch, and Germany is aided in losing the war. 'That madman, Hitler!' might be the appellation of some, at that time, and a death plot may accordingly come, in the interests of saving more hundreds of thousands of German soldiers.
Let us look at that time graphically, relative to this same Hitler. His power to act intelligently in the realities of his field, here war, is certainly now at risk, and 'madness' becomes by these means, not only moral and spiritual, but rational as well.
Nor is it total madness, for doubtless he could still orate, put thoughts together, experience sadness, or improperly decide that evidence showed that the Slavs were superior, when in fact USA had much to do with the outcome.
It is rather a stage and degree of madness which differs from mere irrationality; it moves rather as a spirit of disorder in thought and action, resulting from a delusion which has variable impact on reality. It is just such delusions which have led to countless wars, though their nature is far from the due requirements of man’s own nature, being more aligned to expansionism, nationalism or internationalism or some other distortion of the place of man, through assuming in his own name or that of some surrogate, the power and precepts of God. This can be done explicitly, or merely implicitly; but the result has much in common in either case.
When war wounds, often prior wounds led to the physical ones, psychic wounds, spiritual death and a rotting which lets things fall from their place, to mingle in a sad substitute for the brilliant and brotherly capacities of man, when rightly placed by His Creator’s side.
The spiritual insanity - not the intellectual madness - of man is in one aspect, the result of a failure in two resource relationships. The first may be that within, as with Macbeth and in chemical drug conditions, where the internal reservoir of control and oversight is either so blighted or so distorted that reality is in abeyance. The second, and the primary one of course, relates God Himself, where an artificial distancing has two highly impactive results.
NO RESOURCE, OFF COURSE
First, the inner man is no longer nourished objectively, but becomes a thing too servile to mere subjectivity, with all its multiple delusions. Secondly, the outer man becomes, as a result of the erosion of the inner man, whether in sobriety or strength, exposed too much to mere environmental influences, whether physical or social, academic or family, thus making for instability, and as in the case of many modern family situations, inability to 'cope'. This may be, with the poor, at the financial level because in many cases of abusive substances, like alcohol and other chemicals; or with the rich, with the same additives, without the same financial result but perhaps those in different arenas of function.
Erosions in society mount, and you get this world, this mentally misaligned and spiritually dying cosmos as the predictable and indeed predicted result of such failure within, to heed the constraints of the design called life, and without, to heed the One who made the design. This relates whether it comes through inventing Him contrary to reason, but according to desire, as in various subjective religions and philosophies, or through denying Him direct.
When however the springs of the inner man are flushed with the pure waters of the Infinite and Eternal Resource, the Living God, and where Goodness has its definition from Him and the design He has made and what is its due and need, then there is that doubling of stability. First, now the inner man is far from being the mere reaction interface with external environment, and eroded function within; but instead it moves in consultation with wise depths. Then there is the Lord Himself who feeds that same inner being, and gives it objective standing, who, being the destiny of man's design, when it is not aborted, brings to it the leading which it needs, the presence and the principles on which it duly feeds, together with the meaning which, lacking, often drives it ... mad.
How does Solomon put it ? In Ecclesiastes 7:29 we see it:
"Truly, this only I have found:
That God made man upright,
But they have sought out many schemes."
Jeremiah shows it up in analogy from the Lord, in 2:13:
"For my people have committed two evils;
they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters,
and hewed them out cisterns,
broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
Here you see the double dereliction and hence double erosion.
Again, in 18:14ff. he exposes the tragedy of man-in-sin like this:
"Will a man leave the snow water of Lebanon,
Which comes from the rock of the field?
Will the cold flowing waters be forsaken for strange waters?"
God Himself provided remedy and recompense to justice, both, in His own action, in which, like Jerusalem in its destruction, following heedlessness to the call of Jeremiah to return to the Lord, He became desolate, rejected and excruciatingly exposed, with the plan and purpose of paying for sin for those who receive such payment; for God does nothing for nothing but "works all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11). The scope of His love was universal, but its remedy and redemption is limited to its recipients as you see in Isaiah 53, where only the 'we', who are those 'healed', are the 'all' whose iniquity is laid on Him.
Why worry! If yours is not, as Colossians 1 shows so clearly, it is entirely your fault. He TOOK faults to His own heart to liberate; but if these remedial resources in Christ are not used, if the gifts of God are limited to talents, and the grace of God received stops at the entity called creation, ignoring its marrings and obliterating from the mind its failings: then spiritual madness continues its course till the facile facades of this world become actual rubble, and not merely rational rubble ...
God did not sit still at the onset of destructive delusions of spirit, mind and body, in their interlacings and intermeshings, as they degenerated through sin, into degradations of His construction, defamations of His being and atrocities from one to the other among men, lies and injustice a veritable clamour against the nature of His constructions and what to each was due, as if to elide Himself for the sake of human 'liberty', if such dealings could bear such a name. He acted. He provided the remedy. In love, it is as big as His heart, and in justice, as scrupulous as His mind. Christ came as His incarnated Son, born of a virgin, ready to die, ready to live, ready to do the latter and to complete it in the former, since resurrection gives triumph for truth, just as death gave remedy for ruin. He bore it and He broke death's sting. (Cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7, It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls ... Ch. 9, Stepping Out for Christ ... Ch. 9, Repent or Perish Ch. 2).
Remedy, moreover, needs to be more than concept; it requires to be taken, used and its results therefore made actual in practice; and with Christ, this is redemption. This restores to God on His own terms. It is as in II Corinthians 5:17-21
Thus it is no mere clinical analysis.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God,
who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ,
and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is,
that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself,
not imputing their trespasses to them,
and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us:
we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,
that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
Jeremiah the prophet found it almost incredibly desolating, before the judgment came, because the escape route was neglected, just as Israel in Numbers is seen, in the preceding chapter, to have failed to take the way IN. Of what good is a promised land to anyone if he or she does not even enter it!
The ultimate promised land is Christ, and ultimate result of His neglect, where men despise Him, is the wandering that becomes the prelude to judgment. The famed 40 years of wandering on the part of Israel, after the Exodus, following their refusal to enter by faith, it is at once both history and symbol. What happened in fact, is a principle in operation, and it happens symbolically a million times million. Small wonder then that we see this in Jeremiah 9:1-3, as the dreadful portents of spiritual madness (Hosea 9:7) show their impending results to its pity of heart.
"Oh, that my head were waters,
And my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
For the slain of the daughter of my people!
"Oh, that I had in the wilderness
A lodging place for travelers;
That I might leave my people,
And go from them!
For they are all adulterers,
An assembly of treacherous men.
"And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies.
They are not valiant for the truth on the earth.
For they proceed from evil to evil,
And they do not know Me," says the Lord.
The design without the designer, when it is designed for Him, is like a driverless car, or in many cases, a hijacked aircraft. The better it is made, the worse is the result of the take-over. Such is this world, and its flag will be furled ere long, for its foolishness; but God is not mocked, and the return of Christ, which is impending, is no mere contribution (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5). Then this world finds its master, and freedom its meaning. If all the time it was clear in the word of God, when that was despised, it was a mere commodity for abuse, like a gun used not for defence, but to rampage, to achieve killings.
Something of this appears in Little Things Ch. 5, for example:
In the case of man, however, as repeatedly emphasised on this site, there is a capacious uniqueness which is far more than that found in formal ratiocinative capacity, intellectual prowess, power to exercise symbolic logic with critical and conscious finesse, investigative method and thought, with modes of procedure and hypothetical testing which go beyond mere patience, into precision; for it can incorporate moral innovation, his downfall, or conceptual innovation, a major strength, and he may be drawn to far greater things yet, as we shall see.
Man is capable of a discerning loyalty, based on thought, understanding and conception, assessment quite profound and commitment with deliberation. To this, he can address himself with the heart, the mind, the body, or each of these. This is lateral, between members of his kind. However he is also able to depart from his originating parameters, and become perverse in spirit, mind or body. He is capable of a treachery so fastidiousness cruel, so wantonly selfish that it causes an involuntary shudder to consider, or of a cruelty proportionate to his spiritual liberty, and applied sometimes with an eloquence of evil almost impossible to contemplate.
This versatility is proportionate to man's capaciousness of mind, of spirit, of understanding, and hence with the liberties granted to him, of heart, of moral perception and faith. He can seem to make the very devils stand back in awe at his perfidy, folly and transparent roguishness; he can seem to come close to the angels in his self-sacrificing love, nobility of character and radiant delight in things wonderful.
Indeed, to man, in parallel and basic to all of this, is there granted a capacity to know God, and not only some of the elements, quite formally as well as intuitively, of his own thoughts. Man may soar into vision, rise in illumination, and in each case, be deluded or willing to test, to check, to consider the claims and the values, the verifications and the logic of the matter, and to be a unitary being, not only in body, which is a simple but amazing gift, but in mind and spirit.
Freedom is not autonomy, and the dignity and scope afforded to man is no passport to reality, since drugs of mind, spirit and body are merely one aspect of rebellion, a sop instead of a salvation.
To be sure, ultimately as in II Peter 3, the world and its works are burnt up, since man failed to take the hint in the flood of yore, and having been deluged, in his empire of wonder in former times, he is now to have it incinerated. The atomic bomb is merely an idea in the field. The words of II Peter 3 as that chapter closes, show what happens to this world as its chapter ends!
As with old buildings, especially if rat-infested, there is a time for demolition: it is when the purpose is over.
Like so many created works, this world has its day, its play, and then is concluded. It is most important not to join it in the dust-bin, or if you prefer, the exposure to the ultimate with nothing to show, but rebellion.
It is far better to be clothed with immunity and covered with the grace of God as you see in Isaiah 61:10:
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
"For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring forth before all the nations."
It is better to have that garment of grace, duly provided, actually on you, as you see likewise in Mathew 22, where the man not so covered, in the parable of the king's wedding, is cast out. It is all so voluntary, so unnecessary, whilst the grace of God, also not required of Him by any, yet at His own mercy is prodigiously shown, because ... He is like that. It is, as Paul declares in Ephesians 2:8, by grace you are saved through faith, and that whole thing, it is not of yourselves. Take grace, therefore, take place in Christ, accordingly, and take repentance with you as in Hosea 14, and take heart, for His salvation is for ever (John 10:9,27-28).
His character is sure, "His ways are everlasting" (Habakkuk 3:6), and you hear of His love to a returning Israel of Hosea 14, as you see it in the prodigal son of Luke 15. The problem in its vital essence is as God says above:
" They do not know Me."
What is the good of knowing this or that about the car, when you are unacquainted with driver; about travelling when you are ignorant of the destination and the point of it all! What good thing at all is to be found in being ignorant of your own Creator and aloof from your Designer ?
it not the basis of all meaninglessness within the discordant psyche of man, as a symptom in man-in-divorce! It is a
cause both sufficient and efficient for such a pandemic as is now to be found in
On the one hand, his very alienation from divine mercy and grace in Christ, the only verified and validated offer from God*1 is itself disorientative; but it is an active and no mere passive element. Thus, it also causes the drives which lead to more elements to increase its flow, a vicious cycle, a cyclotron of confusion. Land grabs, soul grabs, false gospels, fraudulent outpourings, passion lusts, selfish loomings, futile boomings, responses to the same, then drugs and thugs, self-immolative bomb people and the passions of deluded power politics, garbed in corpses, creators of garbage: these become symptoms, and even symbols, themselves emotive and leading to worse lusts if it were possible; for they are as much used as cymbals of pride, ready to be abased.
Thus from a woman, a man can divorce, without necessary and essential calamity, if she commit adultery; but from God, man can divorce only when he divorces himself from himself, for his will then superintends the dissociation of frame from framework, of heart from his proper friend, of creation from Creator, of man from principles of truth, of morality from reality and of peace from its source.
Yet there remains the glorious option for the inglorious parade of facade which sin brings, the drugged conceptions and the distorted perceptions.
"Take words with you,
And return to the Lord.
Say to Him,
'Take away all iniquity;
Receive us graciously,
For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.
Assyria shall not save us,
We will not ride on horses,
Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands,
‘You are our gods.’
For in You the fatherless finds mercy.'
"I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
He shall grow like the lily,
And lengthen his roots like Lebanon.
His branches shall spread;
His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
And his fragrance like Lebanon.
"Those who dwell under his shadow shall return;
They shall be revived like grain,
And grow like a vine.
Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon."
Ch. 5, SMR Ch. 5, Divine
Drama Ch. 4, It Bubbles ...
Ch. 9, Little Things
Ch. 5, Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will Ch. 3.