Psyche and Spirit
by Paul Werner
6. Human Potential
The Potential o f the Psyche and the Spirit
What is known of the potential of man? What about the potential of God? Because of our ignorance we are limited in our perception of God, who is eternal. But in many ways, we are just as unfamiliar with the eternal nature of man's own spirit.
We must come to know ourselves -- not only our physical selves, but our spiritual selves. The intrinsic properties of both our psyche and spirit must become apparent to us. We must come to acknowledge our qualifications and talents, to see more of the unlimited potential we possess. Then we must start dreaming, goal-setting, and moving forward-finally reaching those ambitions of ours. The way to learn about ourselves is by practicing the laws of God, for this is the method through which we can perfect our love. By perfecting ourselves we can finally reach our true potential.
The Potential of the Psyche and the Spirit
Every person has a certain mental aptitude which bears upon his vocation, social standing, financial status, and the like. Undoubtedly our psyche plays a major role in what we identify as the potential we can and should reach. But those things we use to benefit our psyche surely also affect our spiritual growth.
The number of child prodigies grows each year. These children are strongly urged to spend a great deal of time in study and educational pursuits. Exceptional achievement is expected of them; to sharpen their mental skills they are routinely drilled by parents and instructors. Yet they are also encouraged to become interested in, if not proficient at, a wide range of creative ventures.
New methods of education abound. More and more parents read and speak to their child throughout the months of pregnancy. The flash card system helps parents assist even very young children to learn such things as math calculations and word recognition. The triumph in technology and scientific advancements has generated computerization that influences all aspects of life. Perhaps man feels the need to keep abreast of technological development and progress as never before; the prognosis for further discovery is excellent and rapid, as man seeks to discover new sources for advancement. He has reached the moon, but he is definitely after more!
It has been theorized that man uses a mere tenth of his brain power. It seems a shame that most people waste the incredible potential lying dormant within them. Although nations unearth and utilize their natural resources, there is not a universal search for excellence in the human resources. As a result, countless children the world over are unaware of their aptitude for learning. Governments in many underprivileged nations do little to obliterate the poverty and ignorance into which thousands and millions of their children are born. It is not outlined to the children in many Western nations that they can achieve much more than to dutifully finish their homework, get involved in Little League games, and spend as much time as possible playing with friends or watching television. In those nations where education is available, parents' own expectations can greatly enhance their child's potential. If they expect their child to merely live up to that "standard," then perhaps that is all he will accomplish. On the other hand, parents who expect more from their children usually condition them to expect more from themselves. The belief in self is something which holds tremendous impact and can have great bearing on a child's future.
Again, man is conditioned to hail the development of his psyche, but his spiritual growth could suffer if he neglects putting into practice what he learns. Man must come to feel that knowledge is not the most important thing in life, but rather that human evolution must include aiming for and reaching goals of spiritual magnitude and potential as well. Perhaps to the surprise of some, that definitely includes the aspiration of reaching perfection.
Just to be religious is not enough. Anyone can be religious. Jungle people are extremely religious, and their belief in ghosts and spiritsis strong and unbending. Many people do not equate living a life of faith with becoming "perfect." One problem is that most people do not believe or even consider that they can perfect their love. Anyone who aspires to return to God and reach his true potential should look to the Messiah as his example. Unfortunately, that is not done nearly enough.
Man must confront the weaknesses he finds within himself, and then root them out. He might initially take even one weakness, and for several weeks or even months work on eradicating it, persevering until he finally overcomes it. He should then conquer the next one, and the next, until his heart is cleansed of impurities and perfected.
How much we develop and mature depends upon how closely we live according to a standard, and whether it is given by God or by Satan. One can develop his God-given potential by willingly sacrificing himself and his heart for others. But to do that we have to re-program ourselves. We have listened to the dictates of Satan for far too long; he has always stressed that we must serve ourselves-because if we don't do things for ourselves, nobody else will do this for us.
We have inherited certain substances from our parents and grandparents through chromosomes and genes; we are what we are, partially because of genetic material. Theories are now coming forth that what stimulates a person's "potential" to become alcoholic, fat or thin, to exhibit criminal behavior, etc., is from something in the genes. If we examine our own behavior, that of our parents and even our children, we would surely notice that aside from such things as eye color and bone structure, both inherited weaknesses and inherited strengths of character have also been passed along.
Psychologically, people are driven to overcome their character deficiencies because they feel the need to relieve their inner tensions. As we strive toward perfection -- whatever we understand that term to mean -- we do battle our spiritual weaknesses. When we analyze our behavior, for example, both our sins of commission and omission become glaringly obvious. We might look into a physical or "spiritual" mirror and "see" what we are supposed to become, but at the same time we cannot help notice how far we are from that potential. The question is whether or not we will allow our weaknesses to be a base through which Satan can invade our hearts and keep us from God, as well as block our potential to reach perfection. If our weaknesses get the best of us, in some sense we might give up, no longer interested in doing anything to better ourselves. When people are internally dried up and hurting, their motivation and growth stagnate.
This condition can result from various situations. For instance, if we have had bad experiences because some inferior "god" told us to do something which was wrong, we may have suffered certain consequences which have nothing to do with the universal plan of God. The first human beings were also told by some "inferior god" -- Lucifer -- to do something. They fulfilled his desire, but in doing so, directly opposed the laws of God. Because of their action, human potential became degraded. Adam and Eve lost God's standard, and until God again revealed through His prophets His desire that mankind grow toward perfection, man drifted aimless and confused. Yet even today, we are still perplexed about the whole matter. We have lived according to Satan's laws, but they do not delineate the need for a person to reach perfection of heart. In fact, his laws indicate that it is impossible.
Man continues to "perfectly" -- or at least nearly perfectly -- follow the will of Satan. As the Principle illuminates, a seedling endowed by and still attached to God -- the original mind -- has been planted within every human being. And He painstakingly nurtures that seed by tugging at our conscience, urging us to assist in building His dream of a Kingdom of Heaven. To respond, we have to envision our human potential according to the way God, not Satan, views it. If we continue listening to Satan, we will just serve his will. Instead, we must learn to respect ourselves -- our potential -- as true children of God.
If an individual's spiritual senses are not full-functioning, it is difficult for him to discern when he is being swayed to comply more to the will of Satan or the will of God. As a result, man tends to accuse either himself or others for the things which happen to him. He uses some sort of scapegoat as a way to deal with his bruised and battered ego. But accusation in itself is a tactic of Satan who, through fallen man, still activates his resentment toward God, accusing Him of not loving enough. We have learned from Satan so well: man often feels and fosters the same tendency, accusing others of either not paying enough attention to or giving him enough love.
The Bible clearly records instances when man has been disloyal to God -- denying His prophets and refusing to follow the truth given through them. A case in point is the Israelites who failed to follow Jesus as their Lord during his physical lifetime. By rejecting God's words, man further distances himself from God. And as a result, he is unable to fulfill his responsibility of growing and finally perfecting both his character and his love. Most people do not even believe they can reach perfection because they have a misconception of what the term means. What is also lacking is a reference point. We look for an example-someone who will show the way. But finding a true model is the problem.
A baby won't stay a baby forever. He will grow and develop, and eventually do something more than suckle milk, cry, and eliminate! As an infant, though, he lies on his stomach and could even get stuck there. He might flail his arms and push his legs in all directions, but still not move forward to reach the shiny ball at the other end of the room that has caught his attention. He does not know that to get ahead at this stage of life, all he would have to do is pull in his stomach, tuck in his feet and then his arms, straighten his trunk, and he could walk. What potential he has! But he is unaware. Adults think walking is a cinch, but a baby has little idea how to go about it. A baby might cry when he gets stuck, and once he does start moving, even crawl backward instead of propelling himself forward. Adults are often amused at watching a child who has not yet learned to keep his balance and instead topples over.
As adults, do we recognize we are like that in the spiritual sense? That we, too, lie on the floor and get stuck on our stomachs because we are unaware of how to use our spiritual faculties to get ahead? We are not amused, though, that we know so little about using our limbs to walk straight, spiritually. There are plenty of people who cry for help and have the potential to move forward, but do not know enough to do it. If a person understood the laws of God and followed them, he would discover that by using certain techniques, he could ultimately walk tall.
Some babies grasp quickly the idea of how to use their limbs and faculties. Others remain crawlers for a longer time, perhaps continuing to yell for help. They have learned that their behavior brings Mama, who has a remarkable knack: she pushes a leg in, holds a hand against a strategic limb here and there, and then somehow miracle of miracles -- he gets somewhere! With enough pushing and prodding, the baby himself begins to realize how to move his body forward, even though initially he needed step-by-step instruction.
We need step-by-step instruction spiritually. Our very "human" nature being as it is needs to be stimulated to get us started; we require someone to show us the way. We need a savior, a someone who will help us propel ourselves toward our ultimate goal of perfection.
Before congratulating ourselves on any success we might have achieved, we should remind ourselves that the reason we were able to be successful is that God worked through us. Sometimes we lose the consciousness that our words and deeds comprise an offering to God, and instead we become caught up in our own little world. We easily repeat our failures, rather than restore them. But we have much greater potential! We should take the time to stop and think about our actions and reactions, and what effect even they have upon our level of success.
The greatest quality we cannurture is to extend unconditional love. Among God's qualities are His unchanging heart, His absoluteness, and uniqueness. Once we give our lives to God, we must then consider it His. Once we promise to do certain things, we should do everything possible to live up to that conviction. If we become weak-willed and fail to exercise spiritual discipline, we might only give in to Satan's attack and influence. Each of us finds it hard to trust someone who constantly vacillates back and forth. But how much more difficult is it for God to trust such a person?
Spiritual self-flagellation upon lack of success will only reinforce a low self-image. We may fail at something, but should not allow this to make us feel a failure. Success is tied up with the sincerity of attitude, the disposition, the heart, and the involvement. When most people are confronted with a life and death situation, they succeed at the very least by surviving the crisis. But if we just put in time on something -- be it school, a job, a friendship, or even marriage -- because we feel we have to, we may only be wasting valuable time. We have to make up our minds that we want to be successful. It is when we become desperate enough to implore God's mercy that we will succeed in moving His spirit, and then notice a change.
According to God's original plan, man should develop physically and spiritually. He should relate to the physical world with his physical self, but at the same time, his spiritual self should be growing in awareness of the spirit world. Yet we oftentimes become so caught up in dealing only with the physical world, we lose sight that our ultimate destination is the spirit world. Part of the problem is man does not fully comprehend that he will not grow spiritually unless his physical self and spiritual self relate through exchanging certain elements (as described in the Principle). Yet God has something more in mind: He desires that man reach his potential as an effective mediator between the physical world and the spiritual world. To do that, man needs to assume spiritual dominion. But we are not there yet. Spiritual beings know all too well that man is able to ask assistance from the spirit world, and that their help could facilitate our success. The problem is that Satan continues to conceal this from man, and blocks him from doing something about it.
People who are successful today may generate help from spirits without being aware of it. Through maintaining a positive disposition and promoting a belief in themselves, they naturally attract certain spirit persons who feel the same way, and who will help their personal advancement. Whether or not a person believes in God or is aware of spiritual influence, it is real, and can be generated by such factors as attitude and motivation-through self-belief or self-belittling. The possibility for growth and success is great, as is our potential for regression and failure. Either course is conceivable; the end result depends upon us.
The potential for human creativity is unlimited yet at the same time, incomprehensible. But a person who thinks he alone creates it, is mistaken. What he fails to realize is that God desired that man be a co-creator with Him. The Fall tragically stunted man's ability to fulfill his potential, thus certain advancements-spanning from technology to human kindness-have in some cases been averted, and others, painstakingly slow.
Each person has within him a special quality of God that is unparalleled. Unfortunately, many do not believe in themselves or their talents, and thus often hide their spark of uniqueness and waste their God-given potential. Buried under insecurity, they cannot find the escape hatch. They may spew out certain words, or act in a way that is totally opposite to the way they really feel. They erect typical self-defense mechanisms, and might camouflage their deep-seated need for love and recognition with a display of arrogance or bashfulness. Each of us should be so much more, but to do so, we have to discard our masks.
Man's spiritual hunger and poverty are clearly evident in the decadence proliferating in the art forms of today. People have become so seasoned to television shows filled with violence and sex, most have come to expect and even miss those elements if they are absent. In this way, the media manipulate us through the subject matter it presents in programs and even advertisements. Even if it has not gained industry-wide acceptance, subliminal conditioning has been used as a way to sell products. Yet what is still unknown to many people is that spiritual subliminal conditioning is also a type of manipulation, albeit subtle.
The suggestive tone and language used in many commercials, whether displayed on billboards, in magazines, or on television, are advertising come-ons. People are "teased" and attracted by something that looks, sounds, or seems to taste or smell enticing. And there is more and more of this type of hype throughout the industry.
Most people would agree that classic love stories which speak to the heart are wonderfully uplifting. But how many consider the possibility that the authors were influenced by the spiritual world. Such movies as "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Heaven Can Wait" -- or as an extreme case, "The Shining" could be regarded as attempts by the authors -- but certainly from ideas spawned by spiritual beings to explain something about the influence of the spirit world on our lives today. But after watching such forms of entertainment, it is still up to the individual whether or not he believes such stories as "fact," or rather views them solely as products of the artist's imagination and genius.
Spiritual beings can influence creative geniuses, just as they can influence criminals. The Principle elucidates that Satan's crime was of a sexual nature, but it is interesting to note that while Satan may still try to conceal this fact, explicit sexual imagery has clearly permeated all media. Even minimal exposure of his crime has only intensified Satan's desperation to manipulate man. He must feel a certain loss of power, and is now going wild in his attempt to regain control.
All of us have certain talents, which are partially a result of genetics. Each of us can learn things, but it seems some people have little aptitude in particular areas. To become self-confident to develop their unique human potential -- people should discover their own talents and thus work at expressing them. Due to such factors as lack of finances and direction, forced parental pressure, and the like, many people possess talents which simply lie dormant within them. In a sense they squander them, or at the most just use such an ability for themselves. They rationalize that since the gift was given to them, they alone will enjoy it. Yet any talent we might have is also for the benefit of others; unused or selfishly used potential may just fade away. A person who does such a thing might eventually lose interest, or in some capacity be blocked from using it, perhaps through an accident. If he suffers a personal tragedy, he might refuse to use that talent and then lock it away. It could take a lot of encouragement for him to bring it out again. In the interim, so much time is wasted, and many people are deprived of the joy and stimulation such talent could bring.
Whatever talent God gives us will expand if we put it to use. Man has unlimited potential but one key factor is recognizing that the origin of all human potential is within God -- such as a unique voice, delivery of a comedy routine, or dancing ability. All of these ultimately derive from the unlimited potential of God. Most of the great composers, considered as geniuses by their peers or at least posthumously, either held a specific belief in God, or recognized that their power and ability came from a source other than themselves. Many attributed the genesis of their unique ability to the highest intelligence in the universe. They were moved by a force beyond themselves, and convinced there was more to their talent than what was within them.
The key to developing human potential is locked within the relationship each person makes with God. If we purify and nurture our relationship with God, we can realize our potential to become perfect. We will feel free to create, no longer tense, depressed, or insecure about actualizing our potential -- all things which hamper us from developing the aptitude God granted us. If we want to become a channel for God, we have to rid ourselves of internal obstacles, and become free of our insecurities. Perfecting our relationship with God is the beginning -- whether we aim to express ourselves as musicians, artists, engineers, spouses, parents, etc.
Creative geniuses such as Beethoven must have nurtured a strong connection to God and the spirit world, for they became channels for the spirit of God to use. What have we evolved into today? Such lost souls. Such lost potential. Creative enterprises have suffered as a result of a lack of faith in God, and unfortunately, for the most part, have continued to decline. Such surrealistic pictures can be seen today-pictures of horses with long necks and tiny bodies. Or of old, fat women drinking from bottles of whiskey. Modern sculptures are sometimes made of twisted bits of metal and old lamp shades. If one accepts the principle of returning resurrection (as explained in the Principle), he may wonder what kind of spirit is working with an artist who creates such things. What a contrast this is with the works of the great masters who must have touched the face of God, for it seems that God truly touched back; Michelangelo, Peter Paul Rubens, da Vinci, and others invested such soul into their work, and offered themselves as instruments through which God could share His vision. The "souls" from spirit world then had the condition which allowed them to also invest their creative input.
A little child might dig in the sand, make all sorts of shapes and forms, and feel like the master builder of Rome. But if a huge wave crashed against his creation, it would disintegrate. Sometimes we might fear a similar experience. We must then be concerned with how we can protect our investment to make lasting "creations?" The point is related to our co-creatorship with God and the spirit world. If we observe the universe that God has created, examining scientific breakthroughs and high-tech advances, for example, we have to realize there is a great deal more to creativity than making castles in the sand. To become a co-creator and reflect the image of God takes more than using simple ingredients such as sand, water, and patience. It takes both accepting and fulfilling our human responsibility to develop and then attune our spiritual senses to the creative processes.
To be creative does not necessarily entail dropping our life's work and rushing off to the mountains with oil paints and canvas under our arm. And we must realize that one can definitely "create" in more than just the realm of the fine arts. Creativity is expressed in all facets of life. People create families and generate harmony within their home. People create meals to impress and please others. They create new structures from buildings to vacuum cleaners and invent whatever possible to make life more pleasant. But whatever "creation" we attempt, we must think with the mind of a creator, and therefore do things according to a good purpose. That should be the standard and measure of our creativity, for this is the very basis God must have used in creating man and the universe.
Despite man's potential for creating, he is inhibited by personal suffering -- such as psychological pressures which affect his body, as well as his psyche and his spirit. Man is still ignorant of the purpose of life. The majority of people are neither aligned with God, nor directed toward the fulfillment of a certain goal. Relatively few people make goals, and hence a great many of them live only from day to day, from meal to meal. People still allow Satan to dominate their lives, mostly out of innocence and/or ignorance, but far too many continue his trend of being opportunistic, and in that way express their "creativity" -- creating such things as a business empire, which they alone rule. But that is not at all what God had in mind when He gave us the Three Blessings (as explained in the Principle): He was asking us to become like Him-to perfect our heart and our love.
Creativity has a direct connection to personal freedom. According to the Principle, perfection is a prerequisite for true freedom. Once we become the incarnation of God's will, there will be no discrepancy within us physically, mentally, or spiritually. Once all human beings restore themselves in accordance with the will of God, everyone will effect inner harmony, and can then further "create" it around them. And then not only will we each be a channel for God as a lord of creation and we, perfect man, will face our perfect God.
If we would go through life consciously using both our intellect and heart, these two elements would harmoniously work together in giving to and serving others. Without a doubt, we would feel a response from God, perhaps coming through people and the creation. God did not create us to live passively. So much more is available to us; so much more is expected of us. We have far greater potential than we imagine, but it will take some assertion, some moving of mountains, and some overcoming of the negatives in our lives to accomplish it. In working to reach our own potential, we must understand that our ultimate self-realization is to become a true child, then true spouse, and finally true parent.
Each of us has the potential to do many things, but the actual doing is up to us; God endows the possibility, but we must fulfill our responsibility. We must express all those talents and abilities. Some of us have tremendous gifts, but far too much of the time we sit in the "dungeon" of self-doubt; we don't feel our talent is good enough, or we rationalize that our meager offering simply cannot compare to one made by a "professional." This reaction is a learned behavior, something which is beyond our control. When we were children and scribbled drawings of our parents, we might have considered ourselves tremendously "creative" -- a veritable artistic genius! But was it what someone said -- perhaps a classmate, or even a parent or teacher -- that made us start to believe we could not create, that we simply were not good enough? Spiritual influence can reach us in many ways; it is not just through the voice of conscience. Some of us suffer terribly under the yoke of uncertainty and even self-pity. But if we allow ourselves to be manipulated by spiritual influence, we will remain internally incarcerated. In such circumstances, then, we will be unable to reach our true human potential.
Many people are in a rut, one they themselves fashion. Most have a deep desire to leave behind their boring existence and live! And that is what they silently scream to their psychologist, psychiatrist, spouse, teacher, child, and the other people in their life; this cry, though, might be uttered from behind a plastic smile or a frozen frown. Man is burdened, but does not see why. Most people do not realize that our struggle to lift off this invisible weight is intricately connected to discovering the purpose God has for our lives, not only what our parents or even what we ourselves desire. To experience God in His totality, man has to become internally free of his burden -- the connection we have with sin imposed at our birth which still constrains us today. The problem is that most have not found anyone who can help. Those who trust in Christ can certainly feel a tremendous spiritual liberation. Yet even if we feel a certain freedom, we may deeply desire that God somehow manifests Himself to us. We are at a loss as to how to invite that entity-which seems so elusive-into our lives.
Psychological illness is a far too frequent visitor. While the effects may not be obvious on the surface, the burdens of our sinful nature have left a definite residue. Far too many of us do not nurture our potential, or encourage the growth of our spirit: we look at life as it is, rather than how it could or should be. Once the realization that we are a child of God penetrates the depths of our mind, we can more easily discover what we as an individual can do-what great power and impact we have upon people! But why do we have such a hard time realizing it? Our words can elevate or devastate; we can make people live or die. Our love can uplift or destroy.
We must work to uncover the hidden potential of God within ourselves. People may think He and Satan are only concepts, figments of man's imagination. But those who adopt that philosophy do not realize that our "human" potential was debased by Satan's involvement in the lives of our original ancestors. That we have, as a result, lost sight of our "divine" potential. If we are ever to solve the present human condition we must individually actualize the will of God, something which has been concealed from fallen man.
If we believe we are created in the image of our all-powerful and limitless God, how can we continue displaying a limited potential? Shouldn't our potential also be unlimited? Once we gain knowledge of how spirit world works and recognize that we may be influenced by spiritual beings at any time, we might want to cast blame for all the mistakes and problems completely on Satan or evil spirits, but the fault does not lie totally with them. We make the decisions in our life, not Satan, not God. Yes, we are influenced -- sometimes strongly -- by both good and evil spirit persons, but ultimately we decide which ones will influence us. If we will go forward or go backward. Even if we will eat or sleep, or ultimately if we will live according to the will of God or the dictates of Satan. It is our own self image, our own self-realization, that each of us must challenge. And it is we who must be responsible to take the consequences of our actions. Doing so will allow us to reach our potential; failure to do so keeps us static.
By not believing we can do something, we undermine our own capabilities. Because Satan has been ruling this universe and feeding us the information he wants us to believe, many people neither trust in God nor their own abilities. If we have become satisfied with doing less, then we should take the time to examine our motivation and attitude. Because the standard of value in this world is Satan's and not God's, it is hard to do this with total assurance or accuracy.
God chooses people to perform specific tasks; thus, when we try to be someone other than who we are, we actually may hinder His plan. Not everyone will win an Olympic gold medal, but this is not to say that with proper training and discipline, any one of us couldn't make that grade! He knows what or who we have the potential to become. If we notice that someone else has discovered a winning formula and mastered a particular area of life, we should endeavor to see how we can apply some of the same techniques, according to our own personality.
An individual lifetime is full of problems and challenges, and yet we cannot forget that the purpose of our life is more than mere survival. God's plan and desire is that we educate ourselves during our earthly lives, to assure that we will live a fulfilling life in the spirit world. If we would see life from that viewpoint, we could more easily find the fortitude to endure the difficult times. And based on that attitude, we would also be granted the strength to reach those goals we set before us.
When we look at a person as God does, his potential may become more apparent to us. To visualize his true potential, we need to peel back any layers of defense he uses to surround his heart, and then peer into his soul. If we could successfully do this, we would more easily discard or at least be able to disregard his negativity, lack of inspiration, or ingratiating habits. God created each of us with a great potential, and He definitely envisions us reaching it, for He did not create us to be self-defeating failures. We must come to realize that we are the ones who limit ourselves, and that we have the power to change this, but we must understand that we should not attempt to live as hermits; God expects and hopes that we will invite His participation in our lives. To reach our potential, then, is not simply a question of giving a solo performance; we should summon the cooperation of God and good spirits.
Life experience itself will not make us into a divine personality. It is our ability to learn from our experiences and also to increase our wisdom that will lead us to become mature.
If we did not have challenges and confrontations, how could we accurately gauge our distance form God? As we mature, we will surely experience moments or spells of depression. At such times we might have moved God out of the picture, and relied upon our own viewpoint in response to a situation. But the greater our trust in God, and the more we surrender to His will, the less this will happen.
Unfortunately, we do not know our real potential. When we come into trouble, we are forced to muster up all possible resources within us. But that is also when we can discover something about our potential. We should look upon each situation with gratitude and work at improving it, even if we are not usually inclined to doso. We almost always testify that we did our best, or claim that we will do our best. Often these are empty promises. We rationalize that we did our best, but many times we actually do not accomplish fifty percent of what we could have.
The ability to receive love and not push it or people away from us is a sign of maturity. It is "human nature" to doubt that people really love us. Our rejection of them and their offering of love might even come as a shock to us, because inside we may long to be loved and embraced by someone. We cannot even imagine that we do something to push them away. Yet there is something within our heart which does not trust, does not allow us to feel comforted by others. When we reject the love another tries to give us, we are often confronted with guilt, and we should indeed feel badly about it. But we do not understand how to change ourselves and adopt a new attitude.
Even if a person has a strong connection to God, it is not a simple matter for anyone to become a true human being. It is good to nurture sincere humility before God, but if we feel an overwhelming sense of inferiority -- so great that we doubt our true worth as a person -- we must realize that we may be influenced by Satan, either directly or indirectly. In such a case, we must work to build greater trust in God, destroying the spiritual blocks and rooting out any inferiority complexes which obstruct the relationships we make with God and others. Easily offended, we tend to lash out in attempt to release our frustration, but in the process, we might even unintentionally wound others. Before we can reveal our true selves, there are so many facades we must strip away.
Unfortunately, we so often expect ourselves to be perfect, and feel devastated by the realization that we are not. All too often we are just as guilty of expecting others to be perfect. When we do, we place conditions upon our love. To reflect true divinity, we should love without conditions, for that is the way God loves, and we have that same potential. We like to cling to our habitual patterns of appraisal. Yet the aspect of what we might consider our "humanity" is unfortunately often not terribly "humane." For example, subordinates expect their supervisors are unerring, becoming disappointed by something their superiors either do or neglect to do. They react in anger or frustration, even developing resentment rather than dispassionately analyzing the situation. Perhaps they ignore the fact that every individual needs to restore himself, and that at different times and in different ways, each of us makes some mistakes. What surfaces is a reaction to the situation of the moment, rather than an accurate overview. When we do not exhibit perfect love, or reach the potential we think that either we or they should achieve, we should strive to forgive others and ourselves.
So many of us have difficulty in recognizing our potential to become whole human beings. For so long we have earned impossibly heavy burdens of guilt, a lack of self-worth, or a sense of failure. It may be hard to fully comprehend that every individual will eventually be a true child of God, and that He most definitely has a plan for our lives. In our disappointment and the anger we feel at our own faults, we often project the blame onto others, something which fosters resentment and perhaps instills a desire for revenge on their part.
Satan has, in effect, kept us chained. From this viewpoint, it is not surprising that we suffer or attempt to protect ourselves through erecting defense mechanisms. We must rebuild our trust both in God and humanity. But even to do that, we must be convinced that we have far greater potential within us.
The psyche and behavior of fallen man is far different from that which God envisioned in a perfected person. It is partially because man houses within him a wounded spirit, one which is still undeveloped. Perhaps we have masked our spirit under the guise of a super intellect or a super ego, but if we continue to do that, we will find it difficult to cultivate a harmonious balance between psyche and spirit, something which is crucial if we are to reach our ultimate and true potential.
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