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Seems to be a recurring theme of most of my teachers. I won't say all because I don't think my chemistry teacher is quite as strong on it as my other instructors are...but then my chemistry teacher is significantly older than my other instructors (who are twenties to forties or fifties, while he is probably in his late seventies). My English class is focused on literature that emphasizes the importance of self-expression...my communication class basically emphasizes self-expression. My music class is more about analyzing the expressions of others. And my history class is about how women and poor people were prevented from being all they could have been. Of course, that is kind of the theme of the readings for English, too.

Now, I am all for expressing my opinion...exercising my "Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of speech" (as my communication book says)...BUT...why this focus? Why is it "me"? Why is everything so self-centered? I almost get the impression that self-expression/making one's voice heard is of greater inherent value than having/forming a correct (but unspoken) opinion about something. People are more preoccupied with thinking freely than thinking truly...and, in ignoring the truly, they miss the freely. Still, all this has started me thinking...

What is the best road to "self-actualization"? In Sunday school this past Sunday, we talked about a specific person (an actress of whom I hadn't ever heard) who is obviously not happy and obviously rudderless. Apparently, she has done quite a bit towards "expressing herself," to getting down to who she really is...or at least making an effort to do so...but it keeps changing. That made me start thinking about my how my history teacher refers to religion as one method that people have used to control others...obviously factual, but interesting to consider in application to Christianity. There are other faiths for which people are willing to live and die, but Christianity is not just a hopeful kind of hope, but a "blessed assurance" kind of hope of which we can be certain...it provides a peace that passes all understanding RIGHT NOW. Or maybe I should say that the Prince of Peace gives us peace that passes all understanding. But in a logical, philosophical sense, if you were to assume that all things were physical, natural...nothing spiritual (although this entire concession would be somewhat of a contradiction), it would seem that people still have some kind of response to the religious...something that gives them motivation to live, and to live in a way that gives them satisfaction...at least to some extent (I do not know how it is for the unsaved). So even if people choose not to recognize that there really is a basis for Christianity, they cannot deny that it does give people some guidance...something that allows for true "self-actualization" (in the paradox of losing one's life to save it, which I'm sure would sound illogical to most people...if not all people, from a finite perspective). Something's there...something's to it. I'm almost scared to read biographies of the "best" poets...those horribly depressed people, many of whom have committed suicide. Is their poetry "self-actualization"?

I'm not expressing my thoughts very well here, but I guess what I'm wanting to say is that the self-centered approach doesn't work...that there's a way that does work...that people will try to ignore the way that does work...that it's all very sad. People shouldn't have to spend their whole lives analyzing themselves...knowledge of the truth would be all they would need (God's Word provides the best basis for finding out our true selves!).

Okay, I'd better stop...this is what I do when I'm tired. I have been thinking about this stuff as I've wrapped coke baskets in cellophane...as I've driven back and forth between activities...as I've done anything that doesn't require much use of my mind. Obviously, something's wrong...and I know Someone who has the answer...but people don't want to hear it. Instead of wanting to hear hope, they want to know how to describe and analyze hopelessness. Instead of wanting to be clean, they want to explore the mud in the pig sty. It reminds me of a man in Pilgrim's Progress who spent his whole life looking in the straw for treasure while someone held a crown that he would have seen if he had only looked up. I am praying that the Lord will show me how to demonstrate His love so that people WILL look up!

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songofjoy02

July 2009

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