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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mixing Up the Motives

How honest are you with yourself? Could your heart be deceiving you about the motives of some of your actions at work? At home? In relationships? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1085).

A digital switch is either on or off. It can be safely said this only applies to digital switches. No human being can possibly assert that the reason for his action or inaction has only this or that cause. Humanity always has both certainty and uncertainty and a multiplicity of determiners. If I remove my hand from a hot stove, I don't want to get burned because of the pain inflicted perhaps primarily, but with many coincidental secondary concerns. And the complexity is greatly increased when I don't want to get burned at a new car dealership.

This is why the realization of the spiritual dimension is key to understanding behavior. No "on" or "off" law can begin to reach the complexity of experience. We're all well aware of the notion that we can abide by the letter of the law while violating the spirit of the law. It is child's play for us to abide by a law in ways that don't matter and violate it in ways that do. In fact I use the term "play" intentionally because circumventing the spirit of the law often takes on the tenor of play and fun. On a personal level, sarcasm is an example of this.

I'm able to make these observations while at the same time not having a clue as to "the real reason" I will go to work in a few hours. Any fool can see that I will do it for money. But anyone who has worked – and especially anyone who has enjoyed their job – will know full well that this is not the entire answer. What can only be called spiritual reasons in a perversely practical sense outweigh the material ones. Social interaction enables a wide expanse of dynamism and fun unavailable in a secluded environment. The fact that I write this blog in a private study is only half the story. The internet is defined by a strong social character. Now like John Wesley I can feel that "all the world [is] my parish." (Thanks again Google!)

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