Wednesday I said that the search for your certitude couldn't rely on your heart,
because the Bible says it's deceitful; nor can you even depend on your god, unless
you test your presuppositions to ascertain that "your" god is not one
of your own creation rather than the God who created you. To this, a reader responded
that I failed to discuss the mind, and asked if we can depend on our minds. I
hadn't used the word "mind" in discussing this search for truth because
the whole context of the two preceding pieces was the thought processes involved
in the search for truth and right. It didn't occur to me that "thought processes"
could possibly be separated from the mind. But what's obvious to the writer, I've
found through a lifetime of writing, often eludes the reader.
my initial reaction that the reader's question lacked substance, I realized that
if the point escaped the comprehension of one reader literate enough to react
to the article, it must have, at the least, lacked clarity. Maybe I'd failed to
convey the point that no one's mind is infallible; what affects and infects the
"heart" also may be working to mislead or fool the mind. The whole point
of all the articles on theoretical thinking the past year has been to advocate
rebuilding our minds from their foundation up, but perhaps somewhere in the verbiage
that point became lost or faded.
everyday language has a handful of colorful and sometimes playful idioms regarding
have a good mind to...."
"Mind your P's and
"The mind is a terrible thing to waste."
up your mind."
The last one is understood
idiomatically without controversy so far as I know. It means "come to your
decision now, please." "Get with the program." "Get on board."
"Stop stalling." But if we compare it with similar idioms like "make
your bed" or "make up your face," its suggests several ambiguities.
And these other senses of "make up" fit with my point above that the
crux of thinking theoretically is to rebuild our minds from the foundation up.
That means: challenge all your presuppositions. Test your gods or God. Ask the
hard questions and don't give up with simplistic answers. Examine every aspect
of every issue, and don't assume that the first aspect that reaches your senses
(like one body part of an elephant being examined by a blind researcher, for example)
is the whole of the matter, but press on to examine the other aspects or clues.
Bible treats the mind from many angles, but some of St. Paul's declarations about
it are among the most pertinent to today's discussion. I close with three of his
best known references to mankind's cogitative faculty:
who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” [Isaiah 40:13] But
we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
mind of sinful man [or mind set on the flesh] is death, but the mind controlled
by the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6).
not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will
ishis good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005