Tuesday, 29 January 2019
Why, exactly, should we do-the-right-thing? (Or, How to lead a 'more successful Life', and what that means.)
There is a line of 'self-help' authors and speakers who have, for many decades, been telling people that if only they do what their heart tells them they ought to do - then this will lead to a successful life; where success is defined in terms of fame and fortune.
But this is false; and very obviously so. Most people with fame and fortune have obtained it by doing what other people want (especially those more powerful than themselves, their 'bosses'), and absolutely not by doing what they themselves feel impelled to do.
There is no serious doubt that this-worldly success depends on Not-doing what your deepest impulses tell you. Why pretend otherwise? It will only discredit your ideas.
But when we recognise that life neither began at birth nor ends at biological death - but extends in both directions - so that this mortal life is the centre but not the whole of a Man's existence... then everything is changed.
Since God is our loving parent and creator of this world; evidently he would not leave us without guidance; nor would he leave us absolutely-dependent on the uncertainties of guidance by corruptible churches composed of corruptible men...
In short; we are each and all provided with a built-in, 'inner guidance system' - and that is what tells us each what we ought to do.
And what-it-tells-us will indeed lead to a successful life... but only when life is taken as-a-whole, and not when life is defined as restricted to its central, temporary, mortal, episode.