Friday 13 October 2023

How the thinking of one person can change the world for the better

I regard it as a simple fact that the thinking of a single person can change the world, and for the better. 

1. It is "thinking" that has the effect, not necessarily a physical-action.

2. As little as one person thinking may be effectual, not necessarily any group, institution or nation.

3. "Change the world", i.e. the 'external' world: the world (including people) outside the 'brain' of the thinker.

4. "For the better", which is change-positively and in line with the will and intention of God. 

(Provoking widespread negative change is easy and common - a spiteful gossip can do it; but I am here talking about a positive and personal contribution to all of divine creation.) 

It may be helpful to draw together the assumptions that lie behind such a statement. 

1. Thoughts are actions in the real world. 

(I was originally convinced of this by Rudolf Steiner's Truth and Knowledge, and The Philosophy of Freedom; and the work of Owen Barfield - such as Saving the Appearances.) 

2. We live in A Creation - and God is the creator, loves us and is concerned with us each as individuals -- all human beings constitute (in some literal sense) God's family of children. 

3. Therefore, God is able and willing - through His ongoing-creation - to take-up, amplify and spread-through-creation any specific thought (or other action) from any one of His Children - when this thought contributes positively to the goals of creation. 

Our main business, therefore; is to think good, positive thoughts - true, beautiful, virtuous; and if we do this, then God can and will take-up these thoughts; and make of them what He will in the world at large. 


Jon P. R. said...

i wonder about the role of comedy and laughter in this view you have been expanding on here and in other posts of yours i have read.

my experience seems to suggest an association between transferrence of novelty and laughter -- but not so much (or not as intensely) between spontaneously 'self-received' novelty of observed thought.

the image of a recluse, mad-man maniacally laughing in his hermitage comes to mind.

should we learn to laugh at "our own jokes" loudly, or is there some other sign we might notice when we find our minds walking along the proper path engaging with God in creation the way you describe?

and thank you for all of your writing you post online, i always look forward to reading your posts for the way they seem to intertwine with lines of thought i have been unable to complete or tie together previously!

Skarp-hedin said...

Bruce, thank you for your writings.

They have had a profoundly positive influence on my life and thinking.

You are one of the last remaining voices that I feel I must take absolutely seriously.

Thank you and may God speed you along your path.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JPR - Thanks for your kind remark. But, I'm not sure what you are getting at in your discussion of laughter.

@S-h - Thank you.

Jon P. R. said...

something newly created is novel.

what i recognize in myself when laughing at comedy is that it happens most when i perceive novelty encoded in the joke.

if i am to seek to commune with God in creating new thoughts, i wonder if there is a mechanism for recognizing this process internally, signs that i am mining a novel vein of creation to produce such thoughts with His help.

maybe i am incorrect about why i laugh, but if i am not, it seems to be the most visceral signal of novel creation -- yet laughing while alone seems to connote mania rather than insight, at least upon my reflections it does.

how does one know they are working with Him in creation of thought and not lying to themselves?

Bruce Charlton said...

@JPR - Certainty is not attainable in any aspect of mortal life, so that must be set aside. God wants us to know whatever is necessary to our salvation and theosis, so He will be on our side. After that, it is a question of motivation: if our motivation is genuine, then we will get to know (one way or another) what we can depend upon.

Michael Baron said...

What you're describing here is very similar to what the author Charles Upton calls "Sacred Activism". It's not about changing policy this way or that. It's about purifying ourselves so that we can help establish the remnant of humanity that can survive through the reign of antichrist. Let us all hope we can maintain our true humanity through all the trials that come.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

Andrew said...

Thanks Bruce. I find negativity the most drawing and feels short-term motivating in a dirty way, like junk-food, but this is very beautiful and helpful.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Michael - I find myself ambivalent about "humanity" and its survival as mortals on this temporary planet. I mostly assume that God will look after these matters, and decide when the current 'experiment' has reached the point when it should be allowed to self-destruct.

My impression of the reign of antichrist (which I think is on us already, in the sense that antichrist does not necessarily reference any specific being) - is that so many people want it. Whereas past evil-tyrannies have been inwardly loathed and rejected - this current totalitarian tyranny has very widespread support; mostly of an unconscious and implicit kind, which makes that support much more enduring and resistant.

The support for antichrist is an expression of the inner deletion of God and the spiritual; of (for the first time ever) a genuine and fundamental belief that our lives are ultimately purposeless and meaningless. This is so mainstream a view as not to require argument: it is simply assumed.