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Spiritual Pathology: Principles and Diagnostics

Intra-page-links: [Root Principles]  [RP1: Maladies are 'punned' by Divine Justice to alert you]  [RP2: Satan&Co. sometimes administer them]  [RP3: Body is self-punishing]  [RP4: Can't make snap diagnosis, therefore]  [RP5: Self-diagnose only, and privately]  [RP6: Body designed to react/respond to Thought]  [Mutation Path of Spiritual Disease]  [MP1: Disease is volitional, by Divine Design][MP2: but secular proof of it goes unrecognized, so treatment is often ineffective]  [MP3: Yet proof can be traced via Bible or secular means]  [Micro (individual) Degeneration Path]  [Aggregate Macro (societal) Degeneration Path]  [Biblical Examples of Degeneration Paths]

How to use this site: in a word, "carefully", preferably only "on" yourself. Its purpose is to illustrate how one degenerates circumstantially, mentally and physically due to spiritual illness. Spiritual illness is technically limited to believers, though it's always the soul which becomes ill (the human spirit is but a CPU designed to process spiritual information by the Holy Spirit). Hence, the pathologic effects with respect to an unbeliever's soul would be similar, yet less marked: for, the unbeliever is structurally smaller, since he has no human spirit endowed with Infinite Righteousness and Eternal life. So any soul pathologies in the unbeliever may be strong, yet are merely relative to his smaller size. Christians get SICKER due to rejection than unbelievers, primarily because a) Christians are permanently saved and hence endowered with Divine Attributes (2Cor5:21, John 10:28); also b) because they are thus designed to live only on SPIRITUAL FOOD, Bible Doctrine, Matt4:4. See, the permanence of salvation can also be a CURSE in this life, if no superstructure of Doctrine is built on it (1Cor3, whole chapter; Romans 8:1-17, esp. v.4; Eph1:15-23 and 3:15-21 on the design's purpose).

If you're evaluating medical/mental problems, PLEASE DO NOT use this site as a substitute for consulting a qualified physician; the voo-doo, herbal, 'wholistic' etc. stuff is also not good to use, except under a qualified physician's care. Don't reject God's Gift of Authority, or you will become WORSE, not better. Principles are in Romans 13. Frankly, 99% of all spiritual maladies come from not doing one of the Five Elements in God's System (link at pagetop). If you are sick, find a good doctor, and meanwhile get in God's System and stay in it; whatever Element you're not doing or doing enough of, START NOW. There: you don't even have to read this webpage, spend any money on all those self-help books, gimmicks.. you know the Divine Cure is God's System! Seriously: try it, no one need know but God and you. (And don't you dare write me about it, either: that violates your privacy.)

This website is a way for the believer to fine-tune, troubleshoot (preferably his own) spiritual problems, which no physcian or caregiver can address. Think of spiritual troubleshooting the same way as you would tracking down some problem in Windows: be DETACHED, calm. For, Doctrine HEALS. So it doesn't matter how the problem came to be, but rather, what Doctrine you're gonna need to address it. For that, you only need linger a little bit on the diagnosis: don't wallow in "the past" or in failures, like getting-fatter-wallets talk shows, 'psychics' and 'psychologists' do. Instead, use 1Jn1:9, pretend you're studying for an exam and any noted malady's Rx (prescriptive solution) will be a laboratory experiment, and..read on. (What's cool about being at fault is that you get your own body as a lab, instead of having to make a lab out of someone else's life, which you couldn't ever know enough about to properly diagnose! It really helps to get a handle on the LIVE meaning of what Bible says about the sickness of sin -- and you don't have to poke around in someone else's life, to learn this!)

One More Introductory Note: a lot of folks have written stuff on this topic. What follows here is different compared to what you've read. Most of what's out there on this topic is either fuzzy, or totally unhelpful: ergo this site. This site is a corollaic extension of, and based upon, what I learned from "91 Israel" and "92Spiritual Dynamics", my own pastor's tapes. However, don't take my word for what he teaches. He's the best source, in my opinion. I'm just writing here to "turn over" what I learned, to derive further corollaries, so to learn the material better.

Root Principles

1. Maladies or bad circumstances are relayed as "puns", to communicate Divine Justice.

"Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For the way in which you judge, you will be judged; For the Measure which You Measure shall be Measured back to You."
(Matt7:1-2, composite trans, mostly NAS.)

These two verses sum up how God "judges" us, whether we are believers, or unbelievers. Justice is our "point of contact" with God, because He is Holy. Love is God's Head Attribute, running everything (function of Sovereignty), but Love always runs through the 'office' of Righteousness, for Righteousness is the First Object of Love. Hence, His Justice is extremely precise and of a matching character: matched often to how we say a thing "is". 'Matched often to how we REALLY are, versus what we think we are. Thus, as we know, if we accuse someone of stealing, for example, we ourselves will receive God's penalty assessed for that (accused) type of stealing, theme of Rom2. 'Even if the person really had stolen. It's a scary rule, because it's human nature to be critical, judgemental; a control urge, a need to be 'in charge', 'in authority'. Well, it's really Adam's Original Sin nature, which we genetically inherit at birth: a DNA-embedded god-complex.

    God's "punning" style of judgement is also famously known as "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth". Throughout the Mosaic Law you will see such matching. "The punishment must fit the crime" is of course the principle, but beneath it is the deeper rule of "fit", per se. Balance. "Neither to the right, nor to the left." Exactness. 'Even Paradox, if the Paradox is Righteous.

    So, a criminal who doesn't get caught by human authority never escapes God's authority. Pity him. So, a sin which doesn't get caught by human authority NEVER escapes God's authority. Like Matt 18:6 says, better to have a millstone around the neck (that verse references child abuse, but the general principle is behind it). So, a business which "sins", or an organization which "sins", or a government which "sins", or a people which sins -- none escape God's Exacting Justice. Not even a little bit. Leviticus 26 and Deut28 illustrate the types of "matching" punishments which apply to individuals and even whole countries -- whether believers, or not.

It's because God's Justice is so exacting that a person should beware of accusing by name or group-name specified folks or organizations. So, if you accuse "the rich" of a thing, you'll get the punishment that belongs to the accusation -- whether "the rich" are guilty, or not. So: it's a fine line between observing a problem, constructive criticism, and "judging".

For example, to say that people deliberately or accidentally profit (get fatter wallets) on victims by encouraging them to wallow in their pasts -- that's a generic truth, because it has regularly occurred throughout history in hundreds of ways. Notice what's missing: no particular group or individual is named. Even if you say, "talk shows", that just means the phenomenon occurs there. You can never say with assurance of facts that it's a particular person or a particular show you're watching. It might look like that, but you're not inside the person's head, so you don't know. Only God has ALL the facts. The most one can do, is extrapolate principles. Can't say a particular person or entity or group is "x", because you never have sufficient facts. It's always guesswork, even when it's your job to evaluate/judge. So how much more stupid is it, to be prejudiced?

God having all the facts doesn't stop us from assuming we do, too. 'Especially, if we are offended or otherwise want something we're not getting. That's the vulnerability: What's the COMPOSITION of the desire to pronounce upon a thing or person as good, bad, etc.?

    For example, it's downright scary for me to have to say that Biblical scholarship has been largely mediocre (and thus misleads) all these years; to say that Christian activism (i.e., prolife movement) is spiritual AIDS. Is that a judgement? Subject to Matt7:1-2? Sure sounds like it. But what's my motive? I'm trying to write out and see both the Conflict in everyday life, and to see Satan's strategy and tactics, so I myself can avoid his traps, since I'm just as vulnerable. So, if someone else reads these pages, they too can be spared. It's really not about who's wrong, but about what's going on, and what the spiritual life really is, and how to live it. Someone else's wrong doesn't make me right, nor does it make me superior. Rather, it's just a different flavor of wrong from my own. Sometimes seeing wrong in another helps one better detect one's own, which is one of many reasons why God lets the wicked prosper: so that the believer can prosper by learning from their example, and not repeating it.

    So, that's what I am trying to do, is learn and not do the same things, since I'm just as weak as anyone else. Only the Holy Spirit can properly diagnose, so only through Him can I see, in broad outline, that Biblical scholarship has been appallingly inept for hundreds of years, in the good-ol'-boy pattern: repeating past research's conclusions without de novo review; sticking with the same-old-formulas because they are hallowed with age, rather than the hard work of digging in Scripture to see what it really means. (Of course, the Bible itself says this is the problem, in umpteen different ways.)

    So, treating this like a clinical phenomenon (for our sin in Adam is essentially a congenital anti-God disease), what are the causes? What's the cure? In what other ways does this same phenomenon occur? Well, it occurs altogether in Christian activism: but until you know what to look for, you can't see it. That's how to use any 'wickedness' data. As a clinical tool -- from which, you extrapolate principles and prescriptions. Not to judge anyone.

      Being totally honest: there are two gigantic conclusions which came out of all this website writing: 1) we are all totally incapable of thinking our way out of a paper bag (Genesis 3 being the quintessential proof of that); 2) God means to TRANSMUTE us to His Own Level via Christ. This latter conclusion is really the main theme of all my sites, and it took me a good five years of daily, round-the-clock analysis in website writing, to prove it's Biblical. Because God is the Authority, I didn't want to exhaustively write out all the proof; it's more important that between GOD AND YOU, you do your own homework so you yourself can see what's true. God will point it out to you (deiknumi clause in Isa53:10-11, LXX), with or without the 'conduit' of any words in my sites (God is the Sovereign Executive, and He does use everything at His Option). So I could give a flip about blaming. Not relevant, the blame part, except as introduction, orientation in the broad sense, for we are all to blame (duh, that's why we needed a Savior). Only relevant, the 2) conclusion, which in the context of 1), explains why our salvation and future is "so great", as Hebrews 2 explains.

      Therefore, the DDNA webseries (link at pagetop) is the flipside of this webpage, which basically 'derives' from Isa53 and the Books of Hebrews, Ephesians, Galatians, Romans, Corinthians. This webpage focuses on things that go bump in the 'night' of negative volition and ignorance of God. But the DDNA series focuses on what God is building in us. It's the longest and most advanced of my webpages.

    Let's take another example: in the LordvSatan series I'll name a particular denomination or belief and then proceed to show how it is satanic. That however NEVER can mean that everyone in the denomination, or even anyone, is satanic. Frequently, for example, something in Roman Catholicism is used as the paradigm. Yet, even if it's true that some RCC doctrine is wrong..it doesn't follow that all those IN the denomination actually believe the erroneous thing. Nor does it mean that they are 'satanic' if they do. I don't know who believes what, nor do I know whether one becomes satanic for believing in it (because, duh, it could be merely mistaken rather than an Ananias-class motive). See? In order to illustrate a problem, you have to take a case history, but taking the case history never means that those IN it are being judged. Of course, it's real easy to get all excited about some past very evident wrong (i.e., all the persecutions) -- and go over the edge (2nd Temptation in Matt4) into that most disgusting of sins, self-righteous arrogance (which is why Paul was the worst sinner in history). So, the less time one HAS to spend in these kinds of analyses, the better!

    See, that's the key: analysis is required, for we are each required to rule on our spiritual lives. We have to spend time analyzing right and wrong, not ANAL-yzing about a person/group's wrong. In the latter case, there's an urge to build one's happiness on another's flaw. BAD MOVE.

    Here's a kind of litmus test for motive which I find useful: take the pronouncement, and then substitute a particular person's name, or a group's name, as the subject/object of the seeming-wrong/indictment. Do I still want to make the pronouncement? Is there a pressing urge? Does it lessen, or heighten? Is it satisfying, the idea that the person/group will be punished? If "yes", or if I still want to make the indictment, and especially if the urge heightens, it's temptation or sin and 1Jn1:9 may be in order. If I shrink from the pronouncement when a particular person or group 'becomes' the substituted subject or object, it may also still be a temptation/sin (of trying to fit in, wanting to belong). Very fine line, this. Of course, you can't sit around all day dissecting your motives! So, make a judgement call, and move on. Don't hang around in the jungle, for the enemy is in the bushes, waiting for you to stop too long. And, most of all: use 1Jn1:9 if you're not sure you didn't sin.

In short, your motive for pronouncement will be the key. If your motive is to diagnose, to learn, and if your motive is impersonal, meaning you absolutely do not want to condemn a given individual or group, nor do you want either God or man to redress or punish the ill you see -- then you are likely not judging -- but check with the HS for confirmation (i.e., la Rom 9:1). Be very careful not to fool yourself as to your motive. For, accusations mean the person is taking upon himself the Divine Prerogative of Judgement. That's why he gets the Divine Punishment which goes with the "accusation" -- even if the accusation is correct. 'Even if the accusation is unspoken. Use 1Jn1:9, "just in case".

    So, a malady one has may be the "pun" on the accusation made. Further, the person who was accused gets blessed by God, to balance against the accusation made. 'Sometimes, even if guilty. That's how exacting God is about sin. (Of course, whether the person enjoys the blessing is another matter entirely, dependent on his own private relationship with God. Like Ps37 notes, don't fret over the "wicked". They have no, or futile, enjoyment from whatever they have in the way of prosperities. See Lev26's punishments, if you doubt this.)

That's the bad news. The good news is, the rule also works positively: to the extent we are living in accordance with His Will for us, we are "measured back" also -- whether believers, or unbelievers. The "measured back" principle applies much more strongly -- both ways -- to believers, because we aren't part of Satan's kingdom anymore. Positively, we get far far more than "we could ever ask or imagine." (Eph3:20). The "pressed down, poured out, overflowing" verse (I think it is in the Gospels) also illustrates that principle. But also -- "to whom much is given, much is expected" -- so we believers get a lot worse discipline. (I tried to cover that in the "Lord vs. Satan" sites, and in the "P" of the "TULIPS?" piece. The loss is unbearable.)

CRUX: The Matt7:1-2 rule applies most of all to how we think of GOD. 'Point-by-point. Precisely. 'Whether we are believers, or unbelievers. How we "judge" Him to be will be "measured back" to us. Whatever we think properly of Him, whatever we think improperly of Him. Therefore, how we think of God, is how we will become; if we think ill of him, that is how ill our own lives become; if we think well of Him, that too is how well our own lives will become. How we think of God is also how we will think of everything and everyone else. So, all one's relationships in life will have the exact same characteristics as one's spiritual "sense" of God. To the extent correct, AND to the extent incorrect.

That is the general rule, and it's a property of life, like a law of gravity -- which you can see operating or referenced, in any passage of Scripture. This rule is rooted in truth: for God is Truth. He doesn't have to force this rule to be true. It is naturally true, similar to how the so-called "laws of nature" are naturally true. He did, however, also APPROVE this rule. God has approved this rule so that we can be alerted to problems in our rapport with Him. So: for every spiritual "glitch" in our relationship with God, there will be a counter glitch in our mental lives, physical lives, our interpersonal relationships, and our relationships with "things".

    Remember the parable of the talents? That illustrates the spillover effect into one's life. The stingy servant who hid his Master's "talent" (lots of money) in a "napkin" (covered it up, rather than invested it) projected onto his Master his own stinginess. So, what was the punishment he got? Stinginess: the money was taken away. Don't you think that stingy servant was stingy with everyone else? Judging them with tit-for-tat? Being self-righteous with them, even as he was with his Master? See how this spiritual disease spills over into the secular life?

In short, the maladies we can see depict the ones we can't see. They will be of a "punning" nature. They may exist even if one is growing spiritually (using 1Jn1:9 habitually, and rigorously learning Bible Doctrine in the Spirit), so don't mistake the maladies as only being the provence of the highly-advanced spiritual giant, or the highly-retrograding human. Spiritually-caused bad circumstances or physical maladies communicate where spiritual problems exist in the life. That's but one of their blessing purposes. So: here are some examples to illustrate the idea:

  • Whatever doctrine I'm rejecting, its character will be mirrored in my life: circumstantially, and/or physically. That's the general pattern, and it works even if I'm in God's System and learning -- so alertness is essential. The problem gets progressively worse, if there is prolonged carnality, the "seven times" principle of Lev26. The idea is to alert the self to the problem in the kindest way possible. Notice the emphasis on privacy. Only the self can detect this problem. Therefore:
  • If I am unfaithful to God in some way, I will be unfaithful to others in exactly the same way -- or, conversely, they will be unfaithful to me in mirrored response.
  • If my interest in Him is casual, all of my relationships with people will be shallow. Relationships won't last. Small things will terminate them. "Love" won't be deep. Interests will be flitting. Tolerance will be brittle. In short, shallow in everything, easily washed away. Superficial. Image, rather than substance. (See the synonymal results?)
  • If my idea of relationship with God is to want from Him people or things, or to think I serve God by "do's" for people/things; so will be my life: shallow, eyes-on-people and things. 'Forever empty, because people and things are more important to me than knowing God for His Own Sake.
  • If I don't know Him, I will find myself often baffled and frustrated, because I won't know why "x" is happening, either. Blindness proliferates, as it is a virus.
  • If I am legalistic, focused on sins rather than on grace, I will "reap the whirlwind". All the penalties of those alleged-or-real sins will be "measured back" to me, tearing me up like a tornado does a house.
  • If I am anti-semitic, I will inherit all the punishments sent Israel's enemies: in my head, in my body.
  • If I have eye problems, maybe that's because I'm not looking at the Word.
  • If I have ear problems, maybe that's because I'm not hearing the Word.
  • If I have movement problems, maybe that's because I'm not living on the Word.
  • If I have a lot of trouble digesting Bible Doctrine over a sufficient period of time, I will have physical digestive problems.
  • If I have trouble eliminating certain sin habits from my life, or I arrest in processing doctrine, after a sufficient period of time, I'll have physical elimination problems.

KEY==> "Sufficient period of time" is a key concept, for believers, in troubleshooting: the physical malady doesn't occur until it is helpful as a warning. That's one key difference between spiritually-caused physical maladies, and the ones we naturally develop from inherited genetics or lifestyles.

    Here are some generic examples to help you better see how the punning works. Say a person is too attached to the parents/grandparents/friend; so if the parents (etc.) are negative to God, the child is also (very common Bible refrain, also observable in real life) -- since the parents (etc.) are the obstruction, the parents are removed. Pretty drastic thing, but I've seen it happen. Say another person became bitter during a divorce, divorcing God as a result, as if it were God's fault. Well, then the kids and others end up leaving that person, too. Bitterness alienates people: they get tired of it. So one is left alone, complaining about being alone, for the person has left God. Very common thing. Say another person values a certain promotion or money or whatever 'thing' to God. That's the very thing which will be lost. Say another person is very religious, legalistic: that religion and legalism will 'let down' the person, since God is not in it. Basically, you see that whatever you value above God, will be removed or a source of sorrow.

    Medical conditions of course constitute things people fear. So what you fear, will happen to you. Again, the idea is to wake up and get into God's System.

    If the person won't respond, or there is some other intervening judicial issue, a spiritual malady might have NO symptoms, just like cancer. Then at the last moment, or near the end, all the disasters hit at once. This is the most common pattern, because disinterest to God is so common, there is no amount of discipline which will wake the person up. So then the Justice issue shifts to what's best for the periphery, and that often means the disinterested ones are blessed, not cursed. Hence the need for 1Jn1:9, since you may have NO symptoms you can detect.

ANOTHER KEY==> A spiritually-caused physical malady might quickly clear up by frequent usage of 1Jn1:9, because THE reason why one has developed a physical malady due to a spiritual cause is PROLONGED CARNALITY. Self-absorption, as we'll see in Root Principle #3 below, has the hardest time recognizing that self is in a carnal state, so God sends an illness/problem as a wakeup call to the soul, bypassing the 'fortress' of self-absorption, so one can get out of it. So, one must also regularly study Bible Doctrine under one's right pastor, while consistently using 1Jn1:9. This is especially true if one has been carnal for a long time: only getting with Doctrine will provide the necessary spiritual defenses to avoid a return to the 'fortress'. Sometimes, God only partially heals, using instead some lower level of the malady to serve as "training wheels": reminders to keep with Doctrine -- a real blessing, for these "training wheels" also keep one free of that 'fortress'! So, if you suspect you have a spiritually-caused physical malady, get cracking! If you wish to avoid spiritually-caused physical maladies, get cracking!

    If you have never believed in Christ, the "cure" for you is different: "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved" (Acts 16:31). You don't have to understand why salvation works. You just have to believe Christ paid for your sins. That saves you from Hell, and saves you TO God, forever. After that, you use 1Jn1:9 habitually (I use it like breathing), and study Scripture. God will furnish you your right pastor (probably He'll do it in a humorous way). By the way: any physical maladies you have may clear up right away.. or, the malady(-ies) may merely lessen. Whichever way it goes, God is now using any malady to BLESS you. Soul surgery. After all, He made you, and He'll make you well, in the way that BEST profits you both down here and forever! (NB: tangible benefits are awesome, and usually both invisible and ironic.)

Conversely, this same judgement "punning" may be PRAISE. It may indicate God's Pleasure with your spiritual life. In other words, like Job, you receive some physical malady because it's to demonstrate how important God is to you -- i.e., as a witness to Satan&Co, who accused you of being 'too protected' by God (pattern is still like Job's). In such cases, the malady blesses you far, far more. Generally, you will come to know this fact sometime in later spiritual adulthood (before that, you'll likely be clueless, because you don't YET have enough doctrine to discern your own role in God's Plan). The Lord vs. Satan sites cover this topic in great detail.

2. God delegates punishment to Satan&Co.

Also, since Satan is the ruler of the world, he is allowed a certain amount of disciplinary authority over believers. He is also allowed to benefit or punish those who are on his "side". He is also allowed to benefit or punish those who he is trying to win over to his side. He accomplishes this by delegation, i.e., to the demons handling these administrative functions. Therefore, he will use these powers to "mimic" God's rule. So, some demon might impose physical conditions on a person to trick folks into false conclusions about what any physical conditions spiritually signify. "Healing" is a frequent favorite. They can make a person feel good, bad, be sick, well, get 'psychic predictions' fulfilled, have 'past-life experiences' (after all, demons know all about man's past!) -- anything at all, for they do all this by thought transmission (telepathy), using man like a marionette. 'Up to and including death. The Supreme Court of Heaven (God) has oversight, though. [For some readers I realize this point sounds goofy, but if you would consider it you'll find it is at least as good a reasoned answer as any others you'll find. To contend that what one can physically observe is 'all there is', cannot be a rational conclusion: we haven't but recently 'seen' through science what we think we know today. Moreover, who has ever really "seen" thought? A logical person must logically conclude that immateriality deserves at least as extensive a consideration as materiality, especially considering the potential risks of not doing so.]

The tactical goal of any demon activity is human OBSESSION. Obsession decreases awareness, so decreases your orientation to reality; so leads you down the road to greater irrationality; from there, to mental illness (more on this will follow in the "Mutation Path" section, brown-font point #10). This tactical goal is STRATEGICALLY sponsored on the macro level via everything PUBLIC. It's demon activity, because thoughts are contagious, and obsessive thinking is what they want to develop in as many people as possible. They piggyback on normal things, like the news, movies, whatever -- to make people get OVERinterested in the topics. This is done a little bit each day ("salami tactic", in military parlance), and it's unavoidable. (We can't be hermits, lol -- that's obsession of a different kind!) The good news is, we have fragmented, busy lives -- so the obsessiveness can be thwarted by focusing on the day's needs. Even better, by focusing on Bible Doctrine's printout of what every moment, means!

So, the trick is STAY AWARE; are you balancing your work and leisure? Balancing what you spend your time on? Whatever is too-high or too-low, that's where your vulnerability is. Doctrine addresses it: find the Truth about what is the proper timing, placement, of the item in question, then stick to that answer. Of course, if you have no clue about the spiritual life, then the answer changes: find your right pastor, use 1Jn1:9 like breathing, and study under him. Play with what you study (see "1 John's Outline of God's Script" in Part I, and "Where do we go from here" section in Part III for learning help).

If you really like misery a lot, get involved with

  • activism or crusaderism, theonomy, revenge, TAG, and other God-exists-or-doesn't 'defenses';
  • drugs/alcohol, non-marital sex, fantasizing; Ouija boards, ESP, channelling, chanting, psychics & like activity;
  • obsessive research about the supernatural;
  • research to find date of Rapture, or spectacular proof that Bible is from God, dinosaurs or 'x' in Bible;
  • tongues, prophetic utterances, snake-handling, visions, dreams, miracles, healing, casting out demons, etc.
In any of these, rest assured -- You will get the feelings of a lifetime, but! -- at both ends. For, in electing these activities, you are electing to become hopelessly addicted to FEELINGS -- of being smart, intellectual, holy; or, of the grosser sort. Addiction-to-feelings is the root reason why mental illness is so difficult to cure. For, as the addiction grows, so does irrationality, and to get that feeling again you end up becoming successively-irrational, as the "Mutation Path" section below will explain.

For, in choosing any of these, you are choosing Satan&Co. Whether you know it, or not. That's why in Saul's day the punishment for being a medium was death. See, demons love to play with humans, but like the mythical Dracula (not Vlad the Impaler), they have to be 'invited'. When you get interested in any of these things, you 'invite' them, for you are judging God to be an emotional jerk, a genie, a dog! who does tricks to please your puny human tastes. God didn't favor these activities in the OT any more than He does now, but NOW, even more so will you be punished. For Christ is Risen and Ruling, so His Thinking is what we should learn: "think in terms of sanity" -- corrected translation of the 'sober' clause in Romans 12:3 ("faith" there means Bible Doctrine, as it usually does, in the NT).

    DIAGNOSIS KEY ==> If you are a Christian, and are obsessed about anything at all (including Bible Study itself), and have trouble getting off that obsession, you are bein' messed with, at least enough to keep your obsession going. Stop it. Treat it like an addiction, no matter what it is. Find the objective parameters for time you should spend on the thing and then stick to those parameters. It will take time to recover, but keep on with 1Jn1:9 and Doctrine (in the right amount), and you'll eventually get out of the trap. If you're not a Christian, believe Christ paid for all your sins, and you will be freed of the possession; then, use 1Jn1:9 like breathing, and ask Father in Son's name to show you who is your right pastor. Then study under that pastor every day, concentrating as best you can. The Holy Spirit will get you out of the past-memory trap!

When a demon has a temporary license to bug you, due to your 'invitation' (possession for unbeliever, influence, for Christian) he gets very territorial about it. Should you recover from your stupidity (1Jn1:9 and get cracking with Doctrine!), you'll still be bugged. Demon-bugging can be extremely subtle or obvious -- depends on what 'gets' to you more -- but in all events, the bugging is ENTICING, for they 'just can't get enough' of your 'invitational' replies! So, then, think: if Paul was so bugged he prayed to the Lord three times, how bugged would you be? It's not worth it. Human power is no match, and the intrigue you'll be tempted to re-start is not worth it. Some people I know are so under-the-spell.. well, I can't talk about it. Best advice: don't get into these things at all. Or, if you were stupid, breathe 1Jn1:9 and think Doctrine day and night. That's what Peter meant when he said, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (If you're really advanced spiritually, you might not get reprieve ('thorn' passage), but at least you'll know the Lord is being glorified, and you can just keep moving!)

Christ is way more attractive than all the kaleidoscopic, intellectual, etc. attributes of Satan&Co. combined. If you got involved with the demon boys, the only real way out is to learn Christ. Only if you come to see Him via eaten Doctrine will you be more interested in Him than in their many, various, full-spectrum enticements. The key to success here is to be disinterested in Satan&Co.'s wiles. (I can't stress that solution enough: believers today, as in the past, get so thrilled with the contact, they find all kinds of excuses to keep on being involved, fooling themselves and being fooled by Satan&Co. that they are 'cured', now -- to their destruction.) The only way to GET disinterested is to be MORE interested in seeing your own Dread Lord, the most Gorgeous Person in the universe. The only way to See Him is to learn Bible Doctrine under the Spirit. So, get cracking!

3. Our "depravity" is essentially self-punishing. It naturally follows the pattern of Matt7:1-2 if we use our free will to stay negative to God.

Our spiritual death due to Adam's Fall, and its resultant genetic (only!) "total depravity" at birth accounts for certain spiritual-problem maladies which have mental and even physical results, even after one acquires a human spirit ("becomes trichotomous", in theological lingo) at salvation. So, all illnesses are ultimately rooted in spiritual causes, due at least to Adam's Fall. So also, the unbeliever, however virtuous, has a spiritually-caused congenital defect, from birth, onward: he has no human spirit at all, so can derive no therapy from God's spiritual solutions. Faith in Christ is first needed.

In Part II of the "Lord vs. Satan" sites I had explained how "total depravity" became a congenital brain reflex of me-be-good, which is, in essence, an organically-inherited form of self-absorptive "dissociation". That is a psychiatric term. So, a note about what that condition means is in order. "Dissociation", in psychiatry, means a mental malady in which some portion of the person's personality -- which disturbs him -- splits off from his awareness. This split was accomplished by an act of will, either conscious, or subconscious. The person has "judged" something "bad" and must hide that judgement and that 'thing'. The "dissociated fragment" nonetheless expresses itself when the person encounters certain triggering stimuli. The "triggering stimuli" are events, people, even maybe colors or smells (small things) which remind him of whatever it is that disturbed him so much he "dissociated". The fragment expresses itself, because it's "stuck": it's trying to resolve the hidden problem, by reliving it.

    Example: say a child was abused with a clothes-iron. He dissociates. Every time he sees an iron as an adult, he'll feel (say, "unaccountably") frightened, hostile. Or, he'll act in some hostile manner, yet not know he did so, when confronted.

    The person may or may not be aware of the fragment's expression. If he is aware of it, he finds his behavior unexplainable. "Unexplainable", because the fragment's cause is hidden from his conscious mind. "Hidden", because whatever caused the split in the first place, caused it in order to hide the disturbance. In other words, the split occurred to "protect" him from something he'd find too painful to admit or remember. So, the person literally does NOT know why that behavior occurs. That is, assuming he's even aware of it.

Fallen man is dissociated from God. So, he has no awareness of God. However, like fallen Adam, he still is disquieted, owing to the "loss" in the so-called "original sin". That's why the brain's me-be-good urge exists: it's trying to make up for the loss.

    Self-absorption is the root of all (non-organic) mental illness. It starts with a type of dissociation: preoccupation. Consciously, one will usually not be aware of this descent into madness. The descent may be momentary, or prolonged. Repetition is the key to the descent from momentary to prolonged. The cardinal sign of it is a diminishment of awareness. Kinda like dreaming, one becomes preoccupied with some problem, focusing on it. If there is some kind of emotional charge, awareness of reality will go to the background, and one becomes (at least momentarily) involved in a type of autism, for the sake of concentrating on the problem, in the name of solving it. The fact that one is concentrating on the problem to the exclusion of the rest of reality, unawares -- that's the danger. Kinda like looking through your briefcase, oblivious to the road, while driving...

    We all have many such moments during the day, for it is a normal part of our daily lives. When asked a question about ourselves, we may wander in our answer, forgetting the questionner (e.g., people who ramble on about their experiences or illnesses). When reminded of some past event, we may suddenly reminisce or relive that event, forgetting what it was we were doing before that reminder occurred. These are the more-benign manifestations of the congenital defect of dissociation we inherited from Adam: we become momentarily "stuck": self-absorbed, dissociated.

    Psychiatry deems "dissociation" and other mental maladies to belong more properly to the malignant forms of self-absorption, rather than the benign ones, as noted above. However, all are rooted in the selfsame brain urge to recover what was lost: happiness with God. The brain, which after all is just an organic component of the body, has no true thinking power of its own -- it is just a repository, a set of programmed instructions, memories, etc. -- like a computer, it needs a user to command it. However, the 'original sin' was a choice for the body to dictate to the soul -- so, the brain 'thinks' it's supposed to keep doing this. So, it does. Its prime directive -- derived from that 'original sin' -- is to make self good, since self replaced God as the #1 object-for-attention. So, at root, self-absorption is the brain continually trying to make self "good". We are thus constantly bombarded with brain signals to be "good", so we are constantly tempted to be self-absorbed.

    Self-absorption is thus a fortress, in which we are trapped. As unbelievers, we can temporarily escape the fortress by means of positive orientation to true morality (viz., the 10 Commandments, many versions of which are commonly-held in all cultures). Morality is a type of protection, an antidote to the self-absorptive, mindless brain urge. Morality is about thoughtfulness, essentially -- being thoughtful of others, as an equal value to being thoughtful of self. It balances against self-absorption, in the name of loving self. After all, self can't have a good life if others do not, for we are not islands unto ourselves. Morality, then, gets the self to look beyond the 'fortress' of the brain urges. So, one can leave off being walled up inside the self. At least, for brief periods.

    The problem with morality is that eventually the brain will be programmed to recognize morality as "good", and hence will eventually use even morality to trap the person in the fortress. All too often, with astounding success: witness the heavy focus on "doing" for people, which is yet another form of self-absorption, masked in the name of "good" for others. You can prove it's self-absorption pretty easily, for the mantra of "doing good" is tyrannically propagated: life becomes progressively sterile, just a set of I-do-for-you-and-you-do-for-me rules. At that point, the person has no way out, except via faith in Christ. If he doesn't take that way out, he will become progressively self-absorbed. The morality mask may prevent his malady from being psychiatrically-classified, but he will be just as ill -- with all the consequent results (generally physical).

    By contrast, believers who grow up in Christ will have progressively greater freedom from the fortress of self-absorption. At salvation, the believer is technically freed from the fortress, but of course doesn't know that fact, so stays there. If however, he grows in the spiritual life, he will not only come to know he's been trapped and is now free, but he will also be able to leave much more easily than mere morality can afford. This is so, because the Bible, which is the Mind of Christ (1Cor2:16) gradually replaces the urge to focus on self, with Love for God. Such Love is way beyond what we typically know as "love" in the human race. It's God's Own spiritual love, which is essentially unlimited in nature -- and thus the gradually-increasing replication of it in the believer, via spiritual consumption of Bible Doctrine, confers much more staying power and scope, for he is gradually learning to love like Christ does. Such a replacement also progressively weakens the brain's own urge to use even morality as an entrapping device. So, by the time one is spiritually mature, one spends most of his life outside the fortress, and the brain urge is impotent. (One never completely stops sinning, of course.)

In sum, the brain's dissociative, self-absorptive, me-be-good urge is genetic: part of our DNA, which we inherited from Adam (not the woman). Consequently, the brain urge manifests itself most commonly as attributing merit to self due to some "good" choice. Indeed, one is bombarded from all sides to do a thing in the very name of being-a-good-person as a 'reward'! The attribution is clearly evil, for then the 'good' one did, needing a 'reward', wasn't good, after all: were it really good, it wouldn't need a 'reward'! Worse, such an attribution is clearly irrational, since the merit of a choice depends on known merit in the OBJECT: recognition of merit merely means you wanted to be benefitted. The fact self chose the object confers no merit on self, at all.

    Want proof? The choice would not have been made, if the object wasn't deemed meritorious. What happened? The recognition of "good" caused the brain to "tell" you that "YOU" are "good", because the object is "good". The brain is trying to make self good by attaching "self" to anything associated with "good". That's why folks buy Nike shoes, for example. The brain "associates" the "good" athlete who's depicted as wearing the shoes, with "self", if self buys those shoes. So, the buyer imagines himself a better person, subconsciously, when he buys those shoes. Consciously, all he has is a brief satisfaction. The pattern is exactly the same as when newly-fallen Adam and the woman made those stupid fig-leaf coverings over their genitals: they were trying to make themselves "good" through an external function, so to relieve an internal pressure. The emphasis on externality is the brain's attempt to GET RID OF the disquiet. It HAS to be EXPRESSED. That's the classic symptom of "dissociation", because the person's awareness of his real motive is masked by the fragment.

So, if a person is or thinks he is an "unbeliever", he can't "see" God, even though evidence of God is everywhere. God thus transcends man's dissociative blindness, constantly. If the person's free will keeps on insisting that God does not exist, the person becomes ever more shallow in his life. He has to become more shallow, in order to hide his awareness of God.

For a believer, this same dissociative nature provokes a like condition. The not-being-able-to-see will be on different topics, though. He might have a dissociative problem with respect to God's Grace, for example. Or, with respect to a particular doctrine. Or, with respect to a particular verse.

Whether believer or unbeliever, the problem of progressive shallowness obtains, because the person must keep hidden from his awareness whatever it is about God he has trouble facing. The "dissociation" endemic to man's depravity, however, won't be enough to cover up the awareness, over time, because it is only a reflex of the brain. Only volition can keep up the charade. In short, your free will must agree to the "totally depraved" dissociation reflex. So, the depravity alone will not suffice to hide this awareness. So, to keep hiding, the person will eventually use his volition to cross over into other mental conditions, in attempt to keep the awareness away from his conscious mind. He'll do this "hiding" via "defense mechanisms". Defense mechanisms are "children" of the depraved dissociative reflex we inherited from Adam's fallen DNA. These mechanisms tend to be used together, in layers, kinda like Alexander used phalanxed troops in battles.

All of us have and use these defense mechanisms. Mental maladies (often with visible manifestations) occur when the mechanisms are used too often. Here are a few of them. To see how these mechanisms operate dynamically, look at Genesis 3, how the Lord cross-examines Adam and the woman after the Fall: see if you can identify how many of such mechanisms 'show' in their replies:

  • "Projection": essentially, saying someone else has some characteristic 'you' think 'YOU' have, but want to hide from 'yourself'.
  • "Denial": insisting a thing known true is not true. Deliberate Blindness.
  • "Rationalization": covering up a truth by distorting it into what 'you' WANT the truth to be, using a semblance of a reasoning process to make the cover-up "respectable".
  • "Sublimation": a diversionary coverup, i.e., by means of some activity (like, watching television to avoid thinking).
  • "Guilt" (well, like sublimation, a diversionary tactic of blaming self to avoid confrontation with some yet-unacceptable truth.)

Overusage of defense mechanisms with respect to God create a spillover effect on the mental and physical life, over time. The following results often illustrate such a problem: psychomatic illness, preoccupation (i.e., with illness), "stuckness" (regarding some idea/problem), compulsiveness, obsessiveness, depression, anxiety. All of these behaviors are attempts to reconcile the thing which is disturbing, and none of them "work". Thus the person spins into mental illness, over time. Of course, once the condition is serious enough, the person should see a competent psychologist or psychiatrist. However, in all of us some small version of these problems will be "true". So, it's good to look for a possible spiritual cause -- and see a medical doctor, to check for any organic cause.

In sum, then, the actual maladies one sees can be due to a variety of causes:

    • God is "measuring back";
    • Satan is faking it to deceive;
    • the malady is coming from some defense mechanisms;
    • It's some genetic or lifestyle malady, unrelated to your spiritual life.

4. One can't make snap judgements about what someone else's visible malady, SPIRITUALLY means.

CAUTION: what one sees is always subject to interpretation. What looks like "depression" to you might just be a prolonged period without sleep. Moreover, no two conditions are truly alike. So, symptoms might be light, yet the condition severe. No two computer screens are alike. "Red" in one font-display looks more like "brown" in another font display. "Size 10" fits a whole lot of "size 10" people differently. So it is with any physical or mental glitches: one size doesn't fit all the same way.

Even with truly serious conditions by anyone's standard, diagnosis is difficult. So, "cancer" doesn't always mean the spiritual life is cancerous. So, "cancer" also doesn't always mean the person who has it is a "spiritual giant", either. In short, just as a doctor can't make a complex diagnosis from a few symptoms, so we also can't diagnose spiritual maladies solely from some shallow physical problems viewed in another individual.

So, again, usage of 1Jn1:9 habitually, and learning Scripture under your right pastor-teacher will serve as the quickest litmus test, and the best protector against spiritual causes of physical/mental maladies. You could just "do" the foregoing sentence, secure in the knowledge that God will use any physical/mental malady to your advantage. Of course, though -- don't bypass doctors and medicine! God does miracles every second (after all, by nature He's supernatural, so everything He does is supernatural), but He never eschews authority, so might not 'bing' away your maladies, preferring to use them to heal your soul, if that is better for you. May none of us be so crass, as to blame God for not snapping His Fingers, and solving our puny problems, turning stones into mere belly-bread (Matt4)!

5. Diagnosis, then, is best done with respect to self, privately.

Here are some questions you can use as a checklist.

  • Do I fear? Am I timid? Then maybe what I fear reveals my fear about God.
  • Am I confrontational, insulting? Then maybe what triggers my attitude reveals some hidden anger toward God.
  • What makes me feel insecure? Then maybe that's where I first feel insecure about God.
  • Do I become hostile to others who disagree? Then maybe I "judge" God to disagree with me on that thing, and am hostile to HIM, but am taking it out on other people.
  • Do I obsess? Then, whatever that thing is, it represents something about God I obsess about, to try and make it "right" before Him.
  • Do I procrastinate? Then, I'm procrastinating with God in that same type of thing.
  • Am I frenetic, always needing to be busy? Then maybe I'm trying to be too busy for God.
  • Am I always blaming others? Then I'm really blaming God, just like the Exodus generation folks, for those things.
  • Am I lonely? Then I've absented myself from God.
  • Do I feel no one understands me? Then I don't understand God.
  • Am I always looking to own more? Then I'm not content with God, either.
  • Do I need to be right? Then I'm trying to argue I'm right before God, too.
  • Do I feel guilty? Then maybe I'm telling God He should punish me, like the paralytic in Matt9. [Search on "paralytic" (with quotes) in this site for more details.]

As you may have guessed, almost all of those examples represent some kind of disquiet about God. Notice how it always expresses itself outward. The brain is trying to get rid of the problem. What's the problem? There's a hidden "accusation" against God which self can't bear to face. Take "fear", for example. The person with the "fear" problem is really saying, "God, you won't protect me, you don't love me, here [with respect to the thing feared]." Ergo, the fear. The one being confrontational likewise "accuses" God of withholding, and resents it.

    KEY==>Do you see the pattern? Each of these attitudes resolves to an accusation, "God is UnFair", which is exactly the temptation Satan made to the woman: God "unfairly" withheld "knowledge" from her, so she should eat. Adam's temptation was similar: it would be "unfair" of God to rob him of his wife, so he ate.

    So, God will "respond" by mimicking the unfairness of which He is accused, just as He did with the couple (throwing them out of Eden). Just as He did with Pharoah (sending more miracles He knew would "force" Pharoah further, just as Pharoah was mentally accusing Him of doing). God does this as a sort of "mirror", so the person can "see" his blind arrogance: to wake the person up to the accusation, so the person can grab 1Jn1:9 (or, faith in Christ, Acts16:31, for unbelievers) -- and get TRUE relief. For, if he doesn't wake up, he'll spin down into misery. God doesn't want that. He didn't make us in order to throw us away!

If any of these questions "hit hard", examine self carefully. The brain will react strongly to anything which hits "too close to home". On the one hand, the reaction might just be coming from the brain, genetically. It's a reflex, and not necessarily something you personally will. On the other hand, to the extent you've agreed with that reflex, the reflex strengthens. So, the stronger the reaction, the more likely you've "found" a spiritual sickness.

Here's another quick litmus test for spiritual sickness: the things which really trigger strong reactions, are things which you are secretly condemning in yourself -- Or, more likely -- in God. (We tend to mirror the flaws we most hate in others, for example.)

Such disquiet, if deep enough, will have "punning" mental and physical manifestations. Chances are, if you are reading this site and can actually recognize any manifestations, you'll get relief by following the two "KEY==>" steps, in "1.", above. (I've never seen those steps fail troubled folks who "got cracking".)

The whole problem's pretty scary, isn't it? That's why I use 1Jn1:9 like breathing. 'As often as I remember it, even if I'm not sure what kind of arrogance it might be. If I feel "bad", I use it. If I feel "good", I use it. It's a habit, and very easy to do. 'Takes a nanosecond. For, "if we judge ourselves, we will not be judged" (1Cor11:31-32). That's the flipside of Matt7:1-2. The "judge ourselves" rule is also in Ps32, Ps66, and Isa38:15-18. "Thy rod and thy staff" and "Restores my soul" phrases in Ps23 are more examples of 1Jn1:9's need, usage, and result.

6. Body is DESIGNED to react/respond to SOUL's THOUGHTS.

In many ways, this fact is the scariest of all. Like it says in Proverbs 23:7 (KJV), you are what you think. Marcus Aurelius, who was both a philosopher and Roman Emperor (just before Commodus) once quipped, "Your life is what your thoughts make it."

No one knew that better than Our Lord Jesus Christ. The imputation of our sins to Him meant that all those horrible thoughts pierced His body, because the thought tells the body how to FEEL. The one who lusts to murder, who lusts for approval, who is petty, who is jealous -- each of these thoughts has a feeling-command in it, so the body feels what the thought tells it to feel. So, imagine the inestimable horror of having all those commands hit His Body! So imagine, even before, how horrible it was to have Satan throw thoughts at Him, to hear human, ugly thinking? For souls express thought by words. Don't need to be Omniscient to know another's ugly thoughts!

People can and do control others by thoughts-sent-through-words (and other means). If someone expresses anger, you will likely feel an urge to be angry in reply. That's Reciprocity, and it is proof that the feeling rides on the thought, attacking your body, thus urging a like response from your soul. What happens, is, a given feeling is associated with a given thought, and then the sum is transmitted through communication to another. Contagiously. Whether one means to do so, or not. The more people there are around you, then, the more you are affected. Whether you know it, or not.

So imagine what your own thoughts do to you. So imagine what some outside stimulus tells your body to feel. So imagine what happens if Satan&Co. send you thoughts. Moreover, your body is constantly sending you urges due to the sin nature, so to get a thought to occur in your soul, which then tells the body how to feel! So you become a slave to all this onslaught -- just as the Lord, who knew no sin, was made to be.

How much more enslaved are we, then, if we don't even know whether we'd actually want or believe the thought which hits us? Wouldn't it be embarrassing, to have believed a thing all this time, only to find out it's false? Wouldn't it be more embarrassing, to have believed a thing all this time, only to find the 'belief' is merely based on a repeated claim! Test this worldwide problem: try to defend something you believe, but haven't thought much about -- see if you don't find major flaws in your prior acceptance, i.e., you just believed it, didn't examine it much for truth; or believed something about it which, on re-examination, is not-so-good, after all. Yikes! Look how many things we all believe, without even doing our homework!

What defense does one have, then? Short-term, try to be aware of what you are thinking. But long-term, Only Bible Doctrine; for the short-term awareness only makes you aware of the problem, but Bible Doctrine 'eaten' under the Holy Spirit provides the solution. For the solution, is to change the Association of the thought, from feeling/lies/whatever, to Truth. Since the Truth is gorgeous, associating Truth with a thing/person/whatever makes for freedom from the tyranny of contagious thought. For, the association 'riding' on the thought, finds no target. That's how He paid for us, and that's how He defended Himself. For, Bible Doctrine is thought, too: God's. So, think: God is totally happy all the time. So, then: since the body responds/reacts to thought, the more Doctrine you think, the more you will reprogram your body against prior unhappy thinking; the more you will program your body to slough off all the external bombardment of thoughts hitting it; the more you will be HAPPY due to the Beautimous Diamond Deposits made by the Holy Spirit!

See why it's so important to keep using 1Jn1:9 and getting Bible Doctrine under your right pastor-teacher? God isn't kidding when He calls you 'saved'! Saved to heaven, saved from hell, saved from the thinking of hell down here if you learn His Heavenly Thinking, saved from the emptiness-of-life which eventually careens a soul to its own meaningless destruction, far worse than Auschwitz. Saved to Hear Him, instead! Saved to See Him, instead! Saved to Enjoy, at last! Takes time to get there, but every second.. Worth it!

Conversely, without Doctrine, you have no defense at all. Those worldly thoughts, hitting you from within and without, moral, amoral, immoral, stupid, petty, demanding, whiny, needy, me!me!me! -- will all program your soul to be miserable. So, will program your body to be miserable. And, sick.

Let's go through some examples, so you can see the effect merely reading has on thought, and therefore, on feeling. It's way beyond mere power-of-suggestion (which is powerful indeed: Advertisers depend on it):

  • You recline languorously on thick, luscious terrycloth, the white sand beneath warming it and you.
  • Mom died.
  • Just as you're leaving the home for that fabulous party, a dump truck crosses your path. It hits a bump, and some of its contents spill over you: fresh manure.
  • John wants to murder you, and is stalking your every move; planning on how he will take you to a remote location and piece-by-piece, dismember you.
  • heis.gartheosheismesitesdiatoutopisteuseepitonkurionkaisothesesu. (Are you irritated, yet?)

As you can see, the words engender a certain feeling, once your soul perceives them. That's how temptation works. The thought hits, stabs, feels; so you want to either give in (because it overwhelms or feels good), or fight, which then encourages a different temptation to 'defeat' the first one, so you lose, either way!

    Guilt is a good example of the 'different' temptation ploy. Like all other temptations, guilt is merely a thought striking the soul. (Even body temptations are only temptations due to the thought-associated-image.) A thought striking the soul is not the same as when the soul chooses a thought, but in daily life, it's hard to tell the difference. Guilt, in particular, accompanied as it is by a feeling of guilt, is extremely hard to push away, for with the feeling of guilt comes the feeling of paralysis. Hence, volition doesn't say no: it's paralysed. This felled the paralytic in Matt 9 (story follows in Biblical Examples section below). It routinely fells us: for, most of us are normal, and normally are aware that we don't measure up to some standard. Especially, if it's a standard we believe in. So, if 'guilt' is attached to some standard, then sold everywhere -- like in the media, in charity, anywhere you look -- people come to feel habitually guilty. And thus rebellion against that ongoing guilt eventually comes in to try to drive away the guilt. Both are defense mechanisms, and both are temptations we give into, and neither solves the problem. That is how the 1950's reversed into the culture we have in the US, today.

    So even if you only have the radio or TV on in the room, and pay no attention to it, your BODY does. That's its job. So if around you there are folks who habitually hear (and thus say) that evolution is scientific, even if you disagree -- you will be softened up toward it, and each repetition will make that claim seem 'just a little bit' more true. Because, it's a declarative sentence, thus a command. The more such commands hit your ears, the more they hit your body. The more they hit the body without being fought off, the more the body begins to send confirming urges to the soul, and the more the soul comes to accept such commands. Because, the ubiquity will FEEL GOOD to give into. That's why an America can totally reverse its values since the 1950's. Think about it.

So, just think of the many words we all have rumbling around us inside, outside. Remember that time when you thought THAT thing, oh, how could you think like that! Or, someone said THIS thing, oh, how could he say that?! Ohhhh this thought feels good. Ohhh this thought feels bad. Never mind CONTENT. See? The murderer murders because he has come to LIKE THE THOUGHT, so he FEELS GOOD when he does it. The petty person, too -- likes petty thoughts, so FEELS GOOD running down everyone. But what happens to the BODY? It is being sent sick-thinking, so it becomes sick, even while 'feeling good'. Like a drug addict. NO DIFFERENT.

As was shown in Part III's "Third Reason for Royalty", one of the many saving benefits of Bible Doctrine is that it promotes AWARENESS and hence ALERTNESS, so these many thoughts can't just fly into your body anymore, unchallenged. Like a gated-and-guarded property, your volition will eventually be able to STOP more and more gate-crashers, halting them to question validity. Ironically, that's when you come to see just how many thoughts had gotten through, in days gone by, and what influence they had had on you. So, guard against unhappiness by learning Him, coming to love Him [Jude 21 (in Greek)]...

As was shown in Part IVc's "Your Impact Now: Your Thinking" section, thought is contagious. That contagion works BOTH ways. People can be saved from their hellish thinking by your good thinking: Bible Doctrine. Even if you never tell them the KIND of thinking it is. So, also, 'bad friends corrupt good morals' means that anyone around you who has bad thinking is a temptation to you. So what to do, become a hermit, divorce, leave them? Try 2Pet3:18, instead.

Reminder: A thought striking the soul may be mere temptation, and is not the same as when the soul chooses a thought (which would be sin if the thought were temptation-to-sin). So, in daily life, it's hard to tell the difference. Since you have to use 1Jn1:9 to stay in fellowship if you sin, and since all sin is really thought (body obeys thought, hence body sins are really thought-driven), how to tell the difference? In the beginning, you can't. Just try to be aware of the thoughts, and name any you can. Long ago, I got into the habit of just thinking, "I confess my arrogance" when some time had elapsed and I hadn't used 1Jn1:9 -- just in case. It's better if you can DIAGNOSE what's going on, but don't brood over it. Keep moving, keep learning Him. The HS will improve your awareness, alertness, detection skills as He grows you up in your Groom-to-Be.

If you are in spiritual adulthood or later, or even nearing it, you will get hit with thought-transference by Satan&Co. Depending on your weakest vulnerability (which for most is love/guilt), you'll get thoughts to weaken it further. Also, as your love for God develops, you will inevitably come to feel that you are not doing well in the spiritual life, that you are not obeying Him adequately -- all that is a lie. It's the feeling which substitutes for truth, and the feeling is based on the Truth that you love Him. It is not true that you are doing badly, if you are keeping up with 1Jn1:9 and doctrinal intake.

    Tactical Solution to try:
  • Recognize that the hits you get are mere feelings, whether they are your own, or from the demon boys (and who cares where they come from, anyway).
  • Recognize that it Glorifies Him that you get hit, because your doctrine is developed enough that you can AFFORD to get hit (akin to Paul's reasoning about 'thorn' in 2Cor12:7-10).
  • So come to ASSOCIATE that feeling/thought with the fact that the HS will USE it to Glorify the Lord. Count on that. HS never does anything else!
  • Over time, as the repeated new association builds, you will find the 'hits' either weaken, or you LIKE the reminder of the TRUTH they represent.
  • Meanwhile, try to associate the hit with a motive to push harder, embrace the hit by claiming the fact that HS is using it to Glorify Him. That will speed the 'flip' in your associations from bother, to blessing. NOTE: Truth alone can make this switch -- it's not 'positive thinking' or other dippy, psychological brainwashing nonsense.
  • Eventually you will come to WANT being hit -- That's the key to the Cross: Ps22:6! He loved being a Worm, because during his lifetime-of-training He came to associate the suffering with Father being Propitiated, and us being purchased! That's why Heb12:2 is True! (That's how I learned this Solution, btw. This solution saved my spiritual life, and I live on it, daily.)

The "Mutation Path" of Spiritual Disease

1. Volition, not genetic depravity, is made the "king" of spiritual sickness and its consequent physical manifestations -- or, of spiritual health -- by Divine Design.

We saw from Root Principle #3, above, that the inherent, depraved, genetic dissociative "reflex" of the brain is our legacy from Adam's fall; that this reflex is always trying to recapture what was lost: happiness with God. That this reflex thus constantly tries to recapture that happiness via reliving the prior "good" experience, so to FIX, REGAIN it; so, it keeps trying to "marry" the concept of "self" to "good", In anything/anyone said to be "good". Such is the root function of what's constantly hitting our souls: me-be-good. It's not coming from God, it's coming from the physical brain's dissociative reflex.

We further saw, from Root Principle #3, that the immaterial soul's free volition, which GOD, not man, creates IN the soul, must agree to the claim of the reflex, in order for the reflex to have any real power. (Important: those who say the Fall corrupted man's free will are inherently wrong for this reason: they don't understand that materiality cannot corrupt immateriality. Only immateriality can corrupt itelf. That's why God ONLY creates the soul at each individual birth. See Part II of "Lord vs. Satan", and the "T" of "TULIPS?" for details. Thus, God is never guilty of corruption, which of course is anathema to Him, anyway.) So, absent agreement, the reflex is but a constant annoyance, like a fly or a mosquito. Further, we saw (hopefully!) that only the "rescue" of salvation plus post-salvation "epistemological rehabilitation" (my pastor's term for the learning of Bible Doctrine under the Holy Spirit) enables agreement to be progressively refused by means of a replacement knowledge and a replacement motivation: Love for God. Finally, as the "Lord vs. Satan" websites revealed, these replacements progressively mutate the mosquito, as well as all of life's "good" and "bad" pressures, into handmaidens of Love, enhancements for the expression of Love. That's why the "Cross" was desirable, the very fulfillment of all Christ Himself wanted: "just because". Just because He loved God the Father so much. Just because He loved Righteousness so much, and wanted the worst of lives, so to express how Happy He was. Just because He wanted to pour Himself out for that very Righteousness, that very Father. Just because He also wanted to pour Himself out for us, so that we too could receive such a Happy Life: IF we wanted it, too. To the extent we wanted it, too. Just because, it is the greatest and most fulfilling way to live, the way to "get it all", with no compromise.

It's through Christ, then, that God the Father designed THE way to "mutate" what is non-God, to serve God, to exploit and celebrate His Own Being, His Own Enjoyment. Freely. With no need to coerce, seduce, manipulate, or alter the inherent nature of the thing/person. So, in Christ, and in Paul, in David and Isaiah, in Daniel and Nehemiah, in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, we see these progressive joys: the joy of foregoing "fixing" whatever's "wrong"; the joy of receiving whatever's "wrong", yet at no expense to self; the joy of transcending all limitations; most of all, the Joy of Loving Righteousness. Totally. Fully. Everything else docking beneath that Love, in perfect full pleasure and inter-Love harmony. [This is spiritual growth, what it produces. This is how that 90% of so of our unused brain, gets filled up. In short, the reason why biologists, etc., note so little of our brains are used -- which they of course don't understand -- is that most of the brain is designed to be the interface for the spiritual life; and if one doesn't have a spiritual life, or doesn't grow in it, the brain gradually even loses what small percentage of use it once had. I'd love to say more here, but it'd digress too much from the flow of points being made in this page.]

Since mutation of non-spiritual into spiritual is the root structure, the root purpose and function, God's root design for rational life, it follows that rejection will have the same root structure/purpose/ function of mutation: but, in the opposite direction. Toward fragmentation. Towards insanity. Towards hatred. Towards death, even while living. Just as God said it would, (via the Hebrew's kal-gerund-infinitive paired-construct) in Gen2:17: "dying [spiritually], you will die [physically]." That is the summary statement of the link between spiritual pathology and physical (including mental) pathology. [Note: compare the "breathed lives" verse in Gen2:7. Plural lives means plural deaths, thus accounting for the grammatical structure of 2:17. German scholars like Borkan (sp?) explain the exegesis well. Not too many American Biblical scholars seem sufficiently aware of the Hebrew construction. Also, for those confused by how the creation account is worded: Genesis 1 is a summary, and overview; Genesis 2 is an analysis of relevancies, with details the summary did not cover. Ancient Hebrew often first summarizes, then provides detail. It does this often by means of punning or doubling grammatical structures, such as you see in Psalms and Proverbs. Even today, Hebrew contains this play-on-words characteristic.]

So, spiritual death leads to physical (i.e., mental) maladies; so, spiritual maladjustment in the believer leads also to physical (i.e., mental) maladies. In both cases, the body life terminates with physical death, solely because, post-Fall, ONLY soul life was initially imputed by God to corrupted body life. This explains why Christ had to "lay down [His] Life" (e.g., John 10:18). He had a human spirit AND a soul imputed at His Birth, thus was Born Perfect; so, could not die physically, apart from His own Volition. As a result, the same principle works in reverse: even for fallen man, spiritual health has a positive effect, as well as a negative one, on physical health. [For some fantastic enjoyment, try to deduce God's Genius via Justice and Love-Grace here, in His not choosing to a) impute the soul to an incomplete body, i.e., in the womb; b) not choosing to impute a human spirit along with the soul, to a corrupted-by-Adam's-sin body at birth.]

KEY ==> Whether mutatively-degenerative (effects of sin nature and sin) or mutatively rehabilitative (undoing the effects of sin nature and sin), God's design is such that man can choose what mutation he wants. The mutation, in fact, is a result of choice. First, Adam's choice to sin begot a DNA of corruption -- rejection urge, mutatively translated into dissociation. Will in the human can override this urge, stop it, but the continual urge is such that man doesn't override it, just as the urge to urinate can only be temporarily resisted. Still, only Volition's assent causes any mutation-degeneration to enter -- and contaminate -- the soul. The contamination remains solely a choice, so progressive contamination is likewise begotten solely by choice, with all the attendant physical effects. Precisely. Obversely, it is only choice which is used as the catalyst for spiritual rehabilitation, with all the consequent positive results on physical health. That is the overall pattern, both negative, and positive. 'Judgement' (choice to accept something as true) gets 'measured back', either way. Freedom, in other words, to go either way, all insured by God.[In fact, one of the many reasons why God allows or even causes individuals to become afflicted by strokes and other brain-disabling maladies is to preserve them from further soul harm. That is a long topic I'd love to cover, and again is beyond the scope of this site.]

Evidentiary logic: about God, and the Genius Glory of His Design

Logic is in short supply when one is hurting. Logic is in short supply on a macro level, in society, for most of life, is -- dare we admit it? -- pretty annoying. We thus find ourselves deluged with the banal at every turn: television programs are shallow and stereotypical, news is soundbytish and kaleidoscopic, conversation is largely about things we own or do. In short, thinking about the nature of God or life is, well..no time for that. Yet, we can do it. So, what happens when we think a little bit about what "God" and the reality of life, mean?

Well, one obvious conclusion is that Total Depravity is a cost to God -- after all, He could have had so much perfect obedience from us! Yet, why then didn't He make us robots, happily programmed to do His every whim? Ahhh, that would be unjust to Himself! God judges Himself to be Free; so, then, what matches that judgement, what should be 'measured back'? Freedom. Yet Freedom means the inevitability of sin, for finite creatures, being less than God to start with, will sin. Ahh, and that judgement is..what? Well, the thing wrong must be fixed, no? Shall God not judge Himself also worthy of recompense? What kind of Judge is He, if He doesn't 'measure back' to Himself? So how shall He measure back to Himself? Let's see.

    The central claim of the Bible is that all of whatever a person has or lacks won't make him happy: only relationship with God makes him happy. Critics of course counter that physical and mental inequities don't exactly square with a Just and Loving God. The Bible replies (most famously, via Ecclesiastes and Proverbs) that whatever superior thing "A" has will also become his superior nightmare. Likewise, for an inferior thing. And, in the end, no matter what one had, did, was -- it all is emptiness ("vanity", in KJV), without God. Therefore, a Just and Loving God allows all free variety to exist, so that anyone can freely learn these facts; can freely opt out of the Sisyphean punishment that this world's goodies constitute. Having opted out, the person can have a truly superior life, transcending all obstacles and pleasures the world can provide. With any or all of them, or missing any or all of them.

    So, God measures back to Himself this transcendance, for all humankind, freely! -- by lifting the Stone that was 'too heavy' (against Righteousness) to lift. Christ, who as God-Man could do all yet did absolutely nothing (a fact plainly visible even at the Cross, yet invisible to works-rabid Christianity); Christ, Who could evade all bad, yet instead absorbed all bad (i.e., our sins) -- He is the ultimate Witness to these facts. Our Cornerstone, instead of turning stones into bread; instead of taking up Satan on his offer to give Christ the entire world; instead of using His Own Deity to solve the world's problems; Our Christ LIVED ON THE WORD (Matt4:4), and "did" nothing. Just like a Lamb.

    So, then: if "the" Superior Person of the Universe eschewed His Superiority, doing nothing to "help", and thus gained all, how much more would God use us, "the" naturally-inferior -- to our own advantage? For, no one transcends "bad" by dealing with it -- at all. To deal with it, is to fight on its turf. Christ disregarded that shame (Heb12:2). Instead, Christ TRANSCENDED everything, even by voluntarily dying just as He lived, on Doctrine (aka "truth", "faith" in English Bibles), not in His Own Strength (see Luke 23:46 compared to Ps31:5 in NASB, Ps22:6, and Phillipians 2:5ff,3:9). As Paul would learn to say -- "when I am weak, then I am strong." (2Cor12:7-10.) Outflank the enemy -- don't fight him on his own turf. The Strength of Doctrine, the Mind of Christ, has no equal. So be weak, ignore it, disregard it. So, be Strong in the "power of Christ", His Mind. And let the dead world bury itself.

Most Important Key ==> Thus, God measures back to Himself, Christ -- which Christ Himself wanted. Thus, God gives to Christ, us -- measuring back! Thus, because we are totally depraved, we need and get the life of Christ! Which, had we been perfect, we couldn't get! See the measured-back Genius, Glory? God flips (leverages) the failure of our state into the fulfillment of a status we couldn't have had, even had we been made initially perfect! More: our spiritual mandate is to learn the Mind of Christ, so we can become -- not workaholics, bustling on Satan's turf -- but a like-minded Bride. For who knowingly marries someone incompatible? (See 2Cor, esp v.16, Rom12:2-3, Phillipians 2:5, and like verses.)

So God flips the failure of Total Depravity, into the fulfillment of Glory, by means of Christ: "Christ in you, the confidence of Glory". (Col1:25-27: "hope" means "confident expectation", Paul's way of tweaking Plato's Philebus.)

Thus, it follows that even the material side of this superior life in Christ is deliberately significant, transcending the small, the weak, the petty. Again, we see the Divine Justice principle of Matt7:2 operating, but this time from God's own Judgement, ex nihilo. In short, what was the criterion God Himself chose, to design the universe? His Righteousness, which Part V's olive table (Lord vs. Satan site) showed is a paradox: Righteousness demands all standards be simultaneously met AND unmet. In short, full-spectrum. In short, the two demands self-cancel, so all must (heh) be Voluntary. So, Christ Voluntarily restricted the use of His Own Deity, and Voluntarily did not use even His Human Perfection for aught but the lamb's 'work': to be sheparded to the slaughter. The Lamb of God fed on the Word, not works; grew fat and wooly, so to make a good feast for the poor: us. A tola-worm, not a man (Ps22:6), whose Thinking became the 'blood' dye for our royal crimson robes, since "the Word" became "the Word of the Cross" and the "Word of God" (cf Rev1:6, 5:10, 1Pet2:5,9, plus look up the "Word" titles in this sentence, which in the Greek are also titles of Christ). All by Choice. Foregoing all, He Himself fulfilled the Paradox, yet met all Righteousness. Freely. Full-Spectrum.

Accordingly: everything bad is turned on its head, creating paradox. So also, everything good is turned on its head. This, to show that nothing need impede, and nothing can improve, happiness with God. Thus, you'll find wry verses like: a slave is free though technically a slave; a freeman is a slave despite being free; the poor are rich; the rich are poor. The sick are well, the well are sick. Big is little, and little is big. For, nothing is impossible with God, so God demands ONLY the impossible. Below that standard, anything is good, Full-Spectrum. By Divine Decree.

    Such statements abound in Scripture, whether explict, or told analogously via some Bible character's life story. They aren't just cute statements. The bald and very shocking claim of Scripture is that the person who grows up spiritually also obtains the very objects which externals like money and beauty aim to purchase, but cannot. Sample verses like those of the talents, "hundredfold", Eph3:20, "eye hath not heard", abound. They are meant to be taken very seriously. Beauty and money are desired for what? Happiness, comfort, contentment. Ahhh but these things wither, fade, perish. Isn't there some better thing to have, to permanize happiness, comfort, contentment? Oh yes. But not as the world gives, since the world itself is all withering, fading, perishing. Yet these things are added, too, if useful and as needed to celebrate life with God and testify to periphery how good that life is. With and without man's ideas of goodies: full-spectrum, in fact. "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound." Paul knew "full-spectrum"!

    For how much more is it purely obvious that God is the Joy of life, when nothing else man regards as good is evident? What, does one only love the goodies provided by the Giver, or the Giver, Himself? What, is the possession of goodies the "good", or is it the fact that the Giver gave them? God, or things? God, or people? As went the test in the Garden, as went the test in Job, so goes the test for everyman's life. For it's not about man's loyalty, but God's. For it's not about man's doing-without, being ascetic; nor about man's doing-with (which is harder), having prosperity -- but it's about enjoying the Giver. Relationship. Rapport. Not externals. God loves us despite our inferiority, and gives us, full-spectrum, "the all things", as Paul puts it: Christ. Who had all of the worst, and all of the best: full-spectrum. Then, and now. What externals matter, compared to the joy of His Love? "For the Love of Christ keeps motivating us" (2Cor5:14ff)...

So the 'upside' of our depraved position is higher than were we perfect. The "high" was made higher, because our initial "low" was lower-than-perfect. See? Full-spectrum, maximally increased, so that even God can make "sons"!

Further, the fact that we are born depraved still is not the reason for our degeneration, since only volition can contaminate the soul, by choosing to agree to the depraved brain-urge. So, the downside, albeit always healable via faith in Christ or getting with the sprititual life, is likewise awesome. High-low. Full-spectrum.

    Again, externals don't advantage or disadvantage us, but rather, as always, the issue is, "what think ye of Christ?" So, the spiritually-diseased person's life is hell, no matter what he has or lacks. This, because the 10 degenerative steps listed in Mutation Path #3a) below progressively deaden his ability to enjoy life. No matter what. Having rejected Christ (or the spiritual life, for the believer), he becomes progressively more dependent on substitutes: the externals. This, because the substitutes can never measure up to the happiness he would have with God. So, he becomes progressively narrower in his enjoyments, for only with God are externals "extra". To the person who rejects God (believer or unbeliever), the externals become idols he must worship, to maintain the charade that self-esteem must be based on self-merit: to maintain the desire to live.

    Such an individual thus has increasingly less time to relax, so busy is he trying to shore up his unsustainable self-esteem. So, to others he may look quite happy -- but that "look" is just the brain protecting his image. He's a slave to his brain, rather than the brain being a slave to him. So, whatever smarts, money, looks he has -- they are nightmares. Now needed to survive, they are no longer the options of delight he initially thought them to be. Once, being beautiful was nice, but now it's essential. Once, being rich was fun, but now it's something to hang onto for dear life. Once, a hair out of place was barely noticed, but now it's obsessed over. Trapped in the fortress. True definition of 'hell'.

    Literature and movies so abound with this "Twilight Zone" twist-of-fate that the idea should be familiar. Yeah, the grass is always greener on the other side of the street -- until it becomes your side.

2. Secular proof of this Divine Design exists, though it is not recognized as such.

Thus, as the individual mutates degenerately, he progressively loses strength to go against his past choices. So at some point it may become validly necessary to be treated medically -- i.e., by a psychiatrist. So, a psychiatrist who is treating a believer can provide relief for his suffering patient by an "Rx" of the patient using 1Jn1:9 and getting regular doses of properly-taught Bible doctrine. Perhaps the patient will need some mix of drugs to first stabilize the brain sufficiently, so he can calmly intake the spiritual information. Perhaps a combination of both secular-therapy and drugs must precede the introduction of regular 1Jn1:9 usage and Bible study thereunder. (For the unbeliever, faith in Christ would first be necessary, before the spiritual process of 1Jn1:9 and Bible study thereunder will be therapeutic.)

To say that usage of 1Jn1:9 and Bible study is an 'Rx' a physician can use, implies we can empirically monitor spiritual phenomena, and indeed some psychiatrists have done so (but I don't personally know their names). Can we really do this? Do we have any evidence from science about this spiritual-physical link? Yes. Problem is, we don't generally recognize it as a spiritual-physical link, because science only has material means at its disposal: material instruments can't detect an immaterial soul, much less an immaterial human spirit. So, one is left with the necessity of using "what if it is spiritual/soulish" as a premise, and then any detections, which of course could be borne out empirically, still can't conclusively prove immaterial origins. However, the therapies would still work -- which is the aim of such medicine, in the first place.

Evidence in Biological Structures

Physically, we have evidence -- but haven't yet defined the evidence we have as being evidence of, for example, Total Depravity or spirit-soul-brain interfaces. The dissociation reflex of the brain, as well as its defense mechanisms (both mental and the more rudimentary pain/pleasure reflex) are indeed viewed, but their origins are, of course, not scientifically recognized as due to Adam's Fall. Empirical successes of therapies in the preceding paragraph would also be evidence -- but still one may debate the spiritual premise-origin. Further, the extreme disuse of the brain -- long puzzling to those in the biological and other sciences -- is not recognized as perhaps being reserved for spiritual purposes. To get such recognition would require scientific proof of such immaterial components in man -- which of course science can speculate about, but not prove, hampered as it is with finite and material measuring systems. (The fact that billions of people throughout the millenia attest to the existence of the Divine, is excluded from the scientific definition of "evidence"; which demonstrates that science can be quite illogical: it demands "observation" as proof, yet dismisses so many sustained observations as all hallucinatory.)

Oddly enough, the best non-Biblical proof of the mutation process might come from a guy who is an atheist: Julian Jaynes, of Harvard. He wrote a book you can probably buy from Amazon: its long title has the words "..Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" in it. I strongly recommend owning that book.

    Jaynes doesn't mean to corroborate Scripture, he means to debunk it. Actually, the debunking of Scripture isn't his main purpose, but rather a corollary function. His main purpose is to trace how it is that man evolved self-consciousness. He uses logic and known history, literature to make his case. He makes a very good case, too. He makes the best macro-historical case, I believe, for demonstrating how the dissociation I've been describing works to create mutations we can see -- on the grand scale of time. In short, he unknowingly corroborates the Bible's contentions about the mutative process. It's truly astonishing, especially considering that Jaynes believes that faith in "God" is inherently self-destructive.

    Like most of mainstream psychiatry, Jaynes also contends that the belief in God is inherently a hallucinatory desire, born of a defense mechanism to deny death. Like most of mainstream psychiatry, Jaynes also contends that a healthy self-consciousness requires independence from belief in God, because he (like they) are convinced that belief in God and self-responsibility are inherently antagonistic to each other. In short, his main philosophy is that reliance on God must mean self is less worthy, less "good"; hence, self-esteem is threatened by a belief in God. Hence, self must defend self by means of cutting off God. Hence, the self is only "sane", "healthy", "good", if independent of belief in, or association with, "God". (See how the brain's rejection-urge/dissociative reflex is reflected in the foregoing?) So, the question is, can one prove the origin of this inner "God" hallucination? Can one prove how it is that man gradually came to defeat this inner "God" hallucination?

    Jaynes answers these questions by reference to logic, history, and biology. Essentially, he concludes that ancient man probably had some kind of organic pass-through via a hemisphere-joining section of the brain known as "Weirneke's Area", which over the centuries of man's evolution, gradually closed. While it was open, thus permitting transfer between brain hemispheres, man was basically hallucinatory. Its gradual closure via evolution created the happy state of man developing his own healthy sense of self, no longer hampered by those troubling "voices" or thoughts of some ruling God. He goes on to demonstrate the closure by reference to passages in literature (esp. Homer) and Scripture -- passages to show the 'openness' and the 'closing'. It's fascinating how he demonstrates this gradual change. [In fact, it's from reading Jaynes' book that I came to understand how the "hardness of heart" pathology God describes, actually works. Unbeknownst to me, I didn't grasp the Bible's teaching on "hardness" sufficiently, even though my pastor explains it exhaustively, and I've long "known" that teaching. Nor did I grasp, until I finished the Jaynes book, the tie between Jaynes' description, and the Biblical descriptions of the "hardness-of-heart" process. A good companion book to Jaynes, also apparently written by someone who's at least 'neutral' on the question of "God", is: The Stages of Life, by Clifford Anderson, M.D. He references Jaynes' book, in his own. You should be able to get it from either Amazon, or Books and Borders. I highly recommend it.]

So, did man in aggregate adaptatively close off "Weirneke's Area" due to his progressive hard-heartedness to God? Was it "open" so that man could "hear" God? Does it get opened again once man believes in Christ and progresses spiritually? Frankly, I don't know. There has always been a lot of speculation about the spirit-soul-brain interfaces: are they all material? All immaterial? Some combination of both? Frankly, I don't know what to make of the speculation. Some ideas sound plausible, some sound goofy. It goes beyond the intended scope of this website to analyse the merits of the varying claimed-explanations. Let's just say that, since God is Omnipotent and Righteous, He'd know how to make the best structural connections.

    Jaynes, of course, isn't claiming he's proved any material connection. He's doing a lot of very good hypothesizing, in the cause of fruitful research (for himself, his collegues, science in general). From what I've heard, he's got his critics, among fellow-atheists: their arguments vary. Again, it goes beyond the scope of this website to analyse their counterclaims. Suffice it to say that thinking begets mutative effects on the body. Psychiatry is loaded with all kinds of (sometimes competing) theories about how these mutations produce physical effects. Jaynes, I think, offers the most useful historical model. Of course, one has to abstract his model, in order to see how it says the same thing as what God says in Scripture. One could abstract almost any psychiatric model (that I know of, anyway) and derive the same pattern. So, either use Jaynes or whatever model you prefer, to see that God's treatise on the topic can be "independently verified", as it were.

Evidence in Man's Historical "Progress"

One can still use Jaynes' model, without needing to consent to the idea that Weirneke's Area (or any other physical component) "causes" the mutative process. For example, one of the other themes running through Jaynes' book is the progression in man from concrete to abstract thinking. He deems the progression essential to man's development of self-consciousness, since man's concept of "self" is essentially an abstract idea. He shows how man came to learn abstract thinking from metaphorical associations.

    Of course, God also says that abstract thinking develops from concrete thinking, which is why the OT system of spirituality was highly metaphorical. In fact, the main reason why the Canon is now closed is that Christ came: until there was a Soul to have Divine Thinking in it wholly, man could not get full understanding of God, because the interface could not be sufficiently abstracted for man to get that full comprehension transmitted to him. In short, the content of the Soul of Christ is to be replicated in believers between the Two Advents: that's the focal theme of Ephesians (and Romans 12-14, 1Cor2,14, Phillipians, Colossians 1, Hebrews1-12), for example. Thus replicated, believers become sufficiently compatible with Him, as intended in the Design (Mutation Path #1).

Jaynes doesn't recognize, when he reviews Scripture passages, that they are deliberately abstract-via-association. He mistakes the metaphors for primitive understandings, rather than realizing that the metaphors display sophisticated abstract thinking. Thus, his dating of the time when man became possessed of self-consciousness is inaccurate, a criticism even voiced by others who likewise don't believe in Scripture. Still, he's right to say how man developed: each concrete item represented an idea. As man repeatedly used these concrete items to stand for the ideas they represented, man gradually lost his dependence on usage of the concrete, in order to think. He became fluent, in other words, in the ideas themselves. So, as time passed, he needed less and less to express himself concretely, and became more and more expressive of the ideas, as principles. Abstracts. Hence, Jaynes concludes, man came to be possessed of self-consciousness, for he gradually gained the ability to conceive of the "self".

God, by contrast, says He builds self-consciousness into each soul, as an attribute of personhood, so the ability to be self-conscious doesn't itself require the faculty of abstract thinking. Thus the faculty of self-consciousness, like the faculties of free will, faith (believing, which is essential to all learning), associativeness, etc. -- all of these are just THERE. At birth. However, they can be developed further after birth, since the soul is capable of growing or shrinking, as the person's free volition chooses. [God creates and imputes each individual soul at birth. The "formed you from birth" passages reference this fact: the phrase "from birth" means that "you" are NOT "you" until born. The making of Adam is the pattern, and folks like Elihu, David, and the prophets frequently analogize their own births to that pattern. Sadly, the English translates "birth" literally rather than idiomatically, thus giving rise to some grave misconceptions -- forgive the pun -- by believers. The English literal translation, "from the womb", does NOT have the connotation in the Hebrew of "from OUTSIDE", but should -- after all, the out-from meaning of both Hebrew and Greek prepositions is taught in the first year of those Biblical languages. It's very basic knowledge. French translates the "birth" meaning correctly.]

    So the development of abstract thinking is needed primarily for spiritual reasons. After all, God is the Ultimate Abstract Person. Until man can think abstractly, how can he understand "God"? Therefore, the faculties of personhood, created uniquely per-person at birth, are intended to progress as one ages. For the spiritual life, this is even more true: one is designed to "grow up" from the simplistic concreteness of spiritually-childish thinking, all the way to the abstraction level characteristic of spiritually-full (Eph3:15-19) thinking.

One can observe the concrete-to-abstract mental development anytime, by watching a child grow mentally. One can also trace the aggregate concrete-to-abstract growth of a culture/society's development, (which of course was Jaynes' focus).

One can likewise see this fact anytime, from one's own learning on a topic, even as an adult. First, one learns a bunch of facts. Then, one plays with/analyses/"turns over" those facts, to derive conclusions. Then, one begins to think abstractly, fluently, after some practice, for the conclusions and underlying facts now are seen as a "whole", it"self".

    In fact, as one learns Bible Doctrine, this progression is exponential. It's designed to be. Each verse is like a concrete thing, a fact, a building block. One needs to learn the verses, alright, but that's only the beginning. The goal is to have a coalesced picture, living, circulating in your "heart". ('Synonym for the right lobe of the soul, everywhere in the Bible.) That is one reason why, for example, any one verse would take hundreds of pages to fully explain its meaning, yet the person who understands the verse completely, understands ALL those meanings AT once, in the context of the whole realm of doctrine, and it's a living thing in him. Abstraction flows easily, completely, in coherent context. All at once. You see this in Paul's writings, for example, how speedily he grasps and references the whole, in every sentence he writes. Verbal plenary inspiration is but the highest written display of the very mind-function "learning Christ" accomplishes (done by the Holy Spirit, in the believer, via 1Jn1:9 and study). So, we start as spiritual children, learning little discrete things. We think like spiritual children, and see everything through a child's eyes. As we are caused to grow spiritually, we become spiritually mature. Abstract thinking thus reaches the highest of levels, because at "Pleroma" ("fullness", see Eph3:15-19) it is toward, about, and reflecting Him.

Many secular disciplines vouchsafe a mental-developmental progression, from concrete to abstract. Linguistic scholars will tell you, for example, that one way to "date" a language's "age" is by the preponderance of concrete words it has, versus the number of abstract words it has; by the grammatical complexity of the language (the more simple, the more ancient). So, one can historically trace progress in thought, by progress in the complexity and subtlety of the language. One can also trace degeneration in that same manner: William Safire, a columnist, in his book On Language, does that tracing. So does Edwin Neumann, in his books.

    The discipline of mathematics likewise can be historically reviewed to see the same progression/regression. So also, music. So also, philosophy. So also -- most poignantly -- religion. So also, architecture. You can probably pick out almost any discipline, review it historically, and derive a like conclusion.

However, in these (and other) disciplines, as with language, an interesting anomaly presents itself to the historical analyst: as a discipline (or, a society) degenerates, it becomes hyper-complex. In short, like a bell-curve, the growing sophistication is -- for awhile -- helpful. At some point, it goes beyond the "helpful" apex, and further complexity makes the discipline moribund, hopelessly tangled. This, because the discipline (society) can't STOP "improving", refining. It becomes like a cancer, growing without restraint. At some point, the accumulated complexity kills the discipline (society), or so seriously wounds it, the discipline (society) dies, becomes enslaved by an 'enemy', goes through a "dark period" or a "Dark Ages", etc. 'Kinda like a fire burning itself out.

    Jaynes doesn't reference this anomaly: it's beyond the scope of his intended purpose. Psychiatry, of course, as also medicine, will look for the apex-point, in order to treat the underlying illness that the patient's symptoms manifest. Historians, too, when they look at societal illness, seek this apex. In short, the idea that an apex exists is likewise well-known. Art and architectural-style history are frequently used to date the rise and decline of a society, for example.

    God's explanation is that the entire mutative process has a turnaround point, due to momentum. On the positive side, the turnaround is "maturity", and continuation beyond that point has no downward curve, but rather exponential benefit. On the negative side, the turnaround is likewise a "maturity", but an anti-maturity, so the individual thus self-afflicted becomes exponentially-trapped: in rejection. In fragmentation. In illness. In insanity. In death. So, burns himself out. 'Kinda like a fire.

Thus, the mutative process Jaynes describes, which he considers a positive one, is the selfsame process God describes as degenerative -- whether or not one considers some Weirneke's Area connector. Further, whereas Jaynes does not go on to reference the cancer-like quality of "progress", God does -- all the way to its tragic end. In short, one can still use Jaynes' analysis (or the apex-searching methods of psychiatry/medicine/history/linguistics/ art/architecture), to better understand God's explanation of spiritual pathology.

Evidence in Biological Determinism/Behavioralism

Jaynes of course, like many others, believes there is a lot of truth to biological determinism. The American "behavioralist" school, which I believe came into vogue with Cornelius Otis Skinner's works in the 1950's, is likewise rooted in biological determinism. Both have had an uneven reception. Both the behavioralists and the determinists are criticized on the grounds that their theories lead to prejudicial conclusions, i.e., that some people are "inferior". Multiculturalists tend to be the most vocal critics of the two disciplines.

Ironically, the Bible largely agrees with the two disciplines. Its depiction of what's known theologically as "total depravity", albeit unlike the common theological definitions of that term, is that Adam's fall created a condition of body-tries-to-rule soul. Thus, many of man's decisions and actions are rooted in genetic function, even though man is technically free to override those genetic predispositions. He just doesn't override them, but rather agrees to them. Moreover, it is true that one inherits much more than physical characteristics from one's ancestors. Interests and talents, ways of seeing things, etc. -- these are likewise inherited. So, what seems to be "original" to an individual is not. Thus the Bible agrees that biological determinism has a great deal of validity.

Scriptural "determinism" differs, though, by adding that it doesn't matter if one is inferior or superior. Why? Well, first because "All have sinned, and fallen short of the Glory of God" -- Rom3:23's two-pronged indictment means, among other things, that ALL of whatever a person is, doesn't benefit him, apart from God. Nothing he is, apart from God, will make him happy. Conversely, nothing he lacks will make him happy if he had it. To make an issue of what one is or has apart from God is like saying a dead redhead is better than a live blonde: who cares who-has-better-haircolor, if DEAD? (The "Lord vs. Satan" sites explain this issue in great detail, as it is the central issue in the Trial.) So the FIRST reason why it doesn't matter whether one is 'inferior' or 'superior' is that such characteristics don't buy the individual anything worth having, apart from God . My pastor has a neat way of stating this fact: "There are no advantages to the advantages, without the Advantage."

Second: even were man perfect, his finiteness means he has neither merit, nor is he happier, compared to Infinite God. This second reason why neither inferiority nor superiority matter is that no such characteristic has any internal merit to start with. An ability per se, is just that: neutral. It can help you or harm you, but the help it gives is too small, and the harm it causes can be overridden by other means. The proverbial genius who can't even match his socks illustrates this point. In other words, unless one is Infinite, any abilities are vulnerabilities, too: the vulnerability cancels out the ability. That's the problem. That's why, for example, even Perfect Christ didn't depend on any of His Abilities (Divine or Human), but rather depended on the Holy Spirit, learning Bible Doctrine. That's how even He avoided the vulnerability that goes with finiteness (and of course, to have used His Deity for the sake of His Humanity -- e.g., Matt4 -- was not done).

    Total Depravity merely stresses the fact (meritless vulnerability of inferior/superior), because due to "T.D." we vary even more, compared to each other. Spiritual pathologies stress the fact even further, for the pathologies make for even greater inter-human variance: for the pathologies stem from volition rejecting some aspect(s) of the fact that man has no merit before Holy God. This rejection only occurs because the person rejecting has come to 'buy' the false notion that self-esteem MUST be based upon having merit, PLUS -- an important, distortive "plus" -- PLUS, such merit is caused by, and enhanced by, "possessing". It comes from possessing, alright, but what we need to have -- God's Own Life -- we don't have (until salvation, and even then we can't use it, until we LEARN Doctrine). So, "externals" take the place of "God", in our depraved quest for self-merit. Of course, as we saw in Root Principle #3 above, the brain's congenital defect of dissociation spawns the constant urge to associate an external deemed-good to one's internal self, so to (irrationally) resolve the dissociation from God at the Fall. Volition accepts the urge as valid, and thus 'buys' that false notion. Consequently, degeneration occurs, and differences among humans proliferate.

    KEY ==> The vulnerability destroys the ability, not merely balances against it, when spiritual pathology occurs. Spiritual pathology is distinguished as the realization of this depravity in the soul, caused entirely by repeated volitional assents. So, one's own spiritual pathologies wreck any non-volitional 'superiorities' one has, and exacerbate whatever non-volitional 'inferiorities' one has.

Third: since the entire notion of externals-improving-internals is false, it doesn't matter how much external merit one has or lacks (i.e., due to determinism). This third reason why inferiority/superiority is irrelevant is perhaps the most important: what is regarded as 'inferior' or 'superior' couldn't help or hurt the real "you" -- your soul -- anyway. So whatever you lack or have externally, it's your soul, not the other things, which matters. Of course, the big hint here is that God paid for us, not our accoutrements. We get saved, not our works; We get saved, not our abilities. "As a man thinks in his soul, so he is." (Corrected translation -- "heart" is not in that verse.)

    But wait! Is one individual inferior to another? Yep. Is one individual superior to another? Yep. Does the existence of an inferiority in individual "A" hamper him? Yep. Can the individual go against his genetic (or social) programming (or handicaps)? Yep. Is it difficult to go against such things? Yep. But free will is in the SOUL, which by design is to learn how to dominate the body. Therefore (be prepared to chuckle!)...

    Most Important Key ==> The inferior quality can serve to leverage a superior accomplishment. God's Justice, as ever, is ironically punning: see the last half of Romans 5. This "Key" unlocks the Glory of God's entire design for creation: the paradox of free leverage -- which Mutation Path #1 happily noted. We are more blessed by inferior problems, because they are used to create superior benefits. That's the whole design! What Adam had, is inferior to what we can get, in Christ! [When God makes the soul, God of course foreknows all the bodily handicaps the individual will face. So, maybe God fashions that soul such that the resulting handicaps will advantage the individual. Thus, an adversity for "A" is a prosperity for "B", however much it may generically appear as adversity. Latin maxim comes to mind: "Not all misfortune comes to injure."]

    It may take some minutes to absorb the enormity of this fact. Logically, as noted in Mutation Path #1, God flipped depravity into Glory greater than had we all been perfect like Adam -- as a measure-back to Himself! And why not? If you're gonna spend $300,000 for a Rolls Royce, you had better get way more than $300,000 worth of enjoyment out of it! The higher the cost, the higher the profit better be! So, the more 'inferior', which after all, God has to bear more than you do -- the more 'superior' will be the benefit baptised onto it, by Divine Decree! So, that's why Christ took on Humanity. That's why it's to God's advantage that we be allowed to be totally-depraved. And what's to God's advantage, has to be even more so to ours. For, we are (after all), a gift to the Son, for crying out loud. God, of all Persons, doesn't give chintzy, defective, gifts!

    COROLLARY ==> All inequities, be they severe or minor, permanent or temporary, thus come from 1) the genetic mutations of Adam's fallen DNA, totally apart from any volitional responsibility, or 2) spiritual maladies (volition being negative to God), or 3) some combination of the two. Habitual use of 1Jn1:9 by the believer, plus rigorous growth in Bible Doctrine thereunder, not only gradually eliminate 2) and 3)'s volitional "side", but leverage 1) into greater profit for the person than pre-Fall Adam's. After all, why would God have Christ pay? Would it not be for pure profit to Christ, to God, to everyone? As Romans 5 concludes at the end, the idea is for grace to abound all the more: Grace is the quintessential expression of Love (Romans 5:8), a Love which pours out for the object, asking for nothing in return. Pure profit, full-spectrum. Period. Nothing less than this impossibly-high benefit is acceptable to God. Therefore, He mandates and insures it!

    So much for all the whining people do about their alleged problems. So much bitterness. So irrelevant. So, if you are poor, as James says, rejoice in your wealth! If rich, rejoice in your poverty! For God flips all into "greater grace", and.."Christ in you, the CONFIDENCE of Glory", and "from glory to glory". Forever and ever. Let's have cheese with wine, not "geez" with whine. Celebrate, not commiserate.

Fourth: the ENTIRE idea that "self-esteem" requires self-merit is -- insane. So all the supposed differences people use to measure themselves by themselves are utterly irrational standards. God would be asinine to make self-merit the criterion of self-esteem. Hate would do that, but Love never would. So, this fourth reason means that (alleged or real) inferiorities/superiorities are merely varieties, for everyone's enjoyment. Not competition. Proverbial expressions like "heavy hangs the head which wears the crown" testify to the fact that one has to be truly insane to believe that being 'higher' ought to be better. Better a meal of vegetables, King Solomon wryly noted. Not only is it true (as per the "Second" reason, above), that with any higher ability, go higher problems, too; not only is it true (as per the "Third" reason) that externals don't make the soul better; most of all, it's a stupid criterion, to say self-merit should be the basis of self-esteem!

    What, is one gonna stand in front of the mirror, saying "I am good, I am good"? What, is one gonna get all excited due to approbation from those lower than self? Whoopee: what's the intrinsic value of that? Is that the meaning of life? Gee whiz. See, self-esteem based self-merit doesn't satisfy, so shouldn't even be a standard. And isn't. That's also Solomon's point (about the vegetables). And, more significantly, God's.

    Could God make this fact more obvious? The Trinity Themselves all subordinate to Each Other, even though Equal. That's a BIG HINT that the status of being #1 isn't ipse satisfying. What is, then? Well, look: Son subordinates to the Father, obviously. Son made creation as a Gift to the Father, and then took on Humanity to pay for it all in His Humanity, as well! 'Again, as a no-strings Gift. Father, too, subordinates to the Son in that He designed the Plan, in order to delight the Son, uses everything in it to Glorify the Son, and gives everything to the Son. The Holy Spirit subordinates, in that He restores everything -- from the Earth (Gen1:2 onward), to the human (salvation and post-salvation grace and power, Sealing Ministry, etc). These things He does, as Gifts to both Father and Son. Love substitutes, subordinates. So the idea of self-esteem based on self-merit is laughable. They do love Themselves, surely -- but why? Because the Attributes are lovable: whereEVER those attributes are. That is why we are imputed with Righteousness at salvation (2Cor5:14,15,19, and esp v.21 are sample verses on this imputation). So, Love loves, not 'competes'. Wherever the merit resides. That it is, or is not, in self, is superfluous, to Love. And, where there is no merit, Love loves anyway -- just a different 'flavor'. Because, Love ..loves. (See Romans 5, esp v.8, and 1Cor13.)

    Moreover, Adam, who was happy pre-Fall, had no knowledge of "good", so his own self-esteem wasn't based on his own merit, as he had no concept of "good" or "bad"; he had to get such "knowledge" (hello?) by eating from that Tree. It's hard for we fallen humans to fathom, but perfect Adam and the woman didn't need to feel they were "good" in order to love themselves, or to get loved by each other. They just simply loved. In other words, were we all perfect like they were, yet unequal, we'd not even care about the inequalities, for we'd not regard our inequalities as having anything whatsoever to do with merit -- or love. We'd just simply enjoy the differences. Period.

    Amazing. We have no problem ooohing and ahhhing over the different types of animals, plants, in this world -- with nary a thought about their competing merits. Each has its own beauty: we know that instinctively, and enjoy each one. The variety is itself endlessly pleasing: we write just as many extolling poems about the plain wren, as we do for the peacock. Yet, boy oh boy, when God or people are involved -- zap! Merit must be the criterion? Competition must exist? Are any brains working, here? No, of course not, for the brain is dissociating. And we dummies give into it.

    For "Total Depravity" is all about competing merit. It is nascent in fallen man as a dissociative genetic reflex, because it was introduced into the body by means of a soul choosing a body desire (by Adam, to keep his wife) In preference to a desire to be with God (which to Adam's mind meant losing his wife). That was the essence of (Satan's, and) Adam's sin: competition with God.

    • That is why T.D. is genetic (see the punning matching?),
    • why it is dissociative (too painful to remember one rejected God),
    • why it is only through volition's agreement that it can "deprave" thinking (immaterial volition can alone corrupt its own immaterial soul -- Adam's soul can't be materially propagated, for crying out loud). Again, Part II of the "Lord vs. Satan" explains the ramifications of the "Fall" in some detail.

Thus, God exploits biological determinism -- to the Advantage of everyone. Thus we see WHY there is a "tie" between the tenets of psychiatry and determinism/behaviorialism, on the one hand, and the Bible, on the other: those secular disciplines offer both volitional and non-volitional explanations for man's maladies, using what evidence they have accumulated in their aggregate research. The Bible asserts a different set of (immaterial) causes for the same maladies, with narrative examples, some of which we will examine here (in the "Biblical Examples" section, below). More importantly, it explains that these things advantage us: "For, with God, nothing is impossible." For, by God, only the "impossible" is good enough! Who the heck even wants merit, when we can get "the impossible"!? Phillipians 3:9!

3. Secular disciplines, as well as the Bible, offer pathological "tracing" steps to monitor/diagnose the mutation.

We can diagnostically trace the anti-mutation pathology in man, and thus derive, step-by-step: a) how man comes to spiritually-caused illnesses; and b) how the idea of "God" mutated into so many 'versions'. (Of course, there are a welter of other corollaries one can trace, but I'll leave the reader to figure them out and enjoy them.)

To do this tracing, one can blend what Jaynes and the above-mentioned secular disciplines observe, and what the Bible says. The two categories of sources reveal the same degenerative patterns. So, we have "two witnesses", as it were, both antagonistic to each other: secular disciplines, and God's Word. So, these two witnesses nonetheless agree as to the pattern. Thus we have something we can justifiably consider as being a reliable explanation for how it is that man mutates, in his thinking. More importantly, such tracing is invaluable, to therapeutic applications.

a) Individual (Micro) Degeneration Path

Here's the basic degenerative pattern both Jaynes (et alia) and God explain (each in their own ways, of course). Note carefully how the degenerative pattern has the exact same structure as God's "rehabilitation" pattern. (The grand-scale view of God's pattern is successively outlined in the "Lord vs. Satan" websites.)

  1. The brain's dissociative reflex "responds" to a truth reminder-stimulum by sending up a "bad" or "good" valuation of it, to the soul. In either case, the brain is urging the soul to reject the stimulum's truth. The "good" valuation distorts that truth; the "bad" valuation likewise distorts that truth, but in a more obviously-hostile manner. In either case, the distortion is usually accomplished by stressing some aspect, and also by denying or rationalizing away any others. This distortion is endemic to the dissociative reflex. Why? Because it's genetic: a corrupted 'cousin' of the pain/pleasure reflex, which merely says "Hurt!" or "Feel good!" That's all any reflex "knows". So, in order to press its urge on the soul, which it's doing in the name of protecting the soul from harm, the inherited-from-Adam's-Fall dissociative reflex employs any and all defense mechanisms as 'troops'.

      Example: Joe Blow feels uncomfortable with the idea of supernaturality, so when he hears "God", his brain sends up a signal, "Foolish!" using the defense mechanism of "denial". His brain also sends up the signal, "Irrational -- look at all those crazy Christians!" Because many Christians he's seen are demonstrably nutty, that kernel of truth justifies believing that the so-called "Christian" idea of God is also irrational. That's a defense mechanism of "rationalization".

  2. Man agrees with his dissociative reflex's 'justification' for rejecting:
    • a particular truth,
    • in a particular way, and
    • to a particular extent.
  3. The 'justification' replaces the item rejected, in the same particular way, and to the same particular extent. It's very precise.

      Example: Joe's rejection is based on his feeling of discomfort with supernaturality. That's a very precise trigger mechanism. The "particular truth" he's rejecting, is likewise precise: the Christian "God". The rejection is also done in a particular way: based upon the irrational behavior of folks he sees as "Christian". (Paul uses this same example in Romans 3, but on a broader level.) The replacing "truth" is that "reason" is the 'god' to believe in, hence he can be comforted that supernaturality does not exist. Further, "reason" becomes his "confidence", even his 'faith'. Further still, this emphasis on "reason" stands tall with respect to "God" issues. However, because "reason" is now 'god', Joe won't recognize he's abandoning reason in other areas of his thinking. Thus, "reason" will be neglected as a judgement-criterion in other areas, because it is standing so tall, here. For example, Joe will not recognize the inherent irrationality of demanding material science methods as the arbiter of determining immaterial God.

  4. As a result, the reflex has gained reinforcement from the ruling soul's volition: "yes, you are right", the reflex is told. This reinforcement causes the reflex to become stronger the next time.
    • It is more-strongly reactive to the same stimulus;
    • it is more strongly seeking associated stimuli;
    • it is more strongly "energized" to press collateral claims.
    • In short, the "yes" from the soul's volition creates power in the reflex which it did not have before. Each subsequent "yes" adds to that power.

      Example: Joe's rejection strengthens each time: he sees a "crazy" Christian, or even when he sees anything associated with any seen "crazy" Christian. Joe's objection to the "Christian God" becomes progressively hostile, rather than merely indifferent or passive, as the brain reflex strengthens in its protective function. He becomes more dismissive of collateral ideas of God, too, as the scope of the association spreads, due to his volition endowing the reflex with an ever-greater "protection" mandate.

  5. The accumulation of these replacement "truths" create a "personality", with its own structure, its own reasoning process, its own growth. Over time, the progressive use of this "personality" will come to dominate the individual, come to BE the individual.

      Example: Over time, Joe becomes laconic, even cold. Why? He's become increasingly distrustful of any emotional attachments, since they have become progressively-associated with irrationality, since "belief" to him has become equated with "God", and hence, insanity. So he becomes irrationally fixated on "reason", and the coldness to him epitomizes reason: the irrational conclusion is, of course, that if it's cold, it's devoid of emotion. So, must be 'objective'. So also, Joe's obsession with "science" as the sole arbiter of truth. So, if he can't "see" a thing, or has no "expert" to justify a thing exists, he disbelieves, but calls his disbelief, virtuous reason. He becomes proud to be skeptical, even cynical. That's virtue, to him, and he becomes what he considers virtuous. He thus becomes more shallow in his judgements, and far less rational: credentials matter more than substance, for the credentials themselves are deemed conclusively correct -- since institutions grant them. So, those without credentials, or other mass-approbation symbols, are devalued. So, Joe values himself based on superficialities. They also come to dominate his ideas, his personality, his worldview. Status, not substance, guides his life. Irrationally. All in the name of "reason".

  6. As the "personality" develops and gains dominance, it will have physical effects. In psychiatry, for example, a malady known as "hysteria", is the physical 'fulfillment' of a believed falsehood. Hysteria, like any other mental malady, varies by degree and scope. The brain makes-real the lie believed, by means of physical expression, eventually. So, if you believe you are tired, you will be tired; if you believe you are hurt, you will be hurt; if you believe "x", the brain will make "x"'s physical result in your body. Eventually, persistent belief will permanize the believed result, bodily. That is, in essence, how any mental illness comes to outwardly manifest itself.

      Example: years ago, when the Beatles were in their heyday, I had met a woman in a mental institution who really believed she was pregnant by a "dead" [famous alive singer]. To look at her, you'd swear she was indeed pregnant -- about 7-8 months along. But, the psychiatrist told me, she was not pregnant. Her belief in the lie was so strong, she manifested the result of the lie, i.e., by looking physically pregnant.

  7. Thus, spiritual degeneration creates a replacing, progressively-dominating, progressively-visible 'fulfillment' of the believed replacement lies. The conditions known as "mental illness" are but a subset of degenerative processes, which subset is relatively abnormal by human societal standards: fallen human standards.

      Example: 'going back to Joe Blow, again. Joe's progressive denial of emotion makes him more emotional, but less able to see it. His discomfort thus increases. He will thus manifest a progressive withdrawal, coldness, distance. Maybe he will have ulcers or other chronic gastrointestinal problems. He may have alternating bouts of constipation. His blood pressure may be high, yet his (likely) fastidious attention to diet and health makes the high blood pressure a mystery. Maybe he will become impotent. Maybe he will obsess over details. Maybe he will become irascible, "a control freak", due to the hidden 'fight' with his emotions, so his spouse will leave him. Maybe he will go from job to job, always unsatisfied. Conversely, maybe he will become jaded, or an alcoholic. 'Even, suicidal. Or -- just as likely -- the accumulating pressure might result in a "miraculous experience", so that Joe Blow becomes enraptured by some mystical religion. 'Even, some apostate version of Christianity. All these behaviors are but the brain's attempt to relieve the internal soul pressure by external means, which volition, of course, empowers.

  8. As the Bible repeatedly explains with a plethora of examples, any "strong delusion" or "madness" punishments are solely due to volitional degeneration. In unbeliever or believer. Satan knows God's Justice Rule here very well; he has the delegated role of administering these punishments, and aims to use that role to his advantage (viz., beginning of Job1 and 2). He thus tries to use God's punitive faithfulness,to justify fomenting progressive spiritual illness. It's his goal. (The "Lord vs. Satan" pages explain his motives, etc.) So, Satan uses the administration of "madness" (which God assigns as protective punishment) to degrade the one thus self-punished, further; AND, far more importantly, to similarly infect those in the person's periphery.

      Joe's rejection is partly due to the 'contagion' of so many around him believing as he: that it is irrational to believe in God, on the grounds that one can't believe in God except at the expense of 'self-esteem', which is distortively defined as requiring independence from any higher power. So, to fit in with his group, like any animal, Joe 'buys' that definition of self-esteem, subconsciously. Thus he cannot permit any opposing reason to threaten his thus-defined sense of "self". In order to relieve this growing unfulfillable pressure, then, all he sees and hears which buttresses that sense of self is likewise 'bought' as 'good'. Thus Joe loses the ability to regulate, stop: Joe's volition-reinforced dissociation gradually produces an insatiable demand for self-satisfaction, the acquisition of ever-more support for that sense of self. He's addicted to the infection. So he infects others with his mutation of the contagion which had infected him, just like a person passes on a flu virus. (Reciprocity is the means. One is reciprocally affected by the attitudes of those in one's periphery.)

      What distinguishes Joe in this stage, is that he's passed the point of self-control. His self-absorption is so locked-in, he can't read any of life's data except in a manner which buttresses ego. He can't regard even the slightest thing related to self as being inconsequential. Every little thing is critical to his ego survival. He won't know that, of course. He probably will retain the veneer of morality and respectability -- since those are his ego requirements. Someone looking at Joe thus wouldn't detect anything is wrong. In this manner, the outsider catches the 'virus' Joe carries, since Joe looks "good", and the outsider's self appropriates the "good" Joe represents, to the self, as a standard toward 'improvement' of self. However, some major good or bad event happening to Joe will rip away his veneer, visibly -- to those intimate with Joe's personality. Such folks also catch Joe's 'virus': they adversely react to Joe. Why? Because they had believed in the veneer, and now it's GONE. Disillusionment, rather than objectivity, results, for the reactors' selves made a 'mistake' to have highly-regarded Joe. So, the virus spreads. Either direction.

    [Caution reminder: there are organic neuroses/insanity (etc) which are not the result of volitional negativity to God. Such maladies are not in view, here. Such maladies have organically-determinable causes which can be medically treated. For example, if one accidentally ingests certain molds, he will manifest symptoms which appear identical to certain volitionally-caused mental disorders. The resultant damage to his brain might even be permanent, and can only be "managed" by various medications/therapies. So, such cases are not in view, here.]

  9. Thus, much of what passes for "madness" in man, although rooted in negative volition, hence pathological spiritually, is also enhanced by Satan&Co at a macro level. In Part IVc of the Lord vs. Satan, its "Invisible Impact" section partly explains how one can spot their 'enhancing' involvement, especially en masse. So man not only receives urges (aka "temptation") from his congenitally-defective brain depravity, but also receives urges from Satan&Co. Constantly.

    They enhance by means of telepathically urging aggregate irrational behaviors of the same type, on the same subject, at the same time. Such aggregate urging validates, masks the irrational nature of the 'suggestion'. The "aggregation" quality dulls the mind to recognition that the urge is irrational, since the brain dissociatively deems high Quantity to denote high Quality. The brain dissociatively denies the idea that so many people can be infected, for if they are, then self must be infected, too. Hence, the brain responds with a majority-makes-right rationalization. Examples abound, and logically cannot be accounted for by the typical gestalt-explanations or "herd instinct", particularly since many of these 'enhancements' burst out too suddenly; or, despite overwhelming evidence of irrationality, remain so entrenched in so many.

    • Anti-semitism in Hitler's Germany, and American segregation, come to mind: the widespread aggregate, and eventually, "official" acceptance made each respectable, and thus rationalized-right, despite even private awareness that such policies were morally, foundationally, wrong.
    • The millions who suddenly and privately sat transfixed, watching O.J. Simpson's white Bronco travel the freeway -- for seven hours -- and then wondered, why did 'I' do that?
    • Less dramatically, even though we all bemoan the banal quality of television, we still accept it. Why? It's too much for the brain to admit that what's popular or institutional, is usually of the lowest quality.
    • Similarly, we regularly accord academic or other official "achievements" as authoritatively valid, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Why? The brain is a reflex: it wants simple "yes" or "no" validities. Moreover, it's too much to admit that maybe a person's credentials don't indicate competence, for if those credentials aren't dependable, self's achievements indicate nothing, too.

    Thus, Satan&Co. can "hide" the destination, as it were, of such 'enhanced' irrationalities, in the 'comfort' of sheer numbers, structures. To make them 'respectable'. In effect, so to herd man where they want mankind to go: Gotterdamerung. Lemmings. Pied Piper. It's too much for the brain to admit that we can be so easily manipulated, despite the long and successful history of propaganda. So naturally the brain will vehemently deny the idea that some supernatural creatures do this sort of thing. Thus, the obvious supernaturality of aggregate inanities, such as the short list above, goes unnoticed -- or, is explained away.

  10. God at some point must order the deaths of those sufficiently infected, for the sake of those still healthy enough. Progression of contagion, because authorized by Divinely-delegated punishment, is helpful up to a point (i.e., we learn from "bad" what not to do or be, just as we learn from "good" models). Beyond that point, those infected will not willingly change their minds, nor will the healthy be further benefitted.

      Examples: Aggregate infection causes the downfall of neighborhoods, regions, countries, and at times, even the world. Malaise spreads (cf. Heb12:15). To counter the malaise, people sublimate. One such sublimation is war. More routinely, natural disasters and diseases occur to given groups at given times. So, the infected ones are sentenced to death, a penalty Satan & Co. also generally administer. This is a primary reason why God 'kills' people -- to limit their contagion. [For believers, this capital punishment has a special name: 1Jn5:16's "sin face-to-face with death". Note: 1Jn5:16 does not mean a loss of salvation, but rather a loss of all the additional rewards Scripture conditionally promises, to those who "endure". This fact is overlooked by those who don't notice that the Chapter is addressed to "children", one of the terms for believers John previously defined; and that it begins with a statement that believers have eternal life].

    • Frequent usage of 1Jn1:9 and study of Bible Doctrine is the key to believer sanity, just as Ephesians 6, and Romans 12:2-3 explain. (Greek of Romans 12:3, from the point where KJV says "soberly", should instead be translated something like "rational, without illusion, as God has assigned to each one a standard of thinking from Doctrine." Else, one misunderstands the verse's meaning -- as happens so often with translated verses.) If the believer spiritually arrests, so stops using 1Jn1:9 (or worse, never starts), he will become physically and/or mentally ill. Whether the particular version of his illness manifests itself as "abnormal" by fallen man's societal standards, depends on what issue Satan wants to make of that carnal believer. Beware. Don't be scared, don't be engrossed, just keep on with Doctrine. For your own sake.

    • So, it becomes necessary to frequently check the self's motives. For example, the (understandably) skeptical person reading this site might wonder, "How do I know this information isn't hallucinogenic?" 'Good question. If what's said here is true, then Satan&Co. will be sending the brain a stong incentive to say it is 'hallucinogenic', in order to hide the truth. If what's said here is false, then of course the reader's brain is not threatened. However, the brain might be recognizing "good" from these words and THEN distort them into some self-be-good claim. In short, you have to decide for yourself what your own reaction means; what you should do, if anything, with this information.

Of course, the above description employs some Biblical views that Jaynes and secular disciplines would not countenance. Still, if you are familiar with Jaynes, or with any non-God (i.e., psychiatric) version of the underlying concepts in these 10 points, you'll see the essential structure is astonishingly similar -- without reference to spirituality or demons.

  • The Stages of Life, by Clifford Anderson, M.D., offers yet another parallel to the above structure, with zero intent to corroborate Biblical explanations (so far as I know).
  • Books by psychologist (psychiatrist?) Grant Woods also come to mind. His main thesis, as I remember it, is that the human will is far more responsible in mental illnesses than members of his profession seem to feel comfortable admitting. I don't remember the titles of his books. The reader is invited to investigate his works.
  • One might also profit from reading Emil Janet, a fellow-student with Freud; Janet went on to become involved in neurobiology. He had a lot to say about "dissociation".
In sum, the reader can find secular descriptions of the degenerative process which largely trace out these steps.

b) Aggregate (Macro) Degeneration Path

Let's now consider some examples of how the degenerative process works in deriving mutative ideas of God. Basically, these mutations occur because some, but not all of the truth about God is accepted. The reader should be able to reason out how this happens, so I'll just give the gist of the 10 degenerative steps described in brown/maroon font, above.

Most so-called "primitive" cultures are polytheistic. Each "god" has a particular set of (usually limited) powers over a given (usually limited) geographical area or natural force. The commonality among these cultures is the idea that each such "god" must be "appeased" by means of some "sacrifice", in return for which the sacrificer receives some benefit -- or, at least, less or no harm. Thus, we see that's what's accepted, is the idea of a higher power. Thus, what we also see accepted, is the idea that this higher power is "owed" something. We further see that this higher power "responds" in some way, if what the power is "paid" satisfies it. We also see that this satisfaction is expressed in terms of conferring some benefit upon the one(s) who did the "paying". Further, most cultures depict these "gods" as being in "competition" with each other, and/or with men, at least occasionally; that they can play pranks on each other, or on men. In short, there is a capricious quality to these characterizations of these "gods".

We also see a lot of rejection. Rejected is the idea of solely ONE all-powerful Deity, generally. Or, variantly, rejected is the idea that the All-Powerful is "alone". Further, rejected is the idea that "Deity" is absolutely Righteous, for this Deity is capable of being appeased by something man can "do". Moreover, the Deity isn't completely righteous, because the Deity is capable of being capricious. Thus, even if all-powerful, the Deity isn't necessarily just. Further still, any Deity "love", if the culture deems that attribute present at all, is definitely capable of quick shutdown. This, because the Deity is not Absolutely Righteous, so has no "backbone" to any "love". ("Love" is notably omitted from most cultures' characterizations of Deity; if named at all, the description given "love" more comports with the actual definition of "lust". Just think of all the philandering of "Zeus", for example.)

The following degenerations are thus visible:

  • The brain's dissociative reflex "responds" to any TRUTH reminder-stimuli regarding the existence of "Deity" with a moderate "yes"; however, regarding "righteousness", with a strong "no". The reflex failed to conquer the existence stimuli, but succeeded in conquering the "righteousness" stimuli -- at least to a distortive (i.e., limiting) extent.

  • Thus, "gods" are more acceptable than "God"; thus, "God" will excite progressively-hostile reaction, whereas "gods" will excite progressively-warm reception. Characteristics of "gods" which are too "big" to fit "gods" will likewise eventually excite hostility, but "smaller" ones will receive ever-warmer acceptance. Thus an increasing legalism, a hardening of what constitutes "gods", occurs in their thinking.

  • Further, the idea of "appeasement" will likewise harden, narrow, reify. It does this, predictably, by means of an ever-greater emphasis on bodily functions. Thus, abstract thinking will decline, even if it was initially present. Roteness of movements, "sacred ritual", etc. will come to dominate the "spiritual" life. So, any "enhancements" of that life will also be bodily-defined, i.e., taking peyote or other drugs, so to get a feeling of "communion". In short, "worship", which is supposed to be the highest-way-to-live, becomes reified and emotional. So "lower" ways-to-live will begin to reflect that same emotional reification.

  • Any opposition to these ideas of "gods" will provoke ever-greater hostility, in the name of loyalty to the "gods" believed. This opposition will become more physical, more antagonistic, more violent, with each successive opposition "stimulus". So, any "heretics" who even raise mild questions will come to be violently suppressed, hunted, suspected. So, loyalty itself goes on the chopping block. Father turns in child, wife turns in husband, child turns in parents -- and it's all deemed "holy", in order to "serve" the "gods".

  • The society with such a belief thus gradually declines and disintegrates, so that only tyrannical rule can hold it together. Fear becomes the "glue" for the continuation of that group. Fear is inward, and has the ever-growing outward expressions of pettiness, withdrawal, paranoia, persecution, mysticism (phallicism is essentially a form of mystical union), etc. Here we see the society escalate in its degeneration. Whatever "progress" it had made toward any refining of expression (e.g., in art), there's no check on the escalation, so "progress" becomes cancerous. Unstoppable. Invisible to those within the society, until it's almost too late. By then, though, even those few who detect degeneration will largely misdiagnose its cause (like Socrates did).

  • Ultimately, the society dies. Another (not-so-weakened) power will use its competing to-gods' loyalties to justify destroying the society. Or, the society itself will simply implode.

  • Along the way, of course, both the individuals in that society, as well as the society en masse become progressively afflicted with mental as well as physical maladies of all kinds.

We thus see that their ideas of "gods" determined how they themselves related to their world, to each other -- in a progressively destructive manner. We should also be able to understand that the society could have been well-advanced in abstract thought -- but, because abstract concepts (i.e., Absolute Righteousness) were rejected, the society progressively lost its ability to reason. Hence it isn't necessarily true that what we see as a "primitive" culture, actually "started" that way. (One can easily draw a parallel here to America's declining culture, but the reader can analyze that parallel on his own.) Most of all, we see the brain's dissociative reflex, even though unwholly successful in denying God, is nonetheless successful at distorting any god-concepts into me-be-good pathologies, with deleterious physical (i.e., mental) effects.

Of course, one doesn't need to believe in multiple "gods" to go nuts. One can cycle the patterns depicted above for multiple gods into any of the world's so-called "monotheistic" religions, and come up with the same ending: reification of worship, body-stress, consequent decline of the ability to reason due to the decline in abstract thought (due to rejection of Absolute Righteousness); along with pettiness, legalism, disloyalty to other humans, societal implosion/takeover. History is rife with examples.

Plenty of believers in the Real God go nuts: the Bible is a textbook on them. So, let's now consider some Biblical examples, to see dynamic progressions within the "mutation path" of spiritual pathologies. These examples will reveal both the mutative process, and the Lord's exacting, even punning, Protective Response: punishment-blessing. Please keep that fact in mind, as you read: even His Punishment is designed to bless. That the recipient doesn't benefit from it only happens if the recipient refuses to learn from the punishment. Such refusal speeds soul degeneration. If God did not equip man with an immaterial soul possessed of inviolable free will, there would be no possible recovery from refusal. In short, even one sin would be fatal, in that (untrue) case. So: whatever pangs of guilt one may have, take heart: recovery is always possible, so long as one is breathing.

Biblical Examples

Biblical examples show both the underlying degenerative pattern, and the many mutating variations. To see them, one must analyze the verses, for the Bible is meant to be read with the brain "on", not rotely-intoned. Use 1Jn1:9 when you do it, so that you will not fall asleep, or easily miss the logical basis underneath the seemingly-simple words. (People's eyes tend to glaze over when reading Scripture, since we are all propagandized into regarding a 'holy book' as something which isn't supposed to be analyzed with the eyes open, never mind the logical conclusion that a 'book' is meant to be learned, so must be thought over, not emoted over!)

The mutations are very important to study, for they will show you how to diagnose (preferably your own) spiritual problems. Examples of spiritual maladies which translate into physical ones are rampant, in the Bible. From the "Lord vs. Satan" sites, you've seen how prolonged rejection of God leads often to insanity, for believers and unbelievers. In this section, you're invited to analyze some of the underlying examples (which in part led to those "Lord vs. Satan" sites' conclusions).

1. Accusations and their matched punishments: a quick reference list.

Since God really wants a free, self-sustaining, independently-happy creation; since this state can only be obtained via self choosing to learn and Love Righteousness, self needs to study and conclude, freely. Seeing someone else's conclusions will only help so much. Therefore, the list below gives you some reading you can do on your own, in the Bible. Note carefully what the person's problem was, and what was the punishment. Examine for "matching", punning concepts, metaphors, synonyms. I'll put in the verse citations when I've time.

  • Succinct descriptions of spiritual pathology are dramatically presented in Romans 1:18 through Chapter 3, Deut8, James 1. The Romans passage is the best place to start, I think, because it makes clear the progressive illness afflicts believers, not merely unbelievers; that moralistic believers are most-susceptible to spiritual illness. You can tell all this, even from any English translation. (The Greek is overpoweringly clear.) Biblical keywords for the progressive illnesses are many. Here are a few of them, to research: "darkened" (used everywhere in Scripture); "strong delusion" (Isa41:29, 1Thess2:11); "hard" or "hardened" (used with "heart", again, all over the Bible); "split-souled" (tamely mistranslated in English bibles as "double-minded"), in Jas1:6; "madness", in Deut28:28 and elsewhere (Ancient Hebrew's "shigaon" devolved into the modern Yiddish "mishgoss"; adj.: "meshugge"); "whose god is their emotion", Phillipians 3:19. (Greek word "splagnon" is a metaphorical term for "emotion": an the idiomatic meaning any Greek of the day knew. Sadly, since 'splagnon' literally means "guts", KJV and other English Bibles translate it "appetite".)

  • The Fall of Adam and the woman.
  • Cain's punishment for murdering Abel.
  • The Tower of Babel.
  • The story of the Flood.
  • Miriam's leprosy, for being leprously jealous of her brother Moses' authority, and of his marriage to the Ethopian woman. If you have the Turner production of the movie "Moses", starring Ben Kingsley, you'll see some of how that played. (The movie is very inaccurate as to the historical period in which the Exodus occurred, and on some other details, but it is still worth watching, and is well-cast.)
  • The following Exodus incidents: golden calf; the quail; the first report from the Land (the crying); the Korah rebellion (and earthquake); the broken tablets; the rod-that-budded; well, that whole period is chock-full of incidents! (Exodus - Joshua)

  • Moses, at 2nd Meribah (where he strikes the Rock, instead of speaking to it). Review in context of Deut1-4, also.

  • Aaron's punitive death.
  • Saul's mental illness.
  • David's sin with Bathsheba (fornication, then murder of her husband).
  • Hezekiah's punishment.
  • The Battle of Berachah: how Sennacharib's army was routed.
  • Judas.
  • Peter's denial.
  • Paul's trip to Jerusalem, to make that vow. End of Romans is where he starts to rationalize the trip -- against God's will.

  • Anaias and Sapphira. Keyword: "lying".

2. Accusations and their matched punishments: Analysis.

This subsection will cover what I've come to see of the mutation process, from Biblical examples. I'll only focus on a few of them, to illustrate the mutation spectrum. Further, I would prefer to focus on how BELIEVERS mutate, since how unbelievers mutate is more obvious (viz., all the differing versions of "god", and rejection of any notion of "god".) Finally, we believers are often blind to our own mutations, which in our case is much more critical to correct. So, it's hoped that the reader will thus profit from seeing the analyses below, as a sort of "mirror", to use James' term (Jas1:23). That can only happen, of course, if one is using 1Jn1:9 and positive to learning. In such a state, any material viewed will be made profitable by the Holy Spirit.

We humans are creatures of reciprocity. So 'measuring back' is an apt way to communicate. So, you'll notice that the punning punishments below are very much phrased as reciprocation, a sort of anthropathic method God's Love uses to make the point: wake up!

The Exodus Generation -- you want 'Miracle' God? Ok!
I'll be just like I was to Pharoah

The prime case study regarding believer mutational variations, is the Exodus Generation. These people, unlike Pharoah, were believers. However, like Pharoah, they were completely hardened: God was only good for the 'show' He could make. (Note: you can easily tell who's a believer by whether the person says "My/Our God" versus "Your God" in the OT. "My/Our"=believer; "your"=unbeliever. Only folks who believed in God left -- it was an act of faith.) Read Exodus-Numbers as a book, and note how truly insane these people behave. Romans 9-11, 1Cor10 are partly a running commentary on them. The list below summarizes some of the types of spiritual maladies they manifest:

  • They want to see -- and get -- signs and wonders. When they get them, they are impressed, penitent. Yet, within even a few days, they become antagonistic toward God. They blame Him for their problems. They accuse Him. They don't believe He'll help them, again. In short, whatever good He does for them, they quickly forget. Whatever difficulty they have, they quickly "throw" at Him. This condition is a type of "demand syndrome" common to mental diseases like paranoia (a severe form of projection), bi-polar disorder, depression, and almost any type of neurosis.
  • They are hypocritical, sentimental and very emotional: they pretend to fear for their children (who they were abusing!) when they are to go into the Land and destroy the giants; when God then forbids them to go into the Land, they cry all night long (nervous breakdown, really) and then go into the Land anyway -- and of course, get "chased like bees" by the folks they insanely went to attack. This symptomizes a frozen-in-childhood state, owing to lack of authority orientation.
  • They are orgiastic: the golden calf incident. The Egyptian ritual they re-adopted was to express their rebellion. It wasn't merely about sex. Sublimation.
  • They hate the desert -- which is what their souls were: "Our souls are dried up!" -- the verse where they complain about the manna, in Numbers, just before Operation Cobra. Projection.
  • They occasionally don't have water, because they aren't drinking the "water" of the Word.
  • They hate God's food (which symbolized Bible Doctrine: Deut8). Constantly they complained about the manna, and asked for meat, instead. (Ma-Nah is a nasty way to say "What IS THIS????"), so God "measured back" to them by sending them so much quail, that they died from gorging.
  • They hate God's authority. Constantly they are seeking to overthrow Moses and undermine his authority. Rejection of authority. Power lust.
  • When they ask to see proof of God Himself, and He shows Himself, they suddenly become afraid, so He only lets them see His Glory after He passes by. Denial.
  • "Operation Cobra": their venom against God is so high He sends them Egyptian cobras ("fiery serpents" is a bad translation), which they would easily recognize as the cobras He freed them from in Egypt. That's why the "brass serpent" was used. (While slaves they frequently encountered these deadly snakes. The snakes were the symbols of Royal Rule, so no one was allowed to kill them. So, as slaves, they were the most vulnerable to the snakes.) Obsessiveness denoted by habitual malice. Maybe a type of paranoia.

Acts 5's Ananias & Sapphira: 'BUY people falling at your feet?
Ok! Fall-and-face your 'god', then!

[CLICK HERE for the story.]

Paul: 'Spurn Rome to reconcile with Nazirite vows
at the Temple Door? Ok!
Have a WHALE of hairy purification there, for your return!

Will improve this later. Relevant passages include Acts 14-23 (esp. 15:20,18:18,21:15-26), Gal1:19, 1Cor15:1-10, Rom1:13, 11:13, 15:24ff, w/Numbers 6. Motive shows in a number of places there, but also Rom9:1-6. Greek text is far clearer than English.

It's amazing how this one man has so changed history. It's even more amazing how people even today vehemently divide over defending him or debasing him. Even Latin American soccer matches aren't so heated! Why all this attention on a squeaky-voiced, hook-nosed, kinda dumpy guy who never got married? Paul was the only apostle God entrusted with the new-in-species Doctrine Christ accomplished via His Spiritual Life down here. That's why. See, everything changed, due to the Cross, and though many believed in Him, they still believed the Law was the post-salvation life. They were too "dull", you see (Heb5:11-6:6). But, through the way God used to awaken Paul to eternal life, the event on the Damascus Road -- Paul caught on. And he later died for it, too -- went to Heaven, and was resuscitated (2Cor12+maybe Acts 14:19). It was Paul, then, who knew the most. It was Paul who taught the others that now Christ is Risen, we are our own priests under the King-Priest. That they learned the lesson is evident from passages like Heb5-7, 1Pet2:5,9. So, then: for Paul to make a vow which pertained to the Age of Israel was to say that the Levitical Priesthood was HIGHER than Christ's. Paul of course didn't mean to be so blasphemous: but who does, when emotion or arrogance drug us?

Paul's "fall", which apparently theologians deny (how, I can't fathom since Scripture is so bald about it, and there are over 300 connected verses), centered around his lingering love for Judaism. It's understandable, and of course is not ipse wrong. But Paul's soft spot for Jerusalem translated into a recurring emotional expression regarding both his fellow Jewish believers, and the Nazirite vow; which he didn't finish the first time, being in the wrong location (Acts 18:18 -- ingressive aorist means he only began to cut his hair when he realized he wasn't in Jeru, so couldn't finish the vow). He was motivated to take the vow in the first place, to thank God for delivering him from the Jewish legalists via Gallio (earlier in Chap18 and prior). It was an emotional thing. Anyone can 'relate'!

So, years later, when God orders him to Rome permanently, he knew God was saying machs nix to his long-ardent desire (see Rom9:1-23) to teach his beloved fellow Jews about the Church Age (Paul's term, usu. truncated to "Age over the Ages", a lexeme, in his letters). So, like Jonah, he got stubborn again and went the opposite direction from God's geographic Will: to Jerusalem, rationalizing his go-to-Rome mandate into a side trip (the Romans passages, plus the movements between Achaia and Jeru, in Acts). Having gotten to Jerusalem, despite many warnings (Acts 19ff), he gets put on the spot by his good friend James, who calls in a past favor (Acts 15:20 compared with Acts 21:17-25). This, despite the fact that by caving in, Paul DISavows what he taught in his previous epistles about the inapplicability of the Mosaic Law (Thessalonians, Corinthians, Galatians, Romans). In short, he makes himself a hypocrite if he caves in. But he's carnal, here.

So, Paul caves in, to make peace with the Jerusalem legalists, by making a (very expensive!) Nazirite 'peace/purification' vow, plus funding four others' vows (Paul was wealthy). So, what happens when he goes into the Temple, out of fellowship, having been warned he'd be bound in chains? Paul gets thrust out of the temple by the mob (it's illegal to murder someone in the Temple, lol); so, beaten up right before the Peace offering (which was just outside the Temple door on specified occasions) where he's supposed to shave his head and throw his hair on the fire to get 'purification' under Judaic law (which he well knows is obsolete)! Only he still doesn't get to finish cutting his hair; instead, he's being beaten by the howling mob who are also beating each other up for the privilege of being the first to kill him! Purified in the wrong way, which is of course God's punning on Paul's wrong-way-to-reconcile (he's not using 1Jn1:9's function)! Which event 'just happens' to alert the Romans, who then rescue Paul. Which event 'just happens' to be the triggering event leading to a long imprisonment and eventual return to Rome: where he was initially supposed to go.

Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor! Paul is even shipwrecked like Jonah would have been -- and instead of Paul getting thrown over, Paul (now in fellowhip) SAVES THE ENTIRE CREW from getting thrown over.. after all, he was going in the opposite direction from Jonah's, yet in the same direction (think about it, heh).

The Trib "Fall on us!" people: The Rock only curses? Ok!
..let life be rock-cursed, too!

Exodus generation-like folks pervade history. I get the strong sense, from the way Scripture keeps stressing such folks, that most people in hell will be like these people, even as most in heaven will be like them (differentiated only by the fact that the latter at least had the objectivity to believe once in Christ). Such folks adjudge God to be only mean -- they don't want a God who punishes to bless. Thus they can make themselves god, for they "suffer", you see, the mean God's punishments. This suffering makes them feel good about themselves. Ok, then: that's the 'god' they want, so that's the God they get. If unbelievers, they get hell, which will please their need to suffer. If believers, they get a status in heaven which makes them have to labor a lot (though they will have no pain). So, either way, they get an eternity cooked-to-order. Just like everyone else, they get "measured back".

Pride, which is what volition's "yes" makes out of the me-be-god brain urge, always eventuates in madness. Here, that madness is a martyr complex. However nice a person may be on the surface, inside, that me-be-god tyrant rules him. A tyrannical martyr complex in particular will have a nice, humble exterior. It's hard to dislodge, too: for the tyrant has defined self-esteem so strictly, that no admittance of weakness is available. So, when the tyrant is thus entrenched, the only way to outflank it is by appeal to the basic, common sense of self-survival: a high-enough pain level to promote the objectivity to say, "Please, God..what did I do wrong?" However, these people (like the Exodus generation) are so far gone, they substitute a type of martyr-complex, so self can still pretend it is "good". (The guy in Hades, Luke 16:20ff, is a more-detailled depiction of this self-righteous condition.)

Here, in the Tribulation, you see them in spades. As usual, Scripture says pages of information with but a single verse: the Cornerstone, which these people (via projection) judged to be Vindictive and Bludgeoning, is now being sought to do that job. The One they stumbled over is adjudged by them to be at fault, so they can moan and groan in their self-righteous pain. So, by the time they say this famous verse, all of life to them is similarly tyrannical. So now, they GET tyranny. So now, want the Rock to knock them dead. That's as far as their sense of grace allows them room -- not enough room to actually change their minds and embrace the Rock. Oh no. They will not give up on the idea that the Rock is a Weapon against them. So, it becomes one. That's the God they still want, and that's the God they get.

King Saul: your jealousy replaces My Love? Ok!
So My Love becomes 'jealous', replaces you

Saul, handsome and taller than everyone else, succumbed to the prosperity of being king. Came to love his status more than God. So, judged God less important than his own status. So, became jealous of anyone who God loved, like -- David. Became jealous of anyone who loved anyone but Saul -- so, even jealous of his own son's Jonathan's love for David. So, became afflicted with a jealous madness. So, mimicking his jealousy, God 'jealously' took the kingdom from him and gave it to David. After all, Saul was installed by God, because the people thought less of God as a ruler than of a human one. So, Saul, who at inception was indeed a strong believer, should have taken deep warning of his own potential downfall. (So should we.)

People in adversity always think the grass is greener in the nicer-neighbor's yard. They don't know that prosperity actually brings more adversity with it. Those below the one higher are jealous of his higher status, so there is always some kind of conflict: the one higher has to fight to keep what he has from the graspers. This provokes a type of contagion, for the one fighting comes to overvalue keeping what he has. Deflected as he is on the battle, he forgets that true enjoyment came from the One who gave him that status, and that the status itself is of no consequence.

Saul, like anyone else, got deflected. He started out with God being first, but via the constant infighting, the true material prosperity he had, and the need to preserve what he had -- he lost sight of God. So, God 'lost' sight of Saul, and mimicks the jealous reaction, pointedly anointing David long before Saul even knew who David was. God dragged it out, too -- waiting for Saul to come to his senses, to see the punishment metaphor. Could God make it more obvious? Saul was too self-hardened, though, and died the sin-unto-death at the Battle of Mt. Gilboa (probably the first tactical-flanking battle in history). Of course, he went to Heaven, for he was a believer. What a waste of a kingly opportunity to grow spiritually. (More, later.)

King Hezekiah: your pride removes My Companionship? Ok!
So Companion removes all others

Hezekiah, like Saul, had the understandable problem of being too affected by prosperity. When he was accredited with the salvation of Israel and surrounding nations from enemy encroachment, his exalted status in their eyes provoked a pride. So, at this point he's judging God as less important than what others think of him, also. In his case, though, that pride was bitter, in part because he was now, having cut God out of his life, alone.

Pride needs to make self more important than everyone and everything else. The Phyrric victory of achieving this 'status' is that self is alone. So, now, ya got what ya want -- king of the mountain! Alone, though. What a bitter thing, to finally 'make it' -- and there's no rainbow at the top. Heavy hangs the head which wears the crown.

Hezekiah kindly received Divine Discipline in the form of a bitter illness, from which he recovered because (unlike Saul), he did awaken. So, God granted him 14 more years. However, Hezekiah succumbed again, and this time the bitterness was extreme: self-blinded to God, having executed God from his life, he was 'rewarded' with seeing all his sons executed -- and then his own eyes were put out. So the last sight he had was a bitter one, and he lived awhile after that, instead of himself being mercifully put to death. (More, later.)

King Herod: you dined on My Worm? Ok!
So you will be dined on by the Conqueror Worm

Herod, like Saul, came to value his kingdom more than God, but a big part of the reason seems to be loyalty to his father, and to Rome. Herod is a very interesting character. He comes off being very engaging, and truly desirous of pleasing, helping. A deep-seated need for approbation, coupled with superior diplomatic skills, characterizes him. His dad was very helpful to Caesar, aiding the latter to consolidate his power. Caesar rewarded him by rulership. Herod (the son) thus is Hellenized, an outlook which fits nicely with his underlying personality.

Herod, as far as I can tell (so far!), was an unbeliever. However, he was eaten alive with conflicting attitudes about Judaism, and especially about the coming of a Messiah, the Tola ("Worm") of Ps22 (whose blood was crushed to make the crimson dye for the robes of kings). You see Herod's split-souled attitude in a lot of ways. He married a Jewish princess (Herod was a Hasmonean Arab); he did a great many pro-Judaism works, especially the completion of the reconstruction of the Temple; he had a terrible conflict over the handling of John the Baptist, despite the latter's condemnations (which were really pre-emptive appeals for Herod to change his mind about Christ). He also had a conflict, it appears to me, over the entire Zealot position. He definitely had a conflict over Christ. In sum, love-hate attitudes seem to have eaten him up all of his life. Seems to be partly accounted for by some desire to be loyal to his father, too. Although he facetiously asks the Lord to do a miracle, one can't help but wonder if he didn't really want one, to justify overthrowing his father's memory, in favor of believing in Messiah (remember, his father was the one who so rabidly hated the idea of Messias, he ordered the execution of all babies under age 2).

So Herod differs from the above two kings in that Herod was always 'on the fence' about Christ. He stayed stuck there, eaten alive by the mental conflict -- so became eventually eaten alive by his body, in the worst way. Thus his prolonged, slowly-deteriorating physical condition (which is too gross to explain here) gave him ample opportunity to recognize the metaphor of his mental attitude, and change his mind ("repent") to believe in Christ. (More, later.)

Matt9's "paralytic": your guilt 'paralyzes' Divine Forgiveness? Ok!
Be self-paralyzed, then, in your love of self-hatred

The paralytic judged himself to be too guilty for Divine Forgiveness. Thus the person had a 'paralyzed' view of God, which eventuated in he himself becoming psychomatically-paralyzed. Were it not for his four friends literally picking him up at the four corners of his blanket and throwing him before the Lord, this guy would not respect the idea that his sins were forgiven him.

Bitterness is the worst of sins, spawning dissociative expressions like vindictiveness. (cf Heb12:15, Isa38:15-18, Prov14:10, Rom3:14, Jas3:14? Eph4:31, Job7:11, 1Sam1:10, Prov 17:25, Job8:20, Lam3:15,17,19; Isa 33:7, Col3:19) Guilt is that form of bitterness which turns on self, rather than blaming others. This is done because the dissociative reflex of the brain has been validated with respect to self-blame. As with all such motives, this is a way of playing God: if "I" am the one guilty, but no one else, then I am God. The person using guilt of course is unaware of playing god. The brain will protect him from that awareness.

God, though, will pun it. More and more bad stuff will happen to the person, until he wakes up and realizes he's trapped himself into a corner of helplessness. That way, he can break out of the me-be-god-via-guilt syndrome, and rather think, "wait! I need something!" Like God, for example.

So it was, with the paralytic. He would use the OT equivalent of 1Jn1:9 (Ps32:5, for example), but then couldn't move on from there. He slowly descended into paralysis by progressive inner-loathing over what he'd done wrong, never letting it go, always mortgaging his future to his past: this is the flipside of self-righteousness, for guilt is a substitute for punishment. Again, playing god.

So it took the words of Christ Himself, before the guy would respect what his friends had been telling him all along -- your sins are forgiven! Only the Lamb's Voice would make this guy wake up to the call of forgiveness.

I love the Greek here: "tharsei" is a command! "Be Confident/Take Courage!" then, the famous, "your sins are forgiven you!" uses a Greek tense which means "permanently". Wish the English could bring it all out.

And boy, did he wake up! And never looked back. That's what we need to do with 1Jn1:9. It's Christ's payment, not our sins, which God wanted and got. So tetelestai, already! It is permanently finished, completed, perfected, mature! Move on, and grow!

Forgiveness is no license to sin, but a license to grow. Just as one can't add anything to faith in Christ for salvation, so also no 'addition' of pennance, guilt, or other works can add to forgiveness. Move on. Name it (homologew, translated "confess" in 1Jn1:9 really means to cite or name as in a court case) -- and move on! Tharsei!

Unless, of course, you wanna play god and paralyze your life in bitter self-reproach...

The "man among the tombs": you wanna leave God? Ok!
So also you leave your senses

We only know of the result of the Gadarene' man's illness. [Majority Text says Gadarenes; the other major MSS say Ger(g)asene. Really, the areas were contiguous.] Backing into his malady isn't difficult, though: he was naked, despite all weather, lived in the tombs, and kept cutting himself. This, because he was possessed. To be possessed, someone has to want it. That doesn't mean one recognizes possession for what it is -- but rather, the feel-good of it, the retreat from reality, is what is desired. Clearly this guy wanted to leave reality, and be dead, or at least live in a dream world. He displays the classic self-mutilation pattern of guilt, though we don't know if he really did something to be guilty for. Given his behavior AFTER the demons were exorcised by the Lord, it appears that this guy was initially a gentle person -- which is consistent with the external personality of many a guilt-ridden person. So he, like the paralytic, maybe retreated into some kind of self-blaming mode -- again, judging God to be against Him. So, until he was healed -- God was against him: Prov 3:34. (Guilt is a truly heinous sin; that religions use it often to get works out of their congregations is even more heinous.)

What conclusions do we draw?

What we adjudge of God is what "God" we get; what life we get; what our own personality becomes. The "two-edged sword" of the Word cuts both ways. Which way shall it cut? BEWARE.