CHRISTIAN THINKING AND MENTAL DEVELOPMENT
by Lawrence Wilson, MD
© September 2013, The Center For Development
People do not all think alike at all. This is a great truth. However, many people do not realize that others think totally differently than they do. It is as though some people are wired differently. Perhaps it would be better to say their wiring is so different that with the same input data, they generate totally different conclusions and behaviors.
This article is not meant to offend anyone. It is meant to help you understand that not everyone thinks the same way. This fact is not appreciated by many people. As a result, many honest people are fooled and often taken advantage of by politicians, teachers, marriage partners and others who think differently than they do.
WHAT IS MEANT IN THIS ARTICLE BY THE WORDS ‘CHRISTIAN THOUGHT’?
Christian thought means living by the principles found in both the Old and New Testament of the bible. It means understanding, and doing one’s best to follow, the Ten Commandments of Moses, the Golden Rule and other simple teachings in the Book of Proverbs, the five books of the Old Testament, and some of the New Testament as well.
WHAT CHRISTIAN THOUGHT IS NOT
Christian thought, as used in this article, is not about going to church every Sunday, although of course this is fine to do if one is so inclined. It is also not about observing holidays, visiting the sick or elderly, or performing specific rituals associated with any Jewish or Christian holidays.
This is important because some people confuse the observance of holidays and rituals with a truly religious or spiritual outlook and understanding of life. Rituals and observances serve as reminders for many people of the principles of the religion, and they have value for this.
However, too many people go through the motions of observing Easter or Passover, for example, yet they are missing “the spirit of the law”. This means that they have either forgotten, never learned, or do not want to live as the bible commands us, and thus they do not reap the benefits described in this article.
WHAT IS MEANT IN THIS ARTICLE BY THE WORDS, ‘THE POWER OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT’?
It means that some principles taught by the Jewish and Christian holy books build character, give a positive direction to one’s life, and help keep one out of trouble in hundreds of ways. They also can teach love, forbearance, forgiveness and other positive values, and for these reasons help a person lead a much more happy, productive, prosperous and safe life. This is the power of this thinking. It is fact, though many today argue about it and deny it.
THOSE WHO TEND TO OPPOSE CHRISTIAN THINKING
The best way to illustrate this is to contrast this kind of thinking with some other modes of thinking that exist today on planet earth. I will offend some readers with these examples, but each person is free to disagree with me.
One theme that runs through most of these examples is the person does not want to be restrained by the apparently limited belief system or behavior system imposed by the Hebrew and Christian bible. This opens these people to a pandora’s box of possibilities that often leads them astray.
It is not that these other ways of thinking are necessarily wrong, but those that embrace them are often overwhelmed with possible ways of living and thinking that are not true or that are impractical or unworkable, which they do not realize as they simply do not have the experience or wisdom to see it. Here are a few examples of other ways of thinking and seeing the world:
Example #1. The “new age” and often anti-intellectual approach to thinking and living that whatever feels right is what a person should do. This is very common today. It is what is taught in almost all high schools and colleges throughout the world. It is the reason I would never send a child to most public or even private high schools or to most colleges. This poison is fed to the minds of young people when they are extremely vulnerable to it by either unthinking professors, or in many cases by those who intentionally desire people to be confused and mush-headed so they can be more easily controlled.
The problem with mainly relying on one’s feelings to make decisions about one’s life is that feelings are often superficial, incorrect or at least flawed, and ruled by lower passions such as sex, greed or even violence. As a result, many who embrace this type of thinking drift into activities and attitudes that waste their time and ruin their bodies.
They stay up late, eat poorly, violate the laws and end up in trouble with the police, waste a lot of time on Facebook, “experiment” with legal or illegal drugs for “recreation” or pain relief, and they adopt moral codes and sexual behaviors that pollute their minds and bodies in various ways.
Their thinking tends to be scant, sloppy, illogical, and often superficial. They tend not to check their facts carefully, instead just listening to those who agree with them or what seems or “feels good” in the moment. As a result, they are not thorough and often make poor decisions. They also tend to elect incompetent and corrupt politicians who talk a good line but have little substance behind it. Some liberals easily fall into this trap.
They are prone to being taken advantage of financially, socially, sexually and in many other ways. This occurs because they have no standards by which to discern and judge who and what is best for them.
Most importantly, the new age crowd, which includes some of my friends, does not seem to progress spiritually or mentally nearly as well. It appears that even as adults, we need boundaries, discipline, rules of behavior and other types of rules as well to live our best. When we turn away from these to just “do our thing”, and “live our own truth”, rather than to seek THE TRUTH that will set us free, the mind does not develop nearly as fast.
A rule of consciousness is that in order to process and learn as fast as possible, one must limit one’s field or ideology, and set up guidelines for studying and experiencing reality. In other words, it is not that the new age people are always wrong. It is that by not imposing any rules on themselves, there is too much to choose from and they do not process information and inputs from their environment nearly as well.
This is like giving a five-year-old child a college physics text, hoping the child will learn what is in it in the next year or two. It is just too much for most five-year-olds. What biblical principles do is to give us, the five-year-olds, rules to follow in order to evaluate new experiences. This is like at least giving the child a dictionary with his college physics book so that at least he is not totally lost in the vocabulary. It is not the whole answer, but it certainly helps most people.
Example #2. The intellectuals. These people also do not want to impose biblical rules upon their thinking. They differ from the new age people in that they are capable of deeper thinking, however. They revel in it, in fact, generally in a somewhat arrogant way.
Their problem is that without a biblical framework, they are like the 5-year-olds studying college physics, and they rarely get it right. Again, they lack a logical and spiritual framework for their thinking so they are prone to many errors that lead them far astray in their thinking.
For example, most intellectuals believe the bible, the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, and most other “old” documents are just ancient history that is outmoded today, and somewhat old-fashioned and silly. Many liberals as much as say this openly. They take pride in their supposed intellect and their ability to reason things out by themselves, without the help of these older documents.
This is good in some ways, as they are not tradition-bound. However, in most cases it leads them astray. Once again, it seems that human beings need to at least know and understand their religious history and philosophy that is biblical and perhaps divinely inspired. It is not enough to just think that, for example, communism sounds good, so let us implement it. Socialism seems so much easier and simpler than obeying the spirit of the checks and balances that were built into the US Constitution, so the intellectuals prefer it. They do not realize, or do not want to realize that the checks and balances are there precisely to limit the power of the intellectuals who often work in the government and are prone to abuses of power.
Arogance rules intellectuals. Intellectuals are always arrogant, and usually make serious mistakes. They can easily bring down a beautiful nation by bankrupting it, or otherwise corrupting its foundations and ignoring its precious documents designed to keep the people safe and protected from tyrants.
In other words, most intellectuals think they are so smart they do not need to abide by the rules and learn much from history that certain systems work, while others do not work. They have no valid starting point for their thinking other than their whims, which are often conditioned by their early life trauma and not by deep reflection.
Intellectuals and new agers share something else. Both tend to get lost in their own mind and ignore reality. They falsely believe that if they think about something enough, or believe in something enough, it will come true. This is a common human flaw.
It contains a grain of truth. However, for the most part it is extremely dangerous because most people’s thinking is far too narrow. This means that most of them do not read widely enough, or do not believe certain things, and instead only trust certain doctrines or books, such as those of Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin. Adam Smith they don’t like, so they don’t read and digest his work.
This kind of lopsided thinking, which is the mark of the intellectual, is dangerous for all of us, especially for the intellectuals, who often die young in revolutions that fail.
What is missing is a broad perspective that is sometimes called wisdom. Sadly, this wisdom is not found in the textbooks today, because most are written by intellectuals. The bible, in contrast, was written by older, wiser men in most cases. It is another reason for paying attention to it.
Example #3. The religious zealots. This is another large group of people on planet earth today. They do impose biblical or Koran thinking upon themselves. However, they focus on one small part, or even a single phrase in their holy books. They tend to overlook the ‘big picture’ rules such as the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments.
One might call this a focus on the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law. Christ spoke of such people when he described the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Many today who profess to be good Jews, good Christians, or good Muslims do exactly this.
This approach to thinking is the cause of most religious strife and religious wars. It is also the cause of religious persecutions throughout the ages, events that would make the religious founders such as Jesus and Buddha cringe, as it is such a perversion of their original intent.
Events such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the witch hunts and other bloody and cruel misuse of the principles of the major religions completely miss the spirit of Christ, of Moses and of the other founders.
Those who are called fundamentalists or radicals sometimes fall into this trap, though usually not the fundamentalist Christians, who still retain the whole or big picture. Other fundamentalists, however, often fall into this trap.
Example #4. The oppositionals. These are people who are unwilling to read or study any philosophical work. This is another large group of people today. Sadly, one reason for this is malnutrition, often in subtle ways, that makes it hard for some people to concentrate, to learn, and to recall what they have read. This affects at least half the American children today, I would estimate. The medical profession may give it names like ADD, ADHD, autism, delayed development and many others.
It affects adults, however, just as much as it affects the children. It is simply that the brain does not work well enough to sit quietly and read a book like the bible. The problem is far worse today than it was one hundred years ago, and that was worse than one hundred years before.
The other reason for this tendency is our deficient school system that has effectively banned the bible and even the Ten Commandments from the schoolrooms. This is nothing less than insane, and we have the ACLU and the intellectuals to thank for it. However, those of faith and wisdom have allowed it to happen instead of stopping it when it began in the 1950s and 1960s, when it would have been far easier to stop.
The sad thing about this group of people is that unlike the others above, they mean very well. They are often blue collar working people who struggle to make ends meet. However, because they refuse to really study and learn, they rarely progress too much intellectually or spiritually.
They are sometimes called the “great unwashed masses”. This is a derogatory term coined by the intellectuals and perhaps some new agers who look down upon this group, whom they view as somewhat crude and unrefined people. However, they are often the most honest and decent among us.
Example 5. The macho thinkers. This is a much smaller group of mostly men in modern societies. They act as if they know a lot, but they do not. They mean well, but they are not that bright or not too interested in reading and studying carefully.
As a result, they are intellectually weak and make many mistakes in their thinking. They often accept Christian principles, and try to live them. However, their immaturity or ignorance prevents them from digging deep enough to practice them all the time and to really understand them in daily living. As a result, they are often seen as buffoons by the intellectuals, in particular, who can manipulate them for their own ends in elections, in the workplace, in marriages, and elsewhere.
Most are very hard workers who impose too many restrictions on themselves that others then take advantage of.
Example 6. The rebellious liars. This is also a smaller group, but a dangerous one. These people know the biblical principles and many were raised in Christian or Jewish homes where they were taught to them. However, they are in rebellion. They are also immature emotionally. Their form of rebellion is to lie about most everything they please.
This, of course, is a direct violation of one of the Ten Commandments, and perhaps the most important one. As a result, they cannot be trusted at all, and they cause havoc wherever they go and whatever they touch.
Many are found in politics today, and some in government positions and union bosses. Some are also found in the clergy as well, especially in Europe and Africa. There they give the church a bad reputation, and indeed they give every profession a bad reputation.
This group is somewhat similar to the new agers, the intellectuals, and the zealots in that they impose their own rules and their own thinking. What distinguishes them is their propensity to lie with a straight face anytime they choose. They think this is okay, that “everyone does it”, for example. They do not realize that human evolution requires factual information and real communication is impossible if one does not tell the truth.
Their creed of “everyone does it” has unfortunately infected the schools, the colleges, the workplace and even the churches today. They prefer political correctness to the truth, and their main goal is getting ahead at any cost. They often love Karl Marx and Niccolo Machiavelli, who taught that “the ends justify the means”.
In plain English, this means that if you want something badly enough it is okay to lie, cheat, steal or even kill anyone who gets in your way. This is a common theme in the movies and on television, and is basically the criminal mind. It is as anti-biblical as they come, and unfortunately it is a common type of person in some nations such as Russia, where criminal elements are still in control of many areas of the nation.
Fortunately, lying does not produce a healthy society. Those who live this way are usually eventually found out and defeated, but only after causing havoc. Soon I hope the world will simply not tolerate such people. As soon as their tricks are identified, I hope they will be jailed and totally discredited, so that the young will realize this is a dead-end path and a very dangerous one if one wishes to succeed in society.
Example # 7. Those who could not care less. This is another common type on earth. It is caused by poor health, fatigue, inability to think clearly and giving up on thinking as a result, and it can be caused by brainwashing and hypnosis, a subject discussed in a separate article entitled Hypnosis and Brainwashing.
A person can exhibit several of the above types of thinking errors, and most do, in fact. This can complicate the picture. An article that may also help one sort this out is called Chakra Personality Types on this website. This article approaches the same subject from the perspective of a person’s level of development.
This article suggests that thinking based upon ancient biblical principles such as the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule and others has a beneficial effect upon most people.
When other modes of thinking are used, the outcomes are generally not nearly as good. Several examples are given of other ways of thinking that we all need to be aware of, as they are all around us. It is critical to understand that everyone does not think the same way as you do. So whenever you encounter anyone, be sure to investigate not only what they say and propose, but how they think and arrive at their ideas and conclusions.