Baby Steps #1

“Man is pushed by drives but pulled by meaning, and this implies that it is always up to him to decide whether or not he wishes to fulfill the later. Frankl


“Man, which thinks and perceives, could not be called in Scripture, “heart,” unless the will were the peculiar central feature in a man, which precedes perception,” Franz Delitzsch. 


 “The thing in the abstract, or the final sub-stratum in every phenomenon, is the will.” Arthur Schopenhauer. “choice is will where knowledge enlightens it.”

 “Meaning-fulfillment always implies decision making.”  “The effort which goes into the exercise of the will is really effort of attention; the strain in willing is the effort to keep the consciousness clear, i.e., the strain of keeping the attention focused.” Rollo May,


“Intension is a stretching toward something.” “Meaning has no meaning apart from intention.” “Each act of consciousness tends toward something, is a turning of a person toward something, and has within it, no matter how latent, some push toward a direction for action.” May.

“If I do not will something, I could never know it, and if I do not know something, I could never have any content for my willing.” “In this sense, it can be said directly that man makes his own meaning.” “…if he is not engaged in making his meaning, he will never know reality.” May

 “Our belief and attention are the same fact.” William James

Before moving forward lets reflect on what has been said since some of it is eye-popping and almost unbelievable. Our job is to first see if these observations line up with truth. let’s begin.

Because of these men’s statements we could add to them the words “concentration,” focused faith, and substance; Bible concepts. Seems that part of a person’s intended focus is placed on a prior learned knowledge and then “meaning” is being formed on the way?

Friends, are we participating in the creation of our directed future, as we go forward in true meaning? The Bible says, “Faith is the ‘real being’ of things hoped for (future), ‘the means of proof’ of things not seen.” Faith and ‘sight’ evaluation, are contrasted in 2 Corinthians chapter 5. Only faith pleases God. Sight is stagnant. Jesus said, in John 7:17 if anyone wills to do His will, he shall know… Next, God rewards faith in Hebrews 11:6 and some of the gains are discernment, and giving meaning to (solidifying in the mind), things hoped for. In a “rolling on God” of our work, God makes certain our thoughts in Proverbs 16:3 and through a motivation, the man, separated-from-distraction (in concentration), seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom in Prov 18:1.

Part of God’s enormous task in my healing was to convince me, who feared living a life of will-power, that indeed the will was still vital to life and godliness. I mused,”How could this be that I would decide for myself what God was supposed to decide for me?” “How could I will something for myself while God wanted me to do His will only?” “How then do my feelings and conscience come into play?”

God is well acquainted with the dilemma; we fear adopting a “heretical” life. For me it was kind of like living for years on dry ground only to grow gills and be asked to breathe under water. Better yet, it relates to living religiously in a fearful abjectness, prior using my will one or two moments per year; but then making 25 decisions about what “I” want, in the next 24 hours, from my own desires.

Oh, the accountability, Oh the exposure! “I don’t want to take any responsibility!” I lamented. I had avoided it since an unmanaged childhood had made me insecure and taught me that life cannot really be done successfully. Basically, I was never asked to use my mind to create or problem-solve. Fear destroyed faith early and created an easy excuse and a lifetime bent of “I cannot.”

“The patient cannot permit himself to perceive the trauma until he is ready to take a stand toward it.” “…we are unable to give attention to something until we are in some way to experience an ‘I can’ toward it.” Merleau Ponty

“Memory is like perception in this regard; the patient cannot remember something until he is ready to take some stand toward it.”  Rollo May

Ready to take a stand toward it? How does one muster the guts to take a stand facing a previously wounding event which placed them in shock, and then drug them through the mud of an out of balanced soul, disharmonized into acceptance of it as normal. 

How can a person ever get a release if these statements are true, friends? This was the quagmire of my circumstance. “No will, no confronting” was the stance of intent for me, and frankly the thing that I feared to meet head-on had come upon me. Another observation goes this way,

“The world can be too overwhelming, if we are not able to take a stand toward a traumatic happening but also are unable to escape seeing it.” May

What a description of my state! — A Coward living in the presence of an insurmountable enemy with grief and pain and the God-begotten reality of a missing son who had died. Hell is this. This hell lasted almost a few years, with no will to face or run from, but only to abide in that grinder, and actively or passively accept the blade again this day.

When we deal with similar precious folks, removed must be the barriers to unlocking the person’s faith. Otherwise they cannot go forward; which going is a sign of true healing. Galatian’s 5:6 tell us that “faith works by love.” So, love is the tool, the key for enabling the person to at last face their hindrance, stumbling-block or wound.
Grace is the vehicle for love’s display and to speak of it is only that love would eventually be shed abroad in their heart. A person must have a convincing of love in their own heart or no releasing takes place. Love is the motivation of faith, the nurturer, the enabler, the safety net.

Surrounded by love, folk’s creative faith begins to work, with all faculties contributing, and with a grace-determination, life gets back on track. So it did with me, though baby steps were first. I let go but ran to my Father’s outstretched arms. love ya and more to come on this subject.

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