“There is a ‘simplicity’ which is merely a fault, and there is a ‘simplicity’ which is a wonderful virtue.”
On the one side:
- “a lack of discernment.
- “an ignorance of what is due others.”
- “…foolishness, ignorance, credulousness.”
On the positive side:
- “…an uprightness of soul which prevents self-consciousness.”
- “…a happy medium …not overwhelmed by external things …not given up to endless introspection…”
- “…looks where it is going, without losing time arguing over every step…”
all quotes from Fenelon, ‘The Royal Way of the Cross.”
Says Trench in his book on synonyms, “A mind alien to cunning, fraud, pretense, deceit, evil and the desire to harm others”– equals simplicity.
So, what’s the deal?
O. Chambers educates us, “Beware of believing that the human soul is simple; look at yourself or read Psalm 139, and you will soon find the human soul is much too complex to touch.”
“When an intellectualist says that life is simple, you may be sure he is sufficiently removed from the facts to have no attention paid to him.”
Fenelon also notes this short-sightedness while he refers to a young believer. “…the soul is still greatly self absorbed; it is not satisfied with fearing God.” “…one (soul) is intoxicated by his outer surroundings, the other by what he believes himself to be doing inwardly.”
Intoxication is what hinders simplicity.
“Intoxication is a condition that … results in disturbances in the level of consciousness, cognition, perception, judgement, affect, or behavior, etc..” substance_abuse
Synonyms for the word “intoxication” include: excitement, interest, energy, enthusiasm, pleasure and happiness. cambridge
We got a problem.
Our excitement affects our cognition, our energy messes with our perception, our enthusiasm distorts our judgement, our (over)interest affects our consciousness, and pleasure overcomes our behavior. (we can mix or match these attributes as we please, but they all say something!)
‘…as a traveler is hindered by an excessive quantity of bulky wraps which prevent his walking freely” — much excess hinders our faculties. Excessive introspective guiltiness can be pictured here as one of these .
“Superstition, scruples, and …presumption —also — grow readily out of such self-consuming processes.”
“when once the self-seeking and brooding is over-come, the soul acquires indescribable peace and freedom.”
Psalm 131 teaches us, “O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.
The weaning results in, “…freedom from fears and longings … readiness to be turned hither or thither, indifference as to what others may think …not worried about success or failure.” Fenelon
Paul adds in 1 Corinthians 4:3 “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court,; indeed I do not even judge myself.”
Paul feared the Corinthians would lose this simplicity– a “single” eye toward God in 2Corinthians 11:3. Here Satan used seduction and trickery to ruin Eve’s simplicity she had in Christ.
A single eye toward God brings intimacy with Him, and simplicity.
Theresa of Avila writes: “A thousand souls hear His call every second, but most every one then looks into their life’s mirror and says. ‘I am not worthy to leave this sadness.'”
“…I tried to shame myself once more from His presence: God showed me His compassion…
“I made you dear and all I make is perfect. Please come close, for I desire you.”
As we draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh unto us. Simplicity awaits. Love ya