Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Evil Voice Inside Us vs. The Prophetic Voice

It seems that when considering the prophetic voice and why some young men are led by it, me being one such young man, it seems that the voice which they are privy toward communicating with is there because another voice is absent.

As an Aspergian, I recall it being discussed that we lack a theory of mind, which I can at least interpret to mean a voice within that communes with you actively to shine light into your interactions. It is by this voice, that some call intuition, but that I want to distinguish from intuition which I esteem as a good thing, that one is led toward appraising the language of another as being truthful, untruthful, sincere, insincere, said with humorous intent, said nefariously, or any other such way a thing can be said.

I should say that this is from some sort of voice, the reasoning voice, even if such voice is unreasonable in itself, that is natural to man, if he does have theory of mind.

But while the Aspergian understands concepts of morality, justice, and nobility, because they lack a theory of mind, or are more naive than most, they are extremely challenged to weigh if the person to whom they are speaking is being truthful or even has their best interests at heart.

Now I want to universalize this observation and talk about the guileless person, who may or may not be  Aspergian. Shortly I will present a hypothetical dialogue that I'm not sure really takes place within anyone but is a subtle process, perhaps understood and with no need to be spoken. It is in the nature. As to what it is, I would say it is the voice of one reasoning with oneself within oneself. I say it is evil, because it is the natural self without any of the filter of civilization. A man cannot really be his natural self as an instrument in civilization, or the civilization would eliminate him as being bent purely on evil. How each man filters this aspect of himself is for him to decide. Some merely restrain themselves; some find religion and are changed from the inside. But certainly the discussion one has with oneself is a very different discussion from any that he has with others, particularly if he is not born again.

But as to these men, they are men who are guileless and are really themselves in civilization, not filtered. What this really means is that, if concerning a noble person, is someone who acts in civilization as one not constrained to act lawfully, he acts morally merely because he is a person whose morality comes naturally, rather than from being constrained to behave morally by society's mores. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have some who act as completely lawless, rebels who are not constrained by any law to filter that part of themselves. The guileless are the most intriguing of all. Their motives are questioned constantly, and are more likely to be suspected of wrongdoing than to be guilty of any wrongdoing.

It is by the mercy of God, that some of these, even prophets, are led by the voice of God rather than that of their own rotten human nature, which somehow they are less in touch with.

A hypothetical discussion of one with oneself as a preliminary to socialization may look like this:

a. Within myself, I know that in communication with others, I am often torn between telling the truth or evasion, or telling a lie.

b. At some times, at least, it seems as if by necessity I must lie.

c. From this, I extrapolate that it is certain that others are motivated by these same natural impulses, I am even certain that at some times I am being lied to, even if I cannot indubitably determine which persons in which cases are lying.

d. But I am certain that at any time, I may be being lied to.

e. And furthermore I am certain that I have been lied to at some time and that at least some of the time some people are lying to me.

f. I feel that I am a noble person motivated by moral considerations and noble qualities.

g. And although I don't esteem myself as really any more noble than anyone else, for I am far too modest to deduce that, I do feel that I am often more motivated by morality than other men, why, because I am a  rationalist.


As fake or unlikely as some of these scenarios may be, there is a transcendent truth to g. One juggles,  actually almost all of us juggle in some way, with feeling to be more intelligent than the next man, more moral than the next man, more ____ than the next man, however it's also maintained that we are more self-restrained, humble, and modest than the next man, less quick to rush to judgment, and every other sort of quality that in this second category seem to invalidate all in the first.

One really can't have it both ways. But because of the malignant inner voice, these seem to be quite reasonable principles. Some are most comfortable when they are behind the wheel. Some are most comfortable calling the shots; so one is also convinced of his own balance and pleasing qualities, and even if he is an urchin among Papuan New Guineans, he is still enamored by number one, even if no one else is.

The prophetic voice... This is a very different communication. It doesn't gather reasoning from the inside but from without. I think it's often with people who lack the first voice and can often be taken in with frauds or deceit. The prophets then are the men that God has the greatest mercy on because if it were not for the guidance of God, then they would not even have a malevolent inner voice to lead them. They would have no intuition, no theory of mind at all.

But for some reason they hear the reasoning of God stronger than they hear their own reason. I think it is a tremendous act of mercy. On one hand, you have people that are so innocent that they will believe anything a deceiver will tell them. On the other, you have people so enamored with themselves and consentaneously suspicious of others that they do not even believe the testimony of the saints. And then you have some among us, prophets who struggled with both, but somehow came to lean on God for their understanding.

I know this because I too am chosen for the prophetic task. I struggled with a rotten voice inside of me,  speaking threats and blasphemy. I struggled with my own naivete and innocence, and being taken by deceivers. But I try to rely on God for insights as much as I can. If I buy a winning lottery ticket, I thank God. When a tasty meal brings tears to my eyes, I thank God. When a breeze lets up on the brutal summer heat, so natural to East Texas, I thank God. And maybe sometimes I don't. I hardly ever say thanks at meals, for when I sit down, that is a moment for me to break from saying thanks. It is so often throughout the day I'm in awe of His work and giving thanks.

Awe itself is thanks. In awe over a new mathematical law you have learned, awe over the contrast of  oppressively hot weather and the sort of cold that leads you to sit by the fire with a hot cider, a musician who has struck angelic chords, a child enamored with a balloon, and all sorts of things that cause you to thank God for having created the world with such moments of perfection, even despite the other instances of unregenerate evil.

But the people have never really believed the God-led. The prophets from the beginning have been brought  to sit in judgment of the conventional wisdom, those truths society holds so dear. They are principles, like geocentrism or phrenology, that in one era are held sacrosanct, in another remembered bitterly and mocked. Think of how so many bitterly remember the legacy of the Church with respect to Galileo. But the prophets, to God's glory, and for strange reason, are commanded by God to go before the people and denounce their cherished notions, and what's more, to become bolder, more obnoxious, and more strident in denouncing them over time! Instead of rehabilitating their image, the prophet is continually brought toward making himself look worse, in the eyes of the political and religious establishment. These are men never censored by the filter of common convention, of law, or society, like the savages we discussed earlier who censor themselves merely to continue being tolerated by society.

They are people who say what they think. It couldn't be that they say what they don't think, or then they  would be telling a lie. But they say things that, at least some of the time, the hearers cannot believe any rational person would think at all. The crowd has to conclude, and with the appearance of seeming logical, that they are liars, connivers, rebels, and dissenters. I don't know why that is. I suppose it is the evil voice that has many convinced that men are liars.

The greatest medicine against lying is to allow a person to say what they feel and what they think, without judgment, without condemnation, without fear of reprisal. But it has also to be reckoned with that we will often be disgruntled by their opinions and that should be met with restraint, or rather than restrain free discourse we should restrain punishing those who speak freely.

The prophetic voice is when the person has conquered their own rotten counsel, or non-counsel, and  submitted with faith to the voice of God.

1 comment:

  1. GOD and Jesus calls their servants in person and directly, not like the unsubstantiated story of Paul as found in Acts, chp.9.