The Spectrum of 'Change.'

Dean Gotcher

"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Luke 18:11-14

Where along the spectrum of 'change' do you reside at any given 'moment?' When we dialogue with our "self" we 'create' a world of "equilibrium," i.e., of "self 'justification," between what we desire in the 'moment' and our dissatisfaction or resentment toward what or who is restraining us, i.e., preventing us from having what we want. If we go too far in one direction or the other, fear of reprimand makes itself known, i.e., the "guilty conscience" makes its appearance or the fear of death, i.e., chastening or being cast out by the one in authority—who gives us our position regarding right and wrong and holds us accountable to it (his position). As long as we stay within this micro spectrum or continuum of pleasure-pain, i.e., our desire for pleasure and our resentment toward restraint—within us, i.e., our thoughts 'creating' (imagining-daydreaming-experiencing) a world of our own (under our control)—we maintain a semblance of "peace," resulting in our desiring (coveting) pleasure and resenting (murmuring against) restraint, with the way of the world being our way of life.

"Let your conversation [even to your "self"] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Hebrews 13:5, 6 Bracketed added.

Our tie to the things of the world which stimulate pleasure within us and our natural desire to approach it and attain it for more pleasure is our "self," made manifested when we dialogue with our "self." You do talk to your "self" do you not? In that conversation you have with your "self," that which engenders pleasure (imagined or real) is "positive," and that which restrains (inhibits or blocks) pleasure is "negative." This is why those who want 'change' encourage everyone to be "positive," 'justifying' pleasure and not to be "negative," restraining it, thus making everyone subject to the world within (our love of pleasure and resentment toward restraint) and the world without (identifying and uniting with that which initiates and sustains the pleasures of the 'moment' we desire, striking out against or remove that which inhibits or blocks it).

Even though the "guilty conscience" for disobeying, i.e., the fear of being chastened for doing wrong remains, your thoughts still have some liberty (when kept within). Your actions do not, unless you are able to 'justify' to your "self," i.e., silence the "guilty conscience" by convincing your "self" that you deserve that which you desire and "you won't get caught" or are willing to endure the pain of chastening, in defiance (in rebellion) doing what you want to do anyway (bringing practice closer to theory, i.e., bringing your carnal actions closer to your carnal thoughts). It is here, in your dialoguing with your "self," that dialectic 'reasoning,' i.e., "self 'justification,'" i.e., the so called "new" world order is conceived.

When, through dialogue, "self 'justification'" is 'justified' with others of like mind, i.e., consensus is achieved, the deceitfulness of the heart—that pleasure is the standard for "good"—and the wickedness of the heart—that negating all that stands in the way of pleasure is "good"—makes itself know, i.e., becomes manifest, 'creating' a world based upon "human nature" only, i.e., a world of unrighteousness and abomination, i.e., a world void of Godly restraint, i.e., a world having no compassion on—blind to the pain, i.e., rejection, suffering, and death it inflicts upon—"the innocent and the righteous [those who refuse to 'compromise' the truth of the Father in order to receive the approval of men, i.e., the pleasures of the 'moment' (this life) only, instead]." "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15 "Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked." Exodus 23:7

As long as the individual remains isolated, i.e., subject to the father's/Father's authority, there is little chance for 'change'—'change' making itself known in rebellion which is quickly silenced by the father's/Father's authority to chasten. The conversation between the father (the one in authority) and the child (the one with the desires of the 'moment') begins with the child going out the door to have some fun (pleasure) with his new friends. The father then telling him (giving him commands and rules), "You can not go out." (he, the father does not like the child's new friends). The child then responding with "Why?" to get the father into dialogue (there is no father's authority in dialogue, only opinions, i.e., "feelings"). The father cutting off dialogue with "Because I said so." which carries with it the threat of chastening if the child disobeys, engendering a guilty conscience in the child the next time he is thinking about "doing his thing," i.e., disobeying the father. Through the father's chastening of the child, and the child's acceptance of his authority to do so, the child learns to discipline and control himself, humbling himself to the father's authority, denying himself his carnal desires of the 'moment,' thereby becoming mature. If the child continues to dialogue (murmur) with him "self," despite the "threat" of "judgment" (chastening) for disobeying, the spirit of rebellion remains.

It is this domain, i.e., you talking to (dialoguing with) your "self," that the facilitator of 'change' seeks to gain access. By doing so he can "help" you 'liberate' your "self" from the restraints of the restrainer and the restrainer himself, i.e., to be your "self," living for the pleasures of the 'moment,' with the facilitator of 'change' showing you the way, i.e., now in control. "The individual may have 'secret' thoughts which he will under no circumstances reveal to anyone else if he can help it." "To gain access is particularly important, for precisely here may lie the individual's potential for democratic ... thought and action in crucial situations." (Theodor Adorno, The Authoritarian Personality)

As long as the child stays within the spectrum of 'change' which resides within him, i.e., his dialoging with his "self" his desires and dissatisfactions, little 'change' takes place, his "private conviction," i.e., the guilty conscience for doing wrong keeping his actions restrained. But by getting (encouraging) the child to share (dialogue) with others his desires and dissatisfactions, i.e. his "feelings" and "thoughts" of the 'moment' (without fear of being reprimanded), "self 'justification'" becomes his pathway of "life," 'liberating' him from having a guilty conscience for doing wrong, i.e., for disobeying. "If the guilt accumulated in the civilized domination of man by man can ever be redeemed by freedom, then the 'original sin' [man 'justifying' himself over and therefore against the Father's authority, i.e., restraints] must be committed again: 'We must again eat from the tree of knowledge in order to fall back into the state of innocence." (Herbart Marcuse Eros and Civilization: A philosophical inquiry into Freud

In the "open-ended" (we can talk about anything, without fear of reprimand), "non-directive" (the instructor is not going to tell you what you can or can not talk about or say, i.e., judge you for being wrong—letting your peers do it, i.e., reject you instead), i.e., affective domain ("feelings") based classroom, the child finds himself 'liberated' from the father's authority, "free" to be himself as he is, carnal, of the world only. When the father's authority (threat of reprimand) is removed from the classroom, the guilty conscience for doing wrong is negated, 'liberating' the child from having a guilty conscience for questioning, challenging, disrespecting, defying, negating the father's authority. "There are many stories of the conflict and tension that these new practices are producing between parents and children." (David Krathwohl, Benjamin Bloom et al., Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Book 2: Affective Domain)

Kurt Lewin defined the father's authority and how it engenders the "guilty conscience" ("the negative valence of a forbidden object which in itself attracts the child") and then explained how to negate the effect of the father's authority has upon the child, i.e., the "guilty conscience" for doing wrong, for disobeying, by 'liberating' the child from the father's authority so he can be him "self" (without having guilty conscience), of the world only, i.e., so that he can sin with impunity instead. "The negative valence of a forbidden object which in itself attracts the child thus usually derives from an induced field of force of an adult." "If this field of force loses its psychological existence for the child (e.g., if the adult goes away or loses his authority) the negative valence also disappears." (Kurt Lewin; A Dynamic Theory of Personality)

By "shifting" communication away from the preaching and teaching of doing right and not wrong, i.e., away from the father's authority system, toward the dialoguing of opinions, i.e., toward the sharing of our "feelings," i.e., our desires of the 'moment' and our dissatisfaction with restraint, 'change,' i.e., a "new" world order (based upon the spectrum or continuum of 'change) is initiated and sustained. Abraham Maslow wrote: "History, almost universally, has dichotomized this higher & lower, but it is now clear that they are on the same continuum, in a hierarchical-integration of prepotency & pospotency." (Abraham Maslow, The Journals of Abraham Maslow) Carl Rogers wrote: "Individuals move not from a fixity through change to a new fixity, though such a process is indeed possible. But [through a] continuum from fixity to changingness, from rigid structure to flow, from stasis to process." "At one end of the continuum the individual avoids close relationships, which are perceived as being dangerous. At the other end he lives openly and freely in relation to the therapist and to others, guiding his behavior on the basis of his immediate experiencing – he has become an integrated process of changingness." (Carl Rogers, on becoming a person: A Therapist View of Psychotherapy)

By creating a classroom environment of dialogue, i.e., of 'change,' the child is 'liberated' from the threat of the father's authority, i.e., his commands, rules, facts, and truth and his threat of chastening for disobeying or doing things wrong or being cast out for questioning, challenging, defying his authority. As long as the conversation in the room remains within the child's spectrum of 'change' (what he is dialoguing with himself about) he will 'willingly' move in the direction of his desires of the 'moment' over and therefore against the father's authority. If he is pressed too hard (advanced to quickly) his guilty conscience will rise up and prevent, i.e., inhibit or block 'change.' Thus all the testing, placing the child in a situation of compromise, 'discovering' where he is on the spectrum of 'change,' i.e., how much he is willing to 'change,' then exposing him to more pleasures, without fear of reprimand, drawing him farther down the pathway of 'change.'

The child's desire for approval from others, especial from those who affirm his pleasures, increases his participation in the process of 'change.' While at first he might say "I am not be like that person over there," as he tolerates him—does not judge him according to the father's standards, in order to initiate and sustain relationship with him or with others who tolerate him, i.e., his thoughts and actions—his "self 'justification'" will eventually lead him to participate in his affairs.

"In the words of Thoreau: 'We need pray for no higher heaven than the pure senses can furnish, a purely sensuous life. Our present senses are but rudiments of what they are destined to become.'" (Norman O. Brown Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History) A man, living in and for the 'moment' ("of and for self")—with the approval (affirmation) of men—is intoxicated with (blinded by) his carnal desires of the 'moment' and his resentment toward restraint. 'Justified' in himself, he is no longer concerned about the consequences of his thoughts and actions, i.e., damnation and eternal death. It is not how far down the road (pathway) of 'change,' i.e., of "self 'justification'" (dialectic 'reasoning') you have gone, it is that you are on the road to begin with, with it blinding you to where it is leading (taking) you—to death and destruction, i.e., to damnation. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world [the pleasures of the 'moment' including the approval (praises) of men] and lose his own soul [and be cast into Hell]?" Mark 8:36 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth [in the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ], but had pleasure in unrighteousness [in themselves]." 2 Timothy 2:11, 12 Bracketed information added.

"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds [praxis or social action of "self 'justification'" (Gr)];" Colossians 3:9 The "lie" being that man is "good" or can become "good" by doing "good" deeds (praxis or social actions), with man denying the deceitfulness and wickedness of his heart (which makes his "lust" for pleasure and his hatred toward restraint "good," making restraint and the restrainer "evil") and the judgment of God upon him for his deceitful and wicked thoughts and actions, refusing to repent (refusing to turn from his wicked ways, refusing to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ—were good works are the result of the work of Christ Jesus in him alone, "that no man may boast"), 'justifying' his "self" instead. Silence in the midst of deviancy (unrighteousness and/or abomination) makes deviancy the "norm," 'justifying' man's deceitful and wicked heart. Silence (in the midst of unrighteousness, i.e., not reproving or rebuking it) bears witness to the persons love of pleasure over and therefore against love of the father/Father, i.e., doing his will. "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Luke 16:13 "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:15-17 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness [who make 'truth' subject to their "feelings" of the 'moment'];" Romans 1:18 "Let no man deceive you with vain ["self interest"] words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Ephesians 5:6 "And through covetousness ["self interest"] shall they with feigned words [generalizations, "double speak"] make merchandise ["human resource"] of you ;" 2 Peter 2:3 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 Bracketed information added.

Where along the spectrum of 'change,' i.e., "self 'justification'" do you reside today? Or are you grounded upon the Word of God (truth which is never changing), humbling yourself under the might hand of God, denying your "self" daily, enduring the rejection of men, following after Jesus Christ, doing His (in Christ, your) Heavenly Father's will instead? "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:" 1 Peter 5:6,7 "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [endure the rejection of men], and follow me." "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 8:34; 12:50

After all, we are either doing Genesis 3:1-6, i.e.., "justifying" our "self," or doing Hebrews 12:5-11, i.e., desiring to do the father's/Father's will, resulting in Romans 7:14-25, i.e., in us having a guilty conscience for sinning, repenting of our sins, asking the Lord Jesus Christ to forgiven us for our wicked thoughts and actions, by faith in Him being made righteousness, i.e., His righteousness (His obedience to His Heavenly Father in all things commanded, unto death on the cross) imputed to us by faith in Him, by His resurrection 'reconciling' us to His Heavenly Father, filling us with the Holy Spirit, doing His Heavenly Father's will, i.e., obeying Him instead. "Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 12 "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." Proverbs 16:5-6

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:5-11 "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. " Matthew 10:32, 33

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverb. 3: 5-6 "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Jeremiah 10:23 "And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:3

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2016