April 24, 2002
volume 13, no. 78

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Time: A prison or a novitiate for eternity?

    "Above man (not necessarily in a geographical sense) is Heaven, which must be won; below is hell, which is the den of voluntary failures. During the earthly pilgrimage, man may say 'Aye' or 'Nay' to either one of these eternal destinies. Time, therefore, is a kind of novitiate for eternity. This philosophy places great responsibilities on human beings.

    Within the last two hundred years, the great eternities of Heaven and hell have been denied by many.

    Man is said to have no other existence than the biological one on the horizontal plane of earth. Given enough pleasure and the opportunity to make enough money, he has all he needs for happiness.

    Within the last thirty-five or forty-years, this horizontal plane has been shortening. World War I, World War II, depressions have closed man within himself, so that today man is locked up inside of himself. He is almost his own jailer, trapped by his own follies. Just as a river that is blocked collects considerable scum and sediment, so man imprisoned within himself becomes the victim of fears and anxieties.

    To give some compensation for the loss of eternal destinies, some psychologists have put three levels inside of the human mind. One level is that of the superego, which is made up of taboos, ideals, commandments, religion, and morality. Down below is the id, the deep, mysterious, cavernous instinct to satisfy the animal cravings of man. In the middle is consciousness.

    Modern man is imprisoned in the mind, without doors and without windows; about all the enjoyment he gets out of life is to psychoanalyze the worries that go on inside of him.

    Is there any possibility of modern man escaping his inner hell? Modern man is like an egg. An egg can be broken in one of two ways, from the outside or from the inside. It can be broken from the outside by smashing it. Modern society can be broken from the outside. This is the function of barbarism.

    An egg can be broken also from the inside, as a chick picks away and discovers another world. But the chick inside must have the instinct of realizing that there is a bigger and broader world than the mere confines of a shell. Given the greater environment, the chick tries to establish relationship with it by escaping from the shell. It is this latter method we recommend for releasing modern man from the prison house of his own doubts and uncertainties."

April 24, 2002
volume 13, no. 78
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