Authentic Self-Discovery Course Testimonial: Conquering Estrangement

On Estrangement

[The argument by which proves not only the necessity of a divine being, but the true existence of Christ on Earth. Moreover, to live in the moral and spiritual likeness of God, one must believe, do good actions, and create disciples. This answer if found through ancient texts, natural law, Christian prophets, Persian kings, Greek philosophers, the fall of the Roman Republic, and divine knowledge put forth by God.] 

Foreword

As I have gone through my journey of realizing myself as a spiritual, triune being and live an authentic life with my coach and now closest confidant, Ms. Jennifer Elizabeth Hayes Young, I have been given a new meaning in life – an authentic life rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ. She has demonstrated the reasons why need to live a life in moral and spiritual likeness of Christ through her deep-seated biblical knowledge along with her beautiful storytelling filled with personal narratives that have showed me how the hand of God works through people. Before the sessions began, I was wavering in my journey towards fulfilling my destiny. Along with suffering from mental illness, family dilemmas, and drug and alcohol problems, I found that the light of life was slowly beginning to wane from my being. As someone who had never grown up in the church and disbelieved the righteousness embedded in humanity by the Holy Spirit, many would identify me as a skeptic towards faith. That being said, I have researched faith, Christianity, the fundamental essence of the origin of the physical Universe for years due to my own curiosity and lust for knowledge. I believed the Jesus Christ was a factual, historical character whom was a morally just man influencing the people after the fall of the Roman Republic in the eastern province of Judea. However, I have never seen the connection between the actions of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine knowledge he seemed to propose as the Son of God.

My time with Ms. Young has proven to be one of the tools with which I can now speak to my inner, authentic self and listen to the Word. She has shown me that to lead, one must master the art of rhetoric and communication-in-depth. Just as she has, I now know the way in which I must go and the things that I must do to better life, see what I need to see, to live my life in a way that I can influence others. Matthew 28:19 shows that as believers in Christ must go forth and make disciples and demonstrate our changed life after a water baptism. Ms. Young’s coaching has given me the opportunity to bury the negative thoughts I have from the past, for I have been found after becoming lost. Therefore, I declare my new association with and through Jesus as a commitment to spreading the divine knowledge given to us so that it may not need validation, but exerts influence.

On Estrangement

I have always believed that humankind is much more than an organic, up-right-standing, bipedal mammals. My theorem on the human essence years ago in my thesis, On Abortion, sought to prove a bifurcated persona based on Aristotelian principles: a body, which is the physical representation of the soul, the metaphysical force by which humans are animated. However, through the coaching and guidance I received from the Holy Spirit, through Ms. Young, opened my eyes to see – and now I can see. I have found great insight in the strength in the Word of God.

Unlike Aristotle, who believed that the body and soul complex was indivisible, the classical Greek philosopher Plato who believed the soul was composed of three separate parts – logos (speech and reason), eros (desire), and thymos (soul, the breath of life). As told in Book Four of the Republic, Plato and his companion Glaucon analyze the nature of each part of the human persona. Due to the tripartite complex of the human being, Socrates, Plato’s mentor, is able to reinforce the notion that there is a “spirited” part of the human complex. The divine triumvirate, which consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, mirrors the writings of Plato nearly 800 years before the birth of Christ. Like the ancient philosopher, Ms. Young has analyzed and demonstrated her knowledge of humans as thinking beings and as a triune being in the sense that we think, we choose, and we create intrinsically. The spirit of the human complex shows a journey towards intuition, communion, and conscience – the spirit of divine language. The soul consists of intelligence, emotion, and freewill of the mind. As humans, our lust for knowledge of creation and origin is detailed by stating, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways![1] Moreover, the human body, the temple that houses divine connection is divided into the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. “Then God said, ‘Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority.’”[2]

In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus, after return home after the fall of Troy in 12th century B.C., is able to turn away from his own spirited nature of anger and strife for a mind of reason.  By this divine logic, if the body’s nature is corrupted, even with acquiring every sort of wealth known, does that not create a confused existence? Therefore, is it profitable to act in a just way and practice virtue, even if such things go unnoticed? Notwithstanding the opposite thought – does injustice and acting unjust create a profitable scenario, provided that the punishment given by those acts does not end in a better human being?

An example from the classical era demonstrates the necessity of persisting through internal struggle. “Smiting his breast, he reproached his heart with word. Endure, heart; you have endured worse before.”[3]  The story of how Odysseus was able to control his heart when all he desired was to destroy his adversaries causes it to render itself again when choosing a life led by the Word of God. Odysseus proves that he has the ability to exemplify himself as a decent person in the face of colossal adversity. The human inclination to fall to uncontrollable lust or insurmountable rage is against proposed good actions, thereby making absolutely necessary to conduct a more strategic plan using guidance from the Lord.

In conjunction, throughout my life I have felt much struggle in the journey for the conquest of the human spirit to understand my spiritual and moral likeness insofar as I was created in the image of God. However, struggle, from which you can overcome, is seen by many to be a useless, spirit-breaking notion. Disbelievers in Christ proclaim that suffering disproves God. However, the root of the struggle exists within the human soul. As we come out of nature and into society, humans dwell in estrangement from one another. Medieval theologian, jurist, and philosopher Saint Thomas Aquinas stated, “Since God is the highest, he would not allow any evil to exist in his works unless his omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.”[4]  Therefore, pain and suffering is needed in life so that we may learn how. An embattled time in life shows that there is the opportunity for good. Though, this is only achieved by consistent good and just actions. Due to the strife people endure on Earth in times lost and times yet to come, not everyone capitalizes on the potential for salvation in struggle.

Saint Augustine of Hippo believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom. As a result of the rebellion in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve, humans and all ancestors are a victim of original sin. When the serpent spoke to Eve, thus deceiving her, she went to the tree of knowledge with Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. This created a notion of good and evil – a law of the Universe that only God truly knows, for He is the one who created the underlying principles of human inclination and the divine following. Aquinas categorizes this evil into seven deadly sins: “hatred, sloth, discord, envy, contention, schism, war, strife, sedition, and scandal.”[5] To achieve salvation, one must denounce these worldly and human-centric values through the belief and worship of God and carrying out His works.

Thomas Hobbes, a medieval English philosopher, spoke of the nature of man and the estrangement against others by stating, “…and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”[6] He also posited the Latin phase, Bellum omnium contra omnes, meaning, “warre of everyone against everyone.”[7] He also wrote, “Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit,” which has been translated as, “Man is no man, but a wolf, to a stranger,” or described accurately later, “A man is a wolf rather than a man to another man, when he hasn’t yet found out what he’s like.”[8] This constitutes the notion when Adam and Eve, after eating the fruit came to realize they were naked, which was considered bad to them. “Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings…He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself. God said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten [fruit] from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”[9] Concealment becomes a great problem when trying to live an authentic life. To be such a person, one must act in just and moral ways even when in private. Even though one may be lonely or deserted, the Spirit of God is always with you, watching and guiding.

King Numa Pompilius, the second ruler of Rome from the mid-8th century B.C. to the 7th century B.C., indoctrinated the Roman rites, most of which were not reviled to the people. His foresight included elements of hydromancy and necromancy, Gods of the sea and the underworld. However, even though he wrote the rites and preached them as facts, Pompilius concealed their causes. As Augustine said, “for even he himself was afraid of what he learned.”[10] The King was fooled by these false Gods, thus causing great anxiety for his own being – creating scandal, an infraction manifesting into a deadly sin. Therefore, anxiety in our lives stems from our uncertainty in the future. “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.[11] We combat this be rejoicing in the Lord.

This theocentric view of anxiety follows the philosophy of Maximus the Confessor in characterizing the change in human nature as the introduction of a deliberative will, or free will, (θέλημα γνωμικόν) in opposition to the “natural will of choice” (θέλημα φυσικόν) created by God which emulates the excellence that brings everything in creation into both physical and metaphysical harmony. On the notion of freewill, human civilization is a pseudo-balanced entity between natural order and chaos. Through our recognition of Jesus and his teachings, as well as our desire to live in a just and orderly society, we give up some of our freewill so that our “out-of-nature” inclination of barbarianism is not proliferated. Freewill is the concept of an action with no consequences; however, no such scenario is possible relative to humans.

In God’s world, no evil exists. That is not to evil does not exist but from God’s creation there is no evil. On the other hand, the humanly world in which we live, there is evil all around us. In The City of God, Augustine explains, “[When] man lives according to man, not according to God, he is like the devil.”[12] He says that, “But [you say] if through my falsehood God’s integrity is magnified and advertised and abounds to His glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner?”[13] In Augustine’s words, the natural law that governs origin cannot be blotted out, even if evil actions derived from the sins of humans run amok on the Earth.

The philosopher Seneca writes, “Errat, si quis existimat servitutem in totum hominem descendere…Corpora obnoxia sunt et adscripta dominis; mens quidem sui iuris, quae adeo libera et vaga est.”   In English this best translates to “Error exists if anyone reckons slavery into the whole of man…The body is rendered to exist with a master; the mind is indeed of one’s own Law, which, thus far, is liberated and wandering.”[14] If humans act against their teachings of the Word, great suffering and tribulation would happen to the peoples of the Earth. In its final stage, there would only exist one man.  This one man would hold all power on earth, possess all riches available, and be the true ruler of his own destiny. However, this man is alone. This one man, by his lust for power, would have executed every other person in the Commonwealth out of his own desire for his pursuit of happiness, which was to control every aspect of his destiny.  Being the lone member of society and possessing everything within it.  In this scenario the man would be a true tyrant.  If one rules over everything and meets the end of the desire then he would have no pursuit to an end to accomplish.  He would be a complete slave of his own desires.  Since our inalienable rights are engraved into the souls that possess our bodies they can be neither altered nor transferred to any other source.  One of these main sources that would threaten the sovereignty of the soul would be dominis, or a master that would devolve the soul into a servitute, or slave.  By ruling over everything that we desire we would violate our own pursuit of happiness. To combat this end of humanity, we must act in our authentic ways and have faith in the Lord to lead the human race into a period of widespread salvation. “And he made no difference between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith.[15]

To live an authentic life, Paul’s letter to the Romans explains, “Once I was alive, but quite apart from and unconscious of the Law. But when the commandment came, sin lived again and I died.”[16] For when sin dies, the light of the authentic soul can shine. “So foolish, stupid, and brutish was I, and ignorant; I was like a beast before you.”[17] By this very premise, people have differences in their worldly lives when it comes to action. “As for the [a]one whose faith is weak, accept him [into your fellowship], but not for [the purpose of] quarreling over his opinions. One man’s faith permits him to eat everything, while the weak believer eats only vegetables [to avoid eating ritually unclean meat or something previously considered unclean]. The one who eats [everything] is not to look down on the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat must not criticize or pass judgment on the one who eats [everything], for God has accepted him.”[18] Through the fasting period at the beginning of the New Year under the philosophy of the Assembly of God, we rid ourselves of toxins in the body to clear our minds so that we may be able to guide others and create disciples of our own. As we become cognizant of divine law and knowledge, we can bury our sinful past and be born again with a new association with Jesus.

The Greek philosopher Lucretius stated in one of his works that, “God is omnipotent, God is good, but Evil exists.”[19] This causes what he called the “trilemma” – an argument from which there are three options, two of which are true and one being false. Christian apologists condemned such pagan ideals.  Biblical and philosophic scholars to this day prove the existence of God through historical evidence, philosophical arguments, and scientific evidence. Notably, one of the first apologists was Paul the Apostle. His writings show that followers of Christ must distance themselves from acting on human inclinations, such as lust noted in a passage as, “And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and though [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).”[20]

To create a kingdom of God on Earth we must hold in great value the parables created by Jesus as told through his prophets. “Listen! A sower went out to sow seed; and as he was sowing, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocks where there was not much soil; and immediately a plant sprang up [a] because the soil had no depth. And when the sun came up, the plant was scorched; and because it had no root, it dried up and withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seed fell into good soil, and as the plants grew and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundred times [as much as had been sown].” And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.”[21]

The use of real world examples in key to creating a situation in which someone can relate. “This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because having the power of seeing, they do not see; and having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand.”[22] As our healing comes by the hand of God, we may reach a point where the struggle may hurt worse and worse, but the felling of a life without the Lord will be one of suffering, not struggling. “You shall indeed hear and hear, but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive. For this nation’s heart has grown gross (fat and dull), and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I shall heal them”[23]

“I [the Lord] have commanded My consecrated ones. I have even called My great warriors. My proudly exulting ones [the Medes and the Persians who triumph for My honor]—To execute My anger…[Babylon] shall never be inhabited or dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arab pitch his tent there, nor shall the shepherds make their sheep folds there.”[24] Isaiah prophesized the fall of the Babylonian Empire in 8th century B.C., nearly 300 years early. Babylon was taken by surprise on the night of Belshazzar’s sacrilegious feast when Belshazzar was killed, and Darius the Mede was made king over Babylonia, the realm of the Chaldeans [Babylonians]. The Chaldeans became the dominant people in Babylonia and ruled Babylonia from 625 B.C., until their empire fell in 539 B.C. from Persian invasion overseen by King Cyrus, successor to the Persian throne after Cambyses I, King of Anshan and Mandane. The people were known as an aggressive, tribal people in the southern region of Babylonia since the year 1000 B.C. The Persian King Cyrus the Great rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem and allowed the Jews to return to their homeland to live in peace under his rule, for he was also connected with the divine. One of the earliest known forms of documentation of moral law is the Cyrus cylinder. Experts claim this is also the first written doctrine of human rights. Historians state this confirms that Cyrus allowed captives in Babylon to return to their native lands, thus earning himself an honorable place in ancient Jewish tradition.

The subject of Psalm 22, which references Hashshahar, meaning “hind of the morning dawn”[25] can be connected with another member of Persian nobility, the Jewish Queen Esther, wife of Xerxes I, known in the Hebrew Bible as Persian King Ahasuerus. In the Targum, a collection of spoken paraphrases, explanations, and thoughts of Jewish scriptures that a Rabbi would preach to his followers, often in the language of Aramaic. The text shows the connection between “setareh”, the Persian dialect of the word “star”, which was used to identify the beauty of Esther as she was as beautiful as the Morning Star. This star actually not a star but Venus, the second planet from the Sun.

Connections can be made from the sight of a nation’s rotten soul in the text to the fall of the Roman Republic as Matthew states, “A nation’s heart has grown gross (fat and dull).”[26], In the years following the assassination of Julius Caesar, the Roman Republic was marginalized into provinces as annexations of self-governing areas became a part of the Roman Empire with control of all under one man. In 14 A.D., Augustus was poisoned by a member of Claudian Dynasty, Tiberius Caesar the former adoptive family member of Emperor Julius Caesar. This turmoil allowed Tiberius to assume the power of a ruler over all, but without the leadership needed for the civilization to thrive. To lead, one must master the art of rhetoric and communication-in-depth.

In the Book of Luke, John the Baptist said, “Now in the fifteenth year of [Emperor] [a]Tiberius Caesar’s reign—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod [Antipas] was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene.”[27] Jesus was around 30 years old when he began his ministry, after becoming one not of curiosity, but of passion. As he became aware of his divinity, he set off from his home to preach the news of the almighty Lord and Savior. He was said by John to journeying to “doing good” throughout the areas where the Word has not yet been heard by the people who would then later come to God. He says in the passage, “you know the things that have taken place throughout Judea, starting in Galilee after the baptism preached by John—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with great power; and He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with Him.”[28] By this account, Jesus knew the evil in the world originated in human action at the beginning of nature. As he came to then-disbelievers and showed them the fruits of divine knowledge, people began to yearn to wash themselves from their old lives into living a life fit for the moral and spiritual likeness of God.

“It happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the upper [inland] districts and came down to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [in Jesus as the Christ]?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he asked, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, John performed a baptism of repentance, continually telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, [to confidently accept and joyfully believe] in Jesus [the Messiah and Savior]. After hearing this, they were baptized [again, this time] in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in [unknown] tongues (languages) and prophesying.”[29] The divine language was given to them in order to have communication in depth as it was through the Lord. Such reason gives new believers a new life reborn in the image of God after His Son paid the ultimate price to exalt all people of the Earth from their original sin just after the creation of nature. “We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.”[30]

A Leviathan is necessary to institute human salvation on Earth. Unlike philosophers and thinkers of the past who believed the commonwealth, government, or kingdom could fulfill the needs of civilization Earth, the only leviathan that is possible to exist in a world to counter the estrangement of nature, it must be the first mover unmoved, the first and the last. To create the City of God on Earth, we must rejoice in the Lord and act as Disciples of Christ and go into the world and do good things. To truly change the essence of civilization and its inherent disdain towards one another, the predictions of Christ’s kingdom must be practiced as if they were hear all along. “And if anyone cancels or takes away from the statements of the book of this prophecy [these predictions relating to Christ’s kingdom and its speedy triumph, together with the consolations or warnings pertaining to them], God will cancel and take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the city of holiness (purity and hallowedness), which are described and promised in this book. He Who gives this warning and affirms and testifies to these things says, Yes (it is true). [Surely] I am coming quickly (swiftly, speedily). Amen (so let it be)! Yes, come, Lord Jesus!”[31] For if we do not influence others with the strength of God and empower them to act in just ways and give grace to those around us, our civilization will perish.

[1] The amplified Bible: containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1965. Romans 11:33

[2] Ibid. Genesis 1:26-28

[3] Plato, and Allan Bloom. Plato: Republic. New York: Perseus Books Group, 1968.

Book XX 17-18; 309d

[4] Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province: Rt. Rev. Msgr. John M. Fearns, S.T.D., Francis Cardinal Spellman, F. Raphael Moss, O.P., S.T.L., F. Leo Moore, O.P., S.T.L., F. Beda Jarrett, O.P., S.T.L., A.M. (New York: Benzinger Bros, 1948. Pt I, Qu 2, Art 2: Whether it can be demonstrated that God exists?

[5] Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica. Book III, Pt. II-III, Q. 34-44

[6] Hobbes, Thomas, and C. B. Macpherson. Leviathan. Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin, 1986. Book XIII.

[7] Thomas Hobbes (2005). Klenner, Hermann, ed. Leviathan. Hamburg: Meiner Verlag. p. 610.

[8] Titus Maccius Plautus. “Asinaria”

[9] The amplified Bible: containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1965. Genesis 3:7, 10-11

[10] Augustine, Dods, Marcus and Paffenroth, Kim. The City of God. New York: Barnes and Noble, 2006. Circa 397-400. Book VII Page 288-289.

[11] The amplified Bible: containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1965. Proverbs 12:25

[12] Augustine, Dods, Marcus and Paffenroth, Kim. The City of God. New York: Barnes and Noble, 2006. Circa 397-400. Book XIV pg. 532

[13] The amplified Bible: containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1965. Romans 3:7

[14] L. Annaeus Seneca. Moral Essays: volume 3. John W. Basore. Trans, B. Alexander Lemieux. London and New York. Heinemann. 1935.

[15] The amplified Bible: containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1965. Acts 15:9

[16] Ibid. Romans 7:9

[17] Ibid. Psalm 73:22

[18] The amplified Bible: containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1965. Romans 14:1-3

[19] Carus, Titus Lucretius, A. E. Stallings, Richard Jenkyns, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. Lucretius: On the Nature of Things. London: Penguin Books, 2007.

[20] The amplified Bible: containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1965. 1 Thessalonians 5:23

[21] Ibid. Mark 4:3-9

[22] Ibid. Matthew 13:13

[23] Ibid. Matthew 13:14-15

[24] Ibid. Isaiah 13:3-20

[25] Ibid. Psalm 22

[26] Ibid. Matthew 13:14-15

[27] Ibid. Luke 3:1

[28] Ibid. Acts 10:37-38

[29] Ibid. Acts 19:1-7

[30] Ibid. Romans 6:4

[31] Ibid. Revelation 22:20-21

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