Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Should We Try to Convince Others of What We Believe?

What do you do if someone tells you that they think or believe something that you totally disagree with? It's a complicated question and it depends on the situation and it depends on your relationship with the person etc. etc.

I don't know how I'll respond the next time this happens to me but one thing I'm going to try to do is to keep this passage that I just read in mind. If anyone has run across similar passages or seemingly contradictory passages, please leave a comment.
One should not bind or incite another to confirm one's own truths, but should hear him and take his answers as they are in himself. For he who binds and incites another to confirm his own truths, causes the other not to think and speak from himself, but from him. And when anyone thinks and speaks from another, the truths he has are thrown into disorder, and yet he is not amended, except in the case of one who is as yet ignorant of these truths. (Arcana Coelestia 9213:6)


Malcolm said...

Here's another cool statement along these lines: “Each person is permitted to believe truths as he apprehends them; otherwise there would be no reception, because no acknowledgment” (Arcana Coelestia 3385).

Malcolm said...

Here's one that Mark Carlson brought up today in counseling class: "No one who is compelled to think that which is true and to do that which is good is reformed, but instead thinks all the more what is false and wills all the more what is evil. This is so with all compulsion, as may also become clear from all the experience and lessons of life, which when learned prove two things - first, that human consciences will not allow themselves to be coerced, and second, that we strive after the forbidden." (Arcana Coelestia 1947)

Malcolm said...

And when Coleman Glenn quoted the previous passage on Facebook, Dylan Hendricks noted that it's similar to this one: "[I]t is according to the laws of order that no one ought to be persuaded about truth in a moment, that is to say, that truth should be so confirmed in a moment as to leave no doubt whatever about it; because the truth which is so impressed becomes persuasive truth, and is devoid of any extension, and also of any yielding quality. Such truth is represented in the other life as hard, and as such that it does not admit good into it so as to become applicable. Hence it is that as soon as in the other life any truth is presented before good spirits by a manifest experience, there is soon afterward presented something opposite which causes doubt. In this way it is given them to think about it, and to consider whether it be so, and to collect reasons, and thus to bring that truth into their minds rationally." (Arcana Coelestia 7298)

Dylan also commented that "These are the kinds of passages that get me revved up about the New Church." Me too.