A Study of Temptation

I’m Richard Lloyd Jones, and this is Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

Temptation. Like most religious words, that one’s been banalized and reduced from its original meaning. It means literally a trial or a test. A moment in your life when you have a choice to be faithful or not.

Today, that’s like faith to a diet or a spouse, to a virtue or an ideal. But the original sense was to be tested in your faith to God. Something Job-ian – no matter what life throws at you, you stay the course.

But temptation is secondarily related to allurement or seduction to sin. And here we’re into a less popular usage. Nobody likes to think in terms of “can’t” or “don’t” anymore, do they? “Who says I can’t?”, goes the language of modernity. “Who are you to tell me what’s right and what’s wrong?”

These are tricky waters. “You can’t do that!” has been used to control and restrict by those wanting to remain in power, for sure. But is there something to this obligation aspect of temptation that deserves a more careful consideration?

A Study of Temptation, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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Seduction by Evil

“The idea of being a victim of evil is quite a comfortable one,” writes Norberto Keppe in his book, Psychotherapy and Exorcism. “But what’s really going on,” he continues, “is that the human being actually selects the type of evil he wants in his life.”

Well, that’s sobering. I hope this happens unconsciously because the conscious choice for evil seems rather terrifying. Keppe’s view that we summon evil contradicts the common idea that we are victimised by it. Even the exorcists, those most graphic of illustrations of possession by evil, show the possessed as being unwilling recipients of the accursed spiritual invasions.

What Keppe is trying to alert us to here is the very real presence of evil spirits in the human experience, and our considerable role in giving them so much freedom to run amok on our planet.

But there’s another aspect at play in this process … the subterfuge of the demons. And that’s not a once-in-awhile thing. It’s constant.

Seduction by Evil, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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Certainty of the Divine

I’m Richard Lloyd Jones and this is Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

A belief in immaculate conception, overcoming death with resurrection, divine miracles of creation … modern thinkers complain these tenets suffer from a lack of evidence. “Faith is a great evil,” they say, “That leads gullible human beings to open their minds so much their brains fall out.”

I respectfully disagree. Faith has been shown in studies to mitigate symptoms of depression, spiritual beliefs can help us deal with loss, disease and death, and even aid recovery. We also know that it helps deal with addictions. Great things have been accomplished with perseverance in the face of impossible odds, even at the risk of loss of life, and what is that if not an act of faith?

So just dismissing conviction in something divine simply because there’s not scientific proof seems unintelligent to me. And anyway, if we just look around us at the intricate design of nature, the complex way natural processes mesh together perfectly, we really have to be slightly moronic to rule out divinity.

The Certainty of the Divine, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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Under Control of Evil

I’m Richard Lloyd Jones, and this is Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Ferdinand, in desperation at the terrible plight of ship and crew, cries out, “Hell is empty and all the devils are here!”

And looking around at our situation today, it wouldn’t be difficult to reach the same conclusion. Except that our modern materialistic science doesn’t allow for that conclusion. Oh, we might utter the words, but I doubt most of us would use words like “hell” and “devils” in anything more than an illustrative sense. We almost certainly wouldn’t mean them literally.

But there is a very modern science emerging here in Brazil that does consider the power of spiritual influence to inspire the human being – both for good or for evil. And yes, I do mean a science. And what the scientist responsible for this view, Dr. Norberto Keppe, maintains is that the evil is winning as long as we don’t have more consciousness of it. That means, reuniting theology and philosophy again with exact science, as used to be the case. So we can really understand our situation.

Under Control of Evil, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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The Energy of Virtue

Welcome to Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, I’m Richard Lloyd Jones. A couple of thousand years ago, a consideration of virtue was part of everyday, common discourse. The Greeks gave considerable attention to virtue, culminating in Aristotle’s influential writings on moral and intellectual virtues. Before him, Confucius proposed personal virtue as the way to a good life. The Bible has hundreds of passages about the importance of virtue.

Today, public discourse is muted, and people lament the loss of the byproducts of virtue, like falling self-discipline and rising selfishness.

Not to mention the rampant corruption at all levels of modern society that makes us fear that virtue is, in fact, long gone. As a small indicator of this, a graph of the frequency of words occurring in books over time shows a rapid rise of the word “technology” in the past 40 years against a two-century slide in virtue.

In Norberto Keppe‘s Integral Psychoanalysis, though, virtue is essential for a healthy human being and society. So we’d like to go against the grain!

The Energy of Virtue, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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True Co-Creation

I’m Richard Lloyd Jones, and this is Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

I was walking down the streets of Vancouver a number of years ago after I’d been living away from the west coast for some time, and I bumped into an old acquaintance of mine in Kitsilano, the old hippy neighbourhood in the ’70s.

“What are you doing these days?” I asked her. “Channeling yoga,” came back the straight-faced reply.

Well, she was always a little out there, but it leads into what I wanted to talk about today. The field of spiritual growth has exploded over the past 50 years, maybe beginning with the Beatles and their Maharishi experience in India in the ’60s. But it’s a market with a lot of choices. From the more traditional, like church and prayer, to the more trendy, like Buddhism and meditation, to the downright weird, like, well, channeling yoga.

What to make of it all? In Dr. Norberto Keppe‘s Analytical Trilogy, he’s united theology back into science to give us a more wholistic view. And that means some universal principles. True Co-Creation, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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Towards a Universal Mentality

I’m Richard Lloyd Jones, and this is Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head. 

In light of the Paris attacks in November of 2015, it’s difficult to know the best thing to do. The French government, seemingly wanting to show off those decisive decision-making muscles so vaunted in our no nonsense, zero tolerance, “let’s show ’em who’s boss” business model of a society, wasted no time in declaring war.

Most of our western world commiserated concernedly and gave their approval.

Donald Trump said the French need more guns.

It’s oh-so-easy to react in kind in this world. Far too simple to hit back when we’ve been violated, to see red and demand hard justice. That response we know well. From Travis Bickle’s “You talkin’ to me”, to Dirty Harry’s “Go ahead. Make my day” snarl, the world’s full of these modern archetypes. Guys who don’t back down, men and women who make sure they get even.

But is this the best response if we want to resolve this? Will this “brutality to match brutality” move us forward? Seems to me we need a different response. Something we can find in Norberto Keppe‘s science of Analytical Trilogy.

Towards a Universal Mentality, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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