Back to Course

What is the Meaning of Life

0% Complete
0/208 Steps

Section 1:

Lesson 119 of 208
In Progress

Freedom from our Evil Desires

Sorry, Video Not Available.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 119 Freedom From Our Evil Desires by Ernest O’Neill

We are talking about the great problem that all human beings face — the problem of living an integrated life. We are discussing, especially, the great cause of our problem in living that integrated life: the existence within us of a nature that seems to oppose what part of our nature wants to do.

It seems, at times, that there are two natures inside of us. There is part of us that goes home one evening wanting to give our wives the most pleasant evening she has ever had in her life. We buy the flowers. We take the chocolates. We look forward to being the best husband that she has ever known. Yet, something goes a little wrong. We get the car stuck in the gateway, or we drop a favorite pen we have and break it.

The supper or the dinner is not quite ready. Suddenly there lashes out from inside us anger and violence such as we never knew existed before. It’s that nature that we are discussing and the existence of that nature. What we have been sharing, of course, is that that nature comes from, not just the years of your life where you yourself have chosen to try to get what you can of love from the people around you, rather than from the Creator who made you. It comes not just from that. It comes from centuries of inbreeding.

For centuries our human race has lived as if there was no Maker. Of course, as we lived as if there was no Maker, we found ourselves faced with impossible situations. We found ourselves, all four or five billion of us in the world, all trying to get enough food, clothing and shelter, to do what we wanted — despite all the others trying to get the same things for themselves.

We found that five billion of us thought we were unique individuals and yet, nobody else treated us as unique individuals. So, we discovered that all kinds of people were trying to get the same attention that all the rest were. So, as we did that, we began to get more and more frustrated. We found that there had developed within us a frustrated nature, a nature that was always trying to get things that it could not get, satisfaction that it could not possibly obtain.

We found ourselves wanting an affection and an attention and a respect that all the people in the world seemed unable to give us satisfactorily. We found we wanted a security financially and physically and medically that we seemed unable to get with all our money and with all our position that we got in our company. So, we discovered that there was a frustration and a futility in life that we could not overcome. Of course, that produced in us a nature that was never satisfied. We found a nature of selfishness that would strike out against other people when it didn’t get what it wanted.

Now, that nature has been bred into the race for generations. It’s for centuries that our race has lived as if there was no God, as if there was no Maker, trying to get from all the rest of us poor finite beings what it was meant to get from its God and from the Creator of the world. Trying to get the security from us that it could only get from believing that the Maker of the world was in fact faithful and, in fact, cared for it.

So, there developed in us a nature that we could not control, an evil nature that Robert Louis Stevenson talked about in Jekyll and Hyde, a nature that is stronger than we human beings are. You remember we discussed the problem with that. Here we were faced with a nature that was stronger than us ourselves, and yet we were trying to overcome it by psychological tools, by social tools, by counseling tools…

… by reading temperament control books, by giving each other a good education, by trying to use music or

trying to use conversation, or trying to use group psychology and therapy. Somehow, it was like trying to train a wild lion with a little stick of candy. It was just impossible. Because, in fact, this nature that we have within us that runs alongside our good nature, this nature is part of the human race itself.

Actually there is only one person that can do anything about it. We have discussed how our Creator, our Maker, when He conceived of the creation of the universe, conceived of us having free wills. Immediately when He conceived of us having free wills, He conceived of the possibility that we would use these free wills to depend on the world of things and circumstances for our security and for our happiness, instead of on Him.

The moment He conceived that, He conceived of the possibility that we would then go on, because of the way He had made us, to exercise our free wills to produce emotions and intellects and physical bodies that were increasingly unprepared and unfitted to live the way He meant us to live, and were increasingly perverted and twisted in themselves. These natures would, in turn, prevent us exercising our free wills the way He wanted us to exercise them.

So, in order that we would be able to retain those free wills, He conceived of the need (all in one great moment, because the Creator does not operate sequentially; He operates in timeless eternity, above time and space)… but in that great one second, He conceived of the need to destroy us and to remake us. He did exactly that. That’s what a certain verse in the old book, called the Bible, means.

There is a verse there in Revelation (it’s the last book of that Bible), in Chapter 13 and verse 8. The sentence is, and it’s really an adverbial phrase of time, an adverbial clause of time, “The Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world”.

The Creator actually conceived of you, conceived of the possibility of you living your own life according to your own ways and of creating within yourself, through your own actions and through the actions of all your forefathers, a nature that would be utterly opposed to Him and that would prevent you exercising your free will in alignment with His, even if you wanted to. Now, at that moment, He put you into His Son Jesus, and destroyed you there in timelessness.

He crucified that old self of yours, that old nature, in His son and He remade you again as He raised His Son from the dead. He expressed all that in time and space in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in 29 A.D. in Palestine. But that is only the outward physical expression in time and space of the event that God Himself did before the world was ever created. That is the mighty act that the Creator has done.

That is why, you see, you have two natures. They are both shadows of parts of reality. There is the good nature that is part of the shadow of the new nature that God has given you in His Son Jesus. There is the old nature that reminds you of what you would be if you exercised your free will against Him and chose to depend on the world rather than on Himself. So, the existence of those two natures is partially an expression of what happened in timelessness.

Now, if you say to me, what is the real nature? Well, the real nature is the new nature, undoubtedly. The real nature is the new nature. The Creator has destroyed all that your old self will produced. That is, in fact, in destruction, in timelessness. If you say, “Why is it still alive in my life?” It’s because the Creator allowed you to see the consequences of your actions. That’s what this life is.

It is one mighty experiment by the Creator to give us free wills, to let us see what our free wills would bring about in our lives if they were exercised against Him and yet give us the chance to think again. He gave us a second chance to do it all over again. That’s what the Creator has done. It is a mighty and a beautiful,

miraculous work.

So, this present life that you have is a life of opportunity. It’s a life when you can choose to turn your back forever on that old self-nature. It’s an opportunity for you to live the way the Maker wanted you to. Let’s talk a little more tomorrow about that.

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *