“The Three Layers of Self” is the title of a basic personal theological concept I live by.
To illustrate, man’s drives can be arranged into three categories:
• Socio-Spiritual Morality/Interaction (the domain of the soul),
• Intellectual Curiosity (the domain of the mind),
• Somatic Pleasure (the domain of the body).
The three layers are thus, and in the divine unalterable order:
The soul longs for God and human companionship, and in its longing for God also longs for God’s morality and thus sets the moral law for the rest of the self.
The mind longs to share in God’s glory, and thus seeks to understand the creation of God, and in the case of theologians, to understand God himself. Also, not only does the mind marvel at the work of God, but it sets out to mimic Creation itself through its own God-given innovative power. Also, it provides practical solutions to trivial worldly problems. In other words, the mind is the mediator between the earth and the heavens, the body and the soul. It spreads over the abstract and the concrete.
The body longs to maintain itself through nutrition and other needs, also longing to achieve pleasure through fulfilling those needs. However, the true function of the body is to fulfill the righteous longings of the soul and mind.
I find that any change in the priority of one over the other would spell disaster.
The mind and body must always remain subordinate to the soul.
A mind insubordinate to a soul is catastrophe served on a silver plate.
For example, it was, disregarding morality, very logical to force slaves into picking cotton and starving them to death back in the darker days of America. Nevertheless, after the restoration of Government morality under the guidance of Lincoln, slavery was later abolished.
That is an exact example of why the soul must always rule over the mind.
In whatever we commit to, we must place first, our entire souls, second, our entire minds, and finally, our bodies.
The three layers of the self must always remain in perfect harmony; any conflict between the three must be resolved under the light of a moral code, the soul.
Conflict between the desires and longings of man is the most basic cause of psychological disorder.
To make a reference to Lincoln:
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
I find this applies perfectly not only concerning society but also and most importantly concerning the individual.
I firmly state, nevertheless, that an internal discrepancy between the three must often be fought. Thus we must possess the courage to wage an internal war, regardless of the confusion it is sure to immerse us in, in the hope of restoring and establishing a better person within ourselves.
In the end, remember to always place your morality before your practicality, and your thought before your actions.
The true value of any thought is its relevance under the light of a supreme moral code, and the true value of any action is its relevance under the guidance of the mind and the supremacy of the soul.
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
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