Temptation

December 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

Until very recently, I wondered if I had ever been tempted. I had never experience the anguish that Heavenly Doctrines seem to describe. Upon reading the passage below, however, I realized that I have in fact been through temptation. 

Perhaps, one reason for feeling that I not undergone temptation was the separation of spiritual and natural life described in my previous post.

We sustain ourselves by creating imaginary heavens. We create for ourselves not only a glorified self-image of ourselves, but we project onto our organizations, our jobs, our institutions an image of what we would like them to be. These images are fallacies and illusions. At some point in our lives these projected images clash with reality. This clash may be the result of a conflict between our values and the choices we face in our organizations, jobs, or institutions. 

The anguish we experience from this clash is a temptation. And in this state of temptation, we ponder our values and must choose between spiritual values and the values of self and the world. Our projected images of our organization, job, or institution may be shattered. Do we become cynical? Or do we become more realistic? Do we choose to trust the Lord? Or do we choose to find our own way out of the mess we are in?

How we choose to handle such “natural” situations reflect our “spiritual” values. They affect of our perception of our organizations, our jobs, and our institutions. 

The good itself which is to be conjoined with truth is not tempted, but the truth. And moreover truth is not tempted by good, but by falsities and evils, and also by fallacies and illusions and the affection of these, which adhere to truths in the natural. For when good flows in, which is effected by an internal way, or through the internal rational man, the ideas of the natural man, formed from the fallacies of the senses and the derivative illusions, cannot endure its approach, for they are in disagreement with it, and hence comes anxiety in the natural, and temptation. (AC 4341.2)

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