Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Larry. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
This is a world of good and evil. Anyone who thinks he can impose goodness on mankind will encounter this dual side of man’s nature. When religions held the power, they tried to force their version of goodness on the world, and the result was an increase in man’s suffering.
Okay, religions shouldn’t hold power. Who should? Larry says:
Then along came science. As it became dominant, materialism took over. God was excluded or ignored, and the people lost their way. Ignoring God may seem reasonable, as we seldom can discern his impact on our lives. But he is hidden within us, and we direct our attention outwardly and thus do not see him.
Then we lost our way with science. Probably a reference to evolution. So what is the answer? Let’s read on:
We live in a country where the majority rules, but a moral consensus is not dispositive. The majority is often wrong, and has lost the power to discern what is moral and what is immoral. The men of reason have opted for moral relativism, but has this brought harmony to the world?
Democracy doesn’t work either. What shall we do? Larry continues:
Our present political discord is the result of our inner spiritual conflict. We have objectified our confusion onto the world around us. That confusion has always been there, and is inherent in man’s nature. Thus no absolute victory is possible in our political debate. Unless man changes, this will go on indefinitely.
Egad! Politics won’t work. Is there no hope? Hold on, it gets worse:
As to the Neunzig-Epstein debate [presumably a reference to this column about free speech], we delude ourselves if we think we can talk away the outward discord without correcting the inner discord. We are spiritually sick. The outer sickness is only a symptom, but talk may lead to an improvement outwardly, even while the discord continues.
So how do we fix the inner discord? Another excerpt:
People who are dead sure they are right may begin to have doubts. That would be the beginning of wisdom. True wisdom, though, is possible only to the extent that man becomes aware of his true nature.
What is our true nature? Larry gives us the answer:
Man thinks he is a body, and acts accordingly. But in truth, he is a soul. If he does not perceive it, he will not have access to truth and wisdom.
Yes — oh yes! But who is wise enough to understand? Larry says:
None of what I have just said will make a lick of sense to the man who deems himself smarter than ordinary folks. Self-love is his chief characteristic, but without humility, no wisdom is possible.
Are you paying attention? You need humility! And now we come to the end:
It is like trying to pour water into a full glass: not even God can do it. And, I assure you, he has tried to do so with all of us. And he will keep trying. He has all eternity.
So there you are, dear reader. Larry has given you the answer, but you probably don’t understand it. Read the letter again. If you figure it out, then please explain it to us.
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