What Is Value?
I am a listener. That is my gift. God intended that I help people and the major part of that helping process begins and ends by listening to them. That is just the way He made me. But He also made me a teacher. Now this is not the kind of teacher that everyone has spent thousands of hours with in grade school, high school, and university. When I teach, I present people with targeted solutions to problems and situations then I work with them to make those solutions effective replacements for ineffective old ways of living. My training is in counseling, but you might understand what I do as discipleship, mentoring, or spiritual direction. I provide something of value because I provide solutions.
I have dedicated the last few months to listening to some very specific people who are also mentors that I respect. I have turned off the voices of those I have found to be just so much noise. I have not missed having the endless chatter of those voices because not only do they crowd my mind, they steal my joy.
Over these months a discovery has emerged in my soul. In place of the worrisome noise I have made a place for my own thoughts and the ideas that I want planted within me. You are probably not surprised that this “mind diet” has led to replacing useless with useful. What was fat is now muscle. Plus a very nice side benefit is a new inner peace.
Perhaps a brief explanation will help make my point.
Before I began this focusing process, I was just like everyone else with ears to hear the clamoring voices and talking heads. I found that hearing all the noise that I used to listen to was just more stress. It may not be stress for you if you are not created like I am but if you are you will understand that when people continue to do things that harm themselves, I feel quite frustrated.
Day after day people continue to destroy themselves with choices that create their chaos. My frustration with the world around me grows because no one is utilizing the solutions that are available to them, they are just complaining.
Some people who come to a counselor or a minister start out as complainers. I have found that those who complain the most change the least. Many couples counseling encounters have begun with a complaining partner. Often when the other half of the couple makes their way to a session, they anticipate that there will be an attack in force waiting for them. But it is a very poor counselor who believes everything they hear from the person who presents the problem first. Complainers do not want solutions, they want control. Those who want solutions seek personal growth for themselves and their partner.
Perhaps that is why reporters do not solve problems, they just pass on the details as they see them. In my mind that is just professional complaining. So I put it away. It adds nothing of value to my life.
What Does This Have To Do With Me?
According to Rich Schefren, T. Harv Ecker, Jay Abraham, and Dan Kuschell mindset is critical to success. Unless your inner world is an ordered one, your outer world will be chaotic. In my language, the soul is the seat of all the solutions we attempt, and these become the root of all our problems.
The soul is the key figure in the story of your life.
You may believe that the key figure in your life is something or someone who is not you. But everything else is secondary unless you continually give that person or thing overriding power over you. The past is not in control. Understand that as this soul slavery is happening and you have given yourself over to slavery, you make the decision to allow that situation to continue.
At this point, “Every Man” slams the book shut and refuses to continue. Rubbish you declare. My life is not like that and this is why. My situation is special/different/difficult because of:
You say you do not believe, and I say that is why you fail.
So choose now. You can choose either
1. Change nothing and nothing changes [or]
2. Change your soul and everything changes
If you are still with me you are either seeking to criticize or seeking to change. We will proceed with the assumption that both students are in the class, but my choice is to teach the teachable. Let us proceed.
To understand soul slavery we must first ask “What is the soul? “
The soul is one of three primary elements of the human. In order of complexity we are comprised of body, soul and spirit. (Some philosophers cannot abide a division of soul and spirit. I acknowledge their position but I disagree.) The body is made up of many parts and the complexity of the individual parts, like the nervous system, and the interaction of those parts is a marvel that still challenges our brightest medical and pharmaceutical scientists. The soul is an order of magnitude higher in complexity than the human body. The parts of the soul and their complexity are a vastly under-discovered universe that will still be mysterious long after the physical medical sciences have a cure for what ails you. Still higher in complexity and mysterious beyond our comprehension is the spirit. This is the part of us that is created to be like the Creator God so that is why the spirit is beyond universal in its vastness. This is His realm, and some things are just not revealed to us. We will not apprehend anything of the spirit that is not revealed, because the spirit is comparatively beyond our proverbial universe in size in its substance and complexity. I will not attempt to explain spiritual matters to unspiritual minds. Trying to explain the soul is a daunting enough experience in itself.
Having established the complexity in relation to our body, I run the risk of oversimplification of the soul by describing the major systems of the soul. But keep in mind that describing a brain in terms of its parts does not even come close to capturing the difficulty we have in understanding everything there is to know about the central nervous system. To tell you of the four major systems of the soul also only gives you a language to discuss the topic, it does not mean you know or understand the topic with any level of expertise. Knowing that the brain has a prefrontal cortex does not make you a brain surgeon.
To enhance our discussion with a bit of common ground let me describe the soul as a system made up of the subsystems mind, will, emotions and heart.
There are several ways to give an example of what these parts do, but none of them are real, they are only simplified ways of understanding.
The soul is connected to the body through the brain. When the physical brain is damaged, we lose soul functioning for all practical purposes. A malfunction in the physical brain prevents the soul from communing with the physical realm. Does it continue to exist without the brain? If it does, that has something to do with spirit and I will leave it at that. It is up to God. He reveals Himself and us in relation to Himself as eternal. I suggest that you pay attention to His expertise in this matter.
Let us form a portrait of the soul with a few broad brush strokes. The mind is our logical and intelligent academic and skill self. Contrast the mind with the emotions which are the different type of intelligence that equate with intuitive, feeling and emotive self. Central to the soul is the will, acting like the chair of a committee, or the judge in a trial, the will empowers us to make choices that guide our internal and physical lives. The will is a future oriented part of us that can override historical experience or fearful inhibition to achieve an unseen end. The will is the seat of faith and obedience that when sufficiently disciplined can overcome logic and feeling to bring about extraordinary outcomes.
The wildcard of the soul is the heart. (Not to be confused with the cardiovascular mechanism)
Just like the brain is the highest in complexity for the body and the connecting place with the soul, the heart is the connecting place of the spirit. The heart is of all things in the soul, the most complex. The heart is the most difficult to understand and to describe. Some confuse the heart with emotion, and since it is so driven by its own motives, this is understandable. Some confuse the heart with the mind and describe their inner workings as visionary or inspired. Some confuse the heart with the will and are driven by inner commands that seem to be inner tapes of historical or psychic control.
One may view, from this description, that the heart is the seat of psychotic disorder and of psychic power. This may be a useful insight and one that is worthy of continued study. I bring it to the forefront here because the heart is the most complex sub-system in an already complex system. I hold that the heart looks so much like the mind, the will and the emotions because the heart is made up of the highest elements of each and all the others.
What I know to be true of the heart is this:
Your heart is made up of what you treasure. Your heart is a reflection of what you worship
Your heart colors what you know and what you believe.
Your heart creates its own reality based on what you treasure, what you worship and what you believe
Your heart is deceitful.
This simple conceptual framework serves as an excellent structure upon which we can build a model of the ordered and disordered soul. And, since I have a belief that the disordered soul is at the root of our addictions and slavery syndromes, this understanding allows us to develop a model for the achievement of personal freedom. When a person is free from their internal bondage, who knows what riches can rise up from within and then be built to bring great wealth to the world.
Do you treasure your role as a victim? Do you complain because you treasure attention? Do you fail at establishing a living representation of your internal dreams because of your negative self-talk? Do you believe that you have to live like this? Do you place more value in fate-karma or bad luck than you do in taking the risk to overcome your past?
What is holding you back? I believe that this day you can set your will in motion. I believe that you can override the inner voice that has kept you enslaved. I believe that you can identify the mistaken beliefs and trade them in for an active faith in truth that is greater than your-self or your historical performance.
This article is a result of making a change in my life. While it may seem a small thing, consider what you can do with what you have learned. If you make a new decision, if you make a new opportunity for you that you did not consider yesterday, then this article is no longer a small thing. The ideas are real if you make them real. You create the value from the value I have provided to you. So now we have an answer to the initial question: What is Value? Value is an effective solution to a problem. But is there true value if you do nothing with the truth? Is the solution a solution if you never apply it?
What is your next step?
It is to take action.