Externals and Internals

There are certain areas of experience where changes have been so rapid that the members of different generations have lost contact with each other. To speak of the steam engine in the space age could make one appear to be out of touch with the younger generation, who have an altogether different frame of reference from their seniors and hence sometimes have a problem of communicating with them. But I would submit that such points of difference apply mainly to what might be called externals, not to other all-important phases of experience which for the sake of comparison we might call internals.

The internal phases, that is, the search for meaning, identity, purpose, the area of personal relations, these are not essentially different from what they have always been. External changes may have accentuated inner challenges, but the necessity for self-identification, self-respect, discipline, service, and fulfillment is timeless. One can readily imagine various Biblical characters as members of today's society in many of these internal areas of experience. The Sermon on the Mount can never be out of date.

While today we speak in terms of tremendous speed and power, this should not lead us to think that the basic motivation for actions must be different from what it was in ancient times. To overcome hatred with love is still a number one problem of society. This is just as true whether we are talking about Jacob and Esau or speaking of the race problem. And the solution lies in having a right concept of oneself and of one's neighbor. It lies in an understanding of God as the only creative power and as the source of all control. As important as technological advances are, the right development of thought in these internal areas is vastly more important.

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You Too Can Heal the Sick!
February 3, 1968

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