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Theory on Formation of Character



   Theory on Formation of Character:  Everyone starts out the same 
   way with the same basic elements.  There is his Higher Nature 
   with its knowledge of Right and Wrong.  And there is that Lower 
   Nature with its desires and needs.  From a very young age 
   everyone starts finding his loyalty to Right and Good being 
   tested.  It is tested by temptations, fears, desires, etc..  He 
   is tempted to lie in order to avoid punishment;  to do wrong in 
   order to gain acceptance by peers, etc..  From a very young age 
   everyone experiences a never ending series of assaults on his 
   integrity, honesty, etc..  Assaults that challenge his courage 
   and mettle.  Some people stand up well to these tests, do what 
   is right, and develop habits of doing what is right.  These 
   people develop one type of character, the character that always 
   does what is Right;  the character that loves Right, Honesty, 
   Justice, Truth and Goodness.  Other people start succumbing to 
   these tests of their Honesty, Integrity and Goodness at an 
   early age.  They develop habits of succumbing.  They lose their 
   sense of Right and Wrong and become profligate and immoral.  
   And that type of character is formed. 

   The formation of character all comes down, in the final 
   analysis, to that old conflict, that conflict between Right and 
   Wrong, Good and Evil;  God and his followers against Satan and 
   his. 

   In addition to the above another mechanism is also at work.  
   Those people who start succumbing on the tests to their 
   honesty, integrity, etc. immediately start rationalizing their 
   actions.  As they build up habits of succumbing, as they build 
   up the habit of taking the road opposite to that indicated by 
   the "Voice of Conscience" and "Knowledge of Right", they start 
   justifying it to themselves.  They start building a framework 
   of rationale, a philosophical framework, that supports their 
   actions.  And in this way their conscience becomes perverted 
   and corrupted.  In other words, their minds immediately jump to 
   their rescue and help to further entrench them in the road they 
   have chosen.  Thus they deceive and delude themselves.  And in 
   somewhat the same way those who have the courage to live true 
   to their consciences and take the right road also rationalize 
   their actions, build up a philosophical framework and value 
   system for themselves, and their minds tend to entrench them in 
   that road (i.e. as you do what is right, you build up habits of 
   doing right, you build up a philosophical framework and value 
   system for doing right, and doing right becomes easier and 
   easier). 

   The above are some of the mechanisms involved in the process of 
   character formation.  There are others.  For example, every 
   child grows up immersed in a certain climate, a certain 
   atmosphere, that is studded with values, attitudes and 
   outlooks.  By something like osmosis he tends to absorb these.  
   At least they present things to be reckoned with, whether he 
   accepts or rejects them.  This is especially true of the 
   attitudes and values he encounters in the home.  The example of 
   honest, upright, good parents can exert great impact on a 
   child.  They fix in his mind a strong image, knowledge, and 
   understanding of Right and Wrong.  They provide for him a 
   strong mental image, a model, an ideal of Right and Good. 


   Apr 1981




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