Website owner: James Miller
The Bible speaks of man having two natures, a higher nature and a lower nature, in conflict with each other. I think this concept is a very important one, one very fundamental to a correct understanding of the human heart. It is an astute and accurate description of the nature of man. It certainly describes my nature. I know that. I have a higher nature that is good, idealistic and high-minded. And I also have a lower nature that is low-minded and lustful. And these two natures are always in continual conflict. Life is a struggle --- a struggle between the two natures. The high nature gives me good motivations and high, idealistic ideas and makes me wish to help suffering, downtrodden people, etc.; and at the same time my low nature, which is really nothing more than the nature of a rake, presses me toward a life of pleasure. If I were to let myself go and follow the promptings of my lower nature I would just abandon myself to pleasure and sleep with a different woman every night. As it happens my higher nature gets support in its struggle against my lower nature --- from my Intellect. My Intellect says that the promptings of my lower nature are self-destructive and, if followed, would take me to my ruin. That is a powerful argument and, as a consequence, the combined forces of my higher nature and my Intellect have always held my lower nature in check. But my lower nature never gives up, the inner struggle always continues, the lower nature is always trying to break free from the restraints put on it, and there is always the possibility that in some circumstance of fleshly opportunity and temptation Intellect and high ideals could be overpowered. For how long the lower nature might hold power is another question. But one moment of weakness, one improper action, can lead to a lot of misery, guilt and unhappiness. I know my own heart well enough to know how extremely powerful a force lust and desire can be. The best defence against them is to be quick to run away --- to flee the opportunity and temptation. The human heart is complicated and tricky due to these two underlying natures. Impulses and motivations can come from either of the two natures and it is not always certain from which nature they may be coming. The human heart can be deceitful and deceptive. An apparently good, high-sounding idea may also have a very strong appeal to the lower nature. One is not always sure himself what his true and real motive is. A very good idea may also provide a very good opportunity for the flesh. In pursuing a high-minded project one might fall right into the Devil's hands to his own undoing. It has been said that we all have a spark of divinity within us. I think this is true. It is our higher nature. But we also have a spark of Evil within us. Our lower nature. And the Good and the Evil within us are in constant conflict. Our natures are the battlegrounds of struggles between Good and Evil. It is true that in some people, such as in the case of the profligate, there doesn't seem to be much of a struggle. The side of Evil has won out and is in total control. Aug 1986 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
On Self-sufficient Country Living, Homesteading
Principles for Living Life
America has lost her way
The really big sins
Theory on the Formation of Character
You are what you eat
People are like radio tuners --- they pick out and listen to one wavelength and ignore the rest
Cause of Character Traits --- According to Aristotle
These things go together
We are what we eat --- living under the discipline of a diet
Avoiding problems and trouble in life
Role of habit in formation of character
The True Christian
What is true Christianity?
Personal attributes of the true Christian
What determines a person's character?
Love of God and love of virtue are closely united
Walking a solitary road
Intellectual disparities among people and the power in good habits
Tools of Satan. Tactics and Tricks used by the Devil.
On responding to wrongs
Real Christian Faith
The Natural Way -- The Unnatural Way
Wisdom, Reason and Virtue are closely related
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is another
My views on Christianity in America
The most important thing in life is understanding
Sizing up people
We are all examples --- for good or for bad
Television --- spiritual poison
The Prime Mover that decides "What We Are"
Where do our outlooks, attitudes and values come from?
Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.
Self-imposed discipline and regimentation
Achieving happiness in life --- a matter of the right strategies
Self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline basic to so much in life
We are our habits
What creates moral character?