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Website owner:  James Miller


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Importance of renunciation




   Allow me to state the following as applying to me personally:  
   Why do I live by the habit of honesty?  Because at some point 
   in my life I renounced Dishonesty.  Why am I a peaceable man?  
   Because at some point in my life I consciously renounced 
   Argument and Strife.  Why am I a humble person?  Because at 
   some point in my life I consciously embraced Humility as a 
   habit of life and renounced it opposite.  Why do I like people?  
   Because at a certain point in my life I consciously renounced 
   all hatred, anger and hostility against people and society.  It 
   is of significance to realize, I think, that for almost every 
   personality trait that I possess, that trait came about as a 
   direct consequence of a particular, conscious act (that I can 
   still remember in most cases) in which I renounced something 
   and embraced its opposite.  In most cases the act was made in 
   my youth.  What prompted me to these acts of renouncing these 
   bad things (such as Dishonesty, Argument, etc.) and embracing 
   their opposite?  Generally, the main underlying reason was my 
   love of God and my seriousness about being a true servant of 
   his.  They came as a consequence of my decision to do an about-
   face, turn away from sin, and follow Him.  I had decided to 
   follow him and this was my way of implementing that decision.  
   I had decided to renounce sin.  I proceeded to start renouncing 
   sins separately and individually.  The acts didn't all take 
   place at the same time.  They were spread out over a period of 
   years.  Usually they were preceded by a certain amount of 
   reflection about the sin in question, about its badness, 
   foolishness, and bad consequences and about the prudence that 
   lay in its opposite.  There is a particular renunciation that I 
   think is particularly significant.  It was the day in my youth 
   (in my 20's I think) when I decided to renounce the pursuit of 
   pleasure and self-gratification and follow a way of semi-
   austerity, self-denial and self-discipline. 


   Mar 1989


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