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The basic nature of man



   The nature of man.  What is the basic nature of man?  The 
   easiest way for me to understand the basic nature of man is to 
   examine my own basic nature.  What is my basic nature?  What 
   are my most basic and natural inclinations?  What would happen 
   if I always just followed my most basic inclinations, wants and 
   impulses, followed them without thought or question?  What 
   would happen if I forgot God, ignored conscience, selfishly 
   thought of no one but myself, and just did exactly what I 
   wanted?  What kind of life would I fall into?

   What would happen?  I would be going from one good-looking 
   woman to another like a bee goes from flower to flower, 
   sampling each one.  Some might be married.  That wouldn't 
   matter.  There might be some that I would live with for a while 
   but sooner or later another attractive temptation would come 
   along and I would be off to new adventures.  My life would be 
   one long string of love affairs.  I am not exaggerating.  This 
   is exactly what would happen.  That is just my basic nature.  
   That is my heart as it was when I was 15, when I was 25, when I 
   35, and as it is now; and, I am pretty sure, the way it will be 
   until the day I die.  It has always been that same old nature 
   with all those same old desires, wants and inclinations.  If I 
   just followed my most basic impulses and desires there would be 
   a long string of women in my life and, probably, a long trail 
   of children, too.  How about supporting all those children?  
   Would I do that?  If I let my basic inclinations rule?  It 
   sounds like a generous impulse.  I would probably feel that it 
   might be a nice thing to do if I thought I could.  If I were 
   terribly rich and had endless sums of money I might give it a 
   try.  But then if I had all that money I would probably get a 
   lot more enjoyment out of spending it on myself than on hoards 
   of children.  All in all I imagine that the thought of 
   accepting the responsibility of supporting all those children 
   would sound pretty drab and depressing.  If I did attempt to do 
   it I am sure the attempt wouldn't last long.  Accepting such a 
   responsibility would just take all the fun out of life.  It 
   would be too much of a damper on everything.  It would ruin all 
   the fun. 

   How would I live if I just blocked from my mind all thought of 
   God, all reason, all concern for the consequences of my 
   actions, and just let my basic nature rule?  I would live for 
   the minute, get all the gusto out of life that I could.  I 
   would experiment, try alcohol, drugs, anything that gave 
   promise of pleasure.  I would pursue women as the main object 
   of life.  Life for me, I am sure, would be wine, women and 
   song.  That kind of life requires money.  I am sure I would 
   always be looking for ways of acquiring money; especially big 
   money and fast money.  Hard work just doesn't have much appeal 
   to my basic nature.  The idea of working long, hard hours at 
   some job, drudging along for some pittance, doesn't have much 
   glamour to it at all.  There is no fun or future in that.  I am 
   sure I would be looking for ways of making money, making easy 
   money.  I am sure all kinds of possibilities would suggest 
   themselves: scams of one kind or another, the drug trade, bank 
   robbery, etc.. 

   My basic nature.  If I let it rule, where would it take me?  I 
   know where it would take me.  I knew where it would take me 
   when I was 15 years old.  I knew my basic nature very well at 
   that age and my reason was quite adequate to tell me where it 
   would take me if I let it rule.  It would take me step by step 
   down the road to profligacy and depravity.  It would take me to 
   the lowest depths.  It would take me to a moral abyss. 

   Is my basic nature any different from that of the rest of 
   humanity?  I don't think so.  After observing the rest of 
   humanity for 52 years I don't think so.  

   After having said what I have about my basic nature I must now 
   say that I have something else in me, too.  It is an ideal in 
   my mind, an image of the kind of person that I admire: a Godly 
   person, a person of character, honor, honesty, decency, 
   kindness, goodness; a selfless, self-denying person; a person 
   whose word can be trusted totally; a just and upright person.  
   This is my ideal.  And it is a sort of personal standard for 
   me.  It is what I expect of myself.  And it is what I must be 
   in order to like myself.  And, as for all those basic desires 
   and inclinations, I have been very happily married to one woman 
   for 25 years and have never been unfaithful to her. 


   Oct 1991




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