I have had three kinds of education. First I went to art school, then I went to seminary. These first two types of education trained my mind to appreciate challenging concepts while thinking through a creative lens.
My first career involved being a creative writer for several of the top advertising agencies in the world. Now, as an author of spiritual books, I advertise for God.
But something strange happened to me along the way. I went from being haughty to finding sincere humility; from being proud to being pummeled.
Educating the mind is quite different from educating the heart. The intellectual mind with its memory, full of all kinds of noble concepts, is very capable of hiding one’s devilish intentions and character flaws through kind words and even charitable actions.
I used to be that kind of deceitful guy. My early girlfriends would definitely verify that I was inwardly a real “grease ball.”
While I was cultivating my mind, many character flaws lay hidden and safe from serious introspection.
Then I had a third education. Or should I say, I began to submit myself to some bitter personal medicine. From the transcendental methods of personal growth illuminated by Emanuel Swedenborg and George Gurdjieff, I realized that being sincerely good requires innocence. This innocence is thwarted by all egoistic and self-centered motives. I eventually found out something very unflattering about myself—my personal self-evaluation was fraudulent and based on mere illusion.
This self-illusion is what the Lord God seeks to remove from our very hearts. The removal of this illusory adroitness in our lives is what brings each of us to true innocence (in spite of how noble and kind any outward act we make might appear before the ocular vision of others).
Today I have succeeded in getting several spiritual challenges (temptations) under my belt. I base my success on the fact that I have been married to one woman for almost 37 years and that it remains an ongoing challenge.
I believe that one of the most important purposes of marriage is currently being overlooked—to make two people more spiritual.