Sushan wrote: ↑May 8th, 2022, 10:13 pm
This topic is about the May 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Maestro Monologue: Discover your Genius, Defeat your intruder, Design your destiny by Rob White
There is no coal of character so dead that it won’t glow and flame if but slightly turned
Coal may appear as totally dead, but when slightly turned it may show its still glowing side, and when it catches oxygen it will burn again. Neville Goddard compares this with human character and character qualities. As per him anyone can be turned into a good or better one if correct interventions are applied.
But is this fully applicable to anyone at any point? There are some coal that are totally dead which cannot be lit by turning to any side. Similarly, I think there are people who cannot be salvaged or reluctant to any change. At the same time there are things like personalities and personality disorders. Up to what extent Neville Goddard is correct in context of all these?
Part of the issue about changing another is whether a person wishes to change. Even with people who wish to change it is not simple.
With the people who don't wish to change it also depends on what it is that needs to be altered. In the past, there were attempts to alter aspects such as sexual orientation, often through behaviour modification. That had a lot of negative effects and, now is not really used. Change is often about therapy, in particular for those diagnosed with personality disorders, especially antisocial personality, which is the diagnosis often given to some people who commit violent crimes. There may be a certain amount who are wishing to change but it depends on the underlying features, especially whether there is basic regard for others.
In those who wish to change, fixed behaviour patterns may be a problem. For example, a person who drinks too much alcohol may wish to stop but be lacking in ability to alter this, especially if drinking is an established repertoire and basic coping mechanism. Addictions are one aspect which people may seek to change but they may wish to change many others, like the basic tendency towards depression and associated negativity. But, it is not easy because these go deep, going back to childhood and the combination of nature and nurture.
Based on the idea of changing a person because there is an 'official' psychiatric recognition that there is a need to change and individuals own wish to change, I would argue that Goddard's comparison with coal is rather restive. Coal lacks reflective consciousness and is physical matter. The idea of changing coal is meant to be a kind of metaphor perhaps, but it may not be a particularly good one because the coal is purely physical. Changing minds may be a lot more complicated because the mind goes much deeper, even by those who see behaviour as programmed.