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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %CONCEIVE SALVATION DICHOTOMY ACCEPT REJECT EVIL 941213 Salvation is commonly conceived in dichotomous terms according to which there are just two classes of people: Good versus Evil Perfect versus Imperfect Acceptable versus Rejectable Lovable versus Unlovable Loved versus Unloved Favored versus Punished Esteemed versus Ridiculed Honored versus Excommunicated According to dichotomous versions of salvation the central issues in life pertain to how the distinctions are made between the two classes of people: by whom, on what grounds, when, where, in whose presence, etc. So long as people live their lives in terms of dichotomous images of salvation---so long there will be conflicts between people who conceive themselves to be on opposing sides of the: magic, holy, sacred, mysterious, technocratic, legalistic, manipulative, addictive, collusive, and/or alienative boundaries which they conceived to exist between those favored people who are saved, and those dammed people who are not saved. True salvation is enjoyed by those people who are united in the realization that there is no good reason for them to be separated from each other by dichotomous boundaries conceived to distinguish the saved from the not saved. Truly saved people are not preoccupied with questions pertaining to who is saved, and who is not saved. They are saved from feeling that such distinctions are important, ok, essential, or determinative in some ultimate ways. They realize that people who continue to make such distinctions continue to dissipate themselves in futile conflicts which undermine true joy, fulfillment and satisfaction. People who continue to be preoccupied with making distinctions between who is saved and who is not saved, between who is safe and who is vulnerable, between who is acceptable and who is rejectable---do not want to resolve conflicts, do not seek to resolved conflicts, and cannot find the way to resolve conflicts between themselves and those other people who are to them apparently ultimately different. Dichotomous people are united in their preoccupation with making distinctions between themselves and others whom they fear---because the others are perceived as different, unfamiliar, threatening, and untrustworthy. They are driven and guided by fear because they are unfamiliar with honest love which casts out fear. Because they are insecure, they make other people insecure through defensive maneuvers which often are coercive and violent. Their efforts to achieve security for themselves through invulnerability make other people vulnerable to attack and so make them so defensive. Dichotomous boundaries are drawn which lead to personal and communal disintegration; rather than to conflict resolution and cooperation. True salvation is enjoyed by the pacemakers who resolve conflicts which accentuate dichotomous boundaries between people who might otherwise find ways to understand and cooperate with each other. True salvation is enjoyed by honest people who seek to transcend human preoccupations with drawing boundaries which separate people into dichotomous classes of people. True salvation is enjoyed by humble people who are not preoccupied with which side of a boundary they are on relative to other people who are preoccupied with boundaries of separation. True salvation is enjoyed by cooperative people who build bridges across human boundaries, and facilitate understanding on the part of people who have traditionally stood on opposite sides of alienative boundaries. True salvation is enjoyed by gracious people who favor each other with gifts of true security known as the freedom to be safely vulnerable while being true to self and others in intimate personal relationships. Such people are not fixated upon dichotomous boundaries, or upon where they or others are in relation to dichotomous boundaries. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================