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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.} ========================================================== %SALVATION FROM MILITARY ADDICTIVE CONTROL VIOLENCE+950120 %DOCTRINE ORIGINAL SIN EVIL DAMNATION CONDEMNATION+950120 %JUDGMENTALISM LEGALISM CODEPENDENT SELF SACRIFICE+950120 %IGNORANCE GOOD EVIL 950120 It is not clear what salvation is---unless there is some image or vision of what one is being saved from. In any one time and place there may be a common understanding of what people want to be saved from; and common images, symbols, words, signs, and pointers which correspond to that common understanding. People looking back from a later era may lack that common understanding and have a difficult time finding out what was the earlier common understanding was. Yet is is still true that we cannot appreciate salvation without an understanding of what salvation saves us from. Consider the possibilities: IGNORANCE PREJUDICE MILITARY OPPRESSION ADDICTIONS CODEPENDENCE COLLUSIVE GAMES POVERTY IMPOTENCE DICTATORSHIPS VIOLENCE COERCION MANIPULATIVE CONTROL CONFLICTS FATALISM CHAOTIC CONFUSION LEGALISM ARROGANCE PRETENTIOUSNESS DISHONESTY EXCLUSIVITY OVER SPECIALIZATION TECHNOCRACY RELIGIOSITY FALSE PIETY ALIENATIONS DOGMATISM MEANINGLESS RITUALS FANATICISM PERFECTIONISM EXCOMMUNICATIONS FEAR ANGER REVENGE MISTAKES FAILURES MISLEADING DOCTRINES MASOCHISM SADISM SELF REJECTION It is difficult to enjoy true salvation without having some sense of what are the means to salvation and what are not the means to salvation. If the means to salvation are regarded as purely technical in nature---we need to be saved from technocracy. If the means to salvation are regarded as magical and entirely mysterious---we need to be saved from the manipulations of addictive religious leaders. If the means to salvation are viewed as entirely under the control of others---we need to be saved from codependent subservience. If the means to salvation are regarded in a military uprising---we need to be saved from respect for alienative manipulations. If the means to salvation is regarded as conformity to good laws, rules and regulations---we need to be saved from legalism. If the means to salvation is some form of exclusivity---we need to be saved from alienative fears. Our images of what are the means to salvation depend upon what we believe we need to be saved from and upon what our images are of what it would be like to live healthy lives in healthy communities where all people enjoy personal and communal integrity. Our images of what are the means to salvation depend upon us understanding how it is that people living under the best of circumstances can slowly disintegrate as persons and as communities---without understanding what is happening. What is it that they lose? What do they become the victims of; even as they create the powers of victimization? What do they inadvertently create; which they then need to be saved from? What are the steps; down which they fall? Is it presumptuous to try to discern meaningful responses to questions such as these and to talk about such responses? If so, why so? If not, why not seek such discernment and such dialogue? (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================