How many times have we read or heard people attempt to analyze our thought processes and life's philosophies by using the terms objective thinking and subjective thinking? I submit that we humans utilize a blend of both. Our lives consist basically of the events or occurrences of each day, our appetites, and how we feel and react. Drama happens inside of our heads, tailored and personalized to each of us as individuals. It is, in fact, an integral part of what makes each of us unique and human. And, no way has ever been found to rid oneself of something so completely innate.
Nobody I've ever "met" is a 100% "objective" thinker, except possibly original Star Trek's Spock character, portrayed by the excellent actor, Leonard Nimoy. But, Spock is a fictional, hypothetical character, not a real person. What became painfully and often humorously obvious throughout the run of this TV series was that while Spock's contributions were often valuable, the fact that he was purely a creature of logic became a detriment. There's an axiom, originally taught to me by one of my managers about twenty years ago during one of my career opportunities: "Any strength, practiced to an extreme, becomes a weakness."
Seemingly, we humans must accept the fact that we are occasionally going to be able to detach our personal involvement and emotions from our thinking processes and to indulge in objective thinking, but since we are deeply invested in our own experiences, reactions, and governing beliefs, in most cases our normal patterns will involve subjective, or personalized thinking. This is one of the reasons why we sometimes seek the opinions of, or counsel of professionals, valued friends, or relatives who do not share our emotional investment in a particular situation. As with our Mr. Spock, their detachment is often beneficial in assisting us through some of life's difficult patches.
To eliminate the subjective is to divest oneself of one of the basic components of humanity. To suggest excision of it as part of our healing process is an indicator as to the graveness of our wounds. That would be considered to be an extreme measure. It would be preferable to concentrate on healing rather than excision, rehabilitating the damaged elements so that one can remain a functional human being with the full range of healthy emotions.
As victims of the Armstrong problem, not only was our concept of God misinformed and distorted, but also our basic sense of humanity, family, and community. Cause and effect. It has long been my contention that as a person reads a book, the parts which become memorable are largely a function of his or her own personality. When this is done with a book about God, the process becomes anthropomorphic. Herbert W. Armstrong, consciously or unconsciously, lifted from context and overly dramatized the elements of the Bible with which he personally identified, and which served his purposes. He taught us about a God whose primary way of expressing love was extreme punishment for the slightest hint of disobedience to His laws. This was a way of thinking that was not lost as it filtered down into the parenting skills of church members. HWA's distortions did not provide us with a full and accurate picture, and remain a source of the problems many of us have had with God throughout our lives. They were more of an intoxicant than an aid to mental or spiritual health. So, it is hardly surprising that in order to deal with this, some of our fellow travelers have explored and embraced the importance of objective thinking. I know a little bit about this, because it is a technique which I've explored myself. But, it's all too easy to take extreme measures in an effort to invalidate, eliminate, or compartmentalize activities and channels which have been used to hurt or damage us. Defensive measures often leave visible scar tissue, a remnant which serves as testimony to past injury. Others can sense this scar tissue, although they will not usually know the nature of the wound which produced it. Optimal healing involves regaining as complete functionality as possible, with minimal scarring. Hopefully with a dash of education seasoning the process.
For some reason, while I've been sharing this, the words to the Linda Ronstadt song (later covered by the Eagles) "Desperado" have been going through my head. (If you are unfamiliar with this song, Google it for the lyrics). In some way, they might illustrate the need and importance for healing which all of us share. I think it might even be a good soundtrack for this article.
Probably most people would agree that if there is a God, much of the way in which He could work with each of us as individuals would be through normal, healthy emotions, and a positive outlook towards spirituality. It would by very nature be a mental, highly subjective process, and produces passionate commitment. People of faith honestly believe that God is working in their lives, and many of us find evidence of this on a daily basis. Even while I was an atheist or agnostic, I was constantly amazed at the resilience and sense of well being and purpose of Christian people. This is awesome, and encouraging to watch sometimes, although there are some occasional cliff hangers! But, is what we seem to be seeing real? Isn't it subjective, and in the mind, possibly even imaginary? Some say that we would be better off in detaching ourselves from such subjective thinking, and focusing solely on objective thinking. They say that in so doing, we will become enlightened. But, is this true, or does it constitute yet another set of filters or blinders? How we treat it would seem to be a choice. The fact that some choose one course, while others choose the polar opposite proves this. Apparently, it's an area of our lives in which we can exercise some degree of control. And it would be a shame to make such a decision based on the hurt caused by false teachers.
We humans have five senses, recognized as being limited to specific areas of various spectra. And, if we're fortunate, we get to utilize these senses over a period of roughly 70 years. Science has helped us in building devices to help us perceive some of the events which are occurring outside of our human range, and over greater periods of time than a normal human lifespan. That seems to have expanded our capabilities and understanding, but we are still extremely limited in our perceptions. Seemingly, we are faced with two general paths to greater awareness. One is to look more deeply within. The other is to look to an external source, one more knowledgeable than our own species. One limits us to the here and now. The other would seem to expand infinitely. Each of us must decide which one has greater potential and reliability. Your mileage may vary.