Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why we do what we do. . .

Tonight I watched an episode of a thought-provoking new "who 'dun it" series on T.V. called 'The Mentalist'. (OK, I don't know how new it is, but I assume that since this is the first time I've seen it, it's new. This, of course, reveals a couple things about me. First, I have somehow erroneously concluded that the world really does kinda revolve around me. . .i.e. if it's new to me, it must be new. Second, I really don't watch THAT much T.V. [even though I feel like I already watch WAY too much], since I get a sneaky suspiciion the show is not really that new.)

. . . so anyway, I was watching 'The Mentalist' when one of the lines from the main character struck me as being rather profound--at least, succinct in summarizing an interesting idea.

The line was this:

"The heart wants what the heart wants, and it won't be denied; and that makes us do bad things."

On one hand, it's really a bit of a statement of the obvious about motives. On the other hand, it's interesting to consider how everything we do is based on motives--and how those motives create a power that invoke action. In this case, the principle was based on a guy who had motives for doing "bad things". Conversely, I think there's a power to do good things that comes from the heart.

Of course, this idea gives some people the mistaken rationalization that they are not responsible for their own actions. Certainly the idea that something can "make" us do anything holds no water except when that something is our own motives and desires. I remember reading a news article about a woman who killed her three children and claimed that quite literally 'the devil made her do it'. I posit that 'the devil' in this case was really the deep seeded desires of her heart.

Now, if you want to talk about how the devil operates. . . it's simple: through presenting opportunities for us as individuals to come to desire certain things, then pursuading us to act on those desires that have become the desires of our heart. So, indirectly, yes, the devil did persuade this woman to do what she did--through her desires. Yet, it was she who chose her desires--probably over the course of her life.

So, that's what it all comes down to: watching ourselves in our desires. What do we really want? That's what will shape what we do. . . . and really, not much more.


Blaineusa said...

prologue: I guess the next question is "what shapes our desires?"

Karen said...

Blaine, I think you're very RIGHT about the devil's methods being this: presenting opportunities for us as individuals to come to desire certain things, then pursuading us to act on those desires that have become the desires of our heart.

And that's why I've LOVED the teachings of the gospel that I've had all my life (and that you've had all YOUR life....) which have help me mold and shape the 'desires of my heart' into desires for righteous living. I think the more temptations we avoid and the more right choices we make, the easier it is to have the desires of our hearts be for GOOD things. I've always liked living by the motto: "Avoid the very appearance of Evil" and I think the more a person trys to implement that, the easier it is to recognize "evil" and the devil's influence.

(My, my---I guess you hit on a subject upon which I have a real OPINION, eh???) I like it when you're feeling philisophical, and I'm glad you're feeling better! Love, Mom

Lhone said...

ok, so this is the fourth comment i've started to right. when I truly think something all the way through i'll try to comment, but for now, just know I'm reading!