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Optimism and pessimism

Posted by Lyle on April 11, 2003 at 09:01:22

In Reply to: Re: From the ashes of defeat posted by MG on April 10, 2003 at 22:51:34:

Optimists expect that most of the things they do are likely to be positive. Pessimists expect that most of the things they do are likely to be negative. Optimists are people who seldom get discouraged while pessimists live in a constant environment of gloom. This is one reason why depression is closely related to pessimism.

One of the central family doctrines is that we cannot do anything good (unless you happen to be David Berg who could break all 10 commandments but was never wrong). The constant repetition of that mantra resulted in a state of a constant pessimistic view of things where the only hope was external. Some divine intervention had to take place for our no-good deeds to produce fruit.

Compare that to the contradictory version of Jn 15 where the branches yield the fruit. Of course they have to be part of the vine but in the "pessimistic" doctrine of the family, it is not even the branch but the vine doing it all. This is more a topic for Journeys, I think, so we can go there for that. The point is, though, that the teaching was geared towards producing a pessimistic attitude where our deeds were most likely going to be bad, wrong or messed up.

Some attitudes about pessimism is that one can get used to depend on others, to depend on an organization, etc. Sad to say, some results are fatal. Have you seen normally healthy and happy people who turned depressed? In many cases is a chemical problem but in other cases is just a matter of changing perspectives and environments. If something is affecting a positive outlook in life it is better to leave it behind (I'm don't believe in re-incarnation so I figure I only have one life to live).

When the time came, and we were freed from the influence of those people in the family, our optimism took over once again and we turned our life around. Who did that? We did it? Did God have something to do with it? Loaded questions, aren't they?

I still believe in God and His mercy on us. I still believe His Hand is on what I do when I need it. I left with my faith in God intact. What was shattered was my faith in people thanks to the likes of David Berg (I think maria is and was just a useful idiot he used but then turned into a witch onn her own) and some of the power-hungry people around him. What I don't believe is that God will take from us our ability to make mistakes and the ability to rejoice in our own accomplishments. God may give us a hand here and there but sometimes it is our own hard work that gets the job done and the feeling of success we get is a great reward too.