Words of Hope: Right Intuition and False Suggestion
I am reading Swiss Reformed medical doctor Paul Tournier. He writes that neurosis is the division of right intuition and false suggestion.
I see this easily in myself. I sense that something is wrong but then follow false suggestions that lead me down the path of mistakes and anxiety. I see this so prevalently right now in society. I was speaking to the Verizon customer service representative. He explained that more than ever before he has encountered angry and belligerent people suspicious that their phone is a conduit for malicious activity and potential harm to themselves. I asked how many customers would fall into this category of suspicion that their phone is being used as a tool for people to inflict harm upon them. He said for those over the age of 60, 90% are likely to assume their phone has been hacked. For others under the age of 60, about 60% believe their phone has been hacked.
We are in an age of anxiety and enragement. These lead to the correct intuition that all is not well in the world, but it can also lead to neuroses of suspicion and conspiracy.
Dad was exceedingly pragmatic facing issues of conspiracy and fear. He always required us to go to the source. Am I living a life based on fear or based on faith? Do my anxious intuitions lead to imbibing false suggestions or true belief in the goodness and truth of God?
Can I in my own power solve the source of my anxiety or do my efforts lead to greater anxiety?
This is an act of discipline for me especially as it concerns the safety of my daughters. The right intuition is the call to pray and care for my girls. The false suggestion is that by my power I can protect them from evil. My advice and my watchfulness may help but more often they foster a feeling of neurotic fears.
Instead, I return to the Lord’s Prayer. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” I need this not only for protection in a fallen world but also from the false suggestions that I can entertain in my mind.
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” – Romans 8:6