Credit Where Credit Is Due

In Susan Martinez’s article elsewhere in these pages the point is made that Abraham Lincoln considered himself an agent of higher powers and that, even though the times were very dark, he—seeing clearly what was to come—never doubted, that in the end, light would prevail. Indeed, it is obvious that Lincoln’s faith was more than mere optimism, and that, in fact, he was guided by a kind of ‘knowledge’ which most of the elites of his day and ours would dismiss as, at best, illusion, and, at worst, blind superstition. Yet, in the end, it became clear to all that Honest Abe was on to something and we are all the beneficiaries.

Today, when most books and television documentaries try to explain the inexplicable behavior of the men and women who have laid the foundation for the freedoms we now enjoy, we are left to believe that while they might have been great individuals, the specifics of their peculiar worldviews need not be taken seriously by enlightened moderns such as we. George Washington and his colleagues may have participated in Masonic rituals, but we should attach no more significance to that fact than we do to knowing that Uncle Bernie is a Shriner. Isaac Newton may have spent most of his life in pursuit of esoteric knowledge, but after applauding his scientific discoveries, we would be well ad­vised to ignore his obvious foolishness. As for very ancient wisdom, don’t even bring it up. And so it goes. Don’t for­get, though, that the saint, it has been said, is always an enigma to his contemporaries.

Another of our favorite quotations comes to mind—“by their fruits ye shall know them.” To us it seems that the best way to evaluate the merits of a particular philosophy is to consider its results in the real world. The proof is in the pudding, if you will. Does it lead to freedom or slavery? And if we approve the results and we want to remain free, we are duty-bound, it seems, to consider exactly what the directions are and how they might best be followed.

The current habit of those in the skeptical/materialist establishment of dismissing out-of-hand the reality of knowledge derived from non-physical dimensions—to say nothing of the demonstrable achievements of our distant ancestors—leads us down a pathway of diminishing returns. It is clear that while today’s science is yielding more and more information, the data is signifying less and less. Wisdom—ancient and otherwise—on the other hand, typically is presented to us as but retro curiosities soon to be discarded along with flat-earth follies and the funny paper. Fortu­nately for all of us Abraham Lincoln, and others like him, were more obedient to the guidance they received from higher sources perceived within than from those who hung about them.

That is not to say, though, that just because someone claims to be led by an inner light, he or she is necessarily to be relied upon. Such spirits must be tried. The authority for such guidance demands to be tested in the realm of ac­tion, and over the long term, but when all is said and done and the trials have been passed and the results are there for all to see, a little respect for the source would seem to be in order.

Once we have conceded, of course, that Lincoln may really have been directed by the angels, that Washington was following truly senior guidance, and so forth, we may need to rearrange our priorities a bit—something the current powers that be could find objectionable. It should come as no surprise, then, if they try and talk us out of it.

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