THE PHILOSOPHY AND ITS IMPACT
By M. Sue Bergin, '79
For philosophy professor C. Terry Warner, '63, the heart of the message of his book, Bonds That Make Us Free, is about Jesus Christ, though the book states the ideas in nonreligious terms. For the BYU Magazine audience, he sums up the book's message this way:
"When we do what we feel is wrong, we can't help experiencing the world in a negative way. We convince ourselves that others are making it hard for us to treat them right, when the truth is that the fault is our own. This makes us so insecure that the world becomes a threatening place. We grow anxious and self-concerned and think the solution to our problems is to fix or avoid the people with whom we're finding fault. And needless to say, they usually find fault with us in return. The process damages our relationships and destroys our peace.
"But, mercifully, the truth that will guide us aright is always available. It comes to us through the Spirit of Christ, the faces of others, the innocence of children, and the beauty and bountifulness of nature. All these things call upon us to treat them generously and reverently. And when we yield ourselves to that call, when we live truthfully, we see things as they really are.
"Having ended our self-betrayal, we no longer have any reason to take offense, to find fault, and to worry about ourselves. Our heart has softened so that we can resonate with others' burdens and joys."
Believers typically say that by studying Warner's ideas, they discover ways they hadn't before imagined in which the gospel provides solutions for painful problems within themselves and with others. "Terry's work shows the absolute psychological and emotional necessity of constantly living for, listening to, and following the Spirit," says Craig Horton, a southern California psychotherapist and an area coordinator for the Church Educational System.
Equally, Warner's work centers around the importance of a change of heart, says W. Duane Boyce, '74. "When I undergo a change of heart, I become alive and responsive toward other people. I see other people to be just as real as I am. One way to describe Terry's breakthrough is to say that he discovered that self-deception is not a matter of cognitionwe don't deceive ourselves by something we tell ourselves; self-deception is not telling little lies to ourselves. It's to be in a false way of being. And we can be drawn out of that false way of being by allegiance to the spirit of truth."