It is the rare individual who has never experiences temptation. Temptation is not chaos, it is however, the threshold that threatens to undo the sacred self that one has so carefully constructed by formal education and social intercourse.
The use of the term temptation is to remove a primal and intrinsic experience from the psychodynamic milieu. Long before humans were psychological they were religious. By this, I do not mean to lock temptation within the constraints of mere religion, on the contrary, it is to liberate temptation from sacrosanct jargon to where it appropriately belongs – the common experience of all persons.
Whether one lives in a humble shelter or the grandest dwelling – one is subject to temptation. Temptation is a reality that marshals all of one’s cultivated or uncultivated values in battle against the self. Temptation delves into those areas of our lives that are visible and invisible to ourselves and others. Admittedly, the reality and dynamic power of temptation to overthrow our most deepest resolve may be lost on those who have ‘not yet’ been seized by a situation, or circumstances that unapologetically put one on trial.
Temptation is a mandate to bear witness to oneself. It is a fierce and lonely encounter. It threatens to sue our moral foundation and disintegrate one’s cherished ethos. Temptation is not one size fits ‘all.’ Temptation is tailor made with uncanny precision and detail. It is filled with intrigue and hidden malice. It is tantamount to a genetically engineered virus introduced into an unsuspecting host to mercilessly execute its mischievous design.
It has been suggested that the locus of temptation are “tyrannical forces lodged deep within the unconscious seeking to perpetrate violence against the self. These deeply embedded structures hold the capacity to cripple a person’s abilities to initiate action. Freeing oneself from these unconscious forces provides freedom to build structures and to author lives that contain a sense of meaning.”
The pastoral relationship with a person/client invites the individual to undertake the necessary journey to understand his defenses, resistances, and emotional limitations in order to facilitate the necessary changes for a greater sense of well-being. The individual must become aware of his own agency. With no awareness of her own agency, the client’s only recourse is “to blame other for her misery.” Freedom offers emancipation from those unconscious forces that compromise, or even destroy, a person’s capacity to access meaning within the content of their life narrative.