Well done, Daniel. I love Invictus as a rousing half-time speech, and a great
one for marshaling courage at a moment's notice. But, like so many
maxim's, it isn't a universal truth. A great wish at times, but not a
philosophy to live by. It would be interesting to put together a
list of maxim's people spout as if they're scripture. Like "God
will never give you a trial you can't handle." People get a little
peeved when you dare to ask questions like "what does 'handle'
mean?" Or trial or give you. Scriptures tend to be scriptures
because they are universal. Golden Rule always is fitting.
RE: in the end, no matter how we fight it, we'll die. True,Then shall
the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who
gave it.(Ecc 12:7).But for Christians there is hope“,…
He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy
and without blame before Him in love, having Predestined us to adoption as sons
by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His
I don't believe Henley's meaning was that we are God, i.e. omniscient
or omnipotent. I see the poem, rather, in the way Mandela saw it or, for that
matter, the way Stephen Covey might have seen it. Within the constraints of a
physical world we can make choices. Too often humans characterize themselves as
victims rather than realizing that they have choices to make -- usually those
choices have to do with how we react to stimuli. Your friend may not have
chosen to fall, but he did chose his response to that fall. We may not choose
to be afflicted with a dreaded disease, but we can choose our response. Mandela
may not have chosen Robben Island, but he certainly was "the master of his
soul" in choosing what he did with that experience.In this
context, I believe the poem has broader meaning in our lives than a simple
"half-time speech." Realizing that we can make choices within the
constrains of a mortal system is a liberating secular revelation. Within Mormon
theology that teaches that we were placed here to make choices, it works in a
highly complementary way.
In thanking "whatever gods may be", the Invictus author exposes his
polytheism/agnosticism and lack of belief in the God of the Bible. By stating that sacred writings are such due to their "universality",
RockOn reveals his lack of spiritual-indwelling, according to Romans 8.
Spiritual truth/Universal Truth is only understood by those born of God, the
children of God, from Biblical scripture. We are adopted heirs, but reigning
with Him is never equated with becoming a God.Dr. Petersen's
closing verses from Acts states the Biblical position of how we live and move
and exist. Universal truth may be up to debate on this planet, but leaving
mortality is seldom under man's control. Good article.