The Invisible Community and God’s Divine Arrangement

If suicide is a social phenomenon and suicide rates remain constant throughout a society’s history, then we can safely say that there is a certain force that is in control in the society; a force that penetrates the deepest of thoughts in the minds of every individual and links everyone to form a distinct collective.

“Something that is as private and personal as the voluntary ending of one’s life is somehow controlled by a supreme power that transcends the power of any individual.”

For sociologist Émile Durkheim, this stability of social rates has no other explanation than the “permanent action of some impersonal cause which transcends all individual cases”. This is the proof that the “reality of collective tendencies is no less than that of cosmic forces” and that “reality is demonstrated in the same way, by the uniformity of effects.” (Jones, 1986).

To put it in other words, something that is as private and personal as the voluntary ending of one’s life is somehow controlled by a supreme power that transcends the power of any individual. And according to Durkheim, this reality that is in control of such intimate and private decisions of all individual is the moral status of any given community. To him, “moral poverty” leads to higher suicide rates and “moral discipline” might be able to reduce suicide (Jones, 1986).

However, we know that this is not necessarily the case as there is a chance of suicide in every country in the world, regardless of how small that chance may be. Hence, we deduce that there is a certain limit to how moral discipline or moral poverty may influence “suicide” or other social phenomena.

From this, we can identify that there is a certain supreme connectedness that connects every individual within a society into a collective unconscious – a divine consciousness that most individuals is not aware of that is common to all humankind and is originated in the inherited structure of the brain (Collective Unconscious, 2007).

To put it in other words, a definite group of people out there might be sharing your most intimate and personal problems with you. They have the same struggles, same thoughts, same choices. And this number is constant regardless of time. These group of people comes from differing backgrounds; different class, different socio-economic background, different gender, etc. These people may not be close to us. In fact, they might be people whom we have never met in our lives. However, they all share the same personal experience. Now, if we look at this from a sociological point of view that considers the relationship between personal experiences and the wider society, we will be able to see that your personal problems are not your problem, but the community’s shared problems.

“My actions are the actions that people are engaging in, and my thoughts and my concerns are the same as others.”

Now, this realization excites me because it demonstrated God’s divine wisdom in the elect. It tells me that I am not alone. It tells me that the “my actions are the actions that people are engaging in, and my thoughts and my concerns are the same as others.” And if we are all thinking, feeling, and acting the same, then the group I am most connected to should be this exact group. But because of the divine wisdom in the “reality that transcends all individual cases”, the groups I am most connected to might be “invisible”. People whom I might not know and possibly will never know (TEDx Talks, 2014).

In the words of sociologist Sam Richards, “we are a big community.” We are “holding hands with all these people, all around the world who are going through what we are going through… We are connected to life, and when we are connected to life, we feel powerful…” (TEDx Talks, 2014).

This is the wisdom of Sociology. And God knows this. And for His cause, “He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be Holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.” (Ephesians 1:4-5, NIV).

“We are not alone. We are connected to life – and this life is found in Christ.”

And when we are struggling and feeling helpless, know for certain that He has set apart the elect for Himself, thinking, feeling, and engaging in things similar to ourselves. We are not alone. We are connected to life – and this life is found in Christ. [1]

Are you feeling alone, tired, and very discouraged?

“I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too,” said Elijah.
No, you’re not alone,” said God. “I reserve seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
(1 Kings 19:14B, 18, NIV; paraphrased.).

 

Footnotes:

[1] – Life is found in Jesus Christ. He is the Way the Truth and the Life. You may read more in my post: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”.

 

References:

Collective unconscious. (2007). Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/science/collective-unconscious

Jones, R. A. (1986). Suicide (1897). Retrieved from http://durkheim.uchicago.edu/Summaries/suicide.html

[TEDx Talks]. (2014, 22 April). The wisdom of sociology: Sam Richards at TEDxLacador. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWD6g9CV_sc

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