40: three allegedly self-evident truths

I started reading a book recommend to me by my mother: The Four Doors, by NYT bestseller Richard Paul Evans.

The book claims to be “a guide to joy, freedom, and a meaningful life.”

Though, admittedly, what I find most attractive is that it practically fits in the palm of my hand and looks like I could read it in an afternoon.

I often find a lot of beef with self-help books. Whether any one particular set of guidelines is going to lead me to meaning and happiness is always questionable.

But I’m open-minded, so some of my subsequent posts are going to dive a little deeper into reviewing this book and the claims it lays out.

So far I’ve only made it into the introductory chapters, in which the author explains the book’s purpose and lays the foundations for the upcoming 4 doors he claims readers must travel through.

The premise is this: each of the four doors offers immediate, positive change once you pass through it.

Bold claim. He’s got my attention.

These doors aren’t literal, of course, but rather a metaphor to explain passing from one space into another.

In this case, each new space offers that positive change. Apparently you can’t pass through a door you cannot find, nor can you pass through it unless you move yourself.

So now for those foundations. First of all, Evans lays out that he’s a spiritual guy. A Christian whose god serves to present us with challenges and difficult situations so that we may navigate them and develop spiritually.

Whether or not you believe in some higher power, you can probably relate to experiencing hardships and difficult decisions in life

His three foundations are, in his mind, self-evident truths.

  1. self-willYou choose your own way in life. Meaning you have the freedom to choose whatever it is you do. Even those who relinquish their freedom are, in effect, choosing to do so freely. I’d argue against this supposed “self-evident truth” in saying that sometimes your freedoms are taken from you by others against your will. He doesn’t explore this possibility, so right off the bat I’m wary.
  2. spiritual evolutionFor this “truth,” Evans claims that our existences are not accidental. Neither nature nor God created us without purpose. Our mortal existence is apparently a “school” in which to evolve spiritually.
  3. the possibility of changeThis is the “truth” that made most sense to me. It was also a bit of a no-brainer. We are always changing, and how exactly we change over time is directly correlated to our free will.

So, for example, if I choose to do a lot of negative things, like harm myself and others, I’ll be led down a rather negative path in life. Conversely, positive actions will lead to positive change in our live.

So there you have it. Evans’ three allegedly self-evident truths. I am going to try to keep these in mind as I walk through his 4 hypothetical doors in the near future.


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