One final issue needs to be addressed concerning the role of the seven deadly sins and the road to happiness.
Clearly, the sins must be erased, perhaps not all at once, to move along the road to happiness. By what means are these sins erased? They are erased with the assistance of the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues.
Each of these virtues helps the individual to see the harm of each of the seven sins to move effectively along the road to happiness. For example, courage fights the tendency to remain inactive and slothful. Temperance battles the pleasurable sins of lust and gluttony.
The theological virtue of faith helps guide one in accepting the call to adventure in Gallery Four. The theological virtue of hope fortifies one during the battles to seize the boon. And it is the final theological virtue of charity that rids one of pride and wrath, helping to bring one to the threshold of Gallery Seven – happiness.
But it is one final element that is needed to bring the adventurer across the threshold – that element is love. It is the love of others for the adventurer that pulls him/her to happiness with the boon to be enjoyed by society. It is the boon, the reason for the adventure in the first place, that contributes to the flourishing of society.
In conclusion, the seven deadly sins must be eradicated within us, perhaps one by one, if individual happiness is to be achieved as well as the flourishing of society. Perhaps the seven deadly sins are as deadly to individual happiness as they are to the flourishing of society!
With the absence of the first five deadly sins (greed, envy, sloth, lust, and gluttony) and the assistance of the first three cardinal virtues (wisdom, courage, and temperance), the individual soon enters Gallery Six. It is in this gallery that the individual who enters with the two remaining deadly sins of pride and wrath must eradicate those sins before reaching Gallery Seven and a state of happiness.
The sin of pride is a corrupt selfishness that places one’s needs and desires above those of others. It is a disregard for the welfare of others in one’s family and community. It is outwardly directed (versus the previous five deadly sins) and intended to harm others.
The final sin of wrath is anger or rage against others and may include a desire to seek vengeance. Like the sin of pride, it is outwardly directed and seeks the malevolence of others.
Since the battles have been won and the boon seized, the individuals in this gallery can remain for a long period of time before entering Gallery Seven, if available. It is in this gallery that individuals have the time to eliminate the final two deadly sins. It is also in this gallery that the final cardinal virtue of justice, or a concern for others, is needed to reach the threshold of Gallery Seven. Pride and wrath are incompatible with justice. You can not be pride and full of wrath and still be concerned with justice.
So, with the help of the virtue of justice and the elimination of the final two deadly sins, the individual in Gallery Six moves to the threshold of Gallery Seven. But one final element is needed for the crossing of the threshold and the entrance into Gallery Seven.
More to come!
As I mentioned in my previous post, anyone who possesses the first three deadly sins of greed, envy, and sloth will not travel beyond Gallery Three, or will spend a short amount of time in Gallery Four to only return back to Gallery Three.
Now, if an individual does not possess the first three deadly sins, then with the assistance of the cardinal virtues of wisdom and courage, the individual will soon find Gallery Five. It is in this gallery that battles will be undertaken to secure the boon – which was the reason for the adventure.
However, if the individual can not ride himself/herself of the fourth and fifth deadly sins of lust and gluttony, the battle to secure the boon will be lost. Once lost, the individual will be sent back to Gallery Three. Lust and gluttony, sins of the appetite, will keep the adventurer from being prepared for the battles that will be encountered in life.
It should be noted that the individual can possess these two deadly sins of lust and gluttony and still enter Gallery Five. However, if these sins are not expunged or erased within a short period of time, the battles will be lost. The individual will return to Gallery Three.
If the sins are eradicated, with the help of the third cardinal virtue of temperance, the individual will move to Gallery Six, assuming the battles have been won and the boon seized.
More to come!
While I am working on finding the novel that best explains the road to happiness in the next life (as the novel Atlas Shrugged best explains the road to happiness in this life), I thought it might be appropriate to spend some time on the Seven Deadly Sins.
These seven sins are the polar opposites of the four cardinal virtues needed to reach happiness in this life and the three theological virtues required to reach happiness in the next life.
The seven deadly sins are: greed, envy, sloth, gluttony, lust, pride, and wrath. A better understanding of these sins will help to illustrate the necessity of the virtues in achieving happiness.
For example, being greedy for money and riches and envious of the fortune of others makes it impossible to recognize the call to adventure, should it be sent. Focusing on what others have will mask the summons to begin the adventure. Sure, individuals can be greedy and envious and move forward to Gallery Three, but passage beyond Gallery Three will not be possible.
In addition, even if an individual is neither greedy not envious, the third deadly sin of sloth will ensure that the call to the adventure that is recognized is not accepted out of laziness or idleness. The individual will not have the courage to take action to move to the end of Gallery Four and begin the fight to secure the boon in Gallery Five.
In summary, the first three deadly sins of greed, envy, and sloth will make any passage beyond Gallery Three impossible: either Gallery Four is never entered or it is entered but soon abandoned for the security of Gallery Three.
More to come.