Duplicity of the Will
"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." Romans 7:15
There are many songs, many passages in scripture, and many addicted who will discuss this tendency. This tendency is fundamental to the corruption/fallenness of our relationship within ourselves, our de-integration. The truth is from the same will, we will the good, we also will the bad and there is reason for this and it is not undone the way we often think i.e. by having a correct understanding of moral truths and fortitude/effort. When speaking of Nathaniel, Jesus jokingly says, “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.” (John 1:47 NABRE) Of course, a true "son of Jacob" refers to Him who is called now Israel, whose sins are numerous as described in scripture. It is fascinating that the foremost of our Patriarchs is a key example here. We follow His faith, not his sins of course. Nevertheless, we all have this problem regardless of what the more judgmental folks assume like and the brash/worldly-minded folks like to consider themselves concerning judgmental folks (who in truth are the same sort of people), we all have trouble actually accomplishing the good we are called to. This is not because we are inherently bad, but because it is a real struggle for fallen creatures. Fallen means we are not as we ought to be, and yet there is goodness in us.
First, “Duplicity” or “doublemindedness” does not mean that we are constrained to the bad but sometimes it gets willed at the same level of God, because either goods that are needed are forgotten or mis-prioritized. Sin still has sway over us in this way. Regarding Cain’s jealousy, in his case, we see a good desire to love and be loved on Cain’s part, the mode chosen is sacrifice of the fruits of one’s labor, but there is a failure which leads to more. Cain perceived Abel as being more favored by God there may be several reasons for this which the text does not divulge per se, but there was at least a presence of the belief he had to be just as apparently favored as Abel (Genesis 4:3-9). That belief is untrue, which inspired destruction from hurt resulting from a false pretext. It does cause further problems because it brings greater hurt into the world, which brings more tendency towards the "fallen Eden mentality" i.e. what one thinks the need for themselves wantonly and incorrectly being blinded by the hurt/poverty of love they forsook and undermines one's faith as well. "But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:6-8).
Second, Jesus teaches us to shift our potencies away from corrupt mindedness toward purity on several occasions, the following are the foremost. "Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one."(Matthew 5:37). "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. 28 Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing." (Matthew 23:27-28). From all this teaching we can understand conversion has less to do with behavior and more to do with spirit. This begs the question: Why is working against one’s duplicity important? Well, let us take both Cain and the Pharisees as our example. Christ came to save the person from more than behavioral issues as real as they are, he came to save us from ourselves, from the disease of sin and the power of the enemy. What happens any time in scripture when suddenly a lie is perceived as true and dark things come from man’s heart? Sin. It is not enough to act good because you can’t unless your heart is so disposed. This is why virtues are so emphasized in the Christian life.
In conclusion, duplicity of will is a real struggle for us. It largely concerns keeping our focus in situations where our subconscious leads us astray due to our hurts and misperceptions. We must rightly order whatever comes our way, properly understand its context, and keep our eye on the fullness of the prize we seek. We do this by applying our logic and rational belief to the struggle. Christ, our master, was subject to much misperception and false accusation, and we His servants are no less subject even to the right ones. The good is difficult to will but that doesn’t make it meaningless. Into those places in our hearts where we find ourselves willing evil, we must whisper “God will redeem/transform you”. He loves us and lets us reflect His love more and more. Let us not lose peace over tripping over ourselves or others on the way. However deep this hurt and corruption goes in our hearts deep still in a sanctuary of God's presence and power. This is the hope Christmas brings that Christ came to "save us from Satan's power" and though "long lay the world in sin and error pining", "He appeared and the soul felt its worth". Christ came and did for our freedom may we, with/by Him, make it so and return to Him who alone loves us. May He who is our One True Lover, become our One True Love, because a "house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand."! (Mark 3:25)
CCC 2468 Truth as uprightness in human action and speech is called truthfulness, sincerity, or candor. Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and in guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy.
1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. "Structures of sin" are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a "social sin."
2515 Etymologically, "concupiscence" can refer to any intense form of human desire. Christian theology has given it a particular meaning: the movement of the sensitive appetite contrary to the operation of the human reason. The apostle St. Paul identifies it with the rebellion of the "flesh" against the "spirit."302 Concupiscence stems from the disobedience of the first sin. It unsettles man's moral faculties and, without being in itself an offense, inclines man to commit sins.