Take Levitical Law, Sharia Law, and the proclamations of Krishna, St. Paul, and the Buddha, make one big long list and then begin reading. You'll find that every single aspect of human life, both individually and collectively, is covered by some kind of moral injunction. With all that legalism, how can we expect not to break a rule now and then? We can't even move from room to room without the Legal Eagle of religion and moral certitude breathing down our necks. How, then, can we ever be truly free? Perhaps we shouldn't be. Maybe we should just resign ourselves to the idea that we are too corrupt and corruptible to be left to our own devices. After all, sin, karma, damnation, punishment from on high all lurk in the background, ready to bring us to our knees if we take one bit of delight in this life, in this experience. We must be a despicable creature, indeed.
What to do....
Again, the Tao Te Ching: "Open yourself first to Spirit, then trust your natural responses. Everything will fall into place." Really? That's not what your priest, minister, rabbi, or mullah will tell you. In fact, just the idea of trusting your natural responses puts you on the road to perdition. So, what's next?
I like what Thom Cavalli in Alchemical Psychology (1992) writes: "If you are not master of your own mind, you will be a slave to the minds of others." Good call, Thom. Now what?
Ready? OK, this may come as a surprise and will fly in the face of all your moralist leanings:
- Become fully self-centered. You'll awaken to your robot actions.
- Meet your own needs first. You'll be in a better position to be of assistance when needed.
- Develop a very friendly relationship with yourself. Otherwise, you tend to become your own worst enemy.
Interestingly enough, the healthier you become in mind and spirit, the more valuable you are to your community. As St. Irenaeus said, "The glory of God is a human fully alive."
Freedom, then, is appreciating yourself fully.
"Decide to love and do as you will." St. Augustine