July 11th 2006

copyright© don oddy

~ Freedom to be Ourselves ~

‘Man was born free; and everywhere is in chains (The Social Contract, 1762).’

As in all we experience words from history can be haunting and pertinent to us. Not only in the political sense of the chains we have from whatever social order prevails in society, but from ourselves and our feelings of obligation to others.

I feel this today in some respects. There is something in honouring connections and friendships which can chain us to our ideas and notions of being genuine and authentic, the ideals of kinship and familiarity. We make bonds with and connect with our fellow human beings and we have built in integrity. Or we don’t.

Some don’t have kinship and don’t bond, they don’t care and they don’t see it as pertinent or relevant to living. Their self obsession is so complete, their world revolves around them and not in the context of a greater society, that in which they live.

The chains we have heard of do not apply, the chains of society are not inside or confining in their outlook of consuming and being their own centre, their world and the world of me. And its easy to see this phenomena when we are given the opportunity to encounter both kinship and fellowship, and the reverse which may seem perverse, depending on outlook. Its easy to recognise and because it can be so against our personal philosophy we deny its truth, for that truth is wholly unacceptable to us.

And in our denial we need find in colloquial terms, a dead horse to flog, for no amount of exposure to the truth of their outlook will persuade the truly gifted self obsessed that they are, or that they are very able pedlars of concern and kinship. It is sometimes hard to spot the truly self obsessed as their chameleon shifting nature espouses concern and harmony, when in reality their behaviour contradicts the very essence of their preferred countenance, their true gift is their delusion. So gifted we are often led to belief in their affability and friendship, when in reality they are as pariahs preying on innocence and cloaking us with their worst fears, as enslavers and monstrous controllers of their free will. At worst in their twisted notions of freedom, their perceived captors and abusers are truly tormented souls, with one intent to enslave and chain them. Unfettered freedom of will, self will and obsession makes those so gifted very difficult customers, indeed for the world and its inhabitants conspire and manipulate reality to make enslavement a condition and truth a lie. There are many in this flight of fanciful delusion when truth and love offer the best opportunity to slake their greed for every experience and in an almost self driven parallel world see nothing inhibit their consumption of it and the people they encounter.

When Philosopher Jacques Rousseau wrote of chains and the social contract its extension to all matters of human relations can apply.

Of course this antipathy with our modern and relaxed feelings towards ourselves, where our world is bright and futures are built in harmony is quite distant from reality we encounter most of the time. We do indeed have to examine our behaviour constantly to find our own point of reference and moral compass, for any of us can and will move to self obsession under the right circumstances, when survival is highlighted and prime, when we have learned a certain way to live and behave. When others behave in ways to us which influence our outlook and our values and beliefs.

The subtle delusions towards goodness and equally subtle delusions towards badness are inside each and everyone. Humanity rages with prejudice from nature and from our conditioning, we find hatred in ourselves unacceptable and detest we might have it in us. Yet we certainly do for we find things to hate about ourselves and others as a matter of course every single day. We may be contrite when we examine our conscience and circumspect when we decide how we might behave. We do however revert most often to our conditioned selves, the one we see least inside us, for it is our gift of familiarity which gives us up to our conceit and defence of our outlook and behaviour as normal, only to find it abhorrent upon closer examination. And then we find excuse and deliberate on and project our guilt to others and make good our gift of being.

This I feel is where Rousseau connected with unacceptable truths about mankind and its temptation to believe in the good of itself and a condition we often call humanity.

According to a recent survey people lie routinely at least six times a day to their fellows, their family or to others. Little white lies to enormous whoppers which can have tremendous impact. Why Lie? Simply to maintain decorum and a way of looking at the world so it is acceptable, that is our deniability and excuse most often. Lies though undermine us as much as define us and we need be aware of their usefulness in keeping and getting our own way and us out of bigger troubles. We may not like our denials and liability, we may acknowledge and ask our own forgiveness, for if we do not, we are certainly frozen and routed to ideals and principles no other human might adopt with their free will.

Indeed the fabric of society is littered with half truths to make us able to rub along with each other. Or we would certainly become rigid and inflexible and unable to function with this duality we call reality. Indeed duality is a little narrow for our world of realities is predicated on belief and faith in something beyond mere humanity, a spiritual essence which manifests inside the agnostics, the atheist, and the God fearing. A firm belief to the good of good conscience.

Our outlooks are shaped and the disciplines of living learned to deal with our realities we face on a daily basis. We need not throw out our learning, or we might perish and go mad very quickly.

We might decide truth is our talisman in life and as I prefer it, keep to our vigil and master as much truth as we can and still cope with our duality. In truth our prejudice might not win, unless our prejudice is truth itself, and that is still a hypothesis we need test. For truth is elaborate and can develop as our delusions subside with science and experience and where faith and belief were truths masters, the truth is exposed and our ignorance corrected.

Simply we evolve, to our good and good conscience. Or we devolve to our bad and denial of truth. Unacceptable truths for all of us have them so deep and ingrained we need hardly dig too deep before we encounter our own rot. It is simply the human condition to manifest our denials and our loquacious fictions which make our world spin.

Deluded? You are, deluded I am, it is simply to what degree and by whose truth we apply a measure.

Our masterful disguise in the countenance of friendship and kinship and belief in the almighty do not delude most. Indeed for everyone has this in them and so we adjust and make good our outlook accordingly. When this trickery is unmasked we need find forgiveness and change our behaving, if we choose the path to our good conscience. Or we can be basking in denial and self righteousness, the indignance of denial does provide a masterful and completely structured get out clause where others are wrong in their assumptions and we are completely right.

We can be sanctimonious and superior when we believe in our good conscience and our outlook. Its parsimony only becomes obvious when we look at our actual behaviours and manipulations. So sad and true.

As someone who has encountered my own liabilities along the way holding my talisman of truth, I have detected robust and gullible conditions in others. Where their truth flourishes as lies upon the water, great oceans reinforcing their weaves of deceit. Mostly to themselves and their goodness. Yet they drown in their elective state and become lost in the fictions developed to protect us all and everyone from the delight of self discovery. That “mea culpa” may apply. It is a fanciful and trusted mechanism to deploy for in that inexcusable admission of fault, it might seem to lead to forgiveness. Not from me though. You must learn to demonstrate your culpability in behaviour consistent with good conscience, your conscience and not mine, for “mea culpa” applies within us all.

Why is this relevant today of all days? I guess there are shifting sands in my own mind, where I challenge my truth and my culpability. I challenge directly and seek reference points and evidence of good conscience, and indeed I feel challenged to truth inside me. And in what respect, of course in love is my challenge, for love is prime to all conditions and outlooks. Love really does deserve examination on a regular basis, its components inside and out, what I love in myself and others, what I am and emulate, for I know it changes in context and truth on a daily basis. And truth informs as denies, as makes good our love and living.

Chains indeed, the most marvellous chains we might find are to our humanity and good conscience so delivered and understood in the context of plurality and coexistence.

Good job too for we do not live in isolation from our fellows, although we might prefer it sometimes. And we need remind ourselves where self obsession and selfishness get us. Most often nowhere.

When we examine our own conduct, we may take virtue in our examination, we need step beyond our virtue to improve our behaviour. Forgiving thus is seen as progressive and redemption is found in new truths and outlooks. As we redefine our world, make sure your fellows are aware to what extent and to what aim. And be aware that where your good conscience might go, others will not follow and isolation is an outcome. Kinship, fellowship, duality and contrivance are driven by love, self love to obsession and thus to others in projection.

Indeed our love of ourselves and our humanity offer much in our denial of realities. To the point where our science and especially our metaphysics are predicated on our own self importance in a Universe beyond measure and origin. Origin is our hang up governing physics and other natural sciences which turn us to dust. It is hardly surprising we do the same with love.

Mind if we were not driven by origin, how on earth would we ever make sense of anything? It is merely a step into the unknown we take to discover another reality about us…

Copyright © Don Oddy

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