For many people, human rights means the complete freedom to do as one chooses. But in actuality at the center of the notion of human rights is the concept not of freedom but of restraint.
Human-rights laws are there to see that those who would practice harm on others are prevented from doing so; they are restrained.
My human rights end at exactly the place where I say or do something that harms you. Your human rights begin at exactly the place where you face harm from me.
As long as no harm occurs or could occur in a society, there would be no need for laws, never mind laws to protect human rights. But where harm occurs, there human-rights laws are found to be framed, enacted and administered.
In a sense what we’re doing is enshrining in law the right to live life unmolested. It’s then up to us as a society to ensure that that right is observed and protected. Officers of the law, judges, and the whole paraphernalia of prevention and redress see that human rights are preserved.
I often see people who practice harm on another protesting that they have the right to freedom of speech or freedom to do as they please. Skinheads will extol the freedom of America while practising extreme harm against others. Religious bigots will say that their prejudice, discrimination and even persecution are their right. Look at those who discriminate against Muslims in our own countries. Most blacks and many gays will know what I’m talking about.
When people harm, their rights can be taken away. They can be incarcerated, which means that their right to move freely is taken away. They can be prevented from communicating at all, which means their freedom of speech is curtailed. They can be held in a solitary cell, which means that their freedom of assembly is denied.
Human rights are based upon divine laws, surely. But they are at heart a social arrangement designed to protect those who face harm in a community. I think I’m correct in saying that the Third Dimension on the physical side of life, and the Fourth Dimension in the afterlife (Astral Plane) are the only dimensions on which harmfulness exists.
A dimension which features separative and dualistic thinking is a dimension in which harm is seen. But one that features unity and unitive thinking sees harmfulness fall away.
Zero-sum thinking, competitiveness, hoarding – all these are born out of the fear that we won’t survive. They’re part of the illusion at its crudest level. But when it’s realized that we cannot do anything but survive, that we can never be destroyed, that life is continuous and death the same as removing a set of clothes, then the fear of extinction falls away.
An out-of-body experience can see that fear disappear immediately. It fell away from me when I awoke from a lucid dream to find myself on the other side of life. I was conscious when I re-entered my body and the moment I realized that my body was there and I was here, the fear of death disappeared.
It would be similar to stepping outside your ground-floor apartment facing the backyard in the dead of night. There’s a rustling in the grass and one becomes afraid. Suppose this is a rabid animal that’s going to bite us? Then the animal emerges from the grass and, oh, it’s only kitty!
Immediately upon seeing kitty, our fear falls away. The falling away of fear when one sees that one is not one’s body happens every bit as quickly. It is immediate and it may never return.
In a world devoid of fear of extinction, much of the harm practised would disappear. In a world in which the divine qualities were honored, harm would disappear. In a world characterized by concern for others and sharing, harm would disappear.
That’s the world towards which we’re headed. In that world, human-rights laws will probably not exist. There will be no need for them. People not practicing harm on their neighbors, people’s freedom to act will be far more extensive than it is here.
People will breathe easier, relate more eagerly, and help each other as a natural response to life and all the apparatus of human rights – the legislative, adjudicative and protective – now no longer needed, will become vestigial or disappear.