I’m trying to work out for myself how to approach this whole conceptual breakdown we have as a global society that has brought so much misery and defies resolution.
That breakdown lies in the fact that, in my opinion, very few of us in a thorough-going manner – and I know this is risky for me to say – rigorously respect the free will of others.
I don’t. I was just pedantic with my brother, the object being to control his behavior. I was not respecting his free will.
When couples get together, the first things they seem to do are to try to change the other’s eating habits and exercise patterns.
Right out of the starting gate, it seems, all is about abrogating the other’s right to make the choices that they have and do and instead have them conform to our will. And of course we justify it on “just trying to help.”
If we hear the word “should,” run for cover. Chances are that someone is out to control us. Or “why don’t you?” Same. Why do you ask? “I’m just curious.”
None of this is transparency. All of it is games people play. Usually the object is for us to feel important. We really helped. We saved the person from themselves.
You know you’re reaching the end game when you hear “You love X more than you love me.” There’s no love here – not real, deep, transformative love. There’s just a charade, play-acting.
I looked at photos with my brother from distant periods of my life. And you could see me forcing a smile. I was not happy. I was reminded of Kahlil Gibran’s words: “You shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.” (1) My smile was maybe 30% of the way I felt. The other 70% was absolutely miserable.
And all of it centered on a denial of free will, on both parts of any interaction. No one was granting the other free will. It was a chaos of attempts to manipulate and control the outcome.
Any number of broken relationships, all of them centering on a denial of free will, and the role of it in breakdowns at all levels of society start to become visible.
Hitler rose through a promise of fulfilling the dreams of the Aryan-German people by denying the right to exist of the Jewish-German people. And then he went on to deny the right to exist of the Slavic people, Bolsheviks, commisars, etc. The Divine Mother captured what happens next:
“It is painful for a being that seeks power for themselves or power over another, whether it is a parent over a child, a husband over a wife, a man over an army. It matters not. The yearning [for], the exercise of control never gives joy. The pain simply grows. And so the actions become more grotesque, larger, until the breakdown is and has [been] and will be occurring.” (2)
That is a perfect description of Hitler’s life. At the end of it he was deemed to be totally out of touch with reality. All his dreams of world dominance finished in ruin. Germany lay in rubble. And he blamed others – including the German people – right up to the end.
On the one hand, we might study Hitler’s life and the misery he caused to show us where a failure to respect the free will of others ultimately leads. On the other hand, we might study Gandhi’s life to show us what a respect for the free will of others brings.
How will we get it across to the entire population of the globe that free will is a law that must be respected, in little things and big?
If we want peace in the world, THE most constructive step, in my view, is to rigorously respect it. That’s the place to start and the destination to aim for.
That doesn’t mean that the military has no chain of command or firefighters don’t follow procedures, just doing as they please.
Where the situation requires a chain of command, wisdom dictates having one. But those chains of command need to be really, genuinely and sincerely ethical; that is, aligned with the divine qualities and the universal laws, as well as international treaties and the law of the land. They can’t be used any longer for personal prestige, gain, or power.
Aside from situations where a chain of command is imperative, respecting the free will of others is what will bring the social temperature down dramatically. The present political leaders could not continue in such a climate without completely getting off their posturing and rediscovering sincerity in themselves.
Werner Erhard used to define love as allowing another to be just the way they are and just the way they’re not. In other words, love is allowing another their free will.
(1) Kahlil Gibran, “On Love” in The Prophet at http://www.katsandogz.com/onlove.html
(2) “Transcript ~ The Divine Mother: Take Up Your Divine Authority, AHWAA, February 23, 2017,”