"When your premise is u2018Thou shalt not kill,’ you can skip a lot of distractions and just get to work." ~ Alia Johnson
This short essay on a long subject was brought to mind by an editorial from The Economic Times (Mumbai) of 10 April 2008 by Paramahamsa Nithyananda. I am grateful to the Swami and to Mother India for their presence that keeps on reminding me of my real work of Self Realization, the ultimate goal of the human being on this earth.
The issues of ethics and morality are only "big" in an industrial and alienated civilization; in a properly humane culture, ethical values are simply natural. In such a culture, these values are obvious and real, rather than intellectual abstractions.
I have lived among "underdeveloped" peoples for whom what we now call "high" ethical values are simply "the way it is — the way it is done around here." People respect life, and thus they respect each other. The truth is automatically spoken, even by those who have made an infraction.
There are no high-powered lawyers paid to lie and to get their client off on legal technicalities. There is no "Fifth Amendment Defense." People are expected to tell the truth, and they do. It is culturally ingrained. They would not think of doing otherwise.
There is no institutionalized "judicial system." There is common law justice arrived at by the assembled people themselves in a process of discovery. They confer together and reach a consensus discovery of what is the natural law in a given case. Discovery is very far away from dogma.
The rule of law is possibly the single most dangerous idea ever imposed upon mankind.
A law is a lie that creates slavery. Imposed ethics is no ethics. Law is made by the powerful to manipulate the meek.
I once asked a Zuni elder about the "old ways" in respect of a trial for murder. "What if the accused lies?" He looked at me incredulously — "We don’t lie."
Our "advanced" industrialized civilization has made men into sharp dealers and liars and cheats. When a people deals directly with raw nature for its sustenance, there is no scope for the lie. There are no money games to play, and everyone knows everyone else. Much of the source of our degenerate culture is due to its capacity for anonymity in the big city. A person can live in modern society with very few real, face-to-face relations.
Morality Must Arise From Consciousness
What immediately follows is quoted from Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda: Freedom is our true nature. We are totally and completely free from everything that binds us. Please understand this. When we express this freedom we enter the spiritual path. Rules and regulations are only superficial, artificial and imposed by the society. Societal and religious morality binds us. They limit our freedom. They do not lead to spirituality.
People tell me, "What is this Master? You are breaking all the basic laws. You are pulling down the whole social structure. You are breaking the entire structure, the nuts and bolts, the rules and regulations of society. How will people live without morality? What are you doing?"
I tell them: Be very clear. You need forced morality only for kids. You can tell a kid, "If you keep quiet, and you are good I will give you a candy." Of course, nowadays kids say, "I am happy as I am. I don’t need your candy. I am happy jumping around. Who cares for your candy?" To a kid you can say I will give a candy or I will beat you. You can impose morality based on fear or greed on kids.
We are not kids anymore. It is time to act now. It is time to stand up and be aware of our understanding. Our morality should not be based on fear and greed. As long as our morality is based on fear and greed, we can be certain that it is only skin deep. It is very impermanent.
We can never be moral based on fear and greed. If fear and greed form the basis for our morality, we will definitely try all possible ways to escape from it. For instance, we will speed just ten miles over the local speed limit. We think, "As soon as I see a cop, I can step on the break and slow down."
As long as our morality is based on fear and greed, we are undoubtedly immature. We are not adults. If we are truly grown up, our morality should be based on understanding and not on injunctions of society or religion.
Be clear: a truly mature adult is a person who lives a happy, blissful, and quiet life without being ruled by fear and greed. When we develop the inner awareness about the way we should live without being told by anyone else, we can operate without fear and greed.
When we drop our fear and greed, a new kind of morality arises in our being. It is not the shallow, social morality. This morality arises from our consciousness and provides our whole being with a different kind of well-being. This consciousness brings freedom. Choose it all the time. It leads to eternal bliss, nithyananda.
Intellectual and Moral Servility Versus Freedom
This author posts almost daily at www.freeofstate.org about the role of the State in human culture, and in the following he is "looking" at the relation of the State to Nithyananda’s thesis through the "eyes" of that website.
We can begin with the axiom that the State is organized violence and that it operates through the medium of lies. "Once violence is chosen as method, falsehood becomes principle," said Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Power — of one man, or a group of men — over others, is evil, no matter in whose hands.
Blind obedience to authority is insanity. Authority is no accident. It is specifically created by intelligent people to control you.
"Freedom is our true nature," says Nithyananda. The State is the antithesis of freedom. It makes slaves of all of us — through its power to tax and thus to destroy, its power to make war (means power to make us finance murder), its power to enforce the arbitrary and self-serving "laws" made by one group of men against all other men, its power to abrogate the natural right of men to contract with one another on their own free terms, its power to control domicile and freedom of movement — on and on goes the list of Natural Freedoms usurped by the State.
Has not the Money Power — acting through the Central Banks and the State, and employing lies, deceit, propaganda and war as from time to time currently expedient — subjugated the American people politically?
Any well-informed person knows by now that the "democracy" voting game is a rigged corporate sham. To say nothing of the moral flaw of majority rule and anonymous so-called "representative" government at its foundation.
Are we not subjugated when our "votes" are employed as "political capital" to propagate genocidal global warfare and massive ecological destruction that are opposed by a clear majority of the public?
Has the Money Power not constructed an entrenched Domestic Empire with close to the same grip of all-pervasive authoritarian control — (think surveillance systems; IRS-BATF thugs; war on drugs SWAT; Janet Reno’s scorched earth at Waco, Texas; biometric scans; suspension of habeas corpus; on and on) — as the European fascists before WW II, and the Soviet communists during the Cold War?
Has this political subjugation not been permitted and reinforced by intellectual and moral servility?
Politically Imposed "Morality" Versus the Discovery of Natural Law
"The law is to do unto others as you would be done by. All the rest is commentary."
Nithyananda speaks of enforced morality as "being only for kids." Enforced morality also violates the truth of man in his native environment as a natural man — a natural and rational biological being.
Mohandas Gandhi said that no act which is not voluntary can be said to be moral. We all know through common human experience that morality cannot be legislated — least of all by that body of men and women who have proven by their long track record to comprise the most immoral among human beings.
In a nature-based life, morality is discovered, and not handed down through institutional dogma. It is discovered because morality is itself a Law of Nature, existing to be discovered by the mind and conscience of man, just as the law of gravity exists and can be discovered.
Let us look through he words of Alice Miller (The Untouched Key, 1988) at what happens to man — seen through Germanic eyes — when an institutionalized code is imposed upon him like a straitjacket while he is yet a child.
"I can’t bear the chains that shackle me day after day; my creative powers are in danger of being destroyed. I need all my energies to rescue them and to assert myself in your midst. There is nothing I can confront you with that you would understand.
I can’t live in this narrow, untruthful world. And yet I can’t leave you. I can’t get along without you because I’m still a child and I’m dependent on you. That’s why you have so much power although you are essentially weak.
It takes heroic courage, superhuman qualities, and superhuman strength to crush this world that is interfering with my life. I don’t have that much strength; I am too weak and afraid of hurting you, but I despise the weakness in me and the weakness in you, which forces me to pity you.
You have surrounded me with restrictions, prisoner that I am of school and home. There is no free space for me. Your morality and your reason are a prison for me in which I am smothering to death — and this at the beginning of my life when I would have so much to say."
"Civilization" As Neurotic Predation
Is it any wonder that modern "civilization" is a neurotic culture, the chief instrumentality of which is the Corporate Warfare State — dominated by neurotics — who by their egomania have reached positions of power that enable them to shout out and act out their neuroses, imposing their paranoia on the rest of us, even at the cost of a holocaust?
What if we treated consciousness as a human commons that should not be polluted, simply out of mutual respect? Yet, the Corporate Warfare State is all-pervasive, invading every nook and cranny of our physical and mental commons.
In a natural world, these political neuroses don’t get you very far before nature herself corrects you — there are no money games to play and no institutional power levers to pull — one must simply work and earn bread.
It is the corporate world of industrial civilization that facilitates the corruption of spirit and robs conscience from human relationships. It becomes a game of predation in which man the predator prowls within a corporate system of structural violence for his prey, in which money — a purely abstract symbol — is the reward.
And the prey is other human beings. Thus does the Corporate Warfare State make of man a cannibal.
It is a coerced and mentally conditioned cannibalism that requires awareness and vigorous effort if one is to break out of it. Simply by being under the jurisdiction of a State, we become participants in organized criminal violence.
We cannot — as a rule — earn our livelihood without paying some form of tax. This tax is in fact nothing more then a tribute to our rulers, who then use it to employ a standing armed force to continue their oppression. They also use the product of our labors to murder people in distant lands in order to gain forms of tribute not available locally.
The truth of the matter is that we live as a subjugated people in an occupied territory. We are not necessarily subjugated by individuals who have physically overpowered us. We are subjugated by a system-structure of industrial civilization in which morally autistic, ego-driven psychopaths rise to positions of power in control of the machinery of State.
We then live as subjects of an occupying force within what was once a natural human commons, but is now an occupied territory of the State.
A Few Simple Questions
- What is real? One must decide between the True and the false. One must distinguish with regard to the only question which we cannot side-step, and about which we cannot be agnostic: the question of what to do with our lives. The question of How Shall We Live. The question of What One Can Do.
- What do you love?
- What do you fear?
- What do you — really — need?
Do you love life, or do you love money? This is a collective choice with which we are faced now — perhaps already too late — as we more and more rapidly, more and more "efficiently" destroy the land base (means entire living ecology) which supports life on this earth.
Do you contemplate dying with a large and impressive inventory of all that you have (you thought it was required in order that you might be), or would you die with the knowledge that you did your best to ensure a livable planet for your grandchildren and for their children’s children?
With your life, would you choose to devote it to having more, or to being more?
The "have more" choice is to be a subject who life is "secured" in the mental shackles of the authoritarian State. The "be more" choice is to claim your individual moral sovereignty and resist the Money Power that is killing the planet.
The Emptiness of Contrived Symbolic Thought
The problem we face as a "civilized," industrialized species seems to me to be reasonably hypothesized by John Zerzan (Running on Emptiness, 2002): the failure of symbolic thought.
When we removed ourselves from the direct experience of the sensual world, we became immersed in a world of objectification and abstraction in which symbols trump reality. Thus we move away from being a natural creature within a biosphere, to being disembodied abstractions within a technosphere.
When life is no longer "real" to us, then paying for the murder of another, and even watching it happen on a screen, is equally unreal. If by this process of industrialization of the "living," we become to one another only symbols, then there is no longer a basis for a code of ethics among embodied, incarnate beings.
Upon introspection, one comes to realize that all violence arises first in the mind of the perpetrator, and that the first one to be hurt is the perpetrator himself. His violent thought forms keep him thrashing about in a state of intense misery — the autonomic nervous system triggers the "fight or flight" reaction, and glandular secretions are released in toxic quantity. The mental suffering becomes physical suffering also. The violent person has hurt himself long before he strikes another.
We have become lost in the vast desert of the ego. We must find the path with a heart, or we will become prematurely extinct.
To me, the freedom to work toward Self-Realization, toward transcendence of ego and entry into the realm of non-duality — of Unity with all that is — must be considered the most precious freedom in all the realm of human rights, because only by this Self-Realization can we break our own individual chain of suffering through endless being-becomings that would otherwise be eternal.
Self-Realization cannot be achieved in the absence of the purest ethical life. There is no possibility of an ethical life if, by the mere act of earning one’s daily bread, he becomes an accomplice to murder. Thus does the State, by its mere existence, abrogate the ultimate right of the human being.
The mind of man is diseased. It is our duty to try to come out of it — to try to heal our mind. I feel that the most readily available — as well as the most powerful — prescription is resistance against the Money Power, the Central Bankers, and the Merchants of Death, whose tool is the State.
The simplest form of resistance is refusal of taxes. It is also the most effective. All war is tax-and-debt financed. The common man pays in blood and sweat. The parasitic Central Banker and his mouthpiece "Statesman" live well, in air-conditioned suites, enjoying the emoluments of those who are high on the predator food chain.
The fact that refusal of taxes may require a simplification and moderation of lifestyle has the double ethical benefit of helping to save our ecological commons from destruction.
It is the medical doctor’s duty to heal, regardless of risk to himself. In this world now, we are all the doctors of our own healing, and we must be willing to risk in order to live.
Breaking the Double Bind
As long as I am the subject of a State under a rule of violence — and participating in violence through my bread labor — I cannot be free to work toward Self-Realization. This sets up a double bind.
If I submit as a servile subject to the State’s coercion imposed upon me, I become a coward — particularly in my own eyes — where it matters most. If I resist with aggressive (rather than defensive) violence, or in a mental condition of fear, I have allowed the System to defeat my ethical values. I have permitted myself to become intellectually and morally servile. I am bound by the State’s chains of mental conditioning.
The very first step toward freedom is emotional: abandon all hope. Abandon all blind and irrational hope that anyone else will free you — that anyone else will awaken to the reality of our collective fate if we remain on the Ship of State, captained by the Merchants of Death.
The second step is mental. Deconstruct the conditioning of your mind that has been constructed with malice aforethought by the State’s coerced compulsory public education system that takes in wild and free children of human beings — precious living expressions of a Great and Beneficent Creation — and imprisons them for 12 years of "education" in how to become a mindless servo-mechanism of the Machine.
Tear down the mental walls built by the bureaucracy. You paid for it — every single board and nail of it — you should be able to walk away from an unwanted mental structure that would mortgage the fate of the earth itself to a vast epoch of suffering and death in exchange for one more sip of the ambrosia of Power.
The only way out of a double bind is to smash it. The simple and best way to survive an abusive relationship is to leave it. Because one cannot control others, but can control himself — at least as to intentions, if not outcomes. How can you negotiate with depraved insanity which is holding a gun to your head?
Abandon the State. Help starve it of cash. Let it die in a manner that the falling colossus does not hit your head on the way down. Stand clear of falling debris. Build your own self-reliant life of a freeman. Help others: so long as one of us is a slave, we are all co-dependents in slavery.
Is Liberty not the mother of peace, and peace the path of human survival?
It is often said that we are all "interdependent." This is true — and we are interdependent either as servile subjects within a system-structure of institutionalized violence — or as free men in a peaceful and decentralized, stateless society of mutual respect and voluntary cooperation.
May you live long, earn your freedom, and experience the beatitudes of a natural humane life.
Jeff Knaebel [send him mail] is an expatriate American domiciled in India since 1995. He formerly practiced as a registered professional engineer, having been trained at Cornell Univ. and the Colorado School of Mines. Visit his website.