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Reclaiming Personal Morality

I’m a tough old bird- I’ll admit it. And I have a low tolerance for whiners and even less for fools. But I try to maintain a calm and even kind demeanor in my life. But it is getting tough to do. I try to bury my hot-buttons under a layer of tolerant indifference, but the scouring winds of rudeness keep exposing them and pushing them again and again.

I’ve examined my motives. Am I conceited? Do I expect too much? Are my standards too high? Am I being unreasonable in my expectations of the behavior and actions of my fellow inhabitants on this planet?

I have stripped away all pretensions, looked at all the parameters with deep and compassionate detachment, and have come to a conclusion- I’m fine. Not conceited, pretentious, insane, deluded, or even the slightest bit unreasonable. Instead, I have stood fast to the principles of humanity and manners and common sense I was taught, and in my years on this planet, have refined, strengthened, and amplified them. But around me, my fellow beings, with very few exceptions, sad to say, have not. The result is very much like what would happen to sandstone with granite running through it and exposed to erosion: the sandstone melts and blows away but the granite remains, barely touched. In short, the moral direction that makes us truly human is melting away. How can this be? What has happened? Aren’t we more religiously moral than ever? Unfortunately, yes, and this is the source of the problem.

Religiously dogmatic people like to believe that they are the only arbiters of morality in the world and only through their particular brand of religion can anyone be moral. This is not true, no matter how loudly they’ll holler to the contrary. Morality is separate from religion, and requires intelligence, empathy, ethics, compassion, and the thorough understanding that all actions- both good and ill- lead to consequences. Genuine morality also requires the unfettered vision to foresee the consequences of actions into far permutations. But religious people truly believe that they have a moratorium on morality, and try to dictate and even legislate it through the filters of their religious bias. All of their morality comes from one book, and no one can dare to logically contradict it, even if it doesn’t fit the needs of today’s culture. If anyone else claims to be moral, their morality is ‘Brand-X’, because it isn’t approved by the ruling religious group, or found in their holy books. Religious moralists will go on loudly and long about how their way is the only true way.

Happily, they are wrong. Morality is independent from religious bias, no matter how loudly the religious protest. If The Kingdom of God is Within, and the individual acknowledges that, and with it, the connection with the Creator it provides, then that person does not require an outer connection to revealed morality. Instead, they have a direct, internal and constant connection to their Higher Selves, and the wisdom and direction that is granted with that connection. Nothing, no arguments, Biblical threats, harassment, or shunning can disturb this connection if it is quietly tended and nurtured. The so-called ‘moral compass’ is present and functioning well. This, of course, enrages and frightens religious moralists.

Why are religious people afraid of internal, independent morality? Perhaps it is because it cannot be controlled, watched, or dictated to. When a person gains moral autonomy, the religious group loses power, and with it, influence. If someone has a direct line to their own internal still small voice, and listens carefully and quietly to it, they won’t need to shell out money at bookstores for directed and filtered wisdom, or tithe to a cultic social group- they’ll be an independent Body of Light. Even better, such inner-directed people can read the directions on the moral compass without any dogmatic assistance, and go their own way.

Religious moralists often confuse morality with repression. Morality isn’t about opposing or eliminating the unrestrained sex, lousy lyrics, poor manners or uninhibited lifestyles of the culture today. It doesn’t require that one go howling after ‘offending’ people and activities, to wipe them out or outlaw them. Morality is about reclaiming control of your internal spiritual tiller, and navigating a path free from the distractions and misleading temptations of the world at large. Morality permits you to be both a beacon and an anchor of light in a benighted world, but without the persuasive speech, oppressive dogma or the foolish rantings of the groupmind. It infuses power into individuals, instead of diffusing it into groups and becoming malignant. It magnifies and distributes the Light of the One into many souls, to go more places. The result of the exposure to this gentle Light is the shoring up of others morals. One leads by effortless and egoless example, instead of pushing , exhorting and pontificating to exhaustion.

When you light up your soul with the internal Knowing, you begin a chain reaction that ends with your soul’s peers also being illuminated with the presence of their Creator. Each soul becomes a strand on the braid, which slowly begins to lift all of us to higher levels. Morality, detached from dogma, power-hunger and ego, and properly exercised and subtly applied to all life’s situations, can be a force for good.

So Mote It Be

2001 by Sunfell

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