Freewill

As I write this pamphlet, there are conflicts and potential conflicts raging all around the world. There are some important elections coming up especially in Europe. The brazen lies and manipulation people use in a hyper-reality, post-truth society leave me bewildered. The insistence on putting oneself first has led to uncaring and unjust society in my view. Once the cradle of democracy, there seems to be fewer and fewer life choices for people in the UK. Get a qualification to get a job and be a part of the machine.

There has to be more to life. Who actually knows what happens after death. In fact is there really any proof of anything. Some say that there is only proof at a molecular level, but there is a cyclotron under Switzerland hurling particles at each other at light speed to see what happens. I suppose we will learn something new about molecules when that experiment ends.

Can we not be educated enough, so that people can work out their life code for themselves? Does it have to remain the same? Do we have to conform to our family, local, national or employers code of conduct. The wealth of life experience and learning that is available to people today, can surely point the way to an individual path for those who wish it.

One of my favourite films has a boy hearing his father in a dream say,” Your heart is free William, follow it.” Do we have to conform to the pathway of society hands us or can we hack our own way through the jungle of life. Yes we can!

Challenging societal norms has long been the province of the revolutionaries. But revolutions have usually got out of control and newly liberated regions descend into anarchy as the rule of law breaks down. If you are free to follow your heart, without damaging your family and friends then why not challenge everything on a personal level. Struggle ends in violence only if people refuse to communicate and people become desperate, angry and frustrated.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is one of my favourite books. It shows how violence should be avoided at all costs and that all problems should be dealt with through communication. To strike the enemy is the last option, but if left with no choice it should be swift, surprising and final. I have never had to resort to that option thank God.

There is supposed to be religious freedom in the UK and USA, but the slow drift to capitalism has drawn many people into a compromised trap where they fail to stand up for their principles.

Religion has a role in corporate religious duties. It can inspire and organise charitable work. It can be an inspiration where people can start on a spiritual journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. It can also be a place where people of similar beliefs can meet together as a community to share and practice their faith.

But too much power for any belief structure, even if it refuses to accept itself as a belief, is dangerous. Too much intransigence leads to dogmatism and ultimately conflict of one sort or another. Religion can influence all parts of the human experience and inspire ways in which each individual, relationship or organisation arranges its moral agenda. There needs to be some code that people understand that allows that interaction to function.

In my view the principles the principles of balance, agape (sacrificial love) and truth are how I would seek to organise my relationships. In an organisation a clearly set out plan, with an explanation of acceptance or rejection, combined with the above mentioned ethics are crucial for people and organisations to work together. There are those who do not accept these principles and that is their choice. Some want to be separate and that is their right. But for different belief structures to mingle in the same communities without some form of acceptance and understanding leads to friction.

The Church of England is an interesting case. It covers a broad spectrum of belief. Evangelical, Liberal and Catholic, but is continually at odds with itself about different beliefs. This organisation has to be able to coexist with different doctrines and ethics, individual to the churches and the priests. If it cannot find a decent compromise then it will eventually cease to function.

I don’t believe in one true path up the mountain, but a field of opportunities for many similar paths. Or even different mountains. We were born as individuals with different genes, in different environments with different experiences. Surely we must be able to express them in our own unique way. Some people live in a family or a group of friends or work colleagues. But why do we so rarely get the choice?

Free yourself of fear with love of yourself, or love of someone else if you get lucky. Face those fears and follow your heart. The truth is out there, but it is a truth that is individual to you. It’s your life make your own decisions. We all have freewill if we only could have the courage to accept it.

Conway-Laird (2017)

 

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