Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Are You Following Your Inner Guidance...or Everybody Else's Ideas of What is Right and Wrong?

Many religious teachings tell us that we must continuously 'fight against our sinful, unclean nature.' Is it any wonder that we live in such a troubled world?
Even the Ten Commandments are based upon what we shall NOT do... there is nothing in them that even hints that we, as human beings, are less than prone to corruption. Sort of a guilty before proven innocent type thing.

Am I suggesting that if it weren't for the instilling of religious dogma, that we would have no worries and woes in this world? ...No, but they are, perhaps, the heaviest of all the contributors -- especially Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
It starts when we are infants. If we succeed in swallowing, without gagging, that little spoonful of Gerber's liver, we are rewarded by Mommy's big smile and a hearty "Good girl!" If we slept all night without crying for a feeding, it means we were a 'good baby.' In early childhood we were programmed by the use of the words "good" or "bad." Our 'reputation' depended upon what our parents, elders, and other authority figures thought was 'good' or 'bad'. This is how they had been trained. When we became teenagers, we weren't rewarded with 'good boy' or 'good girl'...because by then The Lectures and Rules were in place...after all, at that age we REALLY needed to be controlled. Most of us, during those years, truly experienced the Art of Resistance...or we simply learned to lie and be sneaky... and then, of course, God would take over and his mysterious ways were a constant threat. It was then we began to understand, however, that the main objective of our lives was to agree with and please others. Naturally, not all of us rebelled or reacted in the same exact way. We still don't. Thank goodness. That might be a bit frightening.
Most threats leveled at us, coerced us into 'behaving' or 'conforming.' They were most generally based upon religious interpretation of what is Right or Wrong. We emotionally felt the concepts of Heaven or Hell long before we intellectually conceptualized that scary theory!
Sadly, and usually unrecognized, much of our training was fear based... Even the most loving and caring of parents found it easy to warn us of the dangers and pitfalls of talking or acting in such a way that was not pleasing to everyone else... rather than pointing out that if YOU feel good about yourself and what you have done... this is truly how you serve others happily and well.
Loving parents want their children to 'do well' and to be treated well and admired -- because they believe it will reflect directly back on their parenting skills. They hurt when their child hurts. So I'm not saying parents or other authority figures are ill intended. But to many threats, admonitions, lectures, warnings, suggestions, etc etc etc...are fear based. Some fear is good. It IS a good idea to teach your child not to run into the street without looking.
There is a big difference, however, between the kind of 'useful fear' that is based on physical survival skills ...and the kind of fear that has to do with worrying about the reactions of how society might or might deem you 'a successful person.'
I've talked before about people who are continuously making it known about what they do not do..."I do NOT smoke, drink, cuss, do drugs, spit on the sidewalk, and!-- I definitely do not like rock 'n roll or sex." Etc. I'm sure you get the picture. They are 'purists' who believe they have 'god's approval' by what they do not do. Also referred to as self-righteousness.
One could categorize these "don'ts" under the umbrella of: fear and guilt conditioning. Even if its all for 'one's own good.' It is assumed, we don't know what is best for us and others do, including some religions idea of 'god.'
Imagine growing up believing you are basically a good person who in self empowered, knowing he or she creates their own reality, and can follow his own inner guidance...should be the ultimate goal of every parent, teacher, or authority figure in a child's life. If that seems too idealistic and very unrealistic... than what is the solution? Pass more laws, be more strict, be more punishing, be more religious, keep declaring war on, etc etc etc ... We all know how well that works.
Imagine being taught to trust yourself and your feelings! Imagine 'getting caught' doing something kind and helpful for others -- and then hearing "When I do that, I feel so good!"--rather than "that makes you a good child." Imagine sharing your feeling experiences instead of making demands that are not to be questioned. Imagine actually telling someone 'I respect your right to your opinion even though I don't see it that way.' Imagine telling children 'You can just walk away--you don't have to argue or fight.' Oops, then we might not have any wars...
Imagine raising children without constant threats of 'getting into trouble'. There is nothing more frightening to many people than the blatant honesty of a child. They are the bane of control freaks. Imagine a child free of worrying he will displease crabby old Aunt Bess and be punished. Imagine a child thinking he is not committing a sin because he dislikes tuna casserole-- in spite of 'all the starving children in the world.' Imagine allowing a child to think for himself and assure him that he will learn what feels good and what makes him feel badly. A conscience is not formed!--its been there all along. This kind list could go on and on and on and ON!!!!
By the time we are adults we need no more training. We have been thoroughly trained in what 'other people' expect. We know how to act and what to say if 'we want to get ahead in life' and be an exemplary citizen of society. I realize there are exceptions... I also realize that what I am saying prompts a lot of "yeah, but's" and "what about THIS?!" or "That!?" We have become AFRAID to take chances and believe what we KNOW in our hearts we are capable of.
When we start to Awaken to our true potential (not talking 'financial success stories' here!) --we do so in many different and diverse ways. When we begin to become Aware on a metaphysical level, we start finding our own paths to find freedom from all the ties that bound us so tightly to the expectations and 'rules' of the outside world -- some of which we have never questioned before. When we first initiate believing in ourselves, learning to trust our instincts and intuition, and start allowing ourselves to believe in our own innate goodness, --we find this can be very difficult., The Era of the 60's gave rise to a new consciousness, a new independence of thought and action. It went, most naturally, from the one extreme to the other. It had to. But what gave rise to that new consciousness was the bravery of those who dared challenge 'the system' and firmly believe that there were things that were so much greater than the old beliefs we dared not question before. Hence--the motto: Question Authority came about. Not out of disrespect -- but borne out of the need of waking to our own Inner Power -- and not blindly submitting to all things outside of us that are always other people's ideas of what is Right or Wrong.
When enough people agree within themselves to abide by the second line of the Rede: and adopt an attitude of perfect love, and perfect trust ... those of us who are wanting to see the change this could bring about... will see it. Again, as always, it is the Law of Attraction at work. What we focus upon is what we will get more of. The whole world does not have to heal before our own worlds heal... but that is how it starts. Like the journey of a thousand miles beginning with one step. Without worrying about what anybody else is thinking or doing or believing...we only need give our loving and trusting attention to the person whose face we see in the mirror.
As in John Lennon's song "Imagine": "Some say that I'm a dreamer...but I know I'm not the only one..." I know many of us are right there...with each other. And as Mama Cass sang: "There's a New World Comin'...and It's Just Around the Bend."
The following article is based on the One Law of the Wiccan Rede...and The One Law according to Seth. I hope you'll read it, too. I think its fairly liberating! :)