On Rights, Exercising Rights and Performing Rites
Part 1 of 3
We were endowed with inalienable rights when our souls entered the Matter Cosmos in mortal form. Free nations recognize these rights as coming from a higher power, God, Creator, Supreme Being. When speaking of Rights, the conversation is typically around what is lawful. We have a right to work, to speak and worship freely and to defend ourselves against anyone intent on doing harm to us. We have a right to pursue our dreams, or, not. In terms of what is lawful, what we are ‘permitted’ to do, there exists a lengthy list of what society has defined as being either within or outside of our Rights.
Lets go deeper. Let us speak of Free Will, the Right of Choice. Maybe we should talk about this one more often and what the Right of Choice entails; with Choice comes consequence and responsibility. These can be good or bad, dependent on what is up for our choosing. We are bombarded with Free Will Choice every day yet we don’t think about it. Some choices are simple yet can have some very unpleasant consequences (should I eat the 2 week old leftovers with questionable aroma?). We choose how to react when another person is being adversarial; we contemplate job changes, merchant changes, changes in living arrangements, which detergent to buy or what brand of ice cream tastes the best. See? The list is endless and we don’t give it much thought at all! Our Free Will exercises are without boundaries but not without consequence.
Consider the story of the Garden of Eden, the fall of Adam and Eve. God had given them dominion over the Earth and all creatures here on. There was but one rule. Do not eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Disobedience meant banishment from the Garden and a life of pain and toil. Action = Consequence.
God could have made this quite simple – He could have separated the Tree from the Garden, or, placed Seraphic Guards around it to guarantee against breach. He did neither of these things. He let it be right there, allowing Adam and Eve the free will to choose between compliance and disobedience. We know how the story goes, Eve succumbed to the temptation of Serpent, in turn enticed Adam to also eat the fruit, and well, here we are. God placed before them a test of the Soul. Choose that which you desire most – Oneness with God in the Garden or the transient satiation of the carnal (mortal) mind.
In my studies of the various Faith practices – mainstream and mystical – I have come to understand that the way things work here are really not terribly complicated although they are complex. There is interconnectedness to what we do. Up, down and across, dominoes fall as result of our choices. The stone cast into the pond creates a ripple. The larger the stone, the greater the breadth of that ripple. Think just for a moment what cascade of events might be set in motion if you: didn’t get out of bed, go to work, ran a stoplight, didn’t pay your bills, neglected your health, abandoned your family, closed your business... Pick one and really consider how your choices, small and large, have an impact beyond yourself.
In Part 2: Is a Right right?