“We the people.” Who are we? Who are the people?
There is a lot of controversy about the rights of government and the rights of individuals. This has led to marches on government, fiery speeches, formulation of a group called “The Tea Party,” a minister threatening to burn the Koran and “government” seen by many as a dirty word.
“America, America, why do you sleep?” Open your thought! When did government and individualism become one or the other, and not just one? When did freedom become so narrow in scope that it includes some, and excludes others? How did this nation become so divided?
The answers lie in the ability to open thought to the true meaning of government, individuality, and freedom. This article was written not to inflame, but to question; not to divide, but to unite. The “silent majority” or “silent minority” must lift its voice to be heard. We are “the people”– the people who love the oneness of government, and the peace of its people. We are the people who recognize that fighting, name-calling, ridiculing, inflaming and destructive criticism will cause all of us to fail. There is growth in constructive dialogue, but stagnation in destructive conversation.
The premise of this article is:
Freedom and individuality are government, and government and freedom are individual.
Does this make sense, or is it nonsense? You decide. Wait! Give me a chance to at least state my conclusion.
Let’s take a look at several definitions. Wikipedia says government is “the organization, or agency through which a political unit exercises its authority, controls and administers public policy, and directs and controls the actions of its members or subjects” Another definition states government as “the act or process of being governed.” Finally, Webster says, “the right, function, or power of governing.”
One word makes the definition by Wikipedia unacceptable–the word “political.” Political means “of or relating to views about social relationships involving authority and power” (Webster). The question becomes Are there entities that govern which do not involve social relationships? ”Social” denotes relationships that only deal with human beings. Is there a divine government that supersedes any human entity? I would surmise that there is. Thus, definitions one and two, seem to be more open in expressing the true meaning–a meaning that encompasses all forms of government.
True government means divine Law. This Law supersedes all laws, bringing undeniable and unchanging freedom, justice, impartiality, and order to everything and everyone it governs. I hear you! There must be a clear separation between church and state. I agree, but there should not be a clear separation between God and man. There has to be an unchangeable link that governs every thought, word and deed. When this occurs, decisions will be made in the human experience that will not deny, discriminate or divide. Why? Because the foundation of these decisions has its source in Truth. I would set forth, that the true thinkers of our founding fathers knew and exercised this dominion–which is why we have the Constitution and Bill of Rights that we have today. The problem is not so much the Constitution, but interpretation of it. Greed, prejudice, fear, and discrimination cloud thought, and are guiding many of the voices that we hear today. We should have a government “of the people, for the people, and by the people,” but this people must be governed by divinity, not humanity. Such a government instills, maintains and enforces honesty, integrity, accuracy and stability to all.
Individuality is “the sum of the characteristics or qualities that set one person or thing apart from others” (Webster).
What are these characteristics or qualities and where do they come from? This is the key to individualism. There is only one Individual, and that is God. Shedding some light on this, Mary Baker Eddy says, . . . ”an individual may be one of a series, one of many, as an individual man, individual horse; whereas God is One–not of a series, but one alone without an equal” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 117). Further, she says, “God is individual, incorporeal. He is divine Principle, Love, the universal cause, the only creator, and there is no other self-existence. He is all-inclusive, and is reflected by all that is real and eternal and by nothing else” (Ibid, p. 331).
What is she saying? She is stating categorically, that God, being the only Individual, and that Individual, Love created everything. And further, he created everything to reflect (express) all that He is. If He is Love, then man, his expression, has to express love in all that he thinks, says, and does. This man, being the expression of God, reflects divine Law, Principle. Thus, it is impossible for him to be unfair, discriminatory, fearful and disorderly. Why? Because man expresses the One Individual, which is God.
How does this relate to human activity? Man begins with the idea that he has only the qualities and characteristics of the One Individual, God, and because of this, he can and must operate from those qualities. With this as his guide, he seeks and does only those things that reflect these qualities–these higher levels of thought. Divine qualities have infinite ways of expression, thus allowing each person to reflect love, peace or compassion in his own individual way. One person may express love by buying food for a hungry person, another by comforting a mother who lost her child, and someone else, by visiting a sick friend. The common denominator is love expressed. If all mankind operated this way, there would be no dissension or confusion.
The problem lies in the belief that we are all separate entities, operating from various thoughts, principles and ideas, based on experience, human desires, illusions, and selfishness. Individuality means expressing the “oneness of God,” no more, and no less.
Webster defines freedom as “exemption or liberation from control of some other person(s) or some arbitrary power.” Such freedom has absence of restraint, hindrance, confinement, or repression. This definition caused me to reflect on Nelson Mandela. This man was incarcerated for over 20 years, but many of those years were spent in freedom. What made him free? His thinking! He exercised higher levels of thought which lifted him above the restraints on his physical body. One may control the body, but cannot control the soul unless agreed to.
Freedom comes from embracing true knowledge. All truth springs from one source, God. Truth is everything God knows. Thus, man cannot be free unless he holds in thought only what God knows. This knowledge is free of anger, criticism, resentment, racism, sexism, and religious creeds and false doctrine. This precludes the idea that anyone can take away your freedom.
Let’s return to the premise of this article: Freedom and individuality are government, and government and freedom are individual.
True government is divine Principle, God. There is no other law, and when this law is demonstrated by God’s creation, true individuality is expressed. Freedom comes from clarity of thought, divine inspiration and the ability to understand divine government. To be free is to be governed by God, and that . . . is the individual right of every man.
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