Note to Reader: This the final third of the much longer Essay. The Cost of Our “Little Lies.”
What About Rape?
We have noted that, because men in the thick of battle are dependent on one another to survive, they experience the unconditional love that is inherent to spiritually-free cultures. On the other hand, now that females are playing an ever greater role in our military services, women soldiers are being victimized by sex crimes at alarming rates. Surely, inappropriate sexual conduct is not also part of spiritual freedom. The question is: How would inappropriate sexual conduct be prevented in a spiritually-free culture? This is one of many questions about spiritual freedom—too numerous to deal with here—that are addressed in my book, Eden—Regaining our Spiritual Freedom. I will address this particular one for now, and in the process, touch on a few other related things.
The State Possesses Our Soul by Sanctioning Our Identity
First, it should be noted that, notwithstanding our devotion to law and order, the law is failing to protect our women soldiers. This makes it clear that the reason we believe in the state’s sovereignty isn’t because law and order actually works. We believe in its sovereignty, because the state authorizes everything—our citizenship, our family relationships, our property, and our wealth. In short, the state sanctions our identities. We are forced to pretend it is sovereign, despite its failures, because our personal identities—the only selves we have ever known—rest solely upon that sovereignty. Should the state collapse, we would be deprived of our sense of self and of place, making us feel as though life had come to an end, much as the pre-teenage rifle-toting boys on the streets of 1945 Berlin felt at the moment of the Third Reich’s collapse.
But, as the Methodist minister said, who was one of those twelve-year-old German boys and told me how they felt, they discovered that life didn’t end with the demise of their state, after all. And, regardless of how much we are dependent on our state for our sense of self and place, our lives wouldn’t end with its collapse, either.
With the state gone, we would be relieved of having to compete with each other over the two things the state offers—property and money. (Incidentally, because the state does not create land, it has, in actuality, no property to offer.) Indeed, we would have no reason to do other than be true to our feelings of the moment. In no time at all, the social fabric that is natural to our species would reappear. Then, for the first time in thousands of years, we would again be taking care of one another.
Wouldn’t that be cause for celebration? After all this wasted time and effort, during which we have been possessed by religions, ideologies, social classes, discrimination, wealth and privilege, poverty, greed, and the like, we will have discovered, in the end, that we really do care. By our emotional natures, we aren’t sinners, self centered, or selfish, after all.
But, because the state exists, we risk remaining as we are, for the rest of our days—competitors for wealth and privilege, the only things the state has to offer. As lottery winners, or children who are born into privilege often discover: Wealth and privilege, despite their promise, have pitifully little of spiritual value to offer. As subjects of states, we, in effect, are locked into lifetime struggles over nothing, at least nothing of spiritual value. What could possibly possess intelligent creatures like us to behave so irrationally?
By sanctioning our identities, the state, as if by sleight-of-hand, has taken possession of our souls. The degree of this possession was evident in the attitudes of Germans and Japanese near the end of WW II. Without their leader’s admission that their state had failed, those people were prepared to fight on to the last man, woman, and child. Why? Because their identities, like ours, were so embedded with that of the state, they suffered from the illusion that, if the state didn’t exist, neither would they.
Blind to the Lesson of History
As intelligent, reasonable beings, we think we can learn from past mistakes. But we seem unable to grasp the one thing that stares us point-blank in the face in every instance of recorded history: All civilizations eventually fail. Comprehending the significance of that statement is key to our personal happiness, and to the eventual survival of our kind. Yet, we remain stone blind to this crucial history lesson because of our need for a sense of self and place, thus, for the same reason the Japanese people remained blind to the fact that their state had failed, long after it actually had.
There is little point in telling people whose souls are possessed by a state that civil rule is a mistake. That would be like trying to tell a slave owner whose soul is possessed by the institution of slavery—that is, a person whose sense of self and place are dependent on owning slaves—that slavery is a mistake. Because feelings of the soul, even possessed souls, always trump reason, the significance of either proposition cannot possibly sink in.
In view of the fact that emotions always trump reason, the only hope for mankind is that we find something other than the state as a reference for our sense of self and place. Only then can we see civil rule for the disaster it is, indeed, a far greater disaster than slavery, because civil rule has made slaves of us all. The issue is: Is it possible to anchor our identity in something other than property and wealth, the primary hooks the state uses, albeit unintentionally, to take possession of our souls?
Hope rests in the fact that animals do not require a sovereign state in order to have a sense of self and place, nor did early humans or pre-humans. With their identities anchored in something real, they flourished, not just for a few hundred, or thousand years, but over epochs of evolutionary time.
The point is this: Unless we get our identities grounded in something real, not only must we continue enduring the pain of spiritual alienation, but, the whole globally-connected human race stands ready to go down with the next collapse of civil rule. And, if the next holocaust doesn’t get us, then the one that follows, in three- to five- hundred years, will surely do the trick.
Only Natural Law Can Protect Women Sexually
Does the fact that our sovereign state can’t seem to prevent our male soldiers from raping our female soldiers tell us something? Is it possible that, by accepting as sovereign the authority of our all-powerful states, we are overseeing the demise of our species? If we need any proof, the sexual mistreatment of women inherent to all civil cultures, should be all that’s needed. Women have so little confidence in the very entities that sanction their identities—our “all-powerful” states—that most sex crimes go unreported, or, when reported, women often end up wishing they hadn’t.
The message to women is clear: Instituted law has never, nor will it ever, adequately protect you or your children, sexually. Only natural law can protect life, which includes protecting women from inappropriate sexual aggression. And how does natural law provide women that service?
In Spiritual Freedom, Sisterly Bonds are the Foundation for Everything, Including Our Sense of Self and Place
If you read Eden, you will see why I believe that the nucleus of an extended family is the sisterhood. If I am right, regaining our spiritual freedom is dependent on one thing—that women step out of the slave status they have endured since they first allowed men to make lifetime personal claims upon them, whether those claims were imposed by tribal or civil cultures. The males and females of all species serve specific natural roles in nurturing their species. Once women were enslaved, both men and women ceased serving their natural roles. That a sisterly bond is the nucleus of a natural human family is not by design or intent. It is based on genetic predisposition, and is, therefore, both automatic and inevitable. In spiritually-free cultures, which have no instituted families or laws, sisterhoods could never be prevented, anymore than we can now prevent groups of girls from forming lifetime friendships on school playgrounds. In a spiritually-free culture a woman’s identity—that is, her sense of self and of place—is grounded in her relationships with her sisters, not on the illusion of state sovereignty.
Having never been among humans living in their natural state, I can only surmise how our souls would naturally organize things, if not possessed by institutions and states. To reveal the actual social fabric of a natural human culture, we would need to form one. That would require the participants to trust their lives to the human spirit. Whether or not natural social structure indeed takes the form I envision, we can be certain of one thing: A natural social structure for our species does exist. Otherwise, our species wouldn’t exist.
I cannot stress enough how strongly I have come to believe in the immense power of the sisterly bonds women form, when in their natural state. These bonds don’t break. These women function as a unit. They look out for one another. And, unlike men, they are territorial creatures. If there were no women, men wouldn’t have a reason to fight wars. We would have no sense of self, no sense of place, no sense of anything. We wouldn’t be fighting over territory, because we would need nothing to establish as ours. In our natural state, everything a man does is to please the women.
You see, it is the women, not the men, who require a defined territory called home—a place where they can have a reasonable expectation of safety, for themselves and their children, as well as a natural sense of belonging. Here, they have a sense of place, and only here, a spiritual home.
In the modern world, states—not sisterhoods—are seen as all powerful. But states have no real power, that is to say, power that is useful to life. Not only can states not save mankind, they can’t even to save themselves. Only because there is nothing with real moral authority—such as a sisterly bond–to confront it, can the state be seen as all powerful. And where does the moral authority of the sisterly bond reside?
In a world ruled by states, it is might—be it military or economic—that makes right. However, should groups of women ever reassert the power of their souls, by again bonding in spiritual trust, things could dramatically change! Those women would yield to need, not to might. Indeed, if their family had plenty, and a neighboring family was without, they would share what they could simply for the sake of being able to live with themselves.
There is no perfect world, where needs are always satisfied and territorial disputes never occur. That would be unrealistic. But women carry the instinct for creating a world in which standing is gained by serving need, not through attaining might and wealth. And should women ever spiritually bond, the men would fall into line. In our souls, we each know what we are really about, which is to help provide for and protect the women and their children. But this knowledge has for thousands of years been silent, because there are no sisterly bonds to call us to our natural sense of duty.
I firmly believe that if a group of women ever bonded in spiritual trust—for their own sakes, for the sake of their children, and for the sake of the men who joined to support them—they would possess the spiritual authority to face down empires. All they would have to do is stand their ground. Those women might not always win, but every victory of the state would knock another thousand legs from under the illusion that the state has any real authority whatsoever, moral or otherwise.
When will women step out of their slave status to reassert their spiritual authority? When they become sufficiently offended with what is going on now.
The unbreakable sisterly bond is the hearth of human existence. Not only is the women’s sense of self and place secured in her female relationships, a man’s identity is also dependent on the sisterhood. Indeed, each man is welcomed into the family, only by the grace of the women. Spiritually-free men behave themselves, not in adherence to a system of rules, laws and punishment, but simply to earn the privilege of being allowed into the women’s presence. Men may be physically larger and stronger than women, but we are your emotional dependents. In a world ruled by the human soul, being the emotional dependents makes all the difference.
Without sisterly bonds to serve, men are left to their own devices to find meaning in life. Possessed by a need to act without limits, they tend to run amok in the pursuit wealth, privilege and power. Only women have the spiritual authority to place limits on anything, whether territorial claims, armed conflict, or sex. But, individually, women do not possess the spiritual authority of a sisterly bond.
In spiritual freedom, the sisterhood is the foundation for everything. For instance, a man who fails to earn the acceptance of the women, has no home, no sense of place, and no opportunity to play his natural role in life. In a modern culture sisterhoods don’t exist, leaving men bereft of any sisterly bonds to serve. Without a natural sense of purpose or place, we men are spiritually/emotionally lost—so lost, in fact, that you will find some of us sitting around writing stuff like this.
Shallow-Minded Efforts to Fix Life
Men pontificating on our beliefs and ideas, as I am doing now, represent little more than shallow-minded efforts to fix life. Such efforts to fix life are the source of gods, religions, states, institutions, constitutions, politics, ideology, money, science, and modern technology. The practice has thereby launched the greatest destructive forces on earth.
There are some benefits, along with the destruction. But, if our subjugation to these forces deprives us of unconditional love, while simultaneously inspiring us to behavior that denatures the environment, then all the benefits imaginable—including even eliminating the “disease” of aging—will never pay the bill.
Our intellectual effort to fix life is unavoidably shallow-minded, because only the soul/instinct, not the intellect, possesses the complex, vital, and vast awareness required for a species to flourish. Not only are there unique aspects to each soul’s awareness, but each soul reveals what it knows only through feelings, and then only to the moment. Therefore, knowledge, at least the type that enables a species to flourish, can never be documented. This is one reason why the state, an entity that, by necessity, is based on documentation, is destined to fail even before it is conceived.
The issue isn’t whether a state will fail. The issue is: How much life does it takes with it when it goes, and how much suffering, both human and animal, does it inflict in the meantime?
Sticking my Nose Into Places where it Doesn’t Belong
It is fundamental to spiritual freedom that one should never intrude on the lives of those outside his own circle of emotional intimates for the purpose of informing them about what they should or should not be doing. Yet, I’m guilty of doing just that with this document and, in even more depth, with my book, Eden. I’m aware that these writings, by their intrusions into the lives of people with whom I am not intimate, are blatant transgressions of my own beliefs, and this makes me uncomfortable. But I press on with all good intentions, as did everyone who has ever been in my position. I can only trust and hope that this effort to communicate doesn’t follow in the footsteps of so many of its predecessors, by unleashing further forces of destruction.
Let me put it another way, a little more bluntly. By this effort I realize that I am sticking my nose into places where it doesn’t belong. My problem is, without a sisterly bond and their children to serve, I have no spiritual home, and thus, no circle of emotional intimates. Consequently, there is no place on this earth where my nose does belong. So pardon me for my transgression. I can only say that I would much prefer having a spiritual home, and thereby be experiencing relational intimacy, than writing about it.
A Thinly-Disguised License for Rape
As for protecting women sexually in spiritually-free cultures: If our identities were anchored in sisterly bonds, instead of a sovereign state, any man who sexually violated a woman or one of her children, would be lucky to escape alive. And the brothers would take care of the matter. Spiritually-free men wouldn’t be lost in the emotional funk where we find ourselves today, nor would we pontificate. Being in touch with our souls, we men would be serving our sisters and their children, and in that service we would not be spiritually lost, but found.
We have noted that our emotional natures see the species’ life as sacred, relative to the individual’s. As a result, except for the overall wellbeing of the species, itself, nothing is more sacred to the human soul than the sexual nature of women. Consider: In spiritual freedom, the choices that women make regarding sex determine, not only the number of births, but also the behavioral and physical characteristics of future generations. In view of this, we can trust that the free human spirit will see that women’s sexual natures are protected. Our collective souls will thereby offer women a service that our all-powerful states, from their very beginnings, have proven woefully inadequate to provide.
Indeed, though not officially intended as such, a marriage license all-too-often becomes, in practice, a thinly-disguised license for rape—a legally-authorized, unlimited, lifetime access to a woman’s sex. How do you think our souls, who are responsible for the future wellbeing of our kind, feel about that? Could that explain, at least in part, a fifty-percent divorce rate and overcrowded abuse shelters?
Love is Our Connection to Life
We say that love is the answer, and it is. But love is not intentional. Love is one of the fundamental, unchanging ways our emotional nature reacts to specific circumstances that arouse feelings of endearment. Our love response, like our hunger, anger, or grief responses, is fixed by genetically-encoded awareness.
Not only is love not intended, it cannot be summoned on demand, or learned, nor taught. For instance, can romance, which is one kind of love, be taught? Of course not. If it could, romance would be meaningless, because it would not connect us to life. Like all feelings of the moment, we fall in and out of love in concert with life’s needs. Romance is not governed by anyone’s intentions or plans. Being a powerful soul-inspired sensation, romance is a prime slayer of plans.
Relational intimacy, another kind of love, also connects us to life. Indeed, relational intimacy, which we also experience as unconditional love, is life’s reward to us for our commitment to life. But, through no fault of our own, our survival in the current institutionalized world requires our commitment to a personal bank account, not to life. As a consequence, we modern humans must endure the greatest spiritual insult possible for a member of any social species—a lifetime without relational intimacy.
For humans, as with any social species, unconditional love happens only in interdependent relationships where individuals are attending one another’s needs directly. Without the interdependence of extended families, we exist without the love that would ground our relationships in the natural world. Just as a person with only black and white vision doesn’t miss the colors of a beautiful sunset, we don’t miss being without the spiritual trust of unconditional love, because we have never experienced it.
It isn’t that we are emotionally colorblind. It’s just that, being without families bonded in trust, we have, figuratively speaking, never seen a sunset.
Part of the Problem, or Part of the Solution?
Unconditional love is so fundamental to our existence that it is the measure of whether or not we are being true to life. Only by individuals living in relational intimacy can the world’s problems be solved. When we are experiencing unconditional love for the men, the women, and the children who make up our extended family, we can rest assured that we are part of the solution, because the things we do will support life. But, if our material and emotional isolation prevents us from knowing unconditional love, then we are part of the problem, regardless of our intentions.
From this observation, it is clear that I, too, am part of the problem. My intentions are good, but they mean nothing, if I am not being true to my feelings of the moment in my relationships with those around me.
Love is so essential to our sense of wellbeing that love and happiness are, in essence, the same thing. If we think we are happy without love, it is because we have never experienced relational intimacy. Many of our soldiers returning home from Afghanistan know that they aren’t happy. They have experienced unconditional love.
A Journey Grounded in Love
When we humans again function as a social species, be it in isolated extended families, or in extended families across the globe, the strong bonds that define the family that supports us will have been forged by mutually-experienced material and emotional needs. In such families, our wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us, will be as one. In this long-lost, yet newfound reality, though our sphere of influence will be limited to the people and terrain that we experience directly on a regular basis, that influence will be real and profound, and our lives enlarged. Whether we are angry or joyful, or should we one day turn up missing, it will deeply matter to a lot of people because, being dependent on us for their sense of wellbeing, as we are on them for ours, they will care.
This newfound world will be small, compared to the world in which we now reside, where our presumed sphere of influence is limited only by our imaginations. But that small world, the one to which we will be connected by powerful emotional forces, will be loaded with spiritual values, values to which we now have virtually no access.
Thus-bonded in spiritual trust, we will again experience the unconditional love of real human relationships, a depth of intimacy that our relationships with our pets now only hint at. Emotionally buoyed by the immediate and shared concerns of those around us, we will have regained our spiritual freedom. No longer spiritually imprisoned by our need to realize a personal life story, we will no longer have to lie about how we really feel. We will participate in life’s real journey, by taking care of life in every moment. Our journey will be a new one, for us, one that is grounded in love every bit as much as our current journey—our life of money and rules and laws—is grounded in our fear of the future.
“We cannot chop off a person’s head or remove his heart without killing him. But we can kill him just as effectively by removing him from his proper environment.”
—Alan Watts, author of The Book
“No one was ever born who agreed to be a slave. Of course, the moment I said that I realize multitudes of people enslave themselves every hour of every day, to this or that doctrine, this or that delusion of safety, this or that lie. Anti-Semitics, for example, are slaves to an illusion. People who hate negroes are slaves. People who love money are slaves. We’re living in a universe, really, of willing slaves, which is what makes the concept of liberty, of freedom, so dangerous.
Liberty is individual passion or will to be free. But this passion is always contradicted by the necessities of the state everywhere, for as long as we have heard of states. I don’t know if it will be like that forever. For a black American the Statue of Liberty is simply a very bitter joke, meaning nothing to us.”
James Baldwin, Writer, interviewed on the PBS Documentary “The Statue of Liberty”