rules


It has been a few days since I last wrote.  Please forgive that but try to understand.  Sometimes these things just don’t come that easy.

This topic (rules) has kept coming back up over the last few days.  I have had discussions with friends, things have happened that brought them to mind, other things just seem to fit the bill.  Any way you look at it, the topic has come to the forefront for me.  And now I will try to share with you what this means to me.

I’ve always been somewhat of the black sheep in the family.  Not because I was such a bad kid.  Things are what they are.  That’s all.  Anyway, I challenged things, bucked the system (as it were), rebelled in my own way, and just generally did things my own way.  That really hasn’t changed too much.  I think my own way.  I do things my own way.  I really think that everyone does.

Rules are in place.  Some of them are good and some are bad.  Some are rules that deserve to be broken and others come with a high price.  Some rules can not technically be broken.  Laws of physics would be one example.  Yes, I’m aware that even those laws are sometimes broken or at least seem to be.  I say seems to be because if the Rule is broken, maybe it really wasn’t a real rule after all.  What goes up must come down?  Well, not always.  Still, if you try breaking that rule without the proper equipment, the concequences can be catistrophic.  And even with equipment, are you really breaking that rule?

Governments have rules.  The Department of Transportation, FBI, IRS, etc… all have their rules.  You can break the speed limit if you like.  Sometimes you will get away with it.  Other times you will have to pay the price.  Schools have rules.  Parents, skating rinks, the game of baseball, home owners associations, etc… all have their rules.  We LIVE in and with rules all the time.

Some of the rules we have are self imposed.  Cultural rules, religious rules, even rules about dating.  Ever changing rules.  It is very interesting how we so limit ourselves.   How we set guidelines and parimeters, and put ourselves into little places and put our minds there too.  We say we have freedom but that freedom has become limited by our own little minds.  Not in size.  In thought.

I’m not advocating breaking rules.  I’m saying that there are rules that make sense and those that don’t.  We have gotten to the point that we have lost the ability to think for ourselves.  We’ve somehow put ourselves in a position that greatly inhibits our own growth.  That is the growth of our minds.

Religious rules are some of the worst.  The so called “church” has held the minds of people in such control for so long, they no longer even question what is being told them.  The Catholic Church was one of  the worst of the offenders for a long time.  It is my belief that other churches are now doing as much harm.  The blind leading the blind.

There are Baptist churches, Penticostal, Methodist, Presbeterian, Catholic, Unitarian, etc…   None of them are alike.  Southern Baptist believe different things than Independent Baptist.  They would say this is not so but it is.  I use them as an example because I am more familiar with the Baptists but even in each variation of denomination there are different views.  Even inside each church, this class will have a different moral or religious viewpoint than another.  Why? Because we are all different.  Still, you’d think that there would be commonality.  One God only has one view.  One set of rules.

My God?  (by my understanding) My God is Love.  My God wants me to live life and live it more abundantly.  Not by mans rules.  By God’s rule.  The rule of Love.  It is for me to just be.  Be what I am.  Be who I am.  Just to be.

Personally, I think rules are meant to be challenged.  What our teachers, our preachers, our leaders of any kind say, all needs to be challenged to some degree.  Avoid accepting things just because it was said by someone who is thought of as having the answer.  They do not.

My father taught me well.  Even as a small boy.  I can remember his teaching me to challenge what I was taught.  Even if it was from him.  To this day I do this.  Not him as he is no longer here.  I challenge what I am taught.  I challenge rules.  I challenge what others think they know to be true.  I even challenge what I think I know to be truth.  To me, truth is the ultimate.  Truth stands on it’s own and can not be defeated.  Suppressed, yes.  Defeated, no.

Not all rules are bad.  Not all are good either.  I’d challenge you to open your mind’s eye.  The eye inside of you.  The eye of knowing.  The eye of truth.  Only then can you begin to know and understand what limiting rules you are allowing or are placing on yourself.  Only then can you really be free.  Free to live.  Free to just be.

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Author: memman

Too much to tell. There is more than what is seen on the surface of any man. Some have more layers than others. I have many.

10 thoughts on “rules”

  1. Yes. I believe you are right Dan that it is we ourselves who put on the majority of our own shackles to be limited and burdened. And it would certainly be easier for us to make adjustments, and proceed with unburdening ourselves from our self-imposed limits, if only we were conscious of how we had limited ourselves to begin with.
    Our unconscious mind is of course a powerful thing. I’ve in fact come to have a tremendous respect for it. I believe it is my unconscious that “handles” at least 90 percent of my daily life. And thank God for that! Because a lot of that “handling” involves such critical things as our heartbeat, all organ functioning, what hormones and chemicals are to be released at any given time, depending on our circumstances and what is called for… like adrenaline when there is danger to prepare our bodies for maximum response in case fight or flight is needed for survival. In fact, for many “thrill seekers”, that chemical release, in the face of danger, can be as addictive as a drug addict’s drug of choice. They will tell you, that there is nothing like that rush they get when they jump out of a plane, or off a cliff or building, or whatever it is that brings that rush…
    But I believe our unconscious provides external limits and functioning for us as well as internal. I believe our “personalities” are actually like a set of behaviors that our unconscious will primarily handle for us throughout our daily encounters. So yes, it is “limiting” in that it says “I’m the type of person that in this situation will do ‘this’ and not ‘that'”. So there is a consistency about us. At least to a degree. Is that a bad thing? Obviously not all bad. There is comfort for others in being able to “know” us. Whatever that means. It at least may mean that if they talk to us, we will likely listen and hear what they are trying to say, and not… say… kick, or even kill them.
    It seems to involve them knowing something about how we handle things in most social contexts. So our very “identity” in terms of how others view us, is actually DEFINED by limits… as opposed to by all the infinite possibilities that we COULD have been. So by definition, as human beings, there is limit… even “Gracious limits” I’ve heard it called, to who we are in relation to one another.
    However, just as fight or flight is a “built in survival mechanism”, defenses of all kinds may be unknowingly added to our daily arsenal.
    One of my favorite stories is “A Christmas Carol”. Is that not a great example of how, what had started for Scrooge as the “wisdom” of building wealth, and a comfortable secure lifestyle, turned into what our culture deemed a cold-hearted, “walled off” greedy man.
    But just as Scrooge had defenses added to his arsenal throughout his life unaware that it was happening, in his case, it was actually his unconscious also, that opened his eyes to the “shackles” he “forged in life”. Dreams of course are from our unconscious, and it was his dreams that “woke him up” to the sad life he had come to know, and to the “rules he needed to challenge”. And only through that new awareness, or awakening, did he gain the power to change his life and identity in the way that he did… and “freed him to live” and “just be”, as you said.
    Thanks for the new blog Dan!

    1. To me, there is a significant difference between the physical me and the me of who I am. While the me people see has a brain (yes it does… stop doubting that… I have pictures) and that brain does function on a daily basis firing signals that keep my heart beat regular or signals that make my lungs expand and contract on Que, still, that is not who I am. It is not even really the subconscious mind of me.
      Unconscious… that is a good word for this blog. An unconscious mind. WOW is that powerful when you think about it. How many of us walk around unconscious. Unaware. It is that part of us all that I yearn to awaken. In myself as much or more as within others. This unconscious mind, the mind that is our being. The true self. The part of us we hide and obscure even to ourselves. That is to our daily outward seemingly conscious self. Who we fool ourselves into thinking we are.
      You are definitely on the right track Michael. I knew this. I know this. You are a very good friend. Your writing was more well put together than mine for this blog. I could tell, even while writing it, that it felt scattered. I felt as though there were volumes to write on this. So much that I wanted to say that I couldn’t even put it all into words. You, on the other hand did have a direct path. I’m glad. I’m thankful. Sometimes I think maybe you should start a blog. 🙂 I know I would read it.

      1. Though I thank you for your kind words Dan, they are much too generous! It is much easier for me to springboard off another person’s thoughts, and whatever that sets in motion for me, than to generate writing from scratch as you did… possibly the very reason I don’t have my own blog. Though that is not to say I will not at some point. (Thanks for the encouragement!)
        But whether in conversation or writing, for some reason the ideas you initiate, stir up a variety of issues that creatively play off of one another for me. I don’t think I even want to try to understand that, it is so deep and complex.
        i.e. If it hadn’t been for what you wrote, I would certainly not have written what I wrote.
        Even when in conversation in person, as you know, that happens for me all the time. Our conversations just seem to bring thoughts from me, sometimes thoughts I have never had in that way before. Until soon both our heads are spinning… So I say, never underestimate the value of your input! All input stirs a pot that is so large I don’t think we will ever comprehend it…

  2. The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist” says God, “For proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing.” “BUT,” says Man, “The Babel Fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It proves you exist, so therefore you don’t. QED.” “ Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that.” And promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. “Ooh, that was easy” says Man and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed at the next zebra crossing.
    – Douglas Adams “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”

    There are reasons for rules, but in our search to define the boundaries of our behavior (what we call rule) looking for “exceptions” we often overlook those reasons and fail to realize that God is the reason.

    BY DEFINITION, God is Omniscient, Universal, Eternal, Omnipotent. As a result, BY DEFINITION, God should be the “Ultimately Boring Entity” in the Universe. Other than microseconds before and after the Big Bang, God and the “Laws of Physics” have been constant and consistent for about the last 14 Billion years, and likely are going to be constant and consistent for about the next 14 Billion years. The changes that have occurred in what we call human history are NOT changes in God but changes in our perceptions

    To understand extremes of physical behavior in terms of size, mass, or energy we use the mathematics of Relativity as a more useful model than Newtonian Physics. But Relativity has conceptual limits. Quantum Mechanics came about because of the conceptual limits of Relativity. Despite Einstein’s brilliance in recognizing the relativistic effects of matter and energy in extreme relationships, he failed to realize the implications of Quantum Mechanics by his inability to understand that not only does God (He/She/It) “play dice with the Universe,” but God (He/She/It) plays with loaded dice.

    (Mrs. Newton likely had a similar problem. When Isaac came inside to tell her that by observing falling apples he had realized the concept of Gravity, her likely reply was, “That’s nice dear, but could you go get me some apples so that I could bake a pie for tonight’s dinner guests.”)

    Events that seem to violate the “Laws of Physics” are likely because our source of information was Misinformed, Misunderstood, or Misrepresented. The Proof of God is NOT in deviations or aberrations of Physical Laws, but in the Universality and Consistency of those Laws. While “The Proof of God is in the Absence of Miracles,” the occurrence of improbable (“Miraculous”) events is actually proof of God’s “dice being loaded.”

    The Function of Religion and Faith

    Our need for Faith is inherent in our psyche as a result of millions of years of evolution. People are born, they grow, they procreate, and they die. Life-cycle milestones become less disruptive when there is a social structure that shares the bonds and burdens of those events. Faith is the belief in the stability and continuity of our environment.

    Beyond legal formalities, life-cycle events of Religion are essential Bonding functions that provide the support, structure, and stability for our survival. The concept of a “higher Authority” inherent in Religion increases the likelihood of successful constructive action since it reduces the indecision associated with excessive analysis. Because Authority provides us with an external source for “reasons” for our behavior, it also tends to alleviate the fear and guilt of any negative consequences of our actions. Bonding is how we relate to the metaphors we define as our environment. It is how we define ourselves and sets the priorities of how we interact with our environment. Bonding defines the relationships we have with our environment and with others. Inherent in the structure of all religions is the help through Bonding that they provide us in dealing with the stresses of the Process of life. There is an essential need for Faith and the structure of Religion to help us deal with the uncertainties of the future as well as assure us of the consistency of the past. Religion (even as a “faith in Science”) is essential to provide a structural support for that Faith.

    The Mechanics of Prayer

    Prayer is the subconscious (meditative) mechanism which lets us focus on a “situation” without restraints of self, time, or physical limits, and enables us to visualize possibilities. While “solutions” provided by Prayer may seem external, they are in actuality our internal recognition of possibilities already available but previously NOT visualized or realized. To achieve the meditative state of Prayer, however, it is easier, and more effective, and enables most people to act more decisively, if the Prayer “solutions” are viewed as external rather than as coming from an internal source. When an outcome is uncertain (probabilistic), it is easier to feel more confident if we share responsibility for our decisions, (and/or even deny responsibility), if the “solution” source is external.

    Survival requires Action based upon both what we know AND WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW. What we know we define as Science. What we do NOT know we define as Faith. Prayer is the personal element in that concept of Faith. Religion combines Faith and Logic to create “Rules of Morality” that describe desired human conduct. Despite the illusion of an Authoritarian Source, most “Rules of Morality” have an empirical basis that benefits both individuals’ and a society’s survival even though those Rules may seem as if they were from an Absolute source beyond Logic. The specific Words of those Rules are not as important as the Wisdom of those Rules because those Rules are NOT Reality but in rather a map that is a reflection of Reality. The Absolute mistake of Fundamentalism is that it focuses on Words rather than on the Wisdom of those Words. It is akin to ignoring the roadway while driving because you are focusing on the map, which is why a Fundamentalist perception tends to be fatal to both the individual and the group.

    Conclusion

    Logic and Science alone do not guarantee survival. Human survival depends upon Action as much as it does Understanding; however, the need for Belief is inherent and essential for human Understanding. The resolution of the conflict of Religion versus Science, Faith versus Logic, and Process versus Analysis, is in recognizing that they are only metaphors. Those metaphors reflect concepts that are essential for the survival of the human psyche and cannot exist without each other. As “rational” human beings and biological entities, to live and function effectively we need to think and act as if the world was guided by an Absolute External Power, however, to understand and control the details of reality we need to recognize the statistical Quantum Mechanic metaphor of our existence.

    Despite the absence of Absolutes, our involvement in rituals and religious practices gives us an essential sense of continuity and bonding. A healthy state of mind has a reverence towards the sacredness of Rituals (and Words) because of the security created by the emotional bonds. That belief remains valid as long as those Rituals (and Words) do NOT thwart the Wisdom of the Laws of Physics. The need for God is inherent and essential for Belief. God exists, but God also exists as a reflection of the personality, culture, education, experience, and traditions of each individual.

    A proper grasp of reality requires us to understand that our existence IS statistical and have a Quantum Perspective, but our need for Understanding is inherent and essential for the existence of Human Beings.
    Faith and Logic balance the human need for Process and Analysis. Logic (Analysis) is essential for growth and group survival. Faith (Process) is essential for individual survival and group membership (Bonding).

    1. I hope you don’t mind my saying Allan, as I don’t think I know you personally, but I really liked your response here! Especially how you build it in the end to a balancing of process and analysis, faith and logic, and then relate that with bonding… your final word.
      Your language mainly focuses on what is essential for human “existence” and “survival”. But with your inclusion of bonding, I believe that is the heart of what you are saying. Yes we want to survive. Especially with all the war and destruction that continues to plague us. But time has also shone us that the survival game alone is primarily a deadly one.
      So for me, by pointing ultimately to bonding, rather than surviving, as primary in this adventure of life, then yes, that too covers survival. But I believe, inherent in this bonding, is that mysterious element that takes us far beyond survival to the very meaning of life.
      I think in proper context your word bonding here makes the word survival completely obsolete. And I have to believe that over time, that understanding will increase, so that a more abundant living will then increase. Our lives will begin moving far beyond survival, into territory where we can live and breath easier… colors are brighter.

      In my experience, the world of survival is primarily a world built around fear. And I cannot breath in that atmosphere. An environment of fear tells “our defenses” that they (our defenses) are what matter most, because they keep us alive. But in our more modern language now, those very defenses are often referred to as our “false selves”. Selves that we instinctively created at some point in time to… protect ourselves, or even to survive. And these false selves can then come to dominate our lives to the point that we think that really is who we are. So essentially, what started as a wall of protection for us, turns into a wall of imprisonment, WITHOUT our even knowing it. We believe this “protection” is essential. After all, it came from our survival instinct. Right? Every cell in our body says it. Because at the time it was created, that was TRUE! It WAS brilliant instinctual survival!
      But in the process of bonding, what once “protected” us, now PREVENTS the bonding we need. That we yearn for. We must be honest to bond. Otherwise what are you bonding? How can you be honest, with a “false self” in charge? With our full permission! Albeit unconscious permission.

      So in the world of “bonding”, just like the quantum world follows a different set of laws than our “normal” physical world, the world of bonding follows a different set of rules from surviving. In the latter, deception seems to be the aim. In the former, honesty. Even brutal honesty. In that world of bonding, fear itself, or at least the paralyzing, toxic effects of it (or the need for a false self), may eventually become obsolete. That is my hope. Because I believe it is the true self that I yearn for. And I believe that true self goes well beyond anything I can currently imagine. The more I learn of it… the more amazed I become.
      Thank you again Allan for your response to Dan. I have never before said these things with this clarity. It is a surprise to me that your writing sparked this.

      1. Michael,

        You DO know me from my Scouting days.

        And thank you for your comments as to “the world of survival is primarily a world built around fear.”

        I am still working on my “Metaphor of God” which is where the extract leading to the bonding comment came from. And thanks to your comment, I realize that I should include a definition of “fear” perhaps as “anti-bonding.”

        The “bonding” analogy comes from chemical elements having a lower (and more stable) energy level when they join to form molecules, or cells when they join to form organs, or organs when they join to form organisms, or Scouts when they join to form a Patrol, or Patrols when they join to form a Troop. (Kind of overkill, but that is partly how I made the connection.)

        While the individual may be as important as the group, the group can accomplish far more than the individual through both teamwork and task specialization. That group identity (bonding) is what helps determine the tasks of the individual as well as the goals of the group. It is not so much a matter that the goal of the group is to preserve its survival and indirectly the survival of the individuals so much as that the lower entropy level of the group enhances the group survival and that of the individuals. It is the entropic version of the “chicken or the egg” conundrum and the reason why Evolution works despite how unpredictable it might be.

        But “bonding” is why people join churches or pray or join clubs or join Scouts or write blogs to an anonymous universe and population seeking someone (or something) that they can “connect” with.

        Fear is a motivator, but it is a negative motivator and will eventually lead to destruction of the group and what relationships there might be. But Love is NOT the opposite of Fear just like Hate is not the opposite of Love. The opposite of Hate is Indifference. The opposite of Fear is Trust. Trust is what makes bonding possible.

        But thank you for letting me share, because I have realized as much from writing this as you may have from reading it.

        I am in the process of re-writing my “Metaphor of God” now that I can see (literally) and look forward to sending you a more finished copy.

        Thank you, friend.

  3. CORRECTION:

    There are reasons for rules, but in our search to define the boundaries of our behavior (what we call Rules) looking for “exceptions” we often overlook those reasons and fail to realize that God is the reason.

  4. Wow Allan! You have the most fascinating information! I have often been intrigued with the concept of entropy, but if I knew, I had forgotten that: “chemical elements having a lower (and more stable) energy level when they join to form molecules…” or that the entropy level of a group is lower than that of the individual! That makes sense to me. And it rings true.
    This blog alone is evidence. The conversation… with how we all have shared here, has become something bigger than what I “came to the table with”.
    And fear – as “anti-bonding”… I really like that!

    Thanks for your sharing as well Allan. I really look forward to your Metaphor of God!
    And to what issue Dan will ignite next!
    No pressure though Dan… 🙂

    Hey… pressure… I wonder if that is another chemical topic to explore… :-O

    1. OMG! I promise you, as soon as I wrote this last response before this, I went to my email, and opened an email that looked interesting to me. And on the website I was then linked to, was this video (below)! I kid you not! Exactly what we are talking about here. This is wonderful! Watch it when you have about 20 minutes -it is a talk on the TED. Talk about synchronicity. -I don’t know if this will be a link to click or if you must copy and paste it. But here it is. I’ve never heard this woman or read her book, but I think I may now, because she addresses so perfectly what we have just been talking about here, with added creativity and comedy. It’s awesome, even if a little strange at times. : )

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