Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Commencement Address

Students of this graduating class, Faculty, Family, and Friends, 

First of all, I understand that some of you students don't want to be here; that there was a vote amongst you as to whom to invite to give your Commencement Address, and a majority won the day.  As one of your Faculty remarked to me ahead of this time, about you students: 'They understand that this is a democracy, and the majority rules.'  But since 'this' is not a democracy, but rather a republic; and a constitutional republic at that, the individual has certain rights, and you certainly have the right to be here, now, or not.  I don't want a captive audience sitting in front of me, to hear what I have to say; which will be in part directed at that general subject area, of freedom.  So I am releasing ten minutes of my allotted time, for a break to be taken, during which time all those of you who do not wish to hear what I have to say, please leave; and the rest can move up closer.  So: Back in ten.  

(ten minutes later)

Hello.  Perhaps some of you are just curious.  That's alright.  That's the beginning of thought about things.  Why is the sky blue, and the grass green, around us.  And who is 'us', anyway?...

 And to start with, a word about this business of 'freedom'.  It seems to have become a bit of a dirty word.  Freedom.  As in, free.  To say whatever you want to say, within a very limited constriction; famously put by a Supreme Court justice when he opined that you don't really have the right to shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theater.  But with such leniency, and deference to the fundamental principle involved, that, for example, an earlier constellation of that same body of justices ruled that the burning of the American flag in a clear political protest - an act of street theater - was just that: a form of free speech; of political protest; and was deemed by them to fall under the protections of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

To pass looking at that specific matter for a moment - that is  to say, that the Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, is a document - a legal contract - clarifying what the federal government can and cannot do; not the several States, who have their own state constitutions for the citizens of that particular state to live under.  The 14th Amendment to the Constitution made the citizens of each state also citizens of the United States, subject to the body of laws that those citizens were subject to, clarifying their rights and privileges and limitations.  And just so, have we had, in this country, an ongoing tension, between the power of the federal government, and what is reserved "to the States respectively, or to the people," in the words of the Tenth Amendment.          

I say this, not to muddy the waters, but to clarify the sort of nation fundamentally that you students are about to graduate into.  A nation of laws, and with a 'constitutional' respect for the individual, NOT to be overruled willy-nilly by the collective majority.  But for some time now, a collective spirit has entered the picture.  That collectivism has emanated primarily from the Left of the political aisle; and has manifested in such 'memes' as what is called political correctness.

That collectivist spirit has also come from the Right of the political spectrum, and manifests itself in such notions as 'law and order'; but let me stay with the Left for a moment, since that 'angle' is more relevant to your everyday world. And has resulted in such 'law and order' forms as 'student speech codes'.

First person: 'You shouldn't be free to say just anything you want.  You should only be allowed to say, well, allowed things.'

Second person: 'Allowed by whom.'

First person: 'By the collective.'

Second person: 'So in your ideal world, the individual has no rights over the collective.'

First person:  'That's right.  So to speak….that's a ha ha, if you didn't get it.' 

Second person: 'Oh, I 'got it'.  And if the collective decides that something that you are saying is anathema…???'

First person: 'The collective will never do that.  Because WE are The People.  And The People rule.' 

Not in America.

In America: the Constitution rules.  To say, the rule of law rules.  And if you want to change that rule of law, there is a process allowed for that to happen.  It's not an easy process; but that was set that way on purpose, by the constitutional Framers, so that it wouldn't be changed for light or transient reasons.  The Constitution of the United States was conceived for the long run.  Not the short one.  And yes, it was conceived for The People.  But The People not in a mob.  Not in a pure democracy; subject to the persuasion of every demagogue who tries his or her hand in stampeding the mob to a desired end.  

Like a lynching. 

So, limitations were put on the power of the state - the majority; the mob - for good reason.  Learned, from history.  From the life experience of the race.  The human species.  The spiritual beings having a human experience.

But I get ahead of myself, a little bit, there…

We were talking about the state.  In whom our First Person put so much trust; because said First Person figured that The People could always be controlled by First Person's desired constituency: The People over the 1%, as it has been put in our time.  

Second Person: 'So, you believe in a kept citizenry.'

First Person: 'Beg pardon?'

Second Person: 'A captive citizenry, that is free only to the extent that the state allows.'

I'll cut to the chase here.  The issue is essential liberty - one of the foundational principles of the American experiment in self-governance - versus 'equality'.  Or to put it succinctly:  Freedom versus socialism.  Not 'capitalism' versus socialism, because socialism encompasses so much more than just the economic form that the citizenry lives under.  It is an entire way of life.  

Socialist (or his/her fellow traveler, 'Leftist') says 'undocumented workers'.  Individualist says 'illegal aliens' (i.e., calls'em as he sees'em).  Socialist/Leftist says: 'You can't say that.'  Individualist: 'Why not.'  S/L:  'Because it's prohibited speech.'  Individualist: 'Why.'  S/L: 'Because it's hate speech.  It's anti-social.'  Individualist: 'You say potato, I say potahto.'  S/L: 'Pardon?'  Individualist: 'You call it 'hate speech';  I call it 'anti-liberal perspective'.  The same as you say 'voter suppression laws,' and I say 'election integrity laws'.      

And just so, the battle rages.   

While behind the scenes, our erstwhile keepers rub their hands in glee.  And can hardly wait for their next big meal.  Out of war.  

Students: You are entering a world that is under the control of entities who can very fairly be called Dark Forces.   They have rejected the Light for Power Over.  Over others.  The salient feature of their world is just this: power.  Force. 

The salient feature of the Light is Love.

Power with.     

So in a  way, the collectivist has a good point, in the value of working with each other.  But they would couch it in the terms of Power OVER others.

Forcing others to be the way they want them to be.  By the confiscatory and controlling power of the state...  

The fundamental difference that humanity must choose between, in our time, is between the way of Love and the way of Force.  Between the way of the honoring of the basic principle of free will, and the way of the imposing of brute force; hard power over soft power.  

Wanting to bring about a world where people don't 'offend' each other with their speech is laudable.  Wanting to do it by the use of Force - by the power of the state over the individual - is the way of the Dark.  Is a perversion of a good point: reachable, best, by a move up in consciousness.  In human consciousness.  So that we more purely reflect our essence.  As the aforementioned 'spiritual beings having a human experience'.

There will be some changes, as we move up in consciousness to a higher level, in the 'social picture', along the lines of cooperation rather than competition.  But it will be with the I in mind. Not the 'we'.  For 'we' are One.

As the phenomenon of reincarnation attests to.  Proving that 'we' are not the meat bodies that we inhabit at any given time in incarnation; with which we experience this 3D realm of duality; of polarity, so that we can have meaningful experiences - meaning, with opposition - for soul growth.  And thus being - becoming - aware that all of life is a school.  And you, now, are just moving out of one stage of it, to another.  Towards the Big graduation.  To a higher level of reality.  Just waiting, now, for us to inhabit it.      

May you go from here - from this place of learning - determined to fulfill your potential.  And in doing so, to help to bring about that better world, that we all, beneath our human differences - in the drama, the play, of life -  want.

Because we have been there before.  And it is a delightful place to be from.  And in.

And to create again. As the extremely creative, and imaginative, entities - souls - that we are.

After all, we created this reality.  

And that took a hell of a doing.

Thank you for listening.  And go well, on your various paths.  With one bit of awareness in particular in mind: 
There is, and has been, a real test of wills going on.  And I'll leave it to you to guess whose will will win out, in the end.

After all, it's your choice.


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