And truly it demands something godlike in him who has cast off the common motives of humanity, and has ventured to trust himself for a taskmaster. High be his heart, faithful his will, clean his sight that he may in good earnest be doctrine, society, law, to himself that a simple purpose may be to him as strong as iron necessity is to others!
If any man considers the present aspects of what is called by distinction society, he will see the need of these ethics. The sinew and heart of man seem to be drawn out, and we become timorous, desponding whimperers. We are afraid of the truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. We want men and women who shall renovate life and our social state, but we see that most natures are insolvent, cannot satisfy their own wants, have an ambition out of all proportions to their practical force and do lean and beg day and night continually.
Our housekeeping is mendicant, our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlor soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote those thoughts in his 1841 essay, Self-Reliance. His thoughts are as valid now as they were in the 19th century. We trust others with the keys to our lives. We put ourselves on auto-pilot and expect society to change itself. We are mistrusting parlor soldiers who wrestle with our decisions, and then second guess the consequences from those choices.
We judge the weak, the poor, the phony and the frivolous, but rarely judge our objective viewpoint. Our goal is power and prosperity, but our mental engine misfires from the emptiness of our motives. Our motto In God We Trust is a one-sided plea of incompetence and capricious laziness. Narcissism rules government and greed takes it to another level. There is no trust in smoke-filled agendas, and no comfort in promises that fuel the engines of legal bigots.
The pandering of ignorant religions plunges us in the valley of deception and artful self-destruction. We linger in a vat of sin and wallow in the flimsy arms of worship. We believe we are tainted by association and tattooed with the mark of Satan. Our system of beliefs is saturated with the excrement of vicious fallacies, and we mark our territory with the blood of our children.
We are parlor soldiers waiting for a friendly shell to fall into our highly mortgaged bunker. The battle cry of century is laced with the doomsday prophesy of our generation. We cherish anger and reward destruction. Our battles are justified by the confused dreams of a dysfunctional system, and victory is diluted by revenge.
The circle of life continues to wrap us in a web of fear, and we dangle our trust in front of self-serving human arachnids. Breaking that fabricated web is our dream, but that dream has become a reality nightmare. The only way to free us, as Emerson points out, is to connect with the godlike quality within us, and trust in our subjective interior motives.
It’s time to be a taskmaster of trust and cast off the common motives of our dysfunction system. We must polish our free will, so it shines brightly in the face of fear. We need a new form of civil disobedience that swallows the chains of civil obedience. Civil disobedience means being faithful to our self first. A faithful self will, in good earnest, practices doctrine and law that represents the true meaning of Godlike humanity.