Here is a wise quote by C.S. Lewis that I love:
C.S. Lewis wrote:Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
Loosely speaking, it reminds me of something I wrote right in the very first page of the introduction of In It Together:
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (In It Together, page 1) wrote: Love, equality, freedom, and peace may be the most dangerously controversial subjects about which one can speak. To speak in support of love, one challenges haters. To speak in support of fundamental human equality, one challenges sexists, racists, and those who would dehumanize others as inferior. To speak of freedom and peace, one challenges violent oppressors; one challenges murderers, rapists, and enslavers, the most dangerous of whom may be the ones who claim to commit such violence for the alleged greater good.
Such self-proclaimed utilitarians may be the most dangerous people, if not for their self-righteousness, then for the eager willingness with which they commit violent atrocities. Indeed, the most dangerous people capable of the most violent acts often tend to be the ones who think they, unequally, are the so-called “good guys”.
What do you think? Do you agree with C.S. Lewis about this? Do you agree with me about this?
How do you feel about violent nanny states? For instance, consider a big Orwellian global government that issues a world-wide ban on cigarettes, marijuana, or alcohol, or all three, such that anyone who consumes any of them even in the privacy of one's own home would have their door kicked in and uniformed officers with guns drag that person to prison--all paid for by taxpayers who themselves will be violently thrown in prison if they refuse to pay for it. It's very likely we will see such a violent expensive global government in our lifetimes. In real life, TikTok might be what they ban first; who knows? Imagine a pacifist in a huge global government's prison because he just really wanted to watch that one funny viral 30-second TikTok video. Imagine going to the black market for some TikToks.
It's a lot more realistic and likely than it may sound. A lot more.
Literal large-scale political violence aside, how do you feel about the controlling nature of moral busybodies who might seek to squash diversity and make the whole world conform to their controlling standards?
There is a reason I bring the above issues up in the very beginning of my book, In It Together. That reason is this: The challenge for us lovers and for us peaceful and freedom-supporting people is to love even the haters. The challenge for those of us who do practice accepting what we cannot control is also accepting the nature of those unforgiving unaccepting people who themselves fail to accept what they cannot control--meaning, in part, those who desperately seek to dominate the whole world because they lack self-discipline, and those who impose on everyone else's yards instead of simply focusing on cleaning their own. So, while we can scientifically describe the nature of violent nanny states or describe the nature of miserable moral busybodies with control issues, the challenge for us is to not step into the realm of prescriptive judgementalism against them ourselves. In a very meaningful way, if we say, "they shouldn't have done what they did", we become them. There are no 'shoulds' or 'oughts'; not for those of us who fully and unconditionally accept what we cannot control.
As Nietzsche wrote, one who battles monsters must take care lest he himself become a monster. Or, in my own words, to hate a hater is to be a hater. To not forgive an unforgiver is to be an unforgiver. To resent a resenter is to be a resenter. And, in a loose non-judgemental sense of the words, to be overly controlling towards control freaks is to become a control freak.
It sounds simple and obvious, but--figuratively speaking--those who have spiritually awakened can easily slip back asleep if they encounter their particular pet peeve. Sure it sounds reasonable to suggest you don't hate haters, but what if I asked you if you hate racists? Would you violently impose on non-violent racists and non-violent sexists and non-violent moral busybodies? If so, then I'd say (descriptively without moral judgementalism or resentment of any kind) that you have become more than merely just the monster you seek to fight; you've then become a bigger more violent more dangerous monster. You've then become a monster who is even more violent and self-righteous, and who is even more convinced that his own terror is done for the so-called greater good. Then you've become even more deluded by the silly false idea that the ends can somehow 'justify' the means, any means, no matter how brutal or violent or imposing.
For those of us who strictly follow the principle of live and let live, both in politics and spirituality, part of the challenge is letting non-violent but seemingly self-destructive fools engage freely in their folly, at least insofar as they do not commit any non-consensual non-defensive violence.
Maybe it's smoking cigarettes in one's own home. Maybe it's smoking marijuana in one's own home. Maybe it's taking LSD or magic mushrooms in one's own home. Maybe it's being non-violently racist. Maybe it's being non-violently sexist. Maybe it's being non-violently transphobic. Maybe its being non-violently trans. Maybe it's being non-violently homophobic. Maybe it's being homosexual. Maybe it's having unprotected consensual sex with many different adult partners in one's own home. Maybe it's having one big sex orgy in the privacy of one's home. Maybe it's believing in God. Maybe it's being an atheist. Maybe it's a private beach in some town that allows public nudity. Maybe it's a private beach in some town that bans public nudity. Maybe it's a private beach in some town that requires public nudity; No clothes allowed on this beach! I think a diverse peaceful world with all three beaches is a beautiful world, even if I don't personally choose to travel to or visit all three beaches. But it's thanks to freedom that I would have the choice.
As I say in the book, multiple times in slightly other words, the beauty of the principle of live and let live is the beautiful diversity it engenders.
Sadly, many would seek to conquer the world to eliminate that diversity and impose their rules of conformity on everyone across the whole globe. They might say, "everyone has to smoke cigarettes or nobody can!" Ironically, such people tend to be those who themselves most lack self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom). They distract themselves from their own messy backyard by trespassing on everyone else's, and demanding all yards be the exact same. But one man's clean is another man's dirty, and one man's trash is another man's treasure.
A world that is held to one control freak's version of clean treasure is a world that has much less beautiful treasure.
Peaceful diversity-appreciating freedom begets wealth, prosperity, and complex mutually beneficial order. When we live and let live, people most tend to live in the way that is best for them. And, insofar as they don't, the live-and-let-liver lets them. If they choose to have a messy trashy backyard, let them. Clean your own backyard, first. Then realize that yours is never perfectly clean, and there is always more cleaning to do, and thus realize that "first" means "always and only". Never trespass.
To truly and fully follow the principle of live and let live, never trespass.
Not for the greater good. Not for anything.
Be peaceful. Be loving. Fully and unconditionally accept what you cannot control. Or, in other words, proverbially, clean your own backyard, and never ever trespass.
Or don't follow my advice. That's fine too. Even if I'm 100% right about everything, it's not me who will lose or lack inner peace if you don't follow my advice about it. And that's why my courage and inner peace is, in a very important way, invincible.
I love you, but my happiness doesn't depend on you. That is the nature of spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline). My happy unconditional love and inner peace does not depend on anything that is 'outer'.
Whether you take the path I've shown you to happiness, or take a different path to happiness, or simply choose to be hateful and unhappy, I will love you regardless.
Take care, my friends!
(a.k.a. Eckhart Aurelius Hughes)