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In The World But Not Of It

October 31, 2010

For some time now this phrase, a paraphrase of Jesus’ prayer in John 17, has been my primary creed. I more comprehensively explained what “In the World But Not Of It” meant in my opening lines to “Essence of the Soul”:

By what method can one determine reality? We have guides all around us, things like the senses, logic, and the perceptions of those around us, but does it not vary from person to person, even if only the slightest? In addition, with all honesty we can only accept that this reality we are bound by is wholly attributed to the past. What if reality was something to be discovered, is something to be explored? Most choose to leave those questions unanswered, and accept the reality created by the past. Some indulge in determining their own fate, but “in reality” are still bound by the same legacy; many of these would not realize this even if they were told, because the vast majority of the rules bestowed upon us are painfully unsaid. It would seem that this would sum up all those that are governed by this antiquity in one way or another, But let us not forget the select few that make the choice to abandon these limitations and create their own reality- although some do not yet know they have made the choice.

In other words, we are all conditioned to believe what we believe, to do what we do, to desire what we desire. Freewill is for most people an illusion, with people either consciously or unknowingly being slaves to society.

There is a way out (besides death!), and that is to be “in the world but not of it”. But like everything there is a price, and in this case, the price is the obliteration of the SuperEgo.

For those among you who do not know, the SuperEgo is most simply put as a person’s conscience. Aiming for perfection, it is our obligation to live life only in an acceptable, “safe” manner, to be considerate of other people’s feelings and thoughts, and to confine one’s actions to accepted social norms. Interestingly enough, the SuperEgo can be split into two separate parts: The personal SuperEgo (which is the individual conscience), and the social SuperEgo (which is the collective conscience). Now tell me, what sounds familiar about this? As you may or may not have noticed, the social SuperEgo is more familiarly known as “Society”!

Society is the collective version of the conscience, and so where one’s own personal conscience merely feels the obligations of the self (which serves to fulfill ideals, protecting one’s long-term interests, achieve perfection, and keep one’s actions within acceptably “safe” bounds, Society does the same thing, but takes everyone into account. Thus, what is considered “safe” by Society has nothing to do with the interests of the individual, but the best interests of the collective, as perceived by the collective.

This is where I come in: I recently realized that I had successfully rid myself of both personal and social conscience; this is an amazing achievement because it means that I am completely free of my social conditioning, and am not constricted by such things as “guilt”, “regret”, “shame”, and “fear”. All of these things no longer exist for me; in fact, when someone recently asked me if I had any of these things, I temporarily forgot that for some people, such things are necessities. In my freed state, I find these concepts so delimiting that, when a person questions my having them, I can only think “Why would anyone want such useless traits in the first place! Then I suddenly realize that, for most people, conditioning is so ingrained in their existence that they can’t even imagine what it would be like to be without it; for the majority of the world, a person without a conscience must inevitably be evil- thus, if I do not have a conscience, I must undoubtedly be evil!

I think I am starting to understand why Jesus told his followers that the world would hate them– to be a Christian originally meant to be evil in the eyes of the world, to be enemies of the world. Christianity has nowadays however become synonymous with Society; while Christians were originally supposed to oppose the world, they know have become the world; or more accurately, they have merged with it.

I am however truly in the world but not of it. I truly have freewill, because there is nothing about me that can be conditioned; I was originally conditioned (by nature), but now all that I might have been conditioned by originally I have now discarded as irrelevant and trivial. I no longer have a past or a future constricting me, but live only in the present; I live not as people wish me to or as I am compelled to, but as I see fit in the moment, taking in the experience of living my life to the fullest extent possible.

Because I live my life without shame, without regret, without obligation, and without fear, I am truly free.

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