Voluntary Slavery? Seems Ludicrous, Doesn’t It?

(Mike DePung — Post 152)

Do you ever pause and consider the progression, the variations, or the inconsistencies of humanity’s history? I find it intriguing — sometimes in a disturbing way, sometimes amusing, but always instructive. I’m thinking specifically of my topics since July 1.

I am keenly aware of the documents to which I have referred being written by a bunch of privileged white males; however, they did totally put their lives on the line. But I get the irony of writing about liberty when women did not have the same degree of it as men, and the African American slaves — I don’t even know how I would respond, what sense I could make of such a situation. Horrible. I wouldn’t want to leave out the Native Americans, who were used and abused, but who also worked from ego, which caused them great disrepute at the time. Those who used them, though, bear lasting condemnation. I would mention that later abuses of Native Americans in the 19th century shows that those “leaders” who mistreated and murdered them had absolutely no idea what the source or Spirit of the Declaration of Independence was. No wonder it was hardly ever mentioned until Abraham Lincoln walked in that same spirit.

Today, I actually want to take a step back in time to the year 1775, July 6. On that day another declaration was published in response to the aggressions of Great Britain against its own citizens, the colonists. It was written by Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson, who was well-known in his day and highly esteemed by Jefferson. This declaration set the stage for the independence movement to kick into full gear over the course of the next year, producing the declaration of July 4, 1776. The document of July 6, 1775, the “Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms” gives careful reasoning while still holding out hope that a complete break with Britain could be avoided. It was delivered from and appealed to the heart.

Why do I say this? The thrust of the message concerned liberty, the freedom to pursue those ideals of the heart so clearly delineated in the Declaration of Independence. Those leaders weren’t jockeying for power or a political office; they were laying the foundation of a nation, a nation structured in such a way that individuals could follow their hearts and allow others to do the same and still be able to exist in unity. Unheard of in the history of humanity. When Jefferson and Dickinson wrote “government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind,” they meant our welfare as concerns freedom.

That declaration recounts the falling out of Great Britain and the colonies. The colonies would have still been open to reconciliation, and if changes occurred, they would “sincerely wish to see [the relationship] restored.” The focus throughout, though, is on liberty as a basic human right: “Honor, justice, and humanity forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom,” which would cast “hereditary bondage” on succeeding generations. (Ouch! limited sensibilities when people turn from their hearts).

Ultimately, the aggression the colonies faced threatened their liberty — unacceptably so. Hearts left with no alternative will sometimes engage in physical confrontation. Their hearts and minds measured and prepared: “being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves.”

Are we willing to allow our ego to slip slowly into oblivion? It will never die, nor should it, but it must be dead to us as our choice of a life filter and motivation. If we don’t choose the heart, then we live as slaves to the ego, which means we live lives that others determine for us. Our egos make us subservient to opinions of others, one way or another. When we do that, we miss out on all the blessings of the freedom that the Founders established; we do not participate in the type of government that they dreamed of. Oh, we still get the benefits of living in a nation where this spirit was the basis, but we aren’t participating in it if we have neither heard our hearts nor discovered core Self and followed our hearts.

The Declaration of Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms stated, “We have counted the cost…and find nothing as dreadful as voluntary slavery.” What about you? Is it easier to live a life of conformity and safety or create your own destiny? Voluntary slavery? What a waste! Choose your “unalienable rights.” It is our liberty to do so.