Two Fundamental Laws
by Fr. E.S.Q.S.
Probably it is about time to introduce two fundamental laws (of life): the Law of Unity and the Law of Freedom. These two fundamental laws are the firm basis of culture. Without them, there can be no culture. Currently, our society hardly recognizes them; as such, our society has no culture worthy of the name. “Pop culture” (“popular culture”) is not culture. At best, it is an unfortunate parody (of culture), the failed attempts of the uncultured to culture themselves by imitation; at worst, it is degrading.
The first fundamental law, then, is the Law of Unity. Its meaning is probably simple enough: the Law of Unity indicates the unity of all life (i.e.: “All life is one”). It is not an explanation of the fact of unity; rather, it is a law (of life), based upon the fact of unity, that must be followed. To live in accord with the Law of Unity is to live in harmony with the world, with each other. To live in accord with the Law of Unity is to strive to realize the universal brotherhood of humanity, to realize the universal brotherhood of all life (with all that this entails). For example: to live in accord with the Law of Unity is to strive to acquire the tendency to love: to strive for kindness, tolerance, sympathy, and understanding. To strive to live in accord with the Law of Unity is to strive to overcome the tendency to hate. Love unites; hatred divides. Love produces harmony; hatred produces discord. Thus, love is realization of the Law of Unity, whereas hatred is violation of the Law of Unity. It is not hard to understand. It is simple. It is the first, firm foundation for culture. It is – undoubtedly – the most fundamental of all laws (of life).
The second fundamental law, then, is the Law of Freedom. Its meaning will probably require a bit more care. The problem is that people have the tendency to equate freedom with chaos (i.e.: arbitrary will, without regard for consequences, “anarchy”). This is not true. Freedom and law go hand-in-hand. Probably this seems like a contradiction to some people; however, it is not. It is actually a necessity: freedom without law is chaos – is, ultimately, self-defeating; law without freedom is rigid – is, ultimately, stagnant. Life cannot thrive in chaos, nor can it thrive in rigidity. The growth and development of life, of character, of being, is impossible without laws (in chaos) or freedom (in rigidity). The most fundamental law (of life) is the Law of Unity. The second most fundamental law (of life) is the Law of Freedom. This freedom is not chaos; rather, it is a limited freedom – freedom limited by the freedom of all. The Law of Unity is the limit of the Law of Freedom. Everyone is free - to do whatsoever he will, be whatsoever he will, live however he will – in so far as he respects the equal right and freedom of all. This is not a hard concept: everyone is free in his own “little (private) sphere”. He has a right and a duty to be in control of his own “little (private) sphere”, but he has no right – whatsoever – to (try) to control that of another, to (try to) take away their own personal sovereignty over their own “little (private) sphere”. There is no excuse that allows for this. Any excuse is merely an attempt to rationalize lawlessness.
Thus, the Law of Unity and the Law of Freedom go hand-in-hand. They modify each other. The Law of Unity is the law of the collective, whereas the Law of Freedom is the law of the individual. The collective and the individual are part of each other; the collective in the individual and the individual in the collective. They are both important and, so, neither one of them is more important than the other.
The collective is the source and wellspring of the individual. The individual makes a contribution to the collective by being individual. Then the collective is all the richer in its collectivity. This requires a respect of the two fundamental laws: the Law of Unity and the Law of Freedom. The Law of Unity recognizes the unity of all life – the source and wellspring of the individual. The Law of Freedom recognizes the individual. Living in accord with both laws (of life) is necessary for the growth and development of life, of character, of being.
Probably it would be wise to a say a few words on the matter of redress (The Law of Sowing and Reaping; also, “Karma”): what happens when one violates a law (of life), such as the Law of Unity or the Law of Freedom? The laws (of life) are not man-made laws; rather, they are laws of nature. They need no courts and trials. The redress is unerring justice – part of the fundamental Law of Sowing and Reaping (i.e.: “As ye have sown, so shall ye reap”). Whatever “cause” (or force) has been set into motion must have an “effect” (or be realized) sometime. You cannot run and hide from this unerring justice any more than you can run and hide from your own death. It is an inevitability.
By hating (in any way, mind you), we violate the Law of Unity. This is so because hatred is an attempt to divide that what is united. We say “an attempt”, indicating that the divisions created by hatred are only ever apparent. In any case, these division are unnatural distortions of the truth of the Law of Unity.
By (unjustly) restricting the freedom of others, we violate the Law of Freedom. We say “unjustly” indicating that there is a difference between justly restricting the freedom of those who cannot use the freedom properly (i.e.: in accord with the Law of Freedom) and unjustly restricting the freedom of others. A perfect example is that of a criminal: when a criminal commits a crime (no matter what that is, because crime is always a crime against others, constraining the freedom of another) in society, his freedom is constrained – and rightly so, for he has violated the Law of Freedom; he has abused his freedom, used it to constrain the freedom of another. The natural redress for one who abuses freedom is a loss of freedom. Whether or not this happens in a court of law makes no difference: he cannot escape the inevitability of unerring justice. No matter what rock he hides under, he will be discovered. That is a guarantee that is as sure as gravity pulling a ball back down to Earth.
In hearing about the inevitability of unerring justice, of this most perfect redress, probably some people are smirking to themselves, rubbing their hands together, and thinking, “Good, good – then they (all those who have wronged me) will pay!” Of course, this thought – itself – is violation of the Law of Unity for it is an expression of hatred (i.e.: “malicious joy”, joy at the potential suffering of others). This just goes to show how easy it is to violate the laws (of life). Instead, we should strive to “forgive and forget”. Of course, even this is not properly understood. Too many people think that it means to absolve a person of their responsibility, to absolve a person of their consequences; however, this is simply not true. No one can do that. Unerring justice is unerring. Whatever you have done will have its consequence; every “cause” will have its “effect”, sometime. Forgiveness, properly speaking, is the refusal to hate the perpetrator of a “crime” (i.e.: a violation of law). Forgiveness does not mean (a granting of) freedom from responsibility or (a granting of) freedom from consequences. Forgetting indicates a willingness to leave the past in the past, to hold no grudges. What a world we would live in if people would learn but to “forgive and forget”!
Probably the most accurate response in hearing about such redress, such unerring justice, is fear for we have all been such terrible people – we have violated the laws (of life) with impunity for just so long; however, there is nothing to fear:
1. We can only suffer what we have made others to suffer (whether individually or collectively)
2. We will not suffer all of it in one go
3. It is possible to “make good” our violations by work at the opposite prior to reaping
Probably the most important thing to note is this: 3. – “It is possible to ‘make good’ our violations by work at the opposite prior to reaping”. In other words, it is possible to set counter-forces in motion prior to reaping. The greater the violation, the greater the effort to “make good”. If one thinks of it like a pendulum, then one will have the right idea: one is trying to get it back to the point of balance – and the only way to do that is to “make good” the “imbalance”; “make good” for the “crime”. If this will not be done, then the laws will do it for you just as gravity and opposing force will pull the pendulum back towards the center quite naturally. It is inevitable. One way or the other.
Thanks for your time,