“Behold, I make all things new” (Holly Bible, Revelation 21:5)
All civilizations, from the past to the present, have been erected on heteronomous grounds clearly expressed in their institutions, religions and laws. Values of heteronomous morality are confounded with values of culture itself, rooted in common sense. If heteronomy is an unfamiliar term to you, face it as the opposite of autonomy, that is, an ethical system in which norms of conduct coming from outside are imposed. “Hetero” in Greek means “different” and “momos”, “law.” Thus, heteronomy must be understood as norms external to the individual, different from those offered by consciousness itself, but accepted or enforced as valid to guide daily moral conduct and life in society. So, now that you know it’s meaning, aren’t you curious to continue this study and assess … to what extent are you really a “free thinker”?
Nowadays, several people think to live in freedom, alienated from just how much of their values, ideas and ideals have been taught, implanted, enforced. Have you wondered the origin of your thoughts? We can speculate to be physically free and somewhat emotionally stable (some more than others) but, to the most part, we are still largely enchained to archaic paradigms as consciousnesses still trapped in close-circuit patterns, afraid to take control of our lives. It is sad, especially considering that many of those reading this text do believe their thoughts create their reality (and, indeed, it is so!). To connect you back to yourself, it is necessary to speak with your heart and draw rational conclusions out of this. So, please, be on your full self from this point onward.
Imagine someone in a poor country on the other side of the world. This is a mother with her first child on the arms. She is wondering if she’ll be able to feed both herself and her youngster today. She has had to choose between her own subsistence and that of the little one sometimes. How does it feel to you? Don’t you have immediate feelings of compassion, springing from within? Don’t you feel the pain of this mother in your own heart, as if her struggles were your struggles, as if you were connected somehow? Well, you did not need social control by external laws as to be forced to act with compassion. It wasn’t necessary the resort of mechanisms of positive and negative re-enforcement (rewards and punishments) to generate your desire to help someone in need. Perhaps you would share with this family whatever little resources you had even if it wasn’t enough for yourself. Perhaps even if this deed left you lacking food for yourself you’d be happy to have been able to minimize the pain of others.
We conclude thus that the morally autonomous individual is voluntarily fraternal to the extent of its conscientious development. This is an important key to end all the miseries of the world: we are still very needy and immature consciousnesses. We very limitedly follow our inner compass. We get lost in what sometimes is referred to as “the matrix” or “Maya”. But what would this “Matrix” or “Maya” be if not heteronomous prisons of consciousnesses? At this point, I hope it is already clear to you that social welfare does not stem from technological development alone, but naturally emerges from the moral values of a society; e.g., it stems from the conscientious development of the individuals that compose it. Social welfare also cannot be imposed. It can only be achieved autonomously. It emerges naturally and autonomously as a certain critical mass truly desire and contribute to attain this state of common good.
Why is it that in the age of the internet, space exploration and nuclear power we still tolerate thousands of mothers on our planet, such as the one you have imagined before, in dramatic poverty and starvation? Why don’t we eradicate hunger if its cost, estimated by the United Nations as around $30 billion a year, is almost laughable when compared to the world’s GDP? Our global military expenditure alone cost Earth humanity about 1.6 trillion dollars annually. This is more than fifty times the sum necessary for the eradication of hunger everywhere in this planet and for good! If we were to make a global referendum to democratically decide whether all countries in the world should divert part of their military funds to the eradication of hunger, would “We the People” opt for war? So what’s missing in this picture? Are we divided and conquered? How did we get here and where should we go instead?
In my opinion, we need to develop our moral autonomy grounded in the humanitarian, fraternal ethics that naturally emerges from what is sometimes referred to as the “divine spark” we all have within ourselves. This last statement obviously deserves a significantly more extensive exploration as to be fully developed. Without this work, the opinion noted above may seem overly naive and simplistic. I want you to know I do realize this, but my intent with this article is not to extinguish the debate, but simply to start it and provoke your own reasoning (share your comments so we can co-create!!). The world lacks people tired of victim behavior and ready to question everything. The world lacks people willing to stop complaining and start acting to construct a new reality. The world lacks love. And if it wasn’t so, not only the issue of hunger would be solved, but many other similar problems too. Just think critically…
Why don’t we have water and energy available to everyone yet? What is the challenge for offering basic education and health to everyone in this planet? Is the problem really of economic nature? Do we still not have the necessary technological development? Or we simply haven’t yet wished and acted to organize ourselves in a more fraternal way according to our inner moral compass? Does this make the problems noted here of a moral and political nature? And how do we solve for that? Ah, yes… of course… we’re waiting for those we consider having power and financial means to make all the reforms, right? Yes, those whom in the past fabricated the heteronomous laws and institutions we follow to this day and that depend on such laws and institutions to maintain all power and means accumulated; they will make all things new. Until then, we “the awoken”, the free consciousness of this world, shall continue to attack one another and complain about each other, right? We shall continue to bicker over all the selfishness and corruption of the world and everything and everyone we believe to be on our way to a bright future. Isn’t this right?
Dark humor apart, think carefully whether you are striving to drive out darkness with your own darkness and grow love out of hate. Think about who you are and who you ought to be. Every day is a good day to upgrade your consciousness.