This was written by the founders of our country 232 years ago:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."
This was written by Karen Horney, famed psychoanalyst from the mid-20th Century, on what she called the "morality of evolution:"
"Inherent in human beings are constructive evolutionary forces, which, of their own accord, strive toward self-realization and a spirit of mutuality with others as we naturally mature. With such an autonomous striving toward self-realization, we do not need an inner straight jacket with which to shackle our spontaneity, nor the whip of inner dictates to drive us to perfection. We do not need them because we see a better possibility of dealing with destructive forces in ourselves: that of actually outgrowing them. The way toward this goal is an ever increasing awareness and understanding of ourselves. Self-knowledge, then, is not an aim in itself, but a means of liberating the forces of spontaneous growth. In this sense, to work on ourselves becomes not only the prime moral obligation, but at the same time, in a very real sense, the prime moral privilege."
Governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed?
Working on ourselves is our prime moral obligation?
Is that what Mencken, the reknowned journalist of the 1st half of the 20th Century, implied with today's quote - ""Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under" - that to the degree that we allow the dictates of others or others' rules, inner or outer, to control how we behave, what we believe, how we think even, we should be ashamed? That furthermore, to the degree that we submit blindly to the moral authority of others, we are being less than who we truly are?
This was written by me several years ago in defining Full Permission Living for my students:
"In my years of psychotherapy practice, I have discovered along with my patients that within ourselves there is no inborn negativity, no inherent, unbridled destructive impulses that must be forever controlled, no "original sin", no evil nature or permanent dark side. Rather, it is one’s belief in such a personal "badness" and an identification with it that causes people to act in dysfunctional ways that then seem to reinforce the false notion of “being bad.” These distorted ideas lead so many people to feel that they are not deserving of a life filled with love, sensuality, creative expression and material abundance. Many have erroneously concluded, and been told, that if they allowed themselves to do in every given moment what they truly felt like doing, they would inevitably act destructively - with selfishness, malice, excess or recklessness. In reality, it is that very conclusion, in self-fulfilling prophecy, that becomes the source of undesirable behavior. These negative ideas exist in the subconscious and are reinforced by many voices in our cultural environment. We are regularly told, directly and subtly, that we are somehow corrupt from birth and in need of inner and outer suppression. These messages, though popularly subscribed to, are insidious and wrong.
"Indeed, if one frees up and releases long-suppressed, and therefore toxic, feelings held in the body, and uncovers and challenges one’s archaic inner beliefs and images, the individual can be liberated from the self-negating, self-hypnotic suggestions repeated constantly in our minds since childhood. People can, in reality, become truly open systems and as such become able to trust their intuition, gut feelings, and desires without fear and without constant self doubt.
"What is required to achieve this level of openness is an other matter. For the person seeking to live with full inner permission, it will take a number of devoted years of hard work first. Nothing less than an intense period of immersion one’s healing process at all levels of the self - mind, body, emotions and spirit - will suffice to free the human spirit from the prisons we had to create to survive our childhoods and the binds of our cultural histories. This self-work must include the exploration and uncovering of the unconscious mind with all of its limiting and contradictory beliefs, the loosening-up and expressing of suppressed feelings, the unblocking of the physical body, and a relearning of what natural human development is and what its distortions are. It is not easy. But it can and has been done. Individuals can become able to trust what they know and feel and to follow their desires fearlessly. The realization that comes once we are conscious and unblocked is that we are not inherently defective or destructive, but actually made with an inner guidance system that we can indeed rely upon
"The main idea underlying full permission living was expressed quite well actually a long time ago in our fledgling country, though perhaps the message is still not fully understood yet. It is the “self-evident” truth that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are indeed our “inalienable rights” by birth, as the founders of our country realized in writing about the nature of freedom and natural living over two centuries ago. That all human beings have the potential to become “healthy, wealthy and wise”, as Benjamin Franklin proclaimed, is also a major tenant of full permission living, though as we will see, it does require a little more than “early to bed and early to rise!” We must free ourselves of our accumulated oppressive beliefs, individually and en masse, and the suppression of emotions that have caused us to lead lives of "quiet desperation" or destructive acting out.
"Now, as we begin this new century and millennium, we may be able to realize the dream of personal independence that those great revolutionaries spoke so eloquently about in 1776. Perhaps today, we stand at the threshold of a new era in which humanity can realize itself as well to be a beautiful, magnificently designed self-created expression of all that is, engaged in full permission living as part of the great 'I Am' of the universe."