The DECLARATION continued...

"That to secure these rights [Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness], governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

How utterly amazing are those words, and how beyond amazing is it that those words were used to launch the formation of a country. Government "deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed" for the purpose of securing the "safety and happiness" of the people.

Who wouldn't want to live in a country founded on those principles? Who wouldn't love such a country? In fact, if you look in the dictionary, "patriotism" is defined simply as "love for one's country."

So, what happened? How did patriotism get redefined as blind loyalty to a government, a government that in practice seeks to limit the exercise of our unalienable rights and reduces our safety and happiness?

Well, you see, it's exactly the same process that occurs internally in each individual when the Ego, whose job it is to serve the Self in certain capacities toward the end of securing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, takes over and wants to exist for its own sake.

In early childhood, the Ego was formed by the young human being in order to organize experiences and observations and learn from those experiences in order to determine future actions. The ego, in other words, was meant to be an administrator, not a decision maker. Decision-making was supposed to be left to the Self, while the Ego was "instituted among us," "deriving its just powers from the consent of the Self" in order to "secure our well-being." But when outer life, visa vie our unactualized parents and congested social institutions, slams the child with inconsistencies and cruelty, the forming young Self panics and turns to the Ego for direction, a job it is not really equipped for. This begins the process of over-blowing one's Ego, not unlike the process by which our government became so bloated. After a while, the Ego takes on a life of its own and wants to survive, and as I said, wants to exist for its own sake. The Ego will then actually begin to use tactics to keep the Self in a state of fear and dependence, so the Self will continue to rely on the ever-expanding Ego for protection. I have called this the "Mafia Syndrome," in that the Ego, like the Mafia, forces you to pay it for protection. But protection from who? From it!

In the very truest sense, then, it's reasonable to say that the overblown Ego, just like our current ego-maniacal government administrators, are no different than organized criminals. All of you know this. You know that the taxes you pay, for instance, are not justifiable and used fairly or equitably for the purpose of enhancing your well-being. Your taxes don't bring better schools, or better roads, or cleaner air. Your taxes to a great extent enhance the lives of those who insist that you (not they, by the way) must pay them. In fact, you know that your taxes line the pockets of individuals and corporations who actually invite danger into your lives because you have to stay scared in order for them to stay in control. Everyone knows this. But you pay anyway because you feel terrorized by the "hitmen" of the IRS, who might ruin your lives with their punitive tactics. Just like organized criminals. Just like our Egos.

And let's be very clear: loving your country is not the same as loving your government, and loving your Self is not the same as loving your Ego.

So, what can we do? Well, as I always say, real revolution happens one person at a time, not through politics or "movements." Outer reality, individually and en masse, follows inner reality. As long as we are ruled by our Egos, then life, liberty and happiness will elude us. When we dismantle the constructs of the Ego, the irrational fears and unchallenged beliefs, we will create a different outer reality of true freedom, based on an inner reality of true freedom.

Self-work make the Self work, folks. Then you can calmly and confidently put the ego and the government back in its correct place of securing our safety and happiness. Celebrate your Self on this birthday of the USA.

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