As you celebrate today’s 4th of July holiday, if you do, one way to observe it is with some thinking and introspection. We can consider for instance,
How independent are you?
How independent are we?
In asking yourself this second question, consider to what extent you may include various others in your we.
Whatever you believe to be your essence (mind, soul, or spirit) is you, but beyond that essence (including your physical body if you see it as part of what makes you you), there are others. Almost everyone considers themselves to be in some way part of some larger group identity, identities, or whole, i.e. to be part of a we.
Listed in rough order of size from smaller to larger, these might include one or more of the following, outside of yourself:
• significant other
• people in the neighborhood where you live
• people in the community where you live
• people associated with schools you attended
• people in the state or sub-national jurisdiction where you live
• people in the national jurisdiction (country) where you live
• people of your ethnic background
• people of your gender or gender identity
• people of your sexual orientation
• people of your religious faith
• people in your communities of interest
• all human beings
• all animals
• all life
• all matter living and non-living
• god (not just the physical but also the metaphysical)
Consider how independent, or not, you are, both as an individual and on the group level (whoever you consider part of your “we”), from unwanted external control:
Is there anyone or anything from whom you want to be more independent?
Asking this suggests a couple further questions which can be introspectively fruitful to consider…
Who if anyone do you want to be dependent on, i.e. unfree from, and why?
Which others, if any, do you want to be dependent on you (unfree from you), and why?
If you want to be dependent on others, this essentially means you want them to provide for you. If these others do not want to provide for you, then to the extent they do provide for you anyway it is non-consensual, and what you are actually wanting is to enslave them to some extent (i.e. require them to work for you against their will).
By the same token, if you want others to have to depend on you, this means they are not independent, that you have some degree of power or control over them. This of course means your relationship with them is unequal. Do you want to have an unequal relationship with this person or persons? If so, why do you want them not to be free and independent?
Are you experiencing any unwanted control or lack of freedom related to your association with any of your “we” identities?
If you are experiencing unwanted control or lack of freedom, as an individual or as part of one or more of your “we” identities, what steps can you, or the “we” group you consider yourself a part of that is experiencing this oppression, take in the direction of greater independence?
Exactly what motives we have for wanting to depend on others, or wanting others to depend on us, can be fruitful areas for introspection.
I will close by wishing each of you reading this, a happy Independence Day!
By which I mean, a day in which you can feel that you are free and independent of any unwanted control or oppression as either an individual or as part of a “we”.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))