When do you feel the need to act in accord with some principle, and when do you feel the need not to??
For example. I used to steal when I was younger. It was a really bad careless tendency that was really created from being babied and given everything
I wanted by mom and dad. Nowadays, however, I can't even allow myself to steal the smallest things. I'm at walmart with my brother, I have no money on
me, and I'm in the candy section being tempted by all the sugar, i.e. sour skittles, rainbow nerds, sweet tarts, sour keys etc, and I'm literally
drooling over this stuff. Each pack is from $1.50 to $2.60. Small items, right? Well, I can't let myself do that. Since I got into studying religion,
philosophy, theology etc, I've grown too aware of a certain reality to allow myself to change ontological status from 'living in accord with the just
and right', to 'not caring, taking what he wants'.
I can care less about people with stuck up opinions who think I'm being 'prudish' and 'goody two shoes'. Those attitudes are untenable, and
essentially of the same nature as the attitude that allows you to steal.
This reminds me of the Biblical disposition which sees eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge as a gateway into 'sin'. The Garden of Eden is
that state of ignorance where you can't be said to be held responsible for your actions. To be responsible requires an awareness of the context in
question. Once all the elements are known, once consequences are understood, when you a know a particular cause leads to a particular effect, and
still you act despite that knowledge, you can be said to have sinned. It is that aspect of knowledge which necessarily compels us to abide by its
limits. Another example: I know gravity exists. I know it's properties. I know I can't step off that cliff, because I will fall and die. And that's
A moral barrier can be as negligible as a street thug who can steal, sell drugs, hurt people, etc, without any appreciable awareness of the
destruction that he is causing to others, and especially himself. Or, a moral barrier can be as refined as the monks we read about Dostoevsky's The
Brother's Karamazov. Kind, tender, conscientious people that are acutely aware of the moral need at every moment. If someone is pale and looking ill,
they speak extra tenderly and compassionately with them. They are aware of the need. If someone is annoying them, but they understand for what reasons
he is acting, they commiserate, and endure the situation. ]
How would you honestly assess where you are at in your life???
Me myself, I can be as kind as a saint, and as sensitive to others as a monk would be, but I can also be a glutton at times, I can be careless,
[snip], if with friends or relatives, I can get very drunk; I can be enormously lazy at times, I constantly indulge in bawdy humor and watch and allow
myself to enjoy comedy that betrays all my values.
I am not a gnostic. I don't think we should both indulge good and evil. I think we should always strive for the good, to be moral, but, if we slip up,
or we find ourselves in a situation in which little can be done to change it, and changing it happens to be making you depressed and sick, than it's
probably better to do the best you can at the level you are at. Rome wasn't made in a day. People don't change overnight. It's a lifelong process not
only in the maturation of the heart, but in the understanding of the mind.
edit on 7-11-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason
edit on 7-11-2012 by Kandinsky because: Removed unnecessary drug reference