Shame and Freedom

Why do we care about other people’s opinions?

Why do we care so much about being liked that we put on a mask? Why do we hide? Why are we ashamed?

What is there to be ashamed of? I believe that there is not a single thought it is possible to have – or impossible for that matter – about which we should be ashamed. Firstly we don’t choose to have the thoughts we have. They impose themselves onto us like every other thing we experience.

Even actions don’t justify shame. First of all who decides what actions should cause shame and what actions shouldn’t. Secondly what if I disagree? In fact this idea of agreement is quite important. We constantly judge ourselves and one another in a moral manner. There is some tacit and incoherent set of laws in each one of us (they are most definitely different in each individual). The problem is: when did we agree to act according to any set of laws?

You were born. An event over which you had no control. You didn’t decide to be born. Now where in that event – your birth – lies the obligation to follow a particular morality?

An obligation – a duty – can only come about as a result of an agreement. If I hand you a sum of money and say “Here you go” and don’t stipulate any conditions I cannot then come to you and say “Hey you shouldn’t do that! I gave you some money!”. If I hand you some money and say “If I give you this then you have to do this” and you take the money then – and only then – can I come along and say “Hey sonny you should be ashamed of yourself! I gave you that money in good faith!”

In this allegory the money is life. We didn’t choose to live. One day we opened our eyes and here we are. Since then have we knowingly entered into a contract of obligation which would justify shame?

The truth will set you free because the truth is that you are free!

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