Monthly Archives: June 2015

Alienable Rights

Alienable according to the Unabridged Second Edition of the Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary means capable of being sold, transferred, or conveyed, as real estate. Something alien is foreign, strange, and in some cases not natural. What might Alienable Rights mean as opposed to the Unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness referred to in the Declaration of Independence of the United States written in 1776.

Antonyms of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness could be Death, Incarceration, and the Surrender to Suffering. Are these Alienable Rights capable of being sold, transferred, or conveyed, as genuine property; or, as a genuine state, condition, or stage of Life? I think we all bear witness to such a myriad of circumstances. It’s said in Poor Richard’s Almanack, “Is there anything men take more pains about than to render themselves unhappy?”

Not I, not anymore. Those are Rights founded in wrong. Rights that are contrary to justice, goodness, equity, and law. In the words of Thomas Paine, “A Right to be truly so, must be right in itself, yet many things have obtained the name of rights, which are originally founded in wrong. Of this kind are all rights by meer conquest, power, or violence… But in the case of a right founded in right the mind is carried cheerfully into the subject, feels no compunction, suffers to distress, subjects it’s sensations to no violences, nor sees anything in its way which requires an artificial smoothing.”

Who in their right mind would consent to needless death, incarceration, and suffering? Nobody. But wait, there’s express and implied consent. “Express consent is permission for something that is given specifically, either verbally or in writing. Express consent contrasts with implied consent, which is an assumption of permission that is inferred from actions on the part of the individual.” History has recorded volumes of death, incarceration, and surrender to gloom so it can be implied the people involved were consenting through their actions to said Alienable Rights and the proprietors surrendered to rights founded in wrong. History has also recorded volumes of those who realized Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and procured a Constitution so that a Republic can secure a posterity who might realize the same Unalienable Rights. The bad news is we all seem to be guilty of acting against conscience at some point in our lives. The good news is it could be forgiven if and when forgiveness is given consent and made a real estate in our lives.

Let’s think if we individually or socially consent, either expressly or imply, to the sale of alienable rights and surrender to rights founded in wrong in future decisions to be made. We must strive to be reasonable on all accounts Without your reasoning mind all your Rights are alienable and subject to forfeit. In the words of Ayn Rand,

“Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. man had no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons,and to make weapons – a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and we have comes from a single attribute of man -the function of his reasoning mind.”

The Prescription

red or blue

We are trained in this world to accept only what is rational and logical. Have you ever wondered why?

Neo shakes his head.
         MORPHEUS: As children, we do not separate the possible from the impossible which is why the younger a mind is the easier it is to free while a mind like yours can be very difficult.
NEO: Free from what?
From the Matrix.
Neo locks at his eyes but only sees a reflection of himself.
MORPHEUS: Do you want to know what it is, Neo?
Neo swallows and nods his head.
MORPHEUS: It’s that feeling you have had all your life. That feeling that something was wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad, driving you to me. But what is it?”

I began with this quote taken from the Matrix transcript and Morpheus and Neo’s, I’ll say, red-pill/blue pill conversation, because it seems that if you don’t have that inexplicable feeling then a prescription won’t help you. Even if your vision has never failed you check-ups are recommended.

You might be as happy as can be in any particular culture or demographic and deservedly remain so for many years. For many of us that examine our lives I know that’s not the case. Poor Richard said somewhere in his almanac that, ” if thou injurest conscience, it will have it’s revenge on thee.” This self-examination where we base past decisions on conscience and observe our influence on events show us conscience’s revenge. Conscience is the science that cons all other sciences. Like a splinter in our mind. If you’ve never examined your life, I’ll have to remind you of the words,” an unexamined life is not worth living.”

Morpheus goes on to say, “The Matrix is everywhere, it’s all around us, here even in this room. You can see it out your window, or on your television. You feel it when you go to work, or go to church or pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth…That you are a slave, Neo. That you, like everyone else, was born into bondage… …kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind.”

The imprisoned mind, at length, will come to odds in a world where routine encounters with those of different lifestyles and nationalities are on the increase. The Devil is in our details, so to speak, and the only way to be rid of our darkness is to shine light and/or reflect on the situation and make clear again parts of our vision that has gotten blurred. Subjective Refraction of the Mind requires that one is voluntarily receptive and can make what is objective harmonize with one’s subjective volition.

The Matrix is Science Fiction, of course, yet the meaning behind the story seems to resonate with many, hence, the Matrix’s success. The Art of Storytelling has stood the test of time in all cultures as an effective way of revealing morals and truths to the disillusioned. Which takes me to an example from the New Testament of the Bible, perhaps the greatest story ever written. Matt. 13:10-17, “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”

Our prescription is unique to us. What works for one, might not work for another. It’s ok to have your favorite religion, philosophy, or holy person so long as the same courtesy is extended to all. Our DNA may be 99.9%the same yet we all look different and even maternal twins can have very different lives and experiences. It’s up to each and every one of us to go through that door. Many are ushering us through the sands of time and the written word to enter the future without disillusionment. History is the same for us all and hindsight is almost always 20/20.