The Lord’s Prayer asks Our Father (Big Brother, perhaps?) to Lead Us Not Into Temptation. I can see why. Because it’s hard to resist temptation isn’t it? It would be so much easier if the bad tempting stuff was taken away from us, not put under our noses all the time. Then we wouldn’t have to summon up all that energy to resist it. Life would be so much easier.
I don’t like money, or cars, and I am ambivalent about the Internet, but I still use them all. They are just so tempting, and I am just so used to them. And everyone else is doing it too. It’s all allowed, and approved of, and acceptable and normal. I like coffee, but I know that the supply chain behind it is fundamentally evil. I still drink coffee. Why can I not say No? It’s really hard to say no, when it’s all just there.
I wish the banks would break down, oil run out, the Internet collapse, the coffee supply chain break down. Then someone has done it for me. Taken away the temptation. Big Brother said No. What a relief. And the same rule applies to all, so everyone else will be in the same boat as me, my boat, which will be so much nicer than going it alone. How can anyone expect me to stop being lured into these things I want to avoid if they keep pushing them my way? Go on, you know you want it really…
Please government, parents, boss, sort it for me. Change the rules to suit me and to make sure everyone else does the same, so that I don’t have to use any inner strength to resist, and so that I don’t have to be different from everyone else. And then enforce the rules for me, discipline people, set up punishments for people who disobey, so that we are controlled not to do these bad tempting things. I have no power, no strength, no self-discipline. Do it for me, I plead and pray.
But if an external power, Big Brother, Our Father, the King or Queen or whatever else, causes the change, then I haven’t changed. If it was all available again, then I would just be tempted again, like a robot having a button pressed. And I am totally dependent on the controller of my external environment. That works out fine as long as the controller, the ruler, is a good one. A good King, like Good King John, who is a temptation in himself, tempting us to believe that good rulers exist, and that we need rulers. Temptations keep crossing our path until we learn to resist. The real work and progress is within ourselves.
Temptation is fuelled by money. Big money is made from tempting people down the wrong paths, away from their soul. It’s set up that way. Kids are trained at school every day in how to persuade people with their words, their pictures, their advertising. Even the persuasion, the tempting of another, is now considered acceptable, and something desirable to train our children to do. To honour your soul is the harder path to follow. There are no forces of temptation luring us to follow our soul, this path is narrow and hidden and hard to find.
One of the most tempting things of all is to be with other people, to belong. I think that’s natural, and that’s how the powers that be get us where it hurts. To avoid ostracision, and to stay with our fellow humans, to go with the flow, we are tempted to do what everyone around us is doing, even though we may know it to be wrong.
I find that boycotting something completely rarely works. Constantly trying to resist something just focuses on it, and seems to implant it in your brain even more, creating a craving. So I have one rule for sorting out temptation, and staying on the right path. It’s my own rule, and I apply it just to me. I don’t need anyone else to join in. My rule is MORE OR LESS.
I have and do a bit MORE of the things that are good and working for me, that feed my soul, make my heart sing, make me feel truly joyful and alive. These are usually simple things that cost little or no money. And I have and do a bit LESS of those things that offend my soul. Each tiny adjustment pulls me a little bit one way or another. Slowly but surely, I shift to a better state of being.
Everything I do, no matter how small, also affects the whole, by a ripple effect. People around me and directly connected to me are most influenced by what I do, and by my example which they can follow if they choose. We are all connected, and all particles are connected, so any change I make pulls the whole a little bit one way or another. It’s all small bits, but it all adds up. It’s sort of like a voting system, but your vote actually counts.
No need to wait for a government to change the rules. No need to wait for everyone else to join you. Make your own decisions. Be captain of your own ship, and master of your self. The funny thing is that once you conquer a particular temptation, it stops crossing your path. It’s as if you just don’t see it any more, or it just knows you are not worth the effort.
(See also: It’s What We Do, The Saviour Within, Unfair Trade, The Eyes and The Nose, Be Positive, Two Lives, Is It Worth It, Why I Need Money, The Anorexics Are Right, The Reds and The Blues, The Don’t Knows, Big Brother of 2012)