I’m not sure we’d have used that term back in ’76. (1) I think we’d have spoken more about what we were aiming for – transparency, authenticity, compassion.
We ended up after three months of working out together in a place of unconditional respect for the personality sovereignty of everyone.
You cannot emerge from three months of encounter without having gained a healthy respect for everyone’s individuality, right to opportunity, and right to be loved. The proof was in the pudding: We found ourselves on the last day in group love.
I knew I had learned something substantial, transformative. It underpinned the work I did at the Immigration and Refugee Board as a human-rights decision-maker.
It’s been called self-ownership, self-actualization, integrity, personal responsibility, personal power, and human rights, but, under whatever name you call it, personal sovereignty is the sine qua non of a world that works.
“To be sovereign over one’s self is to be free of the control or coercion of others – to truly direct one’s own life. Most citizens of advanced nations believe that they control their own destiny, yet they are generally mistaken. Practically all have it within their power to achieve such control, with the result being a quantum leap in individual productivity, wealth and happiness.” (2)
From what I saw then and see now, I’m convinced that respect for the sovereignty of everyone is the one thing from which all else flows. Without respect for it, nothing at all flows. There’s conflict and confusion. It’s that simple.
If we’re to build a world that works, if we’re to right gender imbalance and the other imbalances in our society today, we must, in my opinion, honor personal sovereignty. Without us being a society of equals, there’s no basis for the rise of any of the global conditions of workability that we’re all here to work for.
On that basis, I make a request of everyone, everywhere: I request that you respect the sovereignty of everyone else, whoever the other is, under all circumstances.
Yes, there’ll still be laws. Everyone has the same obligation as they always had to stay within the bounds of the civil order, for the safety and well-being of the community.
Step over those bounds and you may forfeit some of your sovereignty, by the power and consent of all. That’s an agreement that all of us make by virtue of accepting our citizenship.
But within those bounds, everyone’s granted as much sovereignty as possible. Not entitlement. Not the cream rising to the top, which simply led to elitism. Everyone.
That’s the idea behind human rights, is it not? Everyone has as many rights as are consistent with the safety and well-being of the community as a whole. Where I present a threat to the community or to any member of the it, that’s where my human rights end and the human rights of the other take precedence.
If there’s anything to be shared, the only workable way is to share and share alike. If we must wait, we stand in lines. We take turns. In emergencies, children go first. We observe the rules we learned in kindergarten – and in the childhood of humanity.
Life used to be an ever-depressing cycle of anxiety and concern in what we’ve come to call the Old Third. But the energies are carrying us into ever-higher spaces now.
The bias has shifted and the weight is now coming to be on the increasingly higher-dimensional path and space, the higher and higher frequencies that we’re evolving into as a society.
Higher dimensionality and unfolding freedom seem to come together. They always have in my life – in groups, workshops and intensives – and now in this wonderful process of Ascension that we’re going through together.
We’re climbing Jacob’s ladder of consciousness now, not descending it. That time is past. We’re in a time of accelerated growth, as I saw the other night
And, if we want our world to work, we must as one people respect the sovereignty of everyone, to the greatest extent possible.
That’s what’s missing in our world, it seems to me. And that’s what will transform us as a society.