Reasons to be cheerful, Part 3.0.3: When you resolve never to let other people dominate you, you come to be indomitable.
That’s a lot to take in, so indulge me as we summarize what we’ve talked about so far:
- You are a sovereign soul. Your purposive behavior is exclusively controlled by your self.
- You cannot be governed. Other people cannot control your behavior, nor you theirs.
- To the extent that other people — your religion, the government, your family or friends — might seem to control you, this is a consequence of your own freely-tendered consent, your own explicit, freely-chosen, on-going cooperation.
- Because other people’s seeming control over you originates in your own sovereignty, you can recover your freedom at any time you want, simply by withdrawing your consent.
- If you have surrendered any of your sovereignty in the past, your life will be better — for you — once you have regained full control over yourself.
If you have made the mental effort to recover your sovereignty in full, your life will already be better. This is a profoundly important reason to be cheerful, wouldn’t you say?
In other essays, I take up the mental, physical and moral benefits of a full commitment to self-adoration, but this is simple enough to see in summary: If you devote your life to doing everything you can think of to make your life better, more perfect — more perfectly, more abundantly rich in every kind splendor — your life will be immeasurably improved.
Now reflect that we’re talking about what might happen if the shit really does hit the fan. If the government of the United States does not collapse under its own vast weight, so much the better. But even if it does, your own unique life will still be better than it might have been had you not made this change, won’t it?
There is no downside to self-love. You’ve been poisoned on the idea, for your whole life, by people who know they cannot rule free minds. But just by daring to let your mind run free, by daring to be the uniquely beautiful specimen of humanity you have been all along, your life will be everything you’ve always known it could be.
Yes, the world outside your mind can be better or worse — perhaps truly awful. But once you have broken all those chains that bind you, your own life can be everything you can make of it, and you will be better-equipped to deal with any challenges you might face from thugs, priests, politicians, pushy relatives and snoopy neighbors. I am not minimizing how bad things might get, but once you resolve to maximize your own in-born and cultivated capabilities, your own life will come to be progressively better, even if your external circumstance get progressively worse.
There’s more. If you learn to live the way I am talking about, you will be impossible to push around. Thugs of all flavors live and die by your fear of what they might do to you. If you learn to love your self more than anything else on earth, you will be indomitable — as a matter of practical reality, not as some comic book fantasy.
Do you see why? When the thug says, “Do it or die!” he doesn’t want you dead. He wants you to do his bidding. If you respond, “Go ahead and kill me, asshole!” you’ve taken away his — imaginary — power over you. He might kill you, anyway, but he will not have achieved his objective. And you will not have soiled your self by groveling before a brute.
That might seem like a poor strategy, when the game is being played one-on-one. But suppose everyone around you shares our ideas about the supreme value of self-adoration? Now you have an entire community of people who would rather die than be slaves, and, in consequence none of them can be enslaved — and all of them are constantly on watch for opportunities to kill the thug. This is how free people stay free — by understanding that human sovereignty should never be traded for any other value.
[To be continued in Part 3.0.4.]
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