The Freedom to Choose Morals
Looking at “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, I encountered an interesting question: the lead character Lisbeth makes choices of revenge, retaliation and kills mercilessly. We, the audience, are supposed to route for her and accept her brutality. Her adversaries have been victims of abuse themselves. Still, we are supposed to withhold understanding or mercy from them and rejoice in their gory slaughter. People in the audience were cheering the massacre. All this left me very confused. I was quick to judge people’s bloodlust. If traumatization has become a widely accepted justification for extreme violence, I wondered where we would ever draw the line between victim or perpetrator – or if there is actually a line to be drawn at all?
Human morals aside, I allowed myself to ask a few hard questions: In wildlife, we have natural born predators and prey animals. What if this were true for certain humans? What if some are born and designed to destroy, to maintain population control? What if we got causality wrong: what if a child does not become a murderer because his father abused him – but what if the child chose to be born into an abusive family in order to prepare him for what was his task all along: to become a killer? If so, who makes these choices?
Is it really for the killer to choose in the moment of his action – or did he make his choice long ago, before even being born? Did he come here with a certain message to learn and chose his birth environment/upbringing accordingly? Did he himself even make this choice at all or are there more powerful forces at work in guiding us along our often illogical-seeming paths? Which ones?
What if our concept of morals, free choice and free will is but a major misunderstanding? What if even experiences of pleasure and pain are relative qualities? I know people who love pain and recreate it constantly in their lives. Is there anything in this world that makes us suffer other than our judgment of what IS? Do our feelings and judgments even “belong to us”? Or do we just channel them, as a wire carries electricity? Like in “The Matrix”, are we just human batteries (or conductors) being harvested for our emotional energy, serving as tools?
It can be painful to look behind the plywood façade of this material world, with our full human consciousness still intact. We carry the full knowledge and awareness back into the material world and find it makes our life harder instead of easier. It makes us lonelier as few care to share it. What is to be gained from shattering the illusion? Like in “The Matrix”, do I wanna take the green or the red pill? Must our goal be to know and understand as much as possible about this world – or are we better off contenting ourselves with “the good things life offers”? Do both goals really cancel each other out? The more we fully grasp both truths, the more we become unfit to participate in the daily rat race and its perks. One more psychotic homeless, wandering in search for the “holy grail? Or could this be really our ultimate goal (instead of accumulating wealth and prestige) - to reconcile the wisdom of both realities, our human and our divine perspective?
We don’t blame lions for killing, after all it’s in their nature. What if nature has programmed us with a dark need for destruction in order to keep a balance? What if we actually add insult to injury by punishing the ones that are natural born destroyers? Where do our feelings of right and wrong, our morals really come from? Is it our upbringing (if we get banged around enough, anyone could turn out a murderer.) Is it our genetic information (how then can we be made to feel responsible for our killer attitude?) Or is it a larger programming designed by a universal consciousness that upholds the necessary balance of creation and destruction?
How much personal choice or freedom do we actually have? Are we ever even able to fail within the perfect designs of this world? We look at certain people as “failures”, for example a homeless person in the street. What if this person lives exactly according to the great plan, what if his/her experiences contribute just as much to the collective consciousness as the experiences of a supposed “valuable member of this society”? What if this perceived “failure” even carries the heavier burden, performs the more difficult task beyond public recognition and positive feed-back? What if those are our true heroes of suffering the human burden, so we others can learn from watching them – without ever giving them any credit or appreciation? Everyone of us knows someone they consider a “failure”. Can we learn to see their contribution to our learning - and their lonely sacrifice? Can we learn to appreciate them for what they are, without judgment?
For every Jesus who dies a savior in the limelight, there is a Judas who places him on the pedestal, whose despised task is to destroy. No Judas, no Jesus myth. Every Judas goes about his difficult task, giving us a person we love to hate. I believe this label can be extended to many passionately hated humans, from a Bush to a Hitler. Might they all have their rightful place in history? They galvanized movements against them and thereby forced the lambs to rethink their positions. By their despicable actions they forced the rest to raise their consciousness and evolve. What would our world be without polarity, how would electricity flow without two opposite poles?
It is pointless trying to abolish darkness, it’s a mere misunderstanding wanting to eradicate death. Could it be a tragic mistake to stop all destruction? To stop decay and thereby the process of recycling? They are an intricate part of this world.
There is no waste in nature. But this underlying truth of oneness is suspended while we are part of this bi-polar, material world. In order to keep the balance, we need to buy into our opposite roles, we need to love, fight, birth and kill, and do it with passion.
In dark moments, just remember: Everything happens for a reason. Nothing is ever lost. Everything returns. Everything changes. The right questions to the right answers will tell.