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A Respecter of Principle


The Essays of Brother Anonymous
Spiritual Essays

Last revised: 2 June 2009

As the energy builds in me to stand on my own two feet and walk out of the jail cell of my conditioning, dilemmas arise that call for resolution.

The first is the dilemma of false loyalty, deference, or devotion.

I think it was the source speaking through Sheldan Nidle who said that the masses had been kept in place for centuries out of an imposed need to show fealty to the feudal lord and bishop, later deference to one’s social “betters,” and most recently acquiescence to an administration that cancelled constitutional rights in the name of a “war on terror.”

How do I think and act independently when I have a conditioned response of false deference?

I saw the answer around a decade ago. I only have to act on it.

When I first joined the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, my wife bought me a tiny scale of justice.

My discipline, when I listened to refugee claims, was to place an imaginary version of that scale in the room to remind me to make my decisions on the basis of the principle of “fairness.”

A principle is something that holds true in every age and place. Love is a principle; humility, courage, truth. Nothing can hold true in every age and place that is not of God.

For me, the way out of the dilemma caused by my conditioned response of false deference is to transfer my loyalties from the person (their role, their status) to the principle.

I don’t know about you, but when I wrote that I heard an immediate ring from inside.

So, as I stand up on my own two legs and exit the cell of my conditioning, I now must estimate the situation on the basis of the relevant principle.

That’s what is meant when saying “the law is no respecter of persons.” The law is a respecter of principles.

Translated into everyday action, that means I adhere to sources that I know to be grounded in principle. The inner voice, the ring of truth, the response of the heart, the quiet voice of conscience – these are all indicators given to me, inner referees, on whether a matter aligns with the relevant principle or not.

Since the ultimate Principle is God Itself – true in all ages and places – the more I lead a principled life, the more I expand into the very life that true devotion leads to anyways, the godly life.

So this is my roadmap, my experimental hypothesis, as I blink my eyes at the light of day, my jail cell having been opened.

Everything is tested against the relevant principle. I aim to be no respecter of persons any more, but a respecter of principle.


The Essays of Brother Anonymous
Spiritual Essays