About Modern Days' Redemption

Joan Marques - Ed.D., MBA.
Burbank, California

Thought that slavery was the only institution people could be abolished from? Think again after reading the following epistle about opinions.

Opinions and viewpoints: everyone has them. They can stem from many origins: knowledge, religion, experiences, inheritances, beliefs, values, dreams, and thoughts, to name a view. Being human means having viewpoints. They develop as we grow, and they change as we go.

But the wise ones among us know that viewpoints are subjective phenomena, which makes it senseless to dispute them. One can listen to another's opinions, and try to understand them, but one should refrain from attaching oneself to them. In fact, one should not even attach oneself to one's own opinions. The best way to go is to release opinions as soon as one realizes that this is what they are: subjective viewpoints.

It is this realization that will set a person free: knowing that all his or her insights are constructed on the basis of his or her unique package of life experiences: where he or she came from, what his or her society believed in, the teachings he or she got in the course of his or her life, and so on.

Discarding opinions is not easy to do, as new ones keep presenting themselves to us while we attempt to release old ones. Being an active part of society just seems to require that from us. Many of us get paid for sharing our opinions, and some of us may even find that our opinions will be followed by large crowds for decennia to come! And maybe that is a good thing.

Unfortunately, it also reveals that many people prefer to follow existing opinions, afraid as they are of having their own, and even more afraid of remaining without any.

And yet: Freeing oneself from having opinions entails freeing oneself from being influenced by anyone or anything. Not having an opinion means: having a clear, unattached, unblemished spirit, and thus, being able to respect everyone's perspectives without judging them.

Nonsense? Hardly! Impossible to achieve? Not really. Hard to obtain? I'd say so.

But even if one cannot entirely liberate oneself from having opinions, one can try to reduce them. How? By remaining alert at all times, and examining one's thoughts regularly. When one sees or hears something, one should wonder: "What is it that I see or hear? What thoughts emerge in me now? Where did they come from? Do these thoughts represent an opinion? Are there other opinions possible?"

Nine times out of ten one will find that there are other opinions possible indeed, no matter how ridiculous or illogical they may seem. And if there are other opinions possible, then the confirmation that this thought, too, is just an opinion, has been established.

And once that is the case, one should try to discard it and attempt to regain the untarnished spirit. For it is only when this state can be obtained, that one will be elevated above the threat of being influenced by anyone.

Sure. This write up may not be regarded popular by religious institutions, political parties, social groups, or any other crowd that thrives on influencing the masses, but it may be very useful to those who are tired of jumping from one bandwagon to another, and who now want to obtain real peace of mind. For real peace of mind starts with the acceptance of simplicity, and the redemption from the need to be associated with anyone or anything. And the redemption from the need to be associated with anyone or anything starts with the redemption from opinions. And this is what modern days' redemption is about.