People sometimes speak of “throwing off the shackles” of whatever has previously bound them. When the shackles are alcoholism, drug abuse or government oppressors we know what it means to throw them off. Yet occasionally men talk of escaping the clutches of Christianity or ‘religion’ that has previously been a philosophical or moral oppressor.
Throwing off one set of shackles, however, merely makes us ready to be fit with the next. Those who manage to throw off one set of shackles find themselves bound to another, whether of his own choosing or not. It is not the release from improper bondage that is problematic, but the idea that once ‘freed’ we are autonomous.
The man who ‘escapes’ the shackles of Christianity, for instance, will then be bound by religion. The one freed from religion, bound by ‘spirituality’ of various kinds. From spirituality, moral consciousness. From moral consciousness, cultural expectations, societal rules, conventions, wealth, fame, standing, and so forth.
Man, because we are not God, will be bound by something. The question is merely whether we will be bound to the right Master.
Originally posted June, 2008.