Many of us have gone through an experience where duty seems to conflict with the desire of our heart to fulfill our lives. These conflicts are our crossroads, and if it is true that we call experiences to ourselves, and our outer life mirrors inner life, then the crossroads are very valuable. Through them, and sometimes through pain, we find our way to the truth… that we are duty. ‘Duty to what’ is the question.
I’ve been thinking back to times when I was at a crossroad, and I gave way to restrictive circumstances. I accepted it, feeling duty pressed upon me. Heart’s desire was pushed into the distance, an unapproved option, requiring strength and courage to even consider.
When society uses duty as a tool, it can give a person with a heart much to consider. One needs strength and clarity, and I haven’t always had it… not by myself. I remember heartache and tears, heaviness and resignation, and the thought, “Won’t anyone help me take that other option?”
Now I can look back on what happened and say, “I’m so glad they didn’t help.” The experience was perfect in its lessons. I learned the feeling of restriction and the feeling of expansion, and within those two, many variations. If all true feeling is ‘I Am’ experiencing itself, then there is no bad and good. And if it’s in us to fulfill our life, we will bring the heart’s desire back around, strengthened by what has been learned.
Taking charge: we encounter many things to grow through and beyond. Our conditioning, our dependence on intellect, our and others’ opinions, our indulgences, previous experiences that may have been harsh, circumstances we believe we cannot overcome… these states are confronted only when we become aware of them.
It becomes worthwhile as well to pose the question of what duty, obligation and responsibility really are. What do we owe? Who or what puts obligation on us? What actually is right? What is our responsibility? Is there any duty that goes beyond these things, and if so, what is it?
Obligation is often placed upon us by some means other than our agreement. If we didn’t agree, we have no obligation. Even if we did agree, when there is manipulation or guilt in the obligation, we can consider that in our decision. Responsibility… yes, we want it and we grow with it and because of it. The more responsibility we handle, the more we will be given. Within responsibility there are many creative solutions… it’s your universe, after all.
But duty submits to ‘authority’, and we can see it quite differently from a societal perspective and a spiritual perspective.
When governments speak of duty with a flowery respect, we know it’s a con job. The con: doing one’s duty lifts a person above others who do their jobs responsibly. Honor that man, for he is fulfilling an expectation, even if it’s wicked, even if he didn’t choose it, even if he was suckered into it, even if he hates it, even if it kills him. And if he fails in his duty, he has disgraced himself and harmed everyone who relied on him.
This is some serious conditioning of the mind, and it’s sad to realize how well it works: the harm placed upon men by other men. Or maybe we should say, the trick played on good men by powerful orchestrators of men. I’m thinking this particular trick is geared toward the man, but then again, women do get sold the idea that a ‘real man’ is created by the system. It’s an illusion of safety, a man in a uniform, or at least it used to be.
And we’ve probably all encountered religious duty. I know I have. Religious teachings try to lay down a number of wifely duties that are so unnecessary in a true relationship. A duty to love your husband… do we need to be told to love? Or, “Here’s your sex tonight dear, because it’s my duty.” Good way to diminish the man and make the woman a ‘trick’. Religious duty can mess up a decent human.
Moral duties: what would that authority be? Since morality is cultural, it becomes simply what you believe of what your society believes is right and wrong. The duty would be to uphold your own commitment to what you believe is moral. But beliefs can change with new information, and what society considers moral can and will change. Morals can be good temporary guides for the befuddled, or they can be like religion… an outside interference with a decent human.
Do we have a duty to one another? We could say yes of course, but to my mind, response to another human should be natural instinct. In an abundant world, caring for each other wouldn’t have to be spoken of as duty, i.e. if you see someone hungry, and you have food, you feed them. Acting in accord with our uncorrupted nature, there would not be a hungry, homeless, imprisoned or neglected person. No authority needs to tell us that.
Right now we’re far away from nature, and our response to each other is twisted by scarcity and fear. Don’t let it make you sad. I see quite a few of us returning to balance, allowing our natural goodness, tenderness and generosity free expression. There are others, of course, who are doubling down on cruelty and judgment, and that’s on them.
Now we get to the apex: inborn duty and our highest authority. What else matters when we enter the earth plane, when we walk through it, and when we leave it?
Submission to truth and openness to love: this position is a very good place to stand at a crossroad. Never fear… you are the way.