How to Leverage Your Own Conscience as Pure Law

“Highly evolved people have their own conscience as pure law.” ~Lao Tzu

If we heed these wise words by Lao Tzu, then it stands to reason that we focus more on developing highly evolved people capable of honoring universal laws, rather than waste our energy bludgeoning people with invalid laws that violate the golden rule, the nonaggression principle, and the universal laws that dictate health.

But what constitutes a highly evolved person? What might a highly evolved person’s character look like? How do we define such a broad concept? In Five Counterintuitive Traits of Highly Evolved Humans, I broke down the emotional disposition of highly evolved people. In this article we’ll break down the political disposition of highly evolved people.

Choose a courage-based lifestyle over a fear-based lifestyle:

“A government which will turn its tanks upon its people, for any reason, is a government with the taste of blood and a thirst for power and must either be smartly rebuked or blindly obeyed in deadly fear.” ~John Salter

Does your government have a taste for blood and a thirst for power? A highly evolved person, with their own conscience as pure law, would choose smart rebuking over fearful obsequiousness.

Don’t allow such a government to have its way. Question its authority. Practice strategic civil disobedience. Count coup on overreaching power constructs. Challenge outdated, immoral, and unjust laws. Be the personification of checks and balances. Dare to be a courageous David facing down the Goliath of the state.

We don’t need more people who blindly obey in deadly fear. That’s already the vast majority of people. We need more people who are highly evolved enough to smartly rebuke any and all governments that use violence to “solve” problems.

Choosing a courage-based lifestyle over a fear-based lifestyle is choosing to no longer be a victim. It’s choosing, instead, to become a hero. It’s choosing courage over fear, self-sacrifice over comfort and security, adventure over banality, fierceness over obsequiousness, and ruthless skepticism over blind faith.

Understand that the vast majority of people are still willing to live fear-based lifestyles. Sympathize with them for having not woken up yet, but do not pity them. It’s not their fault they were brainwashed, conditioned and indoctrinated into living fear-based lifestyles, but it is their responsibility to educate themselves and to break themselves of their conditioning.

You can lead people to knowledge, but you can’t make them think. You can, however, remain ruthless with your courage-based lifestyle. Become a beacon of courageous hope. Especially for those who are still living fear-based lifestyles. Call it tough love. As Derrick Jensen said, “Love does not imply pacifism.”

Choose heart-centeredness over political divisiveness:

“We want to abolish the state and create a world free of oppression and suffering, but we must not lose sight of ourselves in the pursuit of this goal. Remain heart-centered no matter how violent the state becomes or how divisive the political climate. Every revolutionary through history who chose violence became a monster and a shadow of what they pursued. Remember, we are after an evolution of hearts and minds.” ~Derrick Broze & John Vibes

Bipartisan politics is old hat. It’s high time you toss that hat in the fire. Highly evolved people have already done so. They have gone Meta with politics. They’ve gone beyond the outdated, codependent divisiveness of bipartisanism and graduated into an updated, interdependent metamorality.

Metamorality, coined by Joshua Greene, is based on a common ground that all humans can agree upon while proposing a utilitarian deep pragmatism that empathically broadens the mind and compassionately opens the heart to the plight of us all as interdependent beings on an interconnected planet. Highly evolved humans use this strategy, along with the Astronaut Overview Effect, to go big-picture.

Going big-picture helps us change our minds. Or, at least be more flexible and open in our thinking. It puts things into proper perspective. It helps us feel more empathic and less psychopathic toward each other. We’re better able to see the world as one, without borders.

We’re better able to narrow our highfalutin politics down to a single concept we can all agree on: freedom. We’re better able to see through all the red herring cognitive biases of the climate debate and realize that our problem is a single problem we can all agree on: pollution. We’re better able to cut straight through the divisiveness of religion and narrow it down to a single concept that we can all agree on: love. Especially love for our children, and creating a healthy environment for them to grow up in. And suddenly there are not so many differences between us.

Choosing heart-centeredness over political divisiveness puts a compassionate spin on our conscience. Indeed, it puts the “conscience” in having our own conscience as pure law. For pure law is universal law, based upon the healthy interconnectedness of all things.

Choose self-improvement over self-preservation and create a better world:

“You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in.” ~Eliezer Yudkowsky

When it comes down to it, becoming a highly evolved human is about spitting out the unhealthy blue pill of comfort, safety, and security based on outdated laws, and having the courage to swallow the healthy red pill of curiosity, questioning, and skepticism that questions bad laws in order to create healthy laws that align with universal laws.

It’s about becoming the personification of checks and balances. It’s about putting in the hard and difficult work of becoming a highly evolved person who has the wherewithal to “use their own conscience as pure law.” And to teach others how to do the same.

The answer is not creating more bad laws to shove down people’s throats. The answer is creating people smart enough to question the authority that seeks to shove bad laws down people’s throats. Indeed. The answer is teaching people how to become bigger than the law, how to gain the capacity to have their own conscience as pure law, and how to become a more valuable human. As Niels Bohr said, “Every valuable human being must be a radical and a rebel, for what he must aim at is to make things better than they are.”

If, as Plato famously said, “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws,” then it stands to reason that we should focus more on teaching people how to act responsibly and less on creating laws. Especially since humans are so terrible at making good laws. And especially-especially since humans are even more terrible about abusing their power regarding those ill-conceived laws.

As Edward Abbey wisely suggested, “Since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.” The few seeking to rule others do so through the enforcement of bad laws.

So, it is incumbent upon anyone with their own conscience as pure law to ruthlessly interrogate such bad laws and then mercilessly check and balance any authority seeking to enforce such bad laws. We do ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren a disservice when we decide not to.

There is no greater cause than becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in. Will you defend outdated unethical laws and merely turn a blind eye to those who unjustly enforce them? Or will you defend the people’s right to ruthlessly challenge unethical laws and those who unjustly enforce them? The choice is yours. As William James said, “We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.”