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Scholar's Commentaries
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Decree One: Choice
Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
CHOOSING PARENTS

  Decree Two: Desire
Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
Part One

ILLUSIONS OF CONFLICT

Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
Part Two

FALSEHOOD

  Decree Three: More
Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
NATURAL TENDENCIES

  Decree Four: Emotion
Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
COMPLEXITY AND CHALLENGE

  Decree Five: Intuition
Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
KNOWING WITHOUT CERTAINTY

  Decree Six: Magic
Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
MAGIC AND OPENNESS

  Decree Seven: Rightness
Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
Part One

PRACTICAL RIGHTNESS

Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
Part Two

ALL IS RIGHT

  Decree Eight: Spirituality
Scholar's Commentary on this Decree
THE ROLE OF EMOTION

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Scholar's Commentaries
Decree One: Choice (Click HERE to read the Decree)

CHOOSING PARENTS

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageSo it has been written, by decree of the Mystics, that all in the Great Land are assigned the power of choice at the time of their birth - it is law. By agreement, each has the right to choose the identity and characteristics of his parents. The parents of course, have their own traits and peculiarities, yet the children are given the rights to govern these characteristics, although already molded and developed. All is decided upon the basis of what will allow the greatest of learning. This is no cruel experiment, no evil master plan, it is accepted by all those who reside here. No one questions the laws, for they are always just. But all are familiar with the conflict that growing up in the Great Land presents.

As man and woman were joined and it was time to procreate, each child according to the law held to him his right to choose. Brothers grew and sisters also, each child having placed his limitations upon the character of the parents. In the sibling ranks then, each had different parents - although all were born of the same woman. It would seem that no child in the land could see that he had in fact been granted his choice. Yet each changed the parent with every breath, every movement. Each had been given the choice, and freely exercised it. There are still many in the settlements who choose to be born without sight.

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Scholar's Commentaries
Decree Two: Desire (Click HERE to read the Decree)

Part One
ILLUSIONS OF CONFLICT

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageThe decree states that what is desired is to be attained and what is attained is to be desired. This raises several points of consideration. Firstly, should the desire precede the attainment or indeed does the attainment go before the desire? Should the attainment exist first, what of the purposes of desire? Desire, it would seem holds some power to motivate the individual and to propel him forward toward the objective. Requirement, a necessary intermediary, ensures that steps taken toward that which is desired are appropriate to the outcome. Inspiration provides initial knowledge of an option. Without these elements the workings of desire could not harmonize efficiently, or perhaps could have no effect at all That being the case then, how could it be possible that attainment might exist independently of its components, yet remain dependent on those components for its very existence? Can one be separated from the other or must they exist as a permanent duo?

It is well known that time is by necessity, fleeting. It is also held by many to resist the measures we seek to place upon it. This suggests that it may well be possible for attainment to go before inspiration and desire - and that it may elude the constraints of our perception of it. Such Ďwindowsí in the fundamental structures of our world would seem to indicate that should the individual take advantage of these pockets of illusion, all in the face of this supposition becomes possible.

If attainment may predate desire for the same attainment, then it might also be possible to desire at one time, objectives of opposing or contradictory nature. One might desire a life of rest, yet desire a life of activity. One might desire strength, yet desire the life that weakness provides. One might desire a life of prosperity, yet maintain a requirement for deprivation. What is to become of desire if it is distributed in this manner? Can conflicting desires be conscious or may they only exist under the nurturing wing of ignorance? Will the power applied to each desire be halved or full strength?

It would seem logical that these desires will naturally sort themselves into an appropriate structure for achievement, a natural order of succession and that being so, the conflict is then only illusion, for all comes in its own time. It must be considered however, that the individual retains free will and that, through the power of choice and through honest means, conflicts may be resolved by way of changes made to founding decisions and the requirements of those decisions. Thus, it must be concluded that in all cases truth shall continue to be mankindís ultimate freedom.

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Scholar's Commentaries
Decree Two: Desire (Click HERE to read the Decree)

Part Two
FALSEHOOD

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageIf desire shall only apply to that which is possible, yet one may only know that something is possible once it is achieved, all desire must be perceived as not possible until it is proven otherwise. However, the perception of the individual must be the determining factor in which case it may be known that something is possible without direct experience as such as long as the perception of possibility is created and is given credence.

Belief should not be confused with knowing, for the two, while sharing significant similarities are not the same. Belief need not be experienced in order to hold validity for it is the domain of the intellect. Knowing and knowledge however, are confines of the heart and as such he who knows in a true sense, bears little resemblance to the believer. Knowing, when it is held in terms of certainty also becomes an aberration of genuine knowledge and thus he who is certain is not a knower of the true kind.

In the same manner then, the believer is to the knower as the fantasy is to desire. Fantasy does not require of the heart, but is a child of the intellect. One cannot desire without co-operation from the heart. In this way, longing and yearning, also creations of the mind, will not bear fruit in the manner of desire, for longing and yearning are distinguished by the presence of impossibility. To long for is to want in the knowledge that the object of wanting is not to be had. Only in the absence of certainty and in the knowledge of the possible can desire be truly exercised.


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Scholar's Commentaries
Decree Three: More (Click HERE to read the Decree)

NATURAL TENDENCIES

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageIt would seem that as the decree implies, the human individual is strongly motivated by the urge toward more, be it, interestingly, of a positive or a negative nature. It is most understandable that in the case of the positive, one could be motivated toward wanting more. Not necessarily related to the attainment of physical possessions, having more of anything pleasurable would seem to be a very natural tendency. The desire for more happiness, more love, more stimulation, more fulfillment, more choice - these are all products of appreciation. When one appreciates, one naturally implies one's desire to experience more. Such a desire may or may not apply to the desire for more of the same, for indeed an additional factor of major significance arises here - that of variety.

It is also a natural human tendency to desire variety. It is considered drudgery to do the same things over and over again - have the same food, hear the same story, do the same work. Man seems to be endowed with an inherent thirst for new stimulus. The forces of variety are strong and thus, when appreciation gives rise to the desire for more, it is also a natural product of human nature that this desire carries with it an implication of not only wanting more, but wanting more and different. Perhaps it could even be supposed that variety is inseparable from this desire for more, since it is not natural to want more of the same thing. In fact, wanting more of the same must possibly be a kind of aberration, a distortion of what is natural, something that has become not natural and thus, may be motivated by some other kind of personal requirement not related to the principal of more at all.

So it is perhaps man's emotional responses to the things that he does or experiences that might motivate this desire for more. Enjoyment or satisfaction are the results of one's responses, not of actuality. Without those responses, everything one does in life would be without meaning, without satisfaction. Hence, one does not necessarily feel a desire to do the same thing twice, but perhaps one desires to experience the same kinds of emotional responses, but in new contexts or in new ways, thus making the experience different but giving rise to the kinds of responses that are most enjoyable.

However, the decree also states, that in the case of what could be considered to be negative, more also motivates the human individual. How could this be? If the so called negative is a product of choice, why would it not be the case that the individual would experience an urge for more? The criminal is well known for extending his range of stimulation for example. Does the deranged abuser stop at the same kinds of amusement? It is the common tendency for such individuals to seek more intense kinds of experience, more satisfaction, more varietyÖ So then, if an individual is given to living life in the way of hatred, would this natural tendency not give way to the same principles? Hatred gives way to the urge for more hatred and for more expression of hatred? Deprivation gives way to more deprivation and more expression of it? Powerlessness gives way to more powerlessness and finds a greater range of expression.

Given the irresistible tendency for more, it would seem to make no sense that the positive and negative would make distinctions of any kind. Man is undoubtedly driven by the desire or the urge for variety and for more. Depending on his choices those desires will reflect themselves in the nature of his resulting experience of life.


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Scholar's Commentaries
Decree Four: Emotion (Click HERE to read the Decree)

COMPLEXITY AND CHALLENGE

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageThere are those who would freely admit to more than one or two stray thoughts in the direction of the fact that were it not for the presence of emotion, life would not only be simpler, but a good deal more bearable. While it would seem that emotion for the most part, serves only to complicate life, one's perception and appreciation of emotion is influenced by the way in which one approaches such 'complications'. Complication is itself an entirely subjective description of this phenomenon that few scientists can profess to understand. Emotion is often regarded as an interference in life, its subtleties frequently misunderstood. However, it would seem that emotion plays a vital part, not only in the overall wellbeing of the individual, but deeply affects the individual's intelligence and that individual's ability to traverse through life with a sense of purpose.

It can easily be seen that should we care to replace the word 'complication' with 'challenge' that one's experience of life and one's relationship with one's own emotions may be completely transformed. Perhaps it is most easily understood as many such concepts, if we are to imagine life in the absence of emotion. Perhaps, at the outset, this is an attractive proposition. But take the notion a little further to understand how essential the experience of one's emotions is to the experience of living itself. How essential the experience of emotion is to our learning, our appreciation, our sense of purpose, our ability to endure in the face of extreme challenge. Our emotions ensure that we are motivated toward that which is fulfilling, that which is enriching, that which will aid our forward movement as a species. Sometimes, it is emotion alone which ensures one's individual survival, its motive power spurring one to action.

It is through the surge of emotion that we are inspired to achieve and to overcome. It is through the forces of emotion that we are inspired to continue in the face of the worst kinds of hardship. It is emotion that endows us with a sense of our own humanity and allows us to exercise our humanity throughout the course of our lives. Only when emotion is suppressed do acts of violence become possible, revenge becomes easily executed, even the premeditated elimination of one's fellows can become an overwhelming temptation.

Some would have it that it is emotion that can drive one to the kinds of extreme represented by murder and yet, emotion, in its pure state, is fleeting. The enduring ability to carry out vengeance and to exercise cruelty arises from an ability to deny one's emotions - to shut them out and to act in the absence of emotion. Emotion exists not only to enrich our lives but to direct us in the manner of rightness, to ensure the incidence of variety, to motivate us toward the forward movement gained by our motives to achieve. Perhaps one's perception of the individual who denies his emotion is represented by the emotionless automaton, without expression and without animation. The individual who will not acknowledge and allow emotion is far from this impossible state.

Emotion, when denied, when distorted, is not replaced by a state of 'emotionlessness' as such, but is replaced by the imposter, the convincing double of emotion. In such cases, the individual is possessed not by emotion, but by the intellect's artful manifestation of that which seems to be emotion, but that which is solely dependent on the powers of the intellect for its survival. That which is propelled by the workings of the intellect and given power by such workings is not and can never be, deemed to be true emotion. Revenge is not fueled by feeling, it is conversely, kept alive by the processes of thought. Comfort is confused with happiness but is characterized by the absence of responsiveness. Jealousy is not an emotion, for it may be created at the whim of the individual.

True emotion is only and always experienced in response to stimulus. If it can be created in the absence of stimulus, through the workings of one's mind, it must be deemed to be the creation of one's thoughts and thus something other than genuine emotion. It is the relationship between emotion and response that seems to provide clues as to the genuine nature or otherwise of that which we experience. If we can manufacture it at will, it cannot be and is not true emotion. If it is the natural product of response, both spontaneous and indeed fleeting, the nature of what we are experiencing could be deemed to be much closer to what is genuine. As in all such matters, the honesty of the individual and his ability to perceive the truth, will determine the degree to which he may understand the subtleties and acknowledge the realities of this complex and fascinating subject.


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Scholar's Commentaries
Decree Five: Intution (Click HERE to read the Decree)

KNOWING WITHOUT CERTAINTY

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageIt has been written that intuition makes known the unknowable. Such an anomaly would seem to pose important questions. Firstly and most obviously, if something is unknowable, how may it be known? Perhaps the complexities of knowing present their own anomalies. Is knowing synonymous with certainty or the knowledge of a fact, or may the term be more correctly applied to the recognition of something as a result of some experience, or realization? Can knowing really be simplified to such an extent that it may be described by any one terminology? One must be careful not to misrepresent knowing in its truest sense by confusing it with degrees of intellectual understanding or with the memorization of facts. By the same token, knowing can never occur in the same way twice. One manís knowing may well be another manís ignorance. Knowing seems to a dynamic, flexing, indefinable force which may visit man in one instant and abandon him in the next. The effects of a realization of truth can be fleeting. Something clearly crystallized in the mind of an individual can slip away unseen, leaving the host bereft of the understanding that moments before seemed to change his world forever.

This transient quality that befalls knowing is interesting in that it seems to contradict the popular view of what knowing is. Knowing is continually confused with that dubious practice of being certain. However, it is important to remember that knowing is dependent on several important factors that would also relate to the practice of intuition. Knowing depends on the exercise of knowledge to retain its status as that which is known. Knowing also holds an essential experiential element, for the knowledge of something in an intellectual sense is distinct from the knowledge that arises from experience. Knowing might also be distinct from that usage of the word knowing which indicates the certain knowledge of some fact or other. It is difficult not to become entangled by the semantics of such words and concepts however, to have a clear understanding of what it is to know seems to be important to the individual who seeks to understand his world. It would be fair to assume that knowledge is something which is implied. It is implied by the actions of an individual, it is implied by how he goes about living his life. Knowledge should not describe words spoken or facts remembered, for it is the dynamic usage of knowledge that lends genuine credence to knowing.

Certainty, it would seem, is the enemy of true knowing and genuine knowledge. For if genuine knowledge is indeed what it seems to be, a moveable flexible force emerging and receding throughout the individualís life, then certainty would oppose this capability to move and flex. Certainty would introduce rigid structure, preventing the natural flow which would normally characterize the processes of knowing. The individual who is open to knowing is always open to knowing more, or open at least, to the prospect of this knowledge changing, without the interference of a vested interest which seeks to protect that which is certainly known at all costs.

In order to understand and to recognize the true nature of intuition it would seem that to understand the nature of knowing is an important prerequisite. We can now consider the implications of intuition making known the unknowable. Given the delicate nature of intuition it is apparent that the ability to be flexible and not certain is crucial to the successful operation of the intuitive voice. For if the individual is certain, no amount of gentle urging from this is likely to sway such immovable knowing. The power of intuition seems to lie very much in challenging what seems to be apparent and even contradicting it. The operation of trust becomes essential then in encouraging the individual to deny what is apparent to his physical senses and to give tentative credence to that which intuition pertains. Even then, should the individual trust to the suggestions of intuition, such trusting must not become certainty or once again the intuitive ability is defeated. To try to define the intuitive voice in almost every sense would be to endeavor to bring certain knowledge to something which is the natural opposite to such knowledge. Intuition, just as the suggestions of its urgings, must be trusted and heeded but must, in order to be truly effective, escape manís inevitable compulsion to explain that which cannot and will not be explained.


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Scholar's Commentaries
Decree Six: Magic (Click HERE to read the Decree)

MAGIC AND OPENNESS

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageThe experience of magic must surely be one of life's forgotten requirements. Rarely if ever, considered to be a basic need, the requirement for magic in the life of the human individual would seem nevertheless to be crucial, not so much for his physical survival, but crucial to man's spiritual wellbeing and perhaps equally importantly, his emotional wellbeing. It is entirely possible to live a life in the human environment without attention to the nourishment of one's own spirit and without acknowledgement of the place of magic, but what of the fulfillment of the individual? What of the quality of life of that individual? Worse even, to spend one's life in active pursuit of the denial and disproof of magic and its potential value for mankind. It is clear that magic and a trust in it, is confused with belief and with superstition - to the detriment of the individual.

Perhaps the value lies not in the knowledge of magic itself, but in the implications of being open to that which is not known, that which is yet to be known, that which is beyond our conscious ability to perceive it. Perhaps in being open to all that, we can truly advance the cause of the human spirit and thus the human potential.

There is no doubt that when we deny the existence of something simply because it seems to fall outside the range of what we are accustomed to perceiving, we not only express our own arrogance, but we defeat our chances of then ever being able to perceive anything other than what our collective expectations and perceptions allow. This is surely misguided. Advancement cannot be made from such a narrow standpoint. And of far greater significance, in order to continue to deny the existence of magic, or that which is impossible, we must artificially adjust the way in which we go on perceiving the world, for fear of the possibility of encountering something that does not fit with our accepted criteria of perception. In order to decide that something does not fit, we must perceive it at some rudimentary level - better not to perceive it at all.

For man to relinquish the ability to be genuinely questioning, would surely signify the end of his ability to truly explore and to gain understanding. It would seem that the law of absolutes governs here. If the human individual is to remain inquiring and open in one area of his life and to benefit from that openness, then that individual, must, by way of implication, apply that openness to all areas. However, to be truly open to the existence of that which cannot yet be explained or understood, must inevitably impact on the life of the individual at every level and perhaps for that reason, magic is consistently ignored and even fought against, to the detriment of mankind.

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Scholar's Commentaries
Decree Seven: Rightness (Click HERE to read the Decree)

Part One
PRACTICAL RIGHTNESS

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageThe idea of a kind of unifying non-tangible force which represents the direction of man's spiritual endeavor is an interesting one, primarily because this does not seem to be a force that can be directly or absolutely defined. And yet, it would seem that the elusive qualities of rightness do not make it impossible for the individual to recognize it in the expression of his human life. In fact, it would seem that one's sense of what is right, one's knowledge of rightness and the ability to identify it and indeed put it to practical use, could be honed to acute levels of sensitivity. Once again, however, man's ability to subscribe to openness and to be at peace with being open remains crucial to the task. For the recognition of rightness must be a product of realization.

Of course being right and doing right are commonly confused with an adherence to recognized codes of morality and to cultural expectations, attending to one's obligations in life. To set down specifics of behavior shall surely defy the truly diverse demands of rightness and do not take into account the considerations of appropriateness, individual freedom and personal responsibility. Perhaps such codes are necessary, but only if one begins with the fault-ridden premise that man is a failed individual and in need of these controls. Society must of course allow the individual freedom, while requiring certain guidelines for conduct, without which, chaos would result. However, we tend to mistrust our own ability and the ability of others to do what is right, without the presence of implied retribution should the codes be broken.

Rightness it would seem, applies to a deeper kind of recognition of that which is right, for the most part unrelated to abiding by civil laws or moral structures. Perhaps rightness pertains to the recognition of one's spiritual purpose within every context of living. Perhaps it refers to the unity of that which is practical with that which is spiritual. Although it is true that the spiritual cannot be separated from the practical, it is the tendency to do so. Perhaps this concentration on rightness reminds us of the unbreakable bond between our spiritual origins and our physical existence. Perhaps the recognition of rightness represents, on the very deepest of levels, a kind of talisman, a way of touching one's connection with the Universal Plan and invoking its powers to challenge us in very fundamental ways.

Whatever its purpose, our ability to understand rightness is not necessarily required in order to recognize it. In fact it is quite likely, that much of the power in the recognition and implementation of rightness is the result of a willingness to give credence to it in the face of the most difficult challenges - when we have every reason to doubt its existence and deny its power. In such situations, the gains to be made by the individual who is prepared to trust and to be open in the absence of understanding, in the absence of reason, must be significant indeed.

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Scholar's Commentaries
Decree Seven: Rightness (Click HERE to read the Decree)

Part Two
ALL IS RIGHT

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageWhat is this rightness? Is it a way of being, a determinate of how one should be? If not, it could be an acknowledgement of how things are and how they are intended to be - perhaps an acknowledgement of the fact that things are as they are intended to be, whatever the circumstances. If this were so, would it not serve to take man's free will from him to realize that all is as it is intended to be? What then, is man's place in the world, what is the place of choice in the context of his own life? Shall the acknowledgement of this universal sense of rightness simply consign the human individual to the whims of some greater universal power, a power outside of himself? Does it not doom him to the plans of others, or perhaps even, some god-like entity who determines the nature and details of man's existence without his agreement or even knowledge? Perhaps, but it is unlikely.

It is commonly thought that if such a plan exists, it must do so independent of the individual's agreement. Such a plan must somehow exclude the involvement of the individual concerned and that consequently, man can surely have no freedom, no significant part in the course of his own life. There is nothing to suggest, should such plans exist, that they would indeed exclude the individual in such a way. In fact it would be entirely logical that the individual would be directly involved in the determination of his own destiny and that his life would come to reflect his own decisions completely and utterly.

The Decree regarding Spirituality clearly states that man shall be deprived of the conscious knowledge of his spiritual origins, and that he shall only glimpse those origins from within the context of his physical life. So then, perhaps this amnesia is required in order that man is not deterred from carrying out the plans of his own devise. Should his complete and conscious remembrance interfere with that which he has determined to do? Could it diminish the impetus to achieve and to move forward if too much is known of his own intentions and of what has been destined to occur? Perhaps, by forgetting his origins and forgetting his purpose, he may be given to finding purpose and thereby gain from the processes of finding it, from within the bounds of a human existence - from within that which seems to be without purpose. The recognition of rightness and thus, of his own hand in the course of his life, and the urge that exists to move toward it and to express it, again and again, may very well be the link that binds him to his 'spiritual home'.

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.Scholar's Commentaries
Decree Eight: Spirituality (Click HERE to read the Decree)

THE ROLE OF EMOTION

Click HERE to return to the Top of the PageIt is interesting to note mention in the Decree that man's spirituality is dependent upon the free exercise of emotion. It is frequently considered that emotion directly opposes the spiritual pursuits. Emotion has gained an unfortunate reputation as a rather lowly human phenomenon, assuming inferior status to the more worthy and more spiritually acceptable confines of control, discipline and abstinence. Those who consider themselves to be spiritual commonly regard emotion as an unwelcome interference, a disruptive influence, evidence of weakness. Surely those who would take this view deny the most fundamental fact of human nature - that without emotion, man cannot advance. Should that advancement refer to his evolution as a species or indeed to the advancement of the individual human soul, progress cannot occur in the absence of the expression of emotion.

Emotion is at the very heart of man's urge to make more of himself and his world, emotion inspires him to achieve and to develop, it encourages self-examination, it inspires change. Thought alone cannot motivate the individual toward betterment, for thought is without the motive power possessed by emotion. It is typically imagined that thought has power, that the power of thought overcomes all. If thought were truly as powerful, life would hold no challenge, thought would become the preferred vehicle for personal change. This is not only far from being the case, but those who favor thought as a method of overcoming challenge must suppress the natural urge for emotion and by so doing do themselves much harm.

It is clear that emotion is required for wellbeing, as the Decree states, however, the connection between emotion and spirituality may appear confusing. Granted, it is perhaps more difficult to appear pious whilst in the grip of one's emotions - emotion is regarded by many as ugly, distasteful, something to be avoided and resisted. Yet in allowing the flow of emotion, man expresses that which constitutes the very foundation of his humanity. And indeed if it were only possible to express what is spiritual in the spiritual world, no requirement would exist to take on the physical form and to express one's soul through the use of the physical instrument. Inherent in the physical experience is the inference that man's spiritual component can be nourished and grown by such experience.

If we choose to acknowledge the uniqueness of emotion and its importance to the human individual, then we should have to acknowledge, that emotion and spirituality are without question, linked together in unshakable bonds. Not only is the free expression of emotion a requirement if we are to become closer to understanding our spiritual roots, but those who actively deny emotion are certainly not the superior beings they imagine themselves to be.

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