Posted: February 3, 2021 in: Personal Empowerment, Faith, Pain-2-Power

There is Only So Much Power in the World

The world does not have unlimited power.  I am not speaking here of oil or natural gas or electricity.  I am speaking of the power to exert influence and bring about change—in one’s life or the world.  The truth is that when a government becomes more powerful, that power has to come from someplace—specifically, from the people who are governed.

You could think of it this way:

The sum total of things was always such as it is now, and such it will ever remain.

Epicurus (c. 350 BC)

This is the predicament in which we Americans now find ourselves.  We are giving our power to the federal government and some state governments.  And we can’t give it away and also maintain ours.  Personal power is like gold, not like paper currency, which can simply be printed ad infinitum.  Hand your personal power over to another entity, and it resides with the entity—and might be mighty hard to get back.

Part of the peril is that it may not feel that way.  Handing over your gold would include a visual, tactile , intellectual and emotional elements.  You had it.  You could see it.  You could hold it.  No longer, once gone.  An empty space exists in the safe where you kept it.  Your buying power is noticeably reduced—noticeable by you, and not just at the moment you go to spend it and find your pockets are empty.  The thought of using the gold you once had wouldn’t even occur to you, unless you suffered from dementia or a delusion.  You gave it away, period.

Handing over your personal power makes far less mental “noise.”  It can happen passively, almost silently.  You don’t have to do anything.  In fact, doing and saying nothing is the easiest way to let it happen.  So, it doesn’t necessarily hurt—for a while, maybe a long while, until it does.

There’s no physical representation of what is happening when you hand over your personal power (until someone demands your guns—which you can bet will also happen).  There usually isn’t an immediate feeling of being poorer. Actually noticing that you are without power because you handed it over might happen a month later, or a year later, or longer.  You go to the “safe” (i.e. your soul) looking for it, and it’s gone.

Where did it go?  To government.  Because you gave it away.

Why did you do that, you might wonder?  After all, you need personal power to navigate the world, create things from which you can profit, raise your family as you choose, speak your mind, defend yourself.  Defend yourSELF.  Remember, Epicurus:

The sum total of things was always such as it is now, and such it will ever remain.

You must have given up your power for something.

Well, maybe you handed it over in exchange for a false sense of security.  Turn it over to the state, and there will be no further trouble for you that could come from resisting.  Turn it over to the state, and there will be no need to fear poverty or aggression from other nations or pestilence.

That’s an old story, right?  Very.  Like, from the Bible:

Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 25:34 

Personal power is your birthright.  God given.  Give it away for feeling full and warm today, and the other fellow, or other entity, has it.  And, then, you aren’t going to be able to get it back on the same terms.  Maybe there won’t be any terms good enough for the other fellow.  Maybe you’ll have to fight for it.

Dr. Keith Ablow


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