Blind disobedience is not a sign of spiritual election

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 21.59.30It is a sign of egotism.

Dalrymple describes the kind of upbringing, all too common in modern Europe and North America, and especially in England, that results in a deep problem with authority:

Discipline in the home is without principle or consistency, but is experienced by the child as the arbitrary expression of the brute power of others over himself. The conduct that on one occasion results in a slap results on another occasion in a Mars bar. The child learns that discipline is an expression not of a rule that has a social purpose, but of a stronger person’s momentary emotional state.

Luca Signorelli, The Elect Being Called to Paradise. Fresco, 1499-1502. Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto

Luca Signorelli, The Elect Being Called to Paradise, fresco, 1499-1502. Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto

The child concludes that

the important determinants of a relationship with others are first how you feel, second what you can get away with by virtue of your comparative strength. Nothing else is involved. All human relationships are essentially expressions of power.

An order given by another person

is a threat to his ego, because following orders is submission to power and nothing else: there can be no other reason for it. The distinction between service and slavery collapses. To obey is to extinguish your existence as an autonomous being.

(1999)

 

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