Don't Mix Perspectives

At a glance

TLDR: In order to avoid confusion, it is absolutely necessary to recognise the "level of understanding" Azadism is approaching the topic of Statecraft from. Without these base foundations set, going into such topics is useless. You have to compartmentalise your thinking and apply the appropriate perspective if you want relevent and realistic solutions for the modern world. This isn't to say ignore certain concepts, but it is to say: understand what is the right context to use them for.


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Don't Mix Perspectives

In the previous two newsletters we covered how the Guru gives teachings specific to particular levels of understanding. Understanding this approach allows us to reconcile what on the surface seem like contradictory positions. However, since the Guru is Jagat Guru (for the whole world), they reveal the appropriate wisdom relevant to each individual's level of understanding. As a reminder, the three levels are:

(01) Karma (Action)

(02) Upashna (Devotion)

(03) Gyaan (Wisdom)

Why is any of this important? How does it relate to the topic of statecraft and Azadism? It is because…

You can’t mix perspectives.

What is meant by this is that it is inconsistent to take conclusions from one level in order to operate at another level. For example, if we reject free-will but maintain a separate sense of self, then how can blame be placed on criminals? In fact, the entire justice system falls apart since no one is truly at fault. Even saying that previous sentence is false since there isn’t any one individual in the first place to take the blame. The duality between good and evil also breaks down at higher competencies since it is all just God. Murder fails to be an ethical problem since God is the one killing and the one being killed. Yet very few will argue not to punish or remove murderers in society. Why? Because as long as we maintain a separate ego, we also attach to it the ability to differentiate and label our surroundings in terms of good/bad, hot/cold, high/low and more. Whereas objectively these things cannot exist without an observer or reference point from which to compare against. What is cold for a polar bear is different to what is cold for a camel. These dualities exist only in subjectivity. As long as there are individual subjects, then this is the realm of Karma and perhaps Upashana. These dualities can only exist at these levels. The only exception is that it begins to breakdown in Upashana, as what would otherwise be deemed inappropriate or unethical would be seen as necessary to the devotee. For example, the worship of stones, or seeing God as a singular rock would be shunned today, yet one of the contributors of Guru Granth Sahib, Bhagat Dhunna, did exactly this. As someone on the competency of Upashana, they were carried through to achieve Brahmgyaan.

‍One of the primary positions that Azadism is based upon is the right to private property. This a term to denote individual ownership over material items in the world. This includes houses, food, water, land, tools and even one’s own body. However, if perspectives are mixed up, then a conflict seems to arise between Sikh philosophy and private property rights. It could be easily argued that “all things belong to God, therefore we cannot own anything” or “there is no self, so God must then own all things”. Whilst this is implicitly true, it is only true in a relevant sense at a competency of wisdom (Gyan). If this position is taken, then ethics (right and wrong) must also be rejected. Reincarnation, karma, heaven, hell, good, bad should all also be done away with. A separate sense of self cannot be rejected whilst also maintaining ethics or other relevant concepts. If a self is denied, then it must be consistently denied. Otherwise, whilst we are operating at competencies below Gyaan, then we must accept the right to property. How that property should be managed and organised is the very focus of Azadism. Therefore, Azadism is a philosophy concerned with the realm of Karma first, in order to build the foundations and provide the necessary conditions for those individuals looking to go further whilst protecting those who are at the very base Karmic level.  It is not “wrong” or “bad” to own things, this is merely an attribute appropriate at these levels of understanding. It is from the perspective of Karam that the ideas in the manifesto are built up from - bottom up, not top down, since this is what the Guru does. They account for all levels, not just those already enlightened (this will be explored further in later weeks).

Further to the point, at the competency of Karam, where there still is an ego, to have ownership of property is appropriate just as much as it is to call a tyrant a tyrant and a saint a saint. At that level, all these labels can and do exist. Albeit illusory but even an illusion holds an existence.  Recognise that these are just perspectives and each one does not exist in a vacuum. Observe the following picture:

What do you see?

From one perspective it is a rabbit, from another it is a duck. But both perspectives share a fundamental characteristic that there is indeed a picture there. The “somethingness” present is undeniable, it is just a difference in view and interpretation of that somethingness. Additionally, those views only exist so long as there is a viewer to interpret it. From the Karmic lens a duck or rabbit can be seen, whereas an Upashik says both rabbit or duck is something (“Prabhu, these are both you”). From the competency of Gyan neither distinction is recognised and only somethingness beyond any label or judgement is considered. This does not mean there is no duck, or rabbit, it just means that either is only seen so long as there is a separate individual available to interact and interpret it. Again, this is the perspective from which this manifesto will approach reality from for the sake of action.

No questions from last week, but let me know if there any questions about today's post that I can answer for next week!

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