Morality seems to be one word that is misunderstood as Truth. We explore the validity of truth like in a game, in the game of Life. We are blindfolded by our humanness and we feel the shape from our senses, what is an absolute value. Morality however holds different emphases. Truth we bear in our soul as though some gleam caught in our Self. With which we may embroider Selfishness in so many ways. A man like Gordon of Khartoum would invite death though his nemesis offers him a way out. He is not so much as troubled by his inconsistencies or dirty heel but to prove something to the world. Man who plays the part of Messiah unfortunately has to struggle with his inner demons or messiah complex in some cases.
Morality is not such selfishness that only clouds ‘the ray pure serene ‘ Truth.
What is it then? Morality is binding man’s essence or Soul to the wagon of Truth. As such his humanness may drag him through the streets and yet when he speaks it makes other take note of the Highest. He may be a thief and yet like Francois Villon gives man an insight into Truth. He is not pretending to be a moral reformer but merely following a bend of his mind. Take Percy Bysshe Shelley for example. His search for Truth got him kicked out of university since atheism was frowned upon as evil. All his life he followed his inclinations perfecting his craft and his Republican ideals like a moth trying to snuff out the false light of mercantile class of England. In the process he ruined the lives of a few women because he practiced free love! Can we connect morality with such a man?
Morality is what gives even a fallen leaf its poignancy. ‘I fall upon the thorns of life; I bleed!’ so lamented Poet Shelley. His moral sense was of the highest order despite his controversial life style. I cite his example specially to show morality is not to be confused with living true to the position the organized religion might hold. Position of any organization changes with times. Truth does not. This itself ought to warn people not to sell their true selves like Esau did. (note: the story of Jacob and Esau is alluded here. Patriarch Jacob had great many faults for which the world has often faulted his children ever since. A Jew in the former times signaled to the ‘gentiles’ certain characteristics which we see in the Patriarch who for all his unpleasant traits valued the worth of being first born correctly.) If we compromised our essence what else is there for us to cherish?
Alas my essence must burn with gem-like hardness drawing on the oxygen of the world. Moral sense gives the flame its shape, drawing others to bask in its warmth.
Let me define Moral Sense: It is your correct understanding of your self in context of something else. A moral Being has his sense to bring his world into a sharper focus by actions worth of his being and as in the case of Shelley through his poetry.
Even mundane events in our world about us draw us to learn a moral lesson. Moral in the sense it gives us fresh insight to our life among myriad life forms. Thus a rose fades; or a flower in its bloom has fallen by the wayside. It doesn’t fade off uncared for. It lives still in our mind.
Morality is the celebration of humanness in the web of life. With such understanding we maintain correct sensitivity to appreciate the role of every life form. In what myriad ways we are served by it and in what ways we acknowledge our debt or repay it ought to keep our life significant. Such a moral sense is positive in nature.
Moral sense does not make a fuss about meat eating or sticking to a diet of herbs and greens. We need not forget: plants are also life forms. A glutton would say:‘making a fine salad is to celebrate the life of plants.’ A dyspeptic man might argue and he would say,” Eating sparingly is to celebrate life.’ Moral sense is much more than superficial observance of rituals and diet. It is your very life with which you negotiate with other lives. Our lives are on the line so to speak.
Tailpiece: Moral sense is not counted in dollars and cents. If we do not get our way in a deal we do not have to hire a lawyer who (may) find a loophole in the law to make the other party pay. Do we have to have our pound of flesh every time we have walked an extra mile?