What is Authority?
Wikipedia defines “authority” as “a word derived from the Latin word “auctoritas,” which means invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word “authority” can be used to mean power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area.” Wikipedia also defines the word “author” as “the person who originated or gave existence to anything, and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created.” It is striking to note among the first words Wikipedia uses to define the word “authority” is “invention” and “opinion.” Are we to conclude by this definition that which is “authoritative” is merely nothing more than inventions and opinions? That is a striking thought, and one which cannot be taken lightly. It only confirms my suspicions of the false notion of authority in general.
The essence of authority is power. Without authority, there is no power, because without authority there is no “hierarchy” to answer to. God is often referred to as the “ultimate authority,” or the ultimate “higher power.” The problem is, power and authority’s only purpose is to serve the ego and its need to control and manipulate others to do its will. Control has nothing to do with Love or Truth. That is why power is corruption and the source of all manipulation, coersion, and intrigue. Power is ego. Ego is power. Power is authority. Even if we say “God’s will,” God’s “power” is pure and “good,” without the evils of absolute power, this is an illusion because it is power itself, authority itself, which is the whole problem, since authority is just another dualistic idea, not Truth. What is good is also bad, and what is bad is also good. One cannot be one without the opposite. Whenever duality is involved, as in the concept of authority, it is not Truth, not Love, not Reality. What is Real is One and Whole, not two-sided, nor riddled with the contradictions of the dualistic game-playing ego. To say God is an “authority” is to say God is an ego, which makes God no better than any other dualistic game-playing authority. Again, it is not about whether an authority is “good” or “bad.” It is authority itself which is the entire source of all evil and corruption.
This is why believing in any authority whatsoever, such as the Bible, Jesus, the Quar’an, the Vedas, Vishnu, or any other so-called “authority,” is not the answer to making us “better” in terms of becoming an authentically loving people. Actions born of love have nothing to do with authority, whether that authority is from without or within. That is why one can only find Truth for oneself, not based on an external or internal authority. This does not mean one’s subjective, internal, “personal truth” is correct, any more than an external “communal truth,” such as organized religion, is correct. Both are merely opinions and beliefs, and are therefore not Truth. There is another way besides following and believing in an external or internal “authority,” and that way is Truth, which is not an opinion, belief, ideal, or authority one must believe in. Truth is not power nor authority since it is beyond the dualistic games of the ego. To believe one’s own internal authority is somehow “better” than an external authority is an illusion. Both are corrupt because they are based in notions of what gives pleasure to an ego, whether it is an external ego or our own ego. The goal of all actions born of power and authority, no matter what the authority is, is to please either our own ego, or the ego of another, and has nothing whatsoever to do with Love and Truth. To simply act in the present moment is to act in Love, in Truth. This is not action filtered through belief, prejudice, authority, or power. It is pure action, born in the Living Moment of Now.
What really is the purpose of authority in matters of existence and our deepest questions of Life? Can there be an “authority” in “spiritual matters,” as religious gurus, pastors, and priests would have us believe? Is there an “ultimate authority” to whom every knee shall bow and all creation will answer to? All we need to do to answer these questions is ask who “answers” to whom. To whom does the sky answer? To whom does the Earth answer, the moon, the stars, the universe itself? Since the universe, All is One, then ultimately there is nobody and nothing to answer to. And since the universe is One, then it can only “answer” to itself. The fact and Truth of Oneness ends all notions of authority because ultimately, there is no “self” nor “other,” since all notions of self and other are illusions. Christian theology assumes and depends upon the illusion of self and other to be true, which it never is. The illusion of self and other is what allows Christians to speak of God as separate from his people and other aspects of creation. This is an illusion only. With no self and no other, there can be no play between an “authority” and one which is not an “authority.” So we see that authority, like the notion of self-essential egos, is an illusion. Authority, the very notion of “authorship,” of an “inventor” or “creator,” is an illusion because the Oneness of All is never separate from itself, and is nothing more nor less than a Whole of energy and consciousness, without beginning and without end, manifested in countless forms which are ever-changing, and endlessly evolving.
We are not asked to follow and accept an authority to be “saved,” as the church claims, but to be controlled by those who hold the power of that authority, whether it be the church, a government, a prophet, or Jesus Christ. If Jesus ever existed as a truly enlightened and aware human being, he would have never asked we follow an authority – neither him nor anybody else, because those who are about the Truth know there is no authority, and the fact all notions of authority are nothing more than playthings of the ego to coerce and manipulate others to do their will. Knowledge of this Truth is how we know much of the gospel record is false – particularly the exclusivist, authority-laden propaganda which pervades so much of the Gospel of John in particular. We cannot find Truth by following an authority since doing so only enslaves us to another and requires belief. In knowing for ourselves, we do not need to rely on belief, and are no longer second-hand people, but people who are alive with the vitality of the knowledge of Truth within. This is only possible when we come to knowledge of Truth through our own investigations, not by simply believing in and following an “authority.” Authority following is enslavement. Knowledge for ourselves is freedom. No person who is truly dedicated to the well-being and freedom of another would ever require they follow an authority. They would instead encourage them to find Truth within, through their own inquiry. But humanity has historically never been about true freedom. We claim to be dedicated to ensuring the “freedom” of others while hypocritically making slaves of others. We do this because the ego is so terrified of relinquishing control, it does whatever it can to perpetuate slavery. Through slavery, ego can maintain its need to control, not by finding freedom for oneself nor encouraging others to do the same. This clearly reveals what god humanity truly worships… and by their fruits, we shall know…
Nothing is ever created nor destroyed. All has always been and will forever be, ever-changing in an endless dance of permanent Unity. Authority’s “author” is the ego itself, which makes authority, like all inventions of the ego, a non-reality, a fiction, an illusion….