ZEALOTRY! – This life I lead has religious overtones. Use my blog widget to search my blog for the word zealot. I am one for BDSM. The word seems to keep coming up. So excuse me if this bores you, but I have been thinking lately about what defines me, what my core values and beliefs are that have made it possible for me to be so blessed.
This blog started with a comment by my slave. – As she was fulfilling her gratitude ritual, one of her three things was “when crying turns to laughter”. She is a wrangler, rides horses, and she had a little girl that was so scared she was crying and hiccuping. She brought her horse up beside the girl, and by the end of the ride, the girl was laughing. My reaction was too fold. First, I was pleased. She should be in service to the universe, finding her pleasure in these very kind of moments. But there is also a danger when we do well and we know we have done so. We must avoid pride. Its an odd dance. We must know that we have value, and hold that to our heart, but take away from it not pride which is poisonous, but the joy that we create with that value. We must see not the value of our relations, but the value we bring to relations. Like all things of value, its a complex, delicate dance.
So I find myself wanting to list my core values. Here is what I came up with:
- Equality – Thou shall strive at first meeting, to neither take, nor give authority, treating all persons as an equal in authority to yourself, and will continue to do so until a shift in power is arrived at in a consensual manner. Equality is not the highest form of exchange, equity is. Equality is merely the starting point from which all human exchange should flow, and it should flow, to equity.
- Respect – Thou shall strive at first meeting to give utmost respect, as a sign of who you are, indicating that you understand equality, and the need to understand one another. Often the distance between your beliefs may make respect difficult. It is not necessary to agree with a person, to respect their logic or core belief. Remember that the degree of effort you put into giving respect, is a reflection of who you are. Respect earned is necessary to establish honesty, with which you may achieve trust, and trust is a perquisite to a higher state of exchange, an equitable one. Respect given and earned, removes barriers to your potential exchanges.
- Consensual Power Exchange – Thou shall strive to find your place among others in the structures of authority that surround us. These structures exist for many reasons. From police, to parents, from employers to politicians, from judges to generals, we are surrounded by people with certain authority. If these structures align with your values, you will acknowledge and consent to accept authority or consent to give authority within them. You will peaceably resist all exchanges of authority that do not align with your values, or are forced upon you, or to which you will not consent. Thou shall be mindful that love and power exchanged can only exist together, with consent. Where power is taken without consent, love is absent. Dominance and submission is just a natural extension of the power systems around us and teaches us something of the world we would create with others.
- Honesty – Thou shall be honest both with yourself and others when negotiating an exchange. Avoid persons who have demonstrated they can not be trusted as they may misuse your honesty. Thou shall strive to avoid dishonesty created by pride. Thou shall strive to avoid dishonesty created by false modesty. Thou shall strive to be honest about the value you bring to an exchange, without listening to either pride or false modesty. Thou shall be mindful that honesty does not require that you to respond to a demand for information, but trust does. The building blocks of trust, are honesty.
- Uncommon currency – Thou shall be mindful of the currency you deal in, whether it be common like gold, silver, paper, goods, and services, or uncommon like support, love or feelings. Thou shall place your highest value on all things which bring happiness into your life, treating this as the favored currency of your life. Let that which makes you happy, be an important currency of your exchanges with others. Thou shall be mindful of the value placed on each currency by both you and those you exchange with. You shall be mindful that the value of currency changes, what is valued today, may not be the same at the next exchange. Avoid persons who do not understand the value of uncommon currency.
- Equity of exchange – Thou shall strive to seek in all exchanges with others, an equitable exchange, negotiated in good faith, with all terms honestly disclosed. Thou shall seek to make exchanges in which both parties feel the exchange was fair and ideally mutually beneficial. When an exchange becomes inequitable, it should be renegotiated or terminated. Any past inequities perceived to exist before renegotiation, should be forgiven.
- Avoid inequity – Thou shall avoid inequity of exchange and people who practice it. To knowingly take more than you offer in exchange through deceit or force, is evil. Thou shall keep in mind that equity, is measured in many currency and often uncommon currency leads to those outside your exchange, to not understand the equity you agree to, which is to say: Only those in an exchange can say if it was equatable or not. Thou shall only judge the equity of your own exchanges, unless called upon to mediate.
- Gratitude – Thou shall be grateful. You can not add another minute to your life, nor take any possession with you when you die. You will be grateful for every minute of life, and for the moments you created happiness for yourself and others. Thou shall be mindful that gratitude given, like so many other things given, is actually a gift to yourself.
- Life’s greatest lesson is how to be happy – Thou shall strive to understand happiness, what it is, and how to get it. This is the great struggle of your life and it has nothing to do with what anyone else does. Thou shall learn to make joy at every opportunity, and share it with others. Let your joy spring not simply from pride in what you do, but also from the happiness you create by what you do. Be mindful that things, and others, can not make happiness for you. Thou shall never allow yourself to be too busy, to stop and smell the roses. That is to say, to stop and take time to be grateful for, and appreciate the small joys of life.
- Life’s second greatest lesson is how to make good decisions – Thou shall make a study of your decisions. Thou shall seek council from friends and enemies, and strive to learn from each mistake and success of all humanity. Thou shall put aside regret, and never forget that the one thing you own forever, are your decisions. Learn to make good ones, regret no past mistake, and strive to make ever better ones.
You will notice these beliefs, or values apply to more than BDSM, and that is exactly what they are meant to do. This is not sexy, or exciting and you might find it boring, but I never stop thinking about the world I want, and the lessons I would use to craft my perfect slave, so I must think beyond BDSM, to values that apply more or less universally, and tie together my complex life, in all its facets.
These might as well be my ten commandments. So I wrote them that way. They form the foundation of my life, and the lessons I teach. These core beliefs form the basis for nearly all that I do and they shape my decisions, and the lives that result from it.
Whatever road you choose, my friends, I wish you happiness. Carpe Diem!