Have you ever thought about owning your Life? And if so, what does ownership actually mean, when applied to your Life? And can you actually own a Life? After all, ownership usually applies to some sort of property. You own your home, your cars, TVs, furniture and the like, and they are all considered property. Your Life is certainly not property, at least not of the physical kind. Unless you live in a Dictatorship, where all lives are the property of the State.

A Human Life is a very complex being. Body, Mind, Heart & Soul (the sum of which I call the Human Spirit) are the four parts conventionally used to describe us. All working together in what we would call Harmony. Or not so – if conflicted about one or more of those parts – in Disharmony.

To add to this complexity, we humans are a Concept animal. Concepts being abstract ideas conceived in the mind, alive in the mind, and embraced – or not – in the Mind, Heart and Soul. We live by Concepts. Free Will is a concept. Guilt is a concept. True, they don’t exist in the physical world, but depending upon which one we embrace – Concepts have the power to free us from tyranny, or enslave us in tyranny.

This thought of ownership by the individual arose again in my mind, while re-reading Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. He wrote that Life is an inalienable Right. Inalienable is defined as unable to be taken away from, or given away, by the possessor. He also wrote, “these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”**

Under this Concept, since you are the possessor of your Life, and you can neither give it to another, nor allow it to be taken from you, then it belongs to you – and only to you. Therefore you own your Life. And since we are all created equal, then equally so, my Life belongs to me – and only to me. Therefore I own my life. And so on for every single living Individual.

This is ownership. Of the highest kind. It means taking responsibility for your life. “Owning it”, says it all.

**(Yes, I’m aware of the contradiction, or perhaps moral lapse of Jefferson writing all men are created equal, while owning 150-200 slaves – only freed upon his death some 50 years later.)

As I view ownership of my Life then, I am responsible for nurturing, protecting, insuring the healthy growth and well being – not only of my body, but of my mind, of my heart and of my human soul. Together, these are the attributes of the complete Human Life – in the truest sense of the word. And from embracing all that I am, I derive my Individuality, and more precisely, my personal Identity, and with that – my Free Will – Beautifully unlimited in so many ways, but always within the bounds dictated by my reason, my sense of Justice, Ethics and Morality. As it would be with you, and all other living Individuals.

So for all of us, if we aspire to live our lives true to that concept of inalienable Right – then we have but one choice, to never give up that ownership, nor can we delegate that responsibility to another person, organization, or belief system that would ask us to do so. We would be morally deficient in so doing.


2 thoughts on “ON OWNING ONE’S LIFE

  1. Ed,
    I never knew the meaning of inalienable. I always read it as “primary” or “foundational.” You’ve shined a different light on it for me. Keep these coming. I really enjoy reading them. You are a natural philosopher in the way you parse language.


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