Honouring Thy Father and Mother
an excerpt from the teachings of Eugene Halliday
The first thing that an intelligent parent would tell a child, as soon as it is old enough is you have inside you an inner Centre of decision. This Centre is intelligent and it can evaluate things properly.
And I, as your parent, am telling you about this Centre and its origin.
Its origin is the Intelligent Sentient Power Field that has generated and brought all subsidiary centres, or souls, into being. Not only has it initiated within itself these centres but it also is in no way separate from them and maintains their being and existence. This that has generated our individual being is that to whom we refer when we say God the Father.
This Generative Power is within each one of us.
It is that within us that makes what we mean by the word CHOICE.
It allows us to make decisions quite freely. It, being all-knowing, is already aware of the consequences that will result from whatever decisions or choices we might make. But it does not interfere.
Many of the decisions we make result in quite pleasurable situations; others not so pleasurable; and many, very, very painful. Not that we are anticipating the painful results of our decision for no-one makes a decision or choice which it believes will result in no benefit to itself whatsoever and can only lead to pain.
Nevertheless we do have this freedom of choice. We can say “Yes” to a situation, event or relationship, or we can say, “No“, to that situation, event or relationship.
It is a result of these two simple words that all our pleasures or pains ultimately result.
In other words we, as individual human beings, are responsible for everything that happens to us in the end result.
Now once the child has been made aware in simple terms of this truth and told that inside it has this responsibility and that it must decide what it is doing, then the parent places the child in such a position that the child cannot do other than make a decision. His powers of decision should then be encouraged by the parent.
Now, if the child then makes a decision, he is ‘honouring’ the parents. And the child cannot not make a decision. If he says, “I refuse to make a decision”, he has made a decision, and the parent can then say, “Well you are making a decision now”. “This refusal is a decision, and you are responsible for that”.
And so the parent teaches what we can call (and spell) ‘Response-Ability’, and refers the child always back to the Centre of Decision. Whereas, if we spell that word in the usual manner ‘responsibility’, the child tends to see the word in the usual fashion and places little meaning or significance upon it.
“Response-Ability” can be said to mean “that beings’ ‘Ability-to-respond’” – adequately rather than mechanically or impulsively.
So, if when the child goes to the parent, and says, “I want to know what makes the Moon tick…?” the parent says, “The present state of astronomical knowledge is roughly so and so, and if you want more information, there is an encyclopaedia over there, go and read it.”
Now the child is forced to make his own decision in this way, by the continuous reminder of decision as a power inside everybody, and by so doing the child is becoming self-reliant and self-reflexive, and is therefore ‘honouring his parents’.
But, the child that continuously is brought back by the parents to ask permission for every act, until finally he hasn’t got a Centre of Decision in consciousness, and has become a mechanical thing determined by the whimsies of his parents, he is dishonouring his parents.
We see quite enough of this kind of thing in adults, with this kind of breakdown -Grown-up people with no power of decision. And when we examine them, we find the cause is generally that their power of decision was taken away from them when they were very little because the parents wanted to retain control of the situation and they couldn’t stand anyone making a decision in the situation other than themselves. And thus they ‘dishonoured’ the children – and the children then dishonour them.
If the parents ‘honour’ the child, they honour the Centre of Decision in the child. But if they dishonour the child, they obscure that Centre of Decision. The child then depends on the parents, and cannot decide. But then dishonours the parents.
So Response-Ability is the ability to respond, to reply adequately in the situation to a stimulus.
But Responsibility is that which is defined of somebody from above, eg. by a court, or a teacher, or a parent. You are “held responsible”. Responsibility then, is defined from above by one person about another person -who has no ability to respond.