Nobody? Really? Nobody at
all owns You?
That's surprising. I know
there are a lot
of people who own me. And there are a lot of others who have owned me
in the past, and still many more who would like to.
In times of old, and in
some places today,
people are owned outright. They are called slaves, or chattel, or bond
servants. If you were to ask them who owned them, they would point to
someone. They know
who owns them.
Everyone knows that in this
slavery in the South was prevalent; but not so many people are aware
that slavery was also common in the North. No, I don't mean the black
slaves of the cotton fields, I mean men, women and children who sold themselves
into slavery. This was especially true of many of the Irish immigrants
who were escaping the potato famine by coming to America. Jobs were
very scarce; so in order to eat and survive, they sold themself into
Ask one of these "servants"
who owned them,
and they would point to someone.
"Slaves" knew who owned
them, who would feed
them, where they would sleep, and who they served. Of course there were
also abused slaves, and a slave could be sold to a new master.
And even today, in some
and wives can be sold. If you are a child or a wife of a man in such a
country, you are "chattel," that is to say, a thing, a possession of
that man, with which he can do whatever he likes. I don't suppose those
wives and children would outright state that they are "owned," but
perhaps they would.
Well, that's fine;
that's clear enough for
the past and for other countries; but such a thing has no affect on us
today, does it? Of course
Or does it?
Let's take some extreme
examples to begin
with. Let's use a convict in prison. He gets up when he is told, he
wears what he is told, he does everything that he is told and dares not
do otherwise. And this does not just apply to the warden and the guards
that he must obey, but to every other convict who happens to be bigger
and meaner than himself. Would you call this convict a slave?
How about the Military. Can
a soldier say,
"I don't feel like wearing this uniform today, I want to wear red?"
Would you call a soldier a
slave? And if so,
isn't he subjected to every person who wears more stripes on his sleeve
Ok, those are extremes.
But let's suppose
you are neither a soldier nor a convict. So none of the above applies
to you, right?
Well, how about a hospital.
Have you ever
been to a hospital? Anyone there tell you what you could and could not
How about a student.
Once you have chosen
your school (if you have been given that choice) and have picked your
teachers and courses (if you have been given that choice), is there any
other choice you get to make that doesn't carry with it some negative
And it's not only the
teachers that you have
to obey, but there are other students who have desires for you as well.
Are you dependent on an
income? That is, do
you have a boss that you have to obey and please to keep that job?
Are you a child living
at home (some
children have grandchildren of their own you know) who must do what
your parents tell you to do?
"Now wait a minute," you
say, "None of that
means someone owns
me. I can say yes
any time I like. I'm not a slave."
And that's right, you can
refuse any time
you want - if
you want to pay the consequences.
The slave in the cotton
field has that
choice also, and the convict has that choice, and the soldier has that
choice - and the consequences for their choice may well be death.
Of course no one is likely
to shoot you for
to a teacher or boss - but your income may very well take a sudden
drop, and your work (or school) record will likely not speak so well to
potential employers in the future.
WHO OWNS YOU?
Few people today are
owned outright by
another. It is not likely that anyone would point to someone when asked
that question. Nor is it likely that anyone would state that they owned
anyone if they were asked.
No, people don't own people
anymore. People own chunks
of people in these modern times. We now have many
owners, and don't even know it. In fact, we deny it and even resent the
suggestion that someone might own us at all.
We value and pride ourself
independence. This nation was founded
on independence and individual freedom. But do we really have it?
When you were married,
if under normal
conditions, you took a vow to "Love and obey." So, if you are married,
you have taken an oath to do two things for one person. If you have
been married more than once, than you have been divided up that many
more times. These people own a chunk
of you, and you own a chunk of them. How much of a chunk depends on
your (and their) integrity, what type of vow you took, and the culture
that has established that vow.
And if you are married
without such vows,
that is without commitment to one another, than there really isn't any
bond to begin with.
You eat, and you likely
have a roof over
your head (and your family's as well). Someone supplies those things.
If it is a job, than that boss owns a chunk of you. If you are
independently wealthy, then whatever the source of your income (if it
be stocks, oil wells, etc) owns a part of you. If you don't think so,
consider what would happen if the stocks collapsed or the wells went
Pets own you. Can you
decide to take a trip
to Hawaii without your pet? Without making some provision for your pet?
And the closer you are to that pet, the more it owns you.
Your lawn owns you, in
the same way that
your pet does. You don't have a pet or a lawn? Do you have one potted
plant that must be watered?
Things own you. If you
have just one thing
that you must take care of, that you would fear losing, that would
cause you distress should you lose it; then that object owns a chunk of
you. Perhaps it's your car, a diamond ring, the deed to your property,
or a dollar bill stashed away somewhere.
Do you owe any bills? A
cards? Taxes? Alimony?
If no one else owns you;
If you had nothing
that owns you. If there was no one in the world who you cared for or
about; there is yet one thing here on earth that owns a huge chunk of
you; The government(s). You don't think so? Try telling that to the cop
who stops you as you walk through his town with your knapsack over your
shoulder, or tell it to the judge.
Many of the above are
just a part of being
alive. Things and pets and houses and such; These have power over you
(that is a chunk of you) to whatever degree you allow it to. They don't
seek a chunk of you, you just turn it over to them.
But there are those who do
want power over you. And it is very likely that you seek power over
There is something about the
that needs to feel empowered, that feels "Less than" if it can't feel
"Better than." And the way it attempts to satisfy itself is to gain
power (authority) over others. It is not satisfied until it can control
others. That others
might be just one other, such as a child, a spouse, an employee, etc.;
And as a last resort, a pet. Some psyches are so far down the ladder
that they have to condemn an entire culture or race to try and keep
itself off the bottom rung of that ladder.
"If you don't do what I
You fill in the blank. Maybe the word(s) that best applies to you is
"fire you," or "leave you," or "run away from home." Of course there's
always the old favorites used by known bullies, but to use them the
bully must be bigger or meaner than you; Just like the convict in
But the other examples given
are more akin
to non-violent forms of bullying. And for them to be effective, the
bully must have some power, that is authority over you.
"If you don't do what I say
I'll fire you!"
Normally that might be very effective - if you happen to work for that
person. Otherwise the most you might get is a bellyache from laughing
"I'll run away from home!"
That might work.
But if it's the forty-year-old child you have been trying to get out of
the house, you just might get another bellyache.
Actually bully-ism is
blackmail. The intent
is the same - that is to get something from you (get a chunk of you) by
using threats. I think of a bully as being one who wields some
authority over you. Someone who you must
serve in one capacity or another, against your will.
Blackmailers, on the other
hand, try to get
their chunk of you by surreptitious means. That is, he tries to gain
power over you by using something against you that he really has no
"I'll run away from home,"
is one such form
of blackmail. The child is trying to gain power over you that he does
not normally have. Where does the child get such a notion? Probably
from you. "If you do this, I will give you that." Or, "I won't spank
you if...." (etc.) Now of course you would call that bargaining.
Right? And so would the child call it bargaining when he threatens to
run away from home.
"If you don't give me
your candy bar, I'll
tell!" This one we learn in pre-school. The blackmailer doesn't even
have to say what it is he is going to tell about you, or even who
he is going to tell. You give him the candy bar, and a huge chunk of
yourself right along with it.
Ubange lips, rings that
stretch your neck,
feet wrapped from birth to keep your feet tiny, tattoos and burn scars
when you come of age, bar mitzvah, fraternal initiation, diploma.
A society dictates what you
strive for, what
you wear, how you behave in order to fit into that society.
"Not me, man, I'm a hippy.
Nobody owns me."
Flowers, "Peace and Love,"
dress, jeans, van.
We form micro-societies.
And to fit in with
that society, you must conform to the standards and expectations of
that society. In other words, that society owns a chunk of you. Try
joining a hippy community wearing a two-piece suit and a derby hat, or
joining a law firm wearing feathers in your hair and thongs on your
If you didn't die at
birth, and I assume
didn't, then Death owns you. Death is just biding his time until he
takes possession of that which he already owns.
From the moment you were
conceived, the life
you have is only on loan to you for a limited period of time.
You might not believe in
Satan, and perhaps
you are right. And if you don't believe in Satan, than you probably
don't believe in Jesus either. And possibly you do not believe in God
as a judge and creator as well. If that is the case, than your journey
through this study has ended here with Death.
But those of you who
wish to follow along
farther, if for no other reason than for the sake of argument; let's
look at Satan.
Satan, Angra, Mainyu,
Mara or the Devil.
Whatever you call him, or whatever your faith; the chances are you
believe in the devil in one form or another.
Satan's roll in the Fall of
Man, that is,
the Original Sin is also debated. But his negative influence on all of
us is pretty well agreed upon.
Some religions believe
that Satan has to
influence each of us, that is, must bring us down one-by-one. That Man
is either inherently good, or inherently neutral, and Satan must work
to pull us to his level.
That said, I will from
here concentrate on
the traditional Christian view of Satan.
Death, as pointed out
above, owns us from
And so does Satan. This part
debated, but like I said, here I am considering the traditional view.
Satan won Mankind in the
Garden of Eden.
When both Adam and Eve sinned, that sin was passed on to their
children. (By the way, the Greek word for sin used in the Bible means
"to miss the mark, therfore not share in the prize." Interesting?)
Because of this, we are born with a "fallen nature," in other words, we
are lost from the beginning.
(If a child is born to a
slave, that child
becomes a slave to the master of his or her parents; that is, the child
is "born into slavery.")
So if Satan owns
us, any ideas as
to what he intends to do
The Bible tells us that
Jesus paid for sin.
That is, he paid the debt that Adam owed for his sin, and that of our
own as well. So the curse placed upon Man was lifted, part of which is
Of course you can always
refuse to accept
the payment and demand that you pay your own debts. I suppose it is
everyone's right to do so. That way you don't have to be indebted to
anyone, that is except Death of course.
I suppose it could be
likened to having a
check at your bank where you owe a great deal of money, that is large
enough to cover that debt. All you have to do is sign the check, and
the debt is paid.
However, part of the
agreement for having
your debt paid is that you now owe the one who paid your debt. That is,
you either continue to owe Death who is waiting to collect; Or you owe
Jesus who wants to give you Life.
In Biblical times (and
recently), if you owed someone money that you could not pay, then you
became that person's slave until the debt is worked off. Of course,
when you owe Death, then you never can
work off the debt.
Of course someone can pay
off your debt and
set you free. Which is what Jesus did. However, you can continue being
a slave to your old master, either out of refusal of the payment,
because of ignorance of the fact that the debt has been paid, or
because you love your old master and wish to remain with him. (Why
someone would want to remain a servant of Death I don't know. But I
guess some folks do.)
So let's say you accept
the payment for
debt and you are now free. You have two options (that I can see). One
is the option described above. The other is to become the servant of
the One who set you free of your debt; that is, the One who bought you.
(I suppose you could just
remain free, but I
can't imagine to where that
If you choose to remain
with your Master as
a servant (or slave), whichever Master that is, your old one or your
new, then you have the option of becoming a servant for life. In such a
case, the Master would stand you against the doorpost and "bore a hole"
in your ear. (It has been interpreted that this means the Master "owns
your ear" and you will only listen to him. Much like, I suppose, when
Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice" and will flee from another"
(For more on this, see
Exodus chapter 21 and
John chapter 10.)
So, I return to my
original question. Does
anybody own you? Or have I just been flapping my lips at the wind?