When we were little children, we couldn’t tell the difference between goodness and obedience and badness and disobedience. If we were “good” it was because we did what we were told. If we were “bad” it was because we didn’t.

The problem with being a good little boy or a good little girl soon became apparent when we crossed paths with less good boys and girls. Because the “bad” boys and girls discover a very useful secret: you can tell good boys and girls what to do! they are so obedient!

The result of this discovery is covert or overt bullying. The victims either suffer in silence like good little victims or else they learn to stand up for themselves, which means that they learn to be disobedient. They learn how to say “No”.

Those who can’t say “No” are used and abused by others. We generally find out this basic fact early in life. Then we find that we can say “No” to a huge variety of things. Perhaps we are like those rebellious types who say “No” to practically everything. No-one dares take advantage of us or tell us what to do.

It’s good to be a bit of a rebel. You are more self-reliant and independent and people don’t mess with you. However, there is a sting in the tail of disobedience. After years of habitual rebelliousness and disobedience, you realize that not only do you struggle to follow the instructions of those who are trying to help you, but you can’t even obey yourself.

“Relax!” you say to yourself.

“No!” you reply.

Some people struggle more with “Yes” and some more with “No”. And sometimes you just don’t know when to say “Yes” and when to say “No”, or you can’t let your “Yea” be “Yea,” and your “Nay,” “Nay.”

In theological terms, the best way (Te) to live is simple: say “Yes” to God and “No” to the Whisperer.

A skeptic might retort, “Yeah but your instructions to yourself that you think of as coming from god are just the internalization of things you’ve read in your holy books!”


Be still and know that you are God.