“Nature provides exceptions to every rule.” – Margaret Fuller
“FREEDOM!” – ‘William Wallace’
This rule is really at the heart of this entire philosophical and spiritual bullshit that is my rules. All of my rules are useless without this one. In one simple line, it describes the freedom that all of my rules are actually about, while also giving a call to wisdom and a warning of responsibility. Every rule has an exception, and every rule has a time and place to be bent and broken.
I can’t make this shit up. At the time I’m writing this, in the last week, I got caught breaking a USFS rule about having a permit to camp where I have been camping. I can be quoted for calling all of this philosophy and spirituality stuff–my rules themselves–all remarkably stupid while staring, dumbfounded down a canyon. And if I’m going to blog about another one of my rules, it is time for the “No Rule is Absolute” rule.
The basic principle of this rule: there is a time and a place that every rule on my list is meant to be bent or outright broken (see rule 3: There is a time and place for everything). No rule can stand in 100% of the time and claim to be some absolute, infallible truth. All of this just doesn’t work like that. It simply doesn’t work like that.
Perhaps the most obvious of times when this occurs: when two rules contradict each other in a given set of circumstances. Now, why would I make rules that seem to do that? Well, because they’re not absolute, of course. And this rule is the mediator of those contradictions; the rule that says, “Yeah, we can’t follow both of these rules here. That’s okay. They’re not absolute anyway.”
Thus enters where this rule becomes a challenge, a “call to arms” of sorts. It dictates responsibility and calls for wisdom. Where it seems like an easy caveat to all other rules, it ideally holds a position of silent watcher–rarely acting on its own behalf. It is not to be invoked upon lightly, but used with great wisdom and thought.
See, there is one thing about all of my rules, and this is the rule that wraps all of it up. My rules are not meant to dictate some kind of “this is how to live my life”. I often do make them out to be something kinda like that, but that’s not the true intent. These rules are all meant to encourage an ultimate freedom. Freedom from the bullshit lies that society spews and tries to get all of us to live by. Freedom from the day to day madness that we make up for ourselves to live in. I could rant forever about what this all means, but it is never truly understood until it is experienced anyway.
That’s what this rule is all about. With freedom comes great responsibility and potentially extreme consequences. But this rule, and all of my rules are all about that freedom. They all simply give some guidance on that responsibility and those potential consequences. As this rule states, they all can be broken: none are absolute.